A Discourse on the last day of Jesus

 

A Commentary on the Last Supper

 

The Intercessory prayer in the Garden

 

His Trial, His death, His Resurrection

By

 

Neville Salvetti

2017

 

Copyright © 2017 by Neville Salvetti

All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal.

First Printing: 2017

ISBN 978-0-244-30870-4

Neville Salvetti
150 Forest Road
Miranda, New South Wales, Australia, 2228

 


 

 

Table of Contents

There is no table of contents as the book follows the order of the Gospel of John

 


 

Preface

This book examines the life of Jesus from just before the last supper until His resurrection.

It contains the last words of a man about to die so take on a new importance as they are His last teachings  before He dies.

 


 

Introduction

Jesus is the supreme prophet! He knows the suffering He is about to face and the effect it will have on His followers, so He prepares them! He then intercedes for them and dies to make possible what He had taught them! He then rose from the dead to prove He was who He said He was so they would be encouraged in their faith.  But they must wait till Holy Spirit empowers them 50 days later at Pentecost, before they can do His work!

 

*****

 

Jesus was about to show His power over life and death and prove He is God. He begins with an affirmation which is proved by raising Lazarus from the dead but which appears to be negated by His death. The disciples would have remembered this conversation after He had risen from the dead.

 

(John 11:25 KJV) Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

He stated the purpose of Lazarus being ‘raised from the dead’ was to build up the faith of the disciples so they would know who He was as well as the source of His authority.

(John 11:40 NKJV) Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me. Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

Jesus had set the scene for what was about to follow. His showing His power over life and death made even more significant the fact He was about to voluntarily die. If he did not have power over life and death His crucifixion would have been a normal event and not a deliberate sacrifice on His part.

 

He who could raise the dead and heal all physical illness could have healed himself on the cross but chose to die for our benefit.

 

O Love Divine

O Sacrifice so beautiful

Whom am I

You died for me

 

*****

 


 

Division One

 

Part One

 

The drama begins –– preparation of the disciples for His death

 

Passover occurred when the grains were harvested, some to be retained as seed and buried later to produce more grain than was buried, the rest to be unproductive because it was eaten to sustain life and not produce it. It was those grains that died to their former state that were used to produce new life in their new state. Death to self and former worldly things is a requirement for God to be able to use you to serve Him and to build His Kingdom!

 

Jesus, having revealed His power over life and death, now states it is time for Him to resume His rightful place in heaven.

 

(John 12:23 NKJV) But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

It was not going to be a selfish act but a selfless one as He was going to die for all mankind – even His enemies!

 

Jesus stated a principle of great importance of which He was going to be the supreme example of. God is a servant and does things selflessly for all, even those who reject Him. e.g. He keeps them alive and breathing, even though they reject Him, He tries to turn us from our path of destruction when it only benefits us – as God does not need us for Him to be complete!

 

To serve God, one must look to the effects of our actions in eternity and not this life. One must resist compromise – even at the cost of this earthly life!

 

(John 12:24–25 NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life”.

He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to obtain that which he can never lose!

Jesus reiterates this but slightly differently!

 

His servants will be doing His work regardless of the cost to them and because of their obedience will be honoured by Father. Jesus does not honour us! Father who sent Jesus does this.

 

One should not look for honour or promotion from men but should serve uncomplainingly and diligently, and as Jesus was, they will be honoured and rewarded by Father. There are at least two rewards: a mansion in heaven and His continuing presence with you – these (with eternal life) were the only rewards mentioned to the disciples in the upper rooms

 

John 12:26 NKJV) "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. if anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

We should not be put off by trials or thoughts of death, as God, in His divine purposes, has brought you to this place of trial! They are God's way of preparing you for eternity. How you respond to them determines where you end up in eternity.

 

Note that whatever happens, Jesus is already there waiting for us to arrive. It is not we who go first then He catches up!

 

Jesus knew what He was facing but also knew it was in the will of His Father and so willingly embraced the suffering to come. His body did not embrace it as well as His spirit did but was disciplined by His spirit to endure the trials ahead.

 

It is only as a person’s spirit disciplines his flesh that one can truly serve Jesus and endure suffering and hardship when doing the work of Jesus and Father!

 

(John 12:27 NKJV) "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

Jesus did not seek is own Glory but that of His Father whom had sent Him and arranged what was to ensue!

 

We too should seek the Glory of Jesus and Father and our suffering should be done in a way that Glorifies Jesus and Father! After all, we are servants who are only doing the will of the master and have nothing to brag about. When we seek to Glorify Jesus and the Name of Father you can be sure He will give us every opportunity to do so!

 

Jesus has just said it is time for Him to be glorified. How does He achieve this? He asks for Father's name to be glorified! He knows that by doing Father's will and bringing Glory to Father He will bring Glory to himself.

 

Honour comes from God – not from anything we do!

 

(John 12:28-30 NKJV) "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him."  Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake.

Another result of His death was to judge the devil and remove his authority over the earth.

 

By His death and Resurrection He proved He was God and that He had the right to rule the earth. This meant that Satan no longer had the right to rule the earth – only those that rejected Jesus! One day Jesus will return to claim His kingdom. Until then there will always be the contest between good and evil – Jesus and Satan – for the rulership of the people. (Eph 6:10-12 the true battle.) The earth is no longer Satan’s but the ownership of the people is still disputed by Satan until the ‘time of the Gentiles’ is fulfilled and the Great Tribulation is finalised by the return of Jesus

 

(John 12:31-33 NKJV) "Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. "And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself." This He said, signifying by what death He would die.

Satan remains in charge of the earth because Jesus has not finished allowing him to sift people. Satan asked to sift Peter. Job is another example of God allowing Satan to sift people . Satan is only allowed to remain as he is serving God by sifting the people to see if their commitment to Jesus is real. We have the promise of God (in 1 Cor 13:10) that we will never be tempted beyond our ability to resist and that He will always provide a way to deal with the trial and any demons causing it.

 

The people still did not fully comprehend who Jesus was and asked the following question.

 

(John 12:34 NKJV) The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?"

 

Jesus replied indirectly by restating His teachings and relationship to Father in heaven

 

He is the light of the World. He and His teachings are to be followed if one is to shed truth (light) into the darkness of the world around them and do the work of Jesus. It is the Truths of Jesus lived and spread by His followers that is the only hope of this world!

 

(John 12:35-36,46 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. "While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light." These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.”

Then a subtle twist by Jesus:

(John 12:44 NKJV) Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

(Jn 17:3) It is not just knowing Jesus that saves you – one must have knowledge of Father and His will (as expressed and taught by Jesus). This comes through the work of Holy Spirit and evidences His presence in you.

 

In keeping with the selflessness and Love Jesus has for people, He declares He came to save people and not to condemn them. They condemn themselves by what they say and do contravening the laws of Father!

 

It must be remembered that Jesus came to fulfil the laws of God – not to condemn them, as that had already been done by their own actions and so His purpose was to redeem the Jews from the condemnation and effects of the Mosaic Law (as it had been interpreted by them) as well as Jew and Gentile from the curses of the Fall that resulted from the disobedience of Adam and Eve (John 3:17). By taking our place on the cross He bore our punishment so that there is no longer any guilt, condemnation or punishment for our sins – He bore it all! Thus we can come to Father again and restore the relationship that was lost in the garden at the Fall.

(John 12:47–48 NKJV) "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him; the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

Jesus then shows how much Father also loves people by stating that He has only repeated what Father has told Him to say! He states that Father's words given to Jesus to teach, are designed to give people the requirements for eternal life.

 

(John 12:49–50 NKJV) "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as Father has told Me, so I speak."

 

In Summary

 

The reasons for His ensuing agony were given by Jesus

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, it's a spiritual battle and Satan is waiting to attack us as God allows him to do so, for the purposes of our spiritual preparation for eternity.

 

He advised His followers to

 

 

 

 

Part Two – Section A –General Teachings

 

The drama unfolds! Jesus now prepares for the end. Having prepared them as best He could knowing the suffering and abuse He was about to face He now faces His Cross!

 

(John 13:1 NKJV) Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

John comments ‘He loved them to the end’ even thought they were unable to comfort Him at Gethsemane and deserted Him at Golgotha (bar one), Jesus still loved them and by example showed the Love of God in practice.

Jesus had the assurance that all His work for Father had been worthwhile, so now commenced the final stages of the drama. John starts by showing the true position of Jesus in all things.

(John 13:3 NKJV) Jesus, knowing that Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,

He is the ruler of all yet Jesus illustrates that nature of God is that of a servant and shows His humility by doing the work of the lowliest slave in the household – He washes the dirty feet of His disciples. The fact He is a loving servant does not negate the need for discipline and punishment. What it means is that in all His actions – including discipline and punishment – will be found His love and Mercy.

 

(John 13:4 –5 NKJV) rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

The Love of God must not be manipulated or controlled. It must be directed, channelled and expressed. Love only exists as it is shown.

 

Peter tried to limit or control the Love of God and confine it to what He wanted it to be. His master was not going to wash his feet! It simply was not the correct thing to do! Peter did not understand the servant heart of the Messiah or He would have appreciated the Love and example of what Jesus was doing.

 

(John 13:6,8 NKJV) Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet? Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me. Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head! Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."

Jesus was showing that service to God was from the heart – not out of ritual, tradition authoritative position or external show. Peter was looking to the Law and the ceremonial washing of the priesthood and could not partake of God's serving Grace while doing so!

 

It is to be also noted that as Jesus washed their feet He was emphasizing the humility of Love – that no job is too mundane or dirty if love is the motivating factor for the task. The cross was bearable as it was motivated by Love. Martyrdom is bearable when motivated out of love for Jesus. God gives us special Grace to love those persecuting us and to endure what they do to us.

 

Thus Jesus sets an example and shows the servant nature of God by doing the lowliest task. We are reminded us that most of the tasks God does are mundane e.g.:

Keeping the universe moving,

Monitoring all things,

Answering our prayers etc.

All little details that help us to stay alive and relate to God! All directed to the purpose of enabling us to relate to God in a living personal way!

 

Why feet? It was an allusion to a well-known verse

 

(Isa 52:7 NKJV) How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

It was possibly a hint that they would spread the Gospel, walking the then known world to do so.

(John 13:12-15 NKJV) So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 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 should do as I have done to you.

Jesus points out they cannot refuse to serve others who need their help as Jesus their master has given them the example of service and they are not greater than Him in authority to be able to negate His example or ignore His example!

He then informs them that if they have a proper appreciation of their relationship to Jesus and their delegated authority from Him they will be blest in their service of God! Loving service is not doing what the other person wants. It is doing what the other person needs!

 

Jesus promises a blessing to all those that faithfully obey Him.  One cannot imagine how God can bless a person or at times how He has blessed him in the past. Only in heaven will we really know.

 

 (John 13:16-17 NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

It is to be noted that John leaves out the communion part of the 'Last Supper' but includes much that the other leave out. If communion was that important, why leave it out? It is probable that the supper was eaten while Jesus was teaching which makes it more peculiar that the cup and bread are not mentioned except in the context of showing who will betray Jesus.

 

Jesus would have crossed the Brook Kedron, running red like wine, from the blood of the tens of thousands of lambs slaughtered for Passover because the alter drained into this brook. He would have passed by Beththage, where the ‘Shewbread’ was prepared, that lay for a week before the Holiest Place and which was eaten at the end of their week of service, by the Temple priests that had been sanctified and prepared for service that week.

 

‘This is My cup’: were they willing to pour out their lifeblood for God as Jesus was about to do for them?

 

‘This is my body’: They had been prepared and set apart for this service of God. Were they willing to partake of it as Jesus was about to partake?

 

These are questions we should ask ourselves at communion.

 

The betrayal is then spoken of. One who has been with Jesus, seen all he has done, who has been taught by Jesus and loved as a disciple by Jesus, is going to help people kill Jesus!

 

Even though He had seen all Jesus did and did not n eed fiath to believe in whom He was Judas was still about to betray Jesus for money.  This shows the power of the demon Mammon over people.

 

(John 13:18-19 NKJV) "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

Jesus also states His identification with His still faithful servants who seek to serve Father and Him in His authority as His representative! We stand in the shoes of Jesus as a representative of Him in this world. What an awesome honour!!

 

(John 13:20 NKJV) "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

Jesus was saddened that one would reject Him – that one would reject the Love poured out by Jesus on Him.

 

It shows hw important it is to represent properly Jesus as He is saying we are His interface with most people and how  they see us is how they will see Jesus.

 

(John 13:21 NKJV) When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."

 

The disciples were disturbed, as each wondered which of them it was. They could not conceive the possibility that anyone whom had been with Jesus as long as they had, who had seen the Miracles of Jesus and His love for them, could betray Him. But then, they had forgotten what Satan, whom was the instigator in the betrayal, had done. It would be a foolish man who would put confidence in himself and not rely on Jesus for direction and purpose.

 

They did not understand Satan’s ways and were obviously blind to the hypocrisy of Judas. How well Satan deceives and hides his true purposes from those who are not in a right relationship with Jesus and who are not led by Holy Spirit so they can discern spiritually the state of a person and the seasons of God!

 

(John 13:22 NKJV) Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.

They asked Jesus who it was and He said to watch whom He serves the bread too. He even serves the one whom is to betray Him! Jesus, knowing the heart of Judas, did not reject him, but taught him as He taught the others in case Judas would repent of what he was about to do and possibly change into the follower of Jesus he should have been.

 

The Love of God is unique! Humankind destroys its enemies, but God sustains them and cares for them, even though they reject Him. In spite of all he has done, God still maintains the life of Satan. So important in God’s eyes is the ‘right to life’ that He will not destroy His enemies. He may punish them but they still live for eternity in the place they chose indirectly while on earth!

 

Whose king you serve when you die is the kingdom you go too: either heaven or hell.

 

(John 13:23-26 NKJV) Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke. Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?  Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

This is the only time bread and wine is mentioned in John’s account of the last day of Jesus, and it is in the context of betrayal and not fellowship. The cup of fellowship had been had previously and now darkness was to commence to run its course.

Once again the place of Satan in betrayal and sin is shown.

 

Satan used Judas to betray Jesus. Just as Gods methology is to use men, so is Satan’s and here is a good example as He uses Judas to betray Jesus.

 

(John 13:27-28 NKJV) Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly.”  But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.

Why was there such urgency in the voice of Jesus? Was the coming separation from His beloved disciples affecting His resolve? We do not know why the urgency except, perhaps, Jesus was concerned He might not be crucified on the eve of Passover if Judas delayed.

 

The disciples still did not know who was to betray Jesus. The workers of darkness were about to begin their torture and murder of Jesus! What did His followers do? They just kept eating, blissfully unaware as to what was about to transpire.

 

(John 13:29-30 NKJV) For some thought, because Judas had the moneybox, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.  Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

The disciple did not know who Jesus was or understand His teachings, even though he had been with Him for two years! He possibly joined because he thought Jesus would re-establish the physical kingdom of Israel and was disappointed because Jesus did not as he hoped to benefit from this. He wanted a physical kingdom – not a spiritual one. He wanted the benefits now – not later on an so betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver – the price of a slave. Judas obtained a benefit in this life but may have lost all he would have had in the next.

 

Judas is the short-sighted opportunist who grabs what he can with no thought for the future. One wonder what he thought as Jesus taught about a mansion in heaven and being in His eternal presence, having just agreed to betray Him for 30 pieces of silver.

 

What the workers of darkness did not know was that they would be directly responsible for Jesus assuming the Glory He formerly had as well as His being exalted by Father for overcoming the rulers of darkness!

 

The plans of the demons were going to be the vehicle that would result in the exaltation and restoration of Jesus! This would result in them losing all their right to rule what they were currently ruling (the world).  How often do we see evil circumstances as being bad for us, but God sees them as a path to greater things - depending on how we handle them (Gen 50:20, Rom 8:28, Jer 29:11).

 

In the following passage, the Greek tense is past tense – Glorification had already occurred because Jesus chose to do the Will of Father. All that remained was an outworking of the inward decision!

 

(John 13:31–32 NKJV) So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.

Jesus reminds them they cannot go where He is going (Calvary) and that they are to Love one another in the way Jesus Loves them. Jesus is showing this Love by this death He is about to undertake on their behalf and He exhorts them to love each other at the price of their own lives! Just as He was going to do for them and for all who would believe in whom He is!

 

‘Little Children’. The love which these two words show! He has fathered their faith and nurtured them to the stage that they will soon be ready to do His work as men! This is the true pastors heart – to nurture the spiritual children (at any spiritual cost) until these immature Christians become spiritually mature and can then do the work of Jesus.

 

(John 13:33–35 NKJV) "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

Peter is surprised at the words of Jesus and states that He will follow Jesus by dying for Him. Jesus informs Peter that Peter will betray Him rather than lay his own life down for Jesus! (What a rebuke, even though Jesus would have said it gently without malice or hate.

 

I have heard Jesus warn me. It was not with a voice of anger, but of sadness that I had was about to doubt His love!

 

(John 13:36–38 NKJV) Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.  Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.  Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

No fowls were allowed in Jerusalem. The Cock Crow was the third watch in the Temple (3 AM) when the Shophar was blown three times.

 

The disciples were agitated by what was to happen so Jesus sought to comfort them by explaining that the absence would be temporary. He asked them to believe in Him and what He had taught them about Himself and advised them that He was going to prepare a place for them to live with Him forever!

 

(John 14:1-3 NKJV) "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Part Two –Section B – Three Searching Questions

 

This prompted three searching questions which covers most of the fears the followers of Jesus had. They were examining exactly what Jesus was saying to them. This may all have been new teaching to them so we are given insight a little into some of the private teaching methods of Jesus with the disciples.

 

1.      What do you need to do to get there!

 

Thomas illustrates those that need concrete evidence before they will believe something.

 

Jesus had been with Thomas for three years and Thomas was still not sure what was required of Him. It may be appropriate that He was the one who was not there when Jesus appeared to the apostles and would not believe until He had hard evidence.

 

Thomas illustrates the type of person who needs something tangible – e.g. signs and wonders – to believe Jesus and His promise as their faith is not sufficient to believe solely in the words of Jesus.

 

(John 14:4-7 NKJV) "And where I go you know, and the way you know.  Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?  Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to Father except through Me. "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

2.      Philip then questioned the Authority of Jesus. “Who is this mysterious Father, whose authority you claim and whom you state sent you?” He asked. Show us Him and that is all we need to see to believe you!”

 

Philip illustrates those that want to see proof of the Authority of Jesus before they will accept what He says! For them it was necessary to determine if Jesus had the authority He said He had! It was one thing to do ‘signs and wonders’. It was another thing to say He was going to heaven and prepare a place for them! They also wanted to see this mysterious Father Jesus kept talking about.

 

Jesus stated that those who had knew Him also knew the character of Father. The only requirement was obedience and faith In Him and whom He claimed to be and be able to do and of course in what He had taught them!

 

(John 14:8-15 NKJV) Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us Father, and it is sufficient for us.  Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen Father; so how can you say, 'Show us Father'?”

"Do you not believe that I am in Father, and Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but Father who dwells in Me does the works.”

Jesus asks them to believe in Him and do His work and then they would see by the results that all He had said of Father and Himself, was true. Those who believed Him and appropriated His authority would do greater works (signs and wonders) than He had done! They would have the authority of Jesus behind them helping them when they asked Him for help! It would be demonstrated as they stepped out in faith and did His work. This would only occur, though, after Jesus had risen and Holy Spirit came to replace Him. It was this indwelling, empowerment of Holy Spirit that would enable the followers of Jesus to do the work of Jesus.

 

"Believe Me that I am in Father and Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that Father may be glorified in the Son.”

The promise made that anything asked to further the purposes (plans) and Kingdom of God (sphere of authority, influence in this world) will Be granted by God! What a responsibility to pray according to the Will of God! Prayers not in the Will of God will only assist the enemy. God will not answer them but Satan may be allowed to! If we are not able to hear Holy Spirit clearly Satan will try to be heard.

 

(to paraphrase: If you love me you will do my work and I will give you anything you need to do this)

 

 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments.”

Jesus also stated Father and He would send someone to help them in their endeavours on His behalf! A Helper and guide! Someone who would teach them the truths necessary to live for Him! He was not going to leave them helpless when He left them! He was going to leave them someone who would comfort them as he always had – a comforter – who would always be with them, helping them to live as Jesus wanted them to live and would ensure that by listening to His advice, they would do the work of Jesus, further the kingdom of Father, continue in a correct relationship with them both and be with Jesus after they died. With this He was attempting to comfort His disciples as they were troubled, saddened and confused, because Jesus was going to leave them without apparently ushering in His new Kingdom.

 

The presence of Holy Spirit is a gift from Father, at the request from Jesus and out of the Love Holy Spirit has for Jesus.

 

Holy Spirit is here called Spirit of Truth. Jesus had said previously “you shall know the truth”. He also had said that “as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.”  Holy Spirit, active in our lives, sets us free from the bondages of the kingdom of darkness and enables us to do the work of Jesus in the freedom Jesus gave us through His death. …but for the disciples this was all yet still to come!

 

Jesus also hints at the resurrection. This would have puzzled the disciples as they did not understand yet, that Jesus would rise from the dead and return to them, proving He was able to do all He had said to them

 

(John 14:16-20 NKJV) "And I will pray Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

There was only one major requirement. They were to love people as He and Father loved them. This would be shown by the attitudes they exhibited in their doing His work – either loving obedience or forced labour: the first from gratitude; the second from fear.

 

(John 14:21 NKJV) "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him."

3.      If you are God why do you not set up your Kingdom now for the entire world to see?

 

Judas is an example of those self-seeking people who need to see the rewards before they will exercise their faith to believe. This Judas asked to ensure He had his share of the rewards now and not in the next life! He exemplified those that are short-sighted spiritually and seek rewards on earth and not in heaven! He wanted proof that following Jesus would be worth the effort!

 

Jesus replied that the true reward was Himself living in Judas and all that this would result in. (Eternal life with Jesus, Holy Spirit’s indwelling, signs and wonders etc.!)

 

(John 14:22 NKJV) Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world? Jesus answered and said to him, 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. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but Father's who sent Me.

Jesus then advises them that after He leaves they will still have His peace because of Holy Spirit’s presence. They would be comforted through the Spirit’s presence in them!  Holy Spirit would also teach them and help them remember what Jesus had said to them

.

John wrote to people who had not known Jesus. Through these words, he sought to give them the same comfort and assurance the Apostles and Disciples had received from Jesus. He wrote to encourage them in times of persecution and trial with the same words of comfort Jesus had used to prepare the apostles for trials, persecution and death. These words should do the same for us!

 

The flesh, out of self–preservation, recoils at the thought of pain and death. It is only as God strengthens us through Holy Spirit that we are able to face pain and martyrdom. The world will not comfort us as Satan uses its system to try and destroy us – Only Jesus, Holy Spirit and Father will comfort us either directly or through fellow believers.

Jesus knew He would have no human comforter in the garden, and none later during the trial, on that long agonising walk to Golgotha and during His pain on the cross, but He still thought of His disciples and their needs as He continued in His discourse.

 

(John 14:25-27 NKJV) "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, Holy Spirit, whom Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Jesus advises them their perspective is incorrect. They should not be sad He is leaving but rejoicing because of what it will usher in! A new relationship with God! The personal relationship they had with Jesus on earth would still be there but it would be with Him as God and not just a God–driven person, and that their relationship with Him would never be broken again!

 

He was not going to leave them alone but would send Holy Spirit to help them by:

 

Teaching them personally

 

Reminding them of what Jesus said

 

Giving them the same peace in trials and suffering as Jesus had

 

But they did not understand this yet as Holy Spirit had not yet come in His fullness.

 

Once again He tells them He is coming back, but they still do not understand. They probably asked “How can one come back from the dead?”

 

(John 14:28 NKJV) "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' if you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to Father,' for My Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

Jesus now advises them His time is short and He will not teach them much more.

 

The devil is coming to destroy the human body of Jesus and He has little time left with them before His body will die. This makes the ensuing words and example of Jesus very important – they are the last words and actions of a man about to die!

 

(John 14:30-31 NKJV) "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. But that the world may know that I love Father, and as Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”

Just as the lamb was killed at Passover by the person making the sacrifice, Jesus chose to be sacrificed.

 

To Recap

 

To comfort them, Jesus had told them He was preparing a place in eternity for them to be with Him forever,! He was also sending Holy Spirit to live in them and console them for His absence. Holy Spirit would comfort them as well as guide them in living the life Jesus required of them. They would have a new relationship with God as it now included, not only Jesus but Father and Holy Spirit as well. God was no longer outside them but now in them (as Holy Spirit) and would never leave them again as no-one but themself could ever remove Him from them.

 

He stated it would be necessary to ‘abide’ in Him and this would be done by obeying Him and doing His purposes for them.

 

Abide has a slightly different meaning when first used in the Old King James. Example usages:

 

Circa 1509        to remain with. true to (KJV)

circa 1398         to stand firm (Medieval)

Greek menwn    to remain in, stay in (New Testament)

 

How does one 'abide in Jesus'? We continue in and develop the relationship Jesus has placed us in by making His purposes our purposes, His Character our character, submitting our will to His Authority and using only His Authority, being empowered only by Holy Spirit, doing all for Father and His Kingdom rather than our self, so that people see only Jesus, Father and the purposes and character of God! This is true transparency. It is not that our will is controlled by God. It is having our mind so in tune with God that the decisions we make are the ones He would like us to make so that in all we do, think and say, God is expressed in what we do so that people see the character and purposes of God in all we do!

 

As Jesus was preparing a place in heaven for them to abide in He now stated that they would also have to abide (remain true to) Him and Holy Spirit in them. This meant that they had to remain faithful to His teachings and to continue to work under His authority and rule. Holy Spirit dwelling in them would make this possible as He guided them; revealed Gods will to them, empowered them and told them the truths God wanted them to know!

 

Part Two – Section C – On relationships

 

Jesus discusses relationships in the ‘light’ of ‘abiding’ in Him and the new relationships Holy Spirit will bring.

 

This next passage is important as the whole of the Christian life is built around relationships: to Jesus, to other Christians and to the world. Jesus now discusses these three sets of relationships!

 

Where Christians are involved, the role of Father is stated. In regard to the ‘world’, its attitude to Father is stated. Jesus finishes with the roles of Holy Spirit in these three relationships and informs us that Holy Spirit in sent by Father.

 

The picture is painted of Father showering Love by sending Jesus, then Holy Spirit and waiting to answer the needs of His people, then providing these at the appropriate time.

 

1.         Relationship of believers to Jesus and Father

 

Through Jesus and what He has done, springs eternal life and a relationship with God. But it is Father that deals with us to bring us to Christian maturity. It is Father's plan which is carried out for our spiritual maturity through the circumstances He allows to happen to us. One should not complain of life's circumstances as Father is at work allowing or causing them for our benefit. This is why Jesus did not complain but went to the cross Father had prepared for Him. Should we do different?

 

(John 15:1-2 NKJV) "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

There is purpose in Father maturing us. We are matured by Father so we can bear fruit through:

Expanding His Kingdom

Rescuing people from the kingdom of darkness through evangelism

Through delivering people from demonic oppression through exorcism

Expressing the Fruit of Holy Spirit (the Character of God).

This occurs as we become more Godlike and in tune with Him through Holy Spirit’s guidance in living the Christian life.

This maturing by Father is to prepare us to be citizens of heaven and to learn to relate to Him, Holy Spirit and Jesus in a deeper and more personal relationship - one that is desired out of gratitude for what God has done for us in all areas of our life!

 

Once again we are told to ‘abide’ in Jesus as this is the only way we will produce worthwhile ‘fruit’. If we do not abide in Jesus we will be cast out and burned (hellfire!) Jesus also reminds us that without Him we can do nothing. In other words, all we do for God is really done in a partnership with Him.

 

In a sense, we are God’s mouthpieces in this world, as well as His beacons to draw people to Himself through the life we lead. Paul says we are God’s Ambassadors, but the modern usage of the word is not strong enough. We stand in the shoes of God in this world (as His representative) and should walk in them as Jesus would walk in them!

 

There is also a warning that, if we do not bear fruit, we will wither in our Christian walk and relationship with God and be cast out of the Kingdom into hellfire.

 

(John 15:4-6 NKJV) "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

A principle is then expounded by Jesus. If we abide in Him and His Words and Will abide in us we can ask Him for anything and He will do it for us. This is because we will only ask in accordance with the will of God that God will be glorified by what we do and that His purposes only will be done! Prayer takes on a completely different perspective when it is approached this way! It can only be this way as a result of our Love for God!

 

This is different to the so called ‘soul prayer’s where you ask God for what you want for a person and not what He wants for a person. It can become an attempt at mind control forcing a person through prayer to try and do your will) and can actually place a curse on a person.

 

(John 15:7-8 NKJV) "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Before we were told to abide in Him (His purposes and plans), now we are told to let His Word abide in us. The Word of God purifies a person’s soul as it dwells in them and orders their ways.

 

The importance of Love is emphasized as is obedience out of Love for Jesus. Obedience to Jesus should be out of Love for what He has done for us! Not out of fear or compulsion!

 

(John 15:9 NKJV) "As Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

How do we abide in His Love? We trust God in all the way He deals with us through the circumstances He places us in. This is why we can rejoice in all circumstance and be at peace in them with the peace He promised us – whether the circumstance be a trial or pleasure, as we trust the Love of God that He is using these circumstances to mould us into the image of Jesus as preparation for being with God in Eternity and beyond! The rewards? A relationship with Jesus and Father as well as fullness of Joy!

 

2.         Relationship to other believers

 

This love should carry over into our relationship to other believers! Like Jesus, the love we have for others should be so great that we will be willing also to give our lives for another – if it is needed!

 

Those that will not help themselves are not the ones we should be sacrificing ourselves for. It is sheer laziness that they do not do necessary things. Jesus came to help those who were unable to help themselves – not those that would not help themselves!

 

The first death, before we die physically, is death to fear of death itself which occurred at the Cross which we appropriated when we decided to follow Jesus. The second death we need is death to self so we can do the works of Jesus as He did them. The last death is physical death, the one that ushers us to our reward. Everyone must pass through the first two to be of use to Jesus. Everyone is called to sacrifice self out of love for Jesus and His purposes. The degree of self, sacrificed, will be in proportion to how much of God's Love and Purposes we are willing to appropriate and is dependent on how much we really appreciate what God has done for us.

 

(John 15:12-14 NKJV) "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Jesus informs us we are in a new relationship with God. We no longer are servants of a God who is distant (as a servant is with his master) but we have a God who is approachable, who loves us and desires a relationship with us – as He had with Adam and Eve in the garden called Eden. He is also going to inform us of His plans! We are treated as friends and confidants rather than servants or slaves.

(John 15:15 NKJV) "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

We are reminded that this relationship was instigated by God and not us. We were chosen to bear fruit for God. The major fruit God requires is Love – the same Love He shows towards us! (Gal 5:22,23 Love is the first fruit from which all the others grow.) Mankind was made to love hence the importance of love being in all the actions of mankind. This is why Satan tries to destroy us using negative emotions such as fear, apathy depression etc.

Remember the warning to one of the churches in the book of Revelation ch 3:1-5. It had not rebelled against God. It was still doing the right things but it had lost its first love. It is this love that compels us to serve God, appreciate Him and to bear fruit – both personally, by the way we live, and to others as Jesus did (Is 61:1-3).

(John 15:16-17 NKJV) "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another.

3.         Relationship to the world

 

We have been chosen to go and teach the world about Jesus and to show His love to the people in it. It is from the world we have been chosen specifically for this task and if had not been for the Grace and Love of God, we would still be bound and captive in the world! We are now His ambassador through whom He pleads to all those that do not know Him to be reconciled to Father, Holy Spirit and He.

 

We have been rescued through the Love of God, from the kingdom of darkness and now are citizens of the Kingdom of Father with all the duties, responsibilities and privileges of a citizen. It is the way we carry out the roles as citizens of Father's Kingdom (the fruit of our faith) that we are recognized as being citizens of Father's Kingdom.

 

Imagine hate at its cruellest and everything that is opposite to Love – then you will understand what is behind the persecution of Christians and why such terrible things happen to them. You will also understand the nature of the ruler of this current world system and why he can never be reconciled to God! If you are of the Kingdom of Light you will always rub the kingdom of darkness the ‘wrong’ way. There will always be friction (attack).

 

Jesus then advises the disciples that serving Him in the world (Father's Kingdom) will not be a picnic – there will be opposition – the world system will be continuing the opposition it showed to Jesus as the followers of Jesus interact with it.

 

If the kingdom of darkness (world system) does not attack you or its evil grieve your spirit, question whether you really belong to the Kingdom of Father. This is why we should rejoice when the world system attacks us because of our faith, as it marks us as definitely belong to Father's Kingdom.

 

There are no fence sitters in the Kingdom of Light. You are either in one kingdom or the other. There are no grey areas to sit comfortably in – hence the warning to the lukewarm seventh church in the book of Revelation.

 

(John 15:18-21 NKJV) "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

The world has been judged by Jesus coming and teaching about God, the requirements of God as well as by the Love and mercy of God showed to the people in its system. The world did not want to hear Jesus and so they removed Jesus, whose only crime was to try and tell the people in it of salvation and the relationship they could have with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit. They hated Him unjustly and without a cause!

 

Jesus told people what God wanted them to hear and the religious leaders did not like that as it threatened all they had and stood for. Hence it was either the teachings of Jesus or their teachings, so Jesus (their threat) had to be removed.

 

The truth was out and Satan will do all he can to stop it being spread. Persecution is thus not something unusual but expected for all whom will follow the truths of God! If you are at peace with Satan’s kingdom, question the depth of your relationship with Jesus and Father’s Kingdom!

 

At times, a Christian will approach the work of God and apparently fail. This is because the Christian is used to show the evil in the situation, so when the adversary is judged, it will have been shown that the evil person was worthy of judgment. God is merciful, giving the person a chance to repent but far too often this is refused. The person cannot plead ignorance as he was confronted, albeit unsuccessfully.

 

(John 15:22-25 NKJV) "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'

Part Two – Section D – Relationship to Holy Spirit

 

The Spirit has been sent by Father to help them live a life that testifies of the reality of Jesus: to tell the world of Jesus, the salvation He offers; His promises and teachings as well as to guide them in their relationship with Jesus and the work they are to do on His behalf. He has been sent as God’s advisor to those who labour on behalf of Jesus and Father, in partnership with them.

 

It is our life, as a whole, that testifies of Jesus, not just a part we dole out to Him or Father!

 

(John 15:26-27 NKJV) "But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from Father, He will testify of Me And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

Jesus then advises them that He had taught them so they would not fall when they were persecuted. Persecution was certain to come from their own countrymen in charge of the established religion of the day, as well as others controlled by demons.

Anything that does not fit into the conventional mould is rejected by those afraid of change. They forget to test the spirit behind the happening (assuming they know how to do so). By this resistance, many a gift of Grace or work of God has been missed.  What makes the matter worse is that Satan has these people believing they are resisting incorrect changes on behalf of God and His truths!

(John 16:1 NKJV) "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Jesus then repeats that He has to go to Father or the power of Holy Spirit cannot be released to help them. The presence of Holy Spirit was received by them earlier (Jn 20:21) but the power was received later in Acts 2 (see acts 1:8 for the promise) They should not be sad as The Spirit has been sent also to comfort them because Jesus is leaving them.

 

The word 'helper' does not convey the fullness of the word paraklhov . As Paraclete, Holy Spirit’s presence is  in you, seeing what you experience emotionally as you goes through what you are going through, and mentally, as He sees what you are thinking (if you let Him). As He sees intimately what is happening to you, He is in a perfect position to comfort, advise, guide and intercede on your behalf (Rom 8:26,27) with Father for the things you do not know you need. It is an intimate relationship of Love – at least on His part. God in you, the Hope, of Glory (through reaching heaven). From this position, He is also able to advise what Father requires of you – hence the need to be able to hear Holy Spirit clearly as He speaks to you.

 

How we seek comfort or whom we seek to comfort us depends on our attitudes.. People seek comfort in sex, drugs, alcohol, hobbies. Jesus said it was found in Holy Spirit and thus through Jesus and Father. He, whom seeks comfort any other way, seeks second best and possibly the devil’s means of comfort! The devil will always find a way to comfort the flesh and dull the pain of the soul so we don’t have to face the problem causing the pain.

 

John 16:5 -7 NKJV) "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Jesus tells them of more things The Spirit will do! It is He that convicts people of their need for salvation, teaches them of their relationship to Jesus and Father, and teaches about the defeat Satan suffered at the hands of Jesus on the cross! We are just mouthpieces Holy Spirit uses to say the words people need for Him to help them to reason out correctly, for themselves, the truths that lead to salvation and to fight the errors and untruths that keep them from salvation.  Satan feeds them lies while Holy Spirit feeds them truths because the truth about Jesus sets them free!

 

Unless Holy Spirit convicts them of their sin and need for God they will never leave the Kingdom of darkness. They may respond to an 'altar call' but it is reason and emotion, not a heart response to a heartfelt need! (As a man thinks in his heart, so he is).

 

The word ‘convict’ does not mean ‘to force them to accept’. It has the sense of them arriving at a conclusion which forces them to a course of action.

 

(John 16:8 NKJV) "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

Jesus shows consideration for His followers. He has taught them much and in their distressed state they can manage no more teaching. However, the topic of Holy Spirit and relationships was so important, He needs to finish His teaching in this area.

He tells them that His death will show (judge) Satan is evil and will result in victory over Satan.

(John 16:12 NKJV) "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.

5          Jesus sheds further light on the workings of Holy Spirit

He speaks what Jesus and Father ask Him to speak! And His actions are designed so that Jesus alone will be glorified. His teachings are directed towards these two ends. The purpose of every Christian to Worship and obey God out of Love

 

It is Holy Spirit that leads us into truth as He interprets the words of God and not as man interprets them. Theology, without Holy Spirit’s guidance is man’s reasoning which must eventually lead him astray as witnessed in the current church scene where many churches that lack Holy Spirit’s guidance have fallen into a form of heresy – denying some of the truths of the Bible and lacking Holy Spirit’s Power and Guidance as well as the authority of Jesus.

 

It is also the reason modern Bibles are so inaccurate in their doctrine because theologians have ignored The Holy Spirit and used reasoning to work out what The Bible should say.

 

(John 16:13 NKJV) "However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.

Jesus then tells them He will soon be separated from them but will be restored to them afterwards for a time, before He goes to Father.

The Holy Spirit will do this and bring Glory to Jesus through what happens.

 

They still do not understand that Jesus is to be resurrected and restored to His former Glory!

 

 

John 16:19-20 NKJV) Now Jesus knew that they desired to ask Him, and He said to them, "Are you inquiring among yourselves about what I said, 'A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me'? Most assuredly, I say to you that you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; and you will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.

Jesus uses the analogy of a birth. He implies the joy of the new relationship His death will bring to all! In His death there is our new life and the release of the Joy Father has for us! The resultant joy will be worth the pain, suffering and discipline of following Jesus.

 

(John 16:21-22 NKJV) "A woman, when she is in labour, has sorrow because her hour has come; but as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.

Because Holy Spirit’s presence was going to be in them, when Jesus left them, they were going to be in a new relationship to God!

 

Before, God was in the ‘Holy of Holies’ – isolated and far off – approached once a year by the High Priest! Now, He would be a personal God whose presence was in them!

 

The new relationship was reflected in the way they were to communicate with God – the Lord’s Prayer being the example Jesus gave them. The relationship would be deeper than a face–to–face one! It would be a relationship in the very core of the person, themselves! – In the spirit of the person as the Spirit of God’s presence would be within that person guiding them and comforting them! This would be now shown in the way they would pray!

 

Whatever they would pray should now be in accordance with the Will of Father for the purposes of the Kingdom! This attitude, coupled with the new relationship with God and the indwelling Spirit, would make their prayer life revolutionary and effective! It would be a prayer life based on love for God, His purposes and His Kingdom as well as for others to the extent that personal needs would be insignificant when compared to the needs for others – the Love for God being so great in us!

 

(John 16:23-28 NKJV) "And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. These things I have spoken to you in figurative language; but the time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figurative language, but I will tell you plainly about Father. In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray Father for you; for Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God. I came forth from Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to Father. 

The disciples now believe Jesus as He has spoken to them without the use of allegory or parables. Jesus advises them that, even though He would leave them, Father would still be with them!

 

This period of scattering occurred between Calvary and Pentecost. After Pentecost they were ‘new’ people, willing to suffer anything for Jesus.

 

Pentecost was 50 days after Passover. Fifty is the number of Jubilee, of Restoration and new beginnings, hence Pentecost was a very appropriate for Holy Spirit to fall, in view of the effects it would have on the disciples!

 

(John 16:29-32 NKJV) His disciples said to Him, "See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.  Jesus answered them, "Do you now believe? Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because Father is with Me.

Jesus now finishes His dissertation by restating the reason for the teachings He has just given them. He finishes with the reminder that He will be victorious on the cross and defeat the current rulers of the world!

 

His disciples did not understand this and thought that Calvary was a defeat and the end of all their hopes of restoration of the Messianic reign. It was only as Jesus and then Holy Spirit taught them did they understand what happened at Calvary!

 

Whilst Jesus had many victories, His greatest was over the sufferings that prefaced His murder! Should it be less so with His followers? While overcoming trials give victory and spiritual growth, it is only as faith is willing to sacrifice the body it can see for an eternal one it cannot yet see, that the greatest victory of a Christian occurs.

 

(John 16:33 NKJV) "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."

 With this triumphal declaration of victory Jesus now begins the suffering that will ensure this victory for all!

 

Part Three – The Prayer, sufferings and death

 

The Prayer of Jesus

 

Having told them

 

The Love Father has for them

 

The sorrow they were to face (because of His coming death)

 

The Joy following (as a result of His resurrection) and the coming of Holy Spirit!

 

The sending of Holy Spirit

 

His Victory over Satan

 

The persecution that would follow (as a result of doing the work of Jesus)

 

As well as what He was about to endure

 

His next action was to pray for them!

 

From Olivet, He could see into the Holy of Holies and the veil that stood between God and Man that would be removed by His death. This veil was a handbreadth thick and 20 Metres High so its tearing had to be a supernatural event. It was also the mount where the red heifer was sacrificed and the scapegoat released to wander into the wilderness and die. The red heifer was burned, the ashes being mixed with water and used to purify priests who had touched dead things.  The scapegoat carried away the sins of Israel. It was an appropriate place for one who was to purify us from the deadness of the world and carry away our sins forever!

 

The flow of ideas is so important to John, that He leaves out the agony in the Garden as he concentrates on the purposes and divinity of Jesus and His love for us (as shown in this prayer).

 

In the Garden, Jesus showed His humanity. He wanted some fellowship from His disciples to comfort Him in His struggle, and perhaps, through having visible evidence of whom He was going to die for, be further strengthened. But His disciples slept and out of Love, Father sent Him some angels to comfort Him. They would also have reminded Him of what was in store for Him in heaven after His death.

 

When Jesus said to His followers "could you not abide with me one hour?" it was not a forceful reprimand, but anguished sadness. He had given up all for them and was now going to suffer terribly for them and they could not suffer a little self-denial for Him!

 

The immediate subject of this prayer was the disciples (who may have heard His pleas for them as they dozed off) but this prayer was also for all who would follow Him. It is still current and active as it is spoken by an eternal God whose words are eternal and which will not return to Him without having any effect.

 

Jesus firstly prayed for Himself

 

That Father would restore Him to His former Glory and authority as God

 

That He would be restored to fellowship with Father.

             

That through what He was about to undergo, Father would be Glorified!

 

What a paradox! Through a death of shame and ignominy Jesus was going to bring great Glory to God! and having been apparently defeated, would actually defeat those whom had apparently won!

 

In Shame was Glory!

In defeat, Victory!

In Death was Life

 

Two other paradoxes are, how can God ‘die’ and give up His Spirit and also be separated from God, who contains all that is and exists! There appears to be no place one can be separated from God or hide from God! The physical death is understood but the separation? As Paul said; “Great is the mystery of Godliness”.

 

Jesus also said that He had finished the work Father had given Him – but He was not yet dead? This could only refer to his teaching ministry – teaching about Father and the Kingdom of God, demonstrating this Kingdom in Power and Grace! He had preached, lived and demonstrated the Kingdom to His followers, and now was the time for the final drama that would help release Holy Spirit to usher in The Kingdom in the lives of His followers.

 

The death on the cross was solely the work of Jesus. Father, being the judge, could only ask Him to do it just as Father had no right to tell Jesus to preach about His Kingdom – something Jesus also did voluntarily! Father could not overlook our crimes unless Jesus had died in our place and taken onto Himself the penalty for them. There is no more condemnation, shame and guilt for our failings (sin) as Jesus bore these on behalf of us on the cross!  These now come from Satan.

 

Jesus emphasises the eternal life is found in a love relationship with He and Father, not in works, theology, knowledge, man’s wisdom, denominational rules or procedures.

 

(John 17:1 NKJV) Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: "Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.

Jesus then prayed for His disciples

 

He starts by reminding Father that these are the ones chosen to do His work and who believe in Jesus and the task that Father has set for them. He reminds Father that He will soon be no longer there to help His followers.

 

(John 17:6 -8 NKJV) "I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world,

He asks Father that they may unified as Father and Jesus is – of one mind and one will! This unity is with every follower of Jesus who ever lived, not just with those alive today!

Paul reminds us of this unity in Eph 4:4–6. In Matt 12:25 Jesus told us why unity is so important. Every time a church or denomination disputes something within itself or with another denomination it goes further down the path to its own destruction and ineffectiveness. Perhaps this is one of the reasons the church is so ineffective in the Western World today.

What did Jesus mean “keep them through Your Name”? Jesus is asking Father to use His authority to protect those who would follow Him out of love for Him. Father has done this and is still doing it today!.

It must be remembered that the Kingdom of Father is spiritual and thus Father’s provision and protection is primarily spiritual. While Satan may kill the body, spiritually he can have no effect on the followers of Jesus – unless they let him.

(John 17:10) and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.

The Joy of Jesus is in His followers, which is why He asked Father to look after them, so that as they did Fathers work Jesus could rejoice more and more in them.

“That they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves”.

What does Jesus mean? As we align our self with God’s purposes we will have the same Joy in the things of God that He had when He was on earth.

(John 17:12 NKJV) "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.

Jesus then asks Father to keep his followers from the Devil and the workers of darkness. Because we follow Jesus and are of His Kingdom (and not that of the devil) Satan will try and destroy us! Here Jesus asks Father to protect them (and us – remember this prayer also relates to us). Jesus did not ask Father to take His followers out of the world. The world is where the battle is – where the Kingdom of Father is taking ground from the enemy. If we had been taken out before time, this battle would not exist. As there would be no one there to fight it.  Darkness would reign supreme!  Also Satan is allowed to test us but The Father protects us by limiting the trial to what we can stand.

 

(John 17:14-16 NKJV) "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

The last request of Jesus is to set His followers apart for His work.  Father, through Jesus, called them to do the work of The Kingdom. Because they are following the words (commands of Father) Jesus asks Father to keep them from the kingdom of darkness and it’s evil. (See also The Lord’s Prayer). Holy Spirit (Spirit of Truth) would do this, on behalf of Father, as the followers of Jesus listened to the truths of Father as taught to them by Holy Spirit and as they also taught others these truths! (And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free!) The truth also sets you apart from the world so that you can minister for Jesus!

 

Gods Truths in you mould your character so that you stand out from the people of the world by the fact the God’s principles are different to those of the world. A Christian must be different to those who follow Satan or the principles of his world system. If they are not then they can only be very immature or compromised in which case they are in danger of being lukewarm and spewed out of the mouth of Jesus

 

It is very hard not to call a Christian lukewarm or half-hearted If they will not endure suffering or persecution for Jesus, given the example and promises the Jesus made to them.

 

(John 17:17-19 NKJV) "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.

Jesus then prays for all who would follow Him as a result of His Teachings being taught by His followers

 

(John 17:20 NKJV) "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;

Jesus prays for unity of His followers.

 

The unity of believers, across denominational lines, is one of the proofs that Father exists and Jesus was sent by Father. What a condemnation on current denominations, where they define what The Kingdom of God is according to their interpretation of scripture and divide the kingdom as a result into their version of the true kingdom! This is why the denominations cannot be a part of revival as by their structure and requirements they inhibit it. Those whom God has touched are often not allowed to express revival as they are not ‘qualified’ to minister in the denomination. God cannot use denominations, as they would result in the destruction of His Kingdom, as they exclude those who are (in revival) expressing His Kingdom. (Matt 12:25)

Many Christians are cast out of churches because they spoke for the true values of The Kingdom and not of the denomination.

 

(John 17:21 NKJV) "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.

Another proof is the delegated authority of Jesus expressed through the unity of His followers, which shows that God is in us and we are one with them and their purposes!

Only in unity with Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit in us (and thus with every other believer) can we mature as Father wants us to be. All who follow division and discord cannot mature as followers of Jesus. In fact, they continue to grow in darkness as they reject the truths of Jesus that would transform them into His image! This is what happens to denominational people who follow the denominational rules rather than the Bible.

What does Jesus mean when he says: “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them”. It is unusual glory as it unifies! The sense of the word ‘glory’ is of honour arising from understanding and living truth (wisdom) and as people understand the truths of Jesus and live them, He will draw them together as one and the world will honour them as He was honoured for His Wisdom and understanding of truth. It is Glory through association with Father and Jesus and expressing them in our life.

(John 17:22-24 NKJV) "And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

The only reason we are going to heaven is that Jesus asked Father and He agreed to it. We were promised eternal life and an abode with Jesus. This was not necessarily to be in heaven but is now because of Father’s Love for Jesus and the redemption of Jesus removing the  barrier stopping this from happening.

 

Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world

Jesus taught us about Father’s. Love so we would understand it and Love Father as He does. This love of Father will motivate us to expand Father’s Kingdom, just as our Love for Jesus motivates us to tell others of what He has done for and can do for them. A sign of a Christian is that He out telling others of Jesus and expanding the Kingdom of Father.

 

How does one expand the Kingdom of Father? By plundering people from the kingdom of darkness through evangelism and healing – both, emotional and physical.

 

(John 17:25 NKJV) "O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."

It is interesting to note that Jesus has not yet had all His prayer answered. Christians are not united, or show the Love of Jesus and many do not acknowledge the gifts, power and leading of Holy Spirit!

 

Having prepared them as best He could and comforted them as much as He could, He went to face His fate!

 

(John 18:1 NKJV) When Jesus had spoken these words, He went out with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered.

Division Two

 

Soon the Brook Kidron would be running red from the blood of the Passover lambs that had been slaughtered. It would be clear as Jesus passed over to begin the sacrifice that would make this the last necessary sacrifice of Passover!

 

If Jesus was going to atone for sin, why did He die at Passover and not on the ‘Day of Atonement? The death of Jesus met the requirements of sins’ punishment, but Passover was more than that! It was the feast of deliverance from bondage and more appropriately signified the ministry of Jesus as stated by Him in Luke 4:18,19 – the freeing of people from the bondage of the kingdom of Satan and the healing them of the damages inflicted on them by the workers of the kingdom of darkness.

 

Jesus could have died for sin at any time! But only at Passover could the association be made of freeing people from bondage for a life in a new and better land! Passover also represented the plundering of Egypt by God! Jesus died at Passover to make it possible for His follower to plunder the kingdom of darkness!

 

It was also appropriate that Pentecost was 50 days later. Fifty is the number of Jubilee – of redemption and restoration – a new start! Pentecost was also the feast of the first fruits (grain harvest) when the grain of wheat (Jesus) that has died and been buried would have borne fruit and be harvested. As Holy Spirit fell at Pentecost the first fruits of the resurrection were harvested.

 

Passover was deliverance

Pentecost, the new life

 

The drama unfolds! – The Arrest, trial and crucifixion

 

Who were the witnesses? Father, Holy Spirit, Angels, people in heaven, demons, Jews, foreigners there for the Passover, some of the Women who followed Him and only one man of his disciples. Spiritually, the universe was at a standstill, watching and waiting for the drama to unfold. Physically, some female followers and a male disciple watched. He was surrounded by mockers and those who denigrated Him. What a contrast! Jesus on the cross, dying for those who were mocking Him!

 


 

Division Two

 

Part One – The Arrest

 

The prophetic foreknowledge of Jesus is emphasized to show that Jesus voluntarily chose to endure what was about to happen. It was not faced in ignorance and uncertainty but in complete knowledge of the effects that the agony would have on Him!

 

It has been a long night for Jesus.  After a day of ministering, He is tired but still has one last chance to teach his disciples and fellowship around a communion meal with them. So He teaches late into the night then does something that always comforts Him – He spends time in a Garden (Father’s world) drawing strength from His relationship with Father. There is where His emotional, mental, spiritual and physical strength comes from to face what is yet to come. It is easy to face something in the future, but the true test is when the executioner is at the door, knocking.

 

In true prayer, like Jesus, we draw strength and comfort from God, to face our trials. The Lord’s Prayer is said by those in enemy territory, facing constant trail and opposition. It comforts them with it promises and strengthens them because they are able to take refuge in its promises and the Love behind those promises

 

(John 18:4 NKJV) Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, "Whom are you seeking?" They answered Him, "Jesus of Nazareth." Jesus said to them, "I am He." And Judas, who betrayed Him, also stood with them.

The people sent to capture Him were so astonished at the fact He was ready for them that they fell backwards in fear. People were not supposed to voluntarily give themselves over to their persecutors and they were afraid that He would do something to them and was just biding His time. They well knew what He had done in His ministry and the power and authority they had shown. They knew of His power over death, life, illness and demons and in fear and defence they recoiled in case He was about to spiritually do something to them.

(John 18:6 NKJV) Now when He said to them, "I am He," they drew back and fell to the ground.

He has to remind them again of their mission because of their apprehension and the possibility of them not arresting Him out of fear or confusion. By His showing He is going voluntarily, they take courage sufficiently to capture Him.

(John 18:7 NKJV) Then He asked them again, "Whom are you seeking?" And they said, "Jesus of Nazareth." I have told you that I am He. Therefore, if you seek Me, let these go their way,"

Once again He protects His followers as He advises them he is going voluntarily with them. To the end He thought of those He loved!

 

(John 18:9 NKJV) that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, "Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none."

Peter epitomizes the well meaning Christian who does what appears to be right without checking with Holy Spirit that it is the right thing to do. He does good at the wrong time and thwarts the plans of God!

 

Peter was going to stop Jesus being arrested which would have effectively killed the trial and crucifixion for a time. This would have ruined the timing of the crucifixion (Passover when the lamb was offered) and when eventually carried out it would not have fulfilled prophecy.

 

In Love, Jesus restores the severed ear and advises Peter He has to follow through on what Father has prepared for Him, even though it will result in His death!

 

There are a lot of confused people around Jesus at this time as things are just not going the way the ‘natural’ man would expect them to be!

 

(John 18:10 NKJV) Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, "Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me? Then the detachment of troops and the captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound Him.

Jesus has just restored a severed ear!, Instead of being awed and circumspect, they still arrest Jesus. One wonders whether they took Jesus or He took them!

The first trial was religious as He had done nothing politically wrong. Satan could not trap Him through using the laws of the land so He trapped Him using the legalistic laws He had penetrated the state religion with. So it will be in the Tribulation!  But the l aws will be the laws of Satan’s religion and not God’s.

Jesus was to die under the civil code as a criminal – an act allowed by Pontius Pilate – even though Jesus had not done anything criminally wrong. His crime was to break the religious code – for which the Jews had the right to kill Him (and Pilate would have said nothing to them for doing it. So what resulted was a compromise. He was killed in a Roman way (crucifixion) as a civil criminal for a religious crime – what a fulfilment of prophetic scripture! If He had been killed by the Jews He would have been stoned to death and scripture would not have been fulfilled! The Sanhedrin, using the Romans to do their ‘dirty work’ actually helped fulfil scripture and established more strongly that Jesus was the Messiah!

(John 18:13 NKJV) And they led Him away to Annas first, for he was Father-in-law of Caiaphas who was high priest that year.

It is uncertain that Caiphas knew what He was saying when He spoke this under the instigation of The Spirit! This shows God is using His enemies for His purposes!

 

Satan is a puppet of Jesus, going only so far as Jesus allows, within the limitations set by Jesus, doing only what He has a legal right to do!

 

If they had know their scriptures as well as they knew their religious rules (or constitution) they would have understood that the prophesies of the Messiah pointed to Jesus. But they were too busy with their theology and keeping their ‘cushy jobs’ to concern themselves with what their Bible really said. Sadly to say, it is still the same nearlt 2000 years later.

 

(John 18:14 NKJV) Now it was Caiaphas who advised the Jews that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

Only two of the followers of Jesus went to the first ‘trial’. Even then they did not admit being His followers! The rest has dispersed in fear and sorrow. Their hopes of a restored Israel and the restoration of the Messiah dashed on the cross. They had not understood that the Kingdom of Jesus was spiritual at that time!

 

(John 18:15 –17 NKJV) And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."

Why was Peter with this group? He had just cut off the ear of one and Jesus had healed it! It was certain they knew who He was! Perhaps He was telling them about Jesus and His miracles (unlikely in view of his answer). Perhaps the soldiers realized that Jesus was being framed? The question is begged! Unfortunately He was only there because He was cold. Here was chance to testify of Jesus, and Peter was too busy concerning himself with fleshly needs and with his own safety.

 

(John 18:18 NKJV) 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.

(John 18:25-27 NKJV) 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!  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? Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.

Division two – Part Two – The Trial of Jesus

The scene shifts to the first trial. His followers having deserted Him, Jesus is now alone. The High Priest is fair. He asks Jesus about His beliefs rather than condemning Him without cause. He also gives Jesus a chance to recant from His teachings and save His life. He was more tolerant than many Christians today!

The trial of Jesus was in the civil court – not the religious one – where the Jewish Sanhedrin could easily have killed him under their religious laws.

The trial broke many of their guidelines when they ‘tried Him at 3.00 AM:

  1. It could not be a trial as it was not in a courthouse
  2. The required number of people (70+1) was not present
  3. It was held at night, and the Sanhedrin could not meet at night
  4. They could not sit that day as it was a Holy day and they were forbidden to sit on Holy days.

It was not a ‘trial’. It was an assembly of religious leaders working out how to get rid of Jesus!

Thus Jesus was handed over to Pilate to put to death, not on religious grounds – which would have made Him a martyr – but on civil grounds – which implied He was a criminal, tarnishing His character and reputation in a way as to blacken it an imply He was the opposite of what He had preached.

Jesus reminds the High Priest that He espoused openly His teachings and that they knew them, even if only through their spy system – let alone the complaints the orthodox Jews would have brought to the High Priest and Sanhedrin.

(John 18:19 NKJV) The high priest then asked Jesus about His disciples and His doctrine. Jesus answered him, "I spoke openly to the world. I always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where the Jews always meet, and in secret I have said nothing. Why do you ask Me? Ask those who have heard Me what I said to them. Indeed they know what I said."

Intimidation did not work either.

 

(John 18:22 NKJV) And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, "Do You answer the high priest like that?"

 

Jesus ignores the humiliation and then throws them the challenge to show where he had done wrong. This they were unable to do and by their subsequent actions judged themselves.

 

(John 18:23 NKJV) Jesus answered him, "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?"

 

It often happens that the power behind the power is not the legally recognized one! Why is Annas questioning Jesus and not the High Priest!

 

(John 18:24 NKJV) Then Annas sent Him bound to Caiaphas the high priest. 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.

 

The power and influence of these two is seen by Pilate going to them rather than demanding they come to Him. Pilate was afraid to cause trouble to the Jews in case they rebelled again.. It would not look good on his service record in Rome. (Pilate was a career politician, who protected Jesus until it appeared this protection was going to cost him his political career!).

 

(John 18:29 NKJV) Pilate then went out to them and said, "What accusation do you bring against this Man?"

 

Note the argument. "We are here because he has done something wrong" and avoided stating what it actually was that Jesus had done wrong. How often has unproved innuendo destroyed the service of a Christian. Satan still has not changed this most effective of weapons.

 

Pilate saw they wanted to 'frame' Jesus and did not want any part of it.

 

(John 18:30 NKJV) They answered and said to him, "If He were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him up to you. Then Pilate said to them, "You take Him and judge Him according to your law." Therefore the Jews said to him, "It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death, that the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which He spoke, signifying by what death He would die.

 

He has a problem. He knew of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem (the sort of entry reserved for kings), the Miracles of Jesus, His teachings and that many expected Jesus to restore Israel’s fortunes as the long awaited Messiah. He had protected Jesus but now had to determine if Jesus really was a threat to Rome.

 

Pilate tries to understand what is going on.  Jesus is now inside the Praetorium and thus ritually defiled.  He who was about to do away with the Passover was ritually defiled and could not partake of it physically!

 

(John 18:33 NKJV) Then Pilate entered the Praetorium again, called Jesus, and said to Him, "Are You the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, "Are you speaking for yourself about this, or did others tell you this concerning Me? Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered You to me. What have You done?"

 

John leaves out the appearance before Herod as this is irrelevant to the main plot – that of the Sanhedrin trying to have the Romans kill Jesus as a civil criminal.

 

Pilate concludes that Jesus is no threat to Rome but is only a 'spiritual dreamer', one of those Rabbi's who preach spiritual things and are of no earthly use.

 

(John 18:36 NKJV) Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight, so that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now My kingdom is not from here Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are You a king then?" Jesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice."

 

Pilate plainly states that according to Roman Law Jesus is innocent. Pilate has concluded there is no danger to his Roman gods from a religious dreamer, who only does good and whose kingdom is ruled after death. This makes the next move of Pilate a criminal one. He is about to commit a crime against Roman Law by allowing an innocent man to be put to death and releasing a guilty one in his place – Jesus Barabbas!

 

Pilate answered a spiritual question with a philosophic one. In a sense he is saying “who is right. The beliefs of Jesus or the Jews?” Of course Roman religion was the only correct one according to Pilate. Perhaps the manner of Jesus at the trial and what He taught may have caused Pilate to question his own beliefs for an instance. Perhaps the beliefs of Jesus were true and Jesus was not dying for something so obviously wrong (according to Roman beliefs).

 

(John 18:38 NKJV) Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, "I find no fault in Him at all.

 

The priests had timed things well. Most people were still asleep – except for those they had woken to support them. There was a possible riot on his hands and bad relationships starting to form with the leaders of the Jewish religion – as if they weren’t enough trouble already to Rome. Pilot still had one possible chance to deliver Jesus but underestimates the power of the priests and their religious bigotry!

 

Pilot compromised himself to please the Jews hoping the people would free Jesus and he would not have to make the decision himself. Jesus had not right to die, let alone be tried by Pilate as He had committed no offence against Roman law. Pilate should have thrown the case out of court, and he would have if he had more troops to control the riot that would have ensued. Instead he hoped to draw on the pity of the crowd as well as their sense of propriety. He had not counted on the crowd being stacked by people who desired the death of Jesus.

 

(John 18:39 NKJV) "But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?"

Talk about a stacked crowd! His disciples were in hiding and only His enemies were there to choose who would be released – a robber or an interfering cleric! (From the result, one could erroneously draw the conclusion that a robber is of more value than a cleric)

 

(John 18:40 NKJV) Then they all cried again, saying, "Not this Man, but Barabbas!" Now Barabbas was a robber.

Even in this Jesus gave His life for a sinner which He would do soon for all who ever lived if they accepted who He was and what He taught as well as what He was about to do.

Division two – Part Three

 

The preparation for the crucifixion commences as a hushed angeldom and gloating demon looked on the scene. Some of the highest demons in evildom gloated over their apparent victory, as their enemy is mocked and tortured.

 

Pilot then state he can find no fault in Jesus, thus compounding his crime even further! Pilate incriminates himself further. He would have dared to have treated a Roman citizen the way He has treated Jesus. What follows should never have happened to Jesus under Roman law and the Pax Romanus.

 

(John 19:1 NKJV) So then Pilate took Jesus and scourged Him. And the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and they put on Him a purple robe. Then they said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they struck Him with their hands.

This was a game Roman soldiers played with royalty that was to be crucified – dressing them as a king, mocking them and then killing them!

 

Pilate publicly acknowledges Jesus is innocent of having broken any statute of government. The fact the Jews still pursue the death of Jesus makes their crime even greater than that of Pilate, who has had to capitulate Jesus to a power stronger than his own for the sake of keeping peace, in what was to Rome a most troublesome city!

 

(John 19:4 NKJV) 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."

Pilate shows a man who has been mocked and tortured and says "look at Him". Pilate was trying to get some compassion for Jesus as well as show the Jews what their choice had resulted in, but legalism has no compassion or mercy as part of its nature.

 

(John 19:5 NKJV) Then Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. And Pilate said to them, "Behold the Man!"

"Look at His condition", he says! But all the religious leaders could think of was removing a threat to their religious, their theological orthodoxy. Pilate is still trying to set Jesus free but the violence of the crowd, both physically and vocally, scares him so he backs off as he is concerned of a possible uprising occurring.

 

(John 19:6 NKJV) 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. 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. Therefore, when Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid,

Pilate tries to find out where Jesus is from. Jesus has not behaved like a man facing death but as a king! His carriage and demeanour have Pilate puzzled and as Pilate is convinced that Jesus is innocent. He pursues the matter further of where Jesus is from!

 

He appeals to the self-preservation instincts of Jesus and queries as to whether Jesus knows Pilate can save or condemn Him. Jesus floors him with his reply as Jesus shows no concern about saving his life and points out to Pilate that authority is delegated from above and not inherent in the person having it (except God, of course).

 

(John 19:9-11 NKJV) and went again into the Praetorium, and said to Jesus, "Where are You from?" But Jesus gave him no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, "Are You not speaking to me? Do You not know that I have power to crucify You, and power to release You?" 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."

What Pilate does not realize is that Jesus has to die and that Jesus is not concerned about His death but in truth being revealed to Pilate. Even on the way to death Jesus was still trying to win a soul for The Father's Kingdom.

 

Jesus did not need to justify Himself.

 

He did not waste words with Pilate or the unbelieving Jews

 

He did not want to stop the events leading to the crucifixion.

 

The crucifixion was necessary but it was purely voluntary on the part of Jesus. Jesus could have stopped it anytime by proving whom He has. It was only His love for us that drove Him on as well as our need of His redemption. (He also did this in loving obedience to Father and Fathers’ purposes.)

 

Pilate now seeks more earnestly to release Jesus but fear of the Jewish leaders prevents Him from doing what He should have done! Their ultimate threat of reporting him to Caesar finally stops him trying to help Jesus.

 

Jesus goes willingly and uncomplainingly to His death!

 

(John 19:12–13 NKJV) 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. 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.

He tries to appeal to the populace by stating that Jesus is their king. They reply that Caesar is their only king effectively threatening Pilate with insurrection if he lets off Jesus and states Jesus is king of the Jews instead of Caesar!

(John 19:14–15 NKJV) Now it was the Preparation Day of the Passover, and about the sixth hour. And he said to the Jews, "Behold your King!  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!"

People who had unwittingly submitted to the Rule of Rome now declared publicly that Rome was their ruler and Caesar their king! Compromise must always occur when truth is avoided.

Division Two –Part Four – The Crucifixion

The gory details of the torture and death of Jesus are omitted by the Gospel writers as everyone was aware then of what actually happened. We are separated by over 1900 years from those times and have little concept of what was done to Jesus. Until the sufferings of Jesus are appreciated it is difficult to appreciate what He went through for us at Calvary.

Then is done to Jesus what He had predicted and had steeled Himself unflinchingly to face. All in the heavenlies stand still as they watch what is about to happen to Jesus!

(John 19:16 –18 NKJV) Then he delivered Him to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus and led Him away.  And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center.

There was no list of crimes nailed above the head of Jesus. There was no crime to nail! No wrong or misdoings to accuse Him of – just a statement by a Gentile!

JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS

Pilate, by the title nailed on the cross above Jesus, stated His amazement at the nobility of Jesus – like that of a conqueror and not a defeated person! Jesus did not complain on the cross or try to justify Himself. He was victorious and was answerable to no man for what He was doing! He was not interested in life! Death had too much to offer Him!

So Christians should long for the presence of Jesus and His pleasures in Heaven than for anything this world can offer! This is the strength of Martyrs - that they realise death is a release to greater things!

(John 19:19 NKJV) Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 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.

The declaration of the nobility and majesty of Jesus, by Pilate, angered the Jewish leaders. That sought to remove any vestige of honour given to Jesus – just as Satan still does!

(John 19:21–22 NKJV) 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.  Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

Prophecy was now to be fulfilled and another testimony to whom Jesus was, now enacted!

(John 19:23 NKJV) 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. 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.

Even in death He considered others

 

(John 19:25 NKJV) Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.  When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!  Then He said to the disciple, "Behold your mother!" And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

Jesus thirsts!

 

Jesus thirsted but it was for heaven and His former estate. But unspiritual men could not see this and thought it was just physical thirst.

 

(John 19:28 NKJV) After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, "I thirst!"

The sour wine!

 

This represents the spirit of the world! This was symbolic of the evil that was around Jesus that had taken Him to the cross. As a final attempt by Satan to mock Jesus, it was given to Him! The old sour wine is the opposite of the sweet new wine of Holy Spirit. Jesus drank the last of the spirit of the old covenant as soon a new spirit would be released – the spirit of the new covenant – Holy Spirit!!

 

(John 19:29 NKJV) 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.

Who was this ‘good Samaritan’ who took pity on Jesus and tried to alleviate His suffering a little with a primitive anaesthetic? If it was a disciple we would have been told. Whoever it was, he was not afraid to risk the wrath of the mob or of Rome to comfort to Jesus in his hour of greatest suffering.

 

Jesus is no longer suffering, so we cannot comfort Him as such. There is sadness at the rejection of what He offers people though, and in this we can comfort Him with our love and attempting to tell these people of what He offers them in the hope they will turn to Him and the relationship He offers them!

 

It is finished!

 

With these words the physical life of Jesus finished. Why this actual time was chosen no-one but God knows. All we know is that Jesus voluntarily gave up His Spirit and as such was the only person in history to do so!

 

What is finished (completed):

 

            His work for Father on earth

            His sacrificial death

            The power of evil over the followers of Father

            The effects of the curses of the Law and The Fall

 

(John 19:30 NKJV) So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, "It is finished!" And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

On the hill (Mount Moriah) where Abraham was to have sacrificed his son; where the offerings of the temple were sacrificed, on the same mount was Golgotha, where Jesus was sacrificed! ‘Moriah’ means ‘God will provide’! How well did God provide in Jesus !!!

 

The followers of Jesus watch their hopes die. They see Him nailed to a cross, His clothes distributed and His death occur! They cannot understand why he had not delivered himself or healed himself. He who had power over life and death, who could command legions of angels, who could heal and do miracles in nature, had just died on a lowly wooden cross as a common criminal. They just cannot understand it. He no longer seems to have come from God – the Messiah – but appears to be a broken, defeated man.

 

In spite of all Jesus has told them to comfort them, His disciples are devastated! They have lost sight of the spiritual aspect of the death of Jesus as the physical was so overpowering. They have lost their faith in Jesus and His promises!

 

His return (resurrection) seems impossible! Their faith in this is not helped when Jesus gives permanent care of His mother to a disciple. The disciples still have not understood the final words of Jesus – that His kingdom is not of this earth and that He will send another to take His place.

 

Their faith is at an all time low! Apart from shock, depression had set in. Depression is a form of unbelief that God is in charge of all circumstances and that what is happening is best for your eventual good – if not in this life, in the next!

 

The demons rejoice! The angles and heaven are aghast and all waits in suspense to see what is going to happen.

 

And so ends the this part of the drama with evil apparently victorious. But the tables are about to be turned!

 

The victor, vanquished!

The vanquished, victor!

Division Three – The Resurrection

 

The Jews taught what was necessary for their religion – not necessarily what God wanted taught! In spite of being raised on the Old Testament they knew nothing of the Messiah’s resurrection. It is like the churches today, that teach theology but not salvation, correct obedience to church authority but do not teach how to have a personal relationship with Jesus or to release the Power of Holy Spirit in their lives.

 

Jesus was buried in a tomb

 

Jesus had never sinned but still suffered the curses of the Law and the Fall (death and separation from God). Jesus was unjustly put to death so Father negated this punishment as it was not applicable to Jesus and restored Him to the relationship He had through raising Him to life and restoring His position (relationship) with God to what it was before the curses of the fall were unjustly placed on Jesus through His being born into a world under the curses of the fall.

 

(John 19:40,42 NKJV) 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.  So there they laid Jesus, because of the Jews' Preparation Day, for the tomb was nearby.

Jesus was laid in the tomb before sundown (the Jewish day began at sundown) while the Passover He had just made redundant, was celebrated – even by His disciples. To the Jews, Jesus was no longer relevant – an irritation gone. And so they continued to observe the Passover and retain the religious status quo.

 

The Resurrection was not necessary for Salvation – that was accomplished at the cross! Why then did it occur?

 

  1. To Fulfil Scripture

    

  1. To prove He was the Messiah and could fulfil what He had said at the Last Supper

 

  1. To encourage the faith of His followers (He had been to where the promised mansions and rewards were!)

 

  1. To give them their commissioning (the Great Commission)

 

  1. To tell them to wait for Holy Spirit

 

  1. To hand them over to Holy Spirit (“Receive Ye The Spirit”)

 

  1. To give warning to Satan He was coming back to take back His world!

 

Jesus could have sent an angel to do most of these, but He loved his followers so much He came personally. They were His “little children!”

 

The resurrection is discovered.

 

Soon after His burial, Jesus rose. The demons howled as they could not stop it but watched helplessly as Jesus took His rightful place in the scheme of things. Their greatest triumph had really been their greatest defeat!

 

How different are God’s ways to ours. So often we see defeat when it is really God’s preparation for something greater!

 

Jesus forever honoured the importance of women by giving one the privilege of discovering His resurrection. Women seem to have a special place in God’s heart. They seem to have a greater capacity to express God’s love than men do and will go further than a man will in doing this.

 

(John 20:1 NKJV) Now on 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.

Mary went and told the men who finally came to the tomb, saw it was  empty and only then believed. Jesus had told them he was going to rise from the dead but it had not yet sunk in with some and others did not believe it! And this was with people who had actually been with Him! No wonder Jesus calls a blessing on those who will believe without seeing Him!

 

Interesting comment. They still do not know the scriptures about His rising from the dead! What did Jesus teach them then? He must have taught them the principles of living in Father’s Kingdom and ignored teaching them about His coming resurrection. Why?  He did not consider it important for them to know before the event! I cannot believe Jesus overlooked it! What then did He teach? What was relevant to them – their relationship with Father, Holy Spirit and He as well as what was required of them as citizens of Father’s Kingdom!

 

The other surprise is that the Jews did not teach that the Messiah would be resurrected! As they too did not know the scriptures in regards to this but they are there as Jesus explained them to the disciple on the Emmeus road.

 

(John 20:8 NKJV) Then the other disciple, who came to the tomb first, went in also; and he saw and believed. For as yet they did not know the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead.

We now have an interesting event. Jesus had risen and the men now believed. What did they do? They neglected everything Jesus had told them and went back to their former lifestyles! One would have thought they would have screamed the place down that Jesus had risen and had proved who He said He was! They did, but only after Holy Spirit had filled them. This passage shows how necessary Holy Spirit’s infilling (empowerment/anointing)  is if one is to do the work of Jesus as He did it.

 

(John 20:10 NKJV) Then the disciples went away again to their own homes.

In view of the reaction of Mary, their response seems almost callous! Mary missed Jesus but the men seemed disinterested as if all was finished with His death. Once again the Love of a woman is shown to be deeper than the love of men!

(John 20:11 NKJV) But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb.

Mary was given another great privilege. Two angels (Not one!) were sent to tell her what had happened.. Mary was probably not at the table at last supper but would have been serving the men so probably did not know about the resurrection promise of Jesus!

 

(John 20:12 NKJV) And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him."

Then came the greatest privilege of all! Jesus loved her much and came personally to comfort her and explain to her what had happened!!!!!

 

She was the first person to see the risen Jesus as she was the only one who had come to mourn Him publicly and had wept over His tomb. She, who had been forgiven much, loved much.

 

(John 20:14 NKJV) Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, "Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.  Jesus said to her, "Mary!" She turned and said to Him, "Rabboni!" (which is to say, Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father; but go to My brethren and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.'"

Then those who should have taught her were taught by her as she repeated all that Jesus had told her!

 

(John 20:18 NKJV) Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things to her.

The disciples were afraid and had hid. They had not yet received the infilling of Holy Spirit and so were still working accordingly to reason and the Flesh. Then Jesus appeared to them. I think the word ‘glad’ was a slight understatement. I think they would have ‘shouted the roof off’ after their initial shock!

(John 20:19 NKJV) 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. When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.

Jesus then gave them direction and commissioning! As well as the Holy Spirit He had promised to them! This was where they first received Holy Spirit. The events of Pentecost could not occur until Jesus had left. In a sense, Pentecost was a refilling as they had already received Holy Spirit.

 

Holy Spirit marked them as belonging to Jesus but would not usurp the authority or Glory of Jesus by working while He was still on earth. The role of Holy Spirit is to point to Jesus and not to replace Him. Pentecost was when Holy Spirit came as Jesus had left earth by then and Holy Spirit would not be interfering with the Glory of Jesus.

 

Jesus, however, gave them Holy Spirit before Pentecost. Why then Pentecost? This was a special endowment for service. All believers in Jesus have Holy Spirit in them, but a special endowment of Holy Spirit’s character (Power and Attributes) is given for the purposes of a specific ministering to people.

 

(John 20:21 NKJV) So Jesus said to them again, "Peace to you! As Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive Holy Spirit.

The disciples did not receive power to forgive sins as only Jesus had that. Jesus was reminding them the importance of forgiveness, that we ourselves cannot receive forgiveness if we have not forgiven others! This was to be an important attitude in ministry as it meant the disciples were to overlook the offences (failings) of others, and to deal with others in the love and compassion that Jesus had shown as H had dealt with them.

 

The Greek word for ‘sin’ means to fall short of the required standard to reach the prize offered. Only when God’s requirements are not met is there a problem. The eternal consequences of ‘sin’ were dealt with at the cross so the disciples did not need to deal with that aspect. What was left for them to deal with was the personal interaction problems caused, as well as any physical or demonic consequence flowing from the ‘sinful’ action. Sin is an attitude that results in an event occurring. Sinning is the carrying out of the attitude.

 

(John 20:23 NKJV "If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Jesus loves those whose faith is weak and tries to help them as showed by the way He treated Thomas and his unbelief! Thomas was so convinced Jesus had not risen he even called the other disciple liars – even though they had seen Jesus. Thomas was an unlikely candidate for a visit from a risen God! But in His love for Thomas, Jesus showed Himself to Thomas.

 

(John 20:25 NKJV) 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. 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! 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. And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"

Jesus pronounces a blessing then on those who believe without seeing Him! That blessing also applies to us.

 

(John 20:29 NKJV) Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Jesus still had the problem of getting His disciple to do His commission as they had gone back to their former occupations. They had seen Jesus, received Holy Spirit but had ignored both to go back to their former livelihoods! They had not yet realised that the Kingdom of Jesus was spiritual and had gone back to fleshly pursuits, but to fair, they had not yet been set apart by Jesus for ministry or given the ‘Great Commission!’

 

The last meal Jesus had on earth was with them as He prepared them for His death. The first meal after the resurrection was also with them as He prepared them to do His work! The importance of the family meal together and fellowship meal is highlighted here as bonds are forged and strengthened that would not otherwise be.

 

John 21:1 After these things Jesus showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and in this way He showed Himself :John 21:4 But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.

Even though they had not done what He requested He still loved them and met their needs.

John 21:5-8 Then Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any food?" They answered Him, "No! And He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast, and now they were not able to draw it in because of the multitude of fish. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea. But the other disciples came in the little boat (for they were not far from land, but about two hundred cubits), dragging the net with fish.

John 21:9 Then, as soon as they had come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid on it, and bread. Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish which you have just caught." Simon Peter went up and dragged the net to land, full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not broken. Jesus said to them, "Come and eat breakfast." Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?"; knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then came and took the bread and gave it to them, and likewise the fish.

I think they were ashamed, being preoccupied with the things of the earth and ignoring the things of God. What a warning to Christians to be doing the Master’s work, for you know not what hour He may come! They were minding their own business and He just turned up! How embarrassing to be doing worldly things when the rapture occurs!

 

Peter then received a personal commission to the house of Israel! to the lost sheep of God. The importance of Peter’s mission was emphasized by it being repeated three times!

 

Feed Lambs: Nurture new Christians

Tend Sheep:: Look after their emotional and physical needs – (pastoral care)

Feed His Sheep: Food to make them grow spiritually (sound teaching) and reproduce spiritually

 

Jesus was so concerned that His followers would continue to grow spiritually that twice He requests Peter to feed (teach) them spiritually so they would continue to grow spiritually.

 

Conversion is not the end of our knowledge of Jesus. A person must be taught how to live a Christian life outside the influence of the Ekklesia as a citizen of the Kingdom of Father and also how to reproduce spiritually. This is what Jesus expects of His followers and this is what He is emphasising to Peter! This was also the warning to the Lukewarm ‘Christians’ in Revelation Ch 3:1-5.

 

It is to be noted that John does not mention the ‘Great Commission’. In a sense though, what He asks of Peter is the basis of the Great Commission and can only really be done properly in the Love we have for others to know Jesus and be like Him.

 

John 21:15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Feed My lambs." He said to him again a second time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" He said to Him, "Yes, Lord; You know that I love You." He said to him, "Tend My sheep.” He said to him the third time, "Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?" Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, "Do you love Me?" And he said to Him, "Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You." Jesus said to him, "Feed My sheep.

Peter was then told the price of His obedience to this commission. The only disciple to be so told personally by Jesus. Jesus dealt with the leader of the disciples on the principle that the others would follow if Peter followed. Peter has just been told to ‘count the cost’ of following Jesus – His life! So it is with all that would truly follow Jesus. While it may not be actual physical death, it must at least be death to self so that the ‘flesh’ does not rule us!

 

John 21:18 "Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish. This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, "Follow Me."

Conclusion

 

Jesus left the earth soon after this so Holy Spirit could come and minister. The disciples were to wait for power from on high! They had His authority and Holy Spirit in them but had not the power of Holy Spirit upon them yet so they were without the power to enact the authority.

 

They had to wait until Holy Spirit came upon them before they could commence their allocated work for Jesus and do the will of Father.

 

It they had commenced without The Spirit’s power they would have had to rely on reason and tradition – which is the situation in most traditional churches today. They have the authority of man and not the empowerment of Holy Spirit so they must rely on administration, theology, reason and church law. Accordingly Christology has been replaced by sociology and psychology (Which are more reasonable to the reason than faith and miracles) – theology and reason has replaced faith while management has replaced Holy Spirit’s leading. Church growth programs are big business today as without The Spirit one must rely on reason and programs to do the work of God and preserve the denomination. Having paid ‘lip service’ to the Authority of Jesus, the power and gifts of Holy Spirit and Father's provision they must fall back on their own reasoned devices – ignoring all the lessons of the Last Supper!

The Kingdom is only demonstrated by its Power and Authority over Satan an until the church expresses this authority it will not be able to fully do the work of Jesus and carry out the commission He gave to all Christians.

hapters 13 to 22 of John are not meant to be a theological dissertation. Jesus is never recorded as teaching in a theological way but always in basic truths and examples, uncluttered by mans reasonings and conjectures. These chapters expound simple truths, told by a teacher to His students (close friends) whom He loved, and whom He was trying to comfort because of distress caused to them through His advising them of His imminent death and coming absence from them.

 

It is about His love for them, shown by His provision to comfort them (Holy Spirit) and preparation for them to be with Him after their death (Mansion in heaven) as well as praying for them in the Garden.

 

There are very simple messages in these chapters. Jesus is saying to them I am going to leave you for a little time. Don’t be concerned as I am preparing a place for you to be with Me. Meanwhile, I will send Holy Spirit to help you do the work I have given you.

 

These chapters are about the Love of God being revealed through a teacher to His friends and students He is soon to leave as well as demonstrating His Love for us which caused Him to knowingly suffering agonising death on the cross..

 

These are the final lessons of The Master before His death!


 

Other books I have published through lulu.com

Deliverance - how Jesus taught me to do it

Holiness

Spiritual Warfare

Faith, Hope and Love

Calvary, Sin and Redemption

The Father and The Trinity

'Who is Jesus The Christ' and 'Jesus my Love'

The Humanising of Jesus

The Holy Spirit

Jesus, Satan and You

The Silent War

Judgment on the Nations

'The Body' and Fellowship'

Faith

Unbroken Chains

Suffering

The Church and The Kingdom of God

On Christian Doctrine and Practice

The Kingdom of God



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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