We are two weeks into the 21 Day Challenge that I am posting here, but mostly doing for my Jr. High small group. Between everything else I’m doing and with a daily post dedicated to the challenge, I’ve posted nothing new here. That is not because I have nothing to say, I have a few posts I have been working on so, you can rest assured that more regular random stuff than you can shake a stick at is definitely on the horizon,
Each day during this 21 day period I am sharing a chapter of the book of John here as an aid to the boys in my jr. high small group at church. To show a variety of versions of the bible, each day I am sharing the chapter in a different version. Today’s version is the ESV (English Standard Version).
The ESV was first published in 2001. It has been argued that it is a slightly more literal translation than the NASB. One of my favorite authors J.I. Packer, who died earliers this moth at the age of 93, was the general editor of the ESV.
At this point, I usually show how John3:16 is rendered in the translation I am using for the day. Since chapter 3 contains the verse I will just put it in bold. The reason why I use John 3:16 as my sample passage is because it is the most familar verse in the bible. One time my sister asked me what it has to do with football as she always see the reference held up at football games. It has little to do with football but does contain the secret to eternal life. Football can be cancelled because of co-vid, but eternal life is , well, eternal.
John 3 in ESV
You Must Be Born Again
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
9 Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.
For God So Loved the World
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
John the Baptist Exalts Christ
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”
31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Observation: You can know all about God without knowing God personally.
Question: What happened to Nicodemus after this encounter?
Application: I need to do what is true so people can see God through my actions (vs. 21)
We are going to switch things up here today and do something I have not attempted int he 11 + years I have been blogging. Let me give you a little background. On Thursday evenings I co-lead a small group for the jr. high boys in our church with our youth pastor. Yesterday our youth pastor laid down a challenge to the boys. Read through the book of John a chapter a day for the next 21 days.
I am going to participate as well and have decided as an encouragement to the boys I am going to post the chapter each day here on my blog and text them the link. If you are reading this and you are not in my small group, I encourage you to take the challenge as well. Maybe you’ve never read the Bible, maybe it’s been a while. maybe you read it every day. In any case I believe taking this journey through the book of John could be very interesting and perhaps even helpful to you. Let’s get started …
I am going to be utilizing the website Bible Gateway and each day I will share the chapter in a different version of the Bible. I will also tell a little about the version and in addition to the chapter of the day quote the most famous verse in the bible John 3:16 in that version.
Today I am starting with the New International Version. It is the most popular English version of the bible and it was first published in 1978. The NIV is a readable translation and also stays very close to the original languages of the Bible. This is because it is a balance between a word to word translation and a meaning to meaning translation.
John 3:16 in the NIV: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome[a] it.
6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders[c] in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”[d]
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with[e] water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John Testifies About Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”[f]
John’s Disciples Follow Jesus
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter[g]).
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe[h] because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you,[i] you[j] will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’[k] the Son of Man.” John Chapter 1 NIV
There are many different ways to read or study the bible one method is to observe one thing in the text ask one question about the text and then look for one way to apply the verses to your life. Im going to call this OQA which if you pronounce it is just a little to close to OWCA (Organization without A Cool Acronym) form Phineas and Ferb for my liking, so I just suggest just say the letters instead og pronouncing it. I Plan to share an obsevation, a question and an application at the end of each chapter.
Observation: John 1 begins exactly like Genesis 1 with the words “In the beginning “.
Question: Why are there 4 gospels and how are they different?
Application: John 1:10 states that the world did not recognize Jesus even though he made the world. When people I know don’t recognize Jesus as their creator I should realize that it’s always been that way and continue to show Him to people through my words and actions.
Well, we are off to a good start. Please feel free to put observations, questions, application or anything else in the comment section. I am looking forward to this challenge, I hope you are too.