Welcome to Week Two of Pursuing God’s Beauty: Stories from the Gospel of John. This summer, we’re digging deep into God’s Word and praying that with a word, passage, or story we will be wonderstruck by Scripture and fall in love with the Bible once again, or maybe for the first time.
Whether this is your first time reading John or your fortieth, we invite you to join us! It’s not too late. [Tweet this] You can recap from Week 1, here. Click here to purchase your Summer Bible Study Special today.
Here’s your homework for Week Two: When God Sees Through You:
- Watch Session Two (When God Sees Through You) on Your Pursuing God’s Beauty DVD (20 minutes) and begin working through the homework.
- Read John 4-8.
- Come back to MargaretFeinberg.com on Thursday, the same day you can enjoy the Midday Connection podcast on the session, to discuss what God’s revealing to you along the way. (To subscribe to the RSS feed so you don’t miss a beat, click here).
If you have a blog, consider linking up with MargaretFeinberg.com each Thursday and share what God is teaching you through the Gospel of John!
Here are four interesting tidbits about John 4-8:
1) What is a Samaritan? Samaritan is a term describing the intermarriage between the Israelites and a mix of other nationalities during the captivity by the Assyrians. When Cyrus the Great released the captives to go back to their homelands, the Samaritans settled in Samaria (a Persian province). They set up their own place of worship on Mount Gerizim since Jews wouldn’t let them help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Calling a Jewish person a Samaritan was considered a hostile insult in ancient culture.
2) Some scholars believe the “sheep gate” referred to in John 5:2 (Nehemiah 3:1, 3:2; 12:39) was a small opening in the temple wall where the sheep entered and were washed before being taken into the sanctuary for sacrifice. The nearby pool became a waiting area for the sick and disabled who hoped for miraculous healing.
3) John 6:9 (the story of feeding the 5000) notes that the boy’s five loaves were made of barley, a food which was common among the poor since it had a less desirable flavor. Wealthy people preferred wheat bread, which cost at least twice as much. This suggests that it was a poor boy that gave his food to Jesus.
4) Jesus’ claim to be the light of the world in John 8:12 ties into the Feast of Tabernacles. Each night during the festival, large oil candles were lit. They traditionally unraveled the old garments of the priests and used the material as wicks. Many believe that Jesus’ declaration of being the light of the world was in the context of this familiar scene.
FOR DISCUSSION: Answer the following questions as a comment to this blog post. Feel free to ask questions, reply to others’ comments, and post prayer requests.
The Bible never tells us the name of the woman whom Jesus met at the well in John 4, but imagine that you had the opportunity to meet her and give her a name. What name would you give her that represents her life before meeting Jesus and after meeting Jesus? (Page 36)
Click here to download 20 Must-Read Passages from John’s Gospel Free PDF Download.
Want to catch up on the online #SummerBibleStudy at MargaretFeinberg.com? Here are the links to the Pursuing God's Beauty: Stories from the Gospel of John Online Bible Study Posts: