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The Woman’s Study Bible N E W




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

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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. 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. 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. 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

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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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john 1:1

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.

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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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john 1:37 



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.

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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

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43 The next day ­Jesus de­cid­ed to ­leave for Gal­

a 42 

Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.   

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john 2:15 

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

Lk 7:11–15

Healing the crippled woman

Lk 13:11–13

Turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana at request of Jesus’ mother

Jn 2:1–11

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.

43-John.indd 1405

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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john 2:16 

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.

43-John.indd 1406

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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john 3:22 


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-

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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.   

a 3 

b 6 Or but spirit    c 7 The Greek is plural.    d 8 

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john 3:23 

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).

43-John.indd 1408

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

43-John.indd 1409

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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john 4:45 



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.

45 When

43-John.indd 1410

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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john 5:35


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. [4] 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-

43-John.indd 1411

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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john 5:36

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

43-John.indd 1412

a 39 Or 39Study    b 44 

Some early manuscripts the Only One   

c 7 Greek take two hundred denarii   

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john 6:39

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

25 When

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

43-John.indd 1413

a 19 

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.

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 6:40

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).

43-John.indd 1414

a 45 Isaiah 54:13   

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 7:23

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

43-John.indd 1415

6 There­fore

­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.

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 7:24


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

43-John.indd 1416

39 By

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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john 8:24



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

43-John.indd 1417

the names for satan name


Abaddon (Heb., lit. “destruction”)

Rev 9:11

The accuser of our brothers and sisters

Rev 12:10

The enemy (Gk., antidikos, lit. “opponent”)

Mt 13:39; 1Pe 5:8

The angel of the Abyss

Rev 9:11

Apollyon (Gk., lit. “destroyer”)

Rev 9:11

Beelzebul, the ruler of the demons

Mt 12:24


2Co 6:15

The devil (Gk., diabalos, lit. “one who casts through”)

Jn 8:44

The dragon

Rev 12:7; 20:2

The god of this age

2Co 4:4

The king of Tyre

Eze 28:11–19


Jn 8:44

Morning star

Isa 14:12–21


Jn 8:44

The ruler of the kingdom of the air

Eph 2:2

A roaring lion

1Pe 5:8

The power of this dark world

Eph 6:12

The prince of this world

Jn 12:31; 14:30

Satan (Heb., lit. “adversary”)

Mk 1:12–13

The serpent

Rev 20:2

The tempter

1Th 3:5

The evil one

Mt 13:19

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).

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 8:25 



Forgiven Adulteress

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,

43-John.indd 1418

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

a 28 

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.

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 9:7


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-

48 The

43-John.indd 1419


10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 9:8 


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:

43-John.indd 1420

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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john 10:12

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

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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   

a 38,39 

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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john 10:13

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.

43-John.indd 1422

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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john 11:20 

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-

43-John.indd 1423

4 When

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   

a 29 

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.

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 11:21 


21 “Lord,”

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

43-John.indd 1424

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

10/9/12 4:48 PM

john 12:12 


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

43-John.indd 1425

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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john 12:13 



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-

43-John.indd 1426

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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john 13:9 

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.

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44 Then

­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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john 13:10 




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

43-John.indd 1428

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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john 14:17

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

43-John.indd 1429

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   

a 32 

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

10/9/12 4:48 PM



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)

her family


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.

(Mk 6:3)

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

Brother Lazarus

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)

43-John.indd 1430

10/9/12 4:48 PM



WOMEN AND THEIR FAMILIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT (cont.) woman Woman caught in adultery

her family


None stated

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.

Husband Ananias

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.

None mentioned

Businesswoman; hospitable; courageous in helping to begin a church in a hostile environment.

Husband Aquila

Without children; partner in tentmaking business and in ministry; gift for mentoring.

Husband Felix

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.

(Jn 8:3–11)

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)

43-John.indd 1431

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john 14:18

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).

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a 17 

Some early manuscripts and is   

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john 16:4

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

43-John.indd 1433

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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john 16:5


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

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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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john 18:4 


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.

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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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john 18:5 


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)

5 “Jesus

of Naz­a­reth,” they re­plied. “I am he,” ­Jesus said. (And Ju­das the trai­tor was stand­ing ­there with them.) 6 When ­Jesus said, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he ­asked them, “Who is it you want?”  “Jesus of Naz­a­reth,” they said. 8 Jesus an­swered, “I told you that I am he. If you are look­ing for me, then let ­these men go.” 9 This hap­pened so that the ­words he had 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

john 18:39 

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

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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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john 18:40 

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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john 19:30 


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-

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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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culture’s response

jesus’ response

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

(Lk 2:25–28)

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)


Jesus’ circumcision

woman’s response

(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)




Jesus’ circumcision

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(Lk 2:25–26,36–38)

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


woman’s response

culture’s response

jesus’ response

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

(Jn 20:11–18)

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

Questioning Jesus

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





(Lk 8:2–3)

The visit to the tomb

(Jn 11:17–27)

Her healing (Mk 5:25–34)


(Jn 13:1–5)

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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john 19:31 

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

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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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john 21:4 

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

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21 Again

­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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john 21:5 



Mary Magdalene

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

43-John.indd 1444

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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john 21:25 

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 NIV  

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...

The Woman's Study Bible NIV  

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...