persecution

I Was Blind, Now I See (John 9:1-41)

In John 9 Jesus performs an extraordinary miracle, giving sight (in an unusual way) to a young man born blind. Through this one event, Jesus answers the question of who sinned (the man or his parents), fulfills prophecy, reveals his divinity and identity as the Son of God, and comforts the afflicted. This lesson encourages us to deal with our own spiritual blindness and to recognize the spiritually blind world around us, that we may help them see.

Before Abraham Was (John 8:51-59)

At the end of John 8 Jesus makes several remarkable statements for which the Jews take up stones to kill him.  In addition to calling the Jews liars, Jesus says "if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death", that "Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad" and "before Abraham was, I am."  What do these statements mean? And why did they prompt the Jews to try to stone Jesus? The answers to these questions reveal much about Jesus' identity as God's Son, His divinity, His power over death, and His purpose for coming to earth — all of which should shape our understanding of Him, strengthen our faith and sharpen our priorities.

The World Hates Me (John 7:1-13)

If Jesus came into the world to demonstrate God’s love and grace, why would He be hated? Jesus says He was hated by the world, “Because I testify of it that its works are evil.”  If we grasp this aspect of Jesus’ character and ministry, it will have profound implications for our own lives and our churches. When you follow in His steps and do not cave in to modern culture, be ready to be hated by the world.

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up (John 3:13-36)

This passage of Scripture contains perhaps the most famous verse in the Bible: John 3:16. We look at this verse in its context, which not only shows how badly the verse is twisted and misunderstood by so many today but also reveals a message and means of salvation that will be hated by the world. It was for this message, which includes repentance from sin and Jesus as the only means to salvation, that Jesus was murdered. Will we, as Jesus' followers, be willing to proclaim the same message, with similar results? The lesson concludes with John the Baptist's example of humility as a spiritual leader, an upward call to us all as we strive to carry out God's work during our short time here on earth.