Questions Anticipating John 5:18
by Pastor Gene
Dear student of God’s Word,
Thank you for joining us in this study of John’s Gospel at Harvest Community Church. Our desire is to provide an opportunity for all believers, regardless of where they may be in their Christian journey, to dive deeper into the waters of God’s Word. The Holy Spirit, our Master Teacher longs to lead us into “all the truth.” Jesus promised as much in John 16:13: “When the Spirit of truth comes,” He said, “He will guide you into all the truth.” I believe that if we’ll take the time to sit before the precious words of the Fourth Gospel, He will do just that!
Arthur Pink put it this way: “It is our earnest desire that many of our readers will make these verses the subject of prayerful study and meditation. The Bible teacher who becomes a substitute for diligent study on the part of those who hear him is a hindrance and not a help. The business of the teacher is to turn people to the searching of the Scriptures for themselves, stimulating their interest in the Sacred Word, and instructing them how to go about it.” To these words I add a hearty, “Amen!”
To that end, each Lord’s Day I’ll be presenting the congregation with a series of questions to consider about the portion of John’s Gospel we’ll be looking at the following Sunday. This will give us the opportunity to ponder them, to wrestle with them, to study them, to meditate upon them, and to let the Holy Spirit speak first, as it were. So, jump in – the water’s fine!
In the Victorious One,
5:18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
Questions to consider about John 5:18:
- The human/divine nature of Jesus is one of the great mysteries of our faith. How do you see it? How would you explain it?
- Look at the diagram labeled “Hypostatic Union” – what is it trying to say about Jesus? Consider it in light of John 1:14.
- Why do you think it’s important that Jesus has both a human and divine nature?
- Look at the “Shield of the Trinity.” What does it tell us about the Trinity? Can you list its twelve truths about God?
- How do these diagrams help is to make sense of John 5:18-30? Read through the verses and try to discover Jesus’ meaning by considering the orthodox view of His nature and of the Trinity.
- Although not written by Athanasius, the so-called Athanasian Creed has been the standard statement about Jesus’s true nature since the 6th Wrestle with each of its sentences.
“He is God from the essence of the Father, begotten before time; and he is human from the essence of his mother, born in time; completely God, completely human … [E]qual to the Father as regards divinity, less than the Father as regards humanity. Although he is God and human, yet Christ is not two, but one. He is one, however, not by his divinity being turned into flesh, but by God’s taking humanity to himself. He is one, certainly not by the blending of his essence, but by the unity of his person … Christ is both God and human.”
- One of the important controversies of the early church involved Mary, Jesus’ mother. One of the Fathers (Nestorius) argued that the title theotokos[“God-bearer”] could not be used of Mary, because eternal God cannot have a mother. What do you think? Is the title “mother of God” appropriate for Mary? Why or why not?