Week 5 Discussion – Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John

Published April 2, 2023

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Week 5 Discussion – Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John

Welcome to our 12-week Bible study, Come and See: Exploring the Gospel of John, covering the life, teachings, and miracles of Jesus. “Come and See” how the Gospel of John reveals the depth of God’s love and grace, and how it can transform your life.

Through this study, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, what he accomplished, and how to respond to him in faith, obedience, and love. You’ll also learn about his role as the Son of God and what his life and death mean for us today.

Each week, we’ll explore a different theme from the Gospel of John, including love, grace, and forgiveness. We’ll also take time to reflect on what it means to be a follower of Christ and how we can apply these teachings to our lives.

If you haven’t registered, no problem at all. Register now (yes, right now!) for this in-person Bible study and experience a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, fellowship with other believers, and the joy of growing in your faith as you share the Gospel of Jesus with others.

Week 5: Overview

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered in week five using Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) as our weekly discussion guide:

  • The persons of God the Father and God the Son, and the unique relationship they share.
  • What Jesus’ “five loaves and two fish” miracle reveals about the human heart and mankind’s ultimate need.
  • What John says about the Spirit, and what it foreshadows with Jesus’ departure.
  • How we should encounter and treat people who may or may not be aware of sin in their life.
  • What Jesus shares in regard to suffering and sin, and how we should view both in light of God.

According to John 5:18, why were the Jews seeking to kill Jesus?

The Jews were seeking to kill Jesus because he was not only breaking the Sabbath but was also calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

What does John 5 teach us about God the Father, about God the Son, and about the relationship God the Father and God the Son enjoy?

John 5 teaches the following as it pertains to God the Father and God the Son:

  • God the Father is a God of justice, who judges with righteousness and truth (John 5:30).
  • God the Son (Jesus) is equal with God the Father in authority, power, and divine nature (John 5:17-18, 21-23).
  • The relationship between God the Father and God the Son is one of love, unity, and mutual submission. The Son does nothing of his own initiative but only what he sees the Father doing, and the Father shows the Son everything he is doing (John 5:19-20, 30). The Father has given the Son authority to judge and raise the dead (John 5:21-22), and the Son does the will of the Father (John 5:30).

During Passover, Jesus turns five loaves and two fish into a feast for thousands. What does this sign teach us about Jesus? What Old Testament account might form the background to this miracle? What does the aftermath of this miracle (John 6:22-71) teach us about the human heart and mankind’s ultimate need?

This miracle of feeding the five thousand teaches us that Jesus has divine power over creation and can miraculously provide for the needs of his people. The Old Testament background to this miracle could be the account of Elisha feeding one hundred men with twenty loaves of barley bread in 2 Kings 4:42-44.

After the miracle, many of the people who had been fed followed Jesus, hoping for more physical food and miraculous signs. However, Jesus used the opportunity to teach them about their deeper spiritual need and their need for faith in Him as the true bread of life. This event teaches us that human beings have a deep longing for something more than just physical sustenance and that only Jesus can satisfy our ultimate hunger and need for salvation.

What does Jesus mean when he says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35)?

When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” in John 6:35, he is using a metaphor to explain his role in the salvation of humanity. Bread is a basic staple of life that sustains us physically, and by calling himself the bread of life, Jesus is saying that he is essential for our spiritual sustenance and eternal life. He is the one who satisfies our deepest spiritual hunger and thirst and provides the nourishment we need to thrive spiritually. Jesus is the source of true spiritual life, and only by believing in him and following him can we have everlasting life.

In John 7:37-39, John states that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given in the full and powerful sense as promised in Joel 2:28-29, and as later experienced on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-11).  How do these supporting passages from Joel and Acts help illuminate John 7:37-39?

The passage from Joel that John refers to in John 7:39 is a prophecy that the Holy Spirit would be poured out on all people in the last days, and that they would prophesy, dream dreams, and see visions. This prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, as recorded in Acts 2:1-11, when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers in the upper room, and they began to speak in other tongues, proclaiming the wonders of God.

In John 7:37-39, Jesus invites those who are thirsty to come to him and drink, promising that out of their hearts will flow rivers of living water. John is showing that this promise of living water is fulfilled in the giving of the Holy Spirit, which was not yet fully given at the time of Jesus’ invitation. Therefore, Joel’s prophecy (Joel 2:28-29) and the experience of the day of Pentecost help to illuminate the significance of Jesus’ invitation in John 7:37-39 and point to the fulfillment of this promise through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

What does John 7:53-8:11 teach us about how Jesus treats sinners who are aware of their sins and how Jesus treats sinners who are unaware of their sins?

Commonly known as the story of the woman caught in adultery, John 7:53-8:11 teaches us about how Jesus treats sinners who are aware of their sin and how he treats sinners who are unaware of their sin — early manuscripts of the Gospel of John did not include this story as original material as it was thought not to be written by John.

In the story, the Pharisees bring a woman caught in adultery before Jesus and ask him whether she should be stoned to death according to the law of Moses. Jesus responds by writing on the ground and saying, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, the accusers leave until only the woman and Jesus are left. Jesus then tells the woman that he does not condemn her and instructs her to go and sin no more.

This story teaches us that Jesus is compassionate and merciful towards sinners who are aware of their sins, and he offers forgiveness and a new beginning to those who repent and turn away from their sins. At the same time, Jesus also shows grace and compassion towards sinners who are unaware of their sins, as he did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, but rather offered her forgiveness.

Overall, this passage teaches us that Jesus offers forgiveness and grace to all who come to him in repentance, regardless of the severity or nature of their sin.

In John 9:2, Jesus’ disciples ask an important question about suffering.  How does Jesus answer their question? What do you think of this answer, and how does it help us make sense out of the suffering we see and experience?

Jesus’ answer challenges the common belief of the time that suffering was a direct result of a person’s sin or the sin of their parents. Instead, Jesus teaches that suffering can serve a greater purpose – in this case, to display the works of God. This answer helps us understand that suffering is not always a punishment for sin, but can be an opportunity for God to display His power and work in our lives.

This answer also points to the ultimate purpose of our lives – to glorify God. Even in the midst of suffering, God can use our circumstances to bring about His purposes and glorify Himself. This can provide comfort and hope in times of hardship and remind us that our suffering is not in vain.

As John’s Gospel progresses, Jesus more explicitly reveals his identity and his mission.  What do we learn in John 10:22-42 about who Jesus is and what he came to do?

In John 10:22-42, Jesus is confronted by the Jewish religious leaders who ask him to plainly declare whether he is the Messiah. Jesus responds by affirming his divine identity and mission, stating that he and the Father are one. He also emphasizes his role as the good shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep. 

This passage reveals that Jesus is not only the Messiah promised in the Old Testament, but also the Son of God who came to lay down his life for the salvation of his people. Jesus’ claims about himself lead to division among the people, showing that accepting his identity and mission requires a response of faith and commitment.

Don’t forget to read through the three sections in Week 5 of Justin Buzzard’s John: A 12-Week Study (Knowing the Bible) on Gospel Glimpses, Whole-Bible Connections, and Theological Soundings. Then take time to reflect on the Personal Implications these sections are likely to have on your walk and relationship with Lord Christ Jesus and his people.

Take a moment now to ask for the Lord’s blessing and help as you engage in this study of John. And take a moment also to look back through this unit of study, to reflect on a few key things that the Lord may be teaching you — and perhaps to highlight or underline these to review again in the future.

We hope these notes have been helpful in catching up on what we’ve covered so far. We’re excited to continue our study of John together next week in Week 6!

In the meantime, explore a very engaging animation video from the Bible Project team that explains the first twelve chapters of the Gospel of John. Additionally, you can read Mark L. Strauss’ article John: The Gospel of the Eternal Son Who Reveals the Father.”

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