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LDS New Testament Notes 16: John 4:43–12:50

LDS New Testament Notes 16: John 4:43–12:50

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Published by: Mike Parker on Feb 17, 2011
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New TestamentWeek 16: John 4:43–12:50
1)
Introduction.a)Last week we introduced the Gospel of John and discussed some of the themes in the book: Jesus as God’s incarnate, divine Word, and the God of Israel (“
I
 
 AM
”), light versusdarkness, etc.
1
 b)We also discussed how, in John’s gospel, Jesus performs seven miracles.i)John even goes out of his way to begin counting them so that we don’t miss them(2:11; 4:54).ii)The miracles are:(1)Turning water into wine (2:1–11).(2)Healing the nobleman’s son (4:46–54).(3)Healing the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (5:1–15).(4)Feeding the five thousand (6:1–15).(5)Walking on the sea (6:16–24).(6)Healing a man born blind (9:1–12).(7)Raising Lazarus from the dead (11:38–44).iii)Wh
seven
miracles? The number seven was significant in Jewish culture, where itrepresented fulfillment and completion.
2
It’s possible that, for John, Jesus’ sevenmiracles indicated the fulfillment and completion of his public ministry.
2)
4:46–54. Jesus’ second miracle: Healing the nobleman’s son.a)Most of Jesus’ healings were performed on people who were in his presence. This is oneof only two examples in the gospels where Jesus performed the healing at the distance.
3
3)
5:1–40. Jesus in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Pentecost.
4
a)5:1–15. Jesus’ third miracle: Healing a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda.
1
See lesson 15, page 3;
http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT15n
2
The number seven appears in the Old Testament in too many contexts to list here. A few examples: There are seven daysin the week, with the Sabbath being the seventh and final day; the creation took place over seven days; Noah was commandedto bring seven of each clean animal on the ark (Genesis 7:2–3); there are seven righteous generations from Adam to Enoch(Moses 6:10–22) and seven wicked generations from Cain to Lamech (Moses 5:42–55); Jacob served Laban seven years forLeah and another seven for Rachel (Genesis 29:15–30); there were seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine inEgypt (Genesis 41:29–57); the Lord commanded Joshua and his soldiers to circle Jericho seven times (Joshua 6:1–5); there areseven behaviors that the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16–19); Amos declares destructions against seven foreign nations (and thensurprises his audience by throwing in an eighth!— Amos 1:3–2:16). The number seven also appears frequently in the New Testament, and plays an especially significant role in the Book of Revelation.
3
The other healing was of a Roman centurion’s son (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:1–10). Because of the similarities betweenthe John’s account and the one in the Synoptic Gospels (involving a government official in Capernaum), it’s possible that they are actually two different versions of the same healing story.
4
As the footnote for John 5:1 in the LDS edition of the New Testament points out, the later manuscripts of the Byzantinetradition read “
the
feast,” with the definite article indicating that the Feast of the Passover is view, while many earliermanuscripts lack the article and so would be translated “
a
feast,” which could indicate any of three annual observances whichJews were obligated to attend (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles). Passover seems unlikely because Jesus just returnedfrom Jerusalem to Galilee after observing the Passover (2:13; 4:3), and Tabernacles forms the background for 7:1–10:21, so itseems most likely that the feast referred to in 5:1 is Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus cleansed the temple at the end of chapter 2.
© 2011, Mike Parkerhttp://bit.ly/ldsarcFor personal use only. Not a Church publication.
 
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion ClassNew Testament: John 4:4312:50Week 16, Page 2
i)This is another well-known story from John, with the interesting addition of a pool with supposedly miraculous powers of healing.ii)5:3b–4. This passage is not in the earliest Greek manuscripts, and doesn’t matchJohn’s vocabulary and syntax.
5
It’s certainly a later addition, probably added by scribes who were attempting to explain the mysterious comment in verse 7a. ModernBibles either bracket this passage or move it to the footnotes.iii)5:8. KJV “bed” refers to a cot or mat, not a modern “bed” that includes a mattress, box spring, headboard, etc. b)5:16–47. Jesus’ teaching on his relationship with the Father.i)5:16. After the paralyzed man at Bethesda has been healed, the Jewish authorities
6
 begin persecuting Jesus for healing (working) on the Sabbath.ii)5:17–18. Jesus’ response is to claim that this kind of work is divinely sanctioned: “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” This enflames the Jewish leaders,“because he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his ownfather, thereby making himself equal to God” (NRSV).iii)5:19–30. Jesus explains the relationship between himself and the Father.(1)5:19–20. Jesus begins by emphasizing the unity of the Father and the Son. Theaction verbs in these verses are in the present tense, indicating that the work theFather is now carrying out is also the same work Jesus is carrying out:
7
KJV John 5:1920NRSV John 5:1920
19
Then answered Jesus and said untothem, Verily, verily, I say unto you, TheSon can do nothing of himself, but whathe seeth the Father do: for what thingssoever he doeth, these also doeth the Sonlikewise.
19
Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tellyou, the Son can do nothing on his own,but only what he sees the Father doing;for whatever the Father
8
does, the Sondoes likewise.
20
For the Father loveth the Son, andsheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greaterworks than these, that ye may marvel.
20
The Father loves the Son and shows himall that he himself is doing; and he willshow him greater works than these, sothat you will be astonished.”
(2)5:21. What work is the Father carrying out? The Father raises up the dead andmakes them alive (KJV “quickeneth”), and so therefore also does the Son makealive (heal) those whom he chooses.(3)5:22–24. Furthermore, the Father has given the power of divine judgment intothe hands of his Son, and so anyone who wishes to honor the Father must honorthe Son.(4)5:25–30. Just as the Father has life in himself, so has he granted the Son to havelife in himself, and so the Son will resurrect all mankind—the just to aresurrection of life, and the unjust to a resurrection of condemnation.
5
In several of the earliest manuscripts that
do
include this passage, it is marked by the scribes as spurious.
6
As we discussed last week, John uses the general term “Jews” to refer, not to the common people, but to the leadership of the Temple that opposed Jesus. Clearly 
all 
of Jesus’ disciples and followers were Jews, and yet they didn’t oppose Jesus.
7
Based on the KJV usage, Joseph Smith understood “what he seeth the Father do” in the past tense, and this became oneof his key prooftexts in his teaching at Nauvoo that God the Father once had a physical body that he himself laid down as asacrifice in a prior eon. See
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith
312, 346 fn., 347.
8
The original Greek reads “that one” here. The King James translators rendered this “he,” while many moderntranslations (including the NRSV, NET, and NIV) clarify who is being referred to here, “the Father.”
© 2011, Mike Parkerhttp://bit.ly/ldsarcFor personal use only. Not a Church publication.
 
Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion ClassNew Testament: John 4:4312:50Week 16, Page 3
(5)This relationship of total unity between the Father and the Son is somethingChristians—including Latter-day Saints—take for granted. But this is why John’sgospel is so important: This is one of the only places in the New Testament whereit’s described so clearly and unequivocally.iv)5:31–40. Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders for rejecting both John and Jesus’testimony.
4)
6:1–71. Jesus performs miracles and teaches in Galilee.a)6:1–15. Jesus’ fourth miracle: Feeding the five thousand.i)We’ve previously discussed this miracle as it was recounted in the Synoptic Gospels(Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17).
9
This story is also in John’sGospel, where he adds a few details:(1)John indicates that Jesus’ question to the disciples, “[Where] shall we buy bread,that these [people] may eat?” was done to test (KJV “prove”) them; he already knew what he was going to do (6:5b–6).
(2)The crowd is interested in Jesus’ signs, and sees them as proof that he is “thatprophet that should come into the world” (6:2, 14). b)6:16–24. Jesus’ fifth miracle: Walking on the sea.i)This famous miracle also appears in two of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 14:22–33; Mark 6:45–52), and John’s version is very similar to them.
ii)John’s version adds a couple of unique details:(1)John indicates the disciples had rowed just over 3 miles out from shore (6:19),
 which would put them in the middle of Sea of Galilee.(2)Instead of calming the storm and getting into the boat as he does in Matthew (14:32) and Mark (6:51), Jesus approaches the disciples and they suddenly findthemselves miraculously at the opposite shore.c)6:25–71. Jesus is the bread of life.i)6:24–27. Jesus has fed the multitude and then gone overnight to the other side of theSea of Galilee. Some of the people who were fed follow him in boats, wanting more bread.
ii)6:28–35. Jesus replies by telling them that he is the bread of life and manna fromheaven:
9
See lesson 4, pages 1–2;
http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT04n
10
This is part of John’s overall theme that Jesus—being the divine, preexistent Son of God—knows all things and hasalready worked out exactly what’s going to take place. Luke follows that theme to some degree, while Matthew and (especially)Mark show Jesus as more uncertain about the future.
11
The most unique of the three accounts is Matthew’s, which is the only one to include the story of Peter getting out of the boat and walking to Jesus (Matthew 14:28–31).
12
KJV: “five and twenty [i.e. twenty-five] or thirty furlongs.” Greek: “twenty-five or thirty stades.” A 
stade
was 607 feet, which would put the disciples’ boat between 2.9 and 3.4 miles from shore.
13
This is implied by Jesus’ statement in 6:26.
© 2011, Mike Parkerhttp://bit.ly/ldsarcFor personal use only. Not a Church publication.

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