Southern Christian University

The Gospels

James A. Turner

Class Session Three


Hello, students.  When our time was up for the last class session, I believe we had just completed the reading of the first chapter of John.  And I believe I stated that we would continue with the reading of John for several chapters.  So we begin tonight with chapter two.  I would like to remind us that John the Baptist had pointed out Jesus as, “the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world,” verse twenty‑nine.  And then verse thirty‑five, on the next day two of his disciples were standing and he looked on Jesus and said to them, “behold the Lamb of God,  and those two followed Jesus.  Those two were, the writer John, and Andrew, Peter's brother. Andrew went and found his brother Simon and Jesus renamed him Peter.  We read in verse forty‑three of chapter one that on the morrow he was minded to go forth into Galilee, and he findeth Philip, and Philip went and found Nathanael, and Nathanael said can there be any good thing to come out of Nazareth.  Philip said come and see.  As Nathanael was going to Jesus, Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and said to him, behold an Israelite indeed in who is no guile.  So it was a very complimentary statement that Jesus made about Nathanael.  Nathanael responded to Jesus.  Whence knowest thou me?  And Jesus told him; while you were still under the fig tree I saw thee.  We have that wonderful confession that Nathanael made, which is evidently the first confession that Jesus is the Christ.  "And Nathanael answered Jesus saying, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.  And Jesus said, because I said unto thee, I saw thee underneath the fig tree, you'll see greater things than these; that you'll see the heavens open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man." Verse fifty‑one would be referring to the second advent of Christ.  When Christ comes in the Second Advent, he will be coming with his holy angels. 


Chapter two. 

"And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee."  I believe that would be the third day after the apostle John, the writer of the book, and Andrew had followed Jesus,  and Andrew had gone and found his brother Peter, and then Jesus had called Philip, and Philip had called Nathanael. On the third day, there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, “and the mother of Jesus was there.  And Jesus also was bidden and his disciples to the marriage.  And when the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said unto him, they have no wine.”  That must have been an embarrassing situation.  At least it would have been had Jesus not turned the water into wine.  Such a thing would be a very embarrassing thing today, to have a big wedding and not have enough refreshments for the guests that had been invited.  Whether there were more guests that went than expected or what, I am made to wonder as to why they gave out of wine. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, “They have no wine  Does not that imply that Mary, the mother of Jesus, had concluded that Jesus had the power to do something about it? When we read from Luke, we read about Mary pondering the things that were said by various ones in her heart, beginning from the very beginning. 


According to Luke, Jesus was about thirty years of age when he started teaching, so she had a long time to ponder many things and by this time, she has come to the conclusion that he is able to perform miracles.  So she said to him, “When the wine failed, they have no wine.  And Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee?  Mine hour is not yet come."  Evidently, he had not planned to start performing any miracles at that particular time.  But notice what Mary said to the servants.  "His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.  Now there were six water pots of stone set there, after the Jews manner of purifying containing two or three firkins apiece."  I believe I read that a firkins is ten gallons, the NIV reads “each holding twenty or thirty gallons.” "Jesus saith unto them, fill the water pots with water."  Count it at the very least then, two firkins are twenty and six water pots, so that would be a hundred and twenty gallons of wine at the minimum.  And three firkins apiece, six times thirty would be a hundred and eighty.  Verse seven, "Jesus saith unto them, fill the water pots with water.  And they filled them up to the brim.  And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast.  And they bear it."  Now, notice that this wine  is better than the wine that they served the first time.  "And when the ruler of the feast had tasted the water now had become wine."  The one in charge of the feast, the steward, the footnote in my Bible says.  "And knew not whence it was, but the servants that had drawn the water knew; the ruler of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man setteth on first the good wine; and when men have drunk freely, then that which is worse:  Thou hast kept the good wine until now."  I bet that bridegroom wondered about that matter.  Did he not do anything about what had happened?  But at least the steward, the one in charge of the feast, knew that that wine was better than the first wine.  It is said that that was the pattern, that they put forth the best wine, and then after the people had been drinking for a while, they would not notice any difference when an inferior wine was served.  But anyway, Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine.  I take it that that wine must not have had a very high alcohol content!  Grapes, when they ferment, would have some alcohol content.  But I think you have to add several things to give it much kick, sugar and yeast, maybe.  I am not in the wine‑making business, but I have either read or heard people tell that you have got to put other ingredients into it before it has a very high alcohol content.  And I would guess that this did not have a  very high alcohol content, or it looks like many would have gotten drunk before they left that feast.  "This beginning of his signs did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him."  Now, everything we a re reading here in the first few chapters are peculiar to the book of  the gospel of John.  It looks like he intended to record a number of things that the other gospel writers did not record, and the other writers do not give this one.  They do not say when Jesus performed his first miracle.    There is no conflict between John and the other gospel writers in that sense.  But from John, we know then that this was his first miracle was turning water into wine.  And since he “manifested his glory and his disciples believed on him,” I believe it would be referring to Andrew and John and Peter and Philip and Nathanael in verse eleven there.  Those are the ones that had been mentioned. 


"After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples:  and there they abode not many days hence."  Notice that nothing is said about Joseph, the husband of Mary.  It is commonly considered that he is probably dead at this time.  After all, Jesus was thirty years of age when he began his ministry, and so there was plenty of time for something to have happened to him, and he evidently was not living at this time.  "After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren, and his disciples:  and there they abode not many days.  And the Passover of the Jews' was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."  I want you to have an outline on the three annual feasts.  I want you to give a careful reading to the outline on the three annual feasts. The Passover was the first of the three annual feasts.  It is called the Passover or the feast of unleavened bread.  This feast was instituted before the event that it was to commemorate.  We read about the institution of it in the twelfth chapter of the book of Exodus.  We read that they were to put up a lamb on the tenth day of the month.  The lamb was to be without blemish, and they were to take of it’s blood and put it on the lentils and on  the doorposts of their houses (Exodus 12:7), and the Lord said, “when I see the blood ‑‑ talking about the blood applied to the lentils and to the doorposts of their houses ‑‑ I will pass over you.”  And God passed over and killed the firstborn of man and beast of the Egyptians and passed over the Israelites.  And they were to keep that feast annually as the first month of the Jewish calendar in remembrance of the Lord passing over them while he smote the Egyptian.  He gave them physical deliverance from the land of bondage.  The Passover lambs represented Christ.  The lambs were without blemish,  and  Christ was without sin.  The applied blood of the lambs procured their physical salvation from Egyptian bondage.  When the blood of Christ is applied today by any sinner, it procures his spiritual salvation.  Not a bone in the body of the lamb was to be broken (Exodus 12:46), and that represented Christ, for the apostle John tells us that is the case in the nineteenth chapter of this book.  So the lambs, very definitely, prefigured the Christ to come.  In I Corinthians 5:7, Paul writing to the Corinthians said, “for Christ our Passover hath been sacrificed for us.”  So very definitely, the Passover supper represented the Christ to come.  Of course, there is a sense in which all of the animals that were offered up represented the Christ to come, because the blood of animals did not make complete atonement for sin.  They all looked forward to that time when Christ would die on the cross as a sin offering.  It was contrary to the very nature of God to let animals' blood make complete atonement for sin.  I believe we have already called attention to Hebrews 10:4 where the writer says, “for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sin.  God, in his justice and righteousness, could not allow animal blood to make complete atonement for sin.


Beginning with verse fourteen, we have Jesus cleansing the temple.  Only John records about his cleansing the temple early during his ministry.  "And he found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and dove, and the changers' of money sitting."  And they made money on changing the money of the comers that were coming from a distance, and they would buy animals to offer on those occasions.  You can think of the people at the farthest distances north and south from Jerusalem, they would not want to drive the animals all of that distance, and so many ‑‑ I guess most of them would wait and buy their animals after they got to Jerusalem.  So they had to have the right kind of money to buy with,  and they would make money there on the selling of the oxen and the sheep and the doves.  So they had turned the temple into a money‑making business!  "And he made a scourge of cords, and cast out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money, and overthrew their tables."  Now, I do not think that we are to think that they were actually in the most holy part of the temple, but they were probably in one of the courts.  It is said that the temple at this time covered nineteen acres of land.  There were a lot of  buildings and a number of courts within the nineteen acres.  "And he made a scourge of cord, and cast out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers' money and overthrew their tables; and to them that sold the doves, he said, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house a house of merchandise."  So Jesus said you have made it a house of business, a house of merchandise.  "His disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal  of thine house shall eat me up."  And Jesus had made him  that scourge of cords ‑‑ I guess we think of that as a whip of cords ‑‑ and drove the cattle out.  The sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers' money and overthrew their tables and told those that sold doves, “take these things hence.”  I guess the doves were in cages, so he could not drive them out.  Of course, he was not trying to take the doves in such a way that they would lose their doves, but get them out of here.  "Ye make not my Father's house a house of merchandise."  And you can see why the disciples remembered the statement that was written, zeal for thy house shall eat me up. 


Verse nineteen, "The Jews therefore answered."  I would like for you to notice that John uses the term Jews in most cases referring to those in authority, those that were members of the Sanhedrin court and those maybe with other positions of authority, so far as the Jews are concerned.  The Pharisees are among some of the ring leaders of the Jewish system, the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The Pharisees, especially, started hating Jesus real soon, because they had come up with their own traditions, and this is wrong and this is wrong when the scriptures did not say that those things were wrong.  When Jesus then violated their traditions, that made them mad.  And so they go to him and they want to know why he is doing it.  "The Jews therefore answered and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things."  When he cleansed the temple during the last week of his ministry, they went to him and said, “by what authority doest thou these things and who gave thee this authority?”  This is a different occasion of that last week.  "What sign showest thou unto us seeing that thou doest these things?  Jesus answered and said unto them.  Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.  The Jews therefore said, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou raise it up in three days?  But he spake of the temple of his body."  They thought that he was talking about that temple that had been built by Herod, which took forty‑six years to build.  When those returnees from Babylonian captivity returned,  they built another temple.  It must have been very inferior to the temple that Solomon had built (Ezra 3:8-13).  But the time came when they built another temple that is sometimes referred to as Herod's temple. It was built in such a way that it was not to interfere with the Jewish system of worship, but it was in the building over a period of forty‑six years, and evidently was one of the finest buildings to be found anywhere during that day. Jesus was talking about the temple of his body when he said  destroy this temple, and it will be raised up in three days, and of course, in three days after his death his body was raised up. 


Verse twenty‑two, "When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he spake this; and  they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said."  So it is a long time before the disciples have full understanding of what Jesus meant  when he said destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.  When Christ was raised from the dead, then they understood what he meant, and it says they believed the scripture and the words which Jesus had said.  "Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed on his name, beholding his signs which he did."  So he must have done quite a number of signs while he was at that first Passover feast in Jerusalem.  "But Jesus did not trust himself unto them, for that he  knew all men.  And because he needed not that any that anyone should bear witness concerning man:  For he himself knew what was in man."  Those two verses are verses we need to think about.  We do not need anyone else to tell Jesus what kind of people  we are.  He knows!  I do not mean by that that we are not to pray and plead, Lord, have mercy on this man, I think there is a lot of good in him.  But at the same time, the Lord knows that man.  He knows each of us.  Evidently, Jesus knew how fickle these people would be. Thus it says he did not trust himself unto them, for he knew all men,  and he needed not that anyone should bear witness concerning man, “for he himself knew what was in man.”  That includes every man on the face of the earth,  the Lord knows him. 


Now, chapter three.  In the first part of this chapter Nicodemus, one of the rulers of the Jews, goes to Jesus by night, and this is not recorded by either of the other gospel writers.  "Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:  The same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God:  For no one can do these signs, that thou doest, except God be with him."  Nicodemus is stated as a ruler of the Jews.  That would have meant that he was a member of the Sanhedrin court, the highest court of the Jewish people. Some have surmised that he probably came to Jesus by night because he may have not have wanted the other Pharisees to know that he was going to Jesus to talk to him.  That might be the case and it might not be the case, but at least he may have been very busy like Jesus and went to him by night. He is speaking not only on behalf of  himself but on behalf of others because he said, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God.  For no man can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him."  It looks like to me it would be very logical to conclude that he is referring to other members of the court, that we know that you are a teacher come from God.  And we know that no ordinary man can do the things that you are doing except God be with him. Notice that Jesus moves immediately to talk to Nicodemus about the new birth.  Why?  I think the proper conclusion is that Nicodemus was in a lost condition.  Remember Luke 7:30 that, “the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves being not baptized of John.”  So they were left in a lost condition, and so Nicodemus was in a lost condition!  Jesus put the first things first.  He needed to accept the baptism of John.  He needed to be born again.  "And thus Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto thee,  Except one be born anew."  Born again, I believe the King James reads.  "He cannot see the kingdom of God."  So the new birth is necessary before one enters the kingdom of God today.  I hope you remember that we talked some about how that  that is one of the primary differences between the Old Testament law and the New Testament law.  Under the Old Testament law one became a part of the commonwealth of Israel by just a physical birth.  Then when the child got old enough for the parents to teach them, they were to teach them on every occasion that they had, in substance to know the Lord.  Today before a person can become a part of the commonwealth of Israel, which is the church, the new Israel of God, he must first be taught (Isaiah 54:13; John 6:45-46).  And we will discuss that further when we get to the sixth chapter of John.  "Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old?  Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born?"  It looks like he does not begin to understand what Jesus is talking about when he said to him, “Except a man be born again or born anew, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  But notice that Jesus responds again, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except one be born of water, and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."  So notice the definite article before the Spirit.  Born of water would give way for a person to be baptized anywhere there was water. With any kind of water that is called water, would meet the requirements of water, but not so with the Spirit.  It is the Spirit, and of course, it would be referring to the Holy Spirit.  Spirit is capitalized in my Bible.  I presume that it is in yours, which means that the translators think it is talking about the Holy Spirit.  So one must be born of water and the Spirit.  " Except one be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." That strongly implies that the Lord is going to establish his kingdom.  Remember how that in Matthew 16:18‑19, Jesus used the church and the kingdom interchangeably.  And Jesus built ‑‑ that church was fully established on the first Pentecost after the ascension of Christ, and it has been with us ever since.  Verse six, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh."  A fleshly birth just leaves a person in the flesh.  "And that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."  So there is a fleshly birth, and there is a spiritual birth.  And we have what I consider to be somewhat a parallel reference to this in the eighth chapter of the book of Romans, when the writer talks about those that are in the flesh cannot please God.  That emphasizes the fact that a person must experience the new birth, become a new man in Christ in order to have salvation. 


Please turn to Romans the eighth chapter, and let us read a few verses.  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus."  But notice there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.  How does one get into Christ?  Faith is necessary, repentance is necessary, and confession is necessary.  And then upon the basis of that kind of faith, repentance and confession, one is baptized into Christ, and so there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.  "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and death."  Made him free from the bondage of sin and the Old Testament law.  And the Old Testament law left a man in the flesh, but under the law of Christ there must be a spiritual birth, a new creation in Christ.  "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:  That the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  Now, all of those who have not obeyed Christ are walking after the flesh, they are not walking after the Spirit.  "For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For the mind of the flesh is death."  (Spiritual death) But the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  (Spiritual life and peace with God).  Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God.  For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  And they that are in the flesh cannot please God."  I have heard  people reason that before I obey the gospel, I am going to see if I can live a Christian life, and if I can live the Christian life, then I will obey the gospel. That just will not work, because as long as a man is in the flesh, he goes the way of the flesh.  Here Paul says, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  "But you are not in the flesh. (Speaking to Christians).  But in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you.  But if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.  And if Christ is in you, the body is dead."  Meaning that old sinful, fleshly man is put to death. 


Romans chapter six beginning with verse three, "Know ye not, that so many of us were baptized into Christ were baptized into his death?  Therefore we were buried by baptism into his death:  That like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be raised also in the likeness of his resurrection:  Knowing this, that the old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed."  And so when a person obeys the gospel, baptism into Christ is that final act that puts one into Christ and gives him salvation.  It is at that point that the old man of sin is put to death.  Of course, that does not mean that that new man in Christ is not going to have anymore trouble of keeping the flesh under control, but all past sins are forgiven.  He is a new creation in Christ, and he is to keep that old fleshly man out of the way.  Remember Jesus said, Matthew 16:24, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me  Romans 8:11,  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you."  And so do you see the parallel between the new birth here as Jesus taught to Nicodemus, and the eighth chapter of Romans, that those who have obeyed Christ are not in the flesh, they are a new creation in Christ. 


Back to 3:6, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew.  The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice there of, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth, so is everyone that is born of the Spirit."  The Spirit tells a person what to do in order to be saved.  And, again, in Romans 8:16, he says that the Spirit testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God.  “The Holy Spirit testifies with our spirit” by telling us what to do in order to be saved and stay in a saved condition. And our spirit tells us whether or not we have done what the Spirit has instructed us to do.  So the Spirit  tells every sinner what to do in order to be saved.  It is by the authority of the Spirit that one becomes a new man in Christ.  On Pentecost Peter told them to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  So every child of God receives a non‑miraculous indwelling of the Spirit when he is baptized into Christ.  Acts 5:32 reads that, “God gives his Spirit to those who obey him.”  So that indwelling, that every child of God receives is of the Spirit. "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born anew."  Verse eight looks like to me means that we cannot see how that when one is baptized, all of his sins are forgiven and he becomes a new man in Christ, is like we cannot see the wind "The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the voice thereof, but knowest not whence it cometh, and whither it goeth:  So is every one that is born of the Spirit." We can see the person being baptized, but we cannot see the man of sin being put to death, and we cannot see that new birth in reality taking place.  It is only by faith that we know that that old man of sin, if a man who is sincere, that he is forgiven of all of his past sins. Verse nine, "Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?  Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou the teacher of Israel, and understandeth not these things?  Verily, verily I say unto thee, We speak that which we know, and bear witness of that which we have seen, and ye receive not our witness."  Would he be speaking especially of himself and John the Baptist there in verse eleven?  Remember the Pharisees had rejected the baptism of John.  They were rejecting the message that had been brought from God.  We speak that which we know and bear witness of that which we have seen, and ye receive not our witness.  If I told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you heavenly things?" 


Now, he begins and talks about his coming death on the cross, and this is during that early part of his ministry, and Jesus talks to Nicodemus about his coming death on the cross.  Jesus came to die for the sins of the world.  He knew just exactly how he would die. John is the only one that gives us that about Jesus telling about him being “lifted up” and, of course, meaning being lifted up on the cross.  Verse thirteen, "And no one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven."  I gave you a handout, with thirty quotations from the book of Matthew, where Jesus refers to himself as the Son of man.  So here talking to Nicodemus, he refers to himself as the Son of man.  "No one hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven.  And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:  That whosoever believeth in him may have eternal life."  Remember there is no salvation out of Christ.  In John 14:6 he says, “I am the way, the truth and the light.  No man cometh under the Father except by me.”  In John 3:14, he is talking to Nicodemus about his coming death upon the cross.  Do you remember the Old Testament background for the statement made in verse fourteen, where Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up?  Do you remember where it is found? STUDENT:  Numbers.

BROTHER TURNER:  Yes,.  In the book of  Numbers, chapter twenty‑one.

STUDENT:  21:9, somewhere around there.

BROTHER TURNER:  Okay.  We will pick up, talking about Numbers chapter twenty‑one.  (A brief recess was taken.) 


Well, it is time for us to begin our second period of this third Class Session..  Have you turned to the twenty first chapter of the book of Numbers?  Moses had sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom requesting permission to go through their territory.  Remember that the Edomites were the descendants of Esau, Jacob's brother.  It looks like that they should have been ready at least to have permitted them to have passed through their territory, but the king of Edom refused to let them go through their territory.  Reading from Numbers 20:18, "But Edom said to him, Ye shall not pass through, lest I come out with a sword against you."  And they came out with a strong force.  The people of Israel had to go around the land of Edom, and the way around must have been a hard way to go.  As usual, they murmured and complained.  Reading now from Numbers 21:4, "From mount Hor they set out by way of the Red sea, to go around the land of Edom:  And the people became impatient on the way.  And the people spoke against God, and against Moses, Why have ye brought us out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no food and no water; and we loathe this worthless food."  Referring to the manna that God caused  to fall each night, and they went out and gathered a homer full.  That manna was sufficient to keep their bodies in good physical condition.  We can condemn them, but what about us today?  If we were eating the same thing every day, I am afraid we would complain on the second day.  "For there is no food and no water; and we loathe this worthless food.  Then the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died."  This is one time that they confessed that they had done wrong.  "And the people came to Moses and said we have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against you, pray to the Lord, that he taketh away the serpents from us."  So Moses prayed for the people, and the Lord said to Moses, make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole, and every one who is bitten when he sees it shall live.  Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on a pole, and if a  serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.  This must have been a type then of the Christ to come, because John refers to it three different times.  John 3:14, “as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.”  Turn to John 8:28, which is the second time that he is referred to as being lifted up on the cross.  He said, When ye have lifted up the Son of man then shall ye know that I am he.  John 8:28.  "Jesus therefore said, when ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he; and that  I do nothing of myself but as the Father taught me I speak these things."  He is talking about being lifted up on the cross there.  It is stated very plainly then in the twelfth chapter of John.  Let us pick up in John 12:27.  "Jesus said now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour."  It is talking about his death on the cross.  "But for this cause came I unto this hour.  Father, glorify thy name.  Then came therefore a voice out of heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again."  There had been at least two occasions when God had already done that, when Jesus was baptized by  John, and when he was transfigured before Peter, James and John, but God says I will do it again.  "The multitude said, that it had thundered.  Jesus answered and said, This voice has not come for my sake, but for your sakes.  Now is the judgment of this world:  Now shall the prince of the world be cast out."  What is the meaning of verse thirty‑one?  "Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

STUDENT:  Satan.

BROTHER TURNER:  Yes, the Lord is going to have victory over Satan when he goes into the grave, because sin brought physical and spiritual death. So Jesus, when he goes into the grave will by his resurrection,  gain victory over the strong man.  "Now is the judgment of this world:  Now shall the prince of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto myself."  Now, notice that John tells us the meaning.  "But this he said, signified by what manner of death he should die."  And so three times, and remember this, it is peculiar only to the gospel of John, but that surely adds to our understanding to know that Jesus knew just exactly how he was going to die, that he was going to die by crucifixion.  He talks to Nicodemus about it here in the early days of his ministry.  Like he stated there, of course, Christ dreaded the cross.  He was in a body of flesh, and the nails driven in the cross would hurt him just like it would hurt any other human being.  As he stated there, to save me from this hour, but for this hour I have come,   and Christ came to be the sin offering for man.  You remember that decision was made even before God made man Ephesians 1:3-6.  So get the full meaning then of John 3:14, that he is talking about him being lifted up on the cross.  Suppose men back there had said, well, now I know that that brazen serpent has been lifted up. The people made an idol out of that brazen serpent, and Hezekiah, a king of Judah, who was raised up several hundred years later destroyed that brazen serpent (II Kings 18:1-4).  But suppose that a man back there had said, I know that the brazen serpent has been raised up, and it is raised up for my physical salvation, but I am hurting too much.  I believe I can be saved by just staying here in my tent.  I do not believe the Lord would have saved him, do you?  I believe he would have died by that serpent bite! They had to obey and do as Moses commanded in order not to die from the serpent bite.  Every person today is  to do as Christ has commanded in order not to die spiritually by the bite of the old devil.  Satan is described as that old serpent, the devil (Revelation 12:9), and the devil is still mighty.  It does not mean that a person can just look to Christ, and with an intellectual faith and say, Lord, save me, but it means that a person must obey Christ (Hebrews 5:9), do what Christ has said in order to be saved from the power of Satan.  So Jesus is going to be lifted up on the cross.  "Even so must the Son of man be lifted up?  That whosoever believeth may in him have eternal life." 


Now believeth is used many times, speaking of everything that a person must do in order to be saved.  There are many who still kind of pull it out of context and reduce it down to an intellectual faith.  But you give attention to the whole chapter, there is more to it than that.  "That whosoever believeth in him may have eternal life.  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God sent not the Son into the world  to judge the world but the world should be saved through him."  So he did not send Christ to condemn the world, he sent Christ to save the world.  "He that believeth on him is not judged."  Or not condemned, according to what version you are reading from.  “He that believeth not hath been judged already or been condemned already, because he hath not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.”  Don't you think there are millions of people out there in a lost condition, and they really do not know that they are in a lost condition?  They would reason well, I have not said yes to Satan, but they have not said yes to Christ.  Unbelief is disobedience!  And a man has been judged already if he does not believe on the name of the only begotten Son of God.  So condemned already if he does not believe.  Of course, if a man comes to a point of faith and does as the Lord commands him, then  he will be saved, but as long as he goes that way of unbelief he will be condemned.  So all a person has got to do is just refuse to believe the Lord and he will enter into that terrible place that no man wants to enter if he does not turn to the Lord in real faith and obedience.  So he that believeth not hath been judged or condemned already because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God.  "And this is the judgment that the light is coming to the world."  Christ is the light.  "And men love the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil."  Most of the people of the world do not want the truth preached to them,   and some will persecute those who try.  Why?  Because the light condemns the way that they are living.  If we wonder why there is so much ignorance of the word of God, especially in America today, I think that is the primary reason that most people love the way of darkness. Jesus teaches this in the seventh chapter of the book of Matthew, about the straight and narrow way that leads to life and the broad way that leads to destruction.  " For every one that doeth evil hateth the light and cometh not to the light."  They hate the light, and many of them hate those that are living right, because right living condemns wrong living.  Every one that doeth evil hateth the light and cometh not to the light, lest his works shall be reproved.  "But he that doeth the truth."  All who want to live according to the Lord's way, are ready to come to the light.  "But he that doeth the truth, cometh to the light."  Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the light.”  So Jesus is the way of truth, and those who love the way of truth come to Christ, and those who do not love truth and love darkness instead, they refuse to come to the light.  He that doeth the truth cometh to the light that his works may be manifest that they have been wrought in God”. 


John 3:22, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea.  And there he tarried with them and baptized."  He had gone to the Passover.  He had cleansed the temple.  And now he is spending some time in Judaea, the area surrounding Jerusalem.  So verse twenty‑two again, "After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.  And John was baptizing in Enon near to Salim, because there was much water there: And they came and were baptized, for John was not yet cast into prison." 

You may need to highlight verse twenty‑four, "For John was not cast into prison."  That will remind you that in the other gospels, I think if it were just left to them, that we would conclude that Jesus did not start his ministry until after the death of John.  But here we see that Jesus is already preaching while John is preaching.  "And John was baptizing in Enon near Salim, because there was much water there."  You remember when Jesus was baptized of John, when they came up out of the water, the Spirit as a dove descended upon him.  And here John was baptizing in Enon near to Salim, because there was much water there.  So the kind of baptism that required much water.  Philip and the eunuch came to water, and the eunuch said, “see here it is water, what doth hinder me to be baptized.  And Philip said, if thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest, according to the King James reading, the eunuch said, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God.  And then Philip baptized him.  And when they came up out of the water, the Spirit called away Philip that the eunuch should see him no more, but the eunuch went on his way rejoicing.”  In Colossians 2:12, “Having been buried with him in baptism, wherein ye were also risen with him through faith in the working of God who raised him from the dead.”  These references plainly teach that baptism id a burial in water in the likeness of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ (Romans 6:3-7).


So Jesus was teaching before John was put into prison.  "There arose therefore a questioning on the part of John's disciples with the Jews about purifying.  And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond the Jordan, to whom thou hast bore witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him."  Evidently some of the disciples of John are jealous of Jesus.  Some of them may have stayed jealous of him. They are expecting John to not be pleased by what they tell him, but John was pleased to know what Jesus was doing.  Verse twenty‑seven, "John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing, except it hath been given him from heaven.  Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him."  He was just the one to make the way for Christ.  "He that hath the bride is the bridegroom:  But the friend of the bridegroom, that standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice:  This my joy therefore is made full."  And so John is speaking of himself as the friend of the bridegroom, and, of course, Christ is the bridegroom.  The church is the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:23-32), and so John said, I rejoice greatly.  So he was not sad.  It did not make him sad to know that Jesus was baptizing, and that nearly all the people going to him, but he was glad.  And so he says, this my joy therefore is made full.  "He must increase, but I must decrease.  He that cometh from above is above all:  He that is of the earth is of the earth:  And of the earth he speaketh.  He that cometh from heaven is above all."  So John, I believe, is comparing himself with Jesus, I am just of the earth, but he is from heaven, and he is above all.  I am just glad to be a friend of the bridegroom.  "But what he hath seen and heard, of that he bears witness:  And no man receiveth his witness.  He that hath received his witness hath set his seal on this that God is true.  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God:  For he giveth not the Spirit by measure."  It looks like to me that verse thirty‑four means that Jesus had the Spirit, the Holy Spirit in a full manner.  "The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.  He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life:  But he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth in him."  Now, the American Standard reads different from the King James and some other versions on verse thirty‑six.  Lewis, read verse thirty‑six from the King James?

STUDENT: "He believeth on the Son have everlasting life:  And he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

BROTHER TURNER:  All right.  They carry the same meaning.  He that believeth not the wrath of God abides on him.  So he is condemned as already stated in verse eighteen, he that believeth not on him is condemned already.  But the American Standard says, he that “obeyeth not the Son shall not see life.”  Of course, again belief is used in that sense of a person being ready to do everything that the Lord has commanded him to do in order to be saved. Keep in mind Hebrews 5:8‑9, "Though he were a Son yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; and being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him."  Unless people are willing to believe in such a way as to obey, then they do not have the kind of faith that it takes for them to be saved.  Absolutely faith is necessary, but it is that kind of faith that causes a man to obey.  Remember Abraham is a great example of people who walk by faith. When God told him to do something, he rose up early in the morning to do it.  He was always ready to do just exactly as God had instructed him to do. 


Chapter four,

"When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard, that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John, (although Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,) he left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee."  Why would he be departing?  Jesus knew that those Pharisees were bent on killing him.  Of course, he knew that they would finally do that, but it was not time for him to die on the cross.  And so he leaves Judaea and goes again  into Galilee.  "And he must needs pass through Samaria.  So he cometh to a city of Samaria, called Sychar, near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  And Jacob's well was there.  Jesus therefore being wearied with his journey, sat thus by the well:  And it was about the sixth hour."  Now, the sixth hour of Jewish time would be twelve o'clock our time.  The sixth hour of Roman time would be six o'clock in the morning or six o'clock in the afternoon.  It is debatable, some would say, that John could use Roman time in one instance and Jewish time in another, but it looks like to me it would be more logical for him to use the same time in all the passages.  I am guessing that it would be talking about six o'clock in the evening.  The travel wore Jesus out, and being wearied with his journey sat by the well.  "It was about the sixth hour.  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water:  Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.  (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman therefore saith unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew asketh drink of me, who is a Samaritan woman?  For the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans."  Why did the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans? 


The bad feelings the Jews and Samaritans had developed and brewed over many centuries of time. It may be that some of you like to know about the long history of this development of the deep seated enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans. Please let me try to brief several hundred years of history, then you can read the key references, and get better acquainted with some of the primary facts about this.


First in chapter eleven and twelve of I Kings we read about God dividing the kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms when Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, took over the reigns of government after Solomon. God divided the kingdom into two kingdoms because idolatry had been established on a broad scale during Solomon’s reign, and there is strength in unity for wrong doing like there is strength in unity in doing as the Lord instructs us to do. Solomon had married many foreign women (I Kings 11:1-13) contrary to God’s law (I Kings 11:2; Deuteronomy 17:14-17) and these foreign wives “turned away his heart after other gods.” And Solomon even built places of worship for these women to worship their idol gods.


God had the prophet Ahijah to tell Jereboam the son of Nebat that God was going to give him ten of the northern tribes of Israel (I Kings 12:26-40). Ahijah was wearing a new garment when he met Jeroboam, and he tore it into twelve pieces and gave him ten, and told him that God was going to give him ten of the twelve tribes. He also told him that if he would be faithful that God “will build you a sure house, as I built for David.” The stupidity of Rehoboam contributed to the division of the kingdom (I Kings 12:1-18), but when he assembled 180,000 chosen warriors out of the tribe of Judah and Benjamin to fight against the ten tribes, God sent Shemaiah to tell him, “Thus says the Lord, you shall not go up or fight against your kinsmen the people of Israel. Return everyman to his home, for this thing is from me (I Kings 12:21-24).” The date given for this division is 931 years before the advent of Christ.


Jeroboam did not exercise proper faith in God’s promise. He reasoned that, “if this people go up and offer sacrifices in the house of the Lord at Jerusalem, then, the heart of the people will turn again to Rehoboam --------- and they will kill me. (I Kings 12:27).--- He took counsel, and made two calves of gold --And set one in Bethel and the other in Dan.” The people had brought calf idolatry out of Egypt (Exodus 32:1-20), and it pleased most of the people of the ten tribes to go worship before those golden calves (I Kings 12:28-33). The calf idolatry was made the established religion of the Northern Kingdom. Even Jehu, the king that God chose to “strike down the house of Ahab”, and have the dogs to eat his wicked wife Jezebel who had killed many of the Lord’s prophets (II Kings 9:1-10:31; I Kings 16:29-17:4; 18:1-46) even he did not stop the calf idolatry. II Kings 10:31 reads, “he did not turn from the sins of Jeroboam, which he made Israel to sin.” A running statement made about the kings of Israel is, that they “walked in the way of Jeroboam and in his sin which he made Israel to  sin(I Kings 15:2, 16: 25-26) which means that they continued with that calf idolatry as the engine of the state.


The people in Israel , the people of the ten tribes, turned from God to the worship of idol gods on a larger scale sooner than the kingdom of Judah. We read about Israel being carried away into Assyria Captivity in II Kings 17:2-21 and the reasons are given as to why they were carried into captivity. One major reason was that they even burned their children as sacrifices to their idol gods (II Kings 17:17; Psalms 106:34-38). The time of this caring away was in the sixth year of King Hezekiah of Judah (II Kings 18:9-12) and the date given is 722B.C. The final caring away of Judah into Babylonian Captivity was 136 years later which was 586 B.C. See II Kings 24:17-25:12. By this time Judah had gone the way of idolatry as bad if not worse than Israel. The fact that Judah had four good reform kings must have prevented Judah from going so far away from God into Idolatry until 586 B.C. You can read about the reforms of Asa in (I Kings 15:8-24), of Jehoshaphat (I Kings 15:24-22:50), of Hezekiah (II Kings 16:20-20:21), and of Josiah (II Kings 21:24-23:30).


When Israel was carried into captivity the Assyrians brought Gentiles into the cities of Samaria, and “the Lord sent lions among them, which killed some of them.” The leaders of the government of Assyria decided the lions were killing the people was because “they do not know the law of the god of the land.” The king commanded that one of the priests be sent back “and teach them the law of the god of the land (II Kings 17:25-28). These people were ready to “fear the Lord” in the sense of just accepting him as the god of the land. II Kings 17:34 reads, “To this day they do according to the former manner. They do not fear the Lord, and they do not follow the statutes or the ordinances or the law or the commandments which the Lord commanded the children of Jacob whom he named Israel.”


After the second caring away of Judah into Babylonian Captivity (II Kings 24:8-17) Hananiah, a false prophet, was telling the people that the Lord was going to bring back king “Jeconiah, or Jehoiachin, and all the exiles from Judah within two years (Jeremiah 28:1-10). Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylon to warn them of the deceitful prophets among them and to tell them, “For thus says the Lord; when seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place (Jeremiah 29:1-10).”


During this time period the Babylonian government fell to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:1-30). In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, the prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled and “Shesbazzar the prince of Judah” was chosen by King Cyrus to led back to the land of Israel the first company of returnees of about 50,000 people including their servants (Ezra 1:1-11). Note from Ezra 2:2 that “Shesbazzar the prince of Judah,” is called Zerubbabel, who was the grandson of King Jechoniah, who was carried to Babylon in 597 BC in the second carrying away to Babylon (Matthew 1:12). Zerubbabel not only led the returnees back, but he was also appointed as their first governor by king Cyrus (Ezra 2:64-3:13).


The Samaritans were enemies of the Lord’s people when they started building a second temple, but “They approached Zerubbable and the heads of fathers’ houses and said to them, “Let us build with you; for we worship your God as you do and we have been sacrificing to him ever since the days of Esarhaddon king of Assyria who brought us here (Ezra 4:1-2). Several writers have reasoned that Zerubbabel and the elders made a mistake when they rejected their offer (Ezra 4:4), but not so! They were not true worshipers of God (I Kings 17:34). That would be like a few brethren are ready to have full fellowship with denominational people who have not turned from the doctrines of men (Matthew 15:1-14).


After the offer of the idolaters was rejected they showed their wrath against the builders. They hired counselors, or paid lobbyist, against them from the day of Cyrus even until the reign of Darius king of Persia (Ezra 4:4-24) until they were stopped from building on the temple. God then sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to encourage them to start building on the temple again, but these adversaries still tried to prevent them from building (Ezra 5:1-6, 6:1-5), but because of the encouragement of Haggai and Zechariah they continued their work until the temple was completed. (Haggai 1:1-15, 2:2-4, 29, 2:15-19; Zechariah 1:1-17, 4:1-10).


In the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was sent to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, and to build the city, and again these people tried to prevent the work (Nehemiah 2:1-9, 2:18-20, 4;1-9, 4:21-23, 6:1-9). In the thirty-second year of the reign of king Artaxerxes \, Nehemiah went back to the king -----“for sometime” and while he was gone Eliashib, the high priest, prepared for one of these enemies, Tobiah, a large chamber in the temple, and when Nehemiah came back to Jerusalem he “threw all the household furniture of Tobiah out of the chamber (Nehemiah 13:4-9). Note also that one of the sons of Eliashib became the son-in-law of Sanballet the Hornite, “therefore I cast him from me,  because they had defiled the priesthood (13:28-29)”. All Christians today are priests, and when a Christian compromises with the devil’s servants he defiles his priesthood and becomes “an enemy of God.” (I Peter 2:9; James 4:4).


At a later date those enemies built a rival temple to the temple in Jerusalem that the Samaritan woman makes mention of in verse nineteen. She was probably pointing to the rival temple on Mount Gerizim.


Well, I guess we have chased that rabbit long enough, and we better get back to chasing the fox. We had a kinsman who was a big foxhunter, and he frequently let his hounds out at our house. There were several wooded areas near our house, more woods than fields, and evidently there were a number of foxes in those wooded areas. One night the dogs chased one up under our house, and then, I think I remember correctly, that they killed it out in the dirt road that went by our house. That house that I was born in, and lived my first eighteen years in is still standing, and nearly every time I go to see my sister I go by that house either going to or back from. But in regard to chasing the rabbit, that Noah McMickens had a favorite hound that he called Old Blue, and he made out like he could tell whether the pack was still chasing a fox or just a rabbit by the different bark of Old Blue!


Back to John 4:7. “There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water; Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. For his disciples were gone away into the city to buy food. The Samaritan woman therefore said unto him, how is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, who am a Samaritan woman? For the Jews have no dealings with Samaritans Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water."  So, again, Jesus is the living water.  He is the water of life    and he invites all to drink of the living water (John 8:32-38)..  "The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep:  Whence then hast thou that living water?"  That well must have been deep, for it would be sufficient to water all of Jacob's cattle plus it was a public well.  "Art thou greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his sons and his cattle?"  And Jacob had a lot of cattle.  "Jesus answered and said unto her, every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again.  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto life eternal."  So Jesus is the water of life.  "The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come all the way hither to draw." 


Verse fifteen; she did not want to have to draw her water.  "Jesus saith unto her.  Go, call thy husband, and come hither."  Notice how Jesus knows every person.  "The woman answered and said unto him, I have no husband.  Jesus saith unto her, Thou saidest well, I have no husband:  For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband."  Shacking up, right?  "And this hast thou said truly."  And it is at this point that she perceives that he is not an ordinary man when he told her that she had had five husbands and the one that you now have is not your husband.  "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet."  Now, notice what she said, "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and you say that in Jerusalem  is the place where men ought to worship.  Well, our time is up.  (A brief recess was taken.) 


We were down to verse twenty of chapter four of John.  "Our fathers worshipped in this mountain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship."  The Samaritans had built a rival temple to the one in Jerusalem on mount Gerizim.  And, of course, they thought of that as the mount of blessing, because that was the mountain that the people, six of the tribes, were to be on when they read the blessings of the law.  And six of the tribes were to be on the other mountain, mount Ebal, the one across from it, when they read the curses from the law.  I am reading from Deuteronomy chapter twenty‑seven.  This was commanded during the lifetime of Moses, that when they came into the land, that they were to read the  blessings and the curses of the law.  Deuteronomy twenty‑seven beginning with verse eleven, "And Moses charged the people the same day, saying, when you have passed over the Jordan, these shall stand on mount Gerizim to bless the people, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin and these will stand upon mount Ebal for the curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan and Naphtali.  And the Levites shall declare to all the men of Israel with a loud voice."  The Levites read the blessings of the law from one mountain, mount Gerizim, and the curses of the law were to be read from mount Ebal.  As they were read, then all the people were to say amen.  Notice verse fifteen.  "Cursed be the man that maketh a graven image or molten image, an abomination to the Lord, the thing made by the hands of the craftsman, and sets it up in secret.  And all of the people shall answer and say, Amen."  So that must have been a very moving occasion when they carried that out after they went into the land of Canaan. They did as Moses had commanded and the blessings were read from mount Gerizim and the curses from mount Ebal.  Joshua the eighth chapter, beginning with verse thirty.  "Then Joshua built an altar unto mount Ebal to the Lord, the God of Israel as Moses the servant of the Lord hath commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of unhuned stones, upon which no man hath lifted an iron tool:  And they offered on it burnt offerings to the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings.  And there in the presence of the people of Israel, he wrote upon the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which he had written.  And all Israel, sojourners, as well as home born, with their elders, and officers and their judges, stood on opposite sides of the ark before the levitical priests, which carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of mount Gerizim, and half of them in front of mount Ebal."  So six of the tribes in the front of mount Gerizim and  half of them in front of mount Ebal as Moses the servant of the Lord hath commanded.  "And afterward he read all the words of the law, the blessings and the cursings, according to all that is written in the book of the law.  There was not a word of all that Moses commanded, which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel and the women, and the little ones, and the sojourners who lived among them."  So they carried out what Moses had instructed them to do as given in Deuteronomy chapter twenty‑seven.  When this woman said our fathers  worshiped in this mountain, she is referring to mount Gerizim where they had built the rival temple to the temple in Jerusalem.  “Ye say that in Jerusalem is the place, where men ought to worship.” And so she raises a religious question.  That question is which is the right place to worship?  Jesus tells her that the time will soon come when the place will not make any difference. "Jesus saith unto her, woman believe me the hour cometh when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem shall ye worship the Father.  Ye worship that which ye know not.  We worship that which we know, for salvation is from the Jews." Christ came from the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and then Jacob, but many  Gentiles came from the descendants of Abraham.   When Sarah saw the son of the handmaiden Ishmael mocking her son Isaac when they weaned Isaac, she said cast out the handmaiden and her son, for he is not going to inherit with my son.  Ishmael would have been about seventeen years of age at that time.  Abraham did not want to do that, but the Lord appeared to him and told him to do as his wife had told him to do, that “in Isaac shall thy seed be called.”  God also promised Abraham that he would make a great nation out of Ishmael, which he did.   The Jewish people were to come through the descendants of Isaac, and then Isaac and Rebecca.  Rebecca was with twins, and they were giving her a lot of trouble.  She inquired of the Lord about the matter, and the Lord made a choice before those twins were born that the Jewish people would be called through Jacob rather than through Esau (Genesis 25:21-26; Romans 9:10-11).  So the Edomites, the descendants of Esau were Gentile people and the descendants of Jacob the Jewish people. 


After the death of Sarah (Genesis 25:1-6), Abraham married Keturah and had six sons by her, and evidently nations of people came through those sons, but the point is that Christ would come of that line of Isaac and Jacob and not through the others.  So salvation in that respect was of the Jews, that Christ would come of the descendants of the Jewish people.  The gospel was first preached to the Jewish people.  According to the Lord's instruction, “ye shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judaea, Samaria and unto the uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1:8).  According to what has been written about them, some of those Jewish people that were left in the area of the ten northern tribes intermarried. So they are referred to as a mixed breed.  But the point is that some of the Samaritans had some knowledge of the five books of Moses, the Law of Moses, and she at least had some knowledge of the law.  Remember that the gospel was to go after the Jewish people to the Samaritans next.


Verse twenty‑two again, "Ye worship that which ye know not:  We worship that which we know:  For salvation is from the Jews.  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth:  For such doth the Father seek to be his worshipers.  God is a Spirit:  And they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."  So Jesus is telling the Samaritan woman that it will not be long until the place of worship will not make any difference.  Now, Jerusalem remained the rightful place for the people to worship until the law was fulfilled.  The law was fulfilled when Christ died on the cross (Colossians 2:14).  Pentecost marks the time of the full establishment of the church, the first Pentecost after the resurrection of Christ from the dead.  Under the Christian dispensation the place of worship is not the thing that makes the difference.  What makes the difference is to worship God “in spirit and in truth.”  It is possible to worship God according to truth, from the standpoint of following and doing the five  items of worship, but without maybe the proper spirit on our part, but both are necessary. True worshipers are those who worship in spirit and in truth.  "The woman said unto him."  Now, notice that she has knowledge that a Messiah is to come.  Moses spoke of the coming of Christ in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 as given by Peter in Acts 3:22-23. So she raises the question about the Messiah coming.  "The woman saith, unto him, I know that the Messiah cometh, he that is called Christ:  And when he is come will declare unto us all things." Now notice what Jesus says.  "Jesus saith unto her.  I that speak unto thee am he."  I am the Messiah.  I am the Christ that was to come.  "And upon this came his disciples, and they marveled that he was speaking with the woman."  Does not that statement  imply that it was not the custom of that day for a man to speak to a woman out in public like that?  "They marveled that he was speaking with a woman:  Yet no man saith, what seekest thou?  Or, Why speakest thou with her?" 


She believed that he was the Messiah! "So the woman left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the people, Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did:  Can this be the Christ?"  So she goes to the city, and the people follow her back to hear Jesus. "And they went out of the city, and were coming to him. In the meanwhile the disciples asked him, saying, Rabbi, eat.  But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not.  The disciples therefore said one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?  Jesus saith unto them, my meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to accomplish his work."  Wouldn't you say that he was saying to apostles, that I have work that is more important than eating a physical meal.  I am going to be teaching those that are coming! Verse 35, "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh the harvest?  Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already unto the harvest."  There are many fields today that are white unto harvest.  On another occasion, Jesus was moved with compassion as he taught the multitudes who were perplexed like sheep without a shepherd, and he said, “pray that the Lord of the harvest that he may send forth laborers into his harvest (Matthew 9:36-39).” So here he says to his apostles, "Lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white already unto harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal.  He that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.  For herein is the saying true, one soweth, and another reapeth.  I sent you to reap that whereon ye have not labored.  Others have labored, and ye are entered into their laborers. And from that city many of the Samaritans believed on him because of the words of the woman, who testified, He told me all things that ever I did”. 


In regard to the enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans, it is said that many of the Jews would go east of the Jordan river and go way out of the way in order not to go through Samaritan territory, because of that build up between Jews and Samaritans, but Jesus goes through Samaria.  "And many more believed because of his word, and they said to the woman, now we believe, not because of thy speaking:  For we have heard for ourselves.  And know that this is indeed the Savior of the world."  So a real good visit.  He stays two days with the people of Samaria.  Verse forty‑three, "And after the two days."  Two days he stayed with the Samaritans.  "He went forth thence, into Galilee.  For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honor in his own country.  So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, and having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast:  For they also went unto the feast."  That would be talking about the feast of the Passover that we read about in the second chapter and verse thirteen.  They had seen some of the signs that he did at the feast. "So when he came into Galilee, the Galileans received him, having seen all the things that he did in Jerusalem at the feast:  For they also went unto the feast."  According to the law the people were to go to each of those three annual feasts (Leviticus 23:4-21, 23:39-43; Deuteronomy 16:1-17).


Verse 46,  "He came therefore again unto Cana of Galilee, where he had made the water wine.  And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.  When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son:  For he was at the point of death.  Jesus therefore said unto him, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will in no wise believe.  The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down lest my child die." That must be what Jesus is talking about, “Except you see signs and wonders,” the nobleman thinks that Jesus had to go to his house to heal his child.  But “Jesus saith unto him, go thy way, thy son liveth.”  But it did produce faith on the part of the nobleman.  "The man believed the word that Jesus spake unto him and he went his way.  Now while he was now going down, his servants met him, saying that his son lived.  So he inquired of them the hour when he began to amend.  They said therefore unto him, yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.  So the father knew that it was at that hour, in which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth:  And himself believed, and his whole house.  This is again the second sign that Jesus did, having come out of Judaea into Galilee."  It is not the second sign, but it is the second sign that he did in Galilee.  Remember that first one was turning the water into wine. 

Chapter Five

"After these things there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem."  How does the King James read there?  Feast of the Jews. 

STUDENT:  "After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem." 

BROTHER TURNER:  It doesn't say what feast. It is probably another Passover feast. "Now there was in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.  In these lay a multitude of them that were sick, blind, halt, withered.  A certain man was there who had been thirty and eight years in his infirmity.  When Jesus saw him lying and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wouldst thou be made whole?"  Evidently he did not know about Jesus. Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool."  I guess they thought there was some kind of healing that would take place when the water was bubbling up in a very special way.  There may have been some healing influence in the water. President Roosevelt went to—was it Warm Springs in Georgia, thinking that  the water there helped him. So there may have been some cleansing or healing effect of the water, but the man had not been healed.  And he reasoned when the time for the healing in the water, everybody ran ahead of him.


Verse seven, "The sick man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: While I am coming, another steppeth down before me.  Jesus saith unto him, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk.  Straightway the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked.  Now it was the Sabbath on that day, so the Jews said  unto him that was cured, it is the Sabbath and it is not lawful for thee to take up thy bed."  They would circumcise a child that was eight days old on the Sabbath, and if they had a sheep to fall into the pit, they would get him out on the Sabbath, but it was not right for this man who had been healed to carry his bed! Note again, how John uses the Jews, referring to those in leadership positions. They had tried to dictate what they thought could be done and not be done on the Sabbath.  According to their traditions, they had a lot of things that were wrong for man to do on the Sabbath day that was not wrong. "It is the Sabbath and it is not lawfully to take up thy bed.  But he answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 


Verse 11 “They asked him, who is the man that said unto thee, Take up thy bed and walk?  But he that was healed knew not who it was:  For Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in the place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, thou art whole; sin no more, lest a worse thing befall thee” So his infirmity was because of wrongdoing.  "The man went away and told the Jews."  Again, it must be talking about those that were in the place of authority, that he told that it  was Jesus, who had made him whole.  And for this cause the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did these things on the Sabbath.  "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh even until now, and I work for this cause therefore the Jews sought the  more to kill him; because he not only break the Sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God."  Now, some might be ready to say that Jesus actually broke the Sabbath day.  He did not any more break the Sabbath day than he spoke with blasphemy when he said that God is his Father.  But according to them, according to the Jews, according to the Pharisees, they were ready to accuse him when he healed, of breaking the Sabbath day, as we will notice when we read from the other gospels.  "For this cause therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only break the Sabbath,  And remember that his disciples had not broken the Sabbath day when they were eating ‑‑ when they were pulling the heads off the grain and rubbing the husk off with their hands and eating on the Sabbath day.  But they accused them of breaking the Sabbath.  "Because he not only break the Sabbath, but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.  Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what things  he seeth the Father doing:  for whatsoever he doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner."  So Jesus is saying, I do like my heavenly Father does.  "For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth:  And greater works than these, will he show him that ye may marvel.  For as the Father raiseth the dead, and giveth them life; even so the Son of man also giveth life to whom he will."  Jesus is speaking of spiritual life in Him, which leads to eternal life. 


Verse 22, "For neither doth the Father judge any man, for he hath given all judgment unto the Son."  So Christ will be the judge when he comes in the Second Advent. II Corinthians 5:10 reads, “for we must all be made manifest before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may give an account to the things which he had done in the body, according to that which he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  So God has given all judgment unto his Son.  John 5:22, "For neither does the Father judge any man,  for he giveth all judgment unto the Son."  Matthew 25:31 ff, when he comes in the Second Advent, before him will be gathered all nations and he shall separate them like a shepherd separating the sheep from the goats.  So God has granted all judgment unto his Son."That all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father.  He that honoreth not the Son honoreth not the Father that sent him." 


Now, Jesus talks about a spiritual birth in verses twenty‑four and twenty‑five or two resurrections, a spiritual resurrection, and then in the  same chapter a bodily resurrection.  So please keep in mind John 5:24‑25 is a spiritual resurrection in Christ.  It is conditional on man's heart of hearing the voice of the Son of God and doing what His voice commands. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my  word and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but have passed out of death into life."  That means out of spiritual death into life in Christ. Remember that all accountable persons have sinned.  Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  But the man who hears the voice of Christ can pass out of death.  Death is a separation; in physical death the soul is separated from the body,  in spiritual death the person is separated from God because of sin, (Isaiah 59:1‑2).  "Verily, verily, I say unto you, the hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear."  Those that are dead in sin.  "Shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and they that hear shall live." Do you see how this is a conditional resurrection?  And they that hear the voice of Christ and obey his voice. "They that hear shall live."   And remember Ephesians 2:1, "And you did he make alive, when you were dead in your trespasses and sins."  The Ephesians Christians had been separated from God because of sin.  Paul had preached the gospel to them, and they had obeyed the gospel, and they had received that gift of God, salvation by their obedience.  "You did he make alive, when you were dead in your trespasses and sins." 


Verse 26, "For as the Father hath life in himself; even so he gave he to the Son also to have life in himself; he gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.  Marvel not at this:  For the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tombs."  Now, here is the other resurrection, and that is the bodily resurrection from the grave.  And so he talks about both resurrections, a spiritual resurrection in Christ, and the resurrection that will come in that last day when the Lord comes in his second advent. "Marvel not at this, for the hour cometh."  So do not marvel when I say that I can give life to those who hear, for the day is coming when my words are going to raise the dead.  Marvel not at this:  For the hour cometh, in which all that are in the tomb, shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection judgment."  Or the resurrection of condemnation. We have an Old Testament reference that reads with the same meaning as verse twenty‑nine.  It is from the book of Daniel.  Chapter twelve and verse three,  "They that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."   I can't get it all exactly right, can you?  Daniel 12:2, "And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."  God said through Daniel that the time must come when they that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life and some to shame and everlasting contempt.  So let us read those verses again, twenty‑eight and twenty‑nine.  "Marvel not at this:  For the hour is cometh, in which all that are in the tomb shall hear his voice. And shall come forth."  Verse twenty‑nine shows that includes those who have obeyed Christ and those who have not believed and obeyed him. "Shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life."  Of course, that would be those who have accepted and been faithful to Christ.  "And they that have done evil."  Those are the ones that followed Satan.  "Unto the resurrection of judgment. 


Verse 30, “I can of myself do nothing:  As I hear, I judge:  And my judgment is righteous; but because I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me."  So when Christ pronounces judgment, he will be pronouncing as God has instructed him to do.  "But if I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.  It is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true."  And, of course, God had witnessed of Christ several times.  "Ye have sent unto John, and he hath borne witness unto the truth.  But the witness whom I receive is not from man: Howbeit I say these things that ye may be saved.  He was the lamb that burneth and shineth; and ye were willing to rejoice for a season in his light."  He is  talking about John the Baptist that he was a lamp to them that burneth and shineth?  And for a while they rejoiced for a season in his light, but then evidently turned around.  "But the witness which I have is greater than that of John:  For the works which the Father hath given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of me, that the father hath sent me."  All of the signs and wonders that Jesus was doing bear witness of the fact that he was from the Father.  "The father that sent me, he hath borne witness of me."  God had borne witness of Christ by the voice from heaven on several different occasions.  "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form.  And ye have not his word abiding in you:  For whom he sent, him ye believe not.  Ye search the scriptures."  It would be talking about the Old Testament scriptures.  "Because you think that in them ye have eternal life:  And these are they that bear witness of me."  And so they were searching the scriptures, but they did not listen to what the scriptures were saying to them.  They bore witness of Christ, but they were rejecting him.  "And you will not come to me, that ye may have life.  I receive not glory from men.  But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in yourselves.  I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not:  If another shall come in his own name, ye shall receive him.  How can ye believe, who receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God you seek not?"  So they put their glory in men, and many people do that today.  They glory in men and listen to men, rather than to God as taught in the Bible.  "Think not that I will accuse you to the Father:  There is one that accuses you, even Moses, in whom ye have set your hope.  For if ye believe Moses, ye would believe me.  For he wrote of me."  And I believe he would be referring especially back to Deuteronomy 18:15-18, the verses that we called attention to a while ago.  "But if you believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?  After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias." 


The Sea of Galilee is called by several different names, according to where the location is.  As they went on that side of Tiberias, it would be called the sea of Tiberias.  "And a great multitude followed him, because they beheld the signs which he did on them that were sick.  And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.  And now the Passover, the feast of the Jews was at hand."  So we would know that this is at least the second Passover feast, and it was probably the third. "Jesus therefore lifted up his eyes, and seeth that a great multitude cometh and saith unto Philip, Whence are we to buy the bread, that these may eat?  And this he said to prove him:  For he himself knew what he would do."  Now, we are reading, I believe, for the first time in  the book of John something that is recorded by the other  gospel writers.  All four of the gospel writers record about Jesus feeding the multitudes, as we are reading about here, with five loaves and two fishes.  "Philip answered him, Two hundred shillings worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little."  I believe that would represent two hundred days of work for an ordinary person to  have that much money. "One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon's Peter's brother, saith unto him, there is a lad here, who hath five barley loaves, and two fishes."  Jesus uses the lad’s five barley loaves and two fishes to feed the multitudes.  "But what are these among so many?  Jesus said, Make the people sit down.  Now there was much grass in the place."  Now remember the place is a desert place as we notice from the other readings. but there is much grass in the place.  When we read in the land, which is desert, it does not always mean a very dry place where there is no water.  It would not have green grass if there was no water, so in a deserted place where there would not be many people living. "So the men sat down in number about five thousand."  One of the writers said besides the women and the children.  We are not going to turn and read the other accounts.  We are not going to have time to do that.  We can read through verse fifteen.  "So the men sat down in number about five thousand.  Jesus therefore took the loaves; and having given thanks, he distributed to them that were set down, likewise also of the fishes as much as they would.  And when they were filled, he saith unto his disciples."  Now, I thought this was stated by one of the other writers, but here is the only place that it is stated that Jesus told them to take up the broken pieces.  "Gather up the broken pieces which remain, that nothing be lost.  So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with broken pieces from the five barley loaves, which remained over unto them that had eaten."  So multiplying five loaves and two fishes to feed five thousand men, plus the women and the children, as we will be reading the parallel references, and then took up twelve baskets full by the command of Jesus that “nothing be lost.” Surely we are to learn that we are to be conservative and try to make proper use of everything from the statement that Jesus made here, take up the pieces, that nothing be lost.  So we will begin talking about what John has recorded and then we will turn and read the parallels as given in Matthew, Mark and Luke.  It is very unusual for all four of the  writers to record the same thing.