Heavenly Father, we come before You to learn, listen, and fellowship with You. Speak and Your servants hear, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 20: 1-25, Easter.
VV 1-3, 1 Now the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. 2Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” 3 Peter, therefore, went out, and the other disciple, and were going to the tomb.
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb very early on Easter Sunday when it was still dark. She saw thatvthe stone was rolled away and concluded wrongly that tomb raiders had stolen the Lord’s body.
VV 4-10, 4 So they both ran together, and the other disciple outran Peter and came to the tomb first. 5 And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, 7 and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself. 8 Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.’’
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus wrapped up Jesus’ body with linen strips and covered them with myrrh and aloes from head to toe. When the spices dried up, the linens strips will harden and solidify. John saw the ‘’cocoon’’ without the body of Jesus, understood and believed that Christ had Risen. John was the first person to believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
VV11- 18, Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.
Mary Magdalene saw two angels and the Risen Christ but she did not recognize Him. When Jesus called her by name she recognized Him. Jesus told Mary not to cling to Him. As the first fruit of resurrection, He had to present Himself to God as a wave offering first, before He could be touched. Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the Risen Christ. Jesus called the disciples His brothers. Hebrews 2:11. “Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters”.
VV 19-23, 19 Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
The Risen Christ passed through locked doors and pronounced peace, “shalom” to His disciples. Christ breathed and imparted the Holy Spirit to His disciples.
VV 24-31, 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples, therefore, said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” 30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.
Thomas, was absent when Jesus first appeared to the apostles. Eight days later, Christ appeared to His disciples again. He turned to Thomas and told him to touch His hands and side. Thomas confessed, ‘’my Lord and my God.’’ Christ replied, ‘’Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe’’. We who are reading this 2000 years later, are ‘’those who have not seen and yet believed”. Thomas believed. John wrote this gospel so that “you may believer that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that by believing you may have life in His name”.
Heavenly Father, I pray for those who have not committed their lives to Jesus Christ or have wandered away from Him. We pray that they will turn away from sin and turn to Him, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, we pray that You will bring a fresh word of encouragement to us today, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 19:23-42, Good Friday.
VV23-24, 23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. 24 They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says: ‘’They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Therefore the soldiers did these things.’’
Pilate coronated Jesus as King of the Jews. In His second coming, Jesus will return as King of Kings and Lord of Lord. Rev 19:16, ‘’And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.’’ The soldiers divided his garment and cast lots for it to fulfill the prophecy of Psalm 22: 18, ‘’They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.’’
VV25-27, 25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” 27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.
Eye witnesses of the crucifixion were Mary, the mother of Jesus, Salome, the sister of Jesus’ mother and the mother of James and John, Mary, the wife of Clopas, Mary Magdalene, and apostle John.
VV28-30, 28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
When Jesus said He thirst, the soldiers gave Him sour wine dipped on a hysop branch. Jesus said, It is finished and died. It is finished is “tetelastai” in Greek, which means paid in full. Jesus paid our debt of sin in full. Jesus finished the work of His Father on the cross.
VV 31-37, 31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”
Jesus died on Good Friday at 3 pm. According to Jewish law, a dead body had to be buried on the same day, see Deut. 21:22-23. A soldier pierced Jesus’ side and blood and water flowed out. John was an witness of the crucifixion. He testified that his testimony is true and we who are now reading this 2000 years later can take his word for it. ‘’They did not break His bone’,’ fulfilled Psalm 34:20. ‘’they shall look on Him whom they pierced’’ fulfilled Zechariah 12:10.
V V 38- 42, 38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus. 39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. 42 So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews’ Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.
Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus were secret believers of Jesus even though they were Pharisees. After Jesus’ death, they openly declared their faith in Jesus and performed the last burial rite for Him. They took His body down from the cross, wrapped it up in linens strips and covered it with myrrh and aloes. Nicodemus donated 100 pounds of myrrh and aloes. Joseph of Arimathea donated a new tomb and they laid Him in the garden tomb.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Jesus Christ tasted death for everyone. Thank You that He is both the Great High Priest and the Lamb of God, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, please open our minds, hearts, ears, and eyes to understand, feel, see, and hear You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 19: 1- 22, Golgotha.
VV1-4, ‘’The Soldiers Mock Jesus So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. 2 And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. 3 Then they said, “Hail, King of the Jews!” And they struck Him with their hands. 4 Pilate then went out again, and said to them, “Behold, I am bringing Him out to you, that you may know that I find no fault in Him.”
The soldiers mocked and flogged Jesus. They put a crown of thorns and a purple robe on Him. Thorn represents curse. Jesus took on the curse of man. Pontius Pilate pronounced the first verdict on Jesus as not guilty.
VV5-9, 5 ’Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, “Behold the Man!” 6 Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” 7 The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to our law He ought to die because He made Himself the Son of God.” 8 Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, 9 and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus gave him no answer.’’
“Behold the Man” is ‘’Ecce Homo” in Latin. Pilate pronounced the second verdict on Jesus as not guilty. The Jews charged Jesus with a death penalty for blasphemy. As Jews could not impose capital punishment by stoning, they sent Jesus to Pilate to face trial under the Roman laws.
VV10-13, 10 Then Pilate said to Him, “Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have the power to crucify You, and power to release You?” 11 Jesus answered, “You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” 12 From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.” 13 When Pilate, therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.’
Pilate told Jesus he had the power to crucify or release Him. Jesus corrected him by saying that only He Himself had this power. John 10:18, ‘’No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again”. The Jews threatened Pilate not to release Jesus or Caesar would be unhappy. Pilate was afraid when he heard the name of Caeser. He put Jesus on the judgment seat called the Pavement or Gabbatta.
VV 14-16, 14 Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 But they cried out, “Away with Him, away with Him! Crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!” 16 Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. Then they took Jesus and led Him away.
Preparation Day of the Passover was Good Froday. The 6th hour by Roman time was 6 am. The Jews should out, ‘’we have no King but Caesar’’. Even though Jesus was innocent, Pilate sentenced Jesus to death by crucifixion.
VV 17-22, 17 And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, 18 where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side and Jesus in the center. 19 Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20 Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. 21 Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
Hebrews for Calvary is Golgotha, which means “the place of a skull”. They crucified Jesus in Golgotha between two criminals to fulfil the prophecy of Isaiah 53:12, “Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors”. Pilate nailed a signage to the cross in Hebrews, Latin, and Greek, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. The Jews protested but Pilate wouldn’t budge on his decision.
Heavenly Father, thank You for taking us back to Calvary through the eyes of apostle John who witnessed this event 2000 years ago. On Calvary, You sacrificed the Lamb of God as the perfect sin offering for the sin of mankind, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, please take away all other voices so that we can only hear the voice of Holy Spirit, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 18: 1- 40, trial under Annas, Caiphas, and Pilate.
VV 1-4, 1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side, there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns, and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?”
Jesus and the eleven disciples crossed the Brook Kidron and entered the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means olive press, a place of crushing the olive fruits to extract the oil. After Gethsemane, Jesus will be crushed and His blood will be shed to atone for the sin of mankind.
VV 5-9, 5 “Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spoken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”
Greek for “I AM’ is “eigo eimi” and Hebrew for “I AM” is YHVH. God covental name is YHWH. The voice in burning bush in Exodus 3:16 is the voice of Jesus, before His incarnatiion. He revealed His name to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM” or YHWH. In theology this is called a Christophany. On hearing “I AM”, the soldiers and Jewish rulers who came to arrest Him fell backward to the ground. Verse 9 is a fulfillment of John 17:12, “While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled”.
VV 10-14, 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They bound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
‘Peter sliced off the right ear of the high priest’s servant, Malchus. Peter and John were there but the other nine had fled. According to Luke, Jesus attached back the ear of Malchus, His last healing miracle. Luke 22:51, “But Jesus answered and said, “Permit even this.” And He touched his ear and healed him”. The soldiers and the Jewish rulers arrested Jesus and brought Him to Annas, the high priest’s father in law.
VV 15-18, 15 Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” 18 Now the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
Peter and John followed behind Jesus. A unnamed servant girl identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple but Peter denied it. Other servants and officers also identified Peter but he again denied it.
VV 19-24, 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synagogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?”24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
The first trial was under Annas, the high priest’s father in law. He questioned Jesus but Jesus refused to cooperate, one of the officials slapped Jesus. The second trial was under Caiaphas, the high priest.
VV 25-27, 25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, “You are not also one of His disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not!” 26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, “Did I not see you in the garden with Him?” 27 Peter then denied again, and immediately a rooster crowed.’’
When Peter was warming himself at the fire, another of the high priest’s servants identified Peter as one of Jesus’ disciple. Peter denied Jesus the third time and immediately a rooster crowed.
VV 28-29, 28 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. 29 Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”
The third trial was under Pontius Pilate, the Roman procurator of Judea, in the Praetorium. Not wanting to defile themselves, the priests did not enter the Praetorium.
VV 30-32, 30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die.
Romans laws forbid Jews to carry out capital punishment by stoning. They sent Jesus to be tried under Roman laws whose capital punishment was by crucifixion. This fulfilled scripture that Jesus would die by crucifixion and not by stoning. Psalm 22:16, “My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs; an evil gang closes in on me. They have pierced my hands and feet.”
VV 33-37, 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me”.
Jesus told Pontius Pilate that He was a spiritual king and not a military king. “the reason I was born and came into this world”, speaks of His incarnation and pre-existence.
VV 38- 40, 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
It was customary for the Pilate to release one Jewish prisoner on Passover. Pontius Pilate asked the Jews whether he should release Barabbas, a Jewish freedom fighter, or Jesus Christ. According the the first-century theologian Origen, Batabbas’ name was Jesus Barabbas, which means Jesus, son of a father. The Jews chose Jesus Barabbas, the son of a father, instead of Jesus Christ, the Son of The Father. Even today, people still chose to believe in the “son of a father” instead of Jesus Christ, the “Son of The Father”. Who do you believe?
Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus Christ into the world to die for our sin. We ask that You reign in our lives as King of our hearts, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, we come before You with a teachable heart and surrendered spirit. We offer our bodies to You as living sacrifices, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 17: 1- 26, high priestly prayer.
VV 1-5, 1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus prayed for Himself. “The hour has come’’ for Jesus to be glorified. Jesus, the only true God, was sent by His Father into the world through His incarnation. Jesus left the glory that He shared with His Father in heaven. He prayed for glorification. Phil 2:9, ‘’Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name’’.
VV 6-19, 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.
Jesus prayed for His disciples. His Father gave His disciples to Him. Jesus gave His Father’s words to His disciples.
V 10-12, 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
Jesus will be leaving the world but His disciples will still be in the world. Jesus prayed for His disciple’s protection and unity. Jesus protected His disciples but Judas Iscariot was lost to fulfill the prophecy of scripture.
VV 13-16, 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.
Jesus prayed for His Father to protect His disciples from satan. Jesus did not pray for His disciples to be removed from the world. He prayed for peace, joy, protection and sanctification.
VV 17-19, 17 Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Sanctification is to be made holy and separated for God. Jesus prayed for His Father to sanctify His disciples by the truth of the WORD.
VV 20-23, 20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Jesus prayed for Christians who believed Jesus through the testimonies of His disciples. Jesus prayed for Christians to be united in faith and love, so that the world will know Jesus and His Father through them.
V 24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Jesus prayed for Christians to be able to see the glory of His pre-existence in heaven.
VV 25-26, 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Although, the world does not know His Father, Christians know His Father through His divine revelation. Jesus reveal God’s love and characteristics to Christians. John 1:18, “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known”.
Heavenly Father, thank you that 2000 years ago, Jesus came to earth to be our Saviour and thank You for protecting us from the evil one, in Jesus’s name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, we come before You with a broken and contrite heart. We claim the promise of the beatitudes that the poor in spirit will be blessed, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 16: 1- 33, Holy Spirit, Part 2.
VV 1-5, 1 “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
Jesus was speaking to His disciples about His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification. Jesus prophesied that His disciples will face persecutions from the Jews after His glorification. He warned them beforehand to prepare them before it happened.
VV 6-11, 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
After His glorification, Jesus will ask His Father to send the Holy Spirit to His disciples and us, to be our helper, advocate, counsellor, teacher, and truth revealer. The Holy Spirit will convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment.
VV 12-15, 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”
The Holy Spirit of Truth will guide His disciples and us into the truth of scriptures and the good news of the gospel. The Holy Spirit will only say what He hears from Jesus and will glorify Jesus and not Himself.
VV 16- 19, 16 Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you asking one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’?
In less than 24 hours, Jesus will be going to the cross and return to His Father. The disciples discussed among each other and did not understand but Jesus knew what they were thinking.
VV20- 22, 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.
When the Jews succeeded in killing Jesus, His disciples will run away, weeping, and mourning while the world rejoiced. But when the Risen Christ appears to them, their sorrows will turn into joy, like a woman in labor. 1 Peter 1:3, ‘’Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’’
VV23- 28, 23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
From now on, if His disciples and us wanted anything, they, and we, can ask the Father directly in Jesus’ name. Jesus is the intermediary between man and God. 1 Timothy 2:5, “For, there is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus”. We do not need any other human intermediary. We can come boldly before His throne of grace in the name of Jesus. Jesus came from the Father through His incarnation and would leave the world through His death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and glorification.
VV29-33, 29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
The disciples claimed they had finally understood and believed that Jesus came from God. Jesus knew that soon His disciples will abandon Him for fear of the Jews and Peter will deny Him three times. In this world, even though His disciples and us will face tribulations, we need not fear because Jesus had triumphed over the world.
Heavenly Father, we pray for the peace that transcends all understanding. We cast our anxieties and cares upon You, in Jesus Name, Amen.
Heavenly Father, thank You that You are here in communion with us. Speak Lord and Your servants hear, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
John 15: 1-27, True Vine, 7th I AM.
VV 1-4, 1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
Jesus and His disciples left the upper room and was walking to the garden of Gethsemane. “I am the true vine’’, is the 7th “I AM”. In the vine metaphor, Jesus is the true vine, the Father is the gardener, and Christians are the branches. The Father cuts off branches that are fruitless and prunes off branches that are fruitful. A living and fruitful Christian must be attached to the vine. God meticulously cares for us by cutting off branches that are fruitless and pruning off branches that are fruitful. God prunes us through scripture and suffering. Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’. Psalm 119: 67, ‘’before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word.’’
VV 5-8, 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
Christians attached to Jesus will be fruitful and alive. Christians not attached to Jesus will be fruitless and dead. John 15:7, ‘’If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you’’. If you remain in a relationship with Jesus, then you can ask anything you wish from Him, and it will be done for you. But if you do not remain in a relationship with Jesus, this promise will not apply. If you attach to Jesus, you will know how to pray according to His will, character, and nature. John 15:5 b, “apart from me you can do nothing”.
VV9-12, 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
The Father loved Jesus, Jesus loved us, we loved Him, and we are commanded to love one another. Greek for love is ‘’agape”, which is the highest form of unconditional love. The fruit of loving is peace, and joy.
V 13-15, 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
The greatest act of love is to die for another person. On the cross of Calvary, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8, ‘’but God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.’’ Jesus called us His friends.
VV 16-17, 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Jesus chose us by divine predestination and election. Eph. 1: 4, ’for he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will”. But the other side of the salvation coin is human decision. Both factors are equally important and necessary. Do not be carried away by the never ending Calvinist-Arminian debate.
VV 18-19, 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
The world hates the Father, Jesus, His disciples, and Christians. When you become a Christian many of your friends may leave you. In some cultures, the family may even disown and persecute a member who became a Christian.
VV 20-22, 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
The world persecutes Jesus and Christians because they did not know the Father.
VV 23-25, 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
Those who hates Jesus hates the Father. Those who had seen Jesus’ miracles and still did not believe will be guilty of sin.
VV 26-27, 26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.
The Holy Spirit testifies about Jesus. The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He is our Truth revealer, helper, advocate, counsellor, and teacher, John 14:26.
Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your word and the promise of forgiveness, fruitfulness, peace, and joy. We pray for all those who are not attached to you and pray that truth be planted into their hearts, in Jesus’ name, Amen.