The Woman’s Study Bible N E W
I N T E R N A T I O N A L
V E R S I O N
E d it o ria l Co m m i t t ee
Dorothy Kelley Patterson Rhonda Harrington Kelley General Editor, First Edition Managing Editor, First Edition
Jan Dargatz Topical Notes Contributing Editor, Second Edition
Helen Rhea Stumbo Ann L. Bowman History Gospels, Acts
Jeanne Hendricks Portraits
Constance N. Wieler Poetry
Janice Meier General Consultant
Sharon Sterrenburg Pentateuch
Patty Comber Paul’s Letters
Paula Rinehart Mary Kassian Major Prophets General Letters, Revelation Karen H. Jobes Minor Prophets
Carmen Leigh Howell Index
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T h e W o m a n ’ s S t u d y B i b l e , NI V Copyright © 2012 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Bible map collection © 2008 by GeoNova. The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by Permission. All rights reserved worldwide. “New International Version” and “NIV” are registered trademarks of Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. The NIV Concordance copyright © 1982, 1984, 2011 by Zondervan. All rights reserved. The NIV® text may be quoted in any form (written, visual, electronic or audio), up to and inclusive of five hundred (500) verses without the express written permission of the publisher, providing the verses quoted do not amount to a complete book of the Bible nor do the verses quoted account for twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total text of the work in which they are quoted. Notice of copyright must appear on the title or copyright page as follows: Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™ When quotations from the NIV® text are used by a local church in non-saleable media such as church bulletins, orders of service, posters, overhead transparencies, or similar materials, a complete copyright notice is not required, but the initials (NIV®) must appear at the end of each quotation. Any commentary or other Biblical reference work produced for commercial sale, that uses the NIV® text must obtain written permission for use of the NIV® text. Permission requests for commercial use within the USA and Canada that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to and approved in writing by Zondervan, 5300 Patterson Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49530, USA. www.Zondervan.com Permission requests for commercial use within the UK, EU and EFTA that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to and approved in writing by Hodder & Stoughton Limited, 338 Euston Road, London NW1 3BH, United Kingdom. www.Hodder.co.uk Permission requests for non-commercial use that exceeds the above guidelines must be directed to and approved in writing by Biblica US, Inc., 1820 Jet Stream Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80921, USA. www.Biblica.com Any Internet addresses (websites, blogs, etc.) and telephone numbers in this Bible are offered as a resource. They are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement by Zondervan, nor does Zondervan vouch for the content of these sites and numbers for the life of the Bible. All rights reserved. Printed in China 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 RRD 15 14 13 12 A portion of the purchase price of your NIV® Bible is provided to Biblica so together we support the mission of Transforming lives through God’s Word. Biblica provides God’s Word to people through translation, publishing and Bible engagement in Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and North America. Through its worldwide reach, Biblica engages people with God’s Word so that their lives are transformed through a relationship with Jesus Christ.
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John A u t h o r
The apostle John was the son of Zebedee, a seemingly well-to-do man (Mk 1:20), and Salome, who was the sister of Jesus’ mother Mary (Jn 19:25; see also Mt 27:56,61; Mk 15:40,47). John wrote his Gospel toward the end of his life. Scholars have long debated the authorship of the Gospel since it claims only to have been written by the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 21:20,24). Clement of Alexandria called the Gospel of John the “spiritual Gospel.” John (lit. “Yahweh has been gracious”) was joined by Peter and James in Jesus’ inner circle (Mk 5:37; 9:2; 14:33). As fishermen, John and his brother James lived in Capernaum. Jesus labeled them Boanerges (lit. “sons of thunder,” Mk 3:17). John and Peter were described as “unschooled, ordinary men” (Ac 4:13). John referred to himself throughout this Gospel as “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (Jn 21:20,24). He was an eyewitness to the life and ministry of Jesus and ministered longer than any other disciple. John was present at the Last Supper (Jn 13:23–26), stood at the cross with Jesus’ mother (Jn 19:25–27), accompanied Peter to the empty tomb (Jn 20:2–10) and recognized Jesus after his resurrection (Jn 21:7). John is also credited with writing the letters of 1, 2 and 3 John as well as the book of Revelation. He played an active role in the Jerusalem church (Ac 3:1) and later served as pastor of the church at Ephesus. The book of Revelation was written while he was in exile on the island of Patmos during the reign of Emperor Domitian (Rev 1:9). D a t e
Most scholars believe that John’s Gospel was the last of the four Gospels to be written. Although dates have been suggested from AD 60 to 90, church tradition narrows the date to sometime between AD 80 and 95. B a c k g r o u n d
SETTING: Irenaeus supports the theory that John wrote the Gospel when he lived in Ephesus, a large and cosmopolitan city housing one of the largest Christian communities in the Gentile world of the first century. PURPOSE: The Gospel of John presents Jesus as the divine Word, the Logos (Gk., lit. “Word”), the Christ and the Son of God. Jesus is the Revealer and Redeemer. He is the sacrificial “Lamb” who came to take away “the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). John’s Gospel is often seen as the most evangelistic of the four Gospels. AUDIENCE: John wrote this evangelistic Gospel to fellow Jews, encouraging them to confess Jesus as the Christ. The Jews who accepted Christ were expelled from the synagogue and were persecuted by the Jewish community. John’s Gospel helped provide the Christian community with purpose and identity.
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LITERARY CHARACTERISTICS: The Gospel of John is a theological retelling of history. It is written in narrative form. While it does not contain parables, as do Matthew, Mark and Luke, the book does record allegories and extended discourses used by Jesus in his teaching ministry. T h e m e s
More than any other book in the New Testament, John introduces Jesus as the unique Son of God (Jn 20:31). The Gospel begins with an introduction (Jn 1:1–51), then proceeds into the ministry of Christ (Jn 2:1—4:54), the opposition he experienced (Jn 5:1—12:50) and finally his deeds and words (Jn 13:1—21:25). O u t l i n e
Introduction: The Prologue (1:1–18) I. Jesus’ Preparation for Public Ministry (1:19–51) A. The ministry of John the Baptist (1:19–34) B. Jesus’ calling of his disciples (1:35–51) II. Jesus’ Public Ministry (2:1—4:54) A. The first miracle: water to wine (2:1–12) B. The cleansing of the temple (2:13–25) C. Jesus’ encounter with Nicodemus (3:1–21) D. The affirmation of Jesus by John the Baptist (3:22–36) E. Jesus’ witness to the Samaritan woman (4:1–42) F. Jesus’ arrival in Galilee (4:43–54) III. Jesus’ Opposition (5:1—12:50) A. Jesus’ healing at the pool of Bethesda (5:1–15) B. Jesus’ authority (5:16–47) C. The events around the Sea of Galilee (6:1–71) 1. The feeding of the five thousand (6:1–14) 2. Jesus walking on the sea (6:15–21) 3. Jesus as the bread of life (6:22–40) 4. Jesus’ rejection (6:41–71) D. Jesus and the Festival of Tabernacles (7:1–53) E. Jesus’ discourse (8:1–59) 1. The adulterous woman (8:1–11) 2. Jesus as the light of the world (8:12–59) F. Jesus’ healing of a man born blind (9:1–41) G. Jesus as the Shepherd (10:1–42) H. Jesus and Lazarus (11:1–57) I. The final days of public ministry (12:1–50)
1. Jesus’ anointing by Mary (12:1–8) 2. The plot to kill Lazarus (12:9–11) 3. The Triumphal Entry (12:12–19) 4. Jesus’ response to the Greeks (12:20–36) 5. Jewish unbelief (12:37–50) IV. Jesus’ Final Deeds and Words (13:1—21:25) A. Jesus’ private ministry to his disciples (13:1—16:33) 1. The washing of the disciples’ feet (13:1–17) 2. The identification of Judas as the betrayer (13:18–30) 3. The giving of a new commandment (13:31–35) 4. The prediction of Peter’s denial (13:36–38) 5. Jesus as the only way to the Father (14:1–11) 6. Prayer and the Holy Spirit (14:12–31) 7. Jesus as the vine (15:1–17) 8. The world’s hatred and rejection of Jesus (15:18—16:4) 9. The work of the Holy Spirit (16:5–33) B. Jesus’ high priestly prayer (17:1–26) C. Jesus’ arrest and trials (18:1—19:16) D. Jesus’ death and burial (19:17–42) E. Jesus’ resurrection (20:1—21:25) 1. Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances (20:1–29) 2. John’s purpose in writing (20:30–31) 3. Jesus and the disciples in Galilee (21:1–14) 4. Jesus’ forgiveness and restoration of Peter (21:15–25)
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1402 The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome a it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 chil dren born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 14 The Word became flesh and made his dwell ing among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of g race and truth. 15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed 1:1–2 Jesus Christ has always existed and will exist eternally. He is the living Word. Jesus and God the Father, along with the Holy Spirit, have always had an intimate relationship as the triune God. Jesus is God who took on a human body and nature in order to redeem mankind (see chart, The Definitive Christological Passages). 1:4 Gnosticism, a dualistic heresy that reached its full strength in the second and third centuries AD, regarded the spiritual as being inherently good and the earthly (that is, the created world) as inherently evil. Asceticism is another response to this concept that the created order is inherently evil. John may have emphasized Christ’s humanity in his Gospel in order to combat the beginnings of the philosophical-spiritual ideology called Gnosticism. Gnostics believed that the spirit world contained many different levels of knowledge and that everyone must ascend through them to achieve gno¯sis (Gk.), a secret inner knowledge resulting in salvation and available only to those who had their consciousness raised to such a level. Gnostics argued that through Christ they had experienced a spiritual resurrection and had arrived at knowledge (Gk., gno¯sis). Therefore, since the sins of the body were totally unconnected with the spiritual life, they were free on a spiritual plane to worship God through Christ Jesus and on a physical plane to do as they pleased. Paul strongly taught against this viewpoint as did the early church fathers (2Co 7:1; Eph 4:17–24). First Timothy 1:3–7 and Jude 3–19 may also refer to teachers of incipient (or developing) Gnosticism.
me because he was before me.’ ”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and b is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah 19 Now
this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders c in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say a bout yourself ?” 23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wil derness, ‘Make s traight the way for the Lord.’ ” d a 5 Or understood b 18 Some manuscripts but the only Son, who c 19 The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in John’s Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19. d 23 Isaiah 40:3
Since Gnostics believed the flesh is always evil, they taught that a sinless Christ could not have become truly human. Gnostics were divided over the incarnation. The Docetic Gnostics claimed that Christ’s human body was only an illusion, while Cerinthian Gnostics taught that God’s divine spirit filled the human Jesus at his baptism but fled before his death. Like all other tenets of Gnostic belief, Scripture refutes both of these positions (Col 1:15– 18; Heb 2:14; 1Jn 4:2–6; see 1Co 1, Heresies; Gal 4, Christology; Eph 2, Salvation). 1:14 Jesus Christ, the eternal Word of God and Second person of the Trinity, “became flesh.” To his divine nature he added a perfect human nature. As Paul later explained, this involved his having “taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness” (Php 2:7). As the incarnate God, his wholly divine and perfectly human natures are forever united—without change, mixture or separation—in one person (Jn 10:30; Col 2:9; 1Jn 1:1–5). “Made his dwelling” (Gk., ske¯ noo¯, sharing its root with ske¯ne¯, lit. “tent”) refers to the fact that God dwelt temporarily among his people as the perfect God-Man, Jesus Christ, just as God manifested his presence to his people in the tabernacle in the wilderness (Ex 24:16; 40:35; see chart, The Plan of the Tabernacle). 1:23 John the Baptist was thought by some to be the prophet Isaiah (see Isa 40:3), while others believed he was Elijah. The Jews believed that Elijah would appear on earth before the Messiah would come, and John resem-
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THE DEFINITIVE CHRISTOLOGICAL PASSAGES the christ
his divine relationship
his divine work
his divine name
his divine nature
The Gospel of John (Jn 1; 14)
The Word (Jn 1:1,14) Radiant glory (Jn 1:14; 14:7) One and only (Jn 1:14,18) Son (Jn 3:16)
Creation of all (Jn 1:1–3) Salvation (Jn 1:12–13)
Theos (Gk., lit. God) (Jn 1:1,18)
Fully God (Jn 1:18; 14:6) Fully man (Jn 1:14)
The letter to the Philippians (Php 2)
Form of God (Php 2:6) Equal with God (Php 2:6) Servant (Php 2:7)
Salvation (Php 2:6–8)
Theos (Gk., lit. God) (Php 2:6)
Fully God (Php 2:6) Fully man (Php 2:7–8)
The letter to the Colossians (Col 1; 2)
The image of the invisible God (Col 1:15,19) Firstborn (Col 1:15,18) The Son he [God] loves (Col 1:13)
Creation of all (Col 1:16–18) Salvation (Col 1:4–5,19–22; 2:6,13–15)
Theotétos (Gk., lit. Godhead) (Col 2:9)
Fully God (Col 1:19; 2:9) Fully man (Col 2:9)
The letter to the Hebrews (Heb 1; 2)
The revelation of God (Heb 1:2) Firstborn (Heb 1:6) Son (Heb 1:2,5,8)
Creation of all (Heb 1:2–3,10) Salvation (Heb 1:3; 2:10–11)
Theos (Gk., lit. God) (Heb 1:8)
Fully God (Heb 1:3) Fully man (Heb 1:6; 2:14–18)
24 Now the Pharis ees who had been sent 25 ques tioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26 “I baptize with a water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.” 28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John Testifies About Jesus 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
bled Elijah. He dressed like a prophet; he was rugged; he lived in the wilderness; and, like Elijah, he was a prophet. Jesus praised John as a great prophet and he was popular among the Jews of his day. His ministry began near the Jordan River around AD 26. He was sent as a “voice” to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah.
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is G od’s Chosen One.” b
John’s Disciples Follow Jesus 1:40-42pp —Mt 4:18-22; Mk 1:16-20; Lk 5:2-11 35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus pass ing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” 37 When the two disciples heard him say this,
a 26 Or in; also in verses 31 and 33 (twice) b 34 See
Isaiah 42:1; many manuscripts is the Son of God.
1:29 John called Jesus the Lamb of God. In this title, John pictured the Passover lamb slain at the time of deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian slavery (see Ex 12:12–13). To the Jews, the slaughtered lamb represented meekness, innocence, sacrifice, redemption and the substitutionary forgiveness of sins (see chart, The Plan of the Tabernacle).
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Perspective john 1:38
1404 y Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli (From Forever in Love With b Jesus, 65–68)
Jesus, God’s Refreshing Word
When The Word spoke the world into being in Genesis, it was Jesus, in the mystery of the Trinity, speaking the world into existence. When “the Word of the Lord came to Hosea,” it was Jesus, in the mystery of the Trinity, speaking to Hosea. When the law was given to Moses, it was Jesus communicating to the heart of his people. Not only does the Word include memra, or God’s supportive presence among his people, but it contains the Law: the words, and the holy judgment of God as seen in the Torah. (The Torah is the first five books of Moses: Genesis through Deuteronomy.) This communicative aspect of the Word has both a terrible and wonderful side. It can feel terrible when it convicts us of sin. It can seem harsh when you read of someone being cast out into the outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. It can be wonderful when we hear how wide and high his love is, when he tells us he will never leave us and when he promises us that one day, we will no longer weep. Because God is always good and just, what may seem terrible is not. It is a holy mystery. The picture of Jesus coming on a white horse one day with fire in his eyes and a sword in his mouth causes us to tremble. And yet, that day is when he is waging war against all the enemies of his bride, because he is holy and just. We have come to love this picture of Jesus because we see the sword being used on our behalf and in our defense. The sword, Paul told us in Ephesians 6, represents the Word of God, and we can use it, as well, to defeat our spiritual enemies. When the enemy comes, and he will, we can use the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, against him. Jesus, as the Word, is here with us and is filled with wisdom, power and comfort. And as he, through his Spirit and his Word, falls upon hearts eager to receive, he cannot help but produce fruit. Hosea talked about the Lord coming to us “like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth” (6:3). Likewise, Isaiah extends the analogy, and in his picture is an exciting truth: As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (55:10–11). Do you see? Once rain and snow have started falling, they never suddenly reverse their course. In the same way, once The Word has started speaking into our hearts, it doesn’t all of a sudden, like a child say, “I take it back.” Once he has started a new creative work in us, he will bring it to completion (Php 1:6).
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?” 39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. 40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to J esus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter a ).
ilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 “Nazar eth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked. “Come and see,” said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
1:38 Rabbi (lit. “great one,” “master,” or “teacher”) was a title of respect used by students of their wise teachers. The title later became especially identified with the teachers of the Law of Moses.
1:46 Jesus gave prominence to Nazareth, a city not mentioned in the OT. Located between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea, Nazareth was Jesus’ hometown, where he grew from boyhood to manhood. With
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Gal
Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.
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1405 48 “How
do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” 49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” 50 Jesus said, “You believe a because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, b you b will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ c the Son of Man.”
Jesus Changes Water Into Wine
jesus’ miracles among women miracle
Healing Peter’s motherin-law
Mt 8:14–15 Mk 1:30–31 Lk 4:38–39
Raising Jairus’s daughter
Mt 9:18,23–25 Mk 5:22,24,35–42 Lk 8:40–42,49–55
Healing the hemorrhaging woman
Mt 9:20–22 Mk 5:25–34 Lk 8:43–48
Healing the Canaanite woman’s daughter
Mt 15:21–28 Mk 7:24–30
Raising the widow of Nain’s son
Healing the crippled woman
Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana at request of Jesus’ mother
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, d why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do what ever he t ells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for cerem onial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. e 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they f illed them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have s aved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
The Greek is plural. The Greek for Woman does not e denote any disrespect. 6 Or from about 75 to about 115 liters
Nathanael’s question, John revealed Nazareth’s poor reputation. The people of Nazareth would later reject Jesus (see Mk 6:4, note). 2:1–2 The wedding at Cana was attended by Jesus, his mother and his disciples. The town was located in Galilee, although its exact location is unknown. A wedding in Jesus’ day could last as long as a week (see Weddings). To run out of wine was an embarrassing and inhospitable offense for the wedding host. At the request of his mother Mary, Jesus performed the first miracle of his public ministry by turning water into wine (see chart, Jesus’ Miracles Among Women). 2:4 Jesus showed no disrespect when he addressed his mother as “woman” instead of “mother.” His public ministry had begun, and with the cross before him, he was possibly putting some distance between himself and his mother to spare her added suffering. This polite form of
address was used by Jesus in addressing other women (Jn 4:21; 20:13; see Mt 15:28; Lk 13:12). Mary acknowledged her own confidence in her son and approval of his independent action as she instructed the servants to follow his instructions. Although Jesus was still her son, he was now more than her child: he was her Lord. Jesus was aware of God’s timing regarding his mission on earth. A miracle or “sign” would help the people understand his identity and purpose. 2:6 The water jars, often made of clay but sometimes of stone, were vessels used for storing water. Each water jar contained about 17 to 25 gallons of water. Six water jars would have held 100 to 150 gallons. The Jews used water for cleansing and purification rituals, and these large stone water jars probably stored the water used for washing. Smaller water jars were used by women to transport water from wells.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
Jesus Clears the Temple Courts 2:14-16pp —Mt 21:12,13; Mk 11:15-17; Lk 19:45,46 13 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. 15 So he made a whip out
a 50 Or Do you believe . . . ? b 51 c 51 Gen. 28:12 d 4
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w e d d i n g s
1406 A Public Commitment
In Bible times, the period of engagement (or betrothal) was spent in preparation—the groom preparing a home for his bride and the bride preparing herself and her trousseau. When the time came for the marriage to be consummated, the groom went to the bride’s home (often at an unannounced time) to accompany her to his home where they met friends of the two families, as arranged by the groom, not the bride (see Jdg 14:5–11; Mt 25:1–13). Wedding celebrations generally lasted a week, during which time the bride and groom dressed and were treated as royalty amidst festivities and the presentation of gifts (Ge 29:27; Jdg 14:12–18; Jn 2:1–11). In the modern era, weddings range from formal, solemn ceremonies to informal, private gatherings. The type of ceremony is not necessarily important, but these Biblical criteria are: (1) The marriage should be established in the name of the Lord Jesus (Mk 10:9), and (2) Thanks should be given to God (Col 3:17). A wedding should be a time of worship and should celebrate each marriage partner’s commitment grounded in the love of God. Weddings are much more than beautiful gowns, crowds of people and expensive decorating. A wedding is a time of COMMITMENT. It should include worship and giving thanks to God as well as the celebrating of the wonderful blessing God has given both the bride and groom. The wedding ceremony is an appropriate time to reflect on the example of unconditional love, which God has demonstrated (Ro 5:8). The couple should commit to follow the Lord in their home no matter what circumstances arise and “’til death do us part” (see Mt 19:6). The importance of this permanency of the union grows out of the fact that the vows are not merely between one man and one woman but include the heavenly Father himself, and also because such commitment is modeled after Christ’s commitment to the church (Eph 5:21–33). See also Ge 2:15–25; notes on Celebrations and Holidays (Ex 12); Engagement (Mt 1); Marriage (Ge 2; 2Sa 6; Pr 5; Hos 2; Am 3; 2Co 13; Heb 12); Traditions (1Sa 7); Vows (Nu 30)
of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, “Get these out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a market!” 17 His disciples remem bered that it is written: “Zeal for your house will consume me.” a 18 The Jews then responded to him, “What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it a gain in three days.” 20 They replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21 But the temple he had spo ken of was his body. 22 After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had
said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that J esus had spoken. 23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Pass over Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name. b 24 But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. 25 He did not need any testi mony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.
2:19–22 The temple in Jerusalem was the central place for Jewish worship, the dwelling place of the presence of God. King David planned to build the temple, but his son Solomon actually built it. This building stood for almost 400 years, but it was finally plundered and burned by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Jews in Babylon were given permission to rebuild the temple, and the new governor, Zerubbabel, completed the structure in 516 BC. Beginning in 19 BC, Herod added to the temple and refurbished it so that it was much more magnificent than Zerubbabel’s
temple. Mary and Joseph brought the infant Jesus to be circumcised in this temple, and Jesus taught there at age 12. It was destroyed in AD 70 by the Romans under Titus. The Jews thought Jesus referred to Herod’s temple in Jerusalem. Jesus, however, did not say he would destroy the actual temple building. Jesus was speaking of himself as the temple and of his own death and resurrection. 3:1 Nicodemus, a pious and knowledgeable teacher, was a Pharisee and a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin. This highest Jewish court had 70 distinguished members.
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nico demus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are
a 17 Psalm 69:9 b 23 Or in him
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Women can splash the world with the love of Christ . . . through kindness, caring, touching, meeting needs and telling of their love for Christ. Esther Burroughs a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again. a ” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit b gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You c must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” d 9 “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. 10 “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things? 11 Very tru ly I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you peo ple do not accept our testimony. 12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things? 13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven — the Son of Man. e 14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake
in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, f 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” g 16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands con demned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the s ight of God.
Nicodemus came from an important aristocratic family in Jerusalem and was an authority on Scripture. His coming at night could have been for any of several reasons: he wanted to speak to Jesus in secret so as not to arouse suspicion or to evoke criticism among his Sanhedrin colleagues; he wanted the privacy that night afforded so as not to be competitive with, nor intimidated by, the daytime crowds that surrounded Jesus; because of the darkness of his own great sins, he may have wanted private counsel with Jesus, the Light (v. 2); or perhaps he simply could not wait until morning. Nicodemus later publicly participated in Jesus’ burial by supplying abundant spices to be folded within the shroud wrapped around Jesus’ body.
it’s activity. Jesus made the point to Nicodemus that he must be born of the Spirit in order to understand the spiritual things of God. 3:13 Jesus described himself as the One who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. The description “Son of man” appears more than 80 times in the Gospels, but only four times in the NT outside the Gospels. “Son of man” points to Jesus’ special ministry and commission from God; his suffering, death and resurrection; and his return. 3:14–15 John stressed both the shame of the cross and the majesty of the resurrection throughout his Gospel. God punished the Israelites in the wilderness with deadly serpents after they had complained and spoken against God and Moses (see Nu 21:4–9). Many people were bitten and died. When the people repented and begged for mercy, God told Moses to lift a fiery serpent high upon a pole within the camp. God promised that anyone looking at the raised bronze serpent would be healed of the snake’s venomous bite and saved from death. The OT incident pointed to Jesus, who would be lifted up on a cross as the sacrifice necessary for salvation.
3:3–10 Nicodemus was confused by Jesus’ emphasis on rebirth. The word “again” (Gk., anothen) has several meanings: “from conception” or “the very beginning,” “anew” or “a second time,” “from above” or “from God.” Nicodemus knew a physical rebirth was impossible. “Spirit” (Gk., pneuma) can also mean “wind,” depending on the context. Jesus used the word to illustrate the Spir-
John Testifies Again About Jesus 22 After
this, Jesus and his disciples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent The Greek for again also means from above; also in verse 7. The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind. e 13 Some manuscripts f Man, who is in heaven 14 The Greek for lifted up also means exalted. g 15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 21.
b 6 Or but spirit c 7 The Greek is plural. d 8
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w o m e n ’ s
m i n i s t r i e s
Women in Evangelism
Jesus affirmed the ministry of women in evangelism. This was most evident in his interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well of Sychar (Jn 4:1–30). Culturally, Jews and Samaritans did not associate with each other. Moreover, for a rabbi to speak to a woman in public was considered improper. Christ’s regard for this woman was therefore truly revolutionary. After their meeting, she returned to her city and presented her witness. Many believed in him because of her testimony (vv. 28,39). At that time, women were not considered reliable witnesses; yet Christ chose a woman as his witness. God chose women as the first witnesses of Christ’s resurrection (Mt 28:1–8), and they were entrusted with Christ’s first post-resurrection message to his disciples (Jn 20:15–18). The coming of the Spirit reinforced the role of women in evangelism. Women, together with men, were empowered to be witnesses to the ends of the earth (Ac 1:8). The establishment of the Philippian church involved women (Ac 16:11–15), and women were also involved in spreading the gospel in Berea (Ac 17:12). New Testament women, along with men, were commissioned to be the “light of the world” and were thus extensively involved in the ministry of evangelism (Mt 5:14–16). See also chart on Spiritual Gifts of Women in the Bible; notes on Evangelism (Jn 6; Col 4; 1Pe 3); Spiritual Gifts (Ro 12); Women’s Ministries (Ac 2; 1Co 11; Eph 2; 1Ti 3; Titus 2)
some time with them, and baptized. 23 Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because there was plenty of water, and people were coming and being baptized. 24 (This was before John was put in prison.) 25 An argument developed between some of John’s disciples and a certain Jew over the matter of ceremo nial washing. 26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan — the one you testified about — look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” 27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bride groom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.” a 31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, but no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has 4:4–6 Jesus did not follow the usual way for Jews to travel between Galilee and Judea, which was to avoid Samaritan territory by crossing to the east bank of the Jordan River (vv. 3–4). At Sychar, Jacob bought a piece of land from the children of Hamor for 100 pieces of silver and pitched his tent (v. 5; see Ge 33:18–20). While Jesus was resting at Jacob’s well, a site not mentioned in the OT, he met the Samaritan woman (see The Samaritan Woman).
accepted it has certified that God is truthful. 34 For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God b gives the Spirit without limit. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them.
Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman
Now Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that he was gaining and baptizing more disciples than John — 2 although in fact it was not Jesus who baptized, but his disciples. 3 So he left Judea and went back once more to Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was a bout noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a a 30
Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36.
b 34 Greek he
4:7 For a woman to come to the well at noon, the hottest part of the day, was unusual. Middle Eastern women usually filled their water jars in the early morning and at sunset, when it was cooler. The Samaritan woman was a woman of bad reputation and may have filled her jars at noon in order to avoid meeting other women who would shun her.
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1409 rink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town d to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. a ) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salva tion is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” 25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 4:9 Jesus simply disregarded the social rules of his day in order to talk with the Samaritan woman. 4:20–24 The ancient city of Samaria was located about 40 miles north of Jerusalem. Years before, a remnant of Israel’s Jews in Samaria had intermarried with Gentiles and had begun to worship foreign gods. The Samaritans worshiped at Mount Gerizim, where they had been given
26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to
you — I am he.”
The Disciples Rejoin Jesus 27 Just
then his disciples returned and were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want?” or “Why are you talking with her?” 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.” 33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. 35 Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”
Many Samaritans Believe 39 Many
of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testi mony, “He told me everything I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they urged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And because of his words many more became believers. 42 They said to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.”
Jesus Heals an Official’s Son 43 After 44 (Now
the two days he left for Galilee. Jesus himself had pointed out that
a 9 Or do not use dishes Samaritans have used
permission to build a temple. A small Samaritan community continues to worship there even now. 4:25–26 The Jews of Samaria were also awaiting the arrival of the promised Messiah (see Dt 18:15,18). Jesus told the Samaritan woman that he was the long-awaited Messiah. The woman believed Jesus’ self-disclosure and told others the Good News.
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The Samaritan Woman
Perhaps in order to avoid the respectable townswomen who filled their water jars at sunrise and sunset, “a Samaritan woman” came to the well at noon, the hottest hour of the day. This immoral woman, who had had five husbands, now lived with a man who was not her husband. When Jesus purposely passed through Samaria on his way to Galilee, he met and spoke to the woman at Jacob’s Well, near the city of Sychar, breaking three major social rules:
• First, women were considered greatly inferior to men; in public no Middle Eastern man ever spoke to a woman, not even to his wife, mother or sister. • Second, no Jew ever spoke to a Samaritan. Jews believed Samaritans had betrayed their faith because they had intermarried with foreigners. The Jews and Samaritans hated and avoided each other. Third, no self-respecting man, especially a teacher, would ever speak to a woman of such despicable reputation. This woman was a well-known social outcast.
Jesus disregarded these social barriers when he conversed with the Samaritan woman. He revealed himself as the greatly anticipated Messiah, offering forgiveness, redemption and new life. She drank from his cup of living water, ran back to town to the very ones who despised her, the people of Samaria. There she proclaimed with unembarrassed excitement the arrival of the promised Messiah. The people of Samaria eagerly responded to Christ. They, too, yearned for his living water. Later, Jesus would challenge his disciples to witness in Samaria (Ac 1:8), and Philip, a deacon, would open a mission there (Ac 8:5). Yet the Good News of Jesus Christ was first proclaimed to the people of Samaria through the testimony of a sinful, immoral woman who drank the offered water and was forgiven, cleansed and renewed, never again to thirst. See also notes on Adultery (Hos 3); Forgiveness (Ps 51; Lk 17)
a prophet has no honor in his own country.) he arrived in Galilee, the Galileans wel comed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, for they also had been there. 46 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was c lose to death. 48 “Unless you people see signs and wonders,” Jesus told him, “you will never believe.” 49 The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my c hild dies.” 50 “Go,” J esus replied, “your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51 While he was still on the way, his servants
met him with the news that his boy was living. 52 When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “Yesterday, at one in the afternoon, the fever left him.” 53 Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and his whole household believed. 54 This was the second sign Jesus performed after coming from Judea to Galilee.
4:46 The man was a royal official in the court of Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee. Whether he was a Jew or Gentile is not known. The fact that a nobleman would request the help of a “carpenter” is extraordinary. 4:53 An ordinary household with its variety of relationships was basic to society in ancient times. The word “household” could suggest an immediate family, the servants of that family, an extended family and even the descendants of a particular nation. The head of the household usually determined the faith of the household.
Thus, it was that the nobleman’s “whole household” followed him in believing in Jesus. 5:2 Sheep Gate is one of the entrances carved into Jerusalem’s city wall. Pools were reservoirs, often cut from stone, that collected rainwater for drinking and other purposes. Water was a valuable and precious resource in the arid Middle East. These pools were usually deep enough for swimming. The pool at Bethesda was a famous place where the handicapped and sick gathered because of its reputed healing properties.
The Healing at the Pool
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusa lem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aram aic is called Bethesda a and a 2
Some manuscripts Bethzatha; other manuscripts Bethsaida
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Jesus did not take volunteers as disciples. He put his finger on each one . . . because he saw potential in them. Gail MacDonald hich is surrounded by five covered colon w nades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie — the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  a 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this con dition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” 7 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” 8 Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sab bath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” 11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ” 12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?” 13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sin ning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish lead ers that it was Jesus who had made him well.
The Authority of the Son 16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on
the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to perse cute him. 17 In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also 5:10 The Sabbath was the seventh day of the week, the day God rested from creating the world (Ge 2:2–3). It was a holy day of rest for all Jews, as well as foreigners, slaves and even animals (see chart, The Principle of the Sabbath). Desecra-
does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. 22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, 23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. 24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him author ity to j udge because he is the Son of Man. 28 “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and come out — those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be con demned. 30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.
Testimonies About Jesus 31 “If
I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32 There is another who testifies in my favor, and I know that his testimony about me is true. 33 “You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth. 34 Not that I accept human testi mony; but I mention it that you may be saved. 35 John was a lamp that burned and gave light, and you chose for a time to enjoy his light. a 3,4
Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed — and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
tion of the Sabbath could be punished by death. The prohibition against carrying one’s bed on the Sabbath was just one of the numerous oral laws (a part of the tradition of the elders) that had grown from the Law of Moses.
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p r o b l e m
s o lv i n g
Seeking God’s Solution
The first step in overcoming problems, whether they are physical, emotional or spiritual, is to admit you are in need and desire a change. Jesus asked the man who had been lying by the Bethesda pool for thirty-eight years a very important question: “Do you want to get well?” (Jn 5:1–15). In other words, “Do you care enough about your problem to do something about it— even if it requires on your part some action, effort, sacrifice or even suffering?” As is typical of so many in need, this man answered the Lord with self-pity. When Jesus sees you in need of help and sends a willing person to help, do you play the martyr role? “There’s no hope for me. Nobody loves me.” The person who clings to this attitude is unlikely to experience healing. Because Jesus is gracious and knows your deepest desires, he often cuts through your weeping and self-martyrdom and puts you to the test. “Get up,” he says. “Take your problem and move on. Do not wait for other people to pity you. Get up.” If you are in need of a touch from the Lord, ask yourself if you are so eager to be changed that you are willing to do something about your situation. When you let God know you are obedient to his will and eager to do whatever it takes for you to be whole, he will send Jesus in the form of a person, a verse from his Word or a new thought in your mind. Act upon what God tells you to do. He made you, and he knows how to fix precisely what is broken within you. Finally, when you feel God’s power bring about positive changes in your life, do not let doubters convince you these changes are only coincidence. Walk firmly away as did the man with his mat under his arm and say simply, “Jesus healed me.” See also Mt 6:1–4; Mk 5:2, note; Jn 9:1–41; Php 2:13; notes on Counseling (Pr 8); Decision Making (1Co 8); Healing (Ps 13; 133; Ecc 1; 2Co 5; Gal 6; Jas 5); Obedience (Phm); Surrender (Jas 4)
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish — the very works that I am doing — testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified con cerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent. 39 You study a the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 “I do not accept glory from human beings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts. 43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44 How can you believe since you accept glory from one another but do not seek the glory that comes from the only God b ? 45 “But do not think I will accuse you before the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom your hopes are set. 46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47 But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
Sea of Tiberias), 2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. 3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival was near. 5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages c to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13 So they
6:1-13pp —Mt 14:13-21; Mk 6:32-44; Lk 9:10-17
Some time after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the
a 39 Or 39Study b 44
Some early manuscripts the Only One
c 7 Greek take two hundred denarii
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When you seek truth you seek God whether you know it or not. Blessed Theresia Benedicta (Edith Stein)
gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten. 14 After the people saw the sign Jesus per formed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” 15 Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a moun tain by himself.
Jesus Walks on the Water 6:16-21pp —Mt 14:22-33; Mk 6:47-51 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. By now it was dark, and Jesus had not yet joined them. 18 A strong wind was blowing and the waters grew rough. 19 When they had rowed about three or four miles, a they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water; and they were frightened. 20 But he said to them, “It is I; don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the shore w here they were heading. 22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tibe rias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
Jesus the Bread of Life they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the man na in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ b ” 32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the
6:15 The Jews awaited the Prophet (the Messiah) that Moses had promised to them (Dt 18:15). After the feeding of the 5,000, the crowd believed that Jesus was that Prophet, the Promised One. Jesus, like Moses, had miraculously fed the large crowds. They thought, however, that their Messiah would become a conqueror. Therefore, the crowd reacted strongly, even violently and sought to capture or kidnap Jesus to take him to Jerusalem and make him their king. They wanted Jesus to assume political leadership, to set up a kingdom and to release them from the yoke of Roman authority. Jesus
Or about 5 or 6 kilometers b 31 Exodus 16:4; Neh. 9:15; Psalm 78:24,25
understood the situation and slipped away into the mountains to escape them. 6:31–33 God supplied manna to feed the Israelites as they fled Egyptian slavery and as they traveled, with Moses as their leader, for 40 years throughout the wilderness. Manna, a small, round substance, appeared each morning with the dew. This “bread from heaven” was then gathered, made into cakes and either baked or boiled (see Ex 16:13–36). The people believed that when the Messiah came, he would bring them “manna.” The OT “manna” pointed to the true Bread of Heaven, Jesus.
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e v a n g e l i s m
1414 Divine Appointments
Jesus took every opportunity to make the message of God’s love and forgiveness known. Although he was weary as he sat by the well of Sychar, he accepted the arrival of a woman from Samaria as a divine appointment. Asking for a drink of water, he got her attention and engaged her in conversation, then proceeded to make his message relevant to her life and situation. What a great example of how believers can share their faith! Just as women are increasingly choosing the “good life” without regard for Biblical standards, this woman had chosen to live in a way that was not pleasing to God. Many are looking for what they perceive to be the best quality of life without regard for the relevancy of Christ’s message to their daily lives. Without an application of Biblical standards, individuals as well as an entire nation tend to sink into moral decadence and disintegrate. The Bible alone is God’s textbook about how to relate to God and to one another—husbands to wives, parents to children, employer to employee, friend to friend. Your view of God will determine much of your lifestyle. God has given his timeless blueprint, which when followed humbly and with obedience, gives the greatest quality of life the human heart can know. Christian women have the “fresh water” for which the thirsty hearts of all people yearn. They must learn to make his message relevant, to anticipate divine appointments and to be ready to show that the life Jesus offers is desirable and attractive. Jesus always met with those who had honest questions or needs on their terms regarding place, method of access or style of communication. He never, however, changed his message or altered the way in which he loved. See also Jn 4:5–42; 10:10; 17:2–3; notes on Access to God (Ro 10); Evangelism (Mt 28; Col 4; 1Pe 3); Salvation (Eph 2)
last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” 41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ a Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna
in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his f lesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Who ever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eter nal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as
6:52–57 Flesh and blood represented life, in particular Christ’s self-sacrificed life fueled by his self-sacrificing love. “My flesh” referred to Jesus’ body, which he gave up in death (v. 54). “My blood” referred to the shedding of his blood on the cross at Calvary (v. 54). This imagery would sound familiar to those from pagan backgrounds in ancient times. They routinely offered sacrifices to their gods and actually ate part of the cooked flesh of the sacrifice. They would have considered eating the sacrificed
flesh as becoming one with a god, in the sense of sharing an identity with that deity. The Jew of Jesus’ day would have understood blood to stand for life. Thus, to drink Jesus’ blood would suggest bringing his life into their lives. This paradox then explains both the essence of the gospel (Christ’s sacrifice of his life) and the essence of personal holiness (our unique partaking of his life into our own). Christ came from the Father to offer the gift of himself to all who would receive him (vv. 51,54,56).
a 45 Isaiah 54:13
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1415 the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Many Disciples Desert Jesus 60 On
hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” 61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you — they are full of the Spirit a and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.” 66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus a sked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” 70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
Jesus Goes to the Festival of Tabernacles
After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want b to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. 2 But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. 4 No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” 5 For even his own brothers did not believe in him. 6:66–69 The crowd that followed Jesus was very large, but they began to discover that his teachings were difficult to put into practice. In fact, following him pointed to the possibility of sharing in his suffering and violent death. Slowly his disciples began to fall away. Perhaps those who left Jesus could foresee or anticipate the “tragedy” that would befall Jesus at the hands of the Roman government. Others, perhaps, lost interest or hope in Jesus. Their action prompted Jesus to ask the 12 disciples if they, too, would “leave.” Jesus was not surprised by the
Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I tes tify that its works are evil. 8 You go to the festi val. I am not c going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee. 10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?” 12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.” Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
Jesus Teaches at the Festival 14 Not
until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?” 16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Any one who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?” 20 “You are demon-possessed,” the c rowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?” 21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you a 63 Or are Spirit; or are spirit b 1
Some manuscripts not have authority c 8 Some manuscripts not yet
many who turned away from him. He knew of their discontentment, for he could read their hearts. 7:2 The Festival of Tabernacles (or Festival of Ingathering) lasted seven days (see chart, The Festivals of Israel). The celebrations included the ingathering of crops. Participants made booths or “tabernacles” of tree branches. These booths represented shelter and protection. The Israelites lived in these booths throughout the festival period in order to remember their fathers who, when they left Egypt and journeyed in the wilderness, had lived in similar structures.
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angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appear ances, but instead j udge correctly.”
Division Over Who Jesus Is 25 At
that point some of the people of Jerusa lem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Mes siah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” 28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.” 30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more s igns than this man?” 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him. 33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and w here I am, you cannot come.” 35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scat tered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, ‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?” 37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Who ever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” a 7:34 Jesus spoke to nominal disciples, those who were not willing to invest their lives in a personal commitment to him. Jesus referred to his death, telling them that he would go to the Father and they would not be able to find him. These Jews had put their trust in belonging to the family of Abraham. They had not put their trust in God’s plan of salvation through Jesus. Jesus told them, in effect, that when they did come to an understanding of God and the Good News and wanted to place their faith in him, it would then be too late. 7:35 God had given the Jews the land of Canaan, the promised land, for an inheritance. The dispersion or Diaspora, which took place over several centuries, was responsible for forcing the Jews out of the Holy Land. This scattering of the Jews throughout the world was due to the
this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified. 40 On hearing his words, some of the people said, “Surely this man is the Prophet.” 41 Others said, “He is the Messiah.” Still others asked, “How can the Messiah come from Galilee? 42 Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descen dants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?” 43 Thus the people were divided because of Jesus. 44 Some wanted to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him.
Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders 45 Finally
the temple guards went back to the chief priests and the Pharisees, who asked them, “Why didn’t you b ring him in?” 46 “No one ever spoke the way this man does,” the guards replied. 47 “You mean he has deceived you also?” the Pharisees retorted. 48 “Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49 No! But this mob that knows nothing of the law — there is a curse on them.” 50 Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus earlier and who was one of their own number, asked, 51 “Does our law condemn a man without first hearing him to find out what he has been doing?” 52 They replied, “Are you from Galilee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a prophet does not come out of Galilee.”
[The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John 7:53 — 8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.] a 37,38 Or me. And let anyone drink 38who believes in me.” As Scripture has said, “Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.”
Assyrians’ capture of Israel (722 BC), the capture of Judah by the Babylonians (586 BC) and other wars fought in the Holy Land by the Romans and Greeks. Some simply came upon hard times and emigrated to other places to find work and resources. In Jesus’ time, as many Jews lived outside of the Holy Land as lived in the Land. 7:38 The particular quotation from Scripture used by Jesus has never been identified with certainty. He probably had in mind Ps 78:15–16 and Zec 14:8 (see also Eze 47:1–11; Rev 22:1–2). The original language for “from within” is the word “belly,” which was believed to be the seat of the emotions, the innermost being of a person. In essence, Jesus said that the person would have a continual, life-giving source of satisfaction within.
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Then they all went home, 1 but Jesus went to the ount of Olives. M 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the f irst to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and w rote on the ground. 9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones f irst, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, w here are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” 53
Dispute Over Jesus’ Testimony 12 When
J esus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever fol lows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the l ight of life.” 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testi mony is not valid.” 14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.” 19 Then they asked him, “Where is your father?” “You do not know me or my Father,” Jesus replied. “If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” 20 He spoke these words while teaching in the temple courts near the place where the offerings were put. Yet no one seized him, because his hour had not yet come. 8:4–5 The Law of Moses had strict rules about sexuality (Ex 20:14). The punishment for adultery was death by stoning for both the man and the woman (Lev 20:10). If Jesus confirmed the death penalty, his compassion would be questioned; if he refused to confirm the penalty, he
the names for satan name
Abaddon (Heb., lit. “destruction”)
The accuser of our brothers and sisters
The enemy (Gk., antidikos, lit. “opponent”)
Mt 13:39; 1Pe 5:8
The angel of the Abyss
Apollyon (Gk., lit. “destroyer”)
Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons
The devil (Gk., diabalos, lit. “one who casts through”)
Rev 12:7; 20:2
The god of this age
The king of Tyre
The ruler of the kingdom of the air
A roaring lion
The power of this dark world
The prince of this world
Jn 12:31; 14:30
Satan (Heb., lit. “adversary”)
The evil one
Dispute Over Who Jesus Is 21 Once
more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.” 22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill him self ? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you can not come’?” 23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in would be accused of contradicting God’s Law. He wisely referred the question to the woman’s accusers, for Jewish law also called for the witness to cast the first stone in the case of capital punishment (see Forgiven Adulteress).
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The woman caught in the very act of sexual immorality is simply known as the adulteress. Israel’s covenant law prohibited adultery (Ex 20:14). The punishment of death was dictated for both the adulterous man and woman (Lev 20:10). Yet while this woman faced death, the man with whom she had been involved went free. The accusing scribes and Pharisees threw the woman at Jesus’ feet. They sought to trap Jesus between his allegiance to the law and his merciful love for all, even those who violated the law. The adulteress was guilty of sin. The Mosaic Law stated that she deserved the sentence of death (Dt 17:5–6). The zealous religious leaders quoted the law and waited impatiently for Jesus to respond. Then Jesus answered, slowly and wisely. For the Messiah clarified the law’s intent and reminded each religious leader of his own sins and of his own guilt in breaking the Law of Moses. Each one knew, somewhere deep within his own sinful heart, that he, too, deserved the sentence of death. Jesus also affirmed the sanctity of marriage, making it clear that men, as well as women, are expected to keep their vows. He did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery. Instead, he forgave her, as he would later forgive the very people who nailed him to a cross (see Jn 3:17). Jesus faced the sentence of death himself, for the adulteress, for the sinful scribes and Pharisees, for everyone. His grace provides hope for every sinful soul (see Jn 8:12). See also notes on Adultery (Hos 3); Forgiveness (Ps 51; Lk 17)
your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.” 25 “Who are you?” they asked. “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.” 27 They did not understand that he was tell ing them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up a the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus’ Opponents Are 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the t ruth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of any one. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
8:32–36 The Jews put blind trust in religious tradition and ceremonies. They depended on ancestry and obedience to the Law of Moses and the oral tradition of the elders for their hope. Throughout the years, they had been in bondage to Egypt, Babylonia, Persia, Aram and, at present, Rome. Regardless of their political slavery, they felt free spiritually because they were a holy nation, an elect race chosen by God. Jesus disagreed with them and thus angered them. He told them they were slaves of sin,
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, every one who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have h eard from your father. b ” 39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would c do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the w orks of your own father.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they pro tested. “The only Father we have is God him self.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come
The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.
b 38 Or presence. Therefore do what you have heard from the
Father. c 39 Some early manuscripts “If you are Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then
not sons of God, and that only through him could they find true spiritual freedom. 8:41 With much pride, the Jews assured Jesus that they were born from the seed of Abraham. They probably meant to insult Jesus directly. The common belief among the Jews was that Mary had been unfaithful to Joseph and that Jesus was the illegitimate son of Mary, the result of an adulterous union.
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The gate of heaven is very low; only the humble can enter it. St. Elizabeth Seton here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not hold ing to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The rea son you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
54 Jesus replied, “If I glorify myself, my glo ry means nothing. My Father, whom you claim as your God, is the one who glorifies me. 55 Though you do not know him, I know him. If I said I did not, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 “You are not yet fifty years old,” they said to him, “and you have seen Abraham!” 58 “Very truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!” 59 At this, they picked up stones to stone him, but Jesus hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds.
Jesus’ Claims About Himself
Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind
Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samarit an and demon-pos sessed?” 49 “I am not possessed by a demon,” said Jesus, “but I honor my Father and you dishonor me. 50 I am not seeking glory for myself; but there is one who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Very truly I tell you, whoever obeys my word will nev er see death.” 52 At this they exclaimed, “Now we know that you are demon-possessed! Abraham died and so did the prophets, yet you say that whoever obeys your word will never taste death. 53 Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?”
As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
8:44 The devil (Satan) is mentioned only a few times in the OT (see chart, The Names for Satan). The chief of the fallen angels, Satan is always an adversary to God (see chart, A Portrait of the Adversary). In the NT, the gospel writers taught that Satan is a personal being, the agent and originator of evil. John considered Satan the “prince of this world” (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). The self-righteous Jews claimed God as their Father. Jesus, however, told them that they were indeed Abraham’s descendants and physical progeny. But in spirit, their father was not God, but the devil. Their behavior confirmed their parentage. 8:58–59 When asked his identity, Jesus responded, “I am.” This enraged the Jews. “I AM” is the name for God that he had revealed to Moses (Ex 3:13–14). Thus, Jesus identified himself as One with God. The Jews considered this statement blasphemy (lit. “harmful speech” or “slander”). In the OT sense, blasphemy meant showing disrespect to the character and name of God. The penalty for
blasphemy (for a Jew or foreigner) was death by stoning (Lev 24:14–16). 9:2 Blindness was common in Jesus’ day, often resulting from a birth defect, infection, leprosy, cataracts or advanced age. The Jews associated blindness (and suffering in general) with sin: • The man might have sinned while still in his mother’s womb (some Jews believed in prenatal sin); • The man, in his pre-existent state (an idea that emerged from the Greek philosopher Plato about 427–327 BC) might have sinned before his conception; • The blind man’s parents might have sinned and brought the affliction of blindness upon their son. Jews believed the sins of the parents could cause suffering for the child (see Ex 20:5; 34:7; Nu 14:18). 9:6–7 This healing was one of two healings in which Jesus used saliva (see Mk 7:33). No medicinal value was associ-
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o r g a n i z a t i o n
Ordering Our Days
The concept of organization in Scripture relates far more to our relationships with people than to the handling of things. Organization allows us to move through life with order and purpose. This discipline is not reserved only for organized people, for God delights in helping each person to turn weakness into strength and to bring order from chaos (1Co 14:40). He redeems our time as well as our souls (Col 4:5). Smooth communication, effective problem solving, successful task management and coordination of life’s pursuits is just as necessary for meaningful interpersonal relationships as for juggling events and sorting activities. The Lord insisted, through the advice of Jethro, that Moses establish a multi-tiered judicial system, which effectively placed “capable men” as rulers of thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens (Ex 18:13–26). Jesus created order so that the hungry crowds could be fed by seating the people on the grass, allowing the disciples to move freely among them with bread and fish (Mt 15:35). Jesus, in sending out his disciples, organized them in teams of two and gave them wellordered guidelines (Mk 6:7). Decision making, assignment of space, accomplishment of tasks and clear lines of communication are thus ordered with one goal in mind—that our lives and environment might be so ordered as to give maximum freedom for achieving his goals. In organizing home or office, priority should be given to policies and structures that benefit and bless people. People always matter more to the Lord than rules, a principle readily evident in the ministry of Jesus, who frequently overstepped the boundaries set by the religious leaders of his day in order to bring truth, comfort and healing to those in need. See also Eph 5:15–16; notes on Goal Setting (Isa 58); Priorities (Mt 6); Time Management (Ps 31)
8 His neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging asked, “Isn’t this the same man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some claimed that he was. Others said, “No, he only looks like him.” But he himself insisted, “I am the man.” 10 “How then were your eyes opened?” they asked. 11 He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I c ould see.” 12 “Where is this man?” they a sked him. “I don’t know,” he said.
The Pharisees Investigate the Healing 13 They
brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharis ees ated with the Pool of Siloam, a water supply located just inside the southeastern city wall. The pool was an engineering feat for that day created by the construction of Hezekiah’s tunnel, which diverted waters from Siloam to the Gihon spring (a less vulnerable point to the Assyrian armies). Dug through solid rock, this 583-yard tunnel of Hezekiah provided water diverted into the city from the Kidron Valley outside the city wall in the event of an enemy siege. The Siloam pool measured 20 by 30 feet and is still used as a source of water. 9:16 A debate occurred when the Pharisees accused Jesus of not keeping the Sabbath:
also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sab bath.” But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, “What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” The man replied, “He is a prophet.” 18 They still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they sent for the man’s parents. 19 “Is this your son?” they asked. “Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?” 20 “We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. 21 But how he can see now, or who opened his • Jesus had made clay, and they considered that work forbidden on the Sabbath; • Jesus had healed the blind man (v. 14), and any non-lifethreatening medical attention was not allowed on the Sabbath; • Jesus had put saliva on the man’s eyes, a practice not allowed on the Sabbath. Therefore, the Pharisees thought Jesus could not have come from God. But others, astounded and impressed by Jesus’ miracles (“signs”), could not consider Jesus a “sinner.”
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1421 eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” 22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. 23 That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” 24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by tell ing the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.” 25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” 26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?” 28 Then they hurled insults at him and said, “You are this fellow’s disciple! We are disciples of Moses! 29 We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this fellow, we don’t even know where he c omes from.” 30 The man answered, “Now that is remark able! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly person who does his will. 32 Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 To this they replied, “You were steeped in sin at birth; how dare you lecture us!” And they threw him out.
Spiritual Blindness 35 Jesus
eard that they had thrown him h out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.” 37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.” 9:39–41 Jesus used this situation in which individuals were responding to him so differently to make a point about blindness and sight. On one side was the man born blind, now fully seeing and on his knees worshiping the Lord. On the other side were the religious leaders, stubborn and hard-hearted, rejecting Jesus and calling for his death. In Jesus’ day, blindness was a metaphor for sin. Sight was a metaphor for righteousness. Jesus told the Pharisees that, even though they could see clearly physically, they were deliberately choosing to be blind spiritually. 10:2–5 Sheep provided food, milk and clothing. A shepherd fed them, led them to water, guarded them lest they
38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he
worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, a “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” 40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” 41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
The Good Shepherd and His Sheep
“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them. 7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. b They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shep herd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf com ing, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Some early manuscripts do not have Then the man said . . . 39Jesus said. b 9 Or kept safe
wander off and get lost, protected them from predators (usually wolves), carried them when they were sick or weak and constantly cared for them. The job of shepherding was a tiring and dangerous one. Often the shepherd spent years with a particular herd of sheep and called each sheep by its own descriptive name. The sheep knew and followed the voice of their shepherd, but they would not respond to a stranger’s voice. The shepherd went “ahead of them” to make sure the path was safe for the sheep (v. 4). The “gate” referred to the entrance of the sheepfold (v. 2). Jesus described himself as the Good Shepherd, a metaphor the people of his day would have understood clearly.
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m e n t a l
h e a lt h
A Sound Mind
When Jesus referred to the abundant life, he described a life in balance, all aspects of which are under the authority of God and one in which an individual would grow in the image of Christ. Elements necessary for positive mental health include: reasonable independence (Pr 31:12–16), trustworthiness (v. 11), the ability to take responsibility (v. 13), the ability to work under rules and authority (Heb 13:7), tolerance of others (Eph 4:32), the ability to show friendliness and love (Pr 17:17), a sense of humor (v. 22), the capacity to give and take (Ecc 3:5) and most of all a devotion beyond self (1Jn 4:10–11). Jesus not only provided salvation but also underscored the quality of life and set new standards for the abundant life. Because a healthy life is intertwined with a healthy mind, Christians are warned by Paul to guard what the mind absorbs so that they do not become blinded to the truth (2Co 3:14; 4:3–4). Scripture strongly states that what goes into the mind comes out in actions, good or negative (Pr 23:7; Mk 7:20–23). In healing the Gerasene demoniac, Jesus put him in his right mind (Lk 8:35). The restored man surely returned to a useful role in his home and community, and he did not forget to testify of God’s goodness to him (Lk 8:39). Paul encouraged Timothy by saying, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2Ti 1:7). We can be certain the Lord wants us to enjoy excellent mental health. See also Jos 1:8–9; Ps 1:2; 16:7–9; 119; Mt 15:10–20; Mk 5:1–20; 5:2, note; Php 2:5–11; notes on Conscience (2Co 1); Emotions (Ps 42); Healing (Ps 13; 133; Ecc 1; 2Co 5; Gal 6; Jas 5)
Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father — and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life — only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” 19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is
demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?” 21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
10:16 The other sheep was a reference to the Gentiles. “This sheep pen” was a reference to Judaism. Jesus anticipated the mission to the Gentiles after his death and resurrection. The Gentiles, as well as the believing Jews, would share an intimate relationship with him. 10:22 The Festival of Dedication of the Altar or the Festival of the Purification of the Temple (Hanukkah) occurs in December and lasts eight days. A candle is lit each day in observance of this celebration, often called the Festival of Lights. The feast celebrates the victories of Judas Maccabaeus (165 BC). When Antiochus Epiphanes, the king of Aram (175–164 BC), tried to abolish the Jewish religion, he attacked Jerusalem. He killed 80,000 Jews, profaned the temple courts and chambers and sacrificed swine
to the pagan god Zeus on the temple altar. Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers fought Epiphanes and won. They cleansed and restored the temple and rebuilt the altar. This Festival of Hanukkah is still celebrated by the Jews. John referred to the various Jewish feasts more than the other gospel writers (see chart, The Festivals of Israel). 10:23 Jesus walked on Solomon’s Colonnade, a structure with a roof supported by rows of 40-foot-high pillars. This structure would have protected Jesus from the wintry weather. People often walked there to meditate, pray and teach. It is also called “the portico of Solomon” or “Solomon’s porch.” While Solomon had built the oldest of the porches on the east side, Herod had built the porch on which Jesus walked.
Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims 22 Then
came the Festival of Dedication a at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in sus pense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s a 22 That is, Hanukkah
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1423 name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall nev er perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all a; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” 31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For w hich of these do you stone me?” 33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, c laim to be God.” 34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’ b ? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came — and Scripture cannot be set aside — 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped t heir grasp. 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.
The Death of Lazarus
Now a man named Lazar us was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) 3 So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.” 10:30–33 Jesus referred to himself as one with God, separate in person but identical in nature. The godhead includes Father, Son and Holy Spirit—a triunity of separate persons united in essence as one. The Jews regarded Jesus’ claim to be one with God as blasphemy. 11:11–14 Lazarus from Bethany, along with his sisters Mary and Martha, was a personal friend of Jesus (see chart, Women and Their Families in the New Testament). Jesus told the disciples that Lazarus was asleep, using the term “sleep” as a euphemism for death (see Mt 9:24; Ac 7:60; 1Co 15:6; 1Th 4:13). 11:17 Death and burial usually took place on the same day in Jesus’ time, due to the hot climate. The body was care-
he heard this, Jesus said, “This sick ness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” 5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So when he heard that Laz arus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7 and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.” 8 “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?” 9 Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.” 11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.” 12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep. 14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” 16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus c ) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
Jesus Comforts the Sisters of Lazarus 17 On
his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles d from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home. Many early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all b 34 Psalm 82:6 c 16 Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin. d 18 Or about 3 kilometers
fully but hurriedly wrapped in strips of cloth with expensive spices and ointments. Jesus probably began his journey to Bethany the day of, or the day after, Lazarus’s death and burial. The journey took two to three days. When Jesus arrived in Bethany, Lazarus would have been in the tomb four days, which John carefully noted. Jewish tradition taught that the deceased person’s soul hovered over the body for three days after death in hopes of reunion. However untrue, this superstition was widely believed. The fact that Lazarus had been dead for four days instead of three left little doubt in Jewish minds that Lazarus’s restoration to life by Jesus was, in fact, an unmistakable miracle.
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Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” 23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” 24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” 25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” 27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” 28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Mar tha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to m ourn there. 32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied. 35 Jesus wept. 11:33 Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and troubled when he saw Mary and the others grieving and weeping (see chart, The Emotions of Jesus). The verb translated “deeply moved” may mean “deeply disturbed.” “Deeply moved” (Gk., tarasso¯) has the connotation of being agitated or disturbed. Jesus could have been perplexed and grieved for several reasons: • his heart was filled with indignation against sin, the cause of suffering and death. • A large number of strangers had traveled from the Passover Festival in Jerusalem to wail at Lazarus’s funeral, and he might have been angered by their hypocrisy. Often funeral wailing was only an artificial display of emotion. • Tears might have come to Jesus because he entered so deeply into the agony of others. • Jesus could have foreseen his own approaching crucifixion and grieved in advance for those who would mourn his death. 11:35 John gave insight into the deep compassion of Jesus (see chart, The Emotions of Jesus). Even though
36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” 37 But some of them said, “Could not he who pened the eyes of the blind man have kept this o man from dying?”
Jesus Raises Lazarus From the Dead 38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the
tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the s tone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.” 40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a c loth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
The Plot to Kill Jesus 45 Therefore
many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Phari sees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. “What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe Jesus knew he could restore Lazarus to physical life, he wept with sorrow and sympathy. Here, the word “wept” did not refer to the wailing that customarily accompanied funerals in that day. Funeral wailing ordinarily meant uninhibited loud crying, even screaming or shrieking. This open display of emotion was often done by people who did not know or care about the dead person. The more dramatic the wailing, the greater tribute the Jews believed they paid to the deceased. In Jesus’ case, the word “wept” simply means “shedding tears” (see Ps 56, Tears). Obviously, Jesus suffered a deep agony of spirit and was genuinely moved by Lazarus’s death. Jesus’ tears provided remarkable insight into his true humanity. 11:48 Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from the dead caused many of the Jews to believe in him. Jewish authorities felt they could no longer allow Jesus to work miracles and convert the Jews. The Sadducees and Pharisees quickly called a meeting of the Sanhedrin (the Jewish supreme court) to discuss the problem (see chart, Jewish Sects). The Jewish nation held a privileged status within the Roman Empire, and the Sanhedrin feared that Jesus would gain a large following, cause a civil uproar and anger the governing
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Love him totally who gave himself totally for your love. St. Clare of Assisi in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.” 49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is bet ter for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.” 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples. 55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he com ing to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.
Jesus Anointed at Bethany
J esus had raised from the dead. 2 Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Laza rus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3 Then Mary took about a pint a of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 5 “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages. b ” 6 He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it. 7 “Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. 8 You will always have the poor among you, c but you will not always have me.” 9 Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, 11 for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in him.
Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King 12:12-15pp —Mt 21:4-9; Mk 11:7-10; Lk 19:35-38 12 The next day the great c rowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his
12:1-8Ref —Mt 26:6-13; Mk 14:3-9; Lk 7:37-39
Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom
Roman Empire. If that happened, these religious leaders would lose their positions and political power. The high priest Caiaphas suggested that Jesus should be killed (v. 50). 12:3 The perfumed ointment with which Mary anointed the feet of Jesus was genuine spikenard, scarce and thus very expensive. Spikenard was a fragrant herb obtained from the roots of a plant grown in the himalayas and transported to the Holy Land by camel. 12:3–7 Jewish pilgrims were preparing for the Passover Festival, which was only six days away. Jesus visited his good friends Lazarus (whom he had raised from the dead), Martha and Mary in Bethany. Martha cooked and served the supper (see Martha). Jesus would die during the Passover Festival, and Mary seemed to sense Jesus’ approaching death. With actions symbolic of preparing a
a 3 Or about 0.5 liter b 5 Greek three hundred denarii c 8 See Deut. 15:11.
body for burial, Mary took her most precious possession, “perfume,” and lovingly poured it over Jesus’ feet (v. 3; see Mary of Bethany). Then, not caring what the others thought of her, she wiped his feet with her hair. A woman in Mary’s day would never let her hair down in public but would keep it firmly bound or braided. The fact that Mary anointed his feet instead of his head demonstrated her humility. Only servants attended to the feet. When Judas (the money-keeper and betrayer) objected to Mary’s extravagance, Jesus silenced Judas and praised Mary’s actions. 12:10–11 The chief priests wanted to kill not only Jesus but also Lazarus, who had become important evidence of Jesus’ miracles (Jn 11:43–45). The Sadducees feared an insurrection by Jesus and his followers. Such disruption of peace might cost them their position of power and influence. The chief priests, who were all Sadducees, did not
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Mary of Bethany
A Committed Follower
Mary of Bethany stands as a role model for every dedicated disciple of Christ. She was apparently unmarried, living with her older sister Martha and their brother Lazarus. Their home was a friendly retreat for the Lord, who may have been in their age group. Mary, more than any other in the New Testament, is associated with sitting at Jesus’ feet, a testimony to her hunger for spiritual truth and understanding (Lk 10:39; Jn 11:32; 12:3). Yet she not only sat at his feet; she also served him by anointing him with costly ointment to show her desire to meet practical needs as well as to seek spiritual blessing. Mary’s example demonstrates her strong decision-making capability. She chose, Jesus said, to listen to him, and later her gift of ointment poured out in preparation for his burial was a premeditated act of worship. She was contemplative and sensitive, not given to verbal expression. When Lazarus died, tears and very few words expressed her heart’s grief. Jesus understood and wept with her (Jn 11:35). True to Jesus’ prophecy, Mary has lived in history as one personifying commitment. Three Gospels include her significant sacrificial gesture—ten and one-third ounces of pure spikenard ointment, worth a year’s wages, lavished in humility upon her Savior (Mt 26:6–13; Mk 14:1–9; Jn 11:1–6). Mary, a woman characterized by spiritual insight and readiness to act upon her faith, was thus commended by Christ (Mt 26:13). See also Mt 26:6–13; Mk 14:1–9; Lk 10:38–42; Jn 11:28–36,45; 12:3–8; chart on Women and Jesus; note on Heroines (Heb 11)
way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna! a ” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” b “Blessed is the king of Israel!” 14 Jesus
found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” c 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharis ees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
believe in the resurrection of the dead. Confronted with a clearly living Lazarus, they felt their foundation of power slipping away. 12:13–14 Large crowds met Jesus coming into Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. They spread palm branches in his entry path. Palm trees were among the earliest culti-
Jesus Predicts His Death 20 Now
t here were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the festival. 21 They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Gal ilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told J esus. 23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. 27 “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glo rified it, and will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd a 13
A Hebrew expression meaning “Save!” which became an exclamation of praise b 13 Psalm 118:25,26 c 15 Zech. 9:9
vated trees. They were a symbol of victory and success as well as of beauty. Images of the trees decorated the temple, and its branches were used as part of the Festival of Tabernacles celebration. The people received Jesus into Jerusalem as the promised Messiah, shouting Hosanna (Heb., lit. “save now”).
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1427 that was there and heard it said it had thun dered; others said an angel had spoken to him. 30 Jesus said, “This voice was for your benef it, not mine. 31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up a from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. 34 The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Messiah will remain forever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?” 35 Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness over takes you. Whoever walks in the dark does not know where they are going. 36 Believe in the light while you have the light, so that you may become children of light.” When he had fin ished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.
Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews 37 Even
after Jesus had performed so many s igns in their presence, they still would not believe in him. 38 This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet: “Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” b 39 For
this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn — and I would heal them.” c 41 Isaiah
said this because he saw Jesus’ glory and spoke a bout him. 42 Yet at the same time many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not openly acknowledge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved human praise more than praise from G od. 12:31–32 The prince of this world was John’s synonym for Satan (see chart, The Names for Satan). Through succumbing to Satan’s temptation, the man and woman had been driven out of the Garden of Eden by God. Though Jesus’ crucifixion seemed to indicate that the ruler of this world had won, actually his death on the cross would render Satan impotent and would forever break the power of this evil one. “Lifted up” referred to the way Jesus would die by crucifixion (v. 32). “All people” was a reference to people from all nations, regardless of nationality, race or status.
Jesus cried out, “Whoever believes in me does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. 45 The one who looks at me is see ing the one who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50 I know that his com mand leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
It was just before the Passover Festival. J esus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disci ples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” a 32
The Greek for lifted up also means exalted.
b 38 Isaiah 53:1 c 40 Isaiah 6:10
13:4–5 To wash the feet of others was a slave’s job in NT times. People wore sandals and walked along the unpaved dusty roads of the Holy Land. A servant would wash the guests’ feet as they came into the house. Jesus himself took a towel, knelt and washed his disciples’ feet. In doing so, Jesus gave his disciples a tremendous example to follow. They, too, must be willing to serve, to wash the feet of others. He showed them that love meant servanthood (see Mk 10, Servanthood). Through this passage, John gave keen insight into the character and love of Jesus.
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A Busy Hostess
Jesus often went to the home of Martha, who was apparently single, whether by choice or circumstances, and living in Bethany with her sister Mary and their brother Lazarus. John’s comment shows that Jesus and the family from Bethany were close friends (Jn 11:5). Martha seemed to enjoy her gift of hospitality and her probable position as the older of the two sisters. Three scenes appear to reveal Martha’s intensity, which the Lord faced with loving firmness, as recorded by Luke (Lk 10:41–42). Martha’s irritation with her sister led to a confrontation with Jesus as, in effect, she blamed him for Mary’s lack of assistance. His loving response was not a condemnation of Martha’s servant’s heart or a rejection of her zealous and gracious hospitality. He simply asked her to reconsider her priorities, to make her choices on the basis of eternal values instead of immediate pressures and he suggested that she allow Mary to make her own choices. Several months later, Lazarus became ill while Jesus was traveling many miles away. Although the sisters sent for him, by the time the Lord arrived in Bethany, Lazarus was dead and had been buried for four days. Ignoring the custom of mourners to remain in their homes, Martha took the initiative to meet Jesus as he approached the town and to attribute her brother’s untimely death to Jesus’ delay in reaching Bethany (Jn 11:21). Again, with trusting faith, Martha acknowledged Jesus’ power over death (v. 22). Jesus explained that he himself was the resurrection. She agreed and saw an immediate manifestation of that faith in her brother’s resurrection (v. 44). The third glimpse of Martha was reported by John (Jn 12:2). The simple fact that Martha assumed hostessing duties once more confirms the fact that her uncommon talents were being used. Undoubtedly she had become a disciple who experienced God’s power in practical service. Jesus, as well as countless others, needed the physical refreshment of Martha’s warm hospitality. She did not consider her homemaking responsibilities as worthless drudgery. She obviously loved her home and counted it joy to pour her energies into the efficient management of her household. Martha is a poignant reminder to every woman of the balance between fellowship with the family and the work necessary to meet their mundane needs. See also Lk 10:38–42; Jn 12:1–3; notes on Envy (Pr 14); Hospitality (1Pe 4)
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had fini shed washi ng t heir feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no ser vant is greater than his master, nor is a mes senger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
13:23 Some scholars believe that Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead, was the disciple “whom Jesus loved.” It is more plausible, however, that John, the author of the book, was speaking of himself. However, this disciple who sat next to Jesus in the place of honor is not specifically
Jesus Predicts His Betrayal 18 “I
am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has t urned a against me.’ b 19 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” 21 After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.” 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned a 18 Greek has lifted up his heel b 18 Psalm 41:9
identified in the text. Reclining instead of sitting at the table for a meal was customary, although usually optional. “Reclining next to him” would be a natural position for a person reclining next to Jesus. Here, however, this position of honor also expressed an intimate fellowship.
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1429 to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal under stood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial 13:37,38pp —Mt 26:33-35; Mk 14:29-31; Lk 22:33,34 31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, a God will glo rify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” 36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
Jesus Comforts His Disciples
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God b; believe also in me. 2 My
13:26 Judas was a common name in Jesus’ day. Iscariot (Aram., lit. “man of Kerioth”) was the only disciple out of the 12 from Judea. He kept and managed the money for the disciples, often stealing portions for himself (Jn 12:5– 6). Judas Iscariot is remembered primarily as the one who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver. An unrepentant Judas later hung himself (see Lk 24:47, note). 13:38 Roosters served as time indicators. They typically crowed first at midnight, then a second time at three o’clock in the morning. So accurate was their crowing that
Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and pre pare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Jesus the Way to the Father 5 Thomas said
to him, “Lord, we don’t know here you are going, so how can we know the w way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you really know me, you will know c my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for any thing in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit 15 “If you love me, keep my commands. 16 And I
will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows Many early manuscripts do not have If God is glorified in him. b 1 Or Believe in God c 7 Some manuscripts If you really knew me, you would know
the Roman guards relied on roosters to signal a changing of the guard. True to Jesus’ prophecy, Peter had denied Jesus three times by a few hours before dawn. 14:16–17 Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as “another advocate” he would send to the disciples after he returned to the Father (v. 16). Jesus requested the Holy Spirit, and the Father gave the Spirit in answer to his request. When speaking of the Holy Spirit, John used “Advocate” (Gk., parakle¯tos, lit. “one who is called beside”) and “Spirit of truth” to designate the Holy Spirit, the third person of the
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WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT woman Elizabeth (Lk 1:5–25, 57–80)
Mary of Nazareth (Lk 1:26–38; 2:1–21; Jn 19:25–27)
Husband Zacharias—a priest; Son John the Baptist— forerunner of the Messiah
Homemaker; she had a pregnancy and bore a child late in life; her son was hated because of his prophetic ministry, and he was brutally murdered in the prime of life.
Husband Joseph— a carpenter; Son Jesus—the Messiah; Sons James, Joses, Judas, Simon; Daughters unnamed
Homemaker; she endured gossip and rejection from family and friends because of her unique pregnancy before her marriage to Joseph; she watched the crucifixion of her son Jesus; she showed an unwavering commitment to the Lord.
Son-in-law Peter— a fisherman; and one of the apostles
She had an illness that brought her close to death; Jesus healed her; she exhibited a servant’s heart.
Husband Zebedee— a fisherman; Sons James and John
Homemaker; she was proud of her sons and encouraged their advancement; her unbridled ambition was unwise.
Daughter possessed by demons
Member of minority race; single parent; her faith gained Jesus’ attention and brought healing to her daughter.
Husband Jairus— synagogue leader; Daughter aged twelve
Homemaker; experienced death of only child; turned to and trusted in Christ; experienced joy of having daughter restored to life.
Widow (84 years of age) who served in the temple; she made prophetic pronouncement concerning the Christchild; alone most of her life but never bitter or self-centered.
Single parent; she lost her only son, but Jesus restored the boy to her; her faith was noteworthy for all.
Joanna (Lk 8:1–3)
Husband Chuza— Herod’s steward
Affluent; Joanna gave generously of her time and resources to further the work of the kingdom.
Mary and Martha of Bethany
Unmarried sisters; Martha offered hospitality to Jesus and his followers; Mary sat at Jesus’ feet to study and learn spiritual things; both sisters looked to the Lord in faith at the death of their brother, and Jesus raised him from the dead.
Live-in lover who was not her husband
Divorced (five previous husbands); she listened to Jesus and accepted his offer of salvation.
Unnamed mother-in-law (Mk 1:30–31)
Wife of Zebedee (Mt 20:20–28; 27:55–56)
The woman of Canaan (Mt 15:21–28)
Jairus’ wife (Mk 5:22–24, 35–42)
Anna (Lk 2:36–38)
Widow of Nain (Lk 7:11–16)
(Lk 10:38–42; Jn 11:1–41)
Woman of Samaria (Jn 4:7–42)
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WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (cont.) woman Woman caught in adultery
Lived in immorality; confronted about her sin, she was forgiven by Jesus.
Husband; Son who was blind
Homemaker; reared disabled child to adulthood; Jesus restored the son’s sight; perhaps the nurture of these parents helped the son to remain loyal to Jesus even under pressures.
Wealthy; tried to deceive the church and died under judgment of the Lord.
Father Philip—an evangelist
Unmarried sisters living with their father and helping him in his ministry; they were committed to serving the Lord.
Son John Marktraveled with missionary Barnabas (his kinsman); Rhoda—household servant
Homemaker; an affluent woman; seemingly a single parent; opened her home to believers for meetings; reared her son in the nurture of the Lord; her son also made a great contribution to the kingdom of Christ.
Husband (Gentile); Son Timothy; Mother Lois
Homemaker; interfaith marriage; both she and her mother (Lois) invested wisely in young Timothy’s spiritual nurture.
Businesswoman; hospitable; courageous in helping to begin a church in a hostile environment.
Without children; partner in tentmaking business and in ministry; gift for mentoring.
Jewish daughter of Herod Agrippa I; married Roman procurator of Judea; she was ambitious and without moral scruples.
Brother (and lover) Herod Agrippa II
Daughter of Herod Agrippa I and sister of Drusilla; lived in incest and immorality.
Husband Philemon (possibly); Slave Onesimus
Opened her home to meetings of believers; committed supporter of the apostle Paul.
Mother (Jn 9:1–41)
Sapphira (Ac 5:1–11)
Four sisters from Caesarea (Ac 21:9)
Mary (Ac 12:12–17)
Eunice (Ac 16:1; 2Ti 1:3–7)
Lydia of Philippi (Ac 16:13–40)
Priscilla (Ac 18:1–28; Ro 16:3; 1Co 16:19; 2Ti 4:19)
Drusilla (Ac 24:24)
Bernice (Ac 25:13–27)
Apphia (Phm 2)
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c h i l d
c a r e
Protecting Our Children
In Bible times, children seemingly always had care within the context of family—often a large extended family. Children were rarely out of reach of familiar, loving arms and authoritative, life-shaping discipline. Seeking child care beyond the family circle necessitates that parents attempt to re-create the special nurturing a parent can best provide in the protection and peace of the family circle. To build self-confidence, trust and contentment from afar can be a stressful challenge for all. Nothing seems worse, in Biblical terms, than for us to feel we have been left as orphans, isolated and alone. Jesus assured his disciples, when they began to fear the worst about their future with him, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (Jn 14:18). Something in the nature of divine love finds its fullest realization when intimacy, nearness and availability are there for the taking. The story of divine love in the Bible reveals a being there quality from beginning to end. Child care outside the home may be expedient for some families, but such a decision should always be bathed in prayer and carefully weighed. If we, as parents, are God’s representatives to our children in this world, we must make sure that a being there quality is built into all our dealings with our children and make our decisions about child care accordingly. See also Dt 6:1–9; Ps 127–128; 139; Eze 16:20–21; Mt 18:3, note; notes on Children (2Sa 21; Ps 128; Pr 22; Lk 15); Employment (Isa 26); Motherhood (1Sa 1; Isa 49; Eze 16)
him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be a in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21 Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” 22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them,
and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Trinity. The Holy Spirit as mediator or intercessor indwells the believer and serves as the revealer of God’s will, the Teacher, the Agent of empowerment, the Comforter and the Counselor (see chart, The Work of the Holy Spirit). 14:18 Jesus compared himself to an earthly father who would die and leave helpless children as orphans. No doubt, the disciples already sensed that tragedy would follow. Speaking here of the resurrection, Jesus promised to return to the disciples. 14:26 The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity and thus should be referenced as “He,” not “it” (Jn 14:17; 15:26; 16:7,13). He possesses all God’s attributes and is fully God. Throughout history God has acted, revealed his will, empowered individuals and disclosed his personal presence through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has specific functions. In the OT, the Holy Spirit was given to an individual at a specific time to aid in accomplishing a particular assignment or mission (Nu 11:26; Eze 2:2). He was not constantly present in the
life of every follower of Yahweh. However, from the coming of the Spirit in the NT until the end of the age, the Holy Spirit indwells all believers from the moment they trust completely in the Lord and his saving power. When an individual accepts Jesus as Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to indwell, never to leave (Eph 4:30). The Holy Spirit is the believer’s greatest asset and is essential for survival in this sinful world. The Holy Spirit is the believer’s advocate (Gk., parakle¯tos, lit. “one called alongside”; Jn 14:16). In other words, the Holy Spirit is “Advocate” and “Teacher” (Jn 16:7,13). The Holy Spirit gives the believer help and advice for living the Christian life. As moment by moment believers surrender their lives to God and allow themselves to be used for God’s service, the filling of the Holy Spirit occurs. Through the filling of the Holy Spirit believers are controlled by the Spirit and equipped for service (Eph 5:18–21; Ro 12, Spiritual Gifts; 2Co 1, Conscience; Eph 5, God’s Will; 1Pe 2, Priesthood of the Believer; see chart, the Work of the Holy Spirit).
Some early manuscripts and is
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1433 28 “You
heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does hap pen you will believe. 30 I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me, 31 but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me. “Come now; let us leave.
The Vine and the Branches
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes a so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear f ruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my dis ciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned 15:1–5 Vines grow all over the Holy Land. Every year, gardeners prune the branches in order to produce high-quality fruit. The branch is considered useless unless it produces fruit. Fruitless vines are drastically cut back. The pruned limbs are good for nothing and are destroyed. The OT pictured Israel as the vineyard of God. The vine became a symbol for the nation of Israel. Jesus called himself the “true” vine, using the vine and branches as an analogy to show how a believer must abide (live or remain) in him (v. 1). His followers who believed in him were the branches on God’s vine. The branches had no source of life within themselves but received life from the
from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that what ever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World Hates the Disciples 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it
hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ b If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’ c
The Work of the Holy Spirit 26 “When
the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father — he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning. “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away. 2 They will put you out of the synag ogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God. 3 They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me. 4 I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned
a 2 The Greek for he prunes also means he cleans. b 20 John 13:16 c 25 Psalms 35:19; 69:4
vine. Without the vine, the branches could produce no fruit and were good for nothing. 15:15 While the disciples must be servants to others, as Jesus demonstrated when he washed their feet (Jn 13:4– 5), Jesus considered them his friends. Only to his friends would Jesus give such a revelation of God and his purposes on the earth. The disciples did not choose Jesus; rather Jesus chose them. Jesus no longer called them “servants” (Gk., doulos, lit. “slave”). He offered them something far better than this, a personal and intimate relationship with God, the sort of rare relationship that exists between confidants or close friends.
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you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, 5 but now I am going to him who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Rather, you are filled with grief because I have said these things. 7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now s tands condemned. 12 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14 He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make k nown to you.”
The Disciples’ Grief Will Turn to Joy 16 Jesus
went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 17 At this, some of his disciples said to one another, “What does he mean by saying, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and ‘Because I am going to the Father’?” 18 They kept asking, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand what he is saying.” 19 Jesus saw that they wanted to ask him about this, so he said to them, “Are you ask ing one another what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me’? 20 Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you 16:33 The world represented the earthly system that was opposed to Jesus. John pictured the world and Christ as direct opposites. Through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, he overcame the world. In his life, he overcame the temptation to sin directed at him by the evil one. In his death, he became sin for each person and thus overcame
will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. 25 “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. 28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.” 29 Then Jesus’ disciples said, “Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have anyone ask you questions. This makes us believe that you came from God.” 31 “Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. 32 “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus Prays to Be Glorified
After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. 2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. 3 Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples 6 “I
have revealed you a to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were a 6 Greek your name
the power of sin. In his resurrection, he overcame death and arose victoriously from its stronghold. Jesus told the disciples that the world would bring them trouble but that he would bring them peace. John ended his discourse with this encouraging statement of victory.
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Right priorities and good time management demand an awareness that today is the only time with which we ever have to work. The past is irretrievably gone, and the future is only a possibility. Dorothy Kelley Patterson y ours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, pro tect them by the power of a your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by b that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13 “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15 My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by c the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
Jesus Prays for All Believers 20 “My
prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me 17:14–16 In this beautiful prayer, which is actually the Lord’s prayer, since Jesus prayed these words before his approaching death, he asked the Father not to take the disciples out of the world (see chart, Lessons from the Model Prayer). Instead he asked the Father to protect the disciples from the evil one, who is Satan. Jesus commissioned the disciples and sent them into the world to spread the Good News of the gospel.
and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — 23 I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete uni ty. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have giv en me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25 “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26 I have made you d known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
Jesus Arrested 18:3-11pp —Mt 26:47-56; Mk 14:43-50; Lk 22:47-53
When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Phari sees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons. 4 Jesus, knowing all that was going to happen to him, went out and asked them, “Who is it you want?” a 11 Or Father, keep them faithful to b 12 Or kept them faithful
to c 17 Or them to live in accordance with d 26 Greek your name
17:20 Jesus prayed to the Father in behalf of all believers, not just for his small band of disciples. These were the “other sheep” to whom Jesus referred (Jn 10:16). He prayed for the Jews as well as the Gentiles, for all the people who would come to believe in Jesus through the disciples’ testimonies. His prayer embraced the distant future.
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c h i l d b i r t h
The Miracle of Birth
Although Scripture often uses childbirth and motherhood as a metaphor, the reality and importance of birth is also present. The womb is the natural incubator prepared by the Creator for the protection and growth of the child. If birth occurs prematurely (Ex 21:22–25) the result could be tragic, such as the death of the mother (1Sa 4:19–22) or the death of the child (Ps 58:8; Hos 9:14). Other allusions to the birth process in Scripture include personnel, such as the midwives (Ge 35:17; Ex 1:15); props, such as the delivery stool (Ex 1:16); procedures, such as the cutting of the navel cord that binds the child to the mother and the cleansing of the child (Eze 16:4); and penalties, such as the woman’s ritual uncleanness for forty to eighty days after the birth (Lev 12:1–8). Pain contrasts with joy in the miracle of childbirth. The conception and birth of a child exemplify God’s greatest creative masterpiece (Ge 1:26–28). The bringing forth of young from the womb is an experience marked by extreme contrast. Most women who have borne a child will agree that carrying the child is very uncomfortable and the birth of the baby is downright painful. But the indescribable joy of the new life created encourages every mother to rejoice. The pain is quickly forgotten, “because of her joy that a child is born into the world” (Jn 16:21). See also Ge 3:16; Mt 18:3, note; 1Ti 2:15; notes on Children (2Sa 21; Ps 128; Pr 22; Lk 15); Fall of Creation (Ge 3); Infertility (Ge 11); Motherhood (1Sa 1; Isa 49; Eze 16); Pregnancy (Jdg 13)
of Nazareth,” they replied. “I am he,” Jesus said. (And Judas the traitor was standing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, “Who is it you want?” “Jesus of Nazareth,” they said. 8 Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. If you are looking for me, then let these men go.” 9 This happened so that the words he had spo ken would be fulfilled: “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” a 10 Then Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 Jesus commanded Peter, “Put your sword away! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?” 12 Then the detachment of soldiers with its commander and the Jewish officials arrested Jesus. They b ound him 13 and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caia phas, the high priest that year. 14 Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jewish leaders that it would be good if one man died for the people.
Peter’s First Denial 18:16-18pp —Mt 26:69,70; Mk 14:66-68; Lk 22:55-57
to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, 16 but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the servant girl on duty there and brought Peter in. 17 “You aren’t one of this man’s disciples too, are you?” she a sked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” 18 It was cold, and the servants and officials stood around a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.
The High Priest Questions Jesus 18:19-24pp —Mt 26:59-68; Mk 14:55-65; Lk 22:63-71 19 Meanwhile, the high priest questioned Jesus a bout his disciples and his teaching. 20 “I have spoken openly to the world,” Jesus replied. “I always taught in synag ogues or at the temple, where all the Jews come together. I said nothing in secret. 21 Why question me? Ask those who heard me. Surely they know what I said.” 22 When Jesus said this, one of the officials nearby slapped him in the face. “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” he demanded.
15 Simon Peter and another disciple were fol lowing Jesus. Because this disciple was known
a 9 John 6:39
18:15 Peter and another disciple stayed, but the others fled. The identity of the unnamed disciple is uncertain. He is often connected with Joseph of Arimathea (who gave his new, stone-cut tomb for Jesus’ body). Nicodemus may
have been the one, for he helped Joseph prepare Jesus’ body for burial. Tradition holds that John himself was the disciple. Whoever this unnamed man might have been, he was well known to the high priest.
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p e r f e c t i o n i s m
An Unreachable Goal
The compelling need to be more than what you are capable of ever becoming is the driving motivation behind perfectionism. It stems from deep insecurity, a gnawing fear that being the woman God made you to be is somehow not good enough. The longing for absolute perfection is rooted in the lost recollection of paradise. Within every believer is an internal barometer of how things ought to be, a deep yearning for the perfection that only heaven will bring. Something inside knows that no matter how good things are—they should be better. One day they will be, but not now. Knowing how it could be while living with how it actually is often causes an unhealthy tension. Understanding the innate desire for perfection can lead to a deeper anticipation and hope in eternity. It also helps release the demand that life in the present must satisfy all longings. At the same time, the Lord calls each believer to pursue wholeness and soundness of spirit—concepts that are frequently described as “perfect” in the New Testament (Mt 5:48). The foremost trait you are called to perfect in your life is the ability to love (1Jn 4:17–19). Completion or perfection as human beings is not possible, however, as the result of your own striving. It is the manifestation of God’s work in you (Heb 13:20–21). See also Isa 14:13; 2Co 12:9; Gal 6:1–5,14–15; notes on Contentment (1Ti 6); Employment (Ecc 9; Ac 18; 2Co 2; Col 3; 1Pe 2); Humility (Php 2); Priorities (Mt 6)
23 “If I said something wrong,” Jesus replied, “testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?” 24 Then Annas sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.
Peter’s Second and Third Denials 18:25-27pp —Mt 26:71-75; Mk 14:69-72; Lk 22:58-62 25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing t here warming himself. So they asked him, “You aren’t one of his disciples too, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” 26 One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, chal lenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the garden?” 27 Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.
Jesus Before Pilate 18:29-40pp —Mt 27:11-18,20-23; Mk 15:2-15; Lk 23:2,3,18-25 28 Then the Jewish leaders took Jesus from Caiaphas to the palace of the Roman gover nor. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”
18:28 While the Sanhedrin could pronounce death, only the Romans could carry out the execution. Jesus was led from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, or “palace of the Roman governor,” which was probably located next to Herod’s palace. The members of the Sanhedrin, however, would
30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.” 31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. 32 This took place to fulfill what Jesus had said about the kind of death he was going to die. 33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” 34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you a bout me?” 35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own peo ple and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?” 36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” 37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of t ruth listens to me.” 38 “What is truth?” retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your custom for me to release to
not enter the Praetorium (the governor’s residence), where Jesus was mocked by the soldiers before he was crucified, lest they be ceremonially defiled. If defiled, they could not eat the Passover.
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a u t h o r i t y
1438 Who’s in Charge?
God himself is the ultimate authority and the source of all human authority. Christians are commanded to recognize God’s authority behind human governing institutions by being compliant and respectful citizens. Even when human authority, corrupted by sin, is bent on evil purposes, God is working concurrently through that power to accomplish his perfect purposes. This paradox is never more strikingly revealed than when Jesus, standing before Pilate said, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above” (Jn 19:11). The purposes of the human authorities that led to Jesus’ crucifixion were stained with evil. At the same time, God’s good, gracious and loving purpose of redemption was being accomplished through those human powers, even though they did not acknowledge him as the source of their authority. All power and authority is God’s alone and he uses it always for the ultimate good of his children. Even when we do not see the beginning or ending of God’s plan, we have to trust him to be the Alpha and Omega, Beginning and Ending of all things, including the events of our individual lives (Rev 22:13). See also Ro 13:1; Heb 13:7,17; notes on Government and Citizenship (Ro 13); Headship (Ge 1); Rebellion (Nu 16); Submission (1Pe 3)
you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?” 40 They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in an uprising.
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face. 4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the pur ple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!” 6 As soon as the chief priests and their offi cials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and cru cify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.” 7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.” 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Any one who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.” 13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place
19:1 Flogging was a severe form of punishment. The victim was tied to a post so that his back was fully exposed. Then he was whipped 39 times with a leather lash containing sharpened pieces of bone and lead. A servant or soldier administered the lashes, 13 to the victim’s chest and 26 to his back. The beating literally tore away the flesh. The punishment was not only cruel, but it was also used before crucifixion to hasten the death of the condemned person. Often the victim died before the 39th lash (see Dt 25:3, note). Pilate ordered that Jesus be flogged. 19:12 Pontius Pilate, the anti-Semitic Roman governor/ procurator of Judea, wanted to release Jesus after he had been flogged (see chart, New Testament Political Rulers). The crowd threatened Pilate by saying that he would no
longer be a “friend” of Caesar unless he yielded to their demands and crucified Jesus. Pilate was directly responsible to the emperor, Tiberius Caesar, for the Roman judicial, military and financial operations in Judea. He feared that the Jews would draft a formal complaint against him, arousing the wrath of Tiberius. Such action would most certainly cost his position and perhaps even his life. John carefully recorded Pilate’s “not guilty” verdict of Jesus to prove that Jesus was innocent of any crime against the Roman government. 19:13 After questioning him, Pilate brought Jesus out to the “Stone Pavement.” On this elevated platform (whether natural or man-made) in front of the Praetorium, Pilate sat in the judgment seat to pronounce his official decisions.
Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified 19:1-16pp —Mt 27:27-31; Mk 15:16-20
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The soul to be rescued, washed, redeemed, saved, sanctified and glorified—he saw this glorious jewel and he gave himself for it. Catherine Booth
nown as the Stone Pavement (which in Ara k maic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Prepara tion of the Passover; it was about noon. “Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews. 15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!” “Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked. “We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered. 16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus 19:17-24pp —Mt 27:33-44; Mk 15:22-32; Lk 23:33-43
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Car rying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgo tha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others — one on each side and Jesus in the middle. 19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of naza r eth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Ara maic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” 23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, 19:14 The Friday of Passover week, or Preparation Day, was used to prepare for the Sabbath, including such tasks as cooking food to be eaten on the Sabbath and drawing extra water, since any type of work was prohibited on the Sabbath. Jesus was sentenced, executed and buried on this Friday (see chart, The Last Week in the Life of Jesus). 19:19–20 Pilate, the Roman procurator (AD 26–36), hated the Jewish people (see chart, New Testament Political Rulers). To ridicule them, he wrote a mocking title for Jesus and put it on the cross for public view. Often a tablet naming the criminal’s crimes was hung around the dying man’s neck. The sign ironically declared the true title of Jesus. It was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, thus indicating, though unintentionally, that the death of Jesus Christ had universal implications. 19:23–24 Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross. Tra-
one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom. 24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.” This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said, “They divided my clothes among them and cast lots for my garment.” a So this is what the soldiers did. 25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved stand ing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, b here is your son,” 27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus 19:29,30pp —Mt 27:48,50; Mk 15:36,37; Lk 23:36 28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
a 24 Psalm 22:18 b 26 The Greek for Woman does not denote any disrespect.
dition holds that Mary wove the robe worn by her Son Jesus. The robe was woven in one piece as was the robe worn by the high priest (see chart, The High Priest’s Clothing). The symbolism here is rich, for the high priest served as a mediator between God and the people. Since the robe could not be torn without ruining it, the soldiers threw dice (“cast lots,” v. 24) for the garment, thus fulfilling the OT prophecy (Ps 22:18). 19:26–27 Several women (Jesus’ mother Mary and her sister Salome, Mary the wife of Clopas and Mary Magdalene), as well as John, one of the 12 disciples, stood beneath the cross as Jesus died (see chart, Women and Jesus). Jesus, even in his agony, was concerned about the future welfare of his mother. As the eldest Son, he took the responsibility of providing his mother with a protector and provider, the “disciple whom he loved,” John.
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WOMEN AND JESUS woman
Questioning how this could happen but praising in obedience
Putting away an unmarried, pregnant woman
Sending his messenger to bless her
Pondering Jesus’ nature as divine and human
Another illegitimate birth
Seeing the joyous event as part of his redemptive plan
Taking Jesus to the temple with Joseph
Curiosity over the prophecies and the rumors
Prophecies of his birth through Simeon and Anna
Jesus’ visit to the temple (Lk 2:41–52)
Keeping all Jesus said in her heart
Insistence on complete obedience to parents
Gently telling his mother that he was doing the Father’s business
The wedding at Cana (Jn 2:1–11)
Instructing servants to do what Jesus said
Enjoying the result of Jesus’ miracle, while indifferent to his mission
Showing Mary that he was working within the Father’s timing, though answering her request
Jesus’ speaking to the multitudes
Sending word for Jesus to come to her
Expecting Jesus’ obedience to his parents
Affirming to Mary that she (and his brothers) did not have special privileges
Witnessing this heart-rending event
Observing curiously the events
Jesus’ seeing to the care of his mother
Continuing in prayer and supplication
Surprised but apathetic
Assuming his place with the Father in heaven
Giving thanks for Jesus and recognizing him as Redeemer
Though occasionally acknowledging the contributions of women, rejecting their equality of personhood
The presence of the Holy Spirit
Surprised that Jesus would speak to her, suspecting that he is the Messiah, and sharing the Good News
Feelings of aversion from the rabbis about conversing with or imparting spiritual truths to women
Initiating the conversation, sharing the profound truths, and presenting himself as Messiah
Silent during the entire encounter until Jesus directly addressed her
Believing men were seduced by women
Not denying her sin, not condemning her, but freeing her
The angel’s announcement (Lk 1:26–28,46–55)
The Savior’s birth (Lk 2:9–11,19)
MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS
(Mt 12:46–50; Mk 3:31–35; Lk 8:19–21)
Jesus’ death on the cross (Lk 23:27; Jn 19:26)
The events after the resurrection (Ac 1:11,14)
THE WOMAN TAKEN IN ADULTERY
THE SAMARITAN WOMAN
The meeting at Jacob’s well (Jn 4:3–34)
Attempt to trap Jesus (Jn 8:1–11)
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WOMEN AND JESUS (cont.) woman
Her healing from demonic possession
Following and ministering to Jesus
Rejecting any ministries by women
Accepting support from those accompanying him, valuing their commitment to him as that of the men
Coming with other women, remaining, and weeping
Rejection of a woman’s testimony as valid
Letting her be the first to see and talk to him, the first to tell others
Jesus’ visit in her home (Lk 10:38–42)
Sitting at Jesus’ feet, waiting to be taught
Refusing to see the teaching of spiritual truths as appropriate for women
Teaching her, encouraging her to learn
The death of Lazarus (Jn 11:28–36)
Weeping at Jesus’ feet
The refusal of rabbis to talk to women in public
Weeping with Mary in her sorrow
Jesus’ visit in her home (Lk 10:38–42)
Being distracted with service
Not expecting women to learn
Encouraging her to learn, while enjoying her hospitality
The death of Lazarus
Rejection on the part of religious leaders and others of any spiritual nurture for women
Answering her questions, discussing profound doctrines
Touching Jesus’ garment
Avoiding being touched by or touching any woman with an issue of blood
Stating that she touched him but forgiving rather than condemning her; acknowledging her great faith
“A wife’s duty was to wash her husband’s feet”
Jesus, the footwasher
“The woman is in all things inferior to man” (Josephus)
Jesus treating women equally
Women should be secluded because lust is inevitable
Men relating to women without lust
THE HEMORRHAGING WOMAN
MARTHA OF BETHANY
MARY OF BETHANY
The visit to the tomb
Her healing (Mk 5:25–34)
Footwashing GENERAL OBSERVATIONS
Encounter with prejudice (Jn 4:7–29,39–42)
Adultery in the heart (Mt 5:27–30)
See also portraits of Anna (Lk 2); Forgiven Adulteress (Jn 8); the Hemorrhaging Woman (Mt 9); Martha (Jn 11); Mary of Bethany (Jn 11); Mary Magdalene (Jn 20); Mary of Nazareth (Lk 1); the Samaritan Woman (Jn 4).
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c a r e g i v e r s
1442 A Commitment to Elderly Parents
The Bible’s plan for families is a fairly straightforward one: Parents care for children until they reach adulthood; then children have a responsibility for the care of their parents. This was considered an integral part of honoring mothers and fathers, as commanded by the Law (Ex 20:12). In Old Testament times, parents and children generally lived together or in proximity all their lives. Jacob and his wives, their maids, his children and grandchildren were considered a family unit as they journeyed to Egypt for provision at the hand of Joseph (Ge 46:5–27). Jesus was critical of those Pharisees who refused to provide for the material needs of their parents under the guise of giving their all to the Lord (Mk 7:10–13). Paul wrote to Timothy concerning the responsibility of children to parents (1Ti 5:4). While on the cross, Jesus made certain that his widowed mother had a means of provision (Jn 19:26–27). While obligated to provide materially for parents, an adult child is not obligated to meet all of a parent’s emotional or spiritual needs, and she is never to follow in a parent’s pattern of sin (Eze 18:19–22). Children are to follow the leading of the Lord for their own lives (Mt 8:21–22; Mk 10:29–30). See also notes on Children (Lk 15); Family (Ge 32; 1Sa 3; Ps 78; 127); Parenthood (Pr 10); Widowhood (Ps 68; Jer 29; 1Co 2); portrait of Ruth (Ru 2)
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the oth er. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things hap pened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” a 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.” b
The Burial of Jesus 19:38-42pp —Mt 27:57-61; Mk 15:42-47; Lk 23:50-56 38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jew ish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied
19:31–32 Crucifixion often would take days to kill its victim. Breaking the victim’s legs caused the body to go into shock and hastened death. Roman law demanded that a criminal hang on the cross until he died, no matter how long that took. The body was then fed to the vultures. Jewish law, however, required that a body be removed the same day and buried before evening. The Jews could not
by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. c 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.
The Empty Tomb 20:1-8pp —Mt 28:1-8; Mk 16:1-8; Lk 24:1-10
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came run ning to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb a 36 c 39
Exodus 12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20 b 37 Zech. 12:10 Or about 34 kilograms
allow a body to hang upon the cross on the Sabbath, which was the next day. Jesus’ legs were not broken, for he was already dead when the soldiers came and broke the legs of the criminals who were crucified on each side of him. The fact that none of Jesus’ bones were broken fulfilled another prophecy (v. 36; Ps 34:20; chart, Prophecies Fulfilled on the Cross).
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1443 f irst. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of lin en lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the lin en. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene 11 Now
Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you cry ing?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Ara maic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said t hese things to her.
Jesus Appears to His Disciples 19 On
the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 20:7 Upon hearing Mary’s story, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They expected to find the grave clothes gone, for they suspected a thief had stolen the body. Instead, they found the shroud resting exactly where the body had been placed. Instead of a disheveled mess, the clothes were still neatly folded as if around a body. Jesus was gone, but his
Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive any one’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
Jesus Appears to Thomas 24 Now
Thomas (also known as Didym us a ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” 26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The Purpose of John’s Gospel 30 Jesus
performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe b that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. c It hap pened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus a ), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other dis ciples were together. 3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that n ight they caught nothing. 4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was J esus. a 24
Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.
b 31 Or may continue to believe c 1 Greek Tiberias
grave clothes lay in the same folded fashion. A handkerchief (or towel or napkin) was used to cover the face of the dead for burial. The handkerchief that covered Jesus’ head was still in place where his head had lain. The position of the grave clothes puzzled Peter, John and Mary, for they had not yet understood that the resurrection had occurred.
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A Devoted Woman
Mary lived in Magadan (now called El Mejdel, located south of the Plain of Gennesaret on the shores of the Sea of Galilee), an important agricultural, fishing and trade center. Suffering from demon possession, Mary met Jesus face to face, an encounter that changed her life. Jesus cast from Mary the seven evil demonic spirits that had ruled and ruined her life (see Mk 16:9). The gospel writers distinguished demon possession from other diseases. The New Testament clearly describes its symptoms—for example, speechlessness (Mt 9:33), violence (Mt 8:28), blindness (Mt 12:22), convulsions (Mk 1:26), foaming at the mouth (Lk 9:39). Mary’s demonic possession may have been physical, mental or spiritual illness, or perhaps even immorality (though there is no textual evidence for prostitution on her part). After her healing experience, Mary became a devoted follower of Christ. Unflappable in her faithfulness, she was counted among the small group of women who, at their own expense, served Jesus and his disciples as they preached and ministered to the masses. Mary became an important leader among the ministering women. Scripture mentions her fourteen times. She proved to be a passionate follower who gave her time, energy and wealth to the Lord’s work. She faithfully followed Jesus throughout his ministry. Even when nearly everyone fled with fear after Christ’s arrest, Mary lingered lovingly all the way to the cross and witnessed his painful death. Mary remained faithful to Jesus long after the others had given up hope. Early one morning, after the Jewish Sabbath ended, she crept through the predawn darkness to the tomb. In her arms she carried the customary spices to prepare the Lord’s body for burial. The Lord richly rewarded Mary for her faithfulness to him. For when she arrived at the tomb, the heavy stone slab that sealed the three-foot square entrance had been removed. To her horror, Mary discovered the tomb empty, but her grief turned to joy when she came face to face with Jesus, the risen Lord. In his incredible grace, God chose a faithful woman, Mary of Magadan, to proclaim to the disciples and to the world the glorious life-changing news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Imagine her excitement! “I have seen the Lord!” she shouted with unequaled enthusiasm to the small band of bewildered and unbelieving disciples (Mk 16:11). Mary Magdalene’s devoted faithfulness to Jesus and her announcement of Christ’s victory over death shouts to women everywhere how an encounter with Christ changes a life forever. Mary Magdalene personifies the many women for whom Christ has demonstrated his depth of mercy and forgiveness. See also Mt 27:56,61; 28:1; Mk 15:40,47; 16:9; Lk 8:2; 24:10; charts on Women and Jesus in his Last Days; Women and Jesus; note on Commitment (Mt 16)
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. 6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the l arge number of fish. 7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. 8 The other dis ciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards. a 9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so
many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disci ples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus Reinstates Peter 15 When
they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.” 16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” a 8
Or about 90 meters
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He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed your self and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indi cate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This
was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what a bout him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?” 24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. 25 Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that w ould be written.
21:18–19 Jesus prophesied that Peter would die as a result of following him. He made a comparison between Peter’s life as a youth and as an old man. Jesus indicated that Peter
would die a martyr’s death. “Stretch out your hands” referred to crucifixion. Tradition holds that Peter was crucified upside down in Rome between AD 64 and 68.
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The Woman’s Study Bible is a priceless treasure, poignantly revealing the Word of God to a woman’s heart. With special notes and features ap...
Published on Feb 4, 2013
The Woman’s Study Bible is a priceless treasure, poignantly revealing the Word of God to a woman’s heart. With special notes and features ap...