Testify Series: First Half Recap

Pardon my pause of the “Testify Series.” We are now on track to finish the remainder of the gospel of John by mid-June.

In order to catch everyone up, I decided to write a recap post so that if anyone wants to jump in late, the reader won’t feel behind.

We start this gospel with Jesus being introduced by his best friend and disciple, John, as the eternal Son of God, present and active at creation. John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin, is also introduced as a witness and forerunner to the Messiah.

John the Baptist testifies to Jesus as Messiah and sets off a ripple effect of several others following Him and becoming disciples of Jesus.

This inspired the theme of this study, “Testify,” a personal challenge to share what I’m learning in hopes of someone believing the words of Jesus while at the same time encouraging other believers in their faith and witness.

We then see Jesus perform a string of of miracles starting at Cana of Galilee. After this He draws attention to the corruption at the Temple with people turning it into a marketplace. He prophesies to the Jewish leaders about HIs future death, burial, and resurrection comparing Himself to the Temple which they didn’t understand.

He then shares with Nicodemeous, a Jewish leader an seeker, that there is no judgement against anyone who believes in Jesus, but anyone who does not believe has already been judged to their peril.

A line is drawn in the sand separating those who live in the light and those who choose to do evil disregarding faith in God through HIs Son Jesus.

John the Baptist counsels His disciples by letting them know Jesus is not a competition for followers, but the One to whom John’s disciples should be pointing. They must decrease and Jesus increase in all of HIs ways.

Jesus then ministers to the Samaritan woman, Him revealing to her who He truly is. It makes such an impact on her that she can’t keep the good news to herself. She testifies to her community that Jesus told her everything she ever did. Her testimony leads them to seek Him for themselves. What an encouragement this is for you and me!

When we simply tell our Jesus stories and it leads others to seek Him, too.

Next Jesus heals someone who wasn’t present then cures the paralyzed man who had been afflicted for thirty-eight years, looking for healing in all of the wrong places (like where Jesus found him at the pool of Bathesda, who’s waters were supposed to have “magical power”). When he trusts in the Healer instead of the powerless water, he was made whole.

The Jewish leaders are on the prowl plotting to kill Jesus accusing Him of healing on the Sabbath. Jesus continues to press that He is God’s Son only doing what the Father leads Him to do.

Jesus then feeds the 5,000 by multiplying a boy’s lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish. This caused the crowd to be astonished and to want to crown Jesus as and earthly king. Jesus snuck away trying to remain under the radar.

Later he catches up with His disciples by walking on water to get to them. When the crowed notices that he wasn’t at first on the boat and questions Him about how He got across the water, he directs their attention to their hearts. While asking them why they always want a sign or miracle from Him, He encourages them to spend their energy seeking eternal life instead of temporal things. He reminds them the work of a follower of Christ is only to believe.

Afterwards Jesus starts teaching more about being being the source of eternal life comparing Himself with bread, water, and blood. The disciples are confused, many deserted Him and Jesus begins to question whether they all will leave Him. Peter reassures Him that He’s in it for the long haul.

At the Festival of Booths, people then begin to decide on who they say Jesus is: a good man, a fraud, or the Messiah, which none had the courage to verbalize aloud.

Many at the temple begin to believe Jesus and He continues to tell them that He is the eternal life giver making a promise of the Holy Spirit, describing Him as rivers of living water.

Later He forgives the woman caught in the act of adultery, it is a pivotal moment in the gospel. He challenges her accusers with the words, “He who has not sinned, cast the first stone.” Jesus being the only one worthy to cast one at her, as He is perfect, doesn’t. The men drop their stones, walk away, and He tells her He doesn’t condemn her and asks her to sin no more (my thoughts on His words: He’s asking her to put her faith in Him instead of turning to men to fill the void in her heart. Sin binds us, faith in Christ sets us free!).

What a jam packed 8 chapters of scripture! Look at all we’ve covered so far.

I hope this gives you enough of an overview and draws you in to hear the rest of the story.

See you tomorrow morning for our June devotionals.

Until then.

Go forth and testify!

Emily