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31 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 18 — Isaiah 30:18-32:20

Study 18 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 30:18 – 32:20
  1. What blessings does God promise to His people after their trials? Cf. 30:18-29; 32:1-8, 15-20. How has the promise of a Teacher been fulfilled to us in Christ? Look up Jn. 14:26; 16:13, in this connection. Are we sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit (30:21)?
  2. Many trusted in Egypt because she seemed strong (31:1). How does Isaiah here show the folly of this, as compared with trusting the Lord?
Notes
  1. 30:25, 26. A poetic description of the blessings of the new age, to be interpreted symbolically as showing the abundance of God's provision. For the phrase 'when the towers fall', cf. 2:11-17.
  2. 30:27-33. Notice the wealth of imaginative metaphor—the storm, the flood, the bridle. The meaning of verse 32 is not fully clear. Moffatt renders 'He clubs them down to peals of merry music'. 'Topheth' (verse 33, mg.) was the name given to the valley of Hinnom outside Jerusalem, where the foul rites of human sacrifice were practiced in honour of the god Molech. Its original meaning seems to have been 'fire place', and Isaiah declares that God has prepared such a place for a great holocaust in honour of the king (of Assyria). There is a play upon words in the Hebrew, for the word for 'king' is melek (=Molech).

30 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 17 — Isaiah 29:1 – 30:17

Study 17 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 29:1 – 30: 17
  1. 29:9-16. What were the reasons for the people's spiritual blindness and lack of spiritual discernment, and in what ways did they show this? What causes the spiritual transformation of verses 17-22? see verses 18-24.
  2. On what various grounds does Isaiah urge upon his hearers that they should rely upon God rather than upon Egypt? Trace out in 30:8-17 the respective issues of the two ways.
  3. Observe the contrast between the extreme distress of Jerusalem in 29:2-4, and her complete triumph in 29:5-8. How may this encourage us in times of severe trial?
Note. 29:1-8. 'Arial' is a name for Jerusalem. It may mean 'lion of God' or, as is more probable here, 'hearth of God'. Jerusalem will become an altar hearth soaked with the blood of many victims.

29 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 16 — Isaiah 28

Study 16 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 28
This is the first of four chapters of warning to Judah. Their main theme is the folly of seeking help from Egypt. Warnings of terrible judgment (observe the recurrence of the word 'woe' see 28:1; 29:1, 15; 30:1; 31:1) intermingle with assurances of God's intervention in mercy. The divisions of chapter 28 are as follows: verses 1-4. Judgment upon Samaria; verses 5, 6, after the judgment; verses 7-13, the drunken rulers of Judah rebuked; verses 14:23, the coming storm of God's judgment will sweep away all man-made policies; verses 23-29, if the farmer acts with wisdom, how much more God?
  1. How many consequences of intemperance can you discern in verses 1-4, 7 and 8? What was God's message to His intemperate people, and why would they not listen (verses 9-15)?
  2. What do verses 16-29 teach us about the inevitable triumph of God's will in human affairs, and the futility of unbelief and rebellion? How does the parable in verses 23-29 encourage us to see that God has foreseen and arranged all?
  3. What foreshadowing of Christ is there in the final fulfillment of God's plans? Cf. Verse 16; 1 Pet. 2:6, 7; Acts 4:11; Mt. 21:42.
Note. Verses 15, 18. Isaiah calls the proposed alliance with Egypt 'a covenant with death'. The overflowing scourge' is Assyria.

28 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 15 — Isaiah 26 and 27

Study 15 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 26 and 27
  1. Think over the attitudes of heart described in 26:3, 4, 8, 9, 13 and 19, and ask yourself if you share this trust and faith in God. What should be the response of God's people to His mercy and judgment?
  2. How does chapter 27 express the principle underlying God's chastisement of His people and also His ultimate purpose?
    Notes
    1. 26:19. The prophet's answer to the people's plaint is the promise of resurrection. His words here and in 25:8 are among the clearest utterances of the Old Testament upon that subject.
    2. 27:1. The three monsters represent three world powers, probably Assyria, Babylon and Egypt.

27 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 14 — Isaiah 24 and 25

Study 14 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 24 and 25
Chapter 24 begins the long apocalyptic vision of the Day of the Lord which continues until chapter 27. It seems impossible to give it any certain historical background, and it was probably intended to be an ideal description of the last great judgment which will engulf the whole world. The horizon is very black except for the bright gleam of light which appears in verse 23, and which leads on to the burst of praise in chapter 25, just as chapter 12 follows chapter 11. First in his own name (25), and than in the name of the redeemed community (26), the prophet gives thanks for their certain deliverance from the final judgment and for their everlasting bliss and security.
  1. In Chapter 24 contrast the emotions of unbelievers when faced with the calamity of God's judgment with the reactions of the believers. Can you still praise God in the midst of seeming disaster? Cf. Hab. 3:16-19.
  2. What does chapter 25 teach us about God's 'faithful and sure' plans for this world and for His people?
  3. Compare this Old Testament picture of God's ultimate purpose for His people with the New Testament one in Rev. 7:15-17; 21:1-4.
Note. 25:2 In this verse, as in 24:10, 12 and 26:5, 6, 'the city' refers to no special town, but to any stronghold of opposition to God, in contrast to God's 'strong city'(26:1). The former will be 'made a heap', but the later fortified with impregnable bulwarks.

26 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 13 — Isaiah 22:15 – 23:18


Study 13 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 22:15 – 23:18
  1. Why did God depose Shebna and put Eliakim in his place? If God can say of you 'my servant', how are you filling your position? Cf. Mt.. 24:45-51.
  2. Isaiah foresees a day when Tyre's riches will be no longer hoarded for her own selfish enjoyment, but will be lavished upon Jehovah and His people. If then he is not condemning wealth in itself an evil, what is he attaching in the earlier part of the chapter? What should be the Christian's attitude towards wealth and material prosperity? Cf. 1 Tim. 6:6-10, 17-19.

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25 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 12 — Isaiah 20:1 – 22:14

Study 12 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 20:1 – 22:14
The story of an acted prophecy on the futility of reliance upon Egypt (20) is followed by four oracles concerning Babylon (21:11, 12). Arabia (21:13-17), and Jerusalem (22:1-14).
  1. In what ways did Isaiah's responsibility to convey God's message prove demanding and costly? Are you prepared to sacrifice your pride in your service for God (chapter 20)? Do you spare time to wait on God (21:8, 12)?
  2. In what ways did Isaiah in 22:1-14 find fault with the people of Jerusalem? Do you find the same spirit prevalent today?
  3. In what ways does this passage teach us that God is behind the events of History, knowing all beforehand, and carrying out His purposes?
Note 22:1-3. The prophet bewails the conducts of the people, thronging the house-tops, shouting and rejoicing when calamity was near. “Without the bow' (which had been cast aside) they were captured.

24 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 11 — Isaiah 17-19

Study 11 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 17-19
oracles concerning Damascus (i.e Syria) and Ephraim, and Egypt, with a short oracle (17:12-14) Prophesying the overthrow of the Assyrian hosts.
  1. How is Ephraim's sin described in 17:10, together with its inevitable issue? cf. Dt. 8:19, 20.
  2. Gather out from these chapters what is said of the results of God's judgment in causing men to turn to Him. What encouragements for missionary work, especially in certain countries, may be derived from these chapters?
  3. Contrast in chapter 18 man's scheming and planning with God's attitude of quiet watchfulness, knowing what He will do (verses 4-6). Cf. Ps. 2:1-5.
Note. 18:1, 2. A description of Ethiopia, whose ambassadors have come to consult with Judah about plans to resist Assyria. The 'whirring wings' is probably an allusion to the swarms of insects which infest the land. Isaiah gives the ambassadors a message to take back (verses 2b-7), that God is watching, and will shortly deal with the Assyrian menace.

23 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 10 — Isaiah 14:24-16:14

Study 10 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 14:24-16:14

A series of denunciatory oracles directed against Assyria (14:24-27), Philistia (14:28-32) and Moab (15; 16).
  1. 14:24-27. What two attributes of God are emphasized in these verses? How do they encourage us to trust in His Word?
  2. In the prophecy against Moab consider ( a) the severity of the Judgment, (b) the sympathy of the prophet with Moab in her sufferings, and (c) the reason why her doom is inevitable. Are you moved by the thought of the judgment which awaits those who reject Christ?
Notes
  1. 14:29. 'The rod which smote you is broken': a reference probably to the death of Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria who died just before Ahaz. However, it was no use rejoicing at this, for the power of Assyria would be revived in a form more deadly than ever.
  2. 14:30-32. The meaning is that while even the poorest in Judah shall be secure (verses 30a and 32). Philistia shall be destroyed.
  3. 15. The proper names are Moabite towns, known and unknown. On the signs of grief and mourning in verses 2 and 3. cf. 22:12; Mi. 1:16.
  4. 16:1-5. The Moabites are advised to send tribute in the form of lambs (cf. 2Ki. 3:4) to the king of Judah. Verses 3-5 is the Moabites' plea for refuge.

22 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 9 — Isaiah 13:1 – 14:23

Study 9 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 13:1 – 14:23

Here we leave the Book of Imannuel, and enter what has been called the 'Jungle of prophecy' (chapters 13-25). It contains the 'burdens of the Lord's, oracle concerning foreign nations, many parts of which are now obscure. The first oracle concerns Babylon, and is directed first against the city (13:1-14:2). and second, against the king (14:3 – 23). Its predictions have been literally fulfilled.
  1. For what sins was Babylon condemned by God (14:5, 6, 12-14)? How did God administer judgment?
  2. In what respects may Babylon be regarded as a picture of the world in opposition to God (as Jerusalem or Zion is a picture of God's people), and the king of Babylon a picture of Satan, the prince of this world? Cf. Gn. 11:1-9; 2 Thes. 2:4; Rev. 18:2, 3.
Notes
  1. 13:2-6. 'The day of the Lord' is the day of His manifestation and here denotes the day of His vengeance upon Babylon.
  2. 13:12. The population will be so reduced, that men will be scarcer than gold.
  3. 14:9-17. The departed spirits in Sheol assemble, surprised and scornful, to greet the arrival of the king whose pomp is now stripped from him.

21 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 8 — Isaiah 11 and 12

Study 8 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 11 and 12
The Assyrian cedar would be irrevocably felled, but out of the stump of the pollarded Judaean tree will come forth a shoot-the Messiah, in whom Isaiah's hope for the future is centered. His glorious reign (11) is considered (a) in relation to human society (2-5); (b) in relation to the brute creation (6-90; and (c) in relation to world history (10-16). There follows (12:1-6) a song of thanksgiving to God for His forgiveness, together with a vision of a united Israel (cf. 11:13) enjoying the blessings of salvation, and engaging in missionary activity among the nations.
  1. What are to be the characteristics of the coming Messiah (11:1-5)? Compare this picture of His reign with 9:1-7, and notice any new truths brought out.
  2. Chapter 12 is the song of those who have discovered that God's anger is turned away from them. What results of salvation are mentioned here, and are you experiencing them all?

20 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 7 — Isaiah 10:5-34

Study 7 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 10:5-34
A prophecy of the Assyrian invasion of Judah.
  1. Contrast the invasion as seen in the mind of the Assyrian king (verses 7-10, 13, 14). and as seen in the purpose of God (verses 5, 6, 12, 16-19). How does this passage help us to understand how the holy God can use evil men or nation to carry out His purpose?
  2. In the stress of the trial it might have seemed that God had cast off His people. But was it so (verses 20-23)? Cf. Rom. 9:27-29. What was the purpose of God's chastening?
  3. How does today's portion make more clear the two predictions implied in the names of the prophet's two sons? See study 5, Note 1.
Notes
  1. Verse 17. 'The light of Israel' and 'his Holy One' are names for God.
  2. Verse 20. 'Him that smote them': i. e., the king of Assyria. The 'remnant' will have learned the lesson Ahaz had failed to learn.
  3. Verses 28-32. A vivid picture of the approach of the enemy, checked only at the very walls of Jerusalem.

19 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 6 — Isaiah 8:16 – 10:4


Study 6 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 8:16 – 10:4
The prophet will withdraw his disciples, and the elect remnant will thus take shape (8:16-18). The dark days (8:19-22) will end in the coming of a great light, the advent of the Messiah (9:1-7). The remainder of chapter 9 is a prophecy of judgment upon the northern kingdom of Israel. Let Judah then beware (10:1-4)
  1. When disaster comes, and God seems to have hidden His face. What is man tempted to do(8:19)? Cf. Lv. 19:31; 1Sa. 28:6, 7. What must the child of God do in such a case? What test does Isaiah propose for spiritist teachings?
  2. Contrast the condition of things under God's anger (8:21, 22; 9: 8-10:4) with Isaiah's picture of Messiah's reign (9:1-7). What do the names given to the coming King in 9:6 reveal of His nature?
Note. 9:1. The anguish of the northern kingdom 'in the former time' no doubt refers to Tiglath-Pileser's invasion mentioned in 2 Ki. 15:29. “The latter time”, though future to the prophet, is described with the past tense of prophetic certainty. For the fulfillment, in part, of the prophecy, see Mt. 4:15, 16.




18 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 5 — Isaiah 7: 1 – 8:15

Study 5 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 7: 1 – 8:15
Isaiah now turns his attention from the internal condition of Judah to the realm of international politics. The historical background of chapters 7:1-10; 4 is the so called Syro-Ephraimitic confederacy, when King Rezin of Syria and King Pekah of Israel conspired against Judah (735 Bc). Ahaz of Judah, overcome with panic (7:2), rejected the counsel of Isaiah that he should trust in God (7:3, 4, and appealed to King Tiglath-Pileser of Assyria, an Act which Isaiah predicted would have disastrous consequences in the end, even though at first apparently successful (7:17-8:4).
  1. What did Ahaz lose, both personally and politically, through his refusal to trust in the Lord?
  2. How is the historical 'sign' to be given to Ahaz a foreshadowing of the future coming of the Messiah? Cf. Mt. 1:21-23. In daily experience do you know Christ as 'Immanuel'--'God with us'?
  3. How could the Lord be both a sanctuary and a stumbling block (8:13-15), and how may He be to us the former and not the latter? Cf. 1 Pet. 2:7, 8).
Notes

  1. The two names, Shear-Jashub ('A remnant shall return') and Mahershalal-hash-baz ('Speed, spoil, haste, prey'), sum up Isaiah's double message of doom and hope.
  2. 7:3. Ahaz was probably making preparation for the siege when Isaiah met him.
  3. 7:14-16. The primary meaning seems to be that before a certain child (as yet unborn) emerges from infancy, his diet will have to be limited to curds and honey, since the devastated land will yield no better food (7:21, 22). But the child's remarkable name, and the mention of the 'young woman' or 'virgin' (mg; cf. Mt. 1) who is to be his mother, provide a prophetic reference to the Messiah.
  4. 8:6. 'The waters of Shiloah'; i.e, the water supplies of Jerusalem, dependent on subterranean springs and reservoirs under the Temple area, here used symbolically of God's providence. The phrase 'this people' must refer either to Israel or a pro-Syrian party in Juda, unless as some think, the verb Isaiah used was not the word 'rejoice' (AV, RV), but a word of similar letter meaning 'faint before' ('melt in fear before', RSV)

17 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 4 — Isaiah 6

Study 4 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 6
  1. What did Isaiah's vision of God in His glory teach him (a) about the character of God, and (b) about himself and his needs? What may this teach us concerning God's provision of cleansing for sinners who deserve judgment?
  2. How was Isaiah prepared for his task of carrying God's message to his own people? Consider the message itself; what does it reveal of the inevitable outcome of rebellion against God? Cf. Acts 28: 23-28.
Note. Verses 9, 10. In seeking to understand these verses (with which cf. Mk. 4:10-12, where Jesus quotes them), remember these two facts: (a) Although the Word is preached in order to bring salvation to those who will hear, it inevitably brings condemnation to those who will not. Cf. Jn. 3:16-21. (b) The Old Testament, with its unshakable faith in God's sovereignty, often refuses to distinguish between intention and inevitable result, between God's permissive and directive will. Thus, to say 'Preach to them and they will not respond' could equally well be expressed, 'Preach to them in order that they may not respond.'

16 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 3 — Isaiah 5

Study 3 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 5

  1. Compare Isaiah's song of the vineyard with Christ's parables of the wicked husbandmen (Mk. 12:1-9) and the barren fig tree (Lk. 13:6-9). Note the differences, and then work out the one great lesson taught in all three passages. How can it be applied to our lives today? Cf. Jn. 15:18
  2. Make a list of the six 'Woes' in verses 8:24, finding twentieth century words to describe each sin denounced.
Note. Verse 14. 'Sheol' (Greek 'Hades') is the place where all the dead go. It is depicted as a dim and shadowy underworld.

15 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 2 — Isaiah 2-4

Study 2 From the Book of Isaiah is: Isaiah 2-4


The prophet's lofty vision of future possibility in 2:2-5 gives way to a picture of coming judgment in 2:6-22, made inevitable by man's failure. From a description of the anarchy (3:1-8) which will result from the prevalent sins of the ruling, class, both men and women (3:9 -4:1), he turns to a more confident expectation of the glory which will follow the judgment (4:2-6).
  1. Try to build a comprehensive picture of the hope for the future given in 2:2-5 and 4:2-6. What is said about the word of the Lord, the peace of the world, the holiness of God's people, and their blessedness under His protecting care?
  2. Can you detect from these chapters what Isaiah regarded as teh greatest sin, and why it is so abominable?
Notes
  1. 2:2-4. A prophecy almost identical with Mi. 4:1-3, and probably borrowed by Micah from Isaiah.
  2. 2:6. The striking of hands may refer not only to friendship but to trade bargaining. Commercial greed is further condemned in verse 7a.
  3. 3:12. A reference to the childishness and effeminacy of King Ahaz.

14 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures — Study 1 — Isaiah 1

Study 1 From the Book of Isaiah: Isaiah 1


1. What were the sins that had brought God's judgment on the nation of Israel? See verses 2, 4, 13b, 15. Why should God condemn their formal religious observances (verses 10-17)? See also Ps. 40:6-9; Am. 5:21-24; Mi. 6:6-8.
2. What is the double purpose of God's judgment revealed in verses 24-31? Can you link it with verses 19 and 2o?
Notes
  1. Verses 3, 6. Sinful Israel is pictured as a body suffering all over from sword wounds, scourge bruises and abscesses.
  2. Verse 10. In God's sight His people are as depraved as Sodom and Gomorrah. Cf. 3:9. Mt. 11:23, 24.
  3. Verse 22. Silver and wine are probably metaphors for the leaders of the nation.

13 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 0 Introduction to Isaiah

Study 0 From the Book of Isaiah: Is the Introduction of the Book


Isaiah is a very long book. Thus, we will study the first 39 Chapters then move on to something else (just to make sure you are not bored....)
Isaiah, the 'evangelical prophet', began his ministry at the end of Uzziah's reign, and continued through the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah. A Jewish tradition, to which allusion is perhaps made in Heb. 11:37, states that he was slain in the reign of Manasseh by being sawn asunder . He was a man of outstanding faith in God, and had to contend with many difficulties, for the moral and spiritual condition of the people was corrupt. The rich oppressed the poor, and reveled in wanton luxury; justice was shamelessly bought and sold. When in distress, men turned to idols; and when in danger, they sought alliances with heathen powers. Isaiah urged a quiet trust in Jehovah, as the only sure path of safety; and when, in the supreme crisis of the Assyrian invasion, his counsel was followed, it was triumphantly vindicated in the destruction of the Assyrian army.
Isaiah spoke much of impending judgment; but he foresaw also the coming of the Messiah, and the establishment of His kingdom. His interest was not confined to his own nation of Judah only. He prophesied also concerning the northern kingdom of Israel (whose overthrow he witnessed). And the heathen nations surrounding Palestine.
The last twenty-seven chapter 40-66 contain a very remarkable group of prophecies, spoken primarily for the comfort and warning of those who lived in the period of the Jewish captivity in Babylon after the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar about 150 years after Isaiah's time. It is not possible here to discuss the modern contention that chapters 40-66 are not the work of Isaiah, but, of one or more prophets who lived in the period of exile, or later. The problem is dealt with in the Introduction to Isaiah in The New Bible Commentary Revised, where the arguments adduced in favour of and against the unity of the book are carefully set down and analyzed. Suffice it to say here that these studies are based upon the view, not lightly held, and supported by ancient Jewish tradition, and by the writers of the New Testament, that Isaiah was the author of the whole book. He had already foreseen in the vision of 13:1- 14:23 (to which his name is attached; see 13:1) and in other visions eg., 21:1-10; 35; 39:6) the rise of Babylon to power and glory, and then her downfall, and the release of her Jewish captives. But in these later prophecies the glad message of redemption is revealed to him in far greater fullness. He takes his stand in prophetic vision in that later age, and declares the messages which God puts into his heart and upon his lips.

The chapters fall into three main sections, each ending with a statement of the doom of the wicked (48:22; 57:20, 21; 66:24). Embedded in these chapters are four prophecies, usually known as the 'Servant' passages, in which the prophet describes God's ideal Servant, and, in so doing, draws a perfect picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is an illustration of a notable feature of the prophecies of these chapters, that they look far beyond the period of the return under Cyrus to the coming of Jesus -Christ, and the final events of this present age. While spoken primarily to and of Israel, they have a message to all who belong to Christ. The triumphant faith in God, the revelation of God's character, and of the principles of His working, the insight into the human heart in its sin and weakness, the 'exceeding great and precious promises', with which these chapters abound, these and other features make this part of Scripture a veritable mine of wealth to the Christian reader.

12 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 42 — John 21:15-25

Study 42 From the Book of John is: John 21:15-25


With this lesson we end the book of John and we will delve into the book of Isaiah for a while.
  1. What is the significance of (a) Jesus' use of the name Simon in addressing Peter (cf. 1:42) ; (b) the phrase 'more than these' (verse 15; cf. Mk. 10:28-30; 14:29); (c) Jesus asking Peter three times, 'Do you love me?' (cf. 13:38)
  2. Though Peter had failed, Jesus re-commissioned him. What does this teach about (a) the Lord's nature, (b) Peter's spiritual condition? Can you expect always to be restored after a fall? What does the Lord require from you?
  3. What may we learn from verses 18-23 about (a) the different ways in which the Lord directs the life of each one of His people; (b) what our own main concern is to be?
    Notes
    1. Verses 18, 19. According to tradition Peter died as a martyr in Rome.
    2. Verse 23. A statement introduced to correct a current misunderstanding of what the Lord had said about John.

11 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 41 — John 21:1-14

Study 41 From the Book of John: John 21:1-14


1. Compare this passage with Lk. 5:1-11, noting the similarities and the differences. Why did the disciples take up their old work again? What did they learn from this experience?
  1. What did the Lord reveal here (a) about Himself, (b) about the work which the disciples were to do? How does this revelation of the risen Lord affect your own life and work?
Note. Verse 14. 'The third time': first time, 20:19-23; second time, 20:24-29; third time, now in Galilee. See Mk. 16:7. Probably the third recorded by this Gospel is meant here.

10 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 40— John 20:11-31

Study 40 From the Book of John: John 20:11-31


1. Why was Mary so concerned that the body had gone from the tomb? What did Jesus convey to her when He said 'Mary'? Why did He say, 'Do not hold me'? Is it possible for us to miss the best in the Lord while holding onto the good?
  1. Does verse 19 show that the disciple were still doubting? What convinced them that Jesus was truly raised from the dead? Why was Thomas moved to make the complete avowal of faith, to which none of the other had yet attained? Was it only that he saw Jesus? How can one who has not seen Him be led to faith in the risen Lord (verses 29-31)
  2. In verse 21-23 the risen Christ commissions His apostles. By what authority, with what power, and for what purpose does He send them?
Note. Verse 17. Note the distinction, 'my Father and your Father'. Jesus never said of Himself and His disciples, 'Our Father', as though their relation to God was not the same as His , He is the only begotten Son; we are sons of God 'in Him'.

09 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 39 — John 19:38 – 20:10

Study 39 From the Book of John is: John 19:38 – 20:10

1. What made both Joseph of Amarithea and Nicodemus now come out into the open? With 19:38, cf. Lk. 23:50, 51; and trace Nicodemus's growing faith, 3:1-15; 7:45-52. Both were members of the Sanhedrin, the Council of the Jews which had condemned Jesus.
2. 20:1-10. How do these verses show that the disciple were not expecting the resurrection of the Lord? What does the description of Peter and John's visit to the tomb reveal about each of their respective temperaments? What was it that John believed?
Notes
  1. 19:39. 'About a hundred pounds' weight': an exceptionally lavish amount.
  2. 20:5, 7. The position of the clothes showed that they had not been unwound from Jesus' body. He had gone out, just as later He came in, where the door were shut, without the doors being opened (20:19, 26)

08 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 38 — John 19:17-37

Study 38 From the Book of John: John 19:17-37


1. The story of the crucifixion is told in seven incidents, namely verses 17-18, 19-22, 23-24, 25-27, 28-29, 30, 31-37. How does each incident manifest some fresh aspect of the glory of the suffering Saviour?

2. Which scriptures are quoted in this portion as having found fulfillment in this hour? To which aspect of Jesus's sufferings and of His saving work do they point?

07 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 37 — John 18:28 – 19:16

Study 37 From the Book of John: John 18:28 – 19:16
The trial before Pilate.
  1. Trace through this passage the attempts made by Pilate to spare Jesus from death, and the steps taken by the Jews to counter his efforts. The full charge brought against Jesus is given in Lk. 23: 2. (Note the Jews' use of both religious and political threats to overcome Pilate's resistance; see 19:7, 12.) What features of the character of Pilate and of the Jews are revealed here? Could we be guilty of similar injustice?
  2. The King of the Jews.” Note how this title forms the central interest from 18:33 to 19:22. What is the real nature of Jesus's Kingship? How does it differ from the world's? How is Jesus' royal dignity shown here? How does the use of the title reveal the sin of the Jews, and the glory of Jesus' sacrifice?
Notes
  1. 18:28. “Praetorium”: the headquarters of the Roman governor.
  2. 18: 31b. The Romans did not allow the Jews to inflict capital punishment. Hence Pilate's word in 19:6 imply that there was no ground in Roman law for Jesus's death. However he spoke a deeper truth than he realized.

06 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 36 — John 18:1-27

Study 36 From the Book of John is: John 18:1-27
Jesus' arrest and trial before Caiaphas.
1. In verses 4-11 and 19-23 what qualifies of our Lord's character appear in relation to (a) those who came to arrest Him, (b) His disciples, and (c) His accusers?
2. How did Peter's own actions contribute to his fall? Of what was he afraid? Does fear ever prevent you from declaring your association with Jesus Christ?
Note. Verses 5, 6, 8. 'I am he': the thrice-repeated use of this phrase point to its special significance. It is virtually a reiteration of the divine name, 'I AM'. Cf. Ex. 3:14; Jn. 8:58. Note the effect of Christ's statement on the hearers.

05 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 35 — John 17 (second study)

Study 35 From the Book of John: John 17 (second study)

1. What is our relationship to the world? How should we ourselves pray regarding people in the world?
2. Verses 20-23. Is the Lord praying for the uniting of all branches of the Christian Church as in the ecumenical movement? What is the object of His prayer? What will its fuller realization means?
3. Observe the significance of the 'word' or 'words' of the Father and the Son in this passage.

04 December, 2016

Search The Scriptures —Study 34— John 17 (first study)

Study 34 From the Book of John: John 17 (first study)

Jesus's prayer falls into three divisions: (a) verses 1-15, for Himself; (b) verses 6-19, for the immediate circle of disciples; (c) verses 20-26, for the great company who should afterwards believe.
  1. The hour of Jesus's supreme sacrifice has come (verse 1; cf. 2:4; 7:6, 30; 8:20; 13:1). How is this related to the glorifying of the Son and the Father (verses 1-4)? Already the glory of God has been seen in Jesus (1-4); how is it seen also in His disciples (verse 12)? When will they see the full glory of the Son (verses 5, 24)?
  2. In verses 6-14 note how many things Jesus has already done for His disciples.
  3. What does our Lord pray that the Father will do for those whom He has given Him? Is this prayer being answered in you? Are you 'consecrated in truth'.
Notes
  1. Verse 2. 'Power': better, 'authority', as in RV, The whole of humanity lies within the sphere of Christ's commission. Cf. Ps. 2:8; Mt. 28:18, 19.
  2. Verse 5. A prayer that the glory of which for a time He had 'emptied himself' (Phil. 2:6, 7) might be restored to Him.
  3. Verses 17, 19. Note the repetition of the word ' to consecrate'. Jesus consecrated Himself to the holy Father in fulfillment of His perfect will, particularly in offering Himself as the sacrifice for sin. Cf. Heb. 10:5-10. This shows what true consecration involves.