Thank you for your work Wednesday night on the fourth gospel, that of the beloved apostle John. Next week,September 18, 2019, we begin our two week study of the Book of Acts by concentrating on chapters 1-12.
NOTE: We will be back in the HUB next week, September 18, 2019!
Review of the four gospels: See manual page 24.
“The Gospel to The Jewish World”, Key word: “Fulfilled"
“The Gospel to the Roman world”, Key word: “Immediately"
“The Gospel to the Greek world”, Key word: ”Son of Man"
“The Gospel to The whole world”, Key word: “Believe"
The bottom line of the four gospel accounts: “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”― C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Recap of John:
Our objectives for the night were:
-That we see the uniqueness of the Apostle John's account of the the good news of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Saviour of the world
-That we respond to the Lord with a maturing faith and remain his disciples for life
-That we see the wonder of the Word of God and the person of Christ presented in it
Remember the gospels are the basis of the rest of at the New Testament. See page 15 in the manual and note the placement of John. We also looked at page 24 comparing the Synoptics and John in regard to the emphasis, audience, key words of each.
Then we did some geographic work taking the map on page 27 and the map in the back of your NIV titled, "Jesus' Ministry", map #11 in your NIV, it is #9 in the older NIV version.
In our study of Luke, there were three geographic areas emphasized in his gospel: Here is a portion of last week’s, September 4, 2019, recap.
As the intro to Luke in your NIV Study Bible states under, “ Plan”, Luke’s account of Jesus’ ministry can be divided geographically into three parts,
1) events in/around Galilee, in the North, 4:14-9:50
2) those that took place in Judea and Perea, 9:51-19:27
3) those of the final week in Jerusalem, the place of the triumphal entry, six trials, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus, 19:28-24:53
We can remember this structure of Luke by the simple words/phrases, Galilee, Judea and Perea, Jerusalem.
To sum up the geographic area used in all four of the gospel we highlighted the four areas of ministry in the life of our Lord.
1. Phoenicia: 10 x 125 mile piece of land NE of Galilee.
-called "land of purple", seafaring people
-Jezebel's father Ethbaal ruled the area of Tyre and Sidon; through the marriage of Ahab and Jezebel, Phoenician idolatry was imported to Israel, c.874-853BC
-2 miracles performed in the region; at Zaraphath, between Tyre and Sidon, God used Elijah to raise the widows son back to life; in the region of Tyre and Sidon, the Lord Jesus healed the Canaanite woman's daughter. Note: both Gentiles that were healed.
2.Galilee: 50 miles N/S x 25 miles E/W
-approximate former territory of OT tribes of Naphtali, Issachar, Zebulun, Asher
-from Babylonian Captivity onward, the actual Israelite (Jewish) population was but a minority among the dominant Gentiles.
-therefore, the district was suspect ideologically, Jn.1:46; 7:41,52 and differed linguistically, Matt.26:73 (Like in Arkansas, "Not from around these parts are ya?")
-significant from a prophetic perspective,"...Galilee of the Gentiles-the people living in darkness have seen a great light..." Matt.4:15-16 quoting Is.9:1-2
3. Samaria: 40 miles N/S x 35 miles E/W
-called "the Hill Country of Ephraim”; Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim are there
-Shechem was there, where in Gen.11:7 the LORD appeared to Abram and promised to give the land to his offspring.
-Mount Ebal and Gerazim were there, remember the blessings and the curses were shouted from them in Dt. 11
-"Samaritans" considered "half-breeds" due to the policy of the Assyrian rulers beginning with SargonII, 722-705BC, of replacing the Israelites with people from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath ad Sepharvaim. 2 Kings 17:24-34 see also Lk. 9:52, John 4:9; 8:48 (John 4 is the woman at the well...a Samaritan)
4. Judea: 50 miles N/S x 15 miles E/W
-formerly, "the Hill Country of Judah"
-negligible role until David's capture of Jebus, a 12 acre site, later called Jerusalem, see 2 Sam 5
-post Babylonian exile and moving forward, Judah was called "Judea"
-place of the Passion Week events, including the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Look at some of the unique aspects of John's gospel:
•John's stated purpose for writing his gospel, Jn. 20:30 "...that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” Compare this to John's purpose for writing his letter of First John; see 1Jn.1:3
•the emphasis on the deity of Christ in John's portrait,
•the lack of of parables, see chart on parables in the NIV near Luke 15
•John's use of the words, "sign, believe, and life".
•and, keeping in mind our upcoming study of the Book of Acts, John's emphasis on the Holy Spirit, see John 14:16, 25-26; 15:26; 16:8
You might have noticed the use of "remaining" in John 15: This is translated, "abide" in the older translations and has the concept of being in vibrant, active and intimate relationship, in current lingo, "staying connected". We are members of God's household; this achieved by becoming a child of God through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. See: John 1:12. The faith described here establishes a familial, positional relationship that cannot be broken. See John 10:25-30.
The health and vibrancy and intimacy with God of those of us who are in the family of God, is to be maintained and can be broken by our sin. As John points out in his letter, 1John 1:9, our confession restores the fellowship that was broken by our sinful action, words, attitude, motives.
Closing thoughts: The diety of Christ presented in John, see verses 1:1; 8:58; 10:30; 20:28, as well, see Col.1:15-16; 2:9; Titus 2:13.
In his “trilemma” ,as opposed to a dilemma, C.S. Lewis captures the essence of John’s gospel declaration of the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ:
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept his claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. ... Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. (quotation marks added)
Lewis, C. S., Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, pp. 54–56.
As we mentioned in Luke that Mary's words in 1:38, "I am the Lord's servant", are appropriate for us, so too we see in John's gospel another sentence to put on our bath room mirrors.
"He must become greater; I must become less." John the Baptist, Jn.3:30. Also stated in the New American Standard Bible, "He must increase, but I must decrease".
Assignment for Wednesday, September 18, 2019:
-Read the appropriate manual pages on the Book of Acts, and the first 12 chapters of Acts.
-Take one passage from chapters 1-12 on page 82 in the manual and state the main idea taught by that passage.
-Be on the lookout for the connection with the end of Luke to Acts, and for the relationship of John chapters 13-17 with Acts.
Lord willing, I will see you Wednesday as we see the birth of the Church! Be praying for one another and for our time together in class.