(Study Outline sourced from “The System Bible Study” – “The Book of Life” [Zondervan])
(4) John Identifies Jesus As The Messiah
“Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.”
After the death of his parents, John lived in the desert by himself away from any contact with relatives and family friends ; how then did he know who Jesus was when he made the statement “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” , clarifying the statement by adding “This is the one I meant when I said, ‘a man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me’” , continuing to say that he, John, did not know Jesus as the Messiah until he saw “the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.”. “I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me…” , as Jesus’ fore-runner, God revealed to John that Jesus was The Son of God , the Messiah , and the Saviour of the world . It was revealed to John that Jesus The Son of God was destined to become the Saviour of the world before He would be recognized as Messiah by the Jews . Many in Israel did recognize Jesus as the Messiah, and the nation as a whole rejected Him
(5) The Disciples Recognize Jesus As The Messiah
“The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).”
Jesus begins His ministry by calling His first disciples, all of whom recognize Him as Messiah “the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote – Jesus of Nazareth…” . Nathaniel declared “you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel” to which Jesus responded, “You shall see greater things….” , “..the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man” – just as Jacob had seen a ladder , and the ladder was a ‘means of attaining to’ that which would otherwise be impossible – The Son of God would become a ladder, in the form of a cross, that would enable all mankind to attain that which would otherwise be impossible; that of “attaining”God’s presence by having the demands of the Law satisfied .
(6) The First Miracle Of Jesus At Cana
“This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.”
“He thus revealed his glory…” The prophet Isaiah, in reference to God’s Servant, spoke of the “dry” land or desert saying that it would rejoice and be glad on a future day when “they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendour of our God” . The dry land or desert was a metaphor indicating the lack of spiritual life in the nation, and that when the glory of the Lord was revealed to the people that spiritual life would be revived. In Jesus’ day, however, only a small portion of the people responded to the revelation of God’s glory as Jesus performed His miracles revealing that indeed He was the Son of God and God Himself as he healed the sick, commanded the forces of nature, and brought the dead back to life .
(7) Jesus’ First Visit To Capernaum
Jesus spent much time at Capernaum as the town became the centre of His Galilean ministry – His mother, brothers, and disciples accompanied Him. “Brothers” – most likely a reference to Joseph’s and Mary’s other children which were half-brothers to Jesus – Joseph had most likely died since he is not mentioned .
(8) The First Cleansing Of The Temple At The Passover
“In the temple courts he found men selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market!”
Animals for sacrifices and currency acceptable to the Temple authorities were all legitimate business, but should have been conducted away from the Temple property itself, as the Temple was a place of worship to God. Is there a lesson for us today to be learned from this account? The disciples remembered the words of the Psalmist “Zeal for your house will consume me”. At this the Jewish leaders demanded a sign of Jesus’ authority for His actions – they were always looking for a sign to recognize their Messiah but failed to comprehend each time the sign was given. “….his disciples recalled….Then they believed….” it is crucial for each and every believer to be able to recall what the Scriptures contain and teach, for this is the whole purpose of the written record, and is the only way to grow in the grace and knowledge of God as is expected of each one of us.