Want to learn more about John? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
If you have been studying these lessons with me for a
long time, you know I love studies on specific books of the Bible.
Our lesson quarterly more frequently covers Bible topics than Bible
books. When we study topics, we change from a God-inspired order of
presentation to a human-inspired order of presentation. Of course,
the Holy Spirit inspires modern human teachers, but I feel on
stronger ground when the order comes more directly from God. For
these reasons, I am delighted this quarter we will be studying the
book of John – one of the most important books of the Bible. This
week we are introduced to this great book. Next week we begin a
serious study of John. Let’s jump in and introduce ourselves to the
book of John!
If you were writing an account about the life of Jesus,
how would you begin? Most people would begin chronologically: with
His birth. Others might start with His most exciting miracle and then
tell how Jesus came to that point. Still others might begin with the
cross, and with that introduction go back and tell His entire story.
John does none of these things. Let’s jump into our study of his
gospel to find out how John introduces us to the greatest story ever
Last week we learned that God became a human and lived
with us. (John 1:14) This God, Jesus, is not only your Creator, but
by recognizing and receiving Him into your life you can become a
child of God. (John 1:10-13). This week John begins to take us on a
journey that will not only reveal who Jesus is, but help you to
better understand your God. John’s first two stories are about wine
and violence. How does that lead us in the right direction? Let’s
dive into our study and find out!
John 3:16 is one of the most famous verses in the
Bible. It is an offer of eternal life to “whoever” believes in
Jesus. This week our study of John continues with the stories of two
people who crossed Jesus’ path. Proving the truth of “whoever,” one
who comes to Jesus is a rich, exalted Pharisee named Nicodemus. The
other who comes to Jesus is poor, despised Samaritan woman. Let’s
jump into our study and find out how Jesus approaches these two!
How do you like detours? Our study last week had Jesus
headed back to Galilee. On the way He decided to take a little rest
at the well in Samaria while His disciples were rounding up lunch.
While at the well Jesus bumped into a Samaritan woman with an
attitude and ended up converting her and holding a two-day
evangelistic series! John 4:41-42 tells us that many Samaritans
believed that Jesus was the Messiah. This was the beginning of the
church in Samaria. What a great detour! This week our story picks up
with Jesus making it back to Galilee. Let’s plunge into our study!
People often ask me to pray for them to be healed or
helped. Some who I pray for are healed. Others are not. On what basis
does God choose who to heal? John 5 gives us some insights into this
issue and into the power of God. Let’s jump into our study and see
what we can learn!
One of the blessings of Bible study is that the Bible
is not like any other book. It is like an onion, the teachings of
Jesus have many layers. Bread is simple food. But Jesus, in sharing
bread has a multi-layered spiritual lesson for His listeners and for
us. Let’s jump into our study this week and consume our bread
Have you ever been frustrated because you could clearly
see something and others could not? John chapters 7-8 show us the
frustration experienced by Jesus. Jesus faced, even from His own
family, doubts about His divinity. Hostile spiritual leaders directly
challenged Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah. They all seemed to be
unable to see the truth. We continue our study of John by picking up
the story of a man who could not see anything other than the truth.
Let’s jump into our study of John!
This week I attended the National Religious
Broadcasters convention. While there I was invited to a pre-release
showing of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ. This is a movie
about the last hours of Jesus’ life on earth. You should see it when
it is released to the general public – not because it is a joy to
watch – but because it reveals, like nothing else I have ever seen,
the tremendous sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins. It will break
your heart. It broke mine. This week our study in John is the event
that precipitated the determination of the Jewish leaders that Jesus
must be killed. Let’s jump into our study.
How important is your “image?” When we bought our first
house I recall my neighbor asking me, “If you are a lawyer, why are
you living here?” How about that for a boost to the old “image!”
Later, I stopped buying new cars and bought a bigger house instead.
It seemed the Lord would lead me to these great (but not great-looking) auto deals. These cars saved me lots of money, but whenever
I had to drive to a meeting with people I did not know very well, I
hoped no one would see my car. It was so bad that one essentially
homeless church member asked me “Why do you fool around with a $200
car?” Why, indeed? The image that concerned me was that I drove poor
cars because I was a lousy lawyer and this was all I could afford!
Jesus has a lesson on “image” for us in our study today. Let’s dive
My wife teaches the early grades in a Christian school.
In the last year or so, a large number of her students have left the
school because of a breakup of their home. In each case, the child
became anxious about the future. Like everyone else, they enjoy the
comfort of things being “the same” and they fear change. They do not
want a parent to leave. John 13 ends with Jesus telling His disciples
that He is leaving. They want to come along, they want the fellowship
to continue. But, Jesus says, “no.” Let’s plunge into that
conversation and consider how Jesus deals with their anxiety. What
are His instructions for an immediate future without Him?
This week we turn our study to the last hours of Jesus’
life here on earth. It was Satan’s last opportunity to win the battle
between good and evil. The full forces of his demonic efforts were
turned on Jesus. How Jesus withstood these forces encourages and
guides us in dealing with problems in our lives. More importantly,
contemplating what Jesus suffered for us reveals His incredible love
and care. The Passion of The Christ is in theaters in the United
States right now. If you have not already seen that film, you should
do so as part of your study of this week’s events. Meanwhile, let’s
turn to the Bible to see how John reports the story!
I hope that you, like me, have now come to love the
book of John. What a blessing! The bad news is that this is our last
study in John. The good news is that our study is the most joyful
event in the history of the world. Jesus, our Savior, is resurrected
from the dead! Let’s jump right into our study of this triumph of
good over evil!