ASK AND RECEIVE

[SW230] 04/22//2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“Ask and Receive”

Whatever we ask, we receive! Whatever! Oh, the people on whose behalf you can ask the Lord! And even ask when you yourself need His touch!

Text: 1John 3:21-24

Whatever we ask, we receive. Whatever!

What does it mean to to ask?

“Ask” means this — The humble petition to one in higher authority, from one lesser in position. We are subjects who are petitioning our King.

What are the conditions, in order for the askers to receive what they ask for?

— Their hearts do not find fault in them, because . . .

—  They keep His commandments. Period. And His commandments are not burdensome, because His love has been perfected in them (1John 2:5). Their hearts are completely filled with His love.

— And they do what is pleasing in His sight, for the same reason!

What are His commandments?

— To believe in His Son’s name. That is, to believe that Jesus is all that He says He is, and does what He says He does. With Peter, we say, “You are the Christ, the Holy One of God.” (See Mark 8:29, John 6:69).

— To love one another (with His love, John 15:12)

What about the Ten Commandments?

Jesus said He is the fulfillment of the Law (Matthew 5:17). He means this:

— Through faith in Him, you are saved from God’s wrath. He took it for us, on the cross.

— He then rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and was glorified, returned to the glory He had before anything was made.

— He then poured out His Holy Spirit, the promise of the Father, when believers prayed and asked Him.

— When you are filled with the Holy Spirit,  your heart is cleansed and purified, and you are filled with God’s love. Again, His love is perfected in you. Then you have power over sin because God’s love has filled your heart, and you love with His love.

— Therefore, you do the first four of the Ten Commandments because you love GOD with God’s love, and you do the last six because you love OTHERS with His love.

— His commandments are no longer burdensome, because His love has been perfected in you (1John 2:5, 5:3)

— You do the things that are pleasing in His sight (He sees what you do and rejoices to see it, and you sense His pleasure and are overwhelmed with joy unspeakable/indescribable and full of glory!).

What are the things that are pleasing in His sight?

There is just one thing from which all else flows — to love Him with His love. Then you will:

— Pray without ceasing

— Worship and praise in Spirit and truth

— Proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, and testify about Him

— Grow in grace (the divine influence upon the heart, and the reflection in the life) and in the knowledge of our Lord (2Peter 3:18)

What is the result?

— You are continually in His presence

— His presence is continually in you

— Your heart does not condemn you (find fault) and you have confidence (assurance) as you stand before the Lord, that whatever you ask, you receive. Whatever!

How does this happen?

By the Spirit whom He has given us!

How do you know He has given you His Spirit?

— Abba! Father! The Spirit testifies (Romans 8:15-16). That is the first thing. Then . . .

— You cry out to be filled with the Holy Spirit

How do you know you are filled with His Spirit?

— You exhibit the fruit of His Spirit (Galatians 5:23-24).

— You walk as Jesus Christ walked, in this world (1John 2:6).

— You hate sin like He does

— You love those who hate you

And so, whatever you ask, you receive! Whatever!

What do you yourself receive?

— Continuous, holy intimacy with God

— Unity with the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit

— Spiritual gifts, for the common good of the church

— The wisdom and counsel of God, to aid others and ourselves in our walk

with the Lord

— Healing and deliverance for others because we see their needs through His eyes, and for ourselves, when we are in need or are being attacked.

Do you obey His commandments? Do you do what is pleasing in His sight, so He rejoices over you? Then ask, and you will receive! Whatever!

But what if your heart condemns you today?

Do you sin? Do you see that you do not do the things that are pleasing to God? Do you know that you are not as Christ was in this world?

— John says that no one born of God sins (1John 3:6), and he cannot sin (1John 5:9). Literally, “cannot” means it is impossible. That is only possible when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, filled with God’s love and power over sin.

What is sin?

Paul tells you in 1Corinthians 6:9, and Jesus expands upon that list in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, 6, and 7).

Is your situation hopeless?

God forbid! Here is what you must do:

— You must be born from above, by the Holy Spirit, so you can see and enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:3, 5), and then,

— Your heart must be cleansed/purified, by being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 15:9), so you are set free from slavery to sin (John 8:36) and filled with God’s actual love and power.

Jesus Christ is here today to save you, purify your heart, and fill you with God’s love and power which will set you free from the power of sin, if you will agree with Him that you are not keeping His commandments and doing what is pleasing in His sight!

That is the greatest healing and the greatest deliverance of all!

Then, whatever you ask, you will receive! Whatever!

God will be glorified through your life.

Now, my heart does not condemn me. So I am able pray for you, that you may receive this word, and healing in every way, in your body, and in your walk with the Lord.

I have asked, and so you will receive, if you believe!

Hallelujah!

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 9

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

John 9 is about blindness — natural and spiritual. When Jesus walked the earth, natural blindness was even more devastating than it is now. There was no Braille, no white canes, no training on how to get around in a seeing world, no guide dogs, no financial provision. A blind person was led by the hand to a place where he or she would sit and beg for money from passersby.

But spiritual blindness has a far greater consequence. For the Jewish elite, and for everyone who rejects Christ, the consequence is hell. But in John 9, you will learn that Jesus Christ is the Healer of both, if you will believe Him. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!

Verse 1-2 — Jesus saw a man blind from birth. The disciples asked him who sinned, the man, or his parents. It seems like a strange question. But in Jewish thought, if someone was born blind, he either sinned while still a fetus in the womb, or his parents sinned.
IMPORTANT POINT: The disciples were focused on determining who sinned, so they missed what Jesus saw — a man in need of healing, and an opportunity to glorify God the Father. I wonder how often the church does that today?

Verse 3 — Jesus corrected His disciples. This man’s blindness was not caused by his sin or his parents’ sin. This man was born blind so that the works of God could be displayed in him. He was born blind so that God would be glorified for doing something miraculous. God would get the credit, the honor and the praise for it. In all of history, healing a person born blind had never been done. You will see that God’s works are about to be seen.

IMPORTANT POINT: Is it possible that a birth defect happens so that the person can be healed by God, and God can be glorified? Do you believe Jesus can heal birth defects? That was the case here. Just something to chew on.

Verse 4-5 — Jesus then says we (all believers) must work the works of the Father as long as it is day. Night is coming, and no one will be able to work then. The Light of the world is here, and Jesus says believers are lights of the world (Matthew 5:14). But there will come a time when He and we are no longer here. Then it will be very dark, indeed, dark because the light of God is no longer on the earth.

IMPORTANT POINT: Are you a believer? Are you working the works of the Father — works that cannot be attributed to any natural cause or any medical treatment? If not, ask Him to fill you with His Spirit. You will do His works. He will be glorified by it. Night is coming — you have a limited time to work.

Verses 6-7 — After saying this, He spat on the ground, made clay of His spittle, and put it on the man’s eyes. I believe He used clay because the man had no eyes. They had to be created from the dust, just as when Adam was created by God.

Then He commanded the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam (which is translated “sent”). He sent the man to the pool named Sent, to wash the clay off his face.

So the man obeyed, and came back seeing. Glory to God! Can you see him at the pool, washing, washing, and suddenly, he sees his reflection for the first time ever?

Hallelujah!

IMPORTANT POINT #1:  Jesus Christ can create something from nothing, just as He did when the Father and He created everything you can now see, even to the farthest star and planet. He had to create new nerve connections in my brain in order for me to be healed of progressive MS 15 years ago. Mine had been destroyed, severed, never to be connected again. But with God, all things are possible.

IMPORTANT POINT #2: If someone is born blind, the brain does not have visual images to process. It gets used to not processing images. So when He creates eyes for someone who never had eyes, He has to correct the brain so it will process the images it is suddenly receiving! It is the same when you are filled with His Spirit. Suddenly, you are able to see truths you never saw before, to have visions you never had before, to see those in need — the ones you never saw before. He is an Eye Opener!

IMPORTANT POINT #2: Jesus just told the man to wash. He didn’t promise him healing. But the man obeyed, and came back with eyes that could see! You will be healed, if you will do what the Lord tells you to do (like me, when He told me I was sinking in a sea of doubt, and I reached my hand up to Him, just like Peter on the sea), even if He does not say you will be healed (He didn’t say anything about healing, but He healed me that very night).

Verses 8-9 — People look different after Jesus has touched them. People look different when they had no eyeballs, and suddenly have them. And people look different when they do not need to feel their way along, when they can stand up straight and see where they are going.

He was so changed, the neighbors weren’t sure he was the formerly blind man, even though they had seen him begging every day. Some said it was him, some said he just looked like him. When God’s works are done, there is always doubt on the part of some.

IMPORTANT POINT: When you are blind spiritually and can suddenly see, the change is just as dramatic, and some won’t recognize you anymore. When you can stand up straight because you are now walking in light instead of darkness, some won’t recognize you anymore. Whether He changes you by physically healing you or by opening your spiritual eyes, the change is extremely dramatic!

Verses 10-12 — The neighbors wanted to know how he was healed. He said that Jesus made clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to go and wash at the pool. So he did it, and he received sight. Simple! Then they wanted to know where Jesus went. The man didn’t know, because Jesus was not there when he returned from the pool seeing. He did not even know what Jesus looked like!

Verses 13-14 — This is the beginning of what I like to call, “The Pharisees Investigate the Healing.” The neighbors brought the man who was formerly blind to the spiritually blind Pharisees, the religious elite! Why did they bring him before them? Because the Law had been violated. He was healed on a Sabbath! Nothing is to be done, no work at all on the Sabbath, in their interpretation of God’s Law.

IMPORTANT POINT:  Not only did they never speak Jesus’ name, but the Jewish elite never rejoiced that the man was healed and could see for the first time in his life, and was now able to enter the Temple to worship! Because of his blindness, he was banned from the Temple, considered unclean. But Jesus cleaned him up, in every way! Keep on reading!

Verses 15-16 — How did you receive your sight, the Jewish elite asked. So he told them. He applied clay, he washed, and now he sees. But this man (they refused to mention his name, Jesus) could not be from God, because He did work on the Sabbath! But some of the religious elite asked how a sinner (one who broke the Sabbath law) could perform such signs (miracles that attest that He is from God, because He is doing what only God can do). Jesus caused division among the man’s neighbors, and among the men investigating the healing.

IMPORTANT POINT: Jesus will challenge everything you think you know.

Verse 17 — So what do you say about Him, they said, since He opened your eyes? He is a prophet, says the man formerly blind. But in the Old Testament, prophets healed, but no one ever healed anyone born blind. The man born blind will see the truth shortly.

Verses 18-23 — The Jewish elite refused to believe the man’s testimony. So they called his parents. Is this your son? Was he born blind? How now does he see? They testified that he was their son, and was born blind. But they claimed to have no idea how he was healed. Ask our son, they said.

The parents didn’t want to say how he was healed because if they did, it would be the same as confessing that Jesus was the Christ. And if anyone did that, the Jewish elite had ruled that they would be put out of the synagogue. It was much more than being asked to leave a church. It meant that they would be shunned, have no assistance, and would be made beggars, unable to buy and sell in Jerusalem. That’s why they would not answer, but told them to ask their son.

IMPORTANT POINT: Confessing Jesus as the Christ can put you in jail these days, in many countries. It can get you tortured. It can get you killed. And even here in the U.S., hatred toward believers in Christ is on the rise. Why do they hate Jesus? Because He and His followers tell the world about their evil.

Verses 24-28 — Again they called for the man formerly blind. They issued a powerful order, in their religious culture. “Give glory to God,” meaning you have lied, now tell the truth. We know this man is a sinner.

The man replied that he didn’t know if Jesus was a sinner, but he know one thing, that he was blind and now he could see. That’s my testimony, too! I was spiritually blind, but now I see. But I know Jesus never sinned, even though He was tempted in all things, as we are (Hebrews 4:15).

They asked him how his eyes were opened. What did He (Jesus) do? So the man said he told them already but they did not listen. So why did they want to hear his testimony again? Did they want to become His disciples, too?

Verses 28-29 — The Jewish elite then reviled the man (criticized him verbally, in an abusive and insulting manner). You are His disciple, they told him, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man (Jesus), we do not know where He is from (despite Jesus telling them many times).

Verses 30-33 — Now the man boldly spoke truth to the Jewish elite. It was amazing that the Jewish elite didn’t know where Jesus was from, and yet He opened the eyes of a man born blind. God does not hear sinners, but if anyone is God-fearing (worships and honors and reveres God) and does His will, God hears him. So God heard Jesus, Jesus heard God, and Jesus is God-fearing and does His will.

Besides that, since the beginning of time, no one has been healed who was born blind. If this man (Jesus) were not from God, He couldn’t do that. He couldn’t do anything! (Jesus is from God, but you are blind and do not see it!)

IMPORTANT: God does not hear sinners, except when they repent and ask forgiveness. If anyone is God-fearing and does God’s will, God will hear him always. You can’t become those things; but you can ask Him to change your heart, when you ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit. Then you will revere and honor and worship God, and cry, “I have come to do Your will, O Lord!”

Verse 34 — The Jewish elite cursed the man, calling him a sinner, born entirely in sins. (You were born blind because you sinned or your parents sinned.) Who do you think you are, teaching us? And they put him out — excommunicated him, shunned him.

Verses 35-38 — Jesus heard what the Jewish elite did to the man, and found him. He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” (Son of Man is a Messianic title, meaning the Christ.) The man said, “Who is He, Lord, so I amy believe in Him?” Jesus told him that he had seen Him, and He is the one talking with him. (“I am the Christ.”)

The man’s response? Lord, I believe. And he worshiped Jesus.

IMPORTANT POINT: Your response to an encounter with Jesus is this: Lord, I believe. And you worship Him. Or you reject Him, and revile those who believe in Him.

Verses 39-41— The Pharisees then heard Jesus say that He came into the world for judgement.

What is the judgment? Those who do not presently see will see Him and believe and worship Him. And those who claim they see will be blind, and will reject Him. Jesus is the catalyst, but it is their reaction to Him that judges them.

So the Pharisees said, Are you saying we’re blind? And Jesus said, if you were spiritually blind and did not claim you could spiritually see, you would have no sin. But because you say you spiritually see, your sin remains.You claim to see, yet you do not see Me, God the Son, your Messiah, your Christ!

IMPORTANT POINT:  Much of the spiritually blind world judges Jesus, and therefore brings upon itself the judgment of God.

IN HIS SHADOW

[SW229] 04/15//2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“In His Shadow”

These are difficult (fierce) times , just as Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:1. Are you afraid? Jesus Christ has the cure!

Fierce times! The same word was used of the demoniac who lived in the tombs in the Geresenes. Demonic times, more intense than any time in history.

NOTE: The Lord instructed me to preach without notes, so these are more brief than usual.

Text: Psalm 91

But He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High . . . receives His protection, deliverance, provision, and His peace in every circumstance.

The Hebrew word for “dwells” is used of marriage, it means settling down. You have settled down with Him, and so you are hidden from the Enemy of your soul.

“Sheltered” means to be secretly covered. In the Old Testament (OT) it is to be sheltered by Him, but since Jesus came and died and rose again, it is to be hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3), and that is far better!

Shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty . . . you stay permanently in intimate contact with God. To be in someone’s shadow means you have to get close to them.

Closeness — but Jesus promises far more. Christ in you, the hope of glory. Christ’s glory in you, His Spirit in you, Him in you, the Father in you (John 14:23)! Not just close to Him, but Him in you!

I submit to you that the Lord wants to check your heart today, beloved. If He has your heart, you will have His promises. But if you sin against Him (willfully disobey), you cannot claim this scripture over your life.

I submit that if,you  feel distant from Him, you have sin in your life. For some it is be porn on the Internet, for some it is homosexuality, for some it is addiction, for some it is adultery, for some it is thievery.

You feel like you are in a desert, and that you barely make it from Sunday to Sunday, when you feel His presence as you worship with other believers, when you drink of the living water coming from their bellies.

You are afraid to confess it to Him because you think He will reject you. But He already knows what is in your heart. He, the Lord, searches your heart and examines what you think (Jeremiah 17:10).

Even though He knows what is in your heart, He reaches out to you today and says, “If you will just agree that it’s there, and turn from it, I will change your heart. I will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

The Lord wants to free you today — He wants to set you free from whatever enslaves you. Then you will stand unafraid, a witness of what God can do in a human heart. Others will ask you the reason for your hope (1Peter 3:15), and you will gently tell them what the Lord has done in you.

If you ask Him, He will purify your heart, give you power over sin, and set you free from slavery to it!

To receive the promises of Psalm 91, Verse 9 says you must be one who has made the Lord your dwelling place, just as Jeff and I have done. You have settled down with Him.

Those who set their love on the Lord (Verse 14) receive His deliverance. In the OT, It is a deliberate act of focusing on the Lord, loving Him alone, crowning Him with your love!

I submit that many Christians have other loves. Turn from them, set your love on the Lord. Jesus Christ commands you to ask Him to fill you with HIS love, and He will do it. And then He will deliver you from the Enemy.

You may say, “What about all the Christians that have been martyred? They were not delivered from evil.” But they are more than conquerors, even over death. For them, death has no victory, death has no sting (Romans 8:38, 1Corinthians 15:55)! And the persecution they endure makes believers’ faith stronger because they must depend upon the Lord entirely.

Beloved, you can’t claim His promises but not keep your promises to Him. And in your own strength, you can’t do it. But if you call on Him today, He will do it in you, and you will receive His protection, deliverance, provision and peace, even in these fierce times.

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 8

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

John 8 is full of deep truths about sin. Some say the first 11 verses belong elsewhere in the gospel according to John. That’s because Verse 12 seems to be a continuation of John 7:53. But I believe that in Verse 12, Jesus addressed those who had gathered around Him in the Temple during Verses 1-11. And believe me, those 11 verses are powerful and applicable to your heart, just as they were to mine. Jesus’ second “I AM” statement comes in this chapter, two powerful exchanges with the Jewish elite occur, and a deep, freeing truth is revealed in 8:31-36. This Word is life. Walk with me, and I’ll show you what I see.

Verses 1-2 — Everyone went home after Jesus cried out at the Feast of Tabernacles, but He went to the Mount of Olives, as was His custom. He came into the Temple the next day, sat down, and began to teach.

Verse 3-6 — The Jewish elite brought a woman to Jesus, saying she was caught in the very act of adultery. How could that happen? Someone had to know in advance, and spies had to be sent to grab her. She was probably not fully clothed.

They called Jesus “teacher,” and reminded Him that the Law said she must be stoned to death. They asked for His judgment of the case, because they wanted to trip him up, make Him say something contrary to the Law.

But Jesus did something strange. He stooped down and, with His finger, wrote on the ground. What did that mean? You must go to Jeremiah 17:13 — My NAS Bible reads, “O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame.” And now I go to the literal translation from Hebrew to English. “Those who depart from Me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even the LORD.”
Jesus did just what the scriptures said He would do. He wrote in the earth the names of those who were present, because they had departed from Him and forsaken Him, the fountain of living water, per John 7:37-39.

Verses 7-9a — I believe the Jewish elite understood what He was doing. But they persisted in asking Him for His judgment of the woman. So He straightened up and said, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Why did Jesus stoop down again, and continue to write? To convict the Jewish elite that they had departed from and rejected Him, as I wrote above. They had sinned, even in that very moment, trying to trap Him, trying to play their religious politics.

When they heard what Jesus said, and saw Him bend down again and continue writing in the earth, they left, one by one. The older were first. Were they wiser? They surely were convicted, and eventually, they all left.

All have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). That is a lesson for us. I tell you, if  you ask the Lord to purify your heart, you won’t throw stones at sinners any more, because you will clearly remember that the Lord had to cleanse you and purify you of your sinful nature!

Verses 9b-11 — What happened to the woman? Jesus was left with the woman, in the center of the court. The woman must not have looked up at all, during the exchange between Jesus and the Jewish elite.

The Jewish elite had now been convicted and had left. So Jesus straightened up, and said, “Where are they? Did no one condemn you?”

She saw that they were gone, and said, “No one, Lord.” She recognized Him as her Lord. And He said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on, sin no more.”

Jesus did not condemn an adulteress? How could that be? By not condemning her, He surely forgave her. That is what He wants to do for all sinners. He paid a great price, shedding His blood on a cross so that you and I could be forgiven. So can we keep on sinning and receive His endless forgiveness? Read on!

He didn’t give her permission to go on sinning. He said she must go and sin no more. It is the same for you and me. He will set you free from slavery to sin, so you no longer willfully disobey God. That is my (and the Bible’s) definition of sin. If He says He can set us free from sin, I think you and I should believe Him. Continue walking with me.

Verses 12-14 — Jesus spoke to those who had gathered at the Temple to watch the exchange between the Jewish elite and Him. And He spoke an I AM statement. He is the Light of the world. He is the One who shines on all men. He is the true Light, the One Isaiah prophesied of in Isaiah 9. He is the I AM, the eternally existent God the Son.

And if you follow (obey) Him, you will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life. You will have His light upon you to show you the truth, and then you will see that it is His will that His light be within you. This Light is the light of His eternal life, and He lights you up so you shine like He did while He walked the earth.

Jesus draws a contrast with the Jewish Elite. Jesus did not walk in darkness. He is the Light. The Jewish elite walked in darkness, because they did not recognize their Messiah/Christ standing before them.

The Jewish elite accused Him of lying, because He was testifying of Himself. He had already instructed them about who testifies of Him, in John 5. But they covered their ears and smeared their eyes, spiritually speaking, so they could neither hear nor see, nor turn and be healed (Isaiah 6:10).

But Jesus said even if He testified about Himself, His testimony is true. Why? He came from the Father, and will return to the Father. In other words, He is God the Son, sent by God the Father. God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2).  But the Jewish elite do not know the Father, so Jesus’ words make no sense to them. They know nothing of the Father.

Verse 15— The tension builds. Jesus bluntly told the Jewish elite that they judged according to the flesh. What did He mean? Two definitions, and both are valid.

First, they judged by outward appearances. With them, religion was about perfectly dotting i’s and crossing t’s, and if they did well enough, they would go to heaven. So “according to the flesh” means “according to outward appearances.”

Second, they judged according to their ambition for wealth, power, and prestige — carnal things, worldly things, natural things that have no value in God’s eyes. The Lord wanted their hearts! So “according to the flesh” means they judged in a way that would advance their position. They judged with their own ambitions in mind.

You may say, “Sounds like U.S. politics,” but I tell you the truth, it happens in the church all the time, locally, nationally and internationally, among the congregation members and leaders at all levels. Many have not given God their whole hearts so they would be filled with the Holy Spirit and God’s actual love. They have their own ambitions in mind.

So there is chaos and discord in the church. It shames the church in general, and Christ in particular. He is grieved. But Jesus does not judge according to the flesh/carnally/with His own interests in mind.

Verses 16-18 — Jesus reminded them that His judgment is true and right because He does what the Father does and says what the Father says. He does nothing of His own initiative (John 5:19, 30). The Father judges, Jesus hears, and He judges according to the Father.

Jesus brought up the Law the Jewish elite revered. The Law says if two men testify, it is true. Jesus testified about Himself, and so did His Father. That’s two.

Verses 19-20 — The Jewish elite asked Jesus about His “father.” It is a reference to their belief that He was illegitimate, because Mary was pregnant before she was married to Joseph. But she was impregnated by the power of the Holy Spirit, not a man.

But Jesus said they didn’t know Him or His Father. They had never experienced Him, not ever! If they knew/recognized Jesus, they would know/recognize the Father in Him. I wrote a song once, that Jesus “had His Father’s eyes.” He was the exact representation of the Father’s nature (Hebrews 1:3). But the Jewish elite were blind to it, because they didn’t know the Father at all.

He spoke these words in the Temple treasury. He spoke them while He taught in the Temple. No one seized Him. It was not yet the divinely appointed time for Him to be falsely judged and crucified.

Verses 21-22 — Jesus went deeper in His condemnation of them. He was going away. They would seek Him, but would die in their sin (because they rejected Him). Where He was going, they could not come. The Jewish elite didn’t understand.

Verses 23-24 — Jesus boldly declared that they were from below (this world). Jesus is from above (heaven). Jesus was and is not of this world. He didn’t judge as they judged, didn’t live as they lived, and was not born by natural means. He was sent from heaven, was returning to heaven, and because of their unbelief in Him, they could not come to heaven.

As Jesus said to the Jewish elite, you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am who I say I am — the I AM, the always existent God the Son.

Verses 25-27— The Jews asked, “Who are You?” Many in this world ask that question. But Jesus already told them, and He has told you. He is God the Son. His Father sent Him. He is the Messiah, the Christ. Therefore, you must repent and be saved.

Jesus had many things to say and judge concerning the Jewish elite. But the Father who sent Him is true, and so is Jesus. His words came from the Father, and Jesus spoke them. When He said they could not come to heaven, but would die in their sins, those were the Father’s words. He spoke these words not only to the Jewish elite, but to the world.

The Jewish elite did not know the Father at all; they did not have holy intimacy with the Father. Therefore they did not understand that Jesus had been speaking to them about the Father.

Verses 28-30 — Jesus bluntly told them they would be the ones that would lift Him up (on a cross). At that time, they would know completely and fully that He is who He says He is — the I AM.

That places great condemnation on Jews today who do not believe in Jesus. His cross was the evidence that He is their Messiah. And yet they deny Him. [I pray daily for them, and support ministries that actively evangelize the Jews.]

He is the I AM. He does nothing on His own initiative. He speaks what the Father taught Him. And the Father is with Him. He has not abandoned His Son, because His Son does what pleases Him.

Do you want to know what pleases God? Ask Him to make you like Jesus, by filling you with His Holy Spirit. Then you will please God.

Verse 31-32 — There were some Jews who believed what Jesus said. So He told them that if they continued in His word, they would truly be disciples of His, and they would know the truth, and the truth would make them free.

You must continue in His word, in the Bible, in the Gospels, looking at Jesus, listening to what He says and obeying Him. That is what disciples do.

What will be the result? The truth you learn will make you free! Free from what?

Verse 33 — That’s what some of the Jews asked. Free from what? They depended on their father, Abraham. They were his children.

They claimed they had never been slaves, but the Tenakh records their slavery to Egypt, to Assyria, to Babylon, and now to Rome.

They were also slaves to Satan. He said, “Jump,” and they asked, “How high?” You will see it shortly. It is the same today in the church. Many are still Satan’s pawns, and do not know it.

They were also slaves to their carnal nature, the one that made them chase after prestige and power and wealth. Church, are you listening?

And they were also slaves to sin. Church, are you listening?

Verses 34-36 — Jesus has a truly, truly for us. A great truth! Here it is:

If you commit sin, you are a slave to sin. What happens to slaves?

— They do not remain in the house forever. If you die a slave to sin, you will not go to heaven.

But if you become a child of God by believing in Jesus Christ, and you continue to listen to Him, you will know the truth, and you will ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit. He will free you from slavery to sin, and you will go to heaven. That’s more than forgiveness for past sins. That’s freedom from SLAVERY to sin. He will change your heart and give you power over sin.

So, if the Son — God the Son — makes you free, you are free, indeed. Free of the power of sin, free from slavery to it, freedom from slavery to Satan, and freedom from slavery to your carnal desires (2Peter 4:1-2).

Now that’s free, indeed — truly free, free “to the max!”

Verses 37-38 — Jesus did not spare any words. His words were from His Father. He told them if Abraham were their father, they wouldn’t want to kill Him. But they are doing what THEIR father tells them to do. Who is their father? Watch.

Verses 39-40 — They declared again that Abraham was their father. But Jesus said they do not do the deeds of Abraham, and so they cannot be his children. What are the deeds of Abraham? To believe God. God credited Abraham’s faith in God as righteousness (Genesis 15:6, Romans 4:3). Faith in God and the obedience that results — those are the deeds of Abraham. But these who claimed to be Abraham’s children did not believe in God and obey Him. Instead, they seek to kill God the Son, even though He has told them the truth. Abraham never did that.

Verse 41 — Again, Jesus said, “You are doing the deeds of your father.” Who is their father? Watch.

They accuse Him of being born of fornication (having sex with someone, but not being married to them). They claimed God was their Father.

Verse 42 — Jesus boldly told them that God was not their Father, because if He was, they would love Jesus, because He issued out from the Father, came from God, and did not even come on His own initiative — God sent Him.

I tell you the truth, do nothing on  your own initiative. When you are filled with the Holy Spirit and your carnal/sin nature has been crucified, you no longer have plans of your own. You wait for instructions from the Father.

A note about crucifixion of the sinful nature: Some say crucifixion takes a long time; that is, you hang on a cross for many hours before you die. But there is a moment in time when the crucified one dies. When your sin nature is dead,  it is dead in a moment of time.

Verse 43 — Why did they not understand His word? Because they could not hear it. They plugged their ears. They could not obey. He spoke truth, and they were offended by it and rejected it.

I tell you the truth, some cannot hear the words the Lord is speaking through me right now. They say God can’t do that. They say they are stuck in their sin, but thank God for the blood of Jesus, so they are covered, no matter what evil they do. The Lord is as grieved by them as He was by the Jewish elite, because by denying His ability to give them new hearts, they reject His words.

Verse 44 — Who is the father of the Jewish elite? The devil. They do his desires. They are not forced to. They want to. From the beginning, Satan has been a murderer. He deceived Eve, Adam sinned, and they were spiritually disconnected from God. So they died spiritually. That was in the beginning.

Satan does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth located inside of him. Whenever he speaks, it is a lie. He speaks from his own nature. Lying is his native tongue. He is a liar and the father of lies. There were no lies until he deceived Eve by lying to her. Thus, lies began with Satan. And if you lie, you are his child.

Please hear me. He wants to rescue you from Satan. You do not need to remain a sinner. You do not need to continue to sin. You do not need to do what Satan tells you to do. The Son has come to set you free, indeed, if you will hear Him!!!

Verses 45-47 — Jesus affirmed that He speaks the truth. That’s why they do not believe Him. They prefer the words of their father, who lies.

What sin had Jesus committed? He committed no sin. Jesus spoke the truth.

Why didn’t they believe Him? Because they are not of God. Whoever is of God (belongs to God, believes in God), believes His words.

Verses 48-49 — So the Jewish elite accused Jesus of being a Samaritan (worshiping other gods) and having a demon (being demonically possessed). But Jesus said He did not have a demon. They dishonored Jesus, and Jesus honored His Father. They dishonored the Father by dishonoring the Son.

Verses 50-51 — Jesus said He did not seek His own glory (but they did). He didn’t want fame and fortune, position and power and money (but they did). He didn’t want to be looked upon as the greatest (but they did). But there is One who seeks (seeks the Son’s glory, see v. 54), and that One judges — God the Father.

Truly, truly. A great truth! If anyone keeps (holds fast, fulfills) Jesus’ word, he will not taste of death, will not look death in the eye, so to speak. His body will fall away, but he will go on to be with the Lord in heaven, never sensing death.

Verse 52 — The Jewish elite mocked Jesus. Now they knew He has a demon. Everyone dies. The prophets died. Abraham died. Jesus, You are possessed!

Verses 52-55— Jesus issued a final rebuke. They glorify themselves. If He glorified Himself, exalted Himself, honored Himself (as they do), it would mean absolutely nothing. But the Father of Jesus Christ glorifies His Son. They said of the Father, “He is our God.” But He could not be their God, because they did not glorify His Son.

Jesus told them they have not come to know God the Father. They never had holy intimacy with the Father. But Jesus knows Him. If He said He didn’t know the Father, He would be a liar, like them. But Jesus knows Him and keeps His Word. (They do not.)

Verses 56-57 — Jesus told the Jewish elite that Abraham rejoiced to see Jesus Christ’s day. He saw it from a distance (Hebrews 11:10, 13, 16). He saw that it would come in the future. And Abraham saw it and rejoiced!

Their response? What? How could that be? You are not yet fifty years old (He was 33 at the most). Abraham lived long ago. How could You, Jesus Christ, say that You have seen Abraham, and Abraham has seen You?

Verse 58-59 — Truly, truly. Another great truth. Before Abraham was, I AM. Long before Abraham was born, Jesus existed. He is the I AM, the always existent Son of God. Therefore, He is God the Son.

The Jews picked up stones to stone Him. And so Jesus left the Temple. He had said all His Father told Him to say.

NOTE: Jesus did not go and hide, as my NAS Bible reads. The literal Greek to English is “was hidden.” Jesus was supernaturally, miraculously hidden from them. I love my brothers and sisters in the Lord, but somtimes, I shake my head at the translators. They miss (or dismiss) the miracles.

Why was He hidden? It was not yet the divinely appointed time.

 

MY GOODNESS

[SW228] 04/8//2016 message notes by

Reverend/Evangelist Susan J. Wynn ©2016

“My Goodness”

Do you complain when troubles come? The Lord wants to teach you some truths. If you heed them, He will heal you in every way!

This is a message for those whom the Lord says are blameless, upright, who fear the Lord (worship and revere Him), and who turn away from doing evil.

Text: Job 29: 1-4, 14-20

In these verses, Job says, Lord, you do not watch over me any more. You are not my friend any more. Don’t you see all the good things I have done?

I submit to you that if you place your trust in your own goodness, the Lord will test you and permit Satan to sift you like wheat, as with Peter  (see Luke 22:31-32) and as with Job, but He will be praying for you.

Trusting in his own goodness was the basis for Job’s complaint against the Lord.

I submit to you that if you trust in your own goodness, you will complain about your troubles. In doing so:

—  you complain against the Lord and Him alone, and

— thus, you accuse Him of not being good; you accuse Him of being unfair.

I submit to you that trusting in your own goodness keeps you from trusting in the Lord.

Job’s three friends counseled him. There were scriptural truths among their many words, but in the end, the Lord said they didn’t speak rightly. Their accusations were inaccurate. And He commanded them to go to Job so Job could pray for them.

I submit to you that you may know the Bible, and yet accuse others wrongly. It is possible to speak from the Word without having God’s wisdom. The Jews who persecuted Jesus are an example.

A fourth man, Elihu, spoke in Chapter 32. Job didn’t need to pray for him, when all was said and done.

Why? Elihu got it right, because he:

— considered Job’s words,

—  discerned Job’s heart (Matthew 12:34), and

—  spoke according to what the Lord showed him.

In 32:12, Elihu said there was no one who refuted Job. Refute means to heed, to consider. His three friends did not consider Job’s words.

I submit to you that you may know the Bible and quote many verses but never consider the words of the one you are counseling.

In 33:7, Elihu said, don’t fear me. Don’t feel pressure from me. But I have heard your words, Job.

In 33:8-12, Elihu quoted Job. These were the words that the other three did not consider —

“I am pure, without transgression; I am innocent and there is no guilt in me. Behold, God invents pretexts against me. He counts me as His enemy.”

Elihu says, Job, you complain to the Lord, and you accuse Him of not being good. By your words, I see the state of your heart.

You are not right in this, Job.

In 35:2, 13-16, Elihu says, “You trust in your own goodness/righteousness, In doing so, you are saying your righteousness is greater than the Lord’s.”

I submit to you that when you complain, you are complaining against the Lord, and you are saying you are more righteous than Him.

In Chapter 40:1, after reproving Job, the Lord said, “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who reproves God answer it.”

Job put his hand over his mouth. He ceased from accusing God. But the Lord continued to rebuke him, in Verses 6-8.

— In accusing the Lord, Job was instructing God. It is the same for you today. The Lord is far wiser than you and me.

— In accusing the Lord, he was annulling the Lord’s judgment. It is the same for you today. The Lord judgments are always right and will always stand, regardless of your accusations.

— When Job condemned the Lord, it was so he could justify himself. It is the same for you today. If you complain to God, you are trying to justify yourself, trying to prove you are right and He is wrong.

It was not until Chapter 42 that Job repented (see Verse 6).

I submit to you that if you do not repent from trusting in your own goodness, you will miss the Lord’s goodness.

After Job repented, the Lord commanded his three friends, who spoke wrongly of Lord, to go to Job.

They had kindled the fire of the Lord’s wrath, because they had not spoken rightly of the Lord. They claimed the Lord was punishing Job because he did some evil act. But Job was being tested by the Lord because Job trusted in his own goodness. And after Job saw what he had done and repented, Job spoke rightly of the Lord.

In Ezekiel 18:25, Judah accused God, saying His ways were not right. But the Lord says, “Is it not you whose ways are not right?”

I submit that the Lord will test you, and you will learn whether or not you are trusting in your goodness and the good things that you do. If you are, and you repent, He will heal you of your self-righteousness. He will restore you.

Will He give you twice as much as before, like Job?

He restored and doubled Job’s fortune, though Job had no idea the Lord would materially restore him, so that wasn’t his motive. He just wanted to be right with God again.

I submit that the Lord will give you a double portion if your motive is the same as Job’s.

I submit that the Lord will give you a double portion of something far more valuable than material restoration, though He may do that also.

He will fill you to the full with His Holy Spirit, changing your heart so you will no longer trust in your own goodness and you will:

— Totally rely on Him, despite your circumstances, and

— Have faith before you see the resolution

I declare that I have no righteousness of my own. The Lord showed me I was trusting in my own goodness when I had progressive MS and cried, “Why is this happening to me?” My heart was as sick as my body. I was complaining against the Lord and no one else.

But then I looked up and saw Jesus, and heard Him in His word, and became hungry for Him. I learned He was my Savior and Healer, and loved Him.

And He healed my body in the middle of the night on September 1, 2001. He filled me with His Holy Spirit on November 1, 2001. Then His righteousness filled my heart, and that has made me righteous. And so, I was healed of my self-righteousness.

Repent now before Him, and He will restore you beyond all you can think or imagine!

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 7

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

In John 7, opposition against Jesus intensifies. He goes to Jerusalem to publicly reveal the hearts of the Jewish elite, and reveals that for all who believe in Him, they will become sources of living water, just as He is!

Verse 1 — Jesus was in Galilee, settled and steadfast in not going to Judea, because the Jewish elite were trying to kill Him. It was not yet His time, the divinely appointed time when He would give His life for the world.

His steadfastness in not going to Judea wasn’t because He was afraid of those who wanted to kill Him. When it was the divinely appointed time, He readily and peacefully surrendered Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, where it was commonly known that He and His disciples gathered at night to sleep.

Verse 2 — It was the time of the Feast of Tabernacles/Booths, one of the three that required attendance by all Jewish men. This feast was a remembrance of God’s provision as the Jews wandered in the desert for 40 years, and a celebration of the bounty of the Promised Land.

Think about it. The Jewish elite were still wandering, even though they were in the Promised Land of Israel. There was a Promised Land they had not yet reached, a spiritual one for here and now, and in heaven. Only through Jesus would they reach it and experience His abundant, eternal life!

Verses 3-5 — His brothers mocked Him, saying He should go up to Jerusalem to show off publicly, to the world. It was because they did not believe He was the Christ. After He rose, His brother James believed, because James became the leader of the church’s Jerusalem Council.

Verses 7-9 — Jesus said it was not His time (as I noted in Verse 1). There was a divinely appointed hour, and it had not been reached. His brothers spoke of the world in Verse 4. Why did Jesus say the world could not hate His brothers (Verse 7)? It was because they did not yet believe (Verse 5).

The world hates Jesus because He tells the world that its deeds are evil. The world will hate you too, because you will also tell the world that its deeds are evil (John 15:19).  When you are filled with the Holy Spirit, you will speak about sin and righteousness and judgment, (John 16:8-11), and the Spirit will use you to bring people to repentance, by the words He gives you (see Acts 2:37-38).

If the messages you’re hearing from the pulpit do not include exhortation regarding sin, righteousness, and judgment, the one preaching is not filled with the Holy Spirit. Find a preacher who preaches what Jesus preached.

Verses 10-14— After His brothers went up to Jerusalem, Jesus went up, but not openly. As He anticipated, the Jewish elite and the crowds were seeking Him. Many grumbled (murmured), disputing with one another about whether Jesus was a good man or a liar. But no one spoke openly of Him, because to do so would mean arrest by the Temple guard and expulsion from the community (shunning).

In the midst of the Feast, Jesus went to the Temple and began to teach, just as He had many times before.

Verses 15-18 — Some Jews had never heard Him before. They were astonished at His words. He spoke as if He had studied with the finest Old Testament (Tenakh) scholars among the Jewish elite. How did He become so learned, to know so much, when He had never been educated by them?

NOTE: I have heard famous preachers say Jesus was schooled under the rabbis, and studied all their commentaries. But the Word of God says Jesus was completely unschooled by the Jews.

Where did His teaching come from? He said it is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

If anyone (you included) is willing to do the Father’s will, that one will know completely and have insight based on what the Father teaches him. You will know more than the scholars, because inside of you dwells the One whose Spirit inspired the scriptures!

The Jewish teachers were famous for exalting their great ability to interpret the Tenakh. Each one tried to outdo the other, in order to get top honors. They sought their own glory.

But Jesus did not seek His own glory. He sought to glorify His Father who sent Him. What is Jesus’ judgment of those who seek their own glory as the Jewish elite did? That is unrighteousness. It is not right in God’s eyes.

If you are under a preacher who boasts in what he does, and who competes with other preachers to outdo them, that one is unrighteous. He seeks to glorify himself, not the Lord.

Verses 19-20— Jesus told the Jews that certainly, they knew the Law right-side up and upside-down. But they did not obey it. Then He reveals to the Jews that He knows they are trying to kill Him. That is murder, and breaks the Law of Moses.

The crowd accused Jesus of being possessed by a demon, and everyone denied that someone is trying to kill Him. They lied.

Verses 21-24 — The Jews were upset because Jesus had healed the man at the pool at Bethesda on a sabbath (see my notes on John 5:9). Jesus said He did one work on the sabbath, and they all marveled at it. It attested to the fact that He is God the Son.

Moses did not institute circumcision. The Lord did, with Abraham and his whole house, in Genesis 17. It was carried on in the Law of Moses. If it was the eighth day after a male child is born (Leviticus 12:3, Luke 1:59), that child was circumcised, whether or not it was a sabbath. So work was done on the sabbath, in order to comply with the Law.

Jesus asked the Jews why they now protest because Jesus also did a work in compliance with His Father’s instructions? They did not judge His deeds righteously. They judged Him superficially rather than according to the heart of the Father, which is always to heal and restore. Hallelujah! It is always His heart to heal and restore!

Verses 25-27 — Jesus’ words stirred the crowd. Was this not the man whom the Jewish elite were seeking to kill? Was Jesus the Christ? But they knew where Jesus came from — Galilee. But no one would know where the Christ came from. So Jesus can’t be the Christ.

But Isaiah 9 tells us He will be from Galilee of the Gentiles, of all places! And He was born in Bethlehem, just according to Micah 5:2! Of course they were to know where the Christ came from.

Verses 28-32 — Jesus cried out (loudly) as He taught in the Temple. He had told them where He came from. Therefore, they knew where He came from. He had told them He didn’t come on His own initiative, but the Father sent Him. The Father is true, truthful. What the Father says, the Father does.

God promised a Messiah/Christ. Jesus is that One. Jesus intimately knew and experienced the Father because He came from the Father and the Father sent Him. He told the crowd that they never knew the Father at all.

The crowd reacted to Jesus’ words in several ways:

—  Some tried to seize Him. But no one could because it was not the divinely appointed time for Jesus to be arrested.

— Many believed in Him, based on the great number of miracles Jesus had done. These miracles attested to the fact that He was sent by God the Father. Only God could have done the miracles done by God the Son.

— The Pharisees heard the crowd’s words and with the chief priests, they ordered officers to seize Jesus. But look ahead to verse 45-46 to learn why the officers did not arrest Him. The following verses are what they heard Jesus say, when they came to seize Him.

Verses 33-36 — Jesus said He would be with them just a little while longer, and then go back to the Father who sent Him. They will seek Him but not find Him. Where He will go, they cannot come (see John 8:21).

The Jewish elite could not imagine what Jesus meant. They puzzled over it. Did He mean He was going to the Dispersion (those Jews who were scattered across the earth after the Assyrian and then the Babylonian exile)? Was He going among Greeks (non-Jews), to teach them?

Verse 37-39 — Part of the ceremony for the last day of the Feast was to bring water from the Pool of Siloam (there was no water in the Temple), and pour it out on the altar while speaking Isaiah 12:1-3. The Lord God is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation (in Hebrew, “yeshua,” and in Greek, “Jesus”). With joy I will draw water from the fountain of Jesus! Jesus is the Fountain!

And so, Jesus loudly cried out again. This time, “He said if anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” The I AM said that He is the Fountain from Isaiah 12!

If you believe in Him, just as that Scripture (Isaiah 12:3), from out of your belly will flow a river of living water — an overflowing, rushing, flood-stage river!

What is this living water? The Holy Spirit, Who believers were to receive. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given in this way. But after Jesus was glorified (seated again with His Father, as it was from beginning), the Spirit would be given.

Seek to receive this flood of living water, dear reader! Jesus was glorified at Pentecost (Acts 2), and that flood began! Thousands repented and believed in Jesus, at Peter’s words. Cornelius and his household were filled with the Holy Spirit, their hearts purified, as Peter began to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to them (Acts 10)! Afterwards, they were baptized in water.

We cannot be the church unless we are filled with the Holy Spirit after we have believed in Jesus Christ!

Are you looking for “authentic Christianity?” Then ask the Lord to fill you. I guarantee, you will find what it is to be an authentic Christian!

Verses 40-44 — When some heard these words from Jesus, they concluded He was the Prophet (again, Deuteronomy 18:18). Some wondered if this was the Christ. But others said the Christ did not come from Galilee. But I have already given you Isaiah 9, which says that Jesus will come out of Galilee of the Gentiles. They didn’t understand the Word of God.

They said the Christ had to come from Bethlehem, and be one of King David’s descendants. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, of the lineage of David. But they didn’t know it, or ask Him where He was born.

There was division in the crowd as they reacted to Jesus’ words. There always will be division among crowds, when the words of Jesus are spoken. They prick your heart, they pull at your conscience, and you either believe He is the Christ or you reject Him.

Verses 45-49 — The officers reported back to the chief priests and Pharisees who sent them to seize Jesus (Verse 32). Why didn’t you bring Him? The officers said, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” Not, “We never heard anyone speak this way,” but “Never, ever has anyone spoken like Him.” The words of Jesus are like none other!

The Pharisees accuse the officers of being deceived by Jesus’ “false” ministry. None of the rulers or Pharisees had believed in Him, they said.

But Nicodemus believed He was from God (John 3), and he was a member of the Sanhedrin, 71 Jewish elites who ruled on matters of religion.

They accused the crowd of not knowing the Law of Moses, and called them accursed (damned).

Verses 50-53 — Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish Council called the Sanhedrin. He said to the Sanhedrin, “Our Law does not judge a man unless it first hears from him.” They hadn’t allowed Jesus to testify about Himself. That was illegal, in Jewish religious law.

The Jewish elite lashed out at Nicodemus, accusing him of being from Galilee. They said no prophet arises out of Galilee. But both Nahum and Jonah were from Galilee. They were wrong, once again.

[NOTE: Verse 53 should be with Chapter 8.]

COMMENTARY ON JOHN 6

The Book of John is unique among the Gospel accounts. You may read it when you are yet in shallow waters near the shore, and you will find Jesus there. You may read it and find yourself totally immersed in deep truths about God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I will go deep, and if it is too much, don’t worry! Stay in the shallow waters for a bit. He will take you deeper, as you get to know Him!

In John 6, Jesus heals, performs two miracles (acts that defy scientific explanation), declares the first “I AM” statement of the Book of John (which I will explain shortly), and speaks truth to the people, the Jewish leaders, and His disciples. And Peter makes a declaration that Jesus is God the Son.

Verses 1-4 — Jesus went from one side of the Sea of Galilee to the other. Large crowds followed Him because He was healing the sick. He went up to the mountain, sat down with the Twelve, and taught. It was almost Passover.

Verses 5-6 — Jesus tested the Twelve, asking, “Where are we to buy bread to feed the crowds?” He already knew what He was about to do.

Verses 7-8 — Philip said 200 days’ wages would not be sufficient to give even a little to feed such a large crowd. But Andrew said there was a boy who had five loaves and two fish (probably the boy’s lunch).

Verses 9-15 — Jesus commanded the 5,000 (probably 10,000 including women and children) to sit down in the grass. He took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated (His disciples fanned out with the continual supply of bread and fish). It was true miracle — enough for probably 10,000 from just five loaves and two fish! And there were twelve baskets full of fragments of bread left over. And everyone’s belly was filled — not just a taste, but their hunger completely satisfied.

I tell you, He is the God of more than enough (a limitless supply of all that you need). He is a Multiplier, taking a little and making it much. He takes the little that we were before we knew Him, makes us children of God and makes us co-heirs with Christ. He is a Creator who creates what is lacking (in us). He will completely satisfy the hunger God put in your heart, to know Him. Think on these things. Apply them to your heart. Believe Him. I surely know He did it in me!

So the people declared Him to be the Prophet spoken of by Moses (see Deuteronomy 18:15). They had in their minds to take Him by force to be their king. Jesus knew, withdrew and went to the mountain, alone. They did not yet understand that His kingdom is not of this world.

Verses 16-19 — This account is also found in Matthew 14 and Mark 6:45ff, with additional details. Like all of the Old and New Testament, each account is Holy Spirit-inspired (2Timothy 3:16). But the Holy Spirit inspired John to write his account in just this way.

It was evening. Darkness had settled in. Jesus was on the mountain. His disciples went down to the Sea of Galilee. Jesus had not come to them, so they got into a boat and started across the sea, to return to Capernaum. There was a strong wind, the sea was stirred (it began to rise up). They rowed quite a distance — three or four miles.

Suddenly, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near. It was another miracle, defying the laws of nature and science! They were frightened, thinking it was a ghost, per Matthew’s and Mark’s account.

I tell you, Jesus will miraculously draw near you, when you are in darkness, in a storm. and unable to make headway. He will suddenly appear. What will He do?

Verse 20 — He will tell you, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Actually, in the original Greek, He said, “I AM. Do not be afraid.” What does “I AM” mean? “I AM God the Son, I AM that I AM. I am He” (see Exodus 3:14)!

This One who walked on water will rescue them, because He is the One who created the sea and the land. Any time Jesus says, I AM, it is to communicate to the people of Israel and to us that Jesus is deity, God the Son.

Verse 21 — And as soon as you let Him into your boat (your circumstances), you will immediately reach your destination. The other gospel accounts say He calmed the sea. But more than that, John shows us that He transcended time and space, to get them to their destination IMMEDIATELY. Is anything too difficult for God? That’s a rhetorical question, if I ever heard one! All things are possible, if we will believe (Mark 9:23). When we believe, He will show us that He is true to His Word.

Verse 22-25 — The crowd was perplexed. There was only one boat, the one the disciples took. And yet Jesus was on the other shore with them. How did that happen? Soon, other boats came to the place where Jesus had fed the 5,000. They all went across to Capernaum. When they reached Him, they asked, “Rabbi, how did you get here?”

Verse 26 — When crowds (or you or I) ask Jesus a question, He doesn’t always answer the way they expect. Jesus didn’t say, “I walked on the water, calmed the storm, and immediately transcended time and space to get them to their destination immediately.”

Jesus said, “Truly, truly.” Another great truth! You don’t seek Me because of the miracles that only God can do, that demonstrate that I am God the Son. You just want more food.” Are you seeking God’s hand, so He will do things for you to make your life better, or are you seeking His presence, to know Him in a holy and intimate way?

Verse 27 — So He corrected them. They were hurrying to get more natural bread to feed their bellies. Natural bread will mold. But He had a different kind of food — eternal food that leads to eternal life. He, the Son of Man, would provide it, because upon Him, God had set His seal. The miracles He had performed were the evidence of the Father’s approval of Him.

Verses 28-29 — What shall we do so we may work the works of God? They finally recognized that what Jesus had done was a “God work.” They wanted to do the same. What was their motive? I wonder, did they want to be able to create their own bread for their bellies? Do we do that? Think about it. Why do you want to be able to do what Jesus did? Money? Fame? Or to glorify God and win souls to Christ?

What is the work of God? To believe in Jesus Christ, whom the Father sent. That’s it. You can’t get to heaven by doing good works. But if you believe in Jesus Christ, you will be saved, and when you are filled with Him, you will do what He did when He walked the earth, and even greater (John 14:12), and many will come to Him, through you!

Verses 30-31 — The crowd didn’t get it. If they were to believe in Jesus, they needed to see a work, a miracle, a sign. But they had already received a sign, and eaten the results of the sign. The crowd spoke of their fathers, the ones who ate the manna provided by God during their 40 years in the desert. Why were they in the desert 40 years? Because they didn’t believe God could give them the Promised Land. But He kept them for those 40 years, feeding them manna and giving them water from rocks. Miracle after miracle!

Some in the crowd quoted Exodus 16:4. They knew the Scripture, but could not see God the Son, who was sent from heaven by God the Father.

Verses 32-34 — Truly, truly. Another great truth! You think Moses gave you that bread, but it was God — the same God that now gives you the true bread of heaven, which came down out of heaven. But like the woman at the well, they still didn’t quite see. Always give us this bread (that fills our bellies), they said.

Verses 35-37 — This is the first of what are called the “I AM” statements of Christ in the Book of John. Again, any time He identified Himself as I AM, He was saying “I AM God the Son.” He said He is the Bread of Life, the source of eternal life, life as God has it, here and now, and in heaven.

If you come to Him, it will be just as He said of His living water in John 4. When you eat and drink of Him, you will never hunger or thirst again. His food is a continual resource, not for the stomach, but for the human soul, to put His eternal life inside of you!

They have seen Him, they have seen His “God works,” but they don’t believe. Why? The Father had not given them to Him. Their hearts had not been opened by the Father to receive Jesus. That has to happen first.

The Father must first open your heart. Then you will come to Christ, and He will not cast you out of His presence. A comforting thought!

But it is possible for you to choose to turn away from Him. He never takes away our free will. In Revelation 3:5, Jesus Christ says He is able to erase your name from the Book of Life. Your salvation is assured, as long as you remain with Him. But if you leave, you lose it. Many argue about this truth. But it is the truth.

Verses 38-40 — This is the will of God the Father — that Jesus come down from heaven. By coming down, He obeyed His Father, thus doing God’s will. Jesus does not do His own will, but only God’s will (Psalm 40:7). If He has filled us with His Spirit, we will be the same.

This is the will of God the Father — that Jesus not lose anyone whose heart the Father has opened up to receive Jesus.

This is the will of God the Father — that everyone who looks intently at God the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life. Jesus Himself will raise up their mortal bodies on the last day, at the end of things. When we die, though, our spirits go directly to Him (2Corinthians 5:8).

Verses 41-42 — The Jewish elite were grumbling (murmuring) at this point. They were upset and filled with unbelief. Once again, He was referring to Himself as the Son, making Himself equal with God. And He was saying that He came down out of heaven. But they knew Him as Jesus, the son of Mary and Joseph. Who does He think He is, saying that He came down from heaven? He was born just like us.

Verses 43-45 — He said, “Do not grumble among yourselves.” The Father draws the ones who come to Jesus, and Jesus will raise them up on the last day. He quoted Jeremiah 31:34, which says God teaches men and women. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Jesus.

So, coming to Christ isn’t a decision we make. We hear the voice of God the Father in His Word, He teaches us and draws us to the Son, and then the Son receives us.

That’s exactly how it happened for me. The Father drew me to Christ, not my friend, Debbie, though she did invite me to come to her church building. And it was He who opened my heart to receive His Word. And it was through that process that I was saved. That way, no human can boast in the number of salvations that were done through their ministry. Ahem. Are you listening, evangelists?

Verses 46-47 — We are drawn by the Father, but no one — even now — has seen Him this side of heaven. But Jesus was sent by God the Father. Therefore, He has seen God the Father.

Truly, truly. Another great truth. He who believes in Jesus Christ has eternal life.

Verses 48-51 — Jesus repeated, I AM  God the Son. I AM the bread of life (v. 35), the Source of this eternal life that will continually supply every spiritual need in you.

The manna your fathers ate in the desert did not give you eternal life. They died.

But I am the bread sent from heaven, and if you eat of it, you won’t die. What? He meant that though our bodies (earthly tents) will age and fall away, we will have eternal life, a building from God, a house not made with human hands, an eternal house in heaven. But you have to eat of it. You have to take Him into yourself.

Again He repeated, I am the I AM. I am the living bread, the bread that gives eternal life to whoever eats it. And the living bread that I give is My flesh. I freely give and offer my flesh so that whoever in this world believes in Me will have eternal life.

Verses 52-58 — The Jewish elite were repulsed. By what? It is against God’s law to eat human flesh. Horrors! How can Jesus say that? How can He do that? They began to argue about it, with each other.

Now Jesus explains the spiritual significance of the Lord’s Supper (see Matthew 26:26ff). When you take it, you spiritually take Christ in. The bread is not Christ’s actual body, but it represents Him. The juice or wine is not His actual blood, but it represents Him.

There are some that just take the Lord’s Supper because it is given, but if you know what you are doing when you eat the bread and drink the juice or wine, you demonstrate that you have God’s eternal life in you. And your body will be raised up on the last day, to a resurrection of life.

If you do are simply going through the motions, or if you reject the Lord’s supper, you demonstrate that you do not yet believe and that you do not have His eternal life in you. Your body will be raised up to a resurrection of death.

He was not talking about cannibalism. His flesh is true food and His blood is true drink that gives you eternal life. He compares it with natural food and natural drink, which gives you natural life that ends when your body dies. It cannot give you eternal life.

Only His body and blood can give you eternal life. And if you understand what you are doing when you eat of His body and drink of His blood (take the Lord’s Supper, per 1Corinthians 11:23ff), He is geographically located within you, and you in Him, which means His eternal life is already inside of you.

Jesus Christ lives because of the Father. He has always existed. He lived again because His Father raised Him from the dead. He never died again. He lives! Those who understand the Lord’s Supper not only have eternal life here and now, but also when their body dies.

I believe Jesus pointed to Himself when He said, “This is the bread which came down out of heaven.” He is not like manna, which provided only natural life for physical bodies. He who eats of Him will live forever.

He said all of these things in a synagogue in Capernaum.

Verses 60-65 — Some of the disciples (but not the Twelve) left Him, because they did not understand the spiritual meaning of His words. Cannibalism — it was something that they could not bear to hear.

Jesus knew their grumbling. He knew they were stumbling, falling away because of His words.

So He asked them what they will do when they see Him ascend to heaven, where He was before He was sent? For some this was the final blow. Again, He was saying He was deity, God the Son. It was blasphemy, to them.

But He said it is the Spirit who gives life. It is by the Holy Spirit that Jesus Christ enters us and puts eternal life into us. It is the Spirit who gives life to the very Word of God. The flesh can’t see the truth (1Corinthians 2:14).

Many in Judaism were taught to do good works to get to heaven. But those works are done in the flesh. Only by believing in Jesus Christ would they have eternal life. It is the same for you and me.

Jesus said His words are Spirit (from the Holy Spirit) and life. If we heed them, we will have eternal life. But He discerned that some really didn’t believe He was who He said He was. He knew this from the beginning, and He knew which of the Twelve would betray Him to the Jewish elite.

Again, He repeated that no one can come to Him unless that one has been drawn by the Father. You did not choose Him. He chose you (John 15:16). And you can reject the Father’s drawing. I have seen people who have done so.

If He draws you and He chooses you and you don’t reject Him, then it is incorrect to say that you “made a decision” to come to Christ. You come to Christ by way of  the Father’s drawing, and this drawing is a gift from the Father.

You are saved by grace through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not as a result of good works that you do, so no one can boast (see Ephesians 2:8-9). Grace is far more than “unmerited favor.” It is the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. God drew you by His divine influence.

Verses 66-71 As a result, many withdrew, who had been following Him. So He asked the Twelve if they wanted to go away, too. And Peter said, “Who else would we go to? You have words that give eternal life. We (the Twelve) have believed and come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” Great revelation from God Himself!

Jesus responds that He chose them, and yet He knows that one is a devil, the son of perdition (John 17:12), the one who would betray Him. Judas was that man. But the other eleven did not yet know it.