Conflict at a Feast of the Jews (John 5:1-47)

In the movie Braveheart, Mel Gibson plays the Scottish hero William Wallace. William Wallace is fighting for Scottish independence from England. In one memorable scene before a battle, William Wallace rides out to meet the English captains. When asked where he was going, he replied: “I’m going to pick a fight.” As Chapter 5 begins, Jesus arrives back in Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews to pick a fight. At this feast, Jesus begins having major conflicts with Jewish leaders over His identity and His works. The Jewish leaders see Jesus (primarily His signs and teaching) as a problem. They begin to persecute Him and seek to kill Him for what they believe to be blasphemy. The first conflict arises because Jesus intentionally healed a man who had been sick for 38 years on the Sabbath and told them He did so because He is equal with the Father.

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The Sign: Healing of the Sick Man (5:1-9)

Jesus found this man at the sheep gate of Jerusalem by a pool called Bethesda. The man was at this location because he believed that an angel would stir up the water and whoever went into the water first after the stirring would be made well. This sick man was lying by the pool when Jesus asked, “Do you wish to get well?” (5:6). The man replied, “I have no man to put me into the pool” (5:7). Jesus replied, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk” (5:9). This sign revealed that Jesus is the Son of God who is able to heal those who are physically disabled. The man picked up his pallet and walked.

The Significance: Who Do You Think You Are?

Rather than rejoicing that the sick man was made well, the Jewish leaders rebuke the man and Jesus for supposedly violating the Sabbath.

Jews’ 1st Complaint: You Can’t Work on the Sabbath (5:10-16)

The Jews saw this man carrying his pallet and rebuked him for working on the Sabbath. They believed carrying furniture like this was a violation of the fourth commandment (5:10). The man didn’t know who healed him at first but later found out it was Jesus. He told the Jews that it was Jesus who healed him and the Jews began persecuting Jesus (5:16). 

Jesus’ 1st Rebuttal: The Son Works like His Father (5:17)

Jesus answered the first complaint by saying that since He is equal to God, He can work. Jesus said, “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working” (5:17). Jesus is speaking of God as His Father and that He has a closer relationship than the average person.

Jews’ 2nd Complaint: You Can’t Make Yourself Equal with God (5:18)

Jesus says that He can work on the Sabbath because His Father is working on the Sabbath. This caused the Jewish leaders’ heads to explode. At first they didn’t like that Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath, now they are furious because they believe Jesus is guilty of blasphemy. John 5:18 says, “For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God” (5:18).

Jesus’ 2nd Rebuttal: The Son is Equal to His Father (5:19-30)

Jesus answered the second complaint by teaching He is doing what God the Father wants Him to do. Father grants the Son (Jesus) ability to do His works (5:20), raise the dead (5:25), and Judge (5:27). The Father has also determined that the Son will receive the same honor as the Father (5:23). In order to further make His case, Jesus gives five (5) witnesses to verify His identity as the Christ, the Son of God: 

  1. Jesus.If I alone testify about Myself…” (31). His own testimony is valid because He is the Christ. However, in order to uphold the Law, He called upon at least two or more other witnesses (Deut 19) to testify.
  2. John the Baptist. “You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth” (5:33). John clearly spoke of Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
  3. Jesus’ Works. “But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish–the very works that I do–testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me” (5:36). As Nicodemus testified in John 3:2 “We know you are from God because of the signs You perform.
  4. God the Father. “And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me” (5:37). The Father said, “This is My beloved Son, listen to Him!” (Luke 9:7).
  5. The Scriptures. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me” (5:39). “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words” (5:46-47). The Scriptures testify of Jesus as the Christ.


What should we learn from this important chapter?

Legalism is not Obedience

As Christians, we must remember that legalism is not obedience. The conflict arose because the Pharisees were legalists. They claimed to love God but hated Jesus. The legalist obeys rules in order to earn the praise of others; not because they love God. Psalm 119:24 says, “Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.” Ask yourself why you serve God. Are you an obedient servant who loves the Lord and His commands or are you simply following a rigid set of rules to be marked off a list? If you are simply following a rigid set of rules: prayer will be boring, church will be a chore, and Christ will remain a stranger to you. Hear the words of Jesus: I desire mercy, and not sacrifice” (Matt 12:7).

Jesus is Worthy of Divine Honor

Jesus is worthy of divine honor because He works as the Father directs. Jesus said, “He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him” (5:23). 

Jesus Works with Divine Power

Jesus works with divine power because He has the power to do what He sees the Father doing. Jesus said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (5:19).

Jesus Works with Divine Favor

Jesus works with divine favor because He is loved by the Father. Jesus said, “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel” (5:20).

Healing of a Nobleman’s Son (John 4:43-54)

The seventh and final testimony in this section of the Gospel of John comes from a royal official from the town of Capernaum in Galilee. He heard that Jesus had come to Cana in Galilee and begged Jesus to heal his son who was very sick. He testifies to us that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God who is able to heal the sick and is worthy of our praise and worship.

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The Cynical Galileans’ Salutation

Jesus was not anticipating as warm of a reception in Galilee as He received in Samaria. Whereas the Samaritans welcomed Him and believed that He is the Christ, Jesus knows that “a prophet has no honor in his own country” (4:44). When Jesus arrived, however, “the Galileans welcomed Him” (4:45) because they saw “all the things that He did in Jerusalem at the feast” (4:45 & 2:23). While this seems promising, Jesus knows that they are not welcoming Him as the Messiah but as One who can do signs and wonders. Remember, we were told in John 2:24-25 “Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” They saw signs and wonders in Jerusalem at the Passover feast and they wanted Jesus to do great and miraculous things among them as well. 

A Desperate Nobleman’s Supplication 

The Galileans wanted to see signs and wonders and we are told “there was a royal official whose son was sick at Capernaum” (4:46). This man “was imploring Him to come down to heal his son; for he was at the point of death” (4:47). Upon hearing the request, Jesus said: “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you simply will not believe” (4:48). That seems like an odd thing to say, doesn’t it? How can Jesus rebuke this man (and the crowd) while the man is begging for his son to be healed? Before we rebuke Jesus, let us remember that Jesus “knew what was in man” (4:25). Jesus detected a two-fold desire in the royal official: 1) the primary desire that his son would be healed and 2) a secondary desire to have Jesus perform a miracle at this house for everyone to observe. 

Jesus rebuked this man and the crowd for demanding signs as a prerequisite for belief. Jesus will not be used by others because His sole mission is to do the will of the Father (5:19). Miracles are a means to an end, not an end unto themselves. In other words, while miracles bring obvious benefit to the one on whom they are performed (e.g., lepers healed, blind see), the miracles are designed to point towards Jesus and provoke faith in Him. This is why Jesus rebuked the man and the crowd of Galileans. Stephen Wellum has stated, 

Biblically speaking, miracles are God’s mighty ‘signs’; ‘wonders’; and ‘works.’ In this sense, they are unusual and extraordinary events caused by God’s power that are demonstrations of God’s covenant Lordship…They reveal God’s character and perfections (attributes). They are also ‘wonders’ in that they demonstrate that God is uniquely (covenantally) present (Ex 15; Lk 5:1-10).

The Galileans wanted signs and wonders so that their life would be better; not because they worship Jesus as the Christ: the Son of God. D.A. Carson states: “the welcome the Galileans displayed was so dependent on miracles (unlike the faith of the Samaritans!), therefore on visiting Cana and being petitioned to perform a healing, Jesus detects in the royal official a welcome and faith that desires a cure but that does not truly trust Him.” Jesus rebuked the Galileans and the nobleman but that did not deter the man from persisting in His request. The royal official did not argue with Jesus, but pleaded with Him “Sir, come down before my child dies.” The man begged Jesus to be merciful. 

The Merciful Christ’s Declaration

Jesus was merciful and showed His mercy in a way that required faith. Jesus did not go with the man to Capernaum, but said to the man: “Go; your son lives” (4:50). The royal official now had a crisis of belief and an opportunity for faith. Recall the royal official’s two-fold desire? Jesus’ response validates the first (selfless concern for his son) and rebukes the second (selfish desire for a miracle at his house in front of everyone). The man is promised his son will be healed, but he has to leave with Jesus’ promise; not Jesus himself. J.C. Ryle said, “Christ’s word is as good as Christ’s presence.”

The nobleman “believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started off” (4:50). Jesus instantly healed the nobleman’s son and the nobleman believed it happened before he had verification. He started for home to see his healthy son. While on his way, “his slaves met him, saying that his son was living” (4:51). He inquired as to the hour of his healing and confirmed that it was at the moment Jesus said, “Your son lives” (4:53). Through this sign and the great joy it brought, the nobleman and his household believed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. The nobleman testifies that Jesus is worthy of worship.


Jesus’ signs are miracles that bring obvious benefit to the one on whom they are performed, but the miracles are intended to point towards Jesus and provoke faith in Him. Jesus’ signs were meant to testify to Himself and glorify God. Signs can inspire faith, but faith cannot be dependent upon signs and wonders. We need to learn from this section of Scripture and ask ourselves whether or not Jesus is a means to an end or an end unto Himself. R.C. Sproul said it this way of the Galileans: “They pursued Him for the benefit they could derive from Him without any sense of repentance for their sins, without any intent to bow to Him as Lord, and without any willingness to receive Him as the Savior.”

Why are you a Christian? Is it primarily because of what Jesus can do for you? Are you a Christian because you don’t want to go to hell? Do you believe that if you are a Christian, God won’t let anything bad happen to you? If God were to strip you of every earthly blessing would you still praise Him? Would you “curse God and die” (Job 2:9) or would you say, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21)? Christians are to “present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Rom 12:1). Let us cast aside any notions of using Jesus for selfish gain. Let us surrender ourselves to Him and be willing to lay down our lives for Him and His glory. 

The Woman at the Well (John 4:1-42)

I love the song “Indescribable” by Chris Tomlin. In extolling the glory of God, he sings: “You see the depths of my heart and You love me the same. You are amazing, God.” In John 3, Jesus met a well-respected religious leader and told him “you must be born again” (3:3). In John 4, Jesus meets a much despised woman and tells her to ask Him for “living water” (4:10). The Samaritan woman and the townspeople of Sychar add their testimony as they declare: “We…know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world” (4:29). 

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The Shunned Woman (4:1-15)

A shunned woman had a special meeting with Jesus. Jesus left Judea and traveled north to Galilee. On the way he “had to pass through Samaria” (4:4) since that is the best means to go from Judea to Galilee. At noon (6th hour) Jesus and his disciples arrived at a town in Samaria called Sychar. Jesus sent the disciples into town to buy food (4:8). He then sat by a well and noticed a woman arrive at the well to draw out water. What was this woman doing at the well at noon? Women, in this time period, would come as a group (protection and fellowship) in the morning (cool of the day) to get enough water for the day. That this woman came alone at noon indicates that she is shunned by the people in the town. 

Jesus told her “Give Me a drink” (4:7). She was surprised that Jesus, a Jewish man, would speak to her since “Jews have no dealings with Samaritans” (4:9). Seeing her surprise, Jesus said, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water” (4:10). Like Nicodemus in John 3, this woman did not understand what Jesus meant. She replies, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep; where then do You get that living water?” (4:11). So far, the woman is thinking physically: “You have nothing to draw with…” Jesus tells her that living water isn’t drawn out, but placed inside. He said, “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life” (4:14). Hearing this, she gladly requests this water.

The Sinful Woman (4:16-26)

It becomes clearer why this woman would come alone to the well at noon. When she asked Jesus for living water, Jesus replied: “Go, call your husband and come here” (4:16). Oh no! Any hope that this woman had that she could escape her past and start afresh with this stranger’s living water has now disappeared. Her past, which she is painfully aware of, keeps coming back to haunt her. Surely, she would not be able to receive this living water since she is a sinful woman. She replies, “I have no husband” (4:17). Jesus commends her for speaking truthfully and He adds “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you have now is not your husband” (4:17-18). We do not know all the details of why this woman has had five husbands, but we do know how shocking it was (and is) for her to live with a man who is not her husband. She is living with a man who is not her husband and is therefore living in unrepentant sin. 

The conversation was intentionally brought to a recognition of her sinfulness, but the conversation did not end there. Jesus commended her for her honesty to Him and continued to share with her about eternal life. Jesus offers her salvation and a life free from the bondage of sin. Even when she tried to distract Him away from her sinfulness with questions about worship, Jesus told her “True worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (4:23-24).

The Saved Woman (4:25-29)

The shunned, sinful woman heard Jesus speak about God and knew that the Messiah would come and “declare all things to us” (4:25). Jesus declares to her openly, “I am He, the One speaking to you” (4:26 HCSB). Jesus is the Messiah and He has met her at this well in order to give her eternal life. It is important to note that Jesus did not shy away from being seen with “undesirables”. Matthew records that Jesus was eating with many tax collectors and sinners. The Pharisees saw this and were indignant. Jesus replied, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick” (Matt 9:12). Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners and met the sinful, shunned woman at the Samaritan well, not because He wanted to appear tolerant and inclusive, but because He came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). Jesus calls sinners to repentance and to receive eternal life. Jesus came to heal the sick, not affirm their sickness. Jesus frees us from bondage to sin.

The Surprised Disciples and Sycharians (4:30-42)

The disciples were shocked that Jesus spoke with the woman at the well. Jesus used it as a teachable moment to get their focus off the things of the world and “lift up your eyes and look on the fields, that they are white for harvest” (4:35). Jesus said, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work” (4:34). We are to know Jesus and to make him known. The woman told the people of Sychar about Jesus and “many more believed because of His word” (4:41). They declared “We have heard for ourselves and know that this One is the Savior of the world” (4:42).


It is amazing that Jesus knows the sinfulness of this woman and He still offers her salvation. Hebrews 13:8 tells us “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” This is great news because Jesus knows our sinfulness and our sinful past and still offers us salvation and freedom from the bondage of sin. The way you receive this salvation is not by being a good person, but by confessing (acknowledging) that you are not a good person. Salvation is a gift to be received by faith (Eph 2:8). Jesus’ first sermon was “Repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15). 

Do you know Jesus? Does Jesus know you? Do you confess He is the Savior of the world? Our God is an awesome God! He sees the depths of our heart and He loves us the same. He is amazing! Let us worship Him and praise His holy name. 

You Must Be Born Again (John 3:1-21)

Jesus is the One who gives us eternal life! This testimony is given to us by a Pharisee named Nicodemus. The Pharisees were a Jewish religious group that emphasized a strict adherence to the Law of Moses and the Oral traditions passed down through “the elders” (see Matt 15:1). Nicodemus tells Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him” (3:2). Jesus didn’t want Nicodemus to just see Him as a teacher from God, but as the One through Whom you may receive eternal life. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (3:3). Nicodemus didn’t understand and Jesus told him: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (3:16). Nicodemus testifies that Jesus is the Son of God who has been sent to give eternal life to all who believe.

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God’s Purpose: “For God So Loved the World

God is love” (1 John 4:8) and He created humans to have a personal relationship with Him. This relationship is one of love–one where God shows His love to people and where people show their love to Him. Augustine said it well, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” Our relationship is not primarily about rituals and rules. Unlike most religions it is not based on fear. God created us, loves us and made us for a relationship with Himself. With this being true, why then are so many separated from God?

Man’s Problem: “Perish

God’s great creation has been broken. Who broke it?  We did. The ground was cursed when Adam and Eve sinned (rebelled) against God (Gen 3:17). As a result of Adam and Eve’s sin, death came into the world and every person inherits Adam’s sinful nature (Rom 5:12). Sin is failing to do that which is pleasing to God and doing what God has forbidden. We are separated from God because of sin. We are sinners who sin and in our sin we disobey God. Jesus said “Whoever does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only son of God” (3:18). Jesus also said, “This is the judgment that Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil” (3:19). 

We inherit a sinful nature (Flesh – Eph 2:3). We live in a sinful world (World – 1 John 2:15). We have an enemy (devil – Eph 6:12). Paul tells us that “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Cor 4:4). James 1:15 says, “Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” Death is the punishment for sin. The Bible says that if anyone dies physically while spiritually separated from God, he/she will spend eternity in a place called hell. We all deserve judgment and condemnation.

God’s Solution: “That He Gave His only Son

God loves us, He made us for a relationship with Himself. God knows that our sin separates us from Him and has given us His Son to remove our sin so that we can be reconciled. Jesus was born of the virgin. He lived a sinless life. He died a sacrificial death. He was raised from the dead and has ascended into heaven. We all deserve judgment and condemnation “but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Eph 2:5). In Romans 5:8, Paul told the church in Rome that “God demonstrates His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How are we born again?

Man’s Response: “Whoever Believes in Him

God provides a way to be forgiven of sin and be reconciled to Him. How does this happen? Jesus said it is for “Whoever believes in Him.” What does it mean to believe in Him? It is not enough to simply believe that Jesus exists. It is not enough to believe that Jesus died on the cross. To believe in Jesus means that you “confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead” (Rom 10:9). To believe in Christ means He is your Lord and Savior and that His death removed your sins and that you now receive the Holy Spirit and begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. To believe means committing everything to Him. It means you trust Him. A major component of salvation is repentance. Repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. We confess that we are sinners and turn away from our sin. What happens when we believe?

God’s Promise: “Shall Have Eternal Life

God’s promise is that those who believe in Jesus shall have eternal life. Eternal life means living forever as a child of God (via adoption). In John 1:12-13, John wrote: “to all who did receive Him, who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (1:12-13). John wrote: “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11). We are told that eternal life is: inherited and received (Matt 19:29; Mark 10:30), comes through belief in the Son (John 3:36), and is given by Jesus (John 10:28). Here are some relevant verses about eternal life:

  • And this is eternal life, that they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3).
  • Whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life” (John 5:24) .
  • But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Romans 6:22).

“[God’s] ultimate purpose is the salvation of those in the world who believe in Him. Whoever believes in Him experiences new birth (3:3, 5), has eternal life (3:15, 16), is saved (3:17); the alternative is to perish (cf. also 10:28), to lose one’s life (12:25), to be doomed to destruction. There is no third option.”

D.A. Carson

Nicodemus testifies to us that at first he saw the signs and believed that Jesus was just a teacher from God. After talking with Jesus, Nicodemus has come to believe that Jesus is the One who gives us eternal life. This testimony reminds us of John’s purpose for writing: “these [signs] have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). Are you born again?

The Cleansing of the Temple (John 2:12-25)

What would happen if Jesus showed up at our worship service? Would He commend us for our perseverance (Rev 2:3)? Would He rebuke us for lukewarmness (Rev 3:16)? Would He come in and dine with us (Rev 3:20)? Would He make a scourge of cords and overturn our tables (John 2:15)? What would Jesus say and do if He walked through those doors? John is presenting testimonies concerning Jesus’ identity as the Christ, the Son of God. The fourth testimony comes from His disciples who remembered His holy zeal. 

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The Passover

After the wedding in Cana, Jesus “went down to Capernaum…and they stayed there a few days” (2:12). The Passover was near so Jesus “went up to Jerusalem” (2:13). The Passover is a 1-day Jewish festival celebrated on the 14th day of the 1st month (Nisan) on the Jewish calendar. It serves as a reminder of God delivering His people from slavery in Egypt (Ex 12; Deut 16). It specifically commemorates the final plague when the destroying angel passed over the Jewish houses (that had blood on the mantle) but came upon the firstborn son in the Egyptian houses. Passover is a feast of salvation in which a sacrifice was made that satisfied the wrath of God. 

Commotion in Your House

Jesus had been to the temple numerous times in His life but this visit was different. Jesus “found in the temple those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables” (2:14). Jews from around the world would come to the temple to offer sacrifices and pay the Temple tax. Those who traveled far were not required to bring their animals with them. They could purchase animals for sacrifice at the temple (Deut 14:24-26). They would bring their own currency but would need to exchange their coins for coins that were acceptable in the temple. This practice became rife with abuse. 

Passion for Your House

Jesus was well aware of the abuses and “made a scourge of cords, and drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen; and He poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables” (2:15). The problem wasn’t the money changing; the problem was that the Jewish authorities had turned “My Father’s house into a house of trade” (2:16). Whereas the money changing and purchasing of animals began as a necessary means to holy worship; over time it became a money-making enterprise that hindered holy worship. Jesus’ anger was the result of God’s house being profaned and He took action to stop it. 

In the latter clearing of the Temple (Matt 21; Mark 11; Luke 19), Jesus explicitly rebuked the people for making His Father’s house into “a robber’s den.” The outer part of the temple (the Court of Gentiles) was being polluted with commerce so that the Gentiles who came could not worship properly. Jesus’ disciples “remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house will consume Me.’” (2:17 quoted from Psalm 69:9). In driving out the money changers, Jesus displayed holy zeal for His Father’s house and His Father’s business. Zeal is a passionate commitment. Zeal includes emotion, but is more than emotion. It is a passionate commitment that is fueled by love for God.

Elevation of Your House

The Jewish authorities had no idea what was going on. They must have heard what John the Baptist had been saying about Jesus and were aware of Jesus’ teaching. When they saw Jesus casting the money changers out of the temple, they asked Him: “What sign do You show us as your authority for doing these things” (2:18)? In other words, who do you think you are? Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” (2:19). If that is not the answer you expected, you are not alone. No one–at this time–knew what He was talking about! The religious leaders assumed He was talking about the temple. They mockingly said to Him: “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” It appears from the text that Jesus chose not to answer anymore and left the temple. John 2:23 tells us “Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing.” 

It wasn’t until Jesus’ resurrection that His disciples understood what He meant with His statement: “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” John records for us that Jesus wasn’t speaking about the temple in Jerusalem but “He was speaking of the temple of His body. So when He was raised from the dead, His disciples remembered that He said this; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken” (2:20-22). What is Jesus saying? Jesus knows His actions in the temple are meant to elicit persecution from the Jewish and Roman authorities. He knows that His earthly ministry leads to the cross. His body (true temple) will be destroyed and raised up (resurrection) in three days. He also knows that the temple will be destroyed in 70AD. 


By clearing the temple, Jesus displayed zeal for God’s house and foretold judgment on the Jewish religious authorities who had allowed the house of worship to deteriorate into a house of merchandise. Jesus’ cleansing of the temple testifies to his concern for pure worship that comes from a right relationship with God. We are to forsake superficial worship and be zealous for Jesus and His ministry. 

If Jesus walked through those glass doors, what would He say and do? Would He commend or rebuke? Would He do a little of both? If you were on trial and the charge was zeal for Christ? Would there be enough evidence to convict you? Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. In Him we have life. Are we living our life with zeal for the Lord?

He Turned the Water into Wine (John 2:1-11)

The Gospel according to John was written so that we may “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing we may have life in His name” (John 20:31). John, in our current section, is presenting the testimony of seven witnesses who testify that Jesus is the Christ. The first testimony was from John the Baptist who said that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and he has come to prepare His way. The second testimony came from Jesus’ first converts who said that they have found the Messiah and He is worth forsaking all and following Him. The third testimony comes from Jesus’ mother (Mary) who says: “Whatever He says to you, do it” (2:5). This testimony also occurs during the first of seven signs of Jesus.

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The Setting: Wedding at Cana

In chapter 2, Jesus, his mother, and his disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana of Galilee. This wedding was possibly of a close relative or friend and weddings at this time could last as long as a week. The cost of the wedding was paid by the groom. The joyful mood of the wedding ends abruptly with Mary’s announcement to Jesus “They have no wine.” This might not seem to be a big deal to us, but, as D.A. Carson wrote: “To run out of supplies would be a dreadful embarrassment in a ‘shame’ culture; there is some evidence it could also lay the groom open to a lawsuit from aggrieved relatives of the bride.”

So, Mary makes Jesus aware of the situation. It is unclear what Mary expected from Jesus. Did she anticipate a miracle or hope He would figure something out? Most likely, Mary–knowing Jesus is the Son of God–wanted Him to perform a miracle and reveal Himself to everyone. What better place to begin–she reasoned–than to avoid a potential scandal for a friend/relative. 

Jesus’ response to Mary’s request is best described as blunt, but not rude. Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come?” (2:4). What does Jesus mean? A good translation is: “Dear woman, I hear your request for me to intervene to help and to declare Myself as the Christ (Messiah), but it is not the proper time for me to publicly reveal this and my power is not to be used for anything other than the glory of My Father.” Mary turned to the servants and said: “Whatever He says to you, do it.

The Sign: Water into Wine

Jesus did not declare Himself as the Messiah openly at this time, but He would graciously intervene in order to reveal His glory to His disciples so that they would believe. The result of the servants listening to Mary was Jesus’ first sign. Signs were miraculous events (sometimes public) that were meant to authenticate Jesus’ claim to be the Christ, the Son of God. The signs were verifiable proof that Jesus was sent from God (John 3:2). The first sign is turning water into wine. Jesus told the servants: “Fill the waterpots with water. Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter” (2:7-8). The waterpots were “six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each” (2:6). How were the pots utilized for Jewish purification? Mark 7:3 offers some insight, “For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they carefully wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders.” These pots were for religious traditions not prescribed in the Law of Moses. The headwaiter was the one in charge of the preparations and operations of the wedding. When the servants drew out the water (now wine) from the pots, they took it to the headwaiter who remarked on the high quality of the wine. 

The Significance: Manifest His Glory

Jesus could not do exactly what Mary wanted, but He would use this as an opportunity to reveal His glory to His disciples. By turning the water into wine, Jesus demonstrated His power over creation to make it do what it would not normally do. Jesus performs a miracle: turning water into wine. In this miracle, Jesus showed His ability to transform. For example: 

  • Jesus transformed the shame of the bridegroom into praise. 
  • Jesus transformed the misery of Mary into joy. 
  • Jesus transformed the water of legalism (Mark 7) into wine for celebration. 

In addition to this, the significance of the water into wine can be seen in the following ways:

  • Jesus not only forgives us of our sins (water for purification) but grants us His own righteousness (wine for celebration). 
  • We get a look at how the “good wine” at the end (New Covenant) is better than the first wine (Old Covenant). See also Matthew 9:17.
  • The transformation of water into wine is significant in that wine later came to symbolize His purifying blood (Matthew 26:28) of the New Covenant.
  • Most importantly, we see Jesus’ glory revealed!

What Can We Learn from Mary’s Testimony?

The sign Jesus performed signifies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Let us also remember that this sign is given in the context of John’s presentation of seven witnesses concerning Jesus. In John 2:1-11, we hear from Mary, the mother of Jesus, who testifies, “Whatever He says to you, do it” (2:5). Mary wanted Jesus to help with the wedding and knew that He would do something because He is gracious and merciful. Her testimony to the servants is that they should do whatever Jesus tells them to do. This is just as God the Father said at Jesus’ baptism: “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” (Luke 9:35).What can we learn from Mary’s testimony? We learn the necessity of obeying Jesus. Before Jesus ascended into heaven after His resurrection, He told His disciples that they are to make disciples and included in this command is “teaching them to obey all that I commanded you” (Matt 28:20). Who are you listening to? Are your decisions made through prayer and seeking God’s will for your life? Take time this week to review some of your most recent or consequential decisions. Did you intentionally seek wisdom from Jesus through prayer and Bible study? Or did you do what you thought was best? Would you rather do what you think is best or what God tells you is best? Whatever Jesus says to you, do it.

Testimony of the First Converts (John 1:35-51)

John wrote his gospel so that we may “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing we may have life in His name” (John 20:31). In our current section of the Gospel of John, he presents for us seven witnesses who testify that Jesus is the Christ. Our first witness was John the Baptist who testified that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and he has come to prepare His way. Our second testimony comes from Jesus’ first converts who testify that they have found the Messiah and He is worth forsaking all and following.

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Unnamed Disciple (John?)

We heard John’s testimony last week and now he tells two of his disciples that Jesus is “the Lamb of God!” (1:36). Upon hearing John’s testimony, both of these disciples started following Jesus. When Jesus saw them following, He said to them “‘What do you seek?’ They said to Him, ‘Rabbi (which translated means Teacher), where are You staying?’ He said to them, ‘Come, and you will see.’ So they came and saw where He was staying; and they stayed with Him that day, for it was about the tenth hour” (1:38-39). They immediately left John to follow Jesus because of John’s testimony that Jesus is the Christ.


One of the disciples mentioned was “Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother” (1:40). Andrew heard that Jesus is the Lamb of God and knew He was the Christ. Andrew followed Jesus and stayed where He was. One of his first actions was to seek his brother Simon and tell him: “We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ)” (1:41). Andrew believed and sought out his brother so that he would believe as well. Andrew testified to Simon and to us that Jesus is the Christ! 

Simon (Peter)

When Jesus saw Simon, He looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter)” (1:42b). It is remarkable that there is no mention of Peter’s response. We are left to assume (rightly) that Simon accepted his new name and immediately followed Jesus. Why did Jesus change Simon’s name to Peter (which means “a rock”)? It is because Jesus knew the important role Peter would play as a disciple. He was a rock amongst them and would “strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32). Peter testifies to us that Jesus is the Christ! 


We are told that on the next day Jesus decided to go into Galilee. He found Philip there and said to him, “Follow Me.” (43). Philip followed Jesus and one of the first things he did was to find Nathanael, saying: “We have found Him of whom Moses in the Law and also the Prophets wrote–Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” (45). Like Andrew, Philip immediately had to share this good news with someone. Philip testifies to us that Jesus is the Christ.

Nathanael (Bartholomew)

Nathanael, also known as Batholomew, heard Philip speak of finding the Christ and described Him as “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” (45). Nathanael replied, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see” (1:46). Why did Nathanael disparage Nazareth like that? I believe the best interpretation is a reluctance on Nathanael’s part to believe that the Messiah would come from Nazareth. I believe this is the best reading because Jesus says of Nathanael Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit” (1:47).

Nathanael, surprised by this greeting, said to Jesus: “How do You know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you” (1:48). This had a profound impact on Nathanael, who answered: “Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel” (1:49). Jesus answered, “Because I said to you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these…Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see the heavens opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” (1:50-51). Jesus supernaturally revealed to Nathanael that He is the Christ and, invoking the image of Jacob’s ladder from Genesis 28, promised that Nathanael would see more than this because Jesus is the means through which heaven comes to earth! Nathanael testified that Jesus is the Christ.

What Can We Learn From Their Testimony?

Robert Stein wrote: “Being a Christian involves following Jesus and leaving everything.” What do we leave behind? We are to leave behind everything that hinders us from following Him. As Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” 

If you are not a Christian, Jesus is calling you to “Follow Me.” What is keeping you from becoming a Christian? Jesus is Lord whether you accept Him or not. As Lord, He is “declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17:30-31). Repent and believe.

Maybe you are a Christian, but you have become “ineffective and unfruitful” (2 Peter 1:8). What are the areas in your life not fully surrendered to God? Is it your job? Your house? Your family? Your finances? Jesus’ first converts testify that He is the Christ, the Son of God and He is worth forsaking all and following Him! These first converts committed their life to following Jesus. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and you cannot remain neutral with Jesus. Surrender all to the One who loves you the greatest. Only in Jesus will we find rest.

John’s Testimony (John 1:19-34; 3:22-36)

John wrote his gospel so that we may “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing we may have life in His name” (John 20:31). In our next major section of John, he presents seven witnesses who testify that Jesus is the Christ. Our first witness is John the Baptist who testifies: “I have come to prepare the way!” 

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Concerning Himself

We are introduced to “a man having been sent from God, whose name was John” (1:6). This John is not the writer of this gospel, but known as John the Baptist. John was very clear that he was not the Christ (1:20). In the Old Testament, God promised to send His Anointed One (Messiah/Christ) Son who would reign as King over His people. The Christ (Messiah) was the offspring of Eve/Abraham/David that was to restore mankind to the relationship with God that was lost with Adam and Eve.

When asked if he was Elijah or the Prophet, he said “I am not…no” (1:21). They asked if he was Elijah for two reasons. First, because he looked like him. In Matthew 3:4, we read: “Now John himself had a garment of camel’s hair and leather belt around his waist.” The best description we have of Elijah comes from 2 Kings 1:8: “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” Elijah was a prophet who called the nation of Israel to repentance around 850 BC. 

Second, because the prophet Malachi told the Israelites around 400 BC that the Lord would “send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord” (Mal 4:5). Elijah would “turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (Mal 4:6). The New Testament tells us that the fulfillment of the prophecy about Elijah was John the Baptist. The angel of the Lord told Zechariah (John’s father) that John would “turn many of the sons of Israel to the Lord their God, and he will go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Luke 1:16-17). Later Zechariah said, “And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways” (Luke 1:76). John told the truth that he is not Elijah (He is John!); but we know that he is the fulfillment of the Malachi prophecy. His father said he will come in the “spirit and power of Elijah” (Luke 1:17) and Jesus said, “Elijah already came…Then the disciples understood that He had spoken to them about John the Baptist” (Matt 17:12-13).

They asked if John was “The Prophet”. In Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses told the Jews: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers; you shall listen to Him.” John was a prophet (Luke 1:76) but he was not The Prophet because this was fulfilled in Jesus (John 6:14). So, who is John? He said, “I am a voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said” (1:23).

Concerning His Baptism

John is the one who prepares the way of Christ through baptism. His baptizing was:

  • To show the need to have a sacrifice that removes our sin (1:29)
  • To reveal Christ to Israel (v. 31)
  • To testify that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God (v. 34)
  • A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3)
  • Can’t enter into the kingdom through pedigree (Matt 3:9)

Concerning Jesus

John came to prepare the way for Jesus. John said, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has been ahead of me, for He existed before me’” (1:15). His authority comes from God so he does not lift up himself but lifts up God. John said of Jesus: “This One is He who comes after me, of whom I am not worthy to untie the strap of His sandal” (1:27) which would be the task of a slave (John 13). John prepared the way through baptism.

John’s ministry was to prepare hearts and minds to receive Christ as the promised Savior of the world. John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance and it demonstrates to us that we must repent and believe the gospel in order to have restoration with God.

What Can We Learn from John’s Testimony?

John testified that a person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven (27). John famously said, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (3:30). 

I Must Decrease

What does it mean to decrease? It means a denial of self-love and self-preservation.

Denial of Self-love. As Christians, we are not to love ourselves the most. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” Paul wrote, “I say to each one among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound thinking” (Rom 12:3). Christ frees us from the bondage of constantly looking out only for ourselves, the sting of insults, the pain of rejection, etc.

Denial of Self-preservation. Christians are not to be consumed with our comfort and protection. Christ frees us from the bondage of seeking to make ourselves comfortable and from being weakened by fear of man so that we are blinded to our true calling.

He Must Increase

Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God! He must increase! Jesus is the true bridegroom (3:29). He is above all things (3:31). He speaks the words of God and gives the Spirit without measure (3:34). All things given into His hand by the Father (3:35). Jesus gives eternal life to all who believe in Him. To those who reject Him, they “will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him” (3:36). 

John the Baptist testifies that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. Do you confess the same?

The Word Became Flesh (John 1:3-18)

The first 18 verses of the Gospel of John are commonly referred to as “The Prologue”. James White has said: “The prologue of John is a literary masterpiece. Its balance is almost unparalleled…the brightest minds have been fascinated by it and have always marveled at its beauty.” Albert Mohler adds: “The prologue is the lens through which the rest of John’s gospel is to be read. Many of its most important themes are introduced here (light, darkness, truth, witness, and world).” 

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The Creator of All

Last week we learned that Jesus is “The Word” and that “He was in the beginning with God.” Jesus existed eternally with the Father and the Holy Spirit at the moment of creation. In verse 3, we also learn that “All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.” Here are some other verses that reveal to us that everything that has been created has been created by Jesus:

  • He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.” (John 1:10)
  • For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities–all things have been created through Him and for Him.” (Colossians 1:16)
  • In these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds.” (Hebrews 1:2)

The Life-Giver

John says, “In Him was life…” (4). At first it appears that John is simply reaffirming that Jesus is the One through whom the world was created, but that’s not what John is doing. John has shown that Jesus gives physical life and now he is speaking of spiritual life (e.g., eternal life). Jesus said in John 10:10: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” He also said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” 

Jesus gives physical life (as Creator) and spiritual life (as the Light). Everyone who is born has physical life and everyone who is born again, has spiritual life. This spiritual life means that you are free from the condemnation of sin and reconciled to God. Sin brought death and death came to all. All who sin are under the judgment of God and deserve the just punishment for sin. Jesus, however, is free from sin, free from the judgment of God, and therefore does not deserve to die. This is an important aspect that makes the gospel clearer!

The Unconquerable Light

The good news is that Jesus has life and the good news gets even better when we discover that Jesus shares this life. John writes, “…and the life was the Light of men” (4). This spiritual life is meant to be given to us because of our current state of condemnation. But take heart lest you feel that you are too far gone to receive this life, the life is a light that shines upon us and the darkness is powerless to stop it (1:5). No matter how evil or far gone you feel you are, the life of the Word is able to come upon you. As we shall soon see, the Word, Life, and Light are all Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, the Son of God!

John said “there was a man having been sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the Light, so that all might believe through Him” (1:6-7). He was not the Light but came to tell everyone that the Light was coming and to prepare themselves for that day by believing that this was from God. This Light came into the world, the world He created, yet the world rejected Him. The very people He created refused to believe who He was, but some did believe and they were given the right to become children of God. It is important to see that one becomes a child of God not through heritage or hard work, but through the grace of God. Jesus said “For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that the darkness will not overtake you.; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of light” (John 12:35-36).

The Incarnation

John 1:14 is one of the most consequential verses in the Bible. John writes: “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we held His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” This is a remarkable truth! Jesus is God the Son who took on human flesh and was for a little while lower than the angels (Heb 2:7 & 9) and endured the suffering of death (Heb 2:9). He shares in flesh and blood along with other humans (Heb 2:14), He is made like His brothers in every respect (Heb 2:17). Because of his suffering, He was crowned with glory and honor (Heb 2:9). 

God the Son became God with us: Immanuel. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:6-7 that when Jesus was born, He “emptied Himself.” What does that mean? It means that He did not empty Himself of His divinity but emptied Himself of His rights and privileges. Paul said that Jesus “emptied Himself by taking the form of a slave, by being made in the likeness of men.” This is referred to as the Hypostatic Union. This is the phrase used to describe how God the Son took on human nature, yet remained fully God at the same time. The Bible does not teach that Jesus stopped being God when He took on human form and became like us; but that He added human nature to His Divine nature and thus has two natures. This may seem hard to comprehend, but we must remember that our belief about Jesus is derived from Scripture. 

The blessing of Jesus being fully God and fully man is: 1) Being fully God He is able to live a sinless life and provide the perfect and acceptable sacrifice for sin and 2) Being fully man, He is able to die on our behalf. Only Jesus Christ can save us from our sins and reconcile us back to God. Finally, in verse 18, we read: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.” This remarkable verse means that while no one has ever seen the Father at any time because “God is Spirit” (John 4:24), the Son has revealed Him to us perfectly (see John 14:7-10). Jesus is the Son of God and He is the Christ promised and my prayer is that you believe and by believing you may have life in his name.

In the Beginning was the Word (John 1:1-2)

It is exciting to begin a new sermon series. I hope you are as excited as I am to walk through the Gospel of John and “Behold the Lamb of God!” (John 1:36). As we learn about Jesus, I pray we would “believe…and that by believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:31). 

The Beginning

John begins his presentation of Christ by writing, “In the beginning was the Word” (1:1). In doing so, John makes a clear connection with Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Whereas, Matthew and Luke begin their Gospels around 4 BC with the birth of Jesus and Mark begins his Gospel around 26 AD with the ministry of Jesus; John begins His Gospel by going back to a time before time with the preexistence of Jesus. It is hard for us to fathom what life was like before time and space existed because we are bound by its limitations. We can only be at one place at one time. Time and space were created by God for us and will continue until Jesus’ return and establishment of “the new heavens and the new earth” (Rev 21).

The Word (Jesus) existed before creation and He has no origin of creation. This means that before the world was created, the Word existed. Jesus, Himself, said in His prayer: “Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5). The Bible tells us that God did not create Himself because He is eternal. God always has and always will exist. The four living creatures testify to this truth continually: “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God, the Almighty, Who was and Who is and Who is to come” (Rev 4:8). Isaiah 57:15 says that God “inhabits eternity.” 

The Word

We know the Word exists forever, but what is the Word? The “Word” is translated from the Greek word Logos. What is Logos? D.A. Carson says,

In short, God’s ‘Word’ in the Old Testament is His powerful self-expression in creation, revelation, and salvation, and the personification of that ‘Word’ makes it suitable for John to apply it as a title to God’s ultimate self-disclosure, the person of His own Son.

Pillar Commentary: John

Thus, the Word, according to the Believer’s Study Bible, is “the unique communication of God to man, which He accomplished in human flesh (14) through the Logos, Jesus, the Son of God.” The Word is Jesus.

The Word is Jesus and through the Bible we learn about Jesus’ full deity (Son of God) and perfect humanity (Son of Man). The Chalcedonian definition is helpful to get us to wrap our minds around this wonderful truth:

Therefore…we all unite in teaching that we should confess one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. This same One is perfect in deity, and the same One is perfect in humanity; the same One is true God and true man, comprising a rational soul and a body. He is of the same essence as the Father according to His deity, and the same One is of the same essence with us according to His humanity, like us in all things except sin.

Council of Chalcedon

Donald Fairbairn said, “The Chalcedonian Definition seeks to affirm that the Son, who is fully equal to the Father, has genuinely become fully human without ceasing to be divine, in order to accomplish our salvation.” 

With and Was

We are then told that “the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God” (1:1-2). How is it possible that the Word (Jesus) “was with God” and “was God”? This only makes sense if God is Trinity. A close up of a map

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What is Trinity? A thorough definition is:

There is only one true and living God who exists eternally as three distinct persons – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The three persons exist as identically one, eternal, immortal, invisible, simple, incomprehensible, holy divine essence but relate to one another as distinct within the divine essence by eternal relations of origin and opposition.

Systematic Theology 2 class notes SBTS

The diagram above is helpful to show the relations between the Persons of the Trinity (Father, Son, and Spirit).

Jesus is the Word (Son) of God who took on human flesh (Phil 2:7) to bring us salvation. We affirm Jesus’ full deity and perfect humanity as the Second Person of the Trinity and we deny any teaching that contradicts this. Our understanding of Jesus has to conform to the fact that before the universe was created He was with God and was God. Therefore, we deny the following heresies (underlined) about Jesus and affirm what is listed in parenthesis:

  • Jesus is just a human being. (Jesus is more than a human, He is God with us – Is 7:14.)
  • Jesus wasn’t really a human being. (Jesus didn’t just appear to be human, He took upon flesh and blood. He walked, sailed, slept, ate, cried, and bled.) 
  • Jesus is God the Father and the Holy Spirit. (Jesus is distinct from the Father and the Spirit – see Matthew 3:16-17 and the Trinity at work in Jesus’ baptism.)
  • Jesus was created by God to be a demigod who helps humanity. (Jesus isn’t a god, He is Yahweh – see Isaiah 6:1-13 and John 12:37-41.) 
  • Jesus is one of three Gods mentioned in the Bible. (There is only one God – see Deuteronomy 6:4; 1 Corinthians 8:4.)
  • Jesus is one-third God along with the Father and the Spirit. (Jesus is not part of God. Jesus is fully God along with the Father and the Spirit.)

Believe what the Bible teaches, even if it is hard to comprehend. Believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and receive eternal life.