Posts Tagged ‘John’

John 18

John 18 has Jesus in the garden with His disciples about to be betrayed.  He knows what is coming.  He could have chosen a different path but was obedient to God’s plan even though it would cause suffering and pain and cost Him His life.  Judas Iscariot who betrays Him, approaches with a group of soldiers and religious leaders. His disciples, at least one of them, fights back. “Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear”.  But Jesus tells him to put the sword away because His time has come and He knows He must go to the cross.

They drag him before Caiaphas who was the high priest.  He questions Jesus as Peter looks on from a distance, not wanting to be seen or identified as a Christ Follower.  Jesus tells Caiaphas “I have spoken openly  to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together.  I have said nothing in secret”.  Jesus has nothing to hide – no secret agenda or words spoken in private.  He has taught and shared openly in the synagogue and never had any problems.  Yet now, they are accusing Him of many things.

Peter has been staying a bit away, but has been questioned three times about whether or not he was one of the disciples.  “He denied it and said, “I am not….Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed”.  Jesus had told Peter that before the rooster crowed, he would deny Jesus three times.  That is in fact what happened.  Peter tried his best to stay far enough away to not be associated but close enough to know what was going on.  In the end, three people recognized and questioned him and each time he denied Jesus.  What will you do if someone accuses you of being a Christ Follower?  Will you own it and testify to His faithfulness, or run from it and deny you know Him?

Caiaphas doesn’t have any way to really deal with Jesus so he sends Him on to Pilate who is the political leader of the city.  Pilate questions Jesus but finds no fault.  He asks Him directly “Are you the King of the Jews?”  Jesus doesn’t deny it but that isn’t enough for Pilate to convict Him.  Jesus does say “For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth.  Everyone who is of the truth  listens to my voice”.  Jesus was truth, and those who wanted truth found it in Him.  That’s still true today.  We get truth from studying God’s Word which contains the teaching of Christ and gives us the path to truth!

John 17

John 17 has Jesus praying for His disciples and the rest of us who will follow Him.  He knows the end is near, and He wants to prepare those who have walked with Him the past three years for what is to come.  “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him”.  Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  He has authority over all things, yet He is under the authority of the Father.  He’s cared well for those who have followed Him, and now He is praying for God to take care of them as He leaves this earth.

He goes on to explain the foundation of eternal life for all.  “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent”.  Salvation is about a relationship.  That’s how we receive the gift of eternal life.  It isn’t gained by what we do.  It isn’t about us at all.  It is about knowing Jesus Christ and receiving Him crucified – faith in the gift of grace God offers freely to all who will turn from their sin and receive it.  That’s why Jesus came.  He had to be the sacrificial Lamb that would take the sins of the world to the cross so we could have the possibility of eternal life.  Left to our own righteousness, we’re going to fall short.

Jesus has spent three years teaching the Twelve to know Him and God’s truth.  “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me”.  The Disciples have walked with Him and know that He is from God and came to take away the sin of the world.  Even so, they are at risk because the world and our spiritual enemy wants to destroy us.  So Jesus asks that they be protected.  “I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me”.

Jesus makes a simple request of the Father.  “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”.  God’s desired outcome for each of us is to be sanctified.  First we are saved through faith, but then He begins the sanctification process which is when we start the path to becoming holy and set apart.  To do that, we have to know and choose to obey God’s truth, which comes from His Word.  We have to know and live scripture in our life.  Jesus ends with the truth that He’s prepared His followers.  “O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them”.

John 14

John 14 has Jesus talking with His disciples as He goes to His final day.  “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In  my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also”.  Here’s Jesus’ game plan.  He came to earth so He could provide a way for us to be set free from our sin, and then went to prepare a place for us as we receive His grace.

Jesus makes it very clear how we can receive eternal life – it’s Him.  And Him only.  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.  This is the problem for many – they want to find eternal life through some other way.  But Jesus is clear – it is Him and Him alone.  There is no plan B.  It is Jesus or nothing.  We have to deal with the reality that eternity will be based on what we do with Jesus.  We’ll stand before God and have to answer to that truth.  Are you ready for that conversation with God?  If not, now is the time to discover Jesus!

Faith in Christ will do more in our life than prepare us for eternity.  “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father”.  Being a Christ Follower means we’ll walk in obedience to God’s Word.  Christ will guide our life.  And when He does, we have access to amazing promises and power.  “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”.  Ever wonder what power there is in prayer – Jesus makes it clear.  It’s a promise we should hang on to tightly!

But beyond that, Jesus says “If you love me, you will keep my commandments…. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me….If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words”.  Obedience is the outcome of a relationship with Jesus.  Being a Christ Follower means we no longer live as we wish, but we live as He wishes.  Jesus is our guide.  He sets our course.  Jesus is Lord which means we walk in obedience with Him!

John 13

John 13 has Jesus with His disciples right before He would be crucified.  They are reclined at the Passover table.  “Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end”.  These disciples and all disciples were and are really His own, belonging to Jesus.  Guzik reminds us:

  • They were His own because He chose them
  • They were His own because He gave Himself to them
  • They were His own because His Father gave them to Him
  • They were His own because He would soon purchase them
  • They were His own because He conquered them

They are gathered for the Last Supper and “During supper….Jesus….rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel,  tied it around his waist. Then he  poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him”.  This was a curveball that was unexpected.  John described the remarkable thing Jesus did on that unforgettable night. At this moment of deep meaning, Jesus did something that must have almost seemed crazy. He began to do the job of the lowest servant in the household. He began to wash the disciples’ feet.

He had plenty of other things on His mind.  He was hours from being betrayed and going to the cross, yet He chooses to use the precious time with His disciples to set an example of what it means to be a servant leader.  “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you”. What Jesus did was not about cleaning the disciple’s feet, but setting the standard for what it means to be a servant leader.  This was an extreme act of servanthood. It was absolutely unthinkable that the Master would wash His disciple’s feet.

Jesus gives the disciples a new charge that night.  “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another”. The command to love wasn’t new; but the extent of love just displayed by Jesus was new, as would be the display of the cross. Love was newly defined from His example. This love isn’t convenient or easy – it is complete and sacrificial.  Jesus sets a new bar for how we are to love those in our patch!

John 12

John 12 has Jesus going to Jerusalem for the coming Passover.  He’s just off raising Lazarus from the dead.  “When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus”. This is a big problem for the religious leaders.  They see their control and power slipping away and want to figure out how to stop Him.

But Jesus is not going to be stopped.  He is moving toward the Cross and knows that His time is short. He tells those who are following that “Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.  We are called to hate our life not in the sense that we disregard it, but in the sense that we freely give it up for God. Our life is precious to us, especially because it is something we can give to Jesus.  We have to put life in its rightful place in comparison to eternal life.  That has far more value.

If we want to be a Christ Follower, we must act.  “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.  If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him”.  Being a Christ Follower is not about sitting in the pew on Sunday morning.  It’s about following the Savior.  It doesn’t mean that you stop working your job or caring for your family or studying at school. It means you do all that as a servant of Jesus, a follower of Jesus.  Life is not about me.  It’s about following Jesus and loving those in my patch.  It’s about being a servant and living out servant leadership.

Jesus makes it clear as to why He came to earth.  “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness”.  Faith in Christ is the way we can get out of darkness into the light.  It’s how we can move from being lost, to having the promise of eternal life.  We have a choice to make – what will we do with Jesus.  That choice determines our eternity.  “The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day”.  We’ll stand before God someday.  Jesus is our ticket for entry into eternal life!

John 11

John 11 is about the death of Lazarus. Jesus finds out that he is ill and tells his disciples that “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it”.  So while the appearance is that Lazarus was sick and on the verge of death, it wasn’t really about that at all.  It was about the opportunity for God to be glorified.  Jesus was close to this family.  In fact, “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus”.  He was a close family friend but “when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was”.

Why didn’t he respond more quickly?  You’d think that Jesus would have rushed to Lazarus’ side.  But it was part of allowing God to be glorified.  “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him”.  The disciples don’t understand, taking Jesus literally that Lazarus was asleep.  But in fact, Jesus was trying to tell them a very different thing.  “Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe”.  This is a teachable moment for Jesus and His disciples.  By waiting a couple days, there will be no question that Jesus is the Son of God.

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days”.  Remember that Jesus waited two days before he began to move toward Bethany.  This was about making sure Lazarus would be good and dead before He got there.  Martha hears Jesus is coming and runs to meet Him.  She says “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died”.  She knew Jesus could have healed him.  But now that he’s dead, it’s a different thing.  Martha still believes and says “But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you”.  Real faith in Jesus and His ability to bring her brother back.

Jesus then tells us a promise that we can all cling to.  “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die”.  There is the promise of eternity.  We see the humanity of Jesus as both Martha and Mary talk about knowing that had Jesus been there, Lazarus would not have died.  “Jesus wept”.  There is the shortest verse in the Bible.  Jesus loved this family, and it moved Him deeply.   Then we see the power of Jesus in full view.  “Lazarus, come out”.  And that’s exactly what happened, four days after he was buried. Jesus is the Son of God who has the power to do whatever God’s plan is!

John 10

John 10 has Jesus teaching us about the relationship with Him that leads to eternal life.  “The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice”.  The shepherd calls the sheep by name, showing that the shepherd has a personal connection with the sheep. The shepherd leads them, providing direction and leadership – without driving the sheep.  It’s about becoming a Christ Follower – one who knows Him and follows His leading.

Jesus goes on to talk about how it this relationship happens.  “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and  find pasture”.  Jesus used another picture from sheep farming in His time. Pens were made with only one entrance. The door for those sheep pens was the shepherd himself. He laid his body across the entrance, to keep the sheep in and to keep out the wolves. The shepherd was in fact the door.  Jesus is the door to eternal life. He alone is the remedy for sin in our lives which will keep us from eternal life with God if we don’t address it.  We have to enter into His pen and be protected by His love.

The gospel can be explained in verses 10 and 11 of John 10.  First, Jesus tells us what the enemy plans for us.  “The thief comes only to steal and  kill and destroy”.  This is pretty clear – Satan wants to destroy us.  Not merely take us off course.  Not must mess up our life.  He wants to destroy us.  Jesus has a different mission. “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly”.  What a difference.  What a promise.  Jesus came to give us abundant life – not just life – but in abundance.  Those are the two choices we have in front of us.  Allow the enemy to have his way with us and face utter destruction and eternity without God, or follow Jesus and experience abundant life and eternity with God.  Seems like an easy choice to me.

Jesus goes on to say “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”.  There is the explanation of the Cross.  Jesus is our shepherd and gave His life for us.  The question is: ‘what will we do with Jesus’?  We have to make a decision of whether we’ll follow Him or not.  “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand’.  There is the promise of eternity. Jesus went to the cross to give us the opportunity to follow Him and have eternal life.  But the decision is in our hand.  We have to make a choice!

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