August 26, 2018 Exodus 6:3 Again

Exodus 6:3 Again

Let me begin by framing this study of John 2.1-22 (ESV) as representative of Jesus’ developing our mindset on God throughout the remainder of John’s Gospel. This is the reason the Word (John 1.1) took upon Himself flesh (John 1.14) to reveal the Father/ Creator to mankind (John 1.18). Our challenge is to know and understand God (Jeremiah 9.23-24) through the specific seven miracles and other teachings of Jesus, among the many (John 21.25), which the Holy Spirit refreshed in John’s memory during the 60 years from the time John personally experienced Jesus (1 John 1.1-4).

The study of John 2.1-22 prompts the following questions:

  • Why do you think the Holy Spirit begins with Jesus’ first miracle of turning water
into wine?
  • What did Jesus’ objection, “My hour has not yet come” (verse 4), mean?
  • What did Mary expect Jesus to do (verse 5)? What or Who might have prompted her to engage Him in the bridegroom’s troubles?
  • How did Jesus’ solution “manifest His glory” (verse 11)? What is the connection of this to John 1.18?
  • How many disciples were with Jesus at this wedding?
  • Why did Jesus object to merchants’ enabling worshippers in the Temple with their 
offerings?
  • Why did Jesus justify His actions with, seeming, hyperbole?
  • To what past and future events was Jesus referring and why (verse 19; Jonah)?
  • What was the reaction of His disciples?

The Wedding Feast

On the “third day” after Jesus’ baptism and calling of Andrew and Simon/Peter as disciples, (John 1.26-42) and on the same day that Jesus called Phillip and Nathanael as disciples (John 1.43-2.1), Jesus left Bethany (or Bethsaida, perhaps) for Cana in Galilee, to attend a wedding there with his mother. At the wedding feast, Jesus replenished the exhausted supply of wine with pure, Heavenly wine (John 2.1-10).

Jesus’ objection but obedience to Mary’s request (John 2.3) is understood in the following:

The phrase [“My hour has not yet come.”] constantly refers to Jesus’ death and exaltation (John 7:30 8:20 12:23, 27 13:1 17:1). He was on a divine schedule decreed by God before the foundation of the world. Since the prophets characterized the messianic age as a time when wine would flow liberally (Jeremiah. 31:12; Hosea. 14:7; Amos 9:13–14), Jesus was likely referring to the fact that the necessity of the cross must come before the blessings of the millennial age. (MacArthur, John 2.3)

As I was prayerfully reflecting upon Jesus’ objection, I was reminded that Jesus will be our Bridegroom in the New Earth (Revelation 21.1-22.14) and will celebrate our wedding feast! It was a pleasing thought that Jesus might have expressed melancholy, too, in His statement.

The study title, Exodus 6.3 Again, suggests another understanding that might be communicated by the Holy Spirit through this, Jesus’ first miracle. This OT verse is a pivot by God to Moses that will evidence the hitherto unacknowledged characteristic of God’s Omnipotence: LORD! God had revealed Himself to earlier generations as El Shaddai or God Almighty (Psalm 91.1) providing for their various needs. And, while God Almighty would continue to provide manna (Exodus 16.14-15; Joshua 5.12) and resilient cloths and sandals (Deuteronomy 29.5) for the wandering Jews until they crossed the Jordan River opposite Jericho, He would reveal His Lordship by driving from the Promised Land the peoples whose lifestyles were profaning it (Leviticus 18.24-28). In Cana, Jesus reveals God Almighty (John 1.18) by providing wine for His needy celebrants…and only the best! He would, next, demonstrate God as LORD of the Temple and of life.

Cleansing the Temple

At Jesus’ first presentation of Himself at the Feast of Passover (Deuteronomy 16.16-17) in Jerusalem as Messiah, His indignant behavior, expressing His mindset, drove out the Temple merchants, which He might have seen there during earlier annual, family visits. They were, now, abhorrent! The four disciples understood that Jesus’ words (John 2.15 & 16) and deeds were probably from God reminding them of David’s Psalm 69.9: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Jesus had demonstrated His “zeal” on one other recorded occasion, when at age 12, He questioned and answered the teachers in the Temple; Luke 2.46.

What did Jesus’ answer announce to those who heard Him (John 2.19)? This reply would be repeated to accuse Jesus at trial (Matthew 26.61, Mark 14.58) and would become a derision from the onlookers at the Cross (Matthew 27.40, Mark 15.29-30). But, was this Jesus’ ‘poking the bear’, so to speak? Was this announcement of His resurrection an initial statement of certainty that He would triumph in the end over their threats and, eventual, crucifixion of Him? Would Jesus’ second “loud cry” from the Cross (Matthew 27.50; Mark 15.37) declare His victory over satan’s evil system, like the male lion announcing his successful night of hunting? Jesus’ pronouncement would be a repeat of Omnipotent God declaring in arrears and in advance His victory over all of the gods of Egypt, in Exodus 12.12. Jesus IS Lord (Luke 2.11, Romans 10.9, Joel 2.32a, Philippians 2.11)!

MacArthur writes about the 46 years construction of the building (verse 20):
In 20/19 b.c. Herod the Great began a reconstruction and expansion [of the Temple completed by Jews returning from Babylonian captivity in 516 b.c.]. Workers completed the main part of the project in 10 years, but other parts were still being constructed even at the time Jesus cleansed the temple. Interestingly, the finishing touches on the whole enterprise were still being made at its destruction by the Romans along with Jerusalem in a.d. 70. The famous “Wailing Wall” is built on part of the Herodian temple foundation. (MacArthur, John 2.20)

John 2.11 & 22 tell us the reactions of the disciples to these two events. How were their mindsets changed? Remember that only four disciples were present with Jesus at the Feast and would have been among others experiencing His resurrection. They already knew Jesus was Omniscient (John 1.35-51). What characteristic of God did they learn in Cana and Jerusalem? What is your reaction? How will this study increase your faith and change your lifestyle? How do these two illustrations change your mindset about Jesus?

References

ESV. English Standard Version of the Holy Bible. www.olivetree.com.

MacArthur. MacArthur Study Bible Notes. www.olivetree.com.

Exodus 6.3 Again 180819

Praise God!!! Copyright © 2018 by Maurice L. Painter. www.sozoclass.com.

August 12, 2018

OMNISCIENT

The first chapter of John’s Gospel presents a trilogy of purposes which the Word would accomplish in bringing Life and Light (John 1.4 & 9) to Earth (Painter, June 29, 2018). We have considered two in previous studies of Grace and Truth (Painter, July 14, 2018) and Veritas Really (July 25, 2018). This study considers the third: Revealing God (John 1.18: “No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known”; ESV Bible; John 1.1, 4.24). Specifically, Jesus reveals God’s Omniscience in His introductions to Peter and Nathanael as we finish chapter one. In retrospect, the author should have connected Grace to God’s Omnipotence and Truth to God’s Omnipresence.

John 1.35-42tells the story of Jesus’ foreknowledgeof Peter’s proclamation in Matthew 16.15-18, but not recorded by John. Please read these passages in order before continuing. Jesus declaration to Simon, “You shall be called
Cephas” (which means Peter)” [Aramaic and Greek for “rock”, respectively (Strong’s)], is better understood by considering “shall be” as a future event, when Jesus confirms Peter’s declaration, “‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God’” (Matthew 16.16), as coming from God (ibid, verse 17) and as being the foundation upon which the church is established and developed (ibid, verse 18; Acts 16.31; Romans 10.9-10). Peter did not begin with that understanding but grew into it; see Luke 5.8. The church is built upon the solid rock of faith that begins with receiving (John 1.12) the Anointed Savior Whom we must make Lord over our lives for the remainder of our earthly lives (Hebrews 12.1-2; Romans 12.1-2).

A curious question: does God foreknow the tasks He will accomplish through us when He welcomes us to Earth at our birth? Are many people dissatisfied with their lives and/or are they underutilized because they never discover His purpose for them? They may never have been taught and encouraged to this reality and, so, have chosen less than His best because that was satan’s scheme? God’s tasks, of course, become fulfilled by another, although the blessing was intended for the former. See Jeremiah 1.5, 9-10; John 3.27.

John 1.43-51tells the story of Jesus’ historical knowledge of Nathanael’s prayers for the coming of Messiah (Henry). Perhaps, Nathanael’s favorite location for praying to and for contemplating God and Scripture was a secluded fig tree, where Phillip may have found him (ibid, verse 45). “This showed [Nathanael] that our Lord knew the secrets of his heart. Through Christ we commune with, and benefit by the holy angels; and things in heaven and things on earth are reconciled and united together” (Henry).

It is interesting that Jesus addresses Nathanael as “‘an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit’” (ibid, verse 47). In the first part, Jesus certifies Nathanael’s lineage from Patriarch Jacob; in the second, He recognizes him as more pure than his deceiving progenitor (Genesis 27.36).

Jesus’ declaration in John 1.51may have reminded Nathanael of the story from Genesis 28.10-22. Jesus, then, reveals it’s true meaning: Jesus IS the ladder—the only way to God (John 14.6)! After all, the Lord Jesus stood at the top of the ladder (Genesis 28.13), and we, believers in Jesus (John 1.12), begin our upward climb by being baptized “into” His Name, “Jesus” (Matthew 28.19).

Jesus’ knowledge of Nathanael’s past practice sufficed as proof to him of Jesus’ divinity and as the answer to his prayers, as Nathanael declares in John 1.49: “‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!’” Nathanael’s declaration is a contrast to his colloquialism in John 1.46, an adage expressing the historic insignificance of Nazareth; see John 7.52.Matthew 2.22-23states why Joseph chose Nazareth as Jesus’ home. Luke includes the later significance of ‘Nazarene’ in Acts 24.5(MacArthur).

Note the three levels of Nathanael’s understanding of Jesus: Teacher, Savior/ Messiah, Ruler! [Perhaps, Jeremiah 9.23-24was Nathanael’s statement of life purpose, as it is this writer’s.] Nathanael’s statement is a confirmation of John’s declaration in John 1.9. Apostle Paul states other ways in 1 Corinthians 15.28. Dr. Ronald Nash emphasizes the comprehensiveness of “Jesus” in the following:

After John describes Jesus as the cosmological Logos [John 1.1-3], he presents Him as the epistemological Logos. John declares that Christ was  “the true light that enlightens every man” (John 1.9). In other words, the epistemological Logos is not only the mediator of divine special revelation (John 1.14), He is also the ground of all human knowledge. (Nash, 1982, p. 67)

Only God is Omniscient! Jesus’ statements to Nathanael and to Simon give us the extremes of omniscience: knowledge of the past and equal knowledge of the future. This has been and will be true for every person born in the image of God (Genesis 1.26). None escapes His notice (2 Chronicles 16.9a; Proverbs 5.21). But, how do you know and understand Him better in the contexts of your daily walk? Do you know His purpose for your life? Reflect upon the iterations of your career. How can you see God’s leadership? Is He finished with you? I doubt it!

Let me offer a final word about the description of Jesus by John the Baptist that must have piqued the curiosity of Andrew and Phillip; John 1.29: “‘Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!’” Because of this declaration by God through JB, Andrew found Simon and Phillip found Nathanael for sharing the good news. John, the Apostle, discusses the Lamb of God 28 times in his final Book, Revelation, beginning with the beloved Heavenly scene in Revelation 5.1-14(Naves). Concerning this first inclusion, Zondervan writes:

He had seven horns, which probably were symbolic of his great power. He had seven eyes that represented his ceaseless vigilance for the people of God; thus the eyes were reinterpreted as the seven spirits of God, the fullness of God’s Spirit working in behalf of his people. His attributes were those of God—omnipotence and omniscience. (Zondervan)

Apparently, the Holy Spirit chose this trilogy — Omnipotent Grace, Omnipresent Truth, and Omniscient Revelation — for John to remember and write about 60 years after he walked with Jesus on Earth. They are the Life and Light that will be seen, heard, and learned in the remaining chapters of John’s Gospel. Omniscience and Omnipotence, in His Omnipresence. And, you are IN Him (John 17.21)!

OMNISCIENT 180805/12*
Praise God!!! Copyright © 2018 by Maurice L. Painter. www.sozoclass.com. !3

References
ESV Bible. English Standard Version. Referenced unless noted otherwise.

www.olivetree.com.
Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible.

www.olivetree.com.
MacArthur. MacArthur Bible Study Notes.www.olivetree.com.
Nash, Ronald H. 1982. The Word of God and The Mind of Man. P&R Publishing.

Phillipsburg, NJ.
Naves. Naves Topical Bible Index. www.olivetree.com.
Painter, Maurice L. June 29, 2018. Explaining the Incomprehensible.

www.sozoclass.com.
Painter, Maurice L. July 14, 2018. Grace and Truth. www.sozoclass.com. Painter, Maurice L. July 28, 2018. Veritas Really. www.sozoclass.com. Strong’s. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. www.olivetree.com. Zondervan. Zondervan Illustrated Bible Dictionary. www.olivetree.com.