BOOK BY BOOK BIBLE STUDY
BIBLE STUDY LESSON
For the week beginning Sunday January 19, 2014
THE POWER TO SAVE
(Giving guidance to people who are open to faith in JESUS)
In John chapter 4, verses 39-54, the woman, whom JESUS met at Jacob’s Well, went eagerly back to Samaria to witness of her life-changing event there with the LIVING SAVIOR. Her “actions” set off a “chain reaction” that led to many more people receiving the free gift of salvation, through the Gospel of CHRIST. And though she, herself still had many questions, nevertheless, her life had now been “jump-started in a new direction”. She had come to the well that day, no doubt, filled with shame for living a life that had, to that point, ostracized her from the other women of her community. However, she left the well having “a new lease on life” that one can only receive by coming to the end of one’s self, and coming face to face with CHRIST JESUS.
JESUS lingered there in Samaria for a couple of days and then continued on north to Galilee with HIS disciples. HE had already pointed out earlier how a prophet is often honored everywhere except his own home country. This proverbial saying, which is also mentioned by the Gospel writers, Matthew (Matt. 13:57) and Mark (Mark 6:4), is re-iterated here by the Apostle John (v. 44). Whether or not JESUS was talking about HIS earthly home country of Galilee, or, HIS beloved nation of Israel, is unclear.
Here, John seems to be preparing his readers for the upcoming rejection of JESUS’ doctrine, by even HIS OWN native Jewish people, during HIS three-year mission, here on earth. And even though they had been impressed with HIS miracles and wise speech, ultimately they were a part of the angry mob that killed HIM on Calvary. Their enthusiasm for the GOD WHO healed them was not always indicative of the faith, or lack thereof, that, they had in HIM.
Now there was a certain royal official with an ailing son, who had made the 25-mile trip from Capernaum hoping to meet JESUS when HE arrived in Cana. The tiny village of Cana was the site of JESUS’ first recorded miracle (John 2:1-12), where HE transformed several barrels of water into wine. Obviously, neither the official’s position, nor, his money, was enough to save his son who was now near death back in Capernaum.
The official soon found JESUS and began begging HIM to come to Capernaum and heal his son. JESUS asked the desperate official, who was probably of Jewish descent, “Must I do miraculous signs and wonders before you people will believe in ME?” Without receiving a response from the man, JESUS told him to “Go back home, your son will live”. The man believed JESUS and started on his way back home.
While he was in route back to Capernaum, he was met by a few of his servants. They informed the official that his son had made a miraculous recovery at around one o’clock the previous afternoon. When the official heard the time that was given to him by his servants, he knew that it was JESUS, WHO had healed his son. This was the second miracle that JESUS had performed in Galilee, after coming from Judea. From that day on, the official and his entire household became followers of CHRIST JESUS.
Personal testimony used along with GOD’s Word is still the best means of leading others to CHRIST, even though faith based on someone else’s testimony is only a secondary influence. True faith comes from one’s own experience and face to face meeting with JESUS, once one comes to the end of themselves (v.42). And though everyone won’t be “saved”, JESUS’ light shines on everyone born into the world (John 1:9), and that light has never been just limited to the Jews, or the nation of Israel, but rather, it has always been GOD’s wish that all mankind be saved.
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website