How to See Jesus

“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).

When some Greeks found Phillip, they told him, “We wish to see Jesus” (see John 12:21). Today, increasing numbers of people, both followers of Jesus and others,  are saying, “We wish to see Jesus.” Jesus’ teachings in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John help us see Jesus. If you wish to see Jesus, you will begin seeing Jesus if you keep on reading.

One day, a scribe went to see Jesus and he recognized the sincerity of Jesus’ as He answered questions well, so he asked Jesus, “ Which commandment is the first of all?” (see Mark 12:28-37). In Jesus’ answer, we learn something about Jesus, and we begin to see Jesus as He is. Jesus said that those who follow the first commandment will love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. When someone asks what we mean when we say that Jesus lived a perfect sinless life, we can answer by saying, “Jesus loved the Lord His God with all His heart, mind, soul and strength.” The four gospels, especially the Gospel of John, show us Jesus, the Son of God, doing everything He did for people (including everyone today) because He loved God His Father and He knew that His Father loved Him. When we see Jesus doing anything during His short time on Earth and throughout His ministry, we know that He did everything because He loved His Heavenly Father and wanted to do everything His Father asked Him to do—even die on a cross as the Savior of the world. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world” (1 John 4:14).

But wait. You still only see part of Jesus. This is not the total picture that we need to see. Notice how Jesus also obeyed the second greatest commandment, for Jesus loved His neighbor as Himself. Think carefully. In following the first commandment, Jesus loved God; Jesus loved His Father, Himself (Jesus is the Son of God), and the Holy Spirit. Jesus loved Himself (deservedly so) and in the second commandment Jesus has told us to love ourselves, in addition to loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Trying to obey the second commandment without putting the first commandment first will only lead to a self-love that is in reality only a selfish self-centeredness, which is a sin that will lead to increasing lawlessness. Jesus obeyed both commandments; therefore, His love for God and us was not and is not selfish or self-centered. When Jesus loved Himself with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength, He also loved and loves us as He loves Himself. Jesus loves us with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength, and we see Jesus’ total love in the way Jesus treated everyone He met and how He met the needs of everyone in every way that He wisely could. See how Jesus loved. Knowing Peter would deny Him, He still loved Peter and made him an apostle. Knowing Judas would betray Him, He still loved Judas and felt sorry for Judas because He knew the consequences of Judas’ betrayal. Knowing Jerusalem would soon be destroyed by the Romans, Jesus wept for the people He loved and came to save but who rejected God’s offer of salvation through faith in Him, God’s  Son and Messiah. In the four gospels, we see Jesus loved (and still loves) everyone with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength because He died on the cross and rose again to save us from our sins while we still lived in rebellion against Him, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. Look at Jesus. If you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, He loves you as He loves Himself with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength. If you have sinned and want to change, look to Jesus to forgive you, and save you, because Jesus loves you with all His heart, mind, soul, and strength. Trust in Jesus because Jesus loves you and He came to save you and give you eternal life. Are you beginning to see Jesus more completely?

Carefully consider these words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 5:7-11 as you see our loving Jesus dying on the cross for us, for you, and rising from the dead for us, for you:

“Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath (our deserved judgement and punishment) of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”

Jesus came and died and rose again so those who believe in, love, and follow Jesus will not receive the just judgment and punishment of God that they deserve. If you look to Jesus and see Jesus as He is, you will believe in Jesus, you will love Jesus, and you will follow Jesus. God knows that in this life, you will not love and follow Jesus perfectly, but you will strive to obey His commandments; knowing this, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live within His followers to guide and empower them to live in love as God intends according to the Bible. Listen to Jesus’ words in John 14:15-16, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever.” Do you see? God is love and God sent His Son to save you from the just punishment you deserve. As followers of Jesus Christ, we try to obey the Law of Love, these two commandments, the Holy Spirit being our Helper, that Jesus explained to the scribe. The Apostle John tells us more about Jesus and His loving presence with His followers in 1 John 4:14-21:

“And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God. So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”

If you truly want to see Jesus and see Jesus better, I suggest that you begin with the Gospel of John.

The True Life and The True Light

The life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it (John 1:4-5).

We learn from the Gospel of John that any life anyone has was given to them and is maintained within them by Jesus. Any mental or spiritual light or truth anyone has was given to them and is maintained within them by Jesus. Anyone can learn these truths about God.

In Psalm 19:1-4, David declared, “The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;  yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” From just looking around, David learned that the existence and character of God was obvious. So, why do some people refuse to believe these truths about God?

The Apostle Paul tells us why in Romans 1:18-22, 25, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;  for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever!”

Because people have lived in darkness and their foolish minds have become darkened, God the Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to save people from darkness and death. God came in Jesus Christ to reveal the truth about God in ways and words that anyone can understand if they truly want to turn from darkness to find and understand God. After the heavens declared the glory of God, in the fullness of time God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to declare the love and glory of God in speech and action.

We live in a world today where increasing numbers of people and those in positions of leadership in almost every area of life worship the creation rather than the Creator and they want everyone to become like them. They have exchanged the truth about God for a lie. Increasing numbers of influential people keep proclaiming lies about God and creation in every way and place possible. Too many people are more concerned about saving creation than serving their Creator, the Creator and Sustainer of all creation. Though they think themselves wiser than others, they worship and serve mere creatures and the powers of darkness that would destroy God’s creation and all human life. If people truly worshiped and served the Creator, they would wisely do what is best for creation and every creature.

To solve the world’s problems, more people need to turn from darkness to Light, from death to Life, from fear to faith in God, from serving the ruler of this world to serving the true Life and Light—the Lord Jesus Christ. The Light of Jesus Christ shines brightly in the world despite the efforts of the ruler of this world and its followers to put out the Light. The worst the ruler of this world and its followers could do was crucify Jesus and kill him on a cross. But after three days in a stone-cold tomb, Jesus rose from the dead and He ascended into heaven where He rules over all creation. Whereas the heavens declare the glory of God, Jesus also declares the glory of God as He lives, reigns, and shines within every one of His followers. The darkness could not overcome Jesus with the worst it could do, and His Light still shines in the darkness. Jesus promised in John 8:12, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Jesus’ true followers are also the light of the world as Jesus lives, gives life, shines, and works within them (see Matthew 5:14).

Likewise, the darkness and those who prefer living in darkness cannot comprehend Jesus. Remember what the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 1:21, “For though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.” Because their senseless minds are dark, unbelievers cannot comprehend or understand the Light, the Truth. The KJV and the NASB translate John 1:5 using the word comprehend: “The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” If someone prefers living in darkness instead of living in the Light, prefers living in a lie instead of living in the truth, they will not comprehend the teachings of Jesus or the Bible. They will not learn the truth and they will not stop living a lie.

If someone wants to come out of the darkness, they can turn toward the Light, and the Holy Spirit will help them comprehend the Bible’s teachings so they can believe in Jesus Christ. The Truth of Jesus that the Bible reveals will help them turn from darkness to Light, to trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin and death, to walking in the Light according to Jesus—the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In John 14:6, Jesus declared, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Those who turn from darkness to Jesus will be able to rejoice in God as King David did in Psalms 27:1-4, “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When evildoers assail me to devour my flesh—my adversaries and foes—they shall stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war rise up against me, yet I will be confident. One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple”

When we turn to follow Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we can come to know God as King David, John, and the Apostle Paul, and others have come to know God. We will know Jesus is our Light and Salvation.

To learn more about Jesus Christ and the way of salvation, Begin or continue a study of the Gospel of John, with verse-by-verse commentaries, Bible Lessons, Study Questions, Study Hints, Applications, Crossword Puzzles, True and False Tests, and Word Search Puzzles, and Prayers, by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

The Light of the World is Jesus — John 1:1-5

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

John 1:1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:2He was in the beginning with God.

Throughout the Good News of John, he makes plain that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word. The Lord Jesus Christ is eternal, the eternal God. Jesus, the Son of God, did not begin to exist, for He always existed. He existed before and when God made the heavens and the earth. He will live forever.

The Lord Jesus Christ is a Person distinct from God the Father. The Father and the Word are two Persons; for the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Lord Jesus Christ is not a created angel, but God. As the Son of God, Jesus Christ is not inferior to God the Father. The Father and the Son are the One Perfect God in unity from eternity past into eternity future.

John 1:3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being John 1:4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Creator of all things, the Creator of all that exists (other than the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: these three Persons are the One true and eternal God ). The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have always been and will always be. Jesus made all created things and beings. Nothing was made without Jesus. Beginning with nothing, Jesus (the Word) made the universe, the form of the universe, and all the universe contains. Those Jesus made in the image of God also create, but they create out of “something” that Jesus made. They think and create with the brain and the mind that Jesus gave them. Jesus made all material and spiritual existence in the universe, for in Jesus was and is life and light. All spiritual life and light come through Jesus. Whatever spiritual life and light we have is from and through Jesus Christ. Jesus gives new life and light to all who believe in Him, and they love and follow His life and light.

John 1:5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

The darkness is the spiritual darkness and sin in the world as it now exists apart from God and in opposition to the Father, the Son (the Word), the Holy Spirit, and all Their adopted children (the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ). Throughout the ages, the vast majority have refused to walk in the light or follow the light, but they have not comprehended or overcome the light. What light they do have, if any, has come from Jesus Christ, who is the life and light of all people, for He created all people in the image of God. Jesus is the Lord and Savior of all who follow Him. He lives with and He lives within all His followers, as the Good News of John and the Bible teach us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

The Light of Jesus’ Face in Psalm 4

Responsive Reading and Prayer From Psalm 4

It’s almost NEW YEAR! Begin or continue a study of the Gospel of John, with verse-by-verse commentaries, Bible Lessons, Study Questions, Study Hints, Applications, Crossword Puzzles, True and False Tests, and Word Search Puzzles, and Prayers.

Proving the Bible is True

Last week I told someone. “The Bible is true,” and they replied, “Prove it!” If you are ever asked to prove the Bible is true, you can reply:

“The Person who proves the Bible is true is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17). The Holy Spirit is the Person who proves the Bible is true to those who read and study the Bible. The Holy Spirit also “Will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been condemned” (John 16:8-11).

Because of inappropriate ads on this website that I am unable to delete, I am discontinuing all ads. Thank you for understanding, because many excellent Christian ministries have advertised through this website.


Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lessons On Matthew
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Or Begin A Study of the Gospel and Letters of John
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

True Christian Love for Others — 1 John 3:18-24

Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action (1 John 3:18).

When Jesus preached His Sermon on the Mount, He warned, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). Simply declaring the truth that Jesus is Lord without obeying Jesus as Lord is an example of living by words alone without corresponding deeds. Jesus taught the crucial importance of right actions based on a foundation of truth: “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock” (Matthew 7:24). John also warned against a religion of mere words without appropriate works, a life of speech instead of truth and action. John remembered that Jesus called people to follow Him as the way, and the truth, and the life; and Jesus promised He would send His followers the Spirit of truth (John 14:6; 15:26). True belief in Jesus as Lord will always lead His true followers to speaking the truth in love and to loving actions. The Apostle James gave some examples of truth leading to right actions when he wrote, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world;” and then James asked the question, “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?” (James 1:27; 2:15-16).

Thinking Further

1. What did John mean when he distinguished between not loving in word and speech but loving in truth and action.

2. From what you know about the teachings in John’s letter so far or other parts of the Bible, what is one way you can love in truth?

3. From what you know about the teachings in John’s letter so far or other parts of the Bible, what is one way you can love in action?

4. How can a follower of Jesus know that they are from the truth?

5. What must you do to receive whatever you want from God?


Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson on the Gospel of John
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Or Begin A Study of the Letters of John



How to Live Within God — 1 John 2:20-29

Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father
(1 John 2:24).

In 1 John 2:20, John taught that believers in Jesus Christ, the Son, have been anointed by the Holy One—God is One. The New Testament teaches that the Holy One is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—three Persons. The Holy One anoints with the Holy Spirit all who believe in Jesus Christ. Then, the Holy Spirit begins living within each believer. In this way, believers in Jesus Christ become the temple of the living God. With the help of the Holy Spirit, believers abide (or remain) in the Son and the Father, like someone living in a house, but spiritually. Just as someone can enjoy dwelling in their living room, believers in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, can spiritually enjoy living and remaining within the Son and the Father—their spiritual home. If you ask how God and believers can do this, John has answered that it begins with truths a believer has learned and believed about Jesus. In the beginning, John’s readers believed the message about Jesus, the Son of God, coming in a real physical human body to live, teach, die, and rise again as the Christ (the promised Hebrew Messiah). Then, John emphasized that to continue abiding (or living) in the Son and the Father, a believer must continue believing the truths they first learned about God as they are now recorded in the Bible. With the help of the indwelling Holy Spirit, through prayer and Bible study a believer will continue to abide within God and God within them.

Thinking Further

1. What kind of person do you think John meant when he wrote, “all of you have knowledge”?

2. How did John describe the liar and the antichrist?

3. How might you explain, “No one who denies the Son has the Father,” to someone who thinks all religions worship the same God?

4. How can you make certain that what you heard from the beginning abides in you?

5. What can happen to you if what you heard from the beginning no longer abides in you?


Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson on the Gospel of John
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Or Begin A Study of the Letters of John

Is This Like Our World Today?

I am thankful today that after about two weeks my family has survived the worldwide pandemic (so far). If it were not for truths I have learned from the Bible and have believed, these past several days would have been more difficult.

In my Bible reading today, I found a verse that seems to describe what I am seeing today in America, and I would suppose the teaching in this verse is seen in other countries too. John would have said it describes life “in this world.” I thought I would share it with you for your consideration: Proverbs 29:27 – “The unjust are an abomination to the righteous, but the upright are an abomination to the wicked.” At least it seems to me that when we look at many leaders or people of influence today, or when we look at those who govern and the governed, it is easier to distinguish the righteous from the wicked. It is worth thinking about. Feel free to share your thoughts or Bible verses that seem to speak directly of our world today, and how you might describe what life “in this world” is like today. Here is a “Bonus Verse” for your thoughts: Proverbs 29:2 – “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked rule, the people groan.”

The International Bible Study Commentary and Lesson will return this Sunday, and much of what you will need to prepare for teaching 1 John 4:7-12 is available at https://www.ouosu.com/IBLC/.

In the Lion and the Lamb,
L.G.

1 John 4:1-6 & 1 John 4:11-5:5 International Sunday School Lesson Archives – Uniform Lesson Series

On August 21, 2021, those using the Uniform Lesson Series will study 1 John 4:2-3 and 4:13-17 and 5:4-5.

From the Bible Study Archives (links listed below) you will find commentary on the verses you need, Bible lessons, and activities, such as Crossword Puzzles, True and False Tests, and Word Search Puzzles.

You may want to consider starting a Sunday evening, mid-week, or home Bible study group and study the completed Gospel of John lessons and/or begin the Letters of John study that is in progress. You can begin a study at any time.

1 John 4:1-6 & John 4:11-5:5

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

What If a True Christian Sins? — 1 John 2:1

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1)

Among the gospel writers, none of them expressed the tender love of Jesus Christ for His followers more than John, for he addressed his readers as “My little children.” Everything John wrote expressed the love of Jesus Christ that flowed in and through him. John knew the damage that sin could do to someone and to those they loved. John defined sin as lawlessness, and because he loved his brothers and sisters in Christ, he did not want them to act lawlessly. John also recognized that no follower of Christ will act, live, and speak perfectly until they meet Jesus face-to-face, either when Jesus Christ comes again or when they go to heaven to be with the Lord. John knew that every follower of Jesus would do something lawless sometimes, but lawlessness was the exception to the standard by which they habitually lived. To avoid utterly crushing the spirit of his fellow believers, John encouraged them by writing that if we do sin, we have an advocate, a defense attorney, who will plead for and  represent us before God our Father. There will be no better Defense Attorney in our behalf than Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, because Jesus “is the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 2:2). Our Advocate will only need to say in our behalf that He justly and mercifully died a sacrificial death for us so we would not suffer eternal punishment. Moreover, the Father and He had agreed to graciously give eternal life to all who would follow Him.

Thinking Further

1.  Why do you think John called his readers “My little children”?

2. What reason did John give for writing them?

3. If anyone sins, what good news did John give his readers?

4. What did John say was necessary for Jesus to be “the atoning sacrifice”?

5. How can we be sure that we know Jesus?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John

The Only Reason to Become a Christian — John 21:20-25

This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and has written them, and we know that his testimony is true (John 21:24).

Why should someone become a Christian? Christians can think of many lasting benefits for becoming a Christian; benefits beyond what we can even begin to imagine that will only increase throughout eternity. As we study the New Testament, we learn how Jesus Christ made these benefits possible for His followers by His death, burial, and resurrection. Unfortunately, some people believe in God only for the benefits, and they remain selfish and self-centered, thinking only of themselves and of what God will give them in the future. Satan accused Job of trusting in and honoring God only for the benefits, but Job showed Satan that he served God because God was worthy to be loved. In John’s gospel, we learn the best reason to become a Christian. The best reason to follow Jesus is because Christianity is true, and because Christianity is true the followers of Jesus turn from selfishness and self- centeredness to God-centeredness, to loving God supremely, to obeying God, and to loving others as Jesus Christ has loved them. From the way John’s gospel concludes with these words by one who knew John, “his testimony is true,” we know the greatest, most important, and the only real reason for becoming a Christian — because Christianity is true. Thinking further, John used the words true and truth far more than any of the other gospel writers. Depending on the translation, in John, John’s Letters, and Revelation, John used the word “true” or “truth” 82 times. Dr. Francis Schaeffer concluded: “There is only one reason, and not two, for becoming a Christian, and that is because Christianity is true.”

Thinking Further

1.  Why do you think Peter was concerned about the future of John?

2. When Peter asked about the future of John, how did Jesus answer him?

3. Can you think of one or more ways Peter and John differed as Apostles?

4. Why do you think John wrote about the circulating rumor?

5. What do you think was the most important declaration that John made about his gospel?

Study the International Bible Study
Commentary and Lesson
by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.

Begin A Study of the Letters of John