“Whoever sees me sees him who sent me.”
Jesus came to the earth for two reasons. Most famously, he came to give his life as payment for the penalty of our sins. But before that he had another important task, to show us God. Everything he did before he set his face towards Jerusalem, knowing what was going to happen there, was meant to prove that he was able to save us because of who he was in God*.
I have just finished a 9 month study of the Gospel of John along with thousands of others around the world. The Covid shutdown could not stop this powerful gathering of believers digging into the Word of God to study the powerful miracles and fulfilled prophecies listed in this book. I was already a fan of this book, but I learned so much more with the help of this study and the Holy Spirit. The word of God is truly living and active!
If you are looking to join a Bible study that has NO FLUFF, I highly recommend Community Bible Study. Click here to find a class in your area or join an online class. Thanks to Covid, lol, we now have even MORE classes! Praise the Lord! Please ask if you have any questions. I have been going since my kids were in preschool and I have nothing but good to say about it.
Who is John?
The John in the name of this book is the Apostle John, son of Zebedee. He also wrote the last book of the Bible, Revelation, in which he tells us what is going to happen when Jesus returns to the earth to judge the world. In the first chapter he discusses another John, that one is John the Baptist . (Thank you to a fellow blogger who cleared this up for me!) The author refers to himself as “the apostle whom Jesus loved”.
Jesus did everything with purpose and order
Jesus did many specific things with the goal of opening people’s eyes to the fact that he was the Messiah that they had been told to expect since the time of Moses. Many years had passed and many Kings, Judges, and generations had been born and died. The Hebrew people were living in the Roman empire under their laws, but with the Jewish priests as their second-highest authority. The priests were part of the elite class and thought they were better than other people. Jesus came to show them that how they were conducting their ‘religion’ was not right. In so doing, he would bring division and threaten their hold on the people, as well as their political standing with the Romans. Jesus knew this and carried out his plans carefully, always doing what his Father in heaven told him to do. Even when the disciples failed to truly understand what Jesus repeatedly told them, he never gave up and made sure they finally got it because they were going to be his voice after he ascended back to God.
Jesus, the Lamb of God
A word about who Jesus was. He was born of a woman like any baby, but his Father was God, therefore he was human and God at the same time. He had all the human characteristics that you and I have . He had feelings, a human body, he slept, ate, felt pain, and yet, he was fully God as well and could do things that no human can do, such as disappear from a crowd, see the future, know someone’s past, and do it all in perfect sinless condition. Jesus had to be like this in order to be a perfect sacrifice for our sins under the laws of God. Blood was required to take away sin, but it had to be perfect blood, not human. Jesus only had God’s blood , none of his mother’s blood, because of the way the human body works during pregnancy. Therefore he was a perfect lamb to take away the sin of the world.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.John 1:1
How Jesus Proved His Identity
John tells us that he did not include every single thing that Jesus did in this book because it would have required a world full of books to do that. But he includes SEVEN I AM statements and SEVEN SIGNS or MIRACLES to help prove who he was to anyone whose heart was not hardened against him. There were plenty of con artists even in those days, so people were naturally skeptical about anyone claiming to be the messiah. The interesting thing is that Jesus did not go out claiming this in speeches, instead he showed it by his actions.
13 Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
14 God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’”
Jesus made the following statements about himself.
- I am the bread of life.
- I am the light of the world.
- I am the door of the sheep.
- I am the good shepherd.
- I am the resurrection and the life.
- I am the way, the truth, and the life.
- I am the true vine.
In saying the words I AM over and over he was referring people back to what God told Moses to help them connect him with God. His statements told them that only through knowing him could they truly know God. This was how they would get access to God through prayers, get forgiveness of sins, get eternal life after physical death, get protection from the devil, and get into the Kingdom after the day of judgment. He also mentioned LIFE three times because without his provision of grace and mercy we would die in our sins. He gives us life NOW and he gives life LATER. He alone, of all the religious leaders, prophets, and teachers, makes this claim and is able to back it up with his actions. No other religion provides a way to God like Jesus does. Other prophets give advice on how to live to EARN your way to God, but Jesus provides his own perfect life for us. We cannot be good enough to earn our way into heaven! God is holy and perfect and cannot be in the presence of the unrighteous. We must be made righteous by the blood of Jesus.
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— 16 just as you desired of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, when you said, ‘Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God or see this great fire any more, lest I die.’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They are right in what they have spoken. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him.Deuteronomy 18:15-18
- Changed water into wine at the wedding.
- Healed the official’s son from a distance.
- Healed a lame man at the pool of Bethesda.
- Fed 5,000 plus people with a few fish and loaves of bread.
- Walked on water to meet the disciples and calmed the storm.
- Healed a blind man.
- Brought Lazarus back from the dead.
Now, it is important to notice that all of these were done for specific reasons and the result was that different types and groups of people saw the signs and believed that Jesus was the prophet. They did not necessarily understand everything at that time, but they saw that he had power and authority from God, so they followed him, and that is what Jesus knew would happen. He wanted the people to understand that he had been SENT by God. He also fulfilled multiple Old Testament prophecies about the messiah in doing these miracles. Another result was a growing fear and anger towards him by the chief priests and a desire to stop him that eventually led to a plan to kill him.
Jesus’ miracles brought belief and adoration from those who were willing to humbly repent and stubborn disbelief and anger from the proud.
How about you ? Will you believe that Jesus was sent by God to die for your sins? Will you put your faith in his gift of mercy and grace? I pray that you will.
*Note: I know it’s hard to understand how Jesus is God. I am not going to try to explain the doctrine of the Trinity in this post. You can look it up online. 🙂