Rebirth by God’s Sovereignty

Posted by admin on 2 October 2022 in 1 Corinthians, John, Matthew, Proverbs |

John 3:9–11 (NIV 2011)

9 ‘How can this be?’ Nicodemus asked.

10 ‘You are Israel’s teacher,’ said Jesus, ‘and do you not understand these things? 11 Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

I. The Rebirth and The Sovereignty of God (9-10)

After Jesus explained about the ‘born of water and the Spirit’ (John 3:5-8), Nicodemus still couldn’t understand (9) as before (John 3:4). Nicodemus was not reborn (John 3:3), and he was spiritually ignorant (9, John 3:4). It is clear that the amount of education or knowledge does not guarantee the rebirth because it is ‘born of God’ (John 1:13). 1 Corinthians 1:26–31 shows the aspects of where the rebirth took place and why Jesus said ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.’ (Matthew 5:3).

 26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.’

The Bible says ‘Knowledge puffs up while love builds up’ (1 Corinthians 8:1b). People with knowledge tend to be proud because of their knowledge and may be ‘mockers’.

“Mockers (also called “scoffers” in Scripture) defy and renounce truth and good things, not only to their own detriment and destruction, but that of others. They are provokers of others to wrong, strife, and evil.” [1] The Proverbs warns us not to rebuke them. See Proverbs 9:7–8.

7 Whoever corrects a mocker invites insults;

whoever rebukes the wicked incurs abuse.

8 Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you;

rebuke the wise and they will love you.

BBE (The Bible in Basic English) translated ‘a mocker’ in Proverbs 9:7 as ‘a man of pride’. If they can’t see the kingdom of God (John 3:3), they may be living in hell or creating hell. Be very cautious as it is said ‘Don’t go to the hell’ because you will experience the hell of insults (Proverbs 9:7a), abuse (Proverbs 9:7b), and hatred (Proverbs 9:8a) if you happen to correct or rebuke the mockers.

 II. The Fact and Reality of Rebirth is What We Know and What We Have Seen (11)

See v11a.

 ‘Very truly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen’

 Here, ‘We’ may indicate Jesus and Baptist John [1].

 ‘What’ is the fact and reality of new birth [2]. ‘We know’ is present tense and ‘we have seen’ is present perfect tense. Together Jesus is telling us that ‘We have seen once and still have before our eyes.’[2]

 Baptist John sees, knows and testifies. He said ‘I myself did not know him’ (John 1:31, John 1:33a) but via the revelation of God (John 1:33b) he has seen the Spirit and become knowing & testifying (John 1:34).

 Jesus has seen God (John 6:46) and sees what the Father does (John 5:19). Jesus was full of ‘truth’ (John 1:14) and the truth himself (John 14:6). ‘Truth’ is ‘the revelation of God’. That is, ‘we can know God through Jesus’.

 See v11b,

 ‘but still you people do not accept our testimony.’

 To accept our message is equivalent to “to believe what we say” or “to put confidence in what we declare” [3].

 References

[1] There's Four Types of People. https://baysidelifechurch.com/blog/2020/01/21/there-s-four-types-of-people

[2] Lenski, R. C. H. The Interpretation of St. John’s Gospel.

[3] Newman, Barclays M., Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on the Gospel of John.

You must be born of water and the Spirit

Posted by admin on 25 September 2022 in John |

John 3:4-8 (NIV 2011)

4 ‘How can someone be born when they are old?’ Nicodemus asked. ‘Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!’

5 Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, “You must be born again.” 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.’

Message

I. The Spirit gives birth to spirit (4-8) 

Nicodemus interpreted rebirth literally and thought of physical rebirth (4). So, Jesus explained in v5-8 that rebirth is

  1. the prerequisite of entering the kingdom of God (5a).
  2. ‘of water and the Spirit’ (5b).
  3. not by flesh but by Spirit (6, 7), invisibly done like by the wind (8).

II. Born of Water and the Spirit (5)

Here, water is related to the baptism of repentance. Immersing in water during the baptism means my old self is dead in the Flood. That is, being born of water is the human side of action and means repenting one’s sins, and declaring one’s old self is dead in the Flood.

What about ‘being born of the Spirit’? It is God’s side of action and means forgiveness of sins and one’s spiritual cleansing & renewal by the power of God.

Spiritual Rebirth and Spiritual Sight

Posted by admin on 18 September 2022 in James, John, Luke, Matthew |

John 3:1–3 (NIV 2011)

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’

3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’

I. Nicodemus (1)

See v1.

1 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council.

The Pharisees were a Jewish social movement and a school of thought [1]. There were around 6,000 of them near AD 70, after which their beliefs became the basis for Rabbinic Judaism [1]. Other Jewish sects were the Sadducees, the Essenes and the Zealots (= the Sikarim) [2].

The Jewish ruling council was called Sanhedrin [3]. One Great Sanhedrin of 71 members acted as the Supreme Court [3].

 II. He came to Jesus (2a)

See v2.

2 He came to Jesus at night and said, ‘Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.’

The fact Nicodemus came to Jesus shows

  • The Father drew Nicodemus to Jesus (John 6:44a).
  • Nicodemus has heard the Father and learned from him (John 6:45).

If someone listens to Jesus, that indicates

  • He/she is His sheep (John 10:27). They belong to God (John 8:47).
  • He/she is on the side of truth (John 18:37)

III. Believing but not reborn (2b)

Nicodemus confessed his faith that Jesus had come from God. Then, should we now entrust spiritual leadership to Nicodemus as a ‘believer’? Well, Never. Jesus shows Nicodemus was not spiritually reborn yet in v3. Jesus showed that there was a difference between ‘expressing their belief’ and ‘spiritually reborn’. Someone who expresses his/her belief could still never be reborn! This may be a reason why John 2:24 was written to tell us Jesus didn’t believe everyone’s believing [4] (https://comnc.org/jesus-who-knows-what-is-in-each-person).

James 2:19 says

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

John 1:13 shows the three conditions of being born of God (https://www.tiktok.com/@yongjoojohnpark/video/7012184323755363585?is_from_webapp=1&sender_device=pc&web_id=7144539582473930242). We can continue to find more about the rebirth in John 3:1-21.

Even if someone who had expressed his/her belief was a member of a church for decades, he/she could be still not reborn.

IV. Spiritual Rebirth and Spiritual Sight (3)

See v3.

3 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.’

If someone is not spiritually reborn, he/she is spiritually blind. What happens if someone spiritual blind becomes a leader? See Luke 6:39.

He also told them this parable: ‘Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit?

See Matthew 7:21.

‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Jesus has seen God (John 6:46) and sees what the Father does and does whatever the Father does (John 5:19).

See Matthew 5:8.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

References

[1] Pharisees. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pharisees

[2] The Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots. URJ Heller High School. https://hellerhigh.org/2017/03/10/pharisees-sadducees-essenes-zealots/

[3] Sanhedrin. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanhedrin

[4] Borcher, Gerald L. The New American Commentary: John 1-11.

I will raise it again in three days

Posted by admin on 11 September 2022 in Acts, Ephesians, Hosea, Isaiah, John, Philippians, Psalms |

John 2:18–22

18 The Jews then responded to him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’

19 Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’

20 They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?’ 21 But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.

I. I Will Raise It Again

The Jews asked Jesus for a sign to prove His authority to do what Jesus did in John 2:15-16 (18).

The Jews’ requests for such signs are written often in the books of the Gospel. Such issues were raised due to their unbelief after Jesus did the works of God. As this issue can be raised for any ministry, it is interesting to know how Jesus solved this problem. See v19.

Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’

They misunderstood His answer (20) because they interpreted it literally. The correct interpretation of His answer is found in v21 and v22.

‘this temple’ (20) meant not the building but ‘His body’ (21). After Jesus died on the cross, He was raised back to life in three days. “I will raise it” indicates that Jesus has the authority to raise Himself (John 10:18). More verses (e.g, Ephesians 1:20, Acts 2:24) express that God, the Father, raised Jesus (the Son).

The Messiah’s death and resurrection are foretold in Isaiah 53:1-12 and Psalms 16:9-11.

Psalm 16:10 shows the resurrection for God’s faithful one.

because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,

nor will you let your faithful one see decay.

II. In Three Days

Regarding ‘in three days’ (19), we can refer to Hosea 6:1-3.

‘Come, let us return to the Lord.

He has torn us to pieces

but he will heal us;

he has injured us

but he will bind up our wounds.

2 After two days he will revive us;

on the third day he will restore us,

that we may live in his presence.

3 Let us acknowledge the Lord;

let us press on to acknowledge him.

As surely as the sun rises,

he will appear;

he will come to us like the winter rains,

like the spring rains that water the earth.’

Jesus trusted God and obeyed God’s will to death – even death on a cross (Philippians 2:8). Even though Jesus was torn, injured (Hosea 6:1) and died,  God raised Him in three days (Hosea 6:2). God exalted Him to the highest place (see Philippians 2:9-11). We call this ‘Divine Reversal’.

We can learn the following from Hosea 6:3.

We need to acknowledge the Lord. He will come to rescue or reward as surely as the sun rises!

He will come to us

  • like the winter rains after sowing the seed [2]
  • like the spring rains (just) before the harvest [2]

See v22b.

Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken (22b).

The Scripture they believed may include Isaiah 53:1-12, Psalm 16:9-11, and Hosea 6:1-3.

References

[1] Lange, John Peter; Schaffer, Philip. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John

[2] Lange, John Peter; Schaffer, Philip; Schmoller, Otto; McCurdy, J. Frederick. A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John

Zeal for your house will consume me

Posted by admin on 4 September 2022 in Deuteronomy, Exodus, Isaiah, John, Leviticus, Luke, Matthew, Numbers, Timothy |

John 2:13–17

13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, ‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ 17 His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’

 I. Passover (13)

Passover is the festival when Jews celebrate the ‘Passover’ of the angel of destruction if the blood of a lamb for each household is pasted on the sides and tops of the door of the house (Exodus 12:1-30). The lambs to sacrifice and eat were to be year-old males without defect (Exodus 12:5). The Passover lamb represents Jesus whose blood on the cross saves us. This festival lasts for seven days. Very close to the start date of this festival, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city on the mountain top. So, the way to it is upward and the way out of it is downward.

 II. Zeal for your house will consume me (14-17)

In the temple courts, Jesus found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money (14).

a. Background

If they are too distant to carry their tithe to Jerusalem, they can exchange their tithe for silver (Deuteronomy 14:24-26). They needed a female lamb or goat for a sin offering (Leviticus 5:6) and as for the Nazirite, a year-old male lamb for a guilt offering (Numbers 6:12). If they can’t afford a lamb, two doves or two young pigeons can be used for the sin offering (Leviticus 5:7).

As for a priest, a bull calf without defect was used for a sin offering and a ram without defect for a burnt offering (Leviticus 9:2). A young bull, a ram and a male lamb were used for a burnt offering, a male goat for a sin offering, and two oxen, five rams, five male goats, and year-old five male lambs for a fellowship offering in Numbers 7:15-17. A ‘burnt offering’ has to do with ‘dedication’.

Money changers (14b) might exchange foreign (e.g., Roman) currencies with the temple currency[1] for their offering to the Lord (Exodus 30:13).

 b. My house will be called a house of prayer (Isaiah 56:7)

Jesus made a whip out of cords, drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle (15a).

Here, we note that Jesus used the whip not on people but on sheep and cattle to drive them out. Probably the owners of them followed them to go out of the temple courts.

Jesus scattered the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables (15b).

As for doves, they might be kept inside closed cages. They couldn’t be driven out or overturned. Jesus SPOKE to those who sold them,

‘Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!’ (16)

Matthew 21:13, a verse parallel to v16, says,

‘It is written,’ he said to them, ‘ “My house will be called a house of prayer,” but you are making it “a den of robbers.”’

See v17.

His disciples remembered that it is written: ‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’

‘Zeal for your house will consume me.’ is written in Psalm 69.9.

“My devotion to your house is best translated in some languages as ‘My love for your house,’. In others it may be expressed idiomatically as ‘My hunger for your house has grabbed me’ Rather than render ‘will destroy me’ or burns in me like a fire, some languages express this concept by such an idiom as ‘will eat me up’ or even ‘will cause my death.’”[2]

In the book of John, ‘Jerusalem and the temple’ is the place of the Jews and the place of tragic rejection [1]. Jesus is the Passover lamb sacrificed, bled and eaten (John 6:53-56) to save them. In this paragraph, his love for God’s house (the temple) caused him to take the above actions, and they might cause his death, which was an essential part of his mission.

If his temple cleaning was a cause of his death, this tells us that this world is evil and dangerous in fact. A similar example that standing for the truth caused death is found in the life of Baptist John. He rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, Herod locked John up in prison (Luke 3:19-20) and eventually beheaded him (Matthew 14:1-12). The truth was jailed and killed. Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest one among those born of women (Matthew 11:11). He was the most excellent prophet and the voice telling them the truth. He was totally mistreated when he confronted the evil.

Some relevant verses:

12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.(2 Timothy 3:12–13),

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33)

References

[1] Bircher, Gerald L. The New American Commentary: John 1-11.

[2] Newman, Barclays M., Nida, Eugene A. A Handbook on the Gospel of John.

Jesus Who Knows What is in Each Person

Posted by admin on 28 August 2022 in John |

John 2:23–25 (NIV 2011)

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.

I. Jesus knew all people

‘Knowing everything’ of Jesus was demonstrated when He saw Simon and Nathanael in John 1:35-51. When Jesus looked at Simon for the first time, Jesus knew him and foretold his future name ‘Peter’ (John 1:42). When Jesus saw Nathanael, Jesus knew him and told him to be ‘an Israelite with no deceit’ (John 1:47) and his past (John 1:48). In John 2:11, the disciples of Jesus believed in Him after He turned the water into wine (John 2:1-12).

In v23, many people believed in his name after seeing the signs he was performing. Differently from v11, v23 is followed by v24 and v25 despite their belief. See v24.

But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people (NIV).

But he did not commit himself to them, for he knew what people are like – (CJB)

Despite their belief (23), Jesus did not commit himself to them (24a). It was because Jesus knew all people (24b).

II. Jesus does not believe everyone’s believing [2]

Many people believed in his name … (23) but Jesus would not entrust himself to them … (24).

[1] say that John 2:24 is one of the most important verses in this Gospel. It is because it reminds us that in the New Testament the word ‘believe’ does not always mean that a person has placed genuine faith in Jesus [1].

“The living Jesus does not believe everyone’s believing (23, 24) because he knows what is in them (25). Those words ought to stand as a warning to everyone.” [2]

References

[1] Gangel, Kenneth O. Holman New Testament Commentary: John.

[2] Borcher, Gerald L. The New American Commentary: John 1-11.

The Best Wine: The Blood of Jesus that Cleans our Sins

Posted by admin on 21 August 2022 in John, Luke, Mark, Matthew, Psalms |

John 2:9b –12 (NIVUK)

He did not realise where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.

What did the master of the banquet say to the bridegroom about the taste of the wine? See v10.

‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’ (10)

The water Jesus turned into wine tasted the best even compared to their choice wine. This best wine represents the blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross (Luke 22:20, Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24). His blood is better than the water for ceremonial washing (6) because it cleans our sins. This cleansing/forgiveness enables us to have a relationship with God and experience God. This experiential relationship with God and Jesus Christ is called ‘eternal life’ (John 17:3, What is Eternal Life (TikTok video)).

Wine has to do with ‘joy’ in Psalm 104:15.

15 wine that gladdens human hearts,

oil to make their faces shine,

and bread that sustains their hearts.

The Joy the world offers may run out but God’s joy lasts forever and he saves his best blessings for last [1].

Relevant verses are John 6:53–56 (NIVUK).

53 Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.

References

[1] Gengel, Kenneth O. Holman New Testament Commentary (John).

Obedience, Faith, and Abundance in the Miracle

Posted by admin on 15 August 2022 in John |

John 2:6-9a

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from eighty to a hundred and twenty litres.

Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.’

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.

Jesus involved the servants in His miracle (7, 8). That is, Jesus uses our obedience and faith. After their obedience was complete, Jesus did what only God could do (changing the water to wine) (9). Six jars, each holding 80~120L (6) and filling them to the brim (7) show the abundance.

Jesus used our five loaves and two fish to feed five thousand (John 6:1-15) even though He could feed them without anything from us. The abundance in this miracle is shown in the fact that they received as much as they wanted (John 6:11) and the disciples gathered and filled twelve baskets with pieces of the five barley loaves left over (John 6:13).

They had to take away the stone of the tomb by faith before Jesus raised the four-day dead Lazarus (John 11:38-44).

Jesus who works in God’s Authority and Timing

Posted by admin on 8 August 2022 in John |

John 2:1-5

1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’

‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

The wine is important during the wedding banquet, but it was gone (3a). Jesus’ mother brought this issue to Jesus, saying ‘They have no more wine.’ (3b).

What was the response of Jesus? See v4.

‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

Jesus called His mother not ‘mother’ but ‘woman’. Jesus would work based not on the human suggestion (e.g., mother’s suggestion), authority (e.g., the authority of the mother), or timing but on God’s authority and timing only. When Jesus works by God’s authority and timing, absolute obedience is required (5) (e.g., ‘Do whatever he tells you.’).

Jesus, the House of God, the Gate of Heaven

Posted by admin on 31 July 2022 in 2 Corinthians, Genesis, John |

John 1:47–51 (NIVUK)

47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, ‘Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.’
48 ‘How do you know me?’ Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, ‘I saw you while you were still under the fig-tree before Philip called you.’
49 Then Nathanael declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.’
50 Jesus said, ‘You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig-tree. You will see greater things than that.’ 51 He then added, ‘Very truly I tell you, you will see “heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on” the Son of Man.’

Ever since Philip said to Nathanael, ‘Come and see’ (46), a great Bible Study session for Nathanael began in v47 ~ 51. Nathanael possibly was reading Jacob’s story in Genesis such as Genesis 27 ~ 32 when he was under the fig tree (48).

I. Israel is no longer Jacob but a new creation (47)

What Jesus said in v47 taught Nathanael that Israel was no longer deceptive Jacob and became a new person with no deceit, which would indicate that Jacob experienced ‘spiritual rebirth’ (cf. John 3:3-9, 2 Corinthians 5:17) just before he was renamed Israel (Genesis 32:28).

II. Jesus is the House of God and the Gate of Heaven (48-51)

Further, Jesus taught Nathanael in v51 that Jesus was the House of God (Bethel). After Jacob dreamed about the angels of God ascending and descending on the earth, he called the place ‘Bethel’ meaning the House of God (Genesis 28:10-19). In v51, Jesus told Nathanael about the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. This explains Jacob’s dream. That is, Jesus is the House of God (Bethel) and the Gate of Heaven (Genesis 28:17), on which the angels of God are ascending and descending.

Copyright © 2012-2022 Come & See Student Club All rights reserved.
This site is using the Desk Mess Mirrored theme, v2.0.2, from BuyNowShop.com.

close
Facebook IconYouTube IconTwitter IconView Our TikTok Videos