Men's Bible Study Week 2 - Steiner Ranch
Updated: Apr 11
Men’s Bible Study Thursday, April 13, 2023, 6:30 am
Tacara Steiner Ranch
A Study of the Gospel of John
Study Notes, Including the Tuesday Update Below
“The first chapter of the Fourth Gospel is one of the greatest adventures of religious thought ever achieved by the mind of man.” William Barclay (Scottish Theologian)
John 1: 1-5 (NIV) - Emphasis on v 4-5
The Word Became Flesh … The Darkness Has Not Overcome it.
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* it.
DEEPER CHALLENGE #1 - “It’s Greek to me!”
* Interestingly, many versions translate this word differently. NASB “… did not grasp it.” NKJV “…did not comprehend it.” The Greek word is “katalambano” καταλαμβάνω. Do your own research and share with the group.
DEEPER CHALLENGE #2 - Bible Memorization
Pick your version then commit to memory John 1:1-5!
RECAP Week 1
I first have to share that the night before I went with Craig B. to “The Prayer Barn” Wednesday evening service at ACF. It was awesome and helped prepare me. It’s a simple Prayer and Worship service that features a carpet w/ pillows so you can come down front and kneel if you feel led. It is Spirit-led and there is an environment of freedom that was so refreshing and brought back many memories of earlier worship experiences. With two worship leaders and a young speaker, occasionally there was a missed note but it was never discordant because there was such a Holy presence! Hard to explain - you have to experience it for yourself.
Well it was cold and rainy so we (four of us) met in the Kitchen Area by the pool for our inaugural meeting. We went through an overview of the Gospel of John and learned of the many fascinating aspects of John the Apostle and of his incredibly close (did Jesus have a Best Friend?) relationship with our Lord, including that while on the Cross, Jesus said (John 19: 25-27) to his mother, Mary, “here is your son,” and to John “here is your mother.”
We discussed the timeframe of when the book was likely written, and brought into consideration that by the time the newly expanding movement had spread widely throughout the Greek, or Gentile, world, the Gentile believers far outnumbered the Jewish ones! Perhaps for that reason John uses the Greek word “logos” - which is translated “Word” but also means “Reason.” We looked into the different meanings to the different audiences.
When we moved into our group discussion/sharing time I felt led to set aside the prepared questions and we each just shared who we were and where we were at in our walk with the Lord. I can’t divulge specifics because as you all know those conversations are held in strict confidence! I can say there was some powerful testimony, and for me, a time to share my most closely guarded challenge.
We closed in prayer and so the Mike Tipps Table Expansion project added a new member - Bill S.!
Week 2 Intro
This Thursday we will move to v 4-5 (In Him was Life and that Life was the Light of Man …) and explore the themes of “Light” and “Life” that are introduced here and brought up numerous times throughout the Gospel of John.
Look for an update Tuesday and consider taking on the two “deeper” challenges!
Week 2 - Tuesday Update
DEEPER CHALLENGE #3 - Watch another John Piper sermon (only 45 minutes!) & consider his understanding of katalambano:
The Darkness Did Not Grasp the Light
So Jesus comes into this darkness as the light of the world. The light of life has come into the world. And John says, “The darkness has not overcome it.” That’s the ESV. The NIV, NASB, and KJV all translate “overcome” differently, namely, “comprehend” or “understand.” “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not understood it.” Just like our English word grasp can have these two meanings, so can the Greek word here (katalambano). The darkness did not grasp the light, that is, snatch it and remove it (see John 12:35). And the darkness did not grasp the light, that is, understand it. John may well have meant both. (Emphasis mine)
Last week we had a “Deeper Challenge” which was to watch a 50 minute (yikes) John Piper sermon (from 2008 no less) - “In the beginning was the word.” Well, here’s another one that would make for great preparation for Thursday: “In Him Was Life”
Again, I will be discussing two of the main themes in John: Life and Light. [PREP] Find other instances of these words in John, record the verses and bring to share.
PS - On Thursday morning you’ll want to park at the Tacara Clubhouse which is the first building you’ll see after passing by HCBC. The fireplace area is next to the pool on the lower floor which you can access by walking down the stairs on the right, or down the hill on the left. If you’d like coffee/latte/cappuccino you can do that by walking in the left-side door on the first floor and go in the Pool table room where you’ll find the machine.