W. N.  KING, Teacher

Fall of 1952

Class Notes of Henry Arnett


(Time:  about one year)

     A.  The first  temple cleansing at the Passover.  Place:  Jerusalem (John 2:13-35).  This was the first official act of His Messiahship—to cleanse His Father's house.  By so doing He identified Himself.  Most of them took exception to His right to cleanse His Father's house as He did. (Temple Cleansings:  John 2:14-16; Matthew 21:12; Mark 11:15; Luke 19:45).

          1.  The Jews then asked Him for a sign with regard to His right to do that.  He answered, "Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up" (John 2:19).  In other words, "I am the One that the prophets said would come and die and rise again."  His credentials were that He was the Lamb of God that came to give His life a ransom for all.

          2.  The Jews pretended that they thought that He meant their temple of worship.  They said, "Forty and six years was in the building and wilt thou raise it up in three days."  Herod the Great began to rebuild the temple 16 years before Jesus was born and finished the main work in 9½ years but repairs, changes, and additions continued for 30 years, which makes the time 46 years to that very year.

          3.  During the Passover as they listened to Him many believed His name.  That is, they believed Him to be the promised Messiah but they did not believe on Him to the salvation of their souls.  The following verse reveals that their hearts were not changed, "But Jesus did not trust Himself unto them for that He knew all men, He Himself knew what was in man."

     B.  Jesus and Nicodemus (John 3:1-21).  Place:  Jerusalem.

          1.  Nicodemus was a member of the grand Sanhedrin and a Pharisee (Adam Clarke) and came to Jesus by night.  He had probably listened to Jesus in the temple at the Passover.

          2.  Nicodemus started off by saying, "Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God for no man can do these signs that thou doest except God be with him."  Jesus made an impression on more than just Nicodemus.  They recognized much but not enough.

          3.  Jesus at once cut in on Nicodemus.  They were largely relying on Abrahamic descent and ceremonialism for the new birth, but Jesus said, "Except a man be born anew he cannot see the kingdom of God."

          4.  Nicodemus then admitted that he knew nothing of that kind of new birth.  "How can these things be."  Jesus then used the natural birth to further explain the spiritual birth.  He made the comparison three times.

               a.  "Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

               b.  "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit" (John 3:6).

               c.  "Ye must be born again."  (John 3:7).  Again is a second and calls for a first and the first is the natural physical birth.

Dr. A. M. Hills said that the Jews used the figure "born of water" to mean the physical birth.  In any case Jesus used the figure that way here.  Put the six figures together in two groups and we have it.  Water, Flesh, The First Time:  physical birth.  Spirit, Spirit, The Second Time:  regeneration.  Each group of three refers to the same thing.

          5.  The new birth was to be wrought in the hearts of men by the death of the Son of Man.  "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness even so must the Son of Man be lifted; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life"  (John 3:14-15).  This belief was a heart belief at the end of a surrendered life.

Nicodemus stood up for Jesus in the debates of the Sanhedrin when Jesus later became a sharp issue with its members (John 19:38-40; John 7:50-53).

     C.  Jesus remained in Judea for some time.  John the Baptist further testified to Jesus.  Place:  Judea (John 3:22-36).

          1.  Jesus left the city of Jerusalem and entered into the country of Judea, where He tarried for a time and His disciples baptized as John did.  One who had been baptized by Jesus' disciples came to John's disciples and started a discussion about purifying, referring to which was the proper or more effective by John or by Jesus' group.  They carried the discussion to John himself (John 3:22-26).

          2.  John restated that he was not the Christ but was sent before Him.  The congregation of believers belongs to the heavenly Bridegroom (Matthew 22:25; Revelation 21:9).  When the Bridegroom took possession, the word of the friend of the Bridegroom was finished.  "This my joy therefore has made full.  He must increase but I must decrease"  (John 3:27-30).  John knew full well that his work had reached its peak, and passed it, and he was heading out.

          3.  John stated that he was of the earth in comparison to Jesus who was above all.  To Jesus the Spirit has not been in measure as to other men.  "He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life but he that obeyeth not the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him"  (John 3:31-36).

     D.  At the imprisonment of John, Jesus departed into Galilee.  Place:  Galilee (Matthew 4:12; with Matthew 14:35; Mark 1:14 with Mark 6:17-20; Luke 4:14 with Luke 3:19, 20; John 4:13).

          1.  When John was in prison, Jesus, instead of helping John out of prison, moved out of the country.

          2.  John had rebuked Herod for marrying his brother Phillip's wife, namely, Herodious, and would have been killed over it were it not that Herod feared the people.  Herodious appeared to be urging him to do so.

     E.  The discourse with the woman at the well.  Place:  Shechem (John 4:4-42).

          1.  The Samaritans were descendants of colonists placed there by the Assyrians when they carried away the so-called lost ten tribes, and mixed with the poor Jews who were left (II Kings 17:6,24,26,29; Ezra 4:1,9,10).  Jewish priests had instructed them in the Hebrew Peneteuch as they were desirous of knowing the nature of the God of the land so that they would not be eaten by wild beasts. 

               a.  They accepted the Peneteuch and rejected the prophets generally.  They observed the Sabbath, the Jewish feasts, circumcision, and the Jewish ordinances.  They interpreted the temple to be built on Mt. Gerizin.

               b.  In view of such scriptures as Matthew 15:24 and Matthew10:5 it is strange that Jesus should have preached in Samaria to the Samaritans, but then it must be remembered that He was on His way to Galilee and opportunity presented itself here.  Being on His way to Galilee, He therefore stayed two days in Samaria.

          2.  Jesus sat on the well and His disciples went into the town to buy bread.  A woman of Samaria came out about the sixth hour to draw water.

               a.  Jesus asked of her a favor to break down prejudice and thus approach her about her soul, "Give me to drink."

               b.  The woman was surprised that Jesus, being a Jew (accent—Galilean), would ask of her a favor.  "How is it that thou, being a Jew, asketh drink of me who am a Samaritan woman"   (John 4:9).

               c.  Jesus said that if she knew the gift of God and who was speaking to her, she would have asked living water.

               d.  The woman retorted that the well was deep and He had nothing to draw with.  How then could He give what He could not get.

               e.  Jesus replied that to all who drink of the water would thirst again, but those who drank of the water that He could give would never thirst again.

               f.  The woman at once asked for this water, possibly not realizing what it meant.  In any case, she did not realize what it would cost her to get it—a confession of her past.

               g.  Jesus then made a complete change.  Said He:  "Go call thy husband and come hither."  She replied, "I have no husband."  Jesus informed her that in all she had had five husbands and the one she now had was not her husband.  This changed the whole drama.  She knew then what she was up against.

Adam Clarke points out that men could divorce their wives for very little in the time of Jesus, both Jews and Samaritans, and she might have had five so-called legal ones.  Her then present one could have been her espoused husband.  This is a sympathetic view at least.  There is nothing either before or after that would lead us to believe that Jesus regarded this woman as an unethical woman in regard to her husbands.

               h.  The woman then expressed a belief that He was somewhat of a prophet and swung the matter on the proper place of worship.  The Jews said one place and the Samaritans said another, and both groups had the Peneteuch for authority.

Jesus informed her that the hour is coming and now is when men must worship God in spirit and in truth regardless of localized places.  "God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth."  The woman said unto Him, "I know that Messiah cometh, He that is called Christ.  When He is come, He will declare unto us all things."  Jesus saith unto her, "I that speak unto thee am He" (John 4:24-26).

          3.  His disciples then returned and marveled that He talked with the woman.  The woman left her pots and returned to the city and told them that she had found the Christ.

               a.  His disciples begged Him to eat.  He refused to eat by stating that He had meat to eat that they knew not of.  His meat was to do the will of His Father and to finish the work that He gave Him to do.

               b.  Material harvest was four months away but Jesus said that the spiritual one was white already.  They were to harvest where others had labored and sown, namely, the prophets for centuries and now Christ Himself.

               c.  Many Samaritans came from that city and believed on Him, both because of the woman and also because of what they saw and heard themselves.  Jesus stayed two days with them.  They declared Him the Savior of the world.

     F.  Jesus taught publicly in Galilee.  Place:  Galilee (Matthew 4:17; Mark 1:14-15; Luke 4:14-15; John 4 43-45).

          1.  This section is splendidly epitomized (summarized) by Mark when he wrote, "Now after John was delivered up (placed in prison by Herod), Jesus came into Galilee (that was His destination when He was passing through Samaria) and preached the gospel of God saying, "The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent ye and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:14-15).  He presents to them the kingdom age and consequently Himself as the king.

          2.  This aspect is stated by all the evangelists and was for immediate acceptance.  They did not nationally accept Him as that Messiah king.  Hence the kingdom was deferred and the church age dropped in.  This will be dealt with more fully later.

     G.  Jesus visits Cana and healed the Nobleman's son who lived at Capernaum.  Place:  Cana of Galilee (John 4:46-54).

          1.  Jesus revisited Cana of Galilee where He had made the water wine and a nobleman (a servant of the king-Herod Antipas; Tetrarch of Galilee) from Capernaum came and said that his son was sick at the point of death, and begged Jesus to come down.

          2.  Jesus objected to the fact that they wanted to see signs and wonders.  The nobleman broke in again and said, "sir, come down ere my child die."  Jesus replied to him, "Go thy way, thy son liveth."  He had faith that Jesus could heal him if He came down.  Jesus went one better and healed him at a distance.  The man checked with the time and discovered that at the seventh hour his child was healed.  The man believed and his whole house.

     H.  Jesus was rejected at Nazareth and then He made His home at Capernaum.  Place:  Nazareth and Capernaum (Matthew 4:13-16; Luke 4:16-31).

          1.  Jesus returned to Nazareth where He had probably spent about 30 years.  His life long custom appeared to have been to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath day and read the scripture there.  They handed Him the book and He read from Isaiah 61:1-2a.

          2.  He then sat down and spoke to them.  "This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears."  It was a Messianic reference.  They said, "Is not this Joseph's son."  They resented the inference.  Then Jesus answered the rebellion in their hearts and said, "No prophet is accepted in His own country (much less the Messiah)."  He then referred that in the day of Elijah there were many needy persons and none were helped except a poor widow.  There were many lepers in Elisha's day and only Naaman was healed.  Foreigners were helped and Israelites were passed by.

          3.  Those in the synagogue were filled with wrath and laid hold on Him, and led Him to the brow of the hill, intending to cast Him to destruction.  Jesus exercised His deity and passed through among them and came to Capernaum and evidently made Peter's home His home.  Here He paid the half shekel.

NOTE:  "No prophet is accepted in His own country."  Jesus had no success in Nazareth.  Paul had no success in Tarsus.  Barnabas had no recorded success in Cyprus.

     I.  Peter, Andrew, James, and John are called by Jesus.  Place:  Near Capernaum (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-20; Luke 5:1-11).

          1.  Matthew and Mark give the bare call of the four: first Simon, and his brother Andrew who were fishing on the lake; and James and John a little farther on, who were mending their nets in the presence of their father.  Each pair of brothers followed.

          2.  Luke tells of Jesus' preaching from the boat of Simon and Andrew and then asking them to pull out and let down their nets.  They caught a great number and feared.  The Lord informed them that hence forth they were to catch men.  James and John were also nearby so all four followed Him.

     J.  The healing of a demoniac and of Peter's wife's mother.  Place:  Capernaum (Matthew 8:14-17; Mark 1:21-34; Luke 4:31-41).

          1.  Upon reaching Capernaum Jesus went on the Sabbath day to the synagogue and taught.  People were astonished and thought His teachings were a new doctrine but they were not.

A man with an unclean spirit was in the synagogue.  He must have had normal intervals else he could not have entered the synagogue.  He cried out and said, "What have we to do with thee, Jesus thou Nazarene.  Art thou come to destroy us.  I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God"  (Mark 1:24; Luke 4:34).

Jesus ordered him out and he threw him in convulsions and cried and came out having done him no harm.  The people wondered.  Mark and Luke alone tell us of this man.

          2.  Jesus then entered the house of Peter and healed his wife's mother of a fever and she arose at once and ministered to them.  Many others were also healed at the same time.  All three synoptics tell of the healing of Peter's mother-in-law.

     K.  Jesus then made a tour around Galilee with His disciples.  Place:  Galilee (Matthew 4:23-25; Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4:42-44).

          1.  Mark says that He arose for an early morning prayer meeting.  His disciples followed later and told Him that all were seeking Him.  Luke also infers such a period of prayer.

          2.  Matthew gives the best description of the preaching tour throughout Galilee (Matthew 4:23-25).  "And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of diseases among the people.  And His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with diverse diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them."  Demon possession, epileptic, and palsy are also mentioned.  "And there followed Him great multitudes from Galilee, and Jerusalem and Judea and beyond Jordan."

     L.  Jesus then healed a leper.  Place:  Galilee (Matthew 8:2-4; Mark 1:40-45; Luke 5:12-16).

          1.  Jesus healed a leper.  The man was full of leprosy, apparently a very bad case.  He knelt and said, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean" (Matthew 8:2b).  There is no lack of faith in Jesus' person nor yet in His ability.  The matter rests with the will of the Christ.

          2.  Jesus at once said, "I will; be thou clean."  Apparently as He said these words He touched him.  There is no appeal to a higher power or to the will of God.  He willed it and He did it in His own name and power.  The leper was cleansed.

          3.  Jesus charged him to tell no man.  Animosity was already running high among the synagogue leaders.  Jesus knew that this would add to that jealousy and hatred.  Hence He told the man to keep it quiet.  This he did not do and Jesus was forced to operate outside the city for a time at least until the hatred died down in the city (Clarke on Mark).

          4.  Jesus charged him to go and offer for his cleansing according to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 14:1-11ff).  Thus his cleansing was confirmed and he was restored to his rightful place in the temple worship.  To prove that the Son of Man had power to forgive sin He said, "Arise and take up thy couch and go into thine house"  (Luke 5:24b).  Immediately he did so.  Christ gave them an external sign that He had done a work in the heart that God and God alone could do.  Jesus did 3 things to prove to them His Messiahship.

a. Forgiving a man his sins.

b. By accurately discerning the thoughts of the Pharisees and doctors.

c. By instantly healing a paralytic in His own name.

N.  The call of Matthew the Publican.  Place:  Capernaum (Matthew 9:90; Mark 2:13-14; Luke 5:27-28).

          1.  Matthew calls himself Matthew but Mark and Luke call him Levi, or Levi son of Alphaeus.  It could be that he had followed Jesus occasionally before and expected the call.

          2.  He was probably in the employ of Herod Antipas and probably also of the Romans.  He probably collected tolls from the caravan trains that passed through the place.

          3.  He arose and left all.  What the all was we do not know, but we do know it was his all.  He then followed Jesus.

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