1st Chapter of John
Rudolf Emanuel Klimes, PhD, DMin
Rudolf Emanuel Klimes, PhD, DMin, MPH.
Library of Congress Control Number:
The Book by that title is available in soft-cover and ibook forms from amazon.com.
- Jesus is Lord, 7
- John the Baptist, 11
- In Jesus I Trust, 15
- Words in Flesh, 19
- The Grace of Jesus, 23
- John the Beloved, 27
- Baptism with Water, 31
- Baptism by the Spirit, 35
- John and Andrew. 39
- Peter and Philip, 43
- Nathanael, 47
- Heaven Opens, 51
The gospel of John is one of four books in the Bible that tell about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is different from the other three because it is not a biography but an effort to convince the reader about the divinity of Jesus.
It does that very well. Just exploring the first chapter of the gospel of John is a very rich blessing. That is what this book is all about.
The purpose of this book is to help readers believe that Jesus is the Christ, and believing, have eternal life.
This is a study guide and work-book, not a commentary.The twelve chapters of this book may be studied in different ways. Some may want to spend a whole year on it, meeting monthly from January to December, or any twelve months. I bring together a small group monthly and use a chapter each month as the basis of our explorations, prayers, and meditations
Others may use each chapter on a weekly basis and thus finish in about three month. It is also possible to spend some time each day in this book and finish the studies in two weeks or less.
You will be greatly blessed as the Holy Spirit reveals Jesus as the Christ that empowers and saves you.
This book is a in-depth study of the first chapter of the gospel of John. That chapter has been divided into 12 parts, each dealing with a separate Bible lesson.
The names of the chapters of this book deal with Jesus, salvation, John the Baptist, baptism and the first five disciples. Some lessons deal with only two Bible verses, others with more.
The Bible texts are presented in a translation by the author based in part on the Amplified Bible and the New King James Version.
The title of this book is taken from the words of Philip, when he invited Nathanael to come and see Jesus (John 1:46).
The suggested steps for the Bible Studies are:
- Read and comment on the lesson title, lesson illustrations, and Bible text under study. If the study is undertaken by a small group, different participants deal with different sections and paragraphs. Circle the word or words that you consider key-words.
- We suggest that you start with prayer, inviting the Holy Spirit into the study. The Holy Spirit is the Teacher. He is of utmost importance. This should be a prayer for specific blessings. Pray about your prayer.
- Define the listed terms. Remember that many helps are presented in the last two section of the lesson.
- Read the Bible texts once more, looking for answers to the five or six questions. Answer the questions by filling in the blanks.
- Respond to the discussion questions. Write a three-word summary in the margin. Remember again that many helps are presented in the last two section of the lesson.
- Read and comment on the last two pages of each lesson. Underline the sentences that you feel are central. Some of these section deal with definitions, concepts, and biography.
- Summarize your lesson and insights. Meditate on ways you will implement this lesson. What have you learned? Close the study and prepare for the next one. Remember, this is a study guide and workbook, so feel free to write in it. Respond to each invitation to make notes.
B102 Come and See Jesus
B102.1. Jesus is Lord. John 1:1-5
“Shine on my path.”
Pray: Father, let your light shine through me in a way that will glorify you. I trust You.
Text. John 1:1-5. In the beginning, before anyone could count time, was the Word (Christ, John 1:14), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.
2 He was continually existing with God. 3 All things were created and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being.
4 In Him was life, the power to give life, and the life was the Light of men. 5 The Light shines in dark places, and the darkness did not understand it and is unreceptive to it.
Define: beginning, word, God, creation, life, light, darkness.
- When was the beginning? ______________
- What does the word “word” mean?__ __ ___
- Why is Christ called the Word? __________
- How did God create? __________________
- How does Christ enlighten men? _________
- How did Christ give you life? ____________
Discuss: The work of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Three Uses of the Word “Word.”
- A word is the spoken or written unit of thought by which we can communicate.
Words symbolize and communicate meaning. Meaning makes it possible for us to understand reality and truths. We generally think in words. Words may consist of letters in any language, musical notes, numbers or any other symbols.
They may be used to describe, question, compare, or manipulate anything. Our knowledge of every word in any form can add to our wisdom.
- In the New Testament. the Greek word Logos usually means the Word of God or the Bible.
- Here in John 1, the Word is a living person. It stands for Christ, the Son of God, our Creator. God spoke the Word and it happened.
The Word is Christ who communicates the existence, sacrifice and characteristics of God. Christ is the Bible with skin on. The Bible is too small to hold Him.
Christ is God’s living Word to men. Through the Word, we can think God’s thoughts after Him and understand Him. By it God makes known His will and gives His laws.
“He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God.” Rev 19:13
Like God’s literal word which He has magnified above His name ( Ps. 138:2), God highly exalted Jesus and has given Him the name above every name ( Phil. 2:9). Scripture informs us: “By the word of the LORD the heavens were made and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth” ( Ps. 33:6 . Heb. 11:3; 2 Pet. 3:5). Elsewhere, John uses this title to emphasis Jesus as the revelation of God in His incarnation:
The Logos or Word is the expression of God’s nature in understandable terms, and whether those terms be mercy or judgment they are both equally the message of God.
The Word of God ( ὁ Λόγος τοῦ Θεοῦ ) This name for our Lord is found in the New Testament only in the writings of John. The Logos or Word is the expression of God’s nature in understandable human terms.
Assignment B102a: On the basis of the given Bible passage,
answer the 5 questions in the lesson with detailed, clear and complete sentences.
- John the Baptist. John 1: 6-11
the coming of Jesus.
He baptized Jesus.
Pray: Father, shine through me.
Tex:. John 1:6-11. There came a man commissioned and sent from God, whose name was John, the Baptist. 7 This man came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe in Christ through him. 8 John was not the Light, but came to testify about the Light.
9 There it was—the perfect Light which, coming into the world, enlightening everyone.
10 Christ was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.11 He came to that which was His own creation, His own possession, and those who were His own people—the Jewish nation, did not receive and welcome Him.
Define: commissioned, witness, testify, enlighten, Jews.
- How was John commissioned?_________
- Of what was John a witness? __________
- In whom should all believe? ___________
- Who is the perfect Light? _____________
- Does God enlighten everyone? ________
- Who were God’s own people? _________
Discuss: How does God’s Light spread?
Light: Visible electromagnetic radiation (430-750 nanometers) between infrared and ultraviolet.
God is the perfect light. Wherever God is, there is light. There was light even before God on our first day said, “Let there be light.” It seems like God had his light tucked away somewhere and let it out on our first day of our first week. It shines strong to guide our path. That is what God does.
Our energy comes from the sun, our light. Without it, there would be no life on earth. If the sun were closer or further, we would all be burning up or freezing. As the sun energizes us physically, so our faith energizes us spiritually. Light makes it possible to understand the characteristics and relationships between our insights. We are enlightened by God.
We seldom recognize the source of our strength. We are very blessed but we often fail to thank the Blesser. Thus we often miss the blessings God has in store for us. Recognizing the help of God fills us with His strength. We are drawn to the Light. Light is beautiful and good. Without Light we remain in misery.
John the Baptist
John the Baptist was a cousin of Jesus, born about six month before Him. They apparently did not know each other. John the Baptist came to announce the birth of Jesus as the Messiah, namely His first coming. We are called to announce His second coming.
Both of his parents, Zachariah and Elizabeth, were of priestly descent. John lived in the desert from childhood on, used no alcohol and never cut his hair. Jesus called him more than a prophet.
John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus. He preached repentance from sin and baptized Jesus and those who repented.
He had at least two teen-age disciples, John and Andrew. When they recognized Jesus as the Messiah, they left John and became disciples of Jesus. Sometime after they left him, he said: “He (Jesus) must become greater, I must become less.” John 3:30.
He had disciples that did not leave him but stayed with him, even after his death. He taught them how to pray, repent of sin and fast, and about the Messiah.
Isaiah spoke of one who would “prepare in the wilderness the way of Jehovah” (Isa. 40:3).
Later, when he condemned King Herod for his open sins, he was imprisoned and beheaded.
I Trust Jesus. John 1:12-13
I was born as a baby.
I was born again
as a child of God.
I belong to God’s family.
Pray: Father, accept our dedication and support our physical and spiritual lives. Help us to enjoy our work and play as children of God.
Text: John 1:12-13.
12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the privilege to become children of God, that is, to those who trust in, and rely on His name—
13 who were born, not by natural conception, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of an earthly father, but of God. That is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God and spiritually transformed.
Define: children of God, 2nd birth, flesh
- How do you receive Jesus? _____________
- How do you welcome Jesus? ___________
- How do you trust His name? ____________
- Why were you born? __________________
- When were you born again? ____________
- How did that birth transform you? _______
Discuss: Steps in Salvation
Salvation: Preservation or deliverance from danger, evil, difficulty, or sin.
We receive Jesus, welcome Him, trust Him and rely on Him. That is the first step. We receive Jesus as Lord and Master. We welcome Him as Savior and Friend. We trust Him to deliver us from death. We rely on him to keep us from falling.
Children of God
It is a very great privilege to be a child of God. Not everyone qualifies. Everyone who truly receives Jesus becomes a child of God. As children of God we inherit eternal life and become inhabitants of heaven. Thank God.
We all had a first or physical birth. Some of us were also born a second time, namely spiritually. That is when we, with the help of the Holy Spirit, entered the Kingdom of God. We started a new life and left the old life behind. Our spiritual lives empower us as nothing else can. It educates and strengthens us for our mission.
Saved from Destruction
At the end of time, Jesus will come back, judge all the people, destroy the evil ones, and save His children who have their names written in the Book of Life.
We are living in end-time. Nearly all the signs of the return of Jesus have been fulfilled. His return will be seen by all, heard by all, understood by all, affect all.
At that time, the evil ones will be very scared because their destruction is sure and near. The children of God will be very glad because their troubles will be over and they will move into God’s heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, to live with God forever. By then, God will have judged who goes where, namely the evil to destruction and His children to heaven.
To be saved from the final destruction, you need to get your name into God’s Book of Life. You do this by accepting Jesus as your personal Savior and Lord, that is by trusting Him fully. Good deeds do not get us there, neither will church attendance or missionary work. These are the outgrowth of our faith, not the means of salvation.
There are many people who have died and are waiting to be resurrected. In a blink of an eye, they will receive perfect bodies that will never die. I am waiting for that day.
Word Made Flesh. John 1:14-15
Christ is the Bible
with flesh and skin on.
Prayer: Father, help us to appreciate the blessings of Jesus, and his grace and truth. We trust you to guide us.
Text: John 1:14-15
14 And the Word (Christ) became flesh, and lived among us; and we actually saw His glory, glory as belonging to the One and only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John testified repeatedly about Him and e]has cried out:
“This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’”
Define: flesh, glory, grace, truth, priority
- When did the Word become flesh?______
- How long did Jesus live among us?_____
- What was Jesus’ glory? ______________
- Who all is full of grace? ______________
- What is truth? _____________________
- Why did Jesus have priority? _________
Discuss: Why was Jesus born here?
Glory: Great honor, distinction or praise given by common consent.
Humanity of Christ
Christ started out as divine Creator. At the start, he was not human. He took on humanity in Bethlehem.
Glory of Christ
Whatever Christ did and does is glorious. At his first coming, angels sang in the field. But His full glory will not be seen until His second coming. Then our divine Lord, the holy angels and the saints will be gloriously united.
Grace of Christ
At His first coming, Christ brought gifts and He left these undeserved gifs behind for us. These gifts included the gifts of the Spirit and the presence of the Holy Spirit. At His second coming, His gifts will include indestructible bodies, minds, and eternal life.
Divine and Human
Jesus is the only person who ever was both divine and human. As divine, He is the Creator of the universe and the inspiration of the Bible writers. As human, He is our example of love and service.
As divine and human, He is our Master and Savior. It took both his divinity and humanity to become the sacrifice that died for our sins.
Jesus unites the divine with the human. Only He fully understands what it is to be God and how men think, work and feel. He experienced what we experience today and coped with the limitations of being human. When on earth, He never used the power of His divinity to gain an advantage over humans.
Paul tells us, that the Incarnate Word is in all things like us human beings, with a soul, body, rationality uncorrupted passion, hunger, thirst, fatigue, etc. “similar in all things to us” but “without sin” (Hebrews, 4:15). Christ Himself calls Himself “the Son of Man,” in this way declaring that He is perfect man.
Even though God is sovereign, man still has real responsibility and freedom in the choices he makes. These choices are his; he cannot blame God for them. They will genuinely affect and modify the rest of his life.
Grace of Jesus, John 1:16-18
Receive the free gift
Prayer: Lord, help me to understand the Way of the Father.
Text: John 1:16-18
16 For out of His fullness of His grace and truth we have all received grace upon grace, spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift.
17 For the Law was given through Moses, but grace, the unearned, undeserved favor of God and truth came through Jesus Christ.
18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the intimate presence of the Father, He has explained Him and interpreted the awesome wonder of the Father.
Define: grace, truth, blessing, favor, gift, law, presence, wonder.
- Where is the fullness of His grace?______
- What have we received? _____________
- By whom was the law given? __________
- By whom was the truth given? __________
- Who has seen the Father? _____________
- Who has explained the Father? _________
Discuss: Is the Law still effective?
Grace: Divine love and protection bestowed freely on humans without cost to the receiver.
The free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.
God’s gifts keep on going out to us, whatever we do. His love and forgiveness have no limits, except if we refuse to accept them.
Any Relationship Takes Two.
Any relationship takes two, a giver and a receiver. Sometimes the giver becomes the receiver. The giver has something to give, the receiver has something to receive. It takes two to tango.
Jesus gives us eternal life. We can accept it or reject it. Jesus will not force it on us. Jesus offers it to us unconditionally. The offer keeps coming. But we do not get it if we do not accept it. We show our acceptance by our love of Jesus and men. We thank God for it daily.
Amazing Grace (How sweet the sound)
That sav’d a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.
We are saved by grace.
We cannot earn salvation, it is an unearned gift of God. But we can refuse to accept it and thus miss heaven. God does not force us into heaven. Heaven is only for those who trust in the sacrifice of Jesus and accept Him as their personal Savior and Master.
When we trust Jesus to save us, He expects us to be born again and take on his loving nature. It takes two births to get to heaven, namely a physical one as humans, and a spiritual one as God’s children.
Thus God’s grace is conditional on our acceptance. We signal our acceptance of God’s grace by reflecting His love in our everyday lives. Our love shows that God’s grace has taken root in our lives. A lack of love shows that God’s grace has not been accepted by us.
When we sin, God does not withdraw His grace from us. His grace continues. But our willful sins block grace’s effectiveness. Without effective grace, we are not forgiven nor saved.
It takes faith to trust God for eternal life. Our faith is the means by which we receive God’s grace. Thank God.
Testimony of John. John 1:16-18
The voice in the wilderness:
“Welcome, Lord Jesus Christ.”
Pray: Lord, lead me in the Way.
Text: John 1: 19-23
19 This is the testimony of John the Baptist when the Jews sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 And he confessed and did not deny that he was only a man, but acknowledged, “I am not the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed!”
21 They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the promised Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Tell us, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 He said, “I am the voice of one shouting in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Define: voice, wilderness, way, Lord
Question: 1. Who are the Levites? ____
- Who was the promised prophet?______
- How was John a voice? ____________
- How did he make things straight? _____
- What is the way? __________________
- Who was Isaiah? __________________
Discuss: The Levites five questions.
Who are you?
I have accepted the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior, and thus I am a Christian. Jesus is my Lord and Master and I follow His Way. That Way sometimes leads me in unexpected directions. There are some days I climb mountains, others take me toward the plains. But I am never bored.
A Disciple of Jesus
As a Christian, I am a disciple of Jesus. God has given my some gifts and I use them to glorify His name. I work for Jesus. He sent me on assignments all over the world. For a time, I was an adventurous pilgrim and I wrote a book about my mission and travels.
A Student of the Word
As a disciple of Jesus, I am and always will be a student of the Bible. Through the Holy Spirit and that book, Jesus directs my path. Jesus gives me ideas that I must pass on to others. Sometimes my audience is just one person, sometimes just one little child. Sometimes it is thousands. Thank God for my job.
Forerunners of Jesus
Elijah had Elisha as his protégé.
Malachi (4:5-6) wrote:”Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children.”
Elisha announces the Messiah, particularly his grace, his perfection, and the sovereignty of his ministry. To read 2 Kings 2-9 in the light of Jesus Christ stimulates our faith.
John the Baptist
Wrote Isaiah: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Isa 40:3-9
We look forward to the second advent of Jesus and announce His soon return. As such, we are now forerunners of Jesus. That is the good news for today.
Baptism with Water? John 1:24-28
Pray: Father, I am unworthy of your love.
Text: John 1:24-28
24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 John answered them, “I baptize only in water, but among you there stands One whom you do not recognize and of whom you know nothing. 27 It is He who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
28 These things occurred in Bethany beyond the Jordan River, where John was baptizing.
Define: Pharisees, baptism, Jordan.
- Why did they ask about Elijah?______
- Who was “the Prophet”? ___________
- Who was the ONE? ______________
- Who comes after John? ___________
- What about the sandals? __________
- Why baptize in the Jordan?_________
Discuss: Who got baptized?
Baptism With Water
Many people gathered in the desert near the Jordan River to hear John the Baptist preach. They considered it a great privilege to see and hear a living prophet. They were well dressed. In contrast, John the Baptist was dressed simply for desert living.
John the Baptist reminded the people of their sins. He asked them to repent and give up their selfish and evil way of living. He asked those who repented to come into the river, where he immersed them in the deep water,
Baptism is a sign of repentance and the second birth. The people have their sins washed away. When they go down in the water, they die to sin, When they are raised up, they are resurrected to a new life.
It is a sign that the one baptized has accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. It in itself does not save anyone, but it shows all people present that the person has accepted Jesus.
Many churches have made water baptism as a condition for church membership, It shows that you are now a member of a Christian community.
Many Christians wait until they can make life decisions before they are baptized. They are usually ten or older. Some Christians sprinkle infants to show that they are Christians.
Repentance is a change in life direction because of remorse for ones sins. It includes the giving up of something bad and old and taking on something good and new. You come to the point when you do not want to go on as before.
The love of God is starting to make an impact on your life. You are tired of fighting all the problems you created. You can do better. You face the reality of your situation.
You realize that there is a way out, that life can be beautiful. God is blessing you with new insights.
John the Baptist was calling people to repentance in preparation for the coming of Jesus. Jesus was looking for people that were seeking His kingdom. Jesus had so much to offer. He was bringing eternal life to those that trusted Him.
Repentance is a choice. You repent or you do not repent. Repentance frees you from your old bad way.
Baptism by the Spirit. John 1:29-34
Pray: Lord, help me to understand the Way of the Father.
Text: John 1:29-34. The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I and has priority over me, for He existed before me.’ 31 I did not recognize Him as the Messiah, but I came baptizing in water so that He would be publicly revealed to Israel.”
”32 John gave evidence and testified officially saying, “I have seen the Holy Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him.
33 I did not recognize Him as the Messiah, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this One is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I myself have seen that happen, and my testimony is that this is the Son of God!”
Define: messiah, sin, priority, Holy Spirit.
- Who is the Lamb of God?_____________
- What does the Lamb do? ____________
- Why is a dove a sign? _______________
- Who baptizes with the Spirit? _________
- Who saw the dove? ________________
- Who is the Son of God? _____________
Discuss: Is the Holy Spirit still baptizing?
The Lamb of God.
In Old Testament times, lambs were offered for the sins of the people. Without the shedding of blood, there can be no forgiveness of sins. When Jesus was born, he had to die to forgive the sins of the people.
The Dove from Heaven
When John the Baptist was baptizing in the Jordan River, a mysterious dove appeared above him. It came as a special messenger from heaven. It represented the Holy Spirit that keeps moving from heaven to earth and from earth to heaven. It completed the God-head of three persons. At Jesus’ baptism, The Father spoke, The Holy Spirit flew down, and Jesus received Him as an Encourager.
The Son of God
Jesus is the Son of God. As that, He helped create the universe and our world. Jesus came to earth at Bethlehem to shed His blood for the salvation of men from sin. Only the Son of God could do that. Only a sin-less person could do that.
His ministry started at the Jordan River with His baptism and the welcome of His Father and the Holy Spirit. He was baptized not because of His sins, but as an example for us.
The people of Israel had a hard time recognizing the Messiah. They expected someone all together different. They looked for a king and general who would free the Israelites from the Roman oppression.
Instead, Jesus came to earth as a humble carpenter and teacher. Even John the Baptist, who was a relative of Jesus, did not recognize Him as the long-awaited Messiah. It took the testimonies of the Father and the Holy Spirit to convince John the Baptist that Jesus was the Messiah and the Son of God..
As Son of God, Jesus the Messiah had the power to baptize believers with the Holy Spirit. Many years ago I was baptized in water by a wonderful pastor, Otto Ritz. Later the Holy Spirit entered my life and I have been richly blessed by His presence. Praise God.
Jesus, the Messiah will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He will return and pick up all who have their names written in the Book of Life. He will raise the dead that have accepted Him as Redeemer and Savior. At His Second Coming, He will give us new bodies and eternal life. It cannot get any better.
John & Andrew. John 1:35-43
Pray: Father, help me to follow Jesus every step of the way.
Text: John 1:35-43.
Again the next day John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as He walked along, and said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they [n]followed Jesus. 38 And Jesus turned and saw them following Him, and asked them, “What do you want?” They answered Him, “Rabbi, which translated means Teacher, where are You staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come, and you will see.” So they went with Him and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the [o]tenth hour. 40 One of the two who heard what John said and as a result followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
Define: disciples, tenth hour,
- Who spoke first?___________________
- Who followed Jesus?_________________
- Why did they follow Jesus? ___________
- When did they follow Jesus? __________
- Who was Andrew? __________________
Discuss: Where did Jesus stay?
John the Beloved
John the Beloved was a disciple of John the Baptist. John the Beloved most likely joined John the Baptist while John the Beloved was still a teenager. When John the Baptist pointed out Jesus as the Messiah, he followed Him. John wrote the 4th gospel, three Bible letters and the book of Revelation. He lived at Patmos to around 100 years of age.
John most likely knew Jesus better than anyone else. He and his brother James were fishermen on the Lake of Galilee.
Andrew was the brother of Simon Peter and son of Jonah. All were fishermen. John reveals Andrew as one who was constantly bringing people to Jesus. He began by bringing his brother Peter to Jesus.
Later Jesus is teaching the multitudes on the mountainside and asks Philip where they could find food to feed the crowd. It was Andrew who brought the boy with five barley loaves and two fish to Jesus which Jesus miraculously multiplies into enough food to feed everyone.
Jesus and the Holy Spirit are constantly reaching out to make new Christians, sometimes called converts or disciples.
What do we turn away from when we to turn to God; what do we set aside when we are converted? What separates us from God? The prophet Isaiah writes: “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2). When we are converted, we accept God’s unconditional love and salvation.
We too have found Christ, the Messiah. That is real good news. Someone pointed Him out to us and we have accepted Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus is bringing a wonderful love into our lives. He has changed our lives and given us a new birth of love. All people are now different to us. I lost a lot of my complaints. Not all, but most of them.
The love of Jesus strengthen me for all things that I face. I do not have to go on in my limited strength. He watches over me and gives me a new outlook on life. Praise Jesus.
10. Peter & Philip. John 1:41-44
Pray: Jesus, I am your disciple every step of the way.
Text: John 1:41-44.
He first looked for and found his own brother Simon Peter and told him, “We have found the Messiah,” which translated means the Christ. 42 Andrew brought Simon to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas, which is translated Peter.”
43 The next day Jesus decided to go into Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me as My disciple, and walk the same path of life that I walk.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
Define: John, Cephas, Galilee, Bethesda.
- What did Andrew do first?_____________
- What did he tell Peter? _______________
- What did Jesus call Simon? ___________
- Was Peter the rock? _________________
- Whom did Jesus call next? ____________
- What was Philip’s home town? _________
Discuss: How did Jesus call Philip?
Peter was very influential with the disciples and after the resurrection. Thus we give him a whole page. Peter was an outspoken leader, excitable, headstrong, an “all-or nothing” fellow with miraculous gifts.
His weaknesses were speaking before thinking and telling Jesus what to do. Often he spoke in haste and said foolish things. He was a very outspoken person and was prone to get excited. He sometimes went outside of his correct place. He fell asleep at the garden when Jesus asked him to pray and he denied Jesus three times. He chopped off the ear of the high priest’s slave. Much later he was afraid of the Jewish sect of believers and wouldn’t eat with the Gentiles. He declared his allegiance to Christ and then denied him three times.
Most of the time Peter did put Jesus first in his life. He did so at the risk of his own life. He gave up his career to follow Jesus. When Peter sinned by denying Christ three times, He later repented of it and reaffirmed his faith in Christ three times. He was indwelled with the Holy Spirit. He repented of his sins, learned from his mistakes, and grew throughout his life. In the end he gave his life for Christ.
Unlike Andrew and John, Philip did not approach Jesus, but waited till He accosted him and invited him to join His company. Andrew and John found Jesus—Jesus found Philip, whose name is a Greek one both by custom and derivation. A Jewish name he must have had, since all the apostles were Jews, but what it was remains unknown.
In three lists Philip is bracketed with Nathanael as companion and fellow worker. Both were Galileans. This Philip must not be confused with Philip the Deacon. We never read of the later Philip before Pentecost, nor of Philip the Apostle after Pentecost.
It would appear from John’s account of the Feeding of the Five Thousand that Philip may have been in charge of the supplies and food, the road manager of sorts. He was the kind of guy who was practical, always thinking about the bottom line. And on this occasion, Jesus, trying to stretch Philip’s faith, posed a question to him as the crowd gathered: “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip responded, “Two hundred denary worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little” (verse 7). Philip didn’t do so well on that test. He wasn’t the first to have the most faith, but he was a follower of Jesus who was used by God.
11. Nathaniel. John 1:45-48
Pray: Father, make me an effective disciple.
Text: John 1:45-48.
Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the One Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote about—Jesus from Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael answered him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip replied, “Come and see.” 47
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Here is true descendant of Jacob, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to Jesus, “How do You know these things about me?”
Jesus answered, “Before Philip called you, when you were still under the fig tree, I saw you.”
Define: The One, Law, Nazareth
- Who found Nathaniel?_______________
- What reputation did Nazareth have?____
- How did Jesus welcome Nathanael?____
- What was Nathanael’s reaction?_______
- What was important about the fig tree?_
- What more do you know about Nathanael? _
Discuss: Compare the first 5 disciples.
It was the Apostle Philip that introduced Nathanael to Jesus. He introduced Jesus as the Messiah that was foretold by Moses and the prophets like Isaiah, Daniel and Micah. At first Nathanael was not impressed. He objected to the fact that Jesus came from Nazareth. Nathanael was prejudiced against people from Nazareth.
But Philip did not give up. He invited Nathanael to meet Jesus and to see for himself. So Nathanael went to meet Jesus.
Jesus welcomed Nathanael in a friendly way and shared with him his insight into his character. That surprised Nathanael. He wanted to know how Jesus knew him. Jesus’ answer satisfied him.
We know only about his birthplace, Cana of Galilee, and his simple, truthful character. The name does not occur in the first three Gospels; but it is commonly believed that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same person. The evidence for that belief is as follows: John who twice mentions Nathanael, never introduces the name of Bartholomew at all. Matthew, Mark and Luke, all speak of Bartholomew but never of Nathanael. If was Philip who first brought Nathanael to Jesus, just as Andrew had brought his brother Simon.
There were seven persons that were described in some detail in the first chapter of the gospel of John, namely: Jesus, John the Baptist, John the Beloved, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathaniel. The first two had special births, the last five were the first disciples that followed Jesus. Of these five, two, namely Andrew and Philip, became instant evangelists at the time of their conversion.
This gospel starts with the creation of the universe. At that beginning, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created galaxies, the angels and water. Later on, God spoke our world into existence in seven days. But during the creation week, there was already water on earth. God took the water, that He had already made, and divided it into clouds and lakes. When John wrote about words, he meant not only the Bible, the word of God, but also Jesus, the Word of God. As we dwell in the Bible, we learn not only who Jesus was, but also God’s way of operations. The Holy Spirit, not only teaches us, but also gives us spiritual and physical life.
Jesus is the Light that explains God’s grace and His truth. He makes all very plain. All we have to do is to accept it.
12. Heaven Opened. John 1:49-51
Pray: Father, keep my name in your Book of Life.
Text: John 1:49-51.
49 Nathanael answered, “Teacher, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.” 50 Jesus replied, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe in Me?
You will see greater things than this.” 51 Then He said to him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
Define: believe, heaven, Son of Man,
- What are the greater things? _______
- When will heaven open?_____________
- When will angels travel ? ____________
- What will the angels do? _____________
- How will they help Jesus? ____________
6.Where is heaven? ___________________
Discuss: Describe New Jerusalem
God created the heavens and the earth long ago. At least before He created the earth. Moses wrote that it was in the beginning. A number of places are often mentioned as being heaven.
Wherever God is, there is heaven. It is his dwelling place. Isaiah had a foretaste of heaven and describes it in Isaiah 6:1-8. Very few people had the privilege of seeing heaven. Since God is eternal, so is heaven. God always needed a place to stay.
Then there is the stary heaven. The space around our galaxies is often described as heaven. That is a big place. We have no understanding of its size or limits, that is if it has limits. Is it shrinking, expanding, or staying the same?
Then there is the atmospheric heaven, where birds and airplanes fly. That heaven is limited and fades out because of lack of air.
The New Jerusalem, that will come near earth soon, is often listed as heaven. Since Jesus will live there, it surely is heaven. The city is a cube of about 400 miles, a large comet or something like a comet. God is putting his finishing touches on it so that it will be ready for us.
The Second Coming
Jesus came to this earth some 2000 years ago as a baby. Few people met Him. That was His first coming. His second coming will be more spectacular.
Jesus will come back with all his angels to be with his children forever. One of his children was my wife for 61 years, Anna Homechuk Klimes. On December 28, 2015 she went to sleep as she always went to sleep. We sat together, talked a bit, and then had our evening prayer. Next morning, I fixed breakfast for the two of us, and went to call her to breakfast. She did not respond. Sometimes Anna slept very deep, so I thought that I had to call her lauder to awaken her. The song :”Heaven came down and glory filled my soul” was in my heart. So I sang it as loud as I could. But she did not open her eyes. She did no breath. She looked like she was sleeping in peace. And she was.
When Jesus returns, His trumpets will be so laud that they will awake the dead. Anna will awaken with a new wonderful body to live eternally in heaven with Jesus, me, and many of our families and friends. Indeed, heaven will come down. And the glory of God will fill our souls. Praise God.
“I have loved you,” says God,” with an everlasting love.”
God has stretched out His hand of love to us. His love is eternal, without limits or end. God lasts forever. And so does His love.
Nothing can ever change it. Nothing we ever do can take us out of God’s arms of love. We may reject Him, but He keeps looking after us in kindness and love. Nothing ever stops God’s love.
God’s love helps us to have the best in life. He provides all the blessings and gift we need. His grace is always there for us. He opens our eyes so we can appreciate His love. But it is larger than we can ever imagine. God’s love never changes.
God does nothing that will separate us from His love. We may want to withdraw from it, but God keeps drawing us with His love. It is there always for us. When you experience it, it heals all your diseases, it forgives all your sins.
God tells us in Jeremiah 31:4″ With loving kindness have I drawn you… Rejoice.”
God loves us unconditional. There are no conditions under which God would withdraw His offer of love or salvation. He draws us with the voice of angels, with the swaying trees, with the Words of His book.
Our salvation is conditional for us on the basis of our acceptance of His love by reflecting it. God will not withdraw it, even if we withdraw our acceptance. But without our acceptance, it is no longer a gift, because it takes two to have a relationship, a giver and a receiver. God will not force an unwilling person into heaven.
He keeps drawing us with love. We see and feel His love all around us. That love makes us want the good gifts of God. Thus we keep reflecting His glory.
The everlasting love of God gives us the joy of His presence. We are at peace in His presence. We have nothing to fear. We accept His love by faith.
Love comes with joy. It refreshes us. It connects us as a wonderfully packaged gift. God’s love draws us so that we might experience more of it. It takes all fears away.
When Adam Lost His Shirt
Adam was created naked and clothed with a white shining shirt. The glory of the Lord covered him. Just like the angels, not a flake of dirt soiled him.
Animals were covered with fur, fish with scales, birds with feathers. All these had been created by God on the fifth and sixth days. These kept them warm, dry and comfortable.
God was dressed in majesty. He was dressed in light so bright that Moses could not stand it. Moses reflected that light and had to wear a mask so as not to trouble people who saw him.
In Eden, the glory of God covered all creatures, heavenly and earthly, including mankind. On the day that Adam sinned, he and all earthly creatures lost their brilliant shirts. They just disappeared. Never again in this life would they make all their surroundings shine beautifully.
But some day Adam will get his shirt back. When Christ returns, He will raise up Adam and many others and clothe them as beautifully as He did once in Eden.
In the meantime, Adam tried to cover his nakedness with leaves. There was a superabundance of plants, and Adam could easily use some of them to try to cover his nakedness.
But in the long run, leaves were temporary and did not work well. So God took an animal, maybe a sheep, and sacrificed it. He had to kill it in order to make a fur coat for Adam. As far as we know, that was the first death in our world. God sacrificed it for Adam’s sin. Not only did Adam lose his shirt that fateful day, but an innocent nice animal lost its life.
Sin exacts a great price. It was directly responsible for the first death. But it not only became responsible for the death of an animal, but also for the death of Jesus, who died for all human sins. The Son of God indirectly gave His life so Adam could get his shirt back. And someday soon, he will. Praise God.
Adam had no idea of the extent to which he had messed up things. When God said that man would surely die, He meant it. Adam could not get along without his shirt of glory. His best wool suit was but a poor substitute for the garment of light that he lost.
Rudolf Klimes was born in Czechoslovakia. The son of a Jew, he survived Hitler’s holocaust and escaped Stalin’s Iron Curtain. He served as college president in Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. Rudy received his BA and MA in 1957 from Walla Walla University and his EdS and PhD in 1964 from Indiana University. In 1977, he earned a MA at Andrews University, in 1981 a DMin at McCormick Theological Seminary, and in 1983 a MPH at Johns Hopkins University.
From 1973 to 1979 he directed the Graduate Programs in Educational Administration at Andrews University, Michigan. He wrote some 30 research reports and ten books.
In 1979, he was elected Associate Director of the General Conference Health Department in Washington, DC. In 1986 he returned to Asia as president of Samyuk College in Hong Kong, and from 1989 to1995 served as founding Dean of Lifelong Learning at Sahmyook University, in Korea. Since 1995, he lives and serves in the Sacramento area. His wife and faithful partner died in Folsom in 2015.