Lesson 17

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

3:31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is from the Earth belongs to the Earth, and speaks of the Earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 3:32 What he has seen and heard, of that he testifies; and no one receives his witness. 3:33 He who has received his witness has set his seal to this, that God is true. 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 3:35 The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand. 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life, but he who disobeys the Son won't see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."

 Today's Lesson

This passage continues and concludes the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus. John has reminded his disciples that he had taught them all along that he was not the Christ. He was preparing the way for one who would follow him and surpass him. There was thus no contradiction between what John had been given to accomplish by the Spirit of God and the appearance of Jesus of Nazareth.


Today's scripture is in keeping with the teaching of the whole of this Gospel. Whether it is to be considered a continuation of the voice of John the Baptist or whether the author of the Gospel is continuing from where he has left off is unclear. This passage speaks about the identity of Jesus.


He (Jesus) comes from above. Those who come from the Earth (John the Baptist) belong to earth and speak of earthly things. Jesus comes from heaven and speaks of heavenly things. When Jesus speaks of heavenly things, earthly men do not understand Him and reject His teaching. But, for those willing to believe in Jesus, they are declaring that God is true. Jesus speaks the words of God. The Father has given the Son (Jesus) all things. For the third time in this chapter it is reinforced that the wrath of God is already on mankind. We are already under the sentence of death. For those who refuse to believe in Jesus Christ, nothing new happens. They will die in their sins. But, for those who believe, their lives will change. They will be given eternal life.


Two ideas stand out in this passage. First, "God gives the Spirit without measure." This passage speaks of the Spirit of God by whom Jesus speaks, but it is equally true of all of God's children who have been given the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is complete God. A person cannot have half of God or a smaller portion of his life. Either the Spirit of God is present in a person's or He is not. God gives the Spirit without measure. God fills us to overflowing just as Jesus had the servants fill the jars when He turned the water into wine. We have the Spirit without measure.


The second idea that comes from this passage is the importance of the identity of Jesus. If Jesus is the Son of God, then we must accept Him as this Gospel demands. If he is a man and only a man, then the demands that this Gospel places on our lives can be swept aside. The author of this Gospel accepts this premise. He repeatedly confronts the reader with this one idea. Jesus is from heaven. Jesus was sent from the Father. Jesus is the Word made flesh. Jesus is the Son of God. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of Man.


If Jesus is any of these things, then the demands that He places on our lives take precedence over anything else. If Jesus is from heaven, then it is legitimate for Him to demand anything from us that He would. God has sent us a message. Into the hands of His messenger He has given all of His creation. We are given the choice to accept the message that God has sent us or to reject His message.


What will we do with God's message today?


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