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“At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman.” ~Apostle John

“At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman.” ~Apostle John

Justice

I can count on Jesus to be just and treat me fairly. That is way He is. Jesus is loving and Jesus is just. The big deal is that I need faith in Jesus and in His justice. As we learn from the Canaanite woman in Tyre, it starts with mercy and moves on to faith. Jesus is impressed with that approach to justice.

Having been made in His image, we humans long for moral justice to prevail upon the earth and are outraged when we see injustice happening around us. Why do we seek justice for crimes? It’s in our DNA. King David’s outrage when the poor man’s lamb was taken away by the rich man resonates within us. That is why Nathan told the story to David in the first place because it revealed David’s own injustice in taking Uriah’s wife from him. David’s immediate repentant prayer was effective because by admitting his sin against God, he acknowledged the righteousness of God. The Master told David through the prophet Nathan that even though his sin was forgiven, the child resulting from the adulterous affair would die, demonstrating the fact that his sin still had to be judged.

As for the future, the book of Revelation reveals the justice of God in all its glory during the end times. When the saints watch the destruction of the earth, their song will be of God’s righteous judgment upon the inhabitants for their ultimate sin of rejecting Him. We are promised that someday, when the Messiah physically reigns on earth, God’s righteous justice will finally be on full display.

  • John 4:9 — 9 Therefore the Samaritan woman said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
  • John 4:27 — At this point His disciples came, and they were amazed that He had been speaking with a woman, yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why do You speak with her?”
  • Matthew 9:10–12 — Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick.
  • Matthew 15:21–28 — Jesus went away from there, and withdrew into the district of Tyre and Sidon. And a Canaanite woman from that region came out and began to cry out, saying, “Have mercy on me, Master, Son of David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed.” But He did not answer her a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, “Send her away, because she keeps shouting at us.” But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Master, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Master; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed at once.

Does Jesus know what is in mankind? Does Jesus know our heart?

Jesus Knows

Jesus knows me. Jesus knows my heart. Jesus knows my secrets and my longings. Jesus knows everything about me. it is important I understand that. Nothing is hidden with Him. I don’t have to pretend. Jesus knows what is in me!

While he was in Jerusalem during the Passover Festival, many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing. Jesus, however, would not entrust himself to them, since he knew them all and because he did not need anyone to testify about man; for he himself knew what was in man. | John 2:23-25

While in Jerusalem for the Passover, Jesus performed miracles that are not given in detail in any of the good news books. It must have been these signs that especially attracted Nicodemus. Because of the miracles, many people professed to believe in Him; but Jesus did not accept their profession. No matter what the people themselves said, or others said about them, He did not accept human testimony. Why? Because, being God, He knew what was in each person’s heart and mind.

These people believed in Jesus, but He did not believe in them! They were “unsaved believers”! It was one thing to respond to a miracle but quite something else to commit oneself to Jesus the Messiah and continue in His Word.

John was not discrediting the importance of our Master’s signs, because he wrote his book to record these signs and to encourage his readers to trust Jesus and receive eternal life. However, throughout the book, John makes it clear that it takes more than believing in miracles for a person to be saved. Seeing the signs and believing in them would be a great beginning; in fact, even the disciples started that way and had to grow in their faith.

Throughout the book of John, you see the Jewish people divided over the meaning of these miracle. The same miracles that attracted Nicodemus to Jesus caused some of the other religious leaders to want to kill Him! They even asserted that His miracles were done in the power of Satan! Our Master’s miracles were testimonies, giving evidence of His divine sonship; but they were also tests, exposing the hearts of the people. The same events that opened some eyes only made other eyes that much more blind.

It is important to see that Jesus tied His miracles to the truth of His message. He knew that the human heart is attracted to the sensational. The 5,000 that He fed wanted to make Him King—until He preached a sermon on the Bread of Life, and then they left Him in droves! Grace and truth came by Jesus the Messiah. In grace, Jesus fed the hungry; in truth, He taught the Word. The people wanted the physical food but not the spiritual truth, so they abandoned Him.

“He knew what was in man” is a statement that is proved several times in John’s book. Jesus knew the character of Simon. He knew what Nathanael was like), and He told the Samaritan woman “all things” that she had ever done. He knew that the Jewish leaders did not have God’s love in their hearts, and that one of His disciples was not truly a believer. He saw the repentance in the heart of the adulteress  and the murder in the hearts of His enemies. Several times in the Upper Room message, Jesus revealed to His disciples their own inner feelings and questions.

As you follow our Master’s ministry in John’s book, you see Him moving gradually out of the bright light of popularity and into the dark shadows of rejection. At the beginning, it was easy for people to follow the crowd and watch His miracles. But then, His words began to penetrate hearts, with conviction following; and conviction leads either to conversion or opposition. It is impossible to be neutral. People had to decide, and most of them decided against Him.

People who want His works but not His Word can never share His life. “Seeing is believing” is not the disciple’s approach. First, we believe; then we see. Miracles can only lead us to the Word, and the Word generates saving faith.

Our Master’s accurate knowledge of the human heart is another evidence of His deity, for only God can see the inner person. This brief paragraph prepares us for the important interview with Nicodemus recorded in the next chapter.

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Sources:

  1. Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 2:1–25). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 293–294). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Why is Jesus the light for all of us? Why can’t His light be overcome?

Light shines

What is Jesus to me? Jesus is life. In Jesus, and only Jesus, I have life. There is no way around it. I can’t, and don’t, want to deny it. It is reality for me. Jesus is life!

In Jesus [him] was life, and that life was the light of men. That light shines in the darkness, and yet the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but he came to testify about the light.

The true light that gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was created through him, and yet the world did not recognize him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God. | John 1:4-13 (CSB)

Life is a key theme in John’s good news book; it is used thirty-six times. What are the essentials for human life? There are at least four: light (if the sun went out, everything would die), air, water, and food. Jesus is all of these!

Jesus is the Light of life and the Light of the world. He is the “Sun of righteousness”. By His Holy Spirit, He gives us the “breath of life”, as well as the Water of life. Finally, Jesus is the Living Bread of Life that came down from heaven. He not only has life and gives life, but He is life.

Light and darkness are recurring themes in John’s good news book. God is light while Satan is “the power of darkness”. People love either the light or the darkness, and this love controls their actions. Those who believe on the Messiah are the “sons of light”. Just as the first Creation began with “Let there be light!” so the New Creation begins with the entrance of light into the heart of the believer. The coming of Jesus the Messiah into the world was the dawning of a new day for man.

You would think that blind sinners would welcome the light, but such is not always the case. The coming of the true light brought conflict as the powers of darkness opposed it. A literal translation of John 1:5 reads, “And the light keeps on shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it or understood it.” The Greek verb can mean “to overcome” or “to grasp, to understand.” Throughout the good news book of John, you will see both attitudes revealed: people will not understand what the Master Jesus is saying and doing and, as a result, they will oppose Him. John 7–12 records the growth of that opposition, which ultimately led to the crucifixion of the Messiah.

Whenever Jesus taught a spiritual truth, His listeners interpreted it in a material or physical way. The light was unable to penetrate the darkness in their minds. This was true when He spoke about the temple of His body, the new birth, the living water, eating His flesh, spiritual freedom, death as sleep, and many other spiritual truths. Satan strives to keep people in the darkness, because darkness means death and hell, while light means life and heaven.

This fact helps explain the ministry of John the Baptizer. John was sent as a witness to Jesus the Messiah, to tell people that the Light had come into the world. The nation of Israel, in spite of all its spiritual advantages, was blind to their own Messiah! The word witness is a key word in this book; John uses the noun fourteen times and the verb thirty-three times. John the Baptizer was one of many people who bore witness to Jesus, “This is the Son of God!” Alas, John was martyred and the Jewish leaders did nothing to prevent it.

Why did the nation reject Jesus as the Messiah? Because they “knew Him not.” They were spiritually ignorant. Jesus is the “true Light”—the original of which every other light is a copy—but the Jews were content with the copies. They had Moses and the Law, the temple and the sacrifices; but they did not comprehend that these “lights” pointed to the true Light who was the fulfillment, the completion, of the Old Agreement.

As you study John’s good news book, you will find Jesus teaching the people that He is the fulfillment of all that was typified in the Law. It was not enough to be born a Jew; they had to be born again, born from above. He deliberately performed two miracles on the Sabbath to teach them that He had a new rest to give them. He was the satisfying manna and the life-giving Water. He is the Shepherd of a new flock, and He is a new Vine. But the people were so shackled by religious tradition that they could not understand spiritual truth. Jesus came to His own world that He had created, but His own people, Israel, could not understand Him and would not receive Him.

They saw His works and heard His words. They observed His perfect life. He gave them every opportunity to grasp the truth, believe, and be saved. Jesus is the way, but they would not walk with Him. He is the truth, but they would not believe Him. He is the life, and they crucified Him!

But today we need not commit those same blunders. John 1:12–13 gives us the marvelous promise of God that anyone who receives Christ will be born again and enter the family of God! John says more about this new birth in John 3, but he points out here that it is a spiritual birth from God, not a physical birth that depends on human nature.

The Light is still shining! Have you personally received the Light and become a child of God?

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

Sources:

  1. Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (Jn 1:1–51). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
  2. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 1, pp. 285–286). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.