Canvey Methodist Church Bible Studies- 3rd May 2022

Church Bible Study.   3rd May 2022

Readings:    Acts 9:36-43; Psalm 23; Revelation 7:9-17; John 10:22-30

Psalm 23;

A psalm of David.

1 The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.

2     He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,

3     he refreshes my soul.

He guides me along the right paths

    for his name’s sake.

4 Even though I walk

    through the darkest valley,[a] or the valley of the shadow of death

I will fear no evil,

    for you are with me;

your rod and your staff,

    they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me

    in the presence of my enemies.

You anoint my head with oil;

    my cup overflows.

6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me

    all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord  forever.

Footnotes

a Psalm 23:4 Or the valley of the shadow of death

Comment

V1. God is our Shepherd and like a Good Shepherd, He will provide for His own for every need we will ever have (Philippians 4:19).  It does not mean that He will provide for everything we want, but for everything that we need.  He is a faithful Shepherd that provides for His sheep (Matthew 6:33).

V2. Sheep have to be forced to rest because they frequently carry on feeding until there is just bare ground and stubble. V2 The Good Shepherd makes the sheep lie down in green pastures.  In the pastures of his care, we too can be fed and we must feed on Him for He is the Word of God (John 1) and we can dine daily on the Bread of Life. 

Interestingly sheep are also afraid of moving water and even if they are dying of thirst, they will not go near a running brook or creek…but they do love the still waters and they drink freely and calmly from them. We too can drink freely from Him who is the Living Water. His water runs deep, still, clear and pure. He leads us, you might notice, because we are all like sheep and we go astray, and we can’t always find the still waters.  More often we end up in troubled waters, well over our heads.

 

V3. Sheep are not always aware of where they are going. In fact, sheep have been known to walk right off a cliff and so the Good Shepherd leads them to safety. In this analogy, Jesus the Good Shepherd leads us also in the path that lead to His righteousness.  Not only for our sake but also for His glory.

 

What comfort it is to know that our Lord will provide for our every need (v 1), that He will provide the Bread of Life and Well of Water that never runs dry (v 2), that He will lead us down the right path for His glory’s sake and restore us at death to eternal life (v 3), that His staff and rod will protect us, guided us, and preserved us (v 4), that even now, He is preparing a place for us and will come again someday because we have the Holy Spirit (v 5), and no good thing will be withheld from us and we will dwell with Him for ages without end in the Kingdom of God (v 6). This short little Psalm is packed with powerful promises, provisions, and purpose.  The Lord is my Shepherd.  What more should I want?

Preceding gospel reading. John 10:1-21;

The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

10 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

 

John 10:22-30

 

Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication[a Hanukkah] at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe, because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[b]; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

 

 

Footnotes

 

a John 10:22 That is, Hanukkah- also known as the Festival of Lights. It is a Jewish festival commemorating the recovery of Jerusalem and subsequent rededication of the Second Temple at the beginning of the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire in the 2nd century BC. Hanukkah lasts eight days in commemoration of the miraculous eternal flame (lit by the Maccabees), which burnt for eight days on a one days supply of oil, until more oil could be purified and made available.

 

b John 10:29 Many early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all

 

Comments:

1)The Feast of the Dedication is now better known as Chanukah or Hanukkah, and is observed for eight days in the month of Chislev, near our Christmas. It commemorates the triumph of Judas Maccabeus (Jewish) over Antiochus Epiphanes (Syrian) in 164 or 165 B.C. Antiochus tried to force Greek philosophy and religion on the Jews. Failing that, he attacked Jerusalem, looted the temple treasury, and desecrated the altar by sacrificing a pig on it. Judas Maccabeus and his brothers gathered an army, liberated Jerusalem, cleansed the temple, and rededicated the altar. The festival of Dedication, observed with the lighting of lamps and rejoicing, commemorates that rededication.

John’s mention of the festival of Dedication has meaning beyond marking a particular time. The temple represents the presence of God with his people, and Jesus is the new temple (2:19-21). Just as Antiochus profaned the temple, the religious leaders are preparing to profane the new temple—Jesus.

 

2)Rejection is a major theme of this chapter, and is reflected in the hostility of “the Jews” who challenge Jesus to “tell us plainly” (v. 24). The passages that immediately precede and follow this text (vv. 19-21 and 31-39) deal explicitly with that rejection, although they also make clear that “the Jews” (religious leaders) are divided—some saying that Jesus has a demon (v. 20) and others saying, “These are not the sayings of one possessed by a demon. It isn’t possible for a demon to open the eyes of the blind, is it?” (v. 21; see also 8:31; 12:42).

 

3) Hearing and Listening:  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (v. 27). This verse mirrors portions of the Good Shepherd discourse (10:3-5, 16), and bears careful reading. We expect Jesus to say that the sheep follow him because they know him, but instead he says that they follow him because he knows them. We long to be known—to be understood at the deepest levels. Profound intimacy bespeaks profound love. This Gospel makes it clear that Jesus sees to the depth of the heart, and it is no wonder that the sheep perceive that and follow him.

 

Questions:

1) What were the works that Jesus did in his Fathers name that testified to his identity?

 

2) Who had Jesus told about who he was?

 

Jesus told Nicodemus, a Jewish leader and Pharisee, very clearly that He was the Son of God and that He could give eternal life to the believer. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

 

Samaritan Woman that Jesus was speaking to inJohn 4:25-26 said to Him, "I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am He."

 

To the Jewish leaders who were persecuting Him, in John 5:24-25  Jesus spoke to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live." Jesus gives life and He also has the authority to execute judgment "because He is the Son of Man" (vv. 26-27).

 

On other Occasions, Jesus speaks of himself as being living bread and living water that gives eternal life.

 

 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh" (John 6:51).

 

 "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.' But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified" (John 7:38-39).

 

 He is the light of the world in John 8:12. 

 

Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life." Jesus was and is the great I AM (John 8:58).

 

He told the truth when He declared, "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30).

 

3) How can we listen to the voice of Jesus.

 

4) John 10: 29b- We might be the sheep of Jesus but whose hands are we in? How might this speak of the Trinity?

 

Acts 9:36-43; Our lives in his hands

36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at  once!”

39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.

40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord.

Sheep from many nations will gather in heavenly places

Revelation 7:9-17;

The Great Multitude in White Robes

9 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”

11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honour and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” 13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.”

And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.

16 ‘Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.

The sun will not beat down on them,’[a] nor any scorching heat.

17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’[b] ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’[c]”

 

Footnotes

a Revelation 7:16 Isaiah 49:10

b Revelation 7:17 Isaiah 49:10

c Revelation 7:17 Isaiah 25:8

 

 

Ref: www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com

www.abideinchrist.com

www.sermonwriter.com