Jesus Challenges the Culture – John 2:1-4:54 (Overview)

Posted: October 22, 2012 in Sunday school
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Before we move forward into Chapter Two, I think it would be helpful to “step back” for a moment and re-examine the structure of John’s Gospel, to better comprehend the message he intends to convey. John is writing a theological text, an apologetics primer, and an evangelism training manual all at the same time. He carefully selects incidents and events that illustrate particular aspects of the person of Jesus, as He revealed Himself on earth. In Chapters 2-4, John focuses on Jewish cultural institutions and religious festivals, contrasting the peoples’ habits and expectations with the abundant fulfillment promised in Jesus. Usually, He is misunderstood, giving us some irony, humor, and conviction all at the same time.

In this section we also see the first of John’s Seven Signs, his name for Jesus’ miracles. Five of these seven are unique to this Gospel, but that makes them no less valid. Jesus obviously performed untold numbers of  healings and other miracles which are not explicitly detailed in the bible; John even tells us that. But the ones he does highlight particularly fit the circumstances they occur in, to allow John to develop his themes. Next week we will begin to examine these themes in Chapter Two, verses 1-12, as we attend a wedding with the Lord and His disciples, and see Jesus challenge Jewish ideas and traditions about purification.

On Mondays I present short versions of the Sunday school lessons I teach at my home church. We are studying the Gospel of John, with the focus of seeing Jesus as the Apostle wishes: the holy Son of God; the Messiah prophesied by all of the Old Testament; the fulfillment of God’s plan of redemption. Once we see Him, we will have to believe, and thus be saved.  Scripture references are NIV unless otherwise noted.

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