Matthew, Luke, and John — John 1

September 16, 2019

It is never too late to begin your personal Bible study of John or to begin a group study of the Gospel of John! None of the Bible commentaries, lessons, or handouts are dated as they once were, so no one and no group using the International Bible Study Commentary & International Bible Lesson (and the other Bible lesson materials) are ever hopelessly behind. If you ever fall behind due to illness or vacations, for example, it is easy to catch up using the Contents page. If you miss a week or more, you can catchup with your Bible group by reading the commentary and lesson at home.

As you begin your study, if you would like to learn more about John the Baptist and the birth and early years of Jesus before He was baptized by John the Baptist, read the first three chapters of the Gospel of Matthew and/or the first three chapters of the Gospel of Luke. The Holy Spirit did not lead John to cover these events. Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (reported in Matthew 4 and Luke 4) occurred before Jesus called His first disciples. John did not report Jesus’ temptation by the devil and instead moved from a report of John the Baptist’s interrogators to the report of Jesus’ calling His first disciples. In the Gospel of John, John is giving an eyewitness account; therefore, John did not tell us what he did not personally see; such as, Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.

If we carefully read the first chapter of the Gospel of John, we have good reasons to believe that John, the writer of the Gospel of John, was first a disciple of John the Baptist and then one of the first two disciples that Jesus called to follow Him. That means John would have prepared himself to meet Jesus the Messiah by having repented of his sins and having undergone the baptism of John the Baptist. Without going into details here, John and Andrew were the first two disciples to follow Jesus (see John 1:35-37).

From the time he was a disciple of John the Baptist, John offers us a first-hand eyewitness testimony regarding John the Baptist. Then, John offers a first-hand eyewitness testimony regarding the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry through His death and resurrection. Even though John was also an eyewitness of what Matthew and Luke wrote about regarding Jesus, John takes us behind the scenes. Jesus taught the crowds publicly and His disciples privately. Matthew and Luke report details of Jesus public ministry. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John blends Jesus’ public and private revelations of himself, revelations of His grace and glory, into the Gospel of John. The Bible reports that Jesus privately taught His closest disciples, and in Luke 10:23, we read, “Then turning to the disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see!’” Blessed are our eyes as we see Jesus through the eyes of John and believe in Him.

As we study the Gospel of John, you will discover how wonderful it is for us to experience and enjoy the continuity of studying through a book of the Bible verse-by-verse with each study building upon the one before to give us a beautiful understanding of Jesus Christ; an understanding that will buildup our faith in Him or give us the faith in Jesus that we need.

Invite others to study the Gospel of John with you. Invite them to “Come and see” Jesus as Jesus invited His first disciples.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Why Study the Gospel of John?

September 9, 2019

In the first and last chapters of the Gospel of John and in the Book of Revelation, the Apostle John begins and ends with two reasons to study his gospel and share what we learn with others.

First, in John 1:12, we read, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” If we have received Jesus and believe in His Name, by His power we have become children of God. If not, the gospel of John will give anyone good and sufficient reasons to receive Jesus and believe in His Name so they can become children of God. As Christians, we can study the Gospel of John so we can be prepared to share the good news of Jesus Christ with believers and unbelievers. Those who are not Christians should at least be intellectually honest and study the evidence in the Gospel of John.

To fully learn the Name of Jesus (“the name above all names”—Philippians 2:9), the names that reveal the nature and character of Jesus, we need to study the Gospel of John. For example, in just the first few verses of John’s first chapter we learn that the Name of Jesus includes “Word,” “God,” and “Lamb of God.” For this reason alone, and I am sure there are others, in the Book of Revelation 19:12, John wrote, “His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed that no one knows but himself.” And then in Revelation 19:13, John repeated the Name he used to begin teaching about Jesus in his gospel, “He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is called The Word of God.” As the Lamb of God, Jesus’ robe was dipped in blood, His own blood. For this reason, John wrote this in John 1:29, “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” And on His robe, Jesus has this name, as we read in Revelation 19:16, “On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.’”

Second, as John drew his gospel to a close, in John 20:30-31, he wrote, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” Jesus is the Life and Light that all people need and can receive by believing in Him (see John 1:4). We believe in Jesus and study the gospel of John to learn more about and praise the One who said of himself in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Because Jesus “did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book,” as Christians we study all four gospels and the entire New Testament. As John concluded his Gospel in John 21:25, he wrote: “But there are also many other things that Jesus did; if every one of them were written down, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.

Welcome to the NEW International Bible Study Forum

The International Bible Study Forum is now using WordPress, which is internationally recognized, reputable, and secure. The IBS Forum enables you to discusses with others how the Gospel of John applies to our everyday lives and is based on the International Bible Study Commentary and International Bible Lesson. IBS Forum Posts are made after the materials on International Bible Study Commentary and International Bible Lesson have been published, and express the latest applications to the lessons. We have added all previous posts on the Gospel of John. Though you do not need to login anymore to make Comments, all Comments are moderated. We also encourage you to become a member of the IBS Forum so you can receive our periodic International Bible Study Forum Newsletter by sending an e-mail subscribe request to  lgp@theiblf.com.

The Authority of Jesus and the Holy Spirit — John 3

From John 3:31-36, we learn that Jesus Christ is above all, and He has come from heaven to earth. We learn that Jesus Christ speaks and “testifies” about what He saw and heard in heaven before He came from heaven to earth. We learn that those who accept the testimony of Jesus Christ certify that “God is true.” We learn that Jesus Christ spoke the words of God. We learn that Jesus Christ gives to those who believe in Him the Holy Spirit without measure or without limit. We learn that because God the Father loves His Son, Jesus Christ, that He has placed all things in the hands of Jesus Christ. We learn that Jesus Christ has authority and power over all things, and no being and no created thing has more authority and power than Jesus Christ.

Therefore, it is abuse of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, if not a moral and spiritual crime, for someone to say that the Holy Spirit is leading them or leading a church to contradict the teachings and words of Jesus Christ. Remember also what Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” It is abuse of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, for someone to teach that the Bible is no longer “inspired by God” and parts of the Bible are no longer useful “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” They make matters worse when they say that the Holy Spirit is leading them or leading a church to contradict the Bible, Jesus, and the words of God, so they can teach unrighteousness while claiming that they are following the leading of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never contradict the teachings of Jesus and the Bible. In this day and age, we must be careful not to follow anyone or believe anyone who says the Holy Spirit is leading them (and others should follow them) to turn from the clear teachings in the Bible regarding true and false, right and wrong, righteousness and unrighteousness. Remember, we also learn in John 3:36, “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.”

Remember what Jesus himself preached about those who claimed to be His followers who instead followed the culture. In Mark 8:38, Jesus declared, “Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” Too many today are ashamed of Jesus’ words because of the culture in which we live.

If this warning of Jesus were not enough, when a church leader or a church contradicts the words of Jesus and the Bible, who are Christians to listen to? On the Mount of Transfiguration, God the Father gave the answer in Mark 9:7, “Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!'” Those who believe in Jesus will listen to Him.

Finally, what are some of the consequences for those who tell us the Holy Spirit is leading them away from the teachings of Jesus and the Bible? Jesus has told us in Mark 9:42, “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.” These are sobering words in our world today; therefore, much prayer, discernment, and faithfulness is required of those who claim to be followers of Christ.

Receive our “new” periodic International Bible Study Forum Newsletter by becoming a Registered Member of this IBS Forum. Send me an email to lgp@theiblf.com.

May God continue to bless your Bible study and teaching and encourage you by His Word and Spirit!

Begin your study of the Gospel of John now! OR Go to the “Contents” page to begin with John 1:1.

Teaching the Truth in Love for the Love of God’s Word and His people,
L.G.