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Lesson # John 4:1-3
Study Material - John 4:1-3
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
1 When therefore the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus Himself was not baptizing, but His disciples were), 3 He left Judea, and departed again into Galilee.
Jesus Christ was aware of all the activities going on around him. And not only activities having to do with himself, but of the activities of others as well. John the Baptist had been baptizing in the Jordan region since six months before Jesus came on the scene. Now that Jesus entered His public ministry the year prior, by being baptized by John, and now having returned from the first subsequent Passover feast and was still ahead of the harvest by four months (vs. 35), now Jesus was baptizing and preaching and doing miracles to the point that He was receiving more of an audience than John had done in all of the prior year and a half.
This caught the eyes of the Pharisees who had been monitoring the activities of both John and Jesus. Before the public advent of Jesus, John had quite a following and therefore the Pharisees did not take action against him for fear of a public outcry against them. But now Jesus was center stage and this opened the door for the arrest of John and his eventual execution.
Sinners, wicked people, often the noble self righteous types, are by far the worst kind of people. They hide in the shadows and with deceit and lies, they harass and destroy, or try to destroy, their prey. As a large cat in the jungle, they stalk and attack when there is no threat of counter attack.. So John was under their threat, but a new threat to their political careers was taking shape. And oddly enough it was a threat from the very source of scripture they were obligated to teach the Israelites and the world. But the Pharisees and others of their king had failed to understand the scriptures, blinded by their own unbelief and by their own selfish motives.
With this new threat taking place and with the due date of Christ's sacrifice still some two years away, Jesus moved off to Galilee. Doctrine is always on the move and the world cannot keep up with it. The world focusses on the history or something it thinks it can control and destroy. John was left behind and the crows depleted. John was at risk as far as the Pharisees were concerned. But John already knew that he must be reduced so that Christ would be increased. The real purpose of doctrine is to bring people to the knowledge of Christ and God and also bring them to their salvation or delivery from sin and death, the second death. The purpose was not to bring people to some individual teacher, or promote any person in the eyes of people. We as people get our recognition from God by growing up in our spiritual lives. Recognition from people is irrelevant and a distraction from ones Bible study.
Jesus did not baptize people himself, but had his disciples do that work. Baptism through Christ will come from the Holy Spirit, but not until after the Cross. Christ did not come to baptize with water, but he did come to baptize with a more eternal baptism. If He had administered baptisms, then some would have rejected the posts of mere men and some would have become arrogant with the thinking that only the baptism from Christ was valid. But such was not the case. We do not have direct access to Christ, except through His Word and through those who teach His Word. To reject all communicators would relegate us all to oblivion, because then the posts authorized by Christ would have been rejected. And the Word of God would have been questioned as well. The attitude of , 'if Christ did not write it, or do it, or allow us to touch Him directly, then it isn't any good', would be a detrimental attitude. Christ delegates to those whom He appoints. And that includes all spiritual gifts that we all have. It is not just limited to the communication of doctrine gift.
So the weakness perceived by the Pharisees, the opening for an attack against John was all they saw. Jesus had moved out of the area and no longer perceived as a threat to those political and religious leaders in the Judea region. Just because God is not in front of you does not mean that He is not present. God is everywhere and knows all that is going on around you and in you. He knew it and has known it since eternity past. But unbelievers, and negative believers operate on their fundamental senses, which often deceive them. We are physical beings, in body. We know that we have life in a soul, which we cannot detect, but can observe through our interactions with others. Angels exist, but we cannot see them, and God exists on a still higher level, but we cannot measure or detect Him either. The concept of what can't see you can't hurt you is a false concept. The presence of mere viruses should teach us that. But the other higher classes of life should teach us even more. The Pharisees were fools for sure. Thinking that Jesus' leaving the region had changed things in their favor, as we will see later on in the study, was a false conclusion.
John, on the other hand knew that his mission was nearly at its end. He did not run off to hide from the Pharisees, or stay awake at night in fear of a knock at the door and his imminent arrest. John feared God much more that any man or earthly power, and he knew that God would be his deliverance. Death carried no fear for such a strongly mature believer, and John would place his trust in God even to his death.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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