Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Light of the World

This is the outline for the lesson from 2013-11-03. (I didn’t teach on 2013-10-27 because I was serving elsewhere.)

Woman caught in adultery

  • READ 8:2–11
  • We love this story.
  • ASK Does it matter what Jesus wrote in the sand?

Light of the world

  • Get the picture:
    • This is happening on the last day of the Feast of the Tabernacles.
    • This was one of the 3 most important holidays in Israel.
      • It was to help the people remember the Exodus, and living in tents for 40 years.
      • They built 3-sided shelters out of branches and lived in them for a week.
      • It was also foreshadowing Jesus coming: READ John 1:14. SAY (Depends on translation read) “dwelt among us” is literally “pitch his tent with us.”
      • On the last day of the feast, there was a ceremony where people gathered around 4 enormous candelabras and poured out water, recalling both the pillar of fire and the water coming out of the rock. When that happened, Jesus stood up and said …
  • READ 8:12
  • This started an argument with the Pharisees.
  • Jesus: I am the light of the world (v 12).
  • Pharisees: Your testimony is not valid (v13).
  • READ 8:14–19
  • SAY depends on translation, true vs valid — admissible as evidence.
  • ASK Why did Jesus say his testimony was valid? (His Father was backing him up.)

Lifted up

  • READ 8:28–31
  • ASK What does “lifted up” mean here? (The cross)
  • ASK What does John mean when he says “many believed in him”? Were they saved, the way we think of it? (I don’t think so. Just as in John 6 Jesus’ words about “eat my flesh” and “drink my blood” chased a lot of people away, that kind of thing is going on here.

A big “if”

(Derived from Tom Nettles)

Shallow belief can be easily dislodged.

  1. Real disciples abide in Jesus’ word. READ 8:31–32.
  2. False disciples continue to be slaves of sin. READ 8:34–36.
    • This does not mean that if you have an ongoing problem with a particular sin that you are not one of Jesus’ disciples. If you agree with God about the nature of the sin, and if you are remaining in the word — reading your Bible regularly & working to understand it — your obligation to sin — your slavery to it, is cancelled.
  3. False disciples are not spiritual children of Abraham. READ 8:39–40. ASK What are the “works” Abraham did? (READ Gen 15:6)
  4. False disciples are children of Satan. READ 8:44a. What your will is — what you want and what you decide to do — shows who your father is.
  5. False disciples dishonor Jesus, who does honor the Father. READ 8:49.

Jesus declares himself to be God

  • READ 8:56–58
  • We aren’t going to understand the Trinity. But we should try to get an arm around what is revealed. Right now, we just need to see what he was claiming.
  • Jesus has said “I am” a bunch of times already, and as we continue to go through John’s Gospel, we’ll see him say it a bunch more.
    • Sometimes he used it as in “I am the light of the world”; sometimes he used a different comparison.
    • Back in verse 24, he said it without a comparison, and they just asked “Who are you?” In verse 24, your Bible may have italics for “I am he”: Jesus was saying it here and they seem to barely notice. So he spends the rest of the chapter just getting them to this point, to get them to see who he was saying he was.
  • And when they understand it: They try to stone him. (v 59)

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