St. Irenaeus Ministries
Scripture Studies brought to you by the St. Irenaeus Center.
St. Irenaeus Ministries - a center of orthodox Catholic mission and renewal in Rochester, NY

Jesus says that He is the bread which has come down from Heaven, that we must physically eat His body to have eternal life, and that He will raise those who believe on the last day, and this upsets many of his followers. Jesus states these things clearly and without equivocation and makes no attempt to offer a more crowd-pleasing teaching.

John next tells of Jesus teaching at the Fesival of Booths, where Jesus states that His teaching comes from God, not from any man, which hearkens back to Jeremiah 31:31ff, where God says that His new covenant will no longer need to be taught by men, since God will forgive them. In this, the New Testament and forgivness are bound up with teaching.

Direct download: John04b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Jesus is provoking the religious with His statements; if the statements are true, we must worship Him, if they be false, His blasphemy would carry the punishment of death. Whatever His followers knew, His detractors understood this.

A number of people listen to Jesus preach for a day, and by the end, they are hungry. Jesus finds a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish. With this, five thousand are fed, and the scraps from the loaves (and from no other food) fill up twelve baskets. This event is important enough to be mentioned in all four gospels.

The people there think Jesus to be the prophet mentioned in Deuteronomy 18:15, and want to make Him their king, but Jesus withdraws. Some of the people meet up with Jesus and ask Him about more miracles of bread. Jesus tells them that for God, providing them with food is nothing compared with providing them with what they really need, the bread of life, which Jesus provides for us in the Eucharist.

Direct download: John04a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Jesus heals a man who has been paralyzed for 38 years. The man takes up his mat and is accused for taking up his mat on the Sabbath, ignoring the great feat of healing that just took place. When pressed on this point, Jesus declares that He is working on the sabbath because His father is working. This stirs up some people because while  there was a Jewish tradition of calling God our father, calling Him one's own father means that the speaker is either blaspheming or the begotten son of God.

Jesus, who brought up the point, does not back down, but rather points out His authority comes from the father, who has given all judgment to the son. Jesus also states that judgment will be based on whether we do
good or evil.

Direct download: John03b.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:00am EDT

Jesus returns to Galilee after the arrest of John, but even at that time, the disciples of Jesus were baptising more people than John the Baptist. Even still, there is no evidence that any baptisms were sacramental baptisms before Pentecost. As He travels through Samaria, and runs into a woman who is drawing water at high noon, trying to avoid the others in the community. Jesus baits the woman into asking Him about the "living water" that he can give her. He explains that this water will become a spring and anyone who drinks of it will never be thirsty again. If we have truly received this living water, this should be our experience as well, though it may be that we have only allowed it to be a trickle in us.

Jesus' disciples come back and tell Him to eat something, but He tells them that His food is doing the will of God, and that it is important to begin the harvest when some are now ripe. Jesus then goes into Galilee, where He is initially well-received. John places this next to Jesus' statement that a prophet is not welcome in his own country, implying that Jesus' country was in Jerusalem.

A man asks Jesus to heal his son, and Jesus challenges him, saying that men only believe if they see signs. The man is not intimidated, but continues in parental concern. Jesus heals his son.

Direct download: John03a.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT