Friday, August 31, 2012

Harmony of the Gospels

24. Calling of Philip and Nathaneal- John 1:43-51


-Philip, from Bethsaida in Galilee and future evangelist, comes to know and follow Christ Jesus at this time. He shares the good news with Nathaneal, but the future disciple is hesitant and doubts the validity of Philip’s claim that he has found the Messiah of which Moses and the Prophets wrote. Nathaneal held a prejudice against people from Nazareth as we see in the text (John 1:46). He had to be supernaturally convinced that Jesus was indeed who Philip claimed Him to be.

-Jesus uniquely describes Nathaneal upon their meeting. Nathaneal was a man with no guile (deceit, deception, a straight-shooter, no pretense, no hypocrisy). *Application* This is the type of person we should strive to be as well. We are laid bare before God anyway. He knows exactly who we are and there is no sense in trying to pretend we are someone we are not. Nathanel was honest with himself and others as shown in this simple comment Jesus made about him upon their meeting. Let’s be like Nathaneal and cut out the show and fakeness in our lives. Let’s get real!

-Jesus prophecies some of the things Nathaneal will experience as he accepts the Son of God and King of Israel. He relates that this one “will see the heavens open up and angels ascending and descending on the Son of Man (John 1:51)” much like Jacob’s dream (Genesis 28:10-17). *Application* There is no mention in the Scriptures of this literally happening with Nathaneal, but it is certainly possible that it did. What the deeper significance of this is; however, is an experience in the presence of God. Nathaneal, like Jacob would be privileged to find the gate to heaven, Jesus the Messiah, and experience life in His presence forever.


Verse to Memorize- John 1:47


25. Marriage at Cana- water changed to wine- John 2:1-11


-Jesus meets a heartfelt need that His mom made Him aware of. To run out of wine in this culture during the weeklong festival, which was customary in this time, was against unwritten rules of hospitality. Jesus corrects an awkward situation even though He was hesitant claiming His time had not yet come. But, Jesus, as we see here, was a people person and He felt compassion for the situation. He ends up making the hosts look exceptional because they reserved the best wine for last. *Application* When there is a specific need we are made aware of, do we do everything we possibly can to help out? This was the mind of Christ in performing His first miracle of His public ministry (John 2:11). Always show compassion and help those who have specific needs when it is in your ability to do something nice (Proverbs 3:27).

-This event was significant to the disciples belief in Him as the Messiah and the beginning of His revelation in glory (John 2:11). Jesus provided a sign for them and their trust was developed. *Application* Notice the miracles of God all around you and grow in your personal faith. Forget not all of His good works! Rest in His power!


Verse to Memorize- John 2:11


26. Jesus cleanses the Temple- John 2:13-25


-John gives us some very important theology in his gospel as we begin to see here in this section. First, Jesus is consumed with zeal for the House of God and reacts with intense passion when He sees the abuse and impurity of what is going on in it. The Jews had made God’s House a place of business for personal profit and this infuriated the Savior as He drove them out with righteous indignation. *Application* Do we sometimes get appalled at the things we see taking place in the church that we know dishonors the things of God? What do we do about it? Here in this instance we see that sometimes strong and decisive action is required and absolutely appropriate to correct an injustice. Jesus was just as filled with the Spirit when He overturned the tables as He was when He gave up His life on the cross. His emotion for the things of the Lord consumed Him.

-Secondly, God provided signs for the purpose of faith. Many were believing in Him because of the signs He was doing. The most important sign He gave was probably not even really acknowledged until after His resurrection (John 2:22). He claimed that He would rebuild the destroyed Temple in three days (John 2:19). He was speaking of His body and His resurrection of course and the ultimate gift of God being able to indwell us as the Temple of His Spirit (John 2:21; 14:15-17). *Application* Jesus’ work on the cross and His resurrection is the greatest sign ever given for the redemption of mankind’s sins and eternal life. Accept Him as your personal Savior and Lord today and receive all of His benefits!

-Thirdly, Jesus knew the heart of man. He did not entrust Himself to them and He did not need anyone to testify concerning man (John 2:24-25). This shows how Christ was above the mortal scene and had all knowledge of what was happening around Him. He had an ideal plan and mission and would carry it out to perfection in the fullness of time. *Application* Wait on the Lord and trust in His timing. Remember that Jesus Himself had to wait for the correct moment to lift Himself up to the Father’s glory as the Savior of the world.


Verse to Memorize- John 2:19

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