Monthly Archives: June 2014

The Wedding in Cana

The First Miracle

This morning we are looking at an event which took place early on in the public life of Jesus. This event is recorded in the second chapter of the gospel of John.


Before we see what takes place in this event, we need to first stop and get our bearings. John was perhaps the closest personal friend of Jesus. He is the author of one of the four New Testament gospels (the others are Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

What are the gospels and why were they written?

  1. They record important historical events in the life of Jesus.
  2. However, they are not simply history books—they are written accounts of Jesus life intended to personally introduce us to Jesus.
  3. They allow us to see and meet him.
  4. The expose us to the day to day life of Jesus on the earth.
  5. We meet Jesus in a variety of different circumstances, and we can see how he acts and reacts.

But this isn’t the whole story…

  1. The gospels also interpret for us the significance of the events which they record.
  2. In other words, the gospel writers are helping you and I to come to the right conclusions from what we have read.
  3. They make us aware, in no uncertain terms, that they are trying to convince you and I of something.
  4. And they rely on the real life events in Jesus’s ministry to prove their point.

“since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught” (Luke 1:3–4)

Like the other gospel writers, John is seeking to help us understand who Jesus is.

Because there is simply so much that he could have recorded, John carefully selected special acts which Jesus did and events in his lifetime.

“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book” (John 20:30)

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written” (John 21:25)

John adapted these various scenes from the earthly life of Jesus to demonstrate a point. As we will see, this event in the life of Jesus illustrates an important point toward which the whole gospel of John is moving.

John carefully arranged his record of these events to lead the reader to a true understanding of who Jesus is.

That leads us to ask about what John is trying to convince us of in his gospel.

  1. What is John trying to tell us?
  2. John tells us that Jesus Christ is eternal, uncreated, and shares the same divine nature that the God of Heaven has.
  3. He tells us that Jesus is the one we must believe on in order to receive eternal life.
  4. These are extraordinary claims for anyone to make about anyone.
  5. We should naturally hear such claims with a sense of disbelief.
  6. If we are not astounded by these claims, we haven’t really been listening.

Let’s turn to the story to see what we can learn about Jesus from the account.

The Story

The Setting—A Wedding Reception (John 2:1–2)

In this account, we meet Jesus in a setting highly cultural, but at the same time, a setting common to every culture. The wedding was held in a small village called Cana. In that culture, wedding festivities could last up to a week.

The Problem—The Wine Runs Out (John 2:3–5)

The financial responsibility for the wedding celebration seems to be on the shoulders of the groom and his parents. Running out of wine at a wedding celebration would have brought shame upon the family. The groom’s parents would have looked like poor hosts. The groom would not appear to be the provider that he was supposed to be for his new wife.

Mary, Jesus’s mother, approaches him to see if he would resolve the problem.  Mary comes to Jesus—her concern seems to hint at a close relationship with the family. Mary’s Request—what exactly did she expect him to do?

She was probably not expecting him to perform a miracle.

At this point, many suspect that Mary is a widow and has come to rely upon Jesus, her oldest son.

If this is the case, she is probably seeking to enlist his help to resolve the problem at hand.

At the same time, Mary is aware that she conceived Jesus as a virgin and that he is the Son of God. Perhaps this might have been in the back of her mind as she seeks his help.

 Jesus replies to his mother.  His answer is one of gentle resistance:

“Woman”—respectful but not endearing

“Why do you involve me?” NIV

“My hour”—referring to his death on the Cross and the glory that followed.

Jesus gently and graciously helps his mother see that his primary mission and motivation is to do the things that God, his Father has for him to do.

“Now that he had entered into the purpose of his coming, everything, even family ties, had to be subordinated to his divine mission” (D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John, p. 171)

Mary shows her confidence in Jesus by leaving the servants under his direction (v. 5)

The Miracle—Jesus Turns Water Into Wine (John 2:6–10)

Jesus’s Instruction to the Servants (vv. 6–8)

The capacity of the water jars—between 75 and 115 liters (x6) = up to about 690 liters. Did the wine come from the filled jars or did the servants draw fresh water that Jesus then turned into wine?

The Response of the head waiter (vv. 9–10)

 The Outcome—Jesus’s Glory Was Revealed and People Believed (John 2:11)

Some Reflection Questions:

If Jesus really is who he claimed to be, why didn’t he just get the attention of the whole world and perform miracles that everyone could see? Why didn’t he just impress everyone and clear up any doubt about who he really was?

The answer is that Jesus didn’t come to make a show of himself or to lift himself up in everyone’s eyes. In fact, several hundred years beforehand, a prophet named Isaiah foretold the humility and gentleness that would define Jesus:

 “He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench” (Isaiah 42:2–3).

Does Jesus’s act show us that it’s okay to get drunk?

This account of Jesus’s miraculous act of turning water into wine doesn’t really address the morality of drunkenness; however, in a number of other places (especially Ephesians 5:18) the Scriptures condemn the sin of drunkenness. At the same time, it’s pretty clear that Jesus’s miracle was a sign of his power intended for those who were hearing and observing him (e.g., the servants). There was obviously some level of intoxication among the guests (2:10), though how much is impossible to tell from this account. Yet most in the wedding crowd were completely oblivious to the majesty of the Creator who was in their presence.

 If John is right that there are countless other miracles that Jesus did, why did he choose to record this one?

The reason why John recorded Jesus miracle at the wedding in Cana was to validate something which he said earlier. In the prologue, John claimed that Jesus Christ is the Creator, that all things were made by him (1:3). He tells us Jesus Christ is the Word—the uncreated eternal God who pitched his tent of human flesh in our very presence (1:14). John preserves for us an account of Jesus demonstrating his power over creation and his power to create. If Jesus is who he claims, we can expect him to have such power as he demonstrated at Cana. John records the miracles he does with the intention of compelling us to believe in Jesus:

 “these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

Application Questions

This event compels us to make a personal decision about Jesus.

John recounts that the disciples saw the miracle Jesus did and believed in him. What about you? What was your heart’s response to this account?

Perhaps you have already believed in Jesus. If so, how does this story speak your own needs and Jesus’s ability to answer them? This passage shows that for those who have believed in Jesus, he is able to meet the greatest of your needs when you seek his grace.

You can download The Wedding at Cana study notes here.

When Darkness Is Your Closest Friend


One of the men that has been a great blessing to me through his writing ministry is Paul Tripp.  If you can ever get hold of a copy of “Instruments In The Redeemer’s Hands” you won’t be disappointed!

On Monday Paul posted an article on his website entitled: Darkness is my closest friend.  Here is an excerpt:

There’s an outlier to my above case study. Psalm 88 ends in a very troubling way: “You have caused my beloved and my friend to shun me; my companions have become darkness.” I personally like how the NIV translates that last verse: “Darkness is my closest friend.”

Why would God ever put this ugly, depressive, and utterly hopeless Psalm in the Bible? Why doesn’t the author find peace and refuge and comfort at the end like the rest?

You see, there will be seemingly hopeless moments in your life. There will be seasons when you don’t think anything good can result. Unlike the author in Psalm 4, you won’t be able to say, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”


What do you do in those moments, when your world comes crashing down and all hope seems lost? Maybe you will tragically and inexplicably lose a loved one; maybe you don’t know anything about what the future holds; maybe your dreams will be shattered and lost forever.
One day, you’ll face a Psalm 88 moment. If you don’t, God will place you next to someone who is. I’ve found there are 3 ways to think about life through the lens of the Gospel during these times:

1. Cry out to God

The Bible encourages you to ask hard questions. Scripture is filled with people who faced tragedy and cried out to God. Go to the Ruler of it all and don’t be afraid to ask what’s happening.

2. Draw near to Jesus.

Jesus is a closer Friend than darkness. He faced the harshest realities of life and the ultimate rejection of God. He knows what you’re going through, and He sympathizes with your suffering.

3. Reach out for help.

Stop faking spiritual maturity! Run to the body of Christ and admit that your life is a mess. In fact, if you’re in a small group or Bible study this week, I would encourage you to hijack the discussion on what you liked about Sunday’s sermon and say, “Here’s what I’m dealing with; I can’t face it on my own any longer; I need help!

Psalm 88 is, in fact, a hopeful Psalm, precisely because God included it in His hope-filled Book. You can face the darkest realities of your life because your Father is sovereign and Jesus is your closest Friend.

You can read the entire article here.

If you are facing problems in your life similar to the Psalmist, run to Christ!  If you have a spiritual need and we can be of help, please get in touch by email or phone 0976153466.

Becoming A Disciple

Becoming A Disciple

I read this helpful reminder that sets the context for our study today:

The Founder of Christianity is Jesus Christ.

The Goal of Christianity: change men and women through regeneration.

The Method of Christianity: Internal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ – and that is the main point of what we have seen thus far in our study in John chapter one.

The Means of Christianity: The good news of salvation is not spread through political, educational or religious philosophies but through Disciples.

What is a disciple?

A disciple is a learner, follower, one who is not committed to a cause but committed to a person.

A person becomes a member of a political party by registering and receiving a party card.

Many people today identify their spirituality by wearing special clothes, head coverings, necklaces or by cutting their hair in a special way. ILL: Moslem women burka & men skull cap, Hindu red dot (bindi), Catholicism – beads, necklaces, Orthodox Jew – tassels and yarmulke All of these things are symbols of identification of the god they worship.

But what about becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Becoming His disciple is not about external identification of spirituality by wearing special clothes, necklaces or by cutting your hair in a special way. A person does not become a disciple of Jesus Christ by joining a church or by participating in spiritual rituals.

Becoming a disciple means that you become a follower of Jesus Christ. What are the implications?

Let us read our text found in John 1:35-51:

35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, “What do you seek?”
They said to Him, “Rabbi” (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), “where are You staying?”
39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour).
40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, “You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas” (which is translated, A Stone).

43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, “Follow Me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?”
Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!”
48 Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”
49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
50 Jesus answered and said to him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”51 And He said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.” (The New King James Version. (1982). (Jn 1:35–51). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.)

There are three big ideas found in our text this morning:


You cannot “Behold the Lamb” and not decide for or against Him!

Investigate the claim for yourself

This claim demands action on our part = they left John and followed Jesus to find out for themselves if He was the Messiah. (35-37)

Come & See! Honest seekers always find Him (6:37), but hypocrites will not be given audience (Jn.2:23-25).

The way these five men came to Christ was different from one another:

    • Some come as seekers, honestly looking for answers (37)
    • Some are here because someone came and told you about Jesus and invited you to check it our for yourself (41,46)
    • Some are here because Jesus took the initiative and your heart and mind have inexplicably been drawn to truth and in your heart you knew He was commanding you to follow Him (43)

You will be forced to a decision. Discipleship begins with genuine faith. “Behold the Lamb of God” demands a response of faith:

  • False faith – faith in the wrong object (Acts 19:28)
  • Demonic faith – intellectual faith (Jas. 2:19)
  • Emotional faith – an emotional encounter (Mt. 13:20-21)
  • Genuine faith – mind, emotions and will (Jn.6:69

C. S. Lewis, who was a professor at Cambridge University and once an agnostic, understood this issue clearly.

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic ‑ on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg ‑ or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the son of God: or else a madman or something worse.”

“You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come up with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Personal decision. One becomes a disciple by coming to the cross in humble faith, accepting that the work of Christ on the cross was sufficient to deliver me from all sin. I repent of my sin and receive the Lord Jesus Christ by faith alone. This act is one of obedient surrender (Mt. 16.24, Mk. 8.34, 10.21, Lk 9.23).


It means heading in a different direction

John & Andrew were fishermen, following Jesus for them would mean leaving nets and becoming fishers of men.

“What are you seeking?” (38) A question that drove John & Andrew to evaluate their motives. Some are seeking approval of peers, financial gain, quick fix to current problems.

You are Simon – you will be Peter (42). Gave Peter hope that in spite of his instability, undependability, brashness, unpredictability Jesus would make him a rock that God would use to found the church in the Book of Acts.

It means following a different person

You must choose to leave the one to follow the other, you cannot serve 2 masters. “Follow me” (43) You follow Jesus and no longer follow self – your own wisdom or desires.

It means becoming a different man/woman

You can’t be His disciple and remain the same! (Luke 6:40)

“Give me all of you!!! I don’t want so much of your time, so much of your talents and money, and so much of your work. I want YOU!!! ALL OF YOU!! I have not come to torment or frustrate the natural man or woman, but to KILL IT! No half measures will do. I don’t want to only prune a branch here and a branch there; rather I want the whole tree out! Hand it over to me, the whole outfit, all of your desires, all of your wants and wishes and dreams. Turn them ALL over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self—in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart, shall become your heart.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity


One identification marker of a genuine disciple is that they long for others to come to Christ! (41-42, 45) The Good News of salvation is not spread through political, educational or religious philosophies, but through DISCIPLES! God intends for us all to be in the game not sitting in the stands.

FIVE MEN met Jesus and were convinced that He is indeed the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” What about you?  Will you receive the sweet invitation offered to you today and become a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Have you received Jesus Christ as your Lamb to take away your sins?

  • Christ welcomes you to “come and see” for yourself (as he did with John & Andrew)
  • Christ commands you to “follow me” (as he did with Philip)
  • Christ promises hope “you are… you shall be…” (as he did with Simon)
  • Christ guarantees that you will see Him in His glory “you will see greater things than these…” (as He did with Nathaniel)

You can down load as a pdf Becoming A Disciple here.

The Call of a Father

Thank You Dads!

Today we want to look at the call of a father from God’s perspective. Our text today is found in Ephesians chapter 5 verse 31 through chapter 6 verse 4.

If you are like me you probably were not well prepared to be a father. As much as I try I don’t have happy memories of my own father. I have seen photos when I was small sitting on my dad’s lap, and I have often wished I could actually remember what that was like. My relationship with my father was one of physical and especially psychological abuse. Words that hurt.

I remember the day I became a father! My wife woke me from peaceful sleep to announce that she thought it was time. Off we rushed for the hospital feeling quite certain that we would not arrive in time. Another 12 hours would pass before I had the joy of holding my first-born daughter. I remember being overwhelmed by God’s goodness to me. I have had that experience six times since!

Today the most treasured possessions, next to Christ are the members of my family.

There are many challenges of fatherhood. We live in a world that threatens our marriages our families and our children. We live in a culture that mocks biblical morality, glorifies sex and violence and laughs at drunkenness and debauchery.

“Men, the mere fact of fatherhood has endowed you with terrifying power in the lives of your sons and daughters, because they have an innate, God-given passion for you. The terrible fact is, we as fathers can either grace our children, or damn them with wounds that never seem to heal. Our society is filled with millions of daughters pathetically seeking the affection their father’s never gave them. In the extreme there are a multitude of sons who were denied a healthy same-sex relationship with their father and are now spending the rest of their lives in search of their sexual identity via perversion and immorality.”  (Kent Hughes, Disciplines of a Godly Man)

Our society is void of godly male leadership. There are some men who are a success as leaders in the company or marketplace but fail completely in the home.


The city of Ephesus was a center of pagan worship in the ancient world. It was nearly unknown in this culture for a father to interact with his children in a loving and nurturing relationship.

Most families were in shambles, and mutual love among family members was almost unheard of. A father’s love for his children would have been hard even to imagine. By the Roman law of patria-potestas a father had virtual life and death power not only over his slaves but over his entire household. He could cast any of them out of the house, sell them as slaves, or even kill them—and be accountable to no one. A newborn child was placed at its father’s feet to determine its fate. If the father picked it up, the child was allowed to stay in the home; if the father walked away, it was simply disposed of—much as aborted babies are in our own day. Discarded infants who were healthy and vigorous were collected and taken each night to the town forum, where they would be picked up and raised to be slaves or prostitutes.

A letter written in 1 B.C. by a man named Hilarion to his wife, Alis, reads,

“Heartiest greetings. Note that we are still even now in Alexandria. Do not worry if when all others return I remain in Alexandria. I beg and beseech you to take care of the little child, and as soon as we receive wages I will send them to you. If—good luck to you—you have another child, if it is a boy, let it live; if it is a girl, expose it” (Papyri Oxyrhynchus 4.744). Seneca, a renowned statesman in Rome at the time Paul wrote the Ephesian letter, said, “We slaughter a fierce ox; we strangle a mad dog; we plunge a knife into a sick cow. Children born weak or deformed we drown.” (MacArthur Commentary, Ephesians, p 318. John MacArthur)

And there is little difference in our day. The majority of children in foster care in the west are there not because their parents are dead, but because their parents abandoned them. In a society without God fatherhood always suffers.

Paul is writing to first-generation Christians! These Ephesian believers had been redeemed by God to the praise of His glory! In Christ they had been placed in a position of victory so that in the ages to come God might show forth the riches of His grace. These Ephesian believers had been brought into the body of Christ through the power of God! (Eph 1:11-13; 2:1-3; 4:17; 5:8)

Because of God’s redemption and because of His grace toward the Ephesians they were to walk worthy of their calling as children of God.

What is God’s call to fathers in regards to their responsibilities to their children?


Christ commands it

  1. Eros – Physical love = physical attraction between married couples (this word not used in the NT).  The love commanded is more than just a wonderful feeling.
  2. Storge – Family love = fondness people share with their relatives, especially that love between parents and children.
  3. Philia – Friendship love = a warm hearted affection, attractive appeal between friends
  4. Agape – Love of Choice = the desire for and delight in the well-being of the one loved that leads to self-sacrificing efforts on their behalf.

Christ demonstrates it

  1. This is a sacrificial love (5:25, Ro. 5:8)
  2. This is a serving love (5:26, Gal.5:13b)


An unavoidable command – Children are to obey (Prov 22:6)

  1. This is God’s command to your children, it is not primarily yours.
  2. Obedience = doing what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it, how you are supposed to do it, with the right heart attitude toward the authority asking you to do it.
  3. Teaching them to obey involves

A non-negotiable attitude – Honor them

  1. Honor – give them due respect. (Note: God’s order of Authority)
  2. A child should never be allowed to tell the parent “no.”  Our goal is that our younger children honor us by responding the first time spoken to.
  3. The general promise: it will be well with the child, and they will live a full life.


Warning is given to Christian Fathers (Eph 1:1; 2:1-10)

  1. “Do Not”!  This is a command! (2:3 – in the past they lived like this now it is different!)
  2. “Do not” is perfectly clear, do not provoke your children to anger so they begin to seethe with resentment and irritation.

How can we as fathers goad our children to resentment?

  1. Criticism – Father’s who criticize their children often bring them to discouragement (Col. 3.21).  How do we as Father’s criticize our children? Negative comments, Never praise them, Backhanded praise. HURTFUL words – wounds that never heal.  A child needs the fathers approval and encouragement as much as he needs the father’s correction.
  2. Irritability – Life is sometimes like the cartoon where the boss is grouchy toward the worker; his employee, in turn comes home and is irritable with the children; his son then kicked the dog; the dog runs down the street and bites the first person he sees – the boss!
  3. Inconsistency – Pity the horse that has a rider who gives it mixed signals, digging his heels into its side and pulling the reins at the same time. Pity the child even more who has the rules changed by an unpredictable father.  Be consistent. Never make a promise to your children you do not keep. You may forget, but you have a little boy or girl who will remember it eighty years from now.
  4. Unreasonable expectations: Never being pleased with the child’s achievement – pushing beyond reasonable bounds, by expectations. The child is never good enough.
  5. Withholding Love – Manipulating your child by withholding your affection from the child. “If you don’t behave, I won’t love you anymore.” (Heb 12:6). We are not to discipline out of anger, retribution.
  6. Physical Abuse – Child becomes the object of the father’s anger. Slap the child around, physically beat the child. Bully the sons, berate the daughters. Verbal abuse – often more damaging to a child than the physical abuse!


In a society where many children are growing up without a father in the home, we as godly men – young and old alike must prayerfully and intentionally become “fathers” to the children around us. In a specific sense this text speaks to biological fathers, in a general sense it provides us a template as men to disciple and be ‘fathers’ to the next generation.

Ephesians 6.4 when fully understood, requires us to do three things:


  1. “Bring them up” means “to nourish or feed” as in 5.29. Bring them up = let them be kindly cherished (Calvin). It emphasizes the idea of speaking to one’s children with gentleness and friendliness.
  2. Tenderness – verbal and physical – comes naturally to a father living under God’s Word.  Men how do we measure up? (Col.3:21)


  1. “Training” encompasses everything necessary to help “train a child in the way he should go” (Pr. 22.6). It includes discipline by punishment.  Discipline – the process of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience. (Pr 13:24, Heb 12:5-11)   A child’s heart is filled with folly, we are to discipline them to bring them to wisdom (Pr. 22:15). “Don’t expect a horse trained with shouts to respond to a whisper.”
  2. Failure to discipline will bring disaster to our children. David never disciplined his son, Adonijah (I Kn 1:5-6)   Many of us have left this for the child’s mother or other family member. This approach leaves the child void of the security and self-esteem which come from being disciplined by the father.  Children are a heritage from the LORD, they are to be reared for HIM! (Ps 127:3)  Men, do you discipline your children? If not you are not living under God’s Word!

Life Lessons

  • Don’t make excuses for your sin or the sin of your children – The real problem is sin. Deal with the sin, don’t excuse it. Be willing to deal with your children as sinners.
  • Our children must learn at an early age that there are painful consequences to sin.
  • The problem cannot be solved by education – education just results in a sophisticated sinner (2.6; 22.19)
  • Our children must learn from an early age that God has provided a solution for the sinner – salvation through Jesus Christ.


  1. “Instruction” is verbal instruction or warning. Literally it means to “place before the mind.” Often this means to confront and thus is related to the previous topic, discipline.  This is where the high priest Eli was such a failure in raising his children (1 Sam. 3.11-13).  The word restrain is the same word as instruction. Eli failed to confront his boys. He failed to instruct them about their sin and because of this they were destroyed.
  2. Discipleship!! Men if we are to live up to our responsibilities we must Disciple our children by being:
    • Involved in verbally instructing our children – the well being of your great-grandchildren depend upon it! (Deut 6:7, Josh 24:15, 31, Judg 2:7,10)
    • Regularly leading them in family devotions and prayer.
    • Monitoring the input that enters their impressionable minds. (What music is he listening to? What is he/she watching?)
    • Taking responsibility to help ensure that church is a meaningful experience.


Men, what awesome power we have!  Our children’s hearts are turned toward us! Our hearts must be turned toward them. (Ps 78:5-6).

Above all Dads, we must ensure that the open book of our lives – our example – demonstrates the reality of our instruction, for in watching us they will learn the most.

If you would like a pdf copy of this lesson you can download The Call of a Father by clicking the link.

Behold The Lamb!


Today our text is found in  John 1:19-34.

Perhaps more than any other time in history the world is filled with speaking voices.  The accessibility of the internet allows anyone with a computer to share their ideas.

It is estimated that every 1/2 a second a new blog is opened on the internet. The blog that shared this information indicated that there are an estimated 152,000,000 blogs and counting.

There are people offering advice about weight-loss, child-behavior modification, how to be successful, marriage advice… the list goes on. They didn’t have internet or cell phones in John’s but something was happening that everyone was hearing about.

People were longing and looking for the coming Messiah. Every Passover meal includes a table set for Elijah, the prophet who was to come as a fore-runner of Messiah. The Jewish people long for the promised One to come and set up the Kingdom.

John the Baptist’s preaching had thrown the world into confusion. John’s message was direct, it was confrontational, it was not politically correct.

Multitudes of people were traveling from towns to the wilderness to hear him speak and were being baptized (Luke 3:1-15). Even Herod was taken up with John and at one point almost believed his message. John confronted Herod about taking his brother Philip’s wife which eventually resulted in beheading (Lk. 3:16-20)

The excitement surrounding John the Baptist had reached the ears of “The Jews.” They were the religious ruling order known as the Sanhedrin (Council of 72). One duty was to investigate teachers and teaching and evaluate if they were true speaking truth according to the OT Scriptures. They send a committee to investigate John and his message.

The committee sent to investigate John the Baptist posed TWO PROBING QUESTIONS (19-28)

Who are you?

    1. I am not the Christ = Messiah – “anointed one” (Lk 3:15)
    2. I am not Elijah (Mal 4:5-6). The Jewish people were looking for Elijah to be resurrected and announce the coming of Messiah.
    3. I am not the Prophet (Deut 18:15). The Jews thought that the prophet spoken of by Moses might be coming. The New Testament makes it clear that the “Prophet” was a reference to Messiah.
    4. I am the Voice (Is 40:1-5)

“Make straight the way of the Lord.” When a king would visit his subjects in a far place the road would be straightened and prepared for the coming of the king.

This was a message of repentance! “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is here!” (Mt. 3:2).

REPENTANCE A change of mind that results in the turning away from one thing to embrace something else.

“Repentance makes us see the evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally-as a burnt child dreads fire.” Charles Spurgeon

Why are you baptizing?

Jews only baptized proselytes to Judaism. John was baptizing Jews, this was unheard of!

BAPTISM: “Baptizo” – to immerse in water.

This was a “baptism of repentance”. (Mk 1:4) Signified that people were accepting John’s message, turning from their sin and “making their hearts straight in preparation for the coming Messiah.

This was not Christian baptism as we find it instated in the local church in the book of Acts. Some disciples of John were later baptized by the church.

Acts 19:1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

John’s baptism was preparing people to receive “One among you” that they did not yet recognize. (26)

Acts 13:23 From this man’s seed, according to the promise, God raised up for Israel a Savior—Jesus—24 after John had first preached, before His coming, the baptism of repentance to all the people of Israel.

He is coming! Make the path of your heart straight!

John the Baptist makes ONE LIFE-CHANGING PRONOUNCEMENT (29-34)!

The message of the Bible in one-statement: “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”

The Problem – Sin (29)

We have all sinned!

Sin: To break God’s law, miss the mark (perfection), fall short of the standard God has set.

Let’s take a test:

How many lies have you told in your life?
Have you ever taken anything that doesn’t belong to you?
Have you ever taken God’s name in vain?
Have you ever looked at a man or woman with lust in your heart?

By your own admission you are a liar, a thief, a blasphemer and an adulterer at heart. You are therefore guilty according to God’s righteous law and must be condemned by God.

The Solution – The Lamb

ATONEMENT: The work that Christ did to earn our salvation. He satisfied God’s demands on our behalf.

A Person – The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Christ made atonement for the sins of the world because we are all lying, thieving, blasphemous adulterers at heart.

Hebrews 9:22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.

The first mention of a sacrificial lamb – Abraham & Isaac (Gen 22)
The Passover lamb (Ex 12:3)
The Scapegoat (Lev 16:1-22)

He is the substitute sacrifice (Rom 3:23-26)

Rev1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

1 John 1:7 and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

PROPITIATION – A sacrifice that bears God’s wrath to the end and in so doing changes God’s wrath toward us into favor.

He is the Passover lamb

1 Cor 5:7 Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us.

He is the Scapegoat who bore our sins away.

1 Peter 2:24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

The Application

You can be saved because Christ made atonement for your sin.

You grow & serve God because you can be certain that your sins were taken away!

John is clear: I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God! (34)

How should we respond?

  • Humble yourself – acknowledge that you are guilty and a sinner
  • Repent – turn from your sin to Jesus
  • Receive Jesus by faith today – come to him and call upon him and you will be saved today!

Here is the pdf download of the Behold the Lamb Bible study.