John 1:29-34 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, March 1, 2015, is from John 1:29-34, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

John 1:29-34

(John 1:29)  The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

John the Baptist testified that Jesus would fulfill a difficult task that would lead Him to die a sacrificial death as the Lamb of God. None of Jesus’ or John’s disciples knew what John meant when the Holy Spirit inspired John’s words. They would learn how Jesus would take away the sin of the world after Jesus died a sacrificial death as a substitute for sinners so God could be both merciful and just when forgiving sinners out of His heart of love.

(John 1:30)  This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’

Jesus was before John because Jesus was in the beginning God and Jesus was with God the Father in the beginning before Jesus was born (see John 1:1-5). John the Baptist was conceived in Elizabeth and born before Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. Jesus ranked ahead of John as God and King of kings, the long promised Messiah. Though born after John, and though His public ministry began after John, John came to point people to Jesus as the fulfillment of prophecy. John came to prepare a way for the Lord.

(John 1:31)  I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.”

John did not know Jesus was the Messiah and the Lamb of God until the Holy Spirit revealed Jesus to him, though he no doubt knew the story of Mary’s visit to his mother Elizabeth before he was born. John preached a message of repentance and baptized with water to prepare people for Jesus’ coming and for Jesus’ revelation of himself as Messiah, Savior, and Lord. During John’s ministry of baptizing in the wilderness, Jesus came to be baptized and the Holy Spirit revealed to John a special aspect of Jesus’ ministry as the Lamb of God.

(John 1:32)  And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.

All four Gospels insist that John was an important forerunner of the Messiah. John was indwelt by the Holy Spirit from birth and the Holy Spirit empowered his ministry which led to multitudes of people going to hear him preach and being baptized at the Jordan River. John recognized the Holy Spirit when the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus at His baptism, because he had always known the Holy Spirit as a divine Person living within him. One key thought that John emphasized was the fact that the Holy Spirit remained on Jesus and empowered His ministry. Though Jesus was the unique Son of God, He was also the Son of Man indwelt by the Holy Spirit for ministry.

(John 1:33)  I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’

God the Father and the Holy Spirit within John the Baptist told him how he would recognize the Messiah. God made John a promise, and then God did what He promised. The subsequent ministry of Jesus, His death and His resurrection, confirmed what John preached about Jesus. John’s preaching about Jesus inspired some of Jesus’ disciples to follow Him as the Messiah, and John’s ministry began to decrease as Jesus’ ministry began to increase, finally leading to John’s arrest and beheading by King Herod. After Jesus’ resurrection, Jesus baptized believers with the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and that also confirmed what John saw and said about Jesus.

(John 1:34)  And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

To testify to something in a court of law as a witness, you must either be an eyewitness or an ear witness to the event or situation. John heard the word of the Lord. John knew the work of the Holy Spirit by experience. John saw Jesus and John saw God fulfill what He promised. As in any court of law with witnesses giving testimony, a verdict usually follows. Believers in Jesus Christ believe in Jesus because of many eyewitness reports in the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit in their own lives confirming the Word of God. The Word of God, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit teach that Jesus is the Son of God, Messiah, Lord, and Savior.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. If someone asked you what Lamb of God meant, what might you say?

2. What did John say the Lamb of God would do?

3. How did John the Baptist know that Jesus was the Lamb of God?

4. In addition to Jesus being the Lamb of God, who else did John say Jesus is?

5. What are some of the ways Jesus, who is the Son of God and the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the world?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

John 1:29-34
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

John 1:29-34
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

John 1:29-34
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

How God Takes Away Sin

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (John 1:29—KJV).

“The next day John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, ‘Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’” (John 1:29—NRSV).

When we hear about a criminal and his crimes, we usually feel that they should be punished to stop them, to protect others from them, and to encourage others not to do the same. Executing just punishments shows what a government or a society thinks about a law’s importance and obedience to the law as a whole. When a criminal does not receive the punishment that a law specifies or that we think they deserve for an especially horrid crime, we can become outraged at the injustice. When someone of the privileged class ignores or violates the law and escapes the punishment that the law demands, we are sometimes offended by the injustice; we also lose respect for the law and the government. We know we would be punished if we broke the same law. We expect lawbreakers, especially persistent lawbreakers, to be punished in some way. As the Great King, God must deal justly with situations such as these; however, all of us have broken God’s law of love as written on our hearts and on Moses’ stone tablets. Even worse, we have been persistent breakers of God’s law of love: we have not loved God and others as we ought. We all deserve God’s punishment forever. For God to emphasize obedience to His law, for God to uphold justice and show mercy when forgiving sinners, the Son of God took upon himself the punishment we deserve. By His death, Jesus won the love of repentant believers, and He takes away the sin of the world one transformed sinner at a time. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

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Ephesians 6:10-20 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, February 22, 2015, is from Ephesians 6:10-20, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four different Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Ephesians 6:10-20

(Ephesians 6:10)  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.

Paul prayed that the Ephesian believers would know “what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power” (Ephesians 1:19). Then, Paul commanded believers to “be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power.” God’s power is so great that His power in Christ raised Christ from the dead and seated Christ at His right hand (Ephesians 1:20). Believers must choose to be strong in the Lord and also pray for the strength of the Lord’s power to make and keep them strong.

(Ephesians 6:11)  Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Through Paul’s letter in these concluding verses, God commands us to “stand firm” three times depending on the translation (Ephesians 6:11, 13 and 14). Having told believers how to live as Christians in Christ and together in the church, he now wrote that they would face enemies who would do all they could to destroy their lives, their faith in Christ, and deceive them in many ways; therefore, they needed to put on the armor that God gave them. The only way believers can remain standing firm is to put on “the whole armor of God” and not make the mistake of thinking they can resist with only a few pieces of God’s armor.

(Ephesians 6:12)  For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Believers recognize and fight against evil in a variety of ways as they pray and seek the Lord’s guidance and strength. Behind those who do evil are “cosmic powers” and “spiritual forces of evil.” In the world, there is a “present darkness.” The Light, the Lord Jesus Christ, shines in this present darkness, but the darkness does not comprehend Christ and cannot overcome Him (John 1:5). Believers are “light in the Lord,” and evil or those who are “darkness” cannot comprehend believers, and though they may try, they cannot spiritually overcome believers who pray and stand firm in “the whole armor of God” (see Ephesians 5:8 and 6:11). Believers do have spiritual enemies who will try physically and spiritually to spread darkness and evil through physical enemies who remain in darkness.

(Ephesians 6:13)  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Paul once again insisted believers must put on “the whole armor of God,” and not rely on themselves or their own thoughts or false ideas and leaders who do not know Christ or trust in the Scriptures. A day is coming, and perhaps many days are coming, when believers can only and must “stand firm” as Christians in the whole suit of armor and with the spiritual weapons God has given them. When the disciples of Jesus died for their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, all they could do was pray and stand firm in the whole armor of God and in the strength of God’s power in Christ; and they prevailed even though they died physically, for they went to the place in heaven that Jesus had prepared for them and they inherited eternal life with God in His Kingdom.

(Ephesians 6:14)  Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

The devil will use those who are darkness or those who are only partially suited in the armor of God to attack Christians with false accusations, lies, and other deceptions (personal, philosophical, or theological). The only defense is to surround ourselves with the truth of Christ and the Scriptures and with those who cling to and fervently teach the truth of Jesus Christ and the Bible. The darkness will attack the truth and those of the truth, who seek to live by the Truth, the Lord Jesus Christ, in a variety of ways. Believers must protect their hearts by putting on Christ, who is our Righteousness and by living rightly in the strength of Christ’s power (see also Isaiah 11:5).

(Ephesians 6:15)  As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

While we are under attack by darkness and those under the influence and power of the devil, we can pray for an opportunity to share “the gospel of peace;” the good news that through faith in Jesus Christ believers can find peace with God, peace within themselves, and peace with others in so far as peace is possible through their new nature and way of living. The power of God through the gospel can change unbelievers from darkness to light, even as the power of God and the gospel changes all believers from darkness (from living as slaves and tools of Satan) to light (to living as faithful servants of our Lord Jesus Christ) – see Ephesians 5:6-14.

(Ephesians 6:16)  With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.

Faith includes believing and believing in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and as the King over all, who sits on God’s throne at the right hand of God. Faith includes living in ways that demonstrate who you believe in and what you believe. Faith includes believing and trusting in the Word of God written, the Bible, and the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ.

(Ephesians 6:17)  Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ as the Bible has revealed Christ, as Lord and Savior, we are freed from our sins, cleansed from our sins, and saved from the eternal consequences of our sins and former life of darkness and evil and slavery to Satan. By continually reminding ourselves of these facts and living on the basis of these facts we can protect our minds from Satan’s many attacks and arrows of falsehood. The Word of God, the Bible, is the sword that the Holy Spirit can use to help us deflect the falsehoods of Satan in his various attempts to mislead us away from the Truth (Hebrews 4:12-13).

(Ephesians 6:18)  Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.

When we “pray in the Spirit” we pray for a better understanding and use of “the sword of the Spirit,” the Word of God. When we pray for others, especially in their time of need, we can pray for them to have a better understanding and use of the sword of the Spirit. Paul wanted people to pray for him so while he was in prison he could speak the Word of God boldly or better as the sword of the Lord in the strength of God’s power. Perseverance or the command “to always persevere” means we will face opposition when we seek to pray and pray for others, so we must keep on praying in every circumstance.

(Ephesians 6:19)  Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,

Paul knew the mystery of Christ and the gospel that Jesus wanted him to teach. He prayed and wanted others to pray for him, so he could preach and teach the message of Christ using the right words and the divine power of Christ that would convince others to accept the gospel of peace. Paul knew that he would need divine strength and wisdom to teach about Jesus Christ coming into the heart and the life of those who would accept Him and how He would bring Jews and Gentiles together in loving fellowship in the church, which is “the mystery of the gospel.”

(Ephesians 6:20)  for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

An ambassador represents someone else; often a ruler, king, or nation. Paul represented Jesus Christ and the kingdom of God as an ambassador. He wanted prayer so he could boldly proclaim the message of his King that he must or ought to speak as an official representative of his King and God’s kingdom. Even though he was in chains in a prison, Paul wanted people to pray that he could speak boldly as a sincere ambassador of Jesus Christ right where he was, and he had an audience in chains all around him who needed to hear the gospel of peace and salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

1. What are some things we can do to get strength to stand firm when we are attacked?
2. What did the six different parts of the armor that God has given us represent?
3. What parts of our protective armor and weapons seem to be most attacked today?
4. To be ready to fight and stand firm in a battle against Satan and his tricks, of the six pieces of armor needed what item do you personally need the most? Explain your answer.
5. In addition to putting on the full armor of God, what else does Paul emphatically say we must do?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

True and False Test

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

Crossword Puzzle

Ephesians 6:10-20
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

Stand Firm in God’s Whole Armor

“Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13—KJV).

“Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm” (Ephesians 6:13—NRSV).

Jesus declared, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). Jesus did not come to compromise with sin and evil but to confront the enemies of God with the truth of God. Jesus has given His followers a spiritual sword, because “Our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). Jesus has given all those who trust in Him “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). The Christian’s warfare is a war of words; the Word of God against the lies of evil cosmic powers; the promises of God against the false claims of evil spiritual forces. In Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians, Christians achieve spiritual victory by standing firm in the faith when under attack. For hundreds of years, Christians have suffered persecution and martyrdom at the hands of authorities entrapped in this present darkness. But just as the first martyr, Stephen, stood firm and proclaimed the Word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit, which eventually led to Saul becoming the Apostle Paul, so countless believers have stood firm in the whole armor of God and have proclaimed the Word of God when under attack; therefore, the Holy Spirit has freed countless numbers of those enslaved by evil forces, enabling them to believe in Jesus Christ for salvation. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off

Matthew 25:31-46 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, February 15, 2015, is from Matthew 25:31-46, and this posting includes both the International Bible Lesson Commentary and the International Bible Lesson. The International Bible Lesson Commentary is now available in four Bible translations on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website: these versions are the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard VersionQuestions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary. The Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further discusses each of the Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are available on the  International Bible Lessons Commentary website along with the International Bible Lesson that you may want to read to your class as part of your Bible study. To help your class review the lesson, a Word Search Puzzle, a Crossword Puzzle, and a True and False Test are also available below. To listen to this commentary a podcast is available by subscribing and by clicking on the audio links here on the International Bible Lesson Forum.

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Matthew 25:31-46

(Matthew 25:31)  “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory.

Jesus Christ identified himself as the Son of Man. He said He would come again after His death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. When He comes again everyone (sheep and goats) will see Him in His glory as King of kings. He will come and visibly show himself as the Great King upon His throne, as He truly is in glorious splendor forever. His angels will come with Him to do His will and carry out His promised plans.

(Matthew 25:32)  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,

Jesus Christ is now and will visibly show himself to be the Lord and King over all the nations of the earth. Many worldly leaders in all nations are goats, and Jesus will deal with these evil leaders when He comes again. He will set the evil goats to one side so they can never afflict or persecute His followers (the sheep) again. The sheep will inherit eternal life and joyous celebrations in heaven forever.

(Matthew 25:33)  and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left.

The right hand of God is sometimes described as the authority and power of God. The loyal and loving followers of Jesus Christ will be placed at the right hand of God to exercise His authority and power as God directs. The evil leaders and people of the world will be replaced by the followers of Jesus to reign with Him. Notice: Jesus did not say that He would kill the goats. Sheep and goats will live forever, but in different places.

(Matthew 25:34)  Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;

The Father and Jesus prepared a kingdom for the followers of Jesus before they ever created this world. Jesus was, is, and will be the King of this kingdom. His followers will inherit eternal life in His eternal kingdom, because Jesus the King died and rose again for them. They are blessed because of God’s many gifts. Jesus told His disciples that He was going to heaven to prepare a place for them: imagine what a place this will be!

(Matthew 25:35)  for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

Those who love God and others as the Scriptures teach will live, love, and act in ways similar to Jesus and the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit indwell every one of His faithful followers and enable them to live as He directs. When His followers love and help one another, they are showing love and helping Him. Jesus’ followers will meet the needs of one another and others as Jesus leads them.

(Matthew 25:36)  I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’

Food, drink, compassionate companionship, clothing, medicine offered with personal concern and tenderness, are all needed and will be needed by everyone. The New Testament and 2000 years of history show Christians being persecuted, imprisoned, and killed for following Jesus. The goats try to destroy the lives and testimony of God’s sheep; therefore, believers seek to help one another especially. When they do so, they are helping Christ, who indwells His followers.

(Matthew 25:37)  Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink?

The sheep, the righteous people, are righteous because of their faith in Jesus Christ, who leads them in their daily lives as Lord and Savior. The supernatural loving power of the Holy Spirit within them leads them to do as Christ without any self-righteous concern or focus on themselves. They do not even remember all the good they are doing or have done, because their focus is on following Christ and not on their achievements or on their rewards from God for doing good deeds.

(Matthew 25:38)  And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing?

Some people see the list that Jesus gave as “duties,” as something they must be sure to do to earn eternal life, as a check list of duties to complete before they see Jesus. However, as much as it is true that Christians must do their duty and obey God, the list Jesus gives actually describes the attitude and perspective of one of His true followers. His followers will seek to love and serve others because of their new character as born-again believers and their love for their Savior.

(Matthew 25:39)  And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’

Christians will suffer physical needs and even from neglect, from sickness and persecution. Jesus as our Great King did not say that He would prevent our suffering in this world; rather, He promised to be with us in our suffering and time of need. One of the ways He is with us is by living His life within us. Another way He is with us is when our brothers and sisters in Christ draw near us to bless and help us, to offer us encouragement and support when truly needed. When we as Christians draw near to help others, Jesus himself is reaching out to them through us to meet their needs.

(Matthew 25:40)  And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’

Jesus answered or will answer someday, that the righteous in Christ did this for the righteous in Christ. That does not mean that Christians only help one another, because Jesus commanded His followers to love their enemies (our enemies are also our neighbors). He did not tell His followers to restrict their service to true Christians only. However, true Christians will love and serve one another, and show special concern for their brothers and sisters in Christ.

(Matthew 25:41)  Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;

Sheep and goats are two different species of animals that act very differently. Sheep and goats are fitting descriptions of different types of people who naturally act according to their nature. We all like sheep have gone astray, but those who trust in Jesus as their Lord and Savior are born again. Christians have a new nature, quite unlike the nature of goats. The goats are the accursed. As Jesus once said to some, your father is the devil. There are some (even some powerful leaders in business, church, and government), who act like the devil and oppose Christ and His people. They promote ungodliness and wickedness and specific sins that the Bible especially condemns. God prepared a place for the devil and his angels, and God will send their followers to join them in a place of eternal punishment. The goats do not die; they are only separated from the sheep forever. Jesus, who died on the cross to save them, will send them away because they refused the salvation and new life that He offered them after He rose from the dead.

(Matthew 25:42)  for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,

Jesus indwells His followers. Goats either ignore those who follow Jesus, disparage them, or do horrible things to them. When goats see one of Jesus’ followers in need, they refuse to help them. They especially refuse to help them because they follow Jesus. The right way of living by the sheep brings feelings of self-condemnation and other feelings to the unrighteous, so they want to destroy or live as far away from the sheep as possible. Rather than destroy the goats, Jesus will give them what they chose: He will send them away as far as possible from the sheep.

(Matthew 25:43)  I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’

Jesus listed the same opportunities to love and serve others that both the sheep and the goats had and have. The sheep, when presented with the opportunities, helped those in need. The goats, when presented with the same opportunities, did not help others. If they ever helped anyone, it was because they wanted to serve their own or the devil’s selfish purposes. They had no real care or love for others.

(Matthew 25:44)  Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’

The goats will ask Jesus the same question as the sheep, but the reason they did not serve others was because they were so selfish and self-centered they did not see or care about the needs of others. Their sins were sins of omission for lack of love for God and others. They had a supreme love only for themselves, and they only helped others if they perceived the possibility of some selfish benefit.

(Matthew 25:45)  Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’

The goats, as children of the devil, will either afflict Christians or refuse to help Christians, especially Christians in need. Jesus expressed deep love and concern for “the least” of His followers, and His followers should do the same. The goats will, or will try to, take advantage of “the least,” and they will often look for “the least” so they can take unjust advantage of them.

(Matthew 25:46)  And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

This is the second time in this lesson that Jesus mentioned eternal fire or eternal punishment. He was seriously making an important point. The goats did not find happiness living with the sheep; they hated it. God will not force them to live with the sheep or try to get along with them. God will send them far away from the sheep and himself. They will suffer there because they are going to a place that was originally prepared for the devil and the devil’s angels that rebelled against God. Here, the goats experience many of God’s good gifts and good gifts from God’s people. They will be going to a place where they will experience no good at all. This should not surprise us, because our loving God did and will do the most loving thing for the goats – He will send them to their desired and deserved place forever, but make no mistake, it will be a place of punishment, but perhaps less of a place of punishment than the goats spending eternity with those they hate in heaven. The righteous, those who have come to love and serve God and others through faith in Jesus Christ, will spend a joyful eternity with the ones they love and the One who loves them.

Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

  1. Jesus has told us some of His plans upon His return to earth as our glorious King. Who are those who will rejoice when he comes?
  2. For what group did God prepare the place of eternal fire for eternal punishment?
  3. Based upon the way they act and have acted, with which group will the goats be the happiest: the sheep or other goats? Which group forever?
  4. What might you say to someone who says they do not believe in hell, and a loving God would never send anyone to hell?
  5. When Christians help other Christians in need, how are they helping Jesus? How is Jesus helping those in need?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Matthew 25:31-46
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

NEW —› True and False Test ‹— NEW

Matthew 25:31-46
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

NEW —› Crossword Puzzle ‹— NEW

Matthew 25:31-46
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

A Great Separation is Coming

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32—KJV).

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats” (Matthew 25:31-32—NRSV).

The more we learn about some world events the more appalled we become. Jesus Christ promised to take away the sin of the world (to solve the world’s problems). For two thousand years Jesus has done this when people have come to believe in Him and obey Him. Unhappily, some people hate Jesus and His followers; furthermore, they do not want to have anything to do with His way of life. Jesus promised to come again someday and solve this problem too. Surprisingly, perhaps, Jesus will not solve the world’s problems by killing those who do evil. When He comes, He will separate those who love God from those who do not, the sheep from the goats. Interestingly, the devil is often pictured as a goat, but Jesus will not kill the devil and those who live like the devil. Jesus promised He would bring peace to the world by separating the sheep from the goats. Jesus said that He would send those He characterized as goats to the place originally prepared for the devil and his angels (those who rebelled against God). Jesus will never compel a goat (someone who does not want to love God and live with Him and His followers) to live with sheep; however, those who do not want to live with His sheep will live forever in a place not prepared for them; therefore, people must choose wisely where they want to live forever. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off

Luke 10:25-37 International Bible Lessons Commentary and Lesson

The International Bible Lesson (Uniform Sunday School Lessons Series) for Sunday, February 8, 2015, is from Luke 10:25-37.  Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further follow the verse-by-verse International Bible Lesson Commentary below. You can also listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast link at the bottom of this post. International Bible Lessons Commentary versions are now available in the English Standard Version, King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the New Revised Standard Version on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website. Study Hints for Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers and students, discusses the questions below to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion: these hints are also available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website. The weekly International Bible Lesson is also posted below for you to study or read to your Sunday School or Bible class. Additional publications and resources by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. are also available for study and worship. 

International Bible Lesson Commentary

Luke 10:25-37

(Luke 10:25)  Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

The political and religious elite challenged and tested Jesus throughout His ministry, though some may have honestly sought the answers to the questions they asked. This question should be the most important and life-changing question anyone can ask. Only One (God) can give us a high quality of moral and spiritual life leading to perfection that will never end. Too many people give no thought to their future and the reality of life after they die.

(Luke 10:26)  He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?”

Jesus replied with a question that directed the “lawyer” to look to the “law.” Today, we might ask someone, “What does the Bible say?” Or “What did Jesus teach?” The questioner asked his question in public, and Jesus’ way of teaching and questioning in public taught those around Him and teach us methods we can use in our teaching too. Today, the most important response we can give to such questions is to point people to the Bible for the answer when we answer them and then pray that the Holy Spirit will help them understand, accept, and apply the truth of God’s Word.

(Luke 10:27)  He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

The lawyer knew the law, the Word of God as it had been written up to the time of Jesus, well enough to quote the Scriptures to Jesus. A person who truly loves God and others as the law describes is in a right relationship with God and others in so far as it lies within them. This is different from “trying to love God” in obedience to a law of God. A person either loves God or they do not love God. Those saved by grace through faith in Jesus love and appreciate God, rather than “try to love God” because they think they ought to.

(Luke 10:28)  And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

Because the lawyer quoted the Bible correctly, Jesus told him that he had given the right answer. Very simply, if you truly love God and others as the Bible teaches us, you will live forever. God and those who love God will want to live with you and you will want to live with them forever.

(Luke 10:29)  But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

When the lawyer wanted to “justify himself,” he wanted to show or be able to say, “That is what I do; I obey the law; I am worthy to inherit eternal life.” His focus was on himself and his behavior and not on truly loving God and others in a practical and everyday way. His focus was on what he did to obey God’s law. He wanted to be able to say, “I love my neighbor according to the law; the person the law says is my neighbor.”

(Luke 10:30)  Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead.

Jesus told a parable to show the lawyer and the crowd how true love motivates people to serve God and others in daily life, even when it is inconvenient. In short, your neighbor is “every person.” In His parable, Jesus did not describe the beaten man’s character (whether he was a good or bad person) or define him according to his race or religion, which were attributes that were very important to His listeners. After he was stripped, he could have been any person, Jew or Gentile. Obviously, the robbers were not being good neighbors to the man they robbed with their sins of commission, which would disqualify them for eternal life based on their behavior and shows their need of a Savior.

(Luke 10:31)  Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

The priest had completed his service at the temple because he too was going down the road (not up to Jerusalem). He did not need to worry about becoming ritually unclean and disqualified from temple service as reasons for passing by the injured man. Rather, the priest should have drawn so close to God from his recent worship and service of God in the temple that he should have been motivated to love God and others even more than he had previously. Unhappily, instead of being led by God, he lived “by chance” and did not love and help the battered man when God gave him the opportunity.

(Luke 10:32)  So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

The Levite may have been going to or from Jerusalem. He was probably an assistant to the Levitical priests according to the law. He too should have loved God and others according to the law of God because of his many religious activities and privileges. It appears his religion was little more than mere ritualism. Or, perhaps he tried to justify himself by saying to himself that the beaten man was probably suffering from the just and well-deserved punishment by God for his sins and he should not help him.

(Luke 10:33)  But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity.

The Samaritans were hated by many Jews because they were a mixed race people. They worshiped away from the temple by necessity because of the hatred between many Jews and Samaritans. However, the Samaritans believed and tried to follow the first five books of the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Though many Jews during the time of Jesus rightly believed that additional books (such as the prophets) were inspired by God, all religious Jews and Samaritans believed the first five books of Moses were the inspired Word of God. The Samaritan would have known, or would have had the grand opportunity of knowing, the law exactly as the lawyer quoted it. The Samaritan demonstrated unselfish love in Jesus’ parable when he was “moved with pity” and took action to help the injured man. Jesus intentionally said “moved by pity” instead of “moved by love,” because He intended to ask the lawyer a further question about love.

(Luke 10:34)  He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

The Samaritan in Jesus’ parable showed no prejudice because of the race or religion or possible moral character of the wounded man; he saw him as a person, another child of God. He saw a person in need and he saw himself as one with the means to help. He did not put himself first or for fear of robbers run away; he took the time to help the man. He did for the man what he would hope and pray others would do for him if he were in a similar situation. He loved his neighbor as he loved himself according to the law of God.

(Luke 10:35)  The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’

The Samaritan used wine and oil as medicine that would disinfect wounds and aid healing as well as soothe broken skin. He used the animal he had ridden and he walked with the wounded man on the animal. He took care of him personally. He went out of his way to help the wounded man without any thought of repayment. Notice: Jesus did not say that the Samaritan had come “by chance.” The Samaritan followed the leading of God. The Samaritan loved God and others, so God could inspire him to providentially help the battered man. He also pledged himself to meet the man’s future needs until he was restored to health and he could return to repay the innkeeper for additional care.

(Luke 10:36)  Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?”

To strive to “justify yourself” means to think “I am in the right;” sometimes it means to think “I have been wronged unjustly,” and sometimes it means to think, “I deserve the good (eternal life?) that I seek because I obey the law.” Jesus’ parable forced the lawyer to look outside of himself and judge the actions of someone else; people often find it easier to judge and condemn the actions of others rather than themselves.

(Luke 10:37)  He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The lawyer had to judge the behaviors of the priest and the Levite in answer to Jesus’ question. If you ignore completely someone in need, you are not being a neighbor, and the lawyer had to admit that no one could “justify” or say that the priest and the Levite had done the right thing. They had committed sins of omission. The lawyer had to judge rightly that the person who loves shows mercy. The lawyer probably could not make the statement “the Samaritan was the neighbor;” because of his prejudice against Samaritans. Rather, he judged the actions of the man and said the neighbor was “the one who showed him mercy.” To be a good neighbor means showing mercy to others. God is our good neighbor who saw our need and showed us mercy by sending Jesus to save us, not only risking His own life to save us but intentionally dying on a cross so we could inherit eternal life through faith in Him. Therefore, we love, we appreciate, and we give thanks to God in Jesus Christ for our salvation. Furthermore, we are moved by the Holy Spirit to love others as He has loved us. We do not live “by chance,” but by the Scriptures and the leading of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is our Savior and our Way to inherit eternal life as well as our example on how we are to love others as He loved us.

 Questions for Discussion and Thinking Further

  1. How would you answer the question: “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
  2. Why did the lawyer give the right answer?
  3. Why do you think the priest and the Levite passed by and refused to help the injured man?
  4. What does it mean to live “by chance”?
  5. What does it mean to live “by faith”?

Study Hints for Discussion and Thinking Further, a study guide for teachers, discusses the questions above to help with class preparation and in conducting class discussion. These hints are available on the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

The Word Search Puzzle, the True and False Test, and the Crossword Puzzle below are provided from the International Bible Lessons Commentary website to help teachers provide a simple review game or quiz for their students. May you find them helpful.

Word Search Puzzle

Luke 10:25–37
An Educational Take Home Review and Handout using Key Bible Lesson Words.

NEW —› True and False Test ‹— NEW

Luke 10:25–37
An Easy Review Test to Help Students Remember the Bible Lesson

NEW —› Crossword Puzzle ‹— NEW

Luke 10:25–37
An Easy Review or Handout to End Your Class

International Bible Lesson

Love Sees Opportunities to Serve

“And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:37—KJV).

“The lawyer said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise’” (Luke 10:37—NRSV).

Some people rob, beat, and kill others without mercy. In Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan, a stranger is robbed, beaten, and left for dead. If the criminals had loved God, they would have loved their neighbor and not beaten or robbed anyone: they would never have become criminals or they would have ceased to be criminals. In His parable, Jesus does not tell what happened to the robbers, but He does tell us what happened to the victim. First, two men walked by and ignored him. Though they did not act as badly as the robbers, they did not love their neighbor and they left the man dying. By a sin of omission, they too broke God’s law, though no doubt they could think up many excuses for not helping the man. Then, a Samaritan walked by, a man who knew the law of love as much as the others; for he too believed in the first five books of the Bible. He stopped, applied wine and oil as medicine to the man’s wounds, put the man on his donkey, and took him to an inn and cared for him. He promised the innkeeper that he would pay all of the man’s medical bills and lodging until he was well. The Good Samaritan loved with all the love that God poured into his heart. He did more than anyone could expect, because he treated the wounded man as he would have treated himself: he loved his neighbor as himself. We may not be able to stop someone from mistreating or ignoring the needs of others; however, we can do what Jesus said. – L.G. Parkhurst, Jr.


Begin or close your class by reading the short weekly International Bible Lesson. To print the International Bible Lesson in three different sizes (including large print size and bulletin size) and for the Teacher’s Study Hints for Five Discussion Questions andThinking Further, go to the International Bible Lessons Commentary website.

See the recommended Bible study, Recovery, and Worship Resources at SmallChurchResources.com.

— © All Contents of this website are copyright 2010-2015 by L.G. Parkhurst, Jr. Permission Granted for Not for Profit Use.

Listen to the International Bible Lesson Commentary using the podcast below.

Posted in Bible | Comments Off