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"I am the Bread of Life"

This week’s lesson is Lesson 12 –  “I am the Bread of Life”

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John 5 – Jesus Heals a Man on the Sabbath

Before we dive into John 5, let’s first establish what the Sabbath meant to the Jews during the time of Christ.

On the Sabbath, one should refrain from all “work” or craftsman” from sun down on Friday evening to sun down on Saturday evening.  According to Wikipedia, there are 39 categories of “work” that had to be avoided.  They are…

The 39 categories of melakhah are: ploughing earth, sowing, reaping, binding sheaves, threshing, winnowing, selecting, grinding, sifting, kneading, baking, shearing wool, washing wool, beating wool, dyeing wool, spinning, weaving, making two loops, weaving two threads, separating two threads, tying, untying, sewing stitches, tearing, trapping, slaughtering, flaying, tanning, scraping hide, marking hides, cutting hide to shape, writing two or more letters, erasing two or more letters, building, demolishing, extinguishing a fire, kindling a fire, putting the finishing touch on an object and transporting an object between the private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

Because of their Sabbath beliefs, healing on the Sabbath was completely unacceptable.

As we read the first 4 verses of John 5, think about the scene that is being described.  Imagine you were there for yourself or with a family member.  Remember that it is the Sabbath and the restrictions that the Sabbath puts on the people gathered.

John 5:1-4

1  After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2  Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3  In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4  For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

Here were many many sick and afflicted people.  Waiting for the water to be stirred by an angel.  Hoping to be the first person to step into or be carried into the water.  Yet it was the Sabbath so those that needed to be carried knew that there was nothing that they could do to be healed by the waters because they could not be carried by another.

In April 1991, Boyd K Packer said that the bodies and minds with disabilities “will be made perfect.  In the meantime, we must look after those who wait by the pool of Bethesda.”

What is our responsibility and how can we look after those who wait?

John 5:5-9

5   And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6   When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7   The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8   Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9   And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

Based on what we have learned about the Sabbath, what stands out to you in these verses that goes against the believe of the Sabbath?

As we continue to read in John, we learn that the Jewish leaders stopped this man that had been healed.  They did not stop him because he was healed, they stopped him because he was carrying his bed on the Sabbath.  When the leaders asked this man why he was carrying his bed he responded by saying,  “He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk”

But when they asked him who had done the healing, the man said he didn’t know.

Christ later approached that same man in the temple and said…

John 5:14

14   Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

What is worse than the man’s 38 years of disability?

So after hearing these words, the man went and told the leaders of the Jews who had healed him.

John 5:16

16   And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

In John 5:39 Christ responded to the Jewish leaders with counsel that we too should heed.

39  Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

What is the difference between reading and searching the scriptures?

During your family scripture study do you “read” or “search”?

What is the benefit of just “reading” the scriptures with your family?

What is the benefit of “searching” the scriptures with your family?

There are definitely benefits of each but you and your family will get the most out of it by searching.

Together we are going to “search” the scriptures that tell us Christ’s response to the Jews wanting to slay him.

I have broken verses 20-30 into 4 different sections.

John 5:20-22

20   For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
21    For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them;even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.
22    For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:
John 5:23-24

23    That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
24    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 5:25-27

25    Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26    For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27    And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

John 5:28-30

28    Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29    And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
30    I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

For each of these sections you will need to search them for 3 keywords and determine why each of these words are important.  Also seek how what we learn about Christ and his relationships or future plans through these verses.

What would the Jewish leaders have known had they truly searched and believed the scriptures?

How have the scriptures strengthened your faith in Christ?

Jesus Feeds more than 5000

I’d like us to reach each of the following scriptures and then discuss.  They are the same story but told by different men.  As we read them, think about what each storyteller is emphasizing.  I like to think about what it tells us about each of these men.

John 6:1-14

Mark 6:30-44

Matthew 14:13-21

What did the first account by John focus on?  I felt he focused on the bread, the cost of and the availability of it.  Then he focused on the magnitude of the remains from the miracle

What did we learn from Mark’s account?  Mark’s account emphasized that they had gone to be alone following the death of John the Baptist

What more did Matthew’s account tell us?  Christ not only showed them compassion but he healed their sick

What can we learn about compassion from this miracle Jesus performed and his response to the people following him?

I think, at least for myself, that there are times when we run and hide in our place of solace.  Sometimes we feel like we need to focus on ourselves – our own trials, our own loss, our own pain or our own growth.  When Jesus and the apostles went to the mountain, they went because of their loss and for their safety.  When we run to be alone, how often are we open to serving someone else?  Or do we say, “I have no more to give” or “I need to just focus on me”?  Are there times when we feel like we are drowning in our own business and life that we don’t answer the phone because we just know it is someone needing something from us?

Jesus went to the mountain because John the Baptist had just been killed.  The Jews were seeking after him to slay him.  But when 5000 followed him to his place of solace, he didn’t ignore them.  He didn’t fear them or turn them away.  Instead he turned his focus on them.  He healed them.  He prayed with and for them.  He fed them.

What can we do to better follow his example?

How can we know if we are following him for the right reason?

Elder Holland observed the following…

“During the Savior’s Galilean ministry, He chided those who had heard of Him feeding the 5,000 with only five barley loaves and two fishes, and now flocked to Him expecting a free lunch. That food, important as it was, was incidental to the real nourishment He was trying to give them” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1997, 87; or Ensign, Nov. 1997, 65).

Are we expecting a “free lunch”?

What kind of nourishment can we ask for and expect from the Savior?

In closing, I would like to share one more scripture from John.  It is John 6:67-69.

67   Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68   Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69   And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

I know that the words the Savior taught during His ministry and the words He continues to share through His prophets is the Truth.  The Light and the only way to avoid hunger and thirst.  Through Christ we can experience miracles, feel compassion and serve others.  By doing this, we will grow closer to our Savior and closer to our Heavenly Father.  Especially during times of trial.

What can you do today to “heal” another?

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