Monday, October 7, 2013

Increasing belief

This is the outline of the adult lesson I taught on 2013-10-06 on the last part of John 4. I stuck pretty close to the outline this time.

The Samaritans

  • READ 4:39–42
  • They believed because of her testimony …
  • then they believed because they heard the word from the Word themselves.
  • This is the way it should work:
    1. Your testimony may be enough for people to believe in Jesus in some measure.
    2. But it doesn’t stop there. People must encounter Jesus in his Word for themselves.
    3. Which brings me to one of my primary goals for the class: To get each of us to interact with Jesus as he is revealed in the Bible.
      • Not some flight of fancy based on our feelings about him, but …
      • … interacting with the text inspired by the Holy Spirit.
      • This comes from my conviction that the Bible is the only place to get the truth about God.
  • ASK What does the phrase Savior of the world mean?
  • ASK Who did Jesus talk to in Chapter 3? (Nicodemus)
  • ASK Who did Jesus spend time with in the first part of Chapter 4? (Samaritans)

The official’s son

  • READ 4:45–48
  • ASK Why did the people of Galilee welcome him? (Signs & wonders)
  • ASK What were they missing? (the signs were there to point to Jesus.)
  • SAY One of the problems in modern English is the word you. In English, it’s both singular and plural. (It would be much simpler if everyone were a Southerner and said you for singular and y’all for plural.) In verse 48, when Jesus says “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe,” he is (in Greek) saying y’all both times. ASK Why? (He’s not rebuking the official’s request, but commenting on the Galileans generally.)
  • About the official: He worked for Herod the Tetrarch, a cultural Jew who worked for the Romans as a governor over 4 cities or regions. I.e., this official was either a Roman soldier or a civil servant.
  • READ 4:49
  • Now we find out what the official thinks: “All this is interesting, but come heal my son.” He insists on keeping to the point.
  • READ 4:50
  • The man believed enough to go.
  • READ 4:51–53
  • When he got the news that confirmed his son’s healing, it seems emphatic: he himself believed.
  • SAY Before he got confirmation, he believed the miracle. But after he got confirmation, he believed the sign.
  • Increasing belief
  • The spread of the Gospel:
    • ASK What kind of person was Nicodemus? (Jew)
    • ASK What kind of person was the woman at the well? (Samaritan)
    • ASK What kind of person was this official? (Gentile)
    • Does this sound familiar? READ Acts 1:8

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