Welcome to the Renew blog, a Six Step Bible Study.
We are a united group of Ladies from the UK, who believe in the transforming power of the Word of God for our lives. We meet every Wednesday at Create church, (part of Rising Brook) in Huntington and would love to welcome you to our group, if you live local.
We are on our fifth week in the book of John and this week, Rachael will be taking us through John Chapter 5 Verse 16-32.
Before we get started, let’s recap on last week’s study because we’ll be picking up from where we left off, Feel free to read through the whole study, ‘As a man thinketh’, here or continue reading this brief overview……
Last week we looked at John Chapter 5 Verse 15, where a paralysed man who had been disabled for 38 years was healed by Jesus on the sabbath day. We begin this week’s lesson at verse 16 where the Jewish leaders begin to persecute Jesus for healing this man on the sabbath day.
John Chapter 5:16 – 18
16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
I absolutely love this passage of scripture. Just look at all those lovely red letters; the real, actual words of Jesus that came from His mouth! It makes me want to read them over and over and if I’d have actually been there, I think I’d have swooned over these words!
Jesus is talking here to the religious, Jewish leaders, in response to their persecution of Him for healing a disabled man on the Sabbath day and I just love all that He says!
Jesus knows that the religious leaders are angry and now is His time to set the record straight. He explains to these ‘haters’ that the reason for Him coming is to work.
In verse 17 Jesus says this , “Everyday my father is at work, and I will be too!”
Of course, this just made matters worse. What these men heard was Jesus saying, “I am equal to God.” This makes Jesus far more powerful than them!
Have you ever been in a situation where you are chatting away to someone and they totally take the hump? You have no idea why, but they just do. Then, the more you say, the more their expression turns from blank to a full-on scowl! it’s completely evident that everything you are saying to them, irritates them more and more!
I imagine that this is the case in this exchange of words with Jesus and the Jewish leaders. What I love the most about this though is that Jesus is doing all the talking. I can only imagine the faces of the leaders on the receiving end!
John Chapter 5 Verse 19 – 21
19 So Jesus said, “I speak to you timeless truth. The Son is not able to do anything from himself or through my own initiative. I only do the works that I see the Father doing, for the Son does the same works as his Father.
20 “Because the Father loves his Son so much, he always reveals to me everything that he is about to do. And you will all be amazed when he shows me even greater works than what you’ve seen so far! 21 For just like the Father has power to raise the dead, the Son will raise the dead and give life to whomever he wants.
We read here that Jesus is in constant communion with His Father, receiving instruction, encouragement, and plans for the work He’s been sent here to do.
Jesus tells us in verses 22 – 24,
“The Father now judges no one, for he has given all the authority to judge to the Son, 23 so that the honor that belongs to the Father will now be shared with his Son. So if you refuse to honor the Son, you are refusing to honor the Father who sent him.
24 “I speak to you an eternal truth: if you embrace my message and believe in the One who sent me, you will never face condemnation, for in me, you have already passed from the realm of death into the realm of eternal life!”
So, Jesus is now the one who gives judgement. Here we see that Jesus is telling them to embrace Him.
Just as He has been in constant communion with the Father we should be in constant communion with Jesus.
My first question today is this,
Who are you communing with?
I (Rachael) have a confession to make…..
My biggest downfall is social media and I can quite easily spend countless hours scrolling mindlessly through news feeds that consume my mind with endless junk! It’s a habit that I have identified to have been a theme running through my life and is rooted in my past. That theme is escapism.
I use things as a distraction so as not to think in my own mind. As a child those distractions were books and imaginative play with dolls and teddy bears, moving in to teenage years I’d sit alone for hours in my room or the garden when forced by my Dad to get some ‘fresh air!’ Once I started high school that turned to more abusive things like alcohol and drugs.
Thankfully, I’m now free of those things and as Jesus stated in verse 24, I have passed through the realm of death and I’m now experiencing eternal life with Him but I still must be aware of what I am doing, because escaping in social media is not communing with Jesus.
Social media is a world filled with augmented reality, meaning most of it isn’t real. It’s a snare for the devil as there are so many traps we can fall into through filling our minds with this rubbish. Comparison, envy, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, the list really is endless. We must be on our guard and this is an area I’m very much working on.
John Chapter 5 Verse 25 – 40
25 “I speak to you eternal truth: Soon the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will arise with life! 26 For the Father has given the Son the power to impart life, even as the Father imparts life. 27 The Father has transferred to the Son the authority to judge, because he is the Son of Man.
28 “So don’t be amazed when I tell you these things, for there is a day coming when all who have ever died will hear my voice calling them back to life, 29 and they will come out of their graves! Those who have done what is good will experience a resurrection to eternal life. And those who have practiced evil will taste the resurrection that brings them to condemnation!
30 “Nothing I do is from my own initiative, for as I hear the judgment passed by my Father, I execute judgment. And my judgments will be perfect, because I can do nothing on my own, except to fulfill the desires of my Father who sent me. 31 For if I were to make claims about myself, you would have reasons to doubt. 32 But there is another who bears witness on my behalf, and I know that what he testifies of me is true.”
33 “You have sent messengers to John, and what he testified about me is true. 34 I have no need to be validated by men, but I’m saying these things so that you will believe and be rescued.
35 “John was a blazing, burning torch, and for a short time you basked in his light with great joy. 36 But I can provide a more substantial proof of who I am that exceeds John’s testimony—my miracles! These works which the Father destined for me to complete—they prove that the Father has sent me! 37 And my Father himself, who gave me this mission, has also testified that I am his Son.[f] But you have never heard his voice nor seen his face, 38 nor does his Word truly live inside of you, for you refuse to believe in me or to embrace me as God’s messenger.
39 “You are busy analyzing the Scriptures, frantically poring over them in hopes of gaining eternal life. Everything you read points to me, 40 yet you still refuse to come to me so I can give you the life you’re looking for—eternal life!
According to the law of Moses, a man’s testimony about himself is inadmissible and here we see Jesus stating the facts. Not only is He his own witness but John is also, as well as the Father himself, Jesus’ miracles and the Scripture.
There is no mistake, Jesus is who He says He is!
However, these leaders are determined to pour over scripture frantically, trying to catch Jesus out! They are filled with fear that they will lose all power and no longer be in this over-rising position to the people. Desperate to prove Jesus wrong they will try absolutely anything.
My second question today is, what is your motive?
As Christians we know that we need to be in constant communion with Jesus, we know that His word provides application for our lives and to be authentic disciples we need to continue to push into Jesus and figure out what God has called us to do with the gifts and talents He has given us.
The Word gives us wisdom and transforms our hearts but what if the motive isn’t right?
Have you ever encountered someone that insists on taking scripture and using it to tear down your lifestyle, to belittle and shame you into seeing their point of view? Their motive is purely to drive their opinion in order to get you to agree with them?
That’s just what these religious leaders were doing! Their love for the word wasn’t to get closer to God and establish how they would bring Him glory, it was to dictate and speculate.
The final part of Chapter 5 has to be my all-time favourite.
Jesus says this in verse 41-47,
“I do not accept the honour that comes from men, 42 for I know what kind of people you really are, and I can see that the love of God has found no home in you. 43 I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace me in faith. But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda, you readily accept him. 44 Of course you’re unable to believe in me. For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.
45 “I won’t be the one who accuses you before the Father. The one who will incriminate you is Moses, the very one you claim to obey, the one in whom you trust! 46 If you really believed what Moses has written, then you would embrace me, for Moses wrote about me! 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, no wonder you don’t believe what I say.”
Firmly rooted in communion with the Father, Jesus says I do not seek your approval and I do not need man to validate me. I know what I’ve been sent to do and the will of the Father is enough for me. You people will never dictate who I am because my Father is the creator of all!
My third and final question for today is the title of this blog – For Whose Glory are we working?
It can be so easy to be intimidated by those that cast accusations and persecute us that we can start to work for their approval. If like me, you tend to commune with social media, we can easily be coerced into looking upon other people’s lives and posting for the approval of our friends or followers.
Sometimes when God gives a word of knowledge, we won’t speak it for fear of people ridiculing us or worse, for fear of people saying we are ‘fake’.
Be encouraged by this portion of scripture and take courage from the one we follow. Jesus set us the greatest example.
This week’s study scripture is,
1 Peter 4:11 For example, if you have a speaking gift, speak as though God were speaking his words through you. If you have the gift of serving, do it passionately with the strength God gives you, so that in everything God alone will be glorified through Jesus Christ. For to him belong the power and the glory forever throughout all ages! Amen.
Lets’ go on to our 6 Step Study with the three questions for today in mind
- Who are you communing with?
- What is your motive?
- For Whose Glory are we working?
For more information on the 6 R’s Bible Study CLICK HERE to watch the how to video.
We believe that the word of God is powerful and life changing. When the word of God is applied to your life, you will be renewed!