Jesus is a rabbi, a teacher in the Jewish culture, teaching final, critical lessons to His disciples. The upper room discourse begins in John 13:31-38. Earlier in John 13, Jesus provided an object lesson for His disciples when He washed their feet. As He will soon be departing, Jesus desires for His disciples to thrive without His physical presence, as they will not yet be able to follow Him.
No matter their fear, uncertainty, failure, or doubt, Jesus has a final, powerful lesson for His disciples to learn: that loving one another like Christ is the way of perseverance.
In John 3:16-21, Jesus talks about the difference between light and dark. Those who would reject Jesus rejected that light due to their deeds being exposed.
Last week we talked about Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, but when Jesus came to Judas, He didn’t skip him. Jesus was instructing them on how to love in the face of evil.
If you knew you had 24 hours to live, how would you spend it? A common answer is to spend it with the people you love the most. But if you knew those people would leave you during that time when you needed them most, would that change how you would spend it?
In John 13:1-17, Jesus knew that He was about to be betrayed and crucified. Yet Jesus called His friends to and modeled for them the defining characteristic of a Christ-follower.
Many commentators who study the book of John divide the book into two parts, the first part being Jesus’ public ministry and the second part as His private ministry to His disciples. The passage today makes that clear in verse 36 when Jesus says, “while you have the Light, believe in the Light.”
Although Jesus performed many signs before them, the hearers would not believe. This leaves a question lingering in the air: Is Jesus’ ministry successful? The people Jesus came to save refused Him. The religious leaders rejected Him. The people He spoke to would put Him to death. Even Jesus’ disciples had to go into hiding.
However, the God of Heaven said, “Yes, You have glorified Me and You will glorify Me” (verse 28). In reality, Jesus’ ministry is powerful and merciful.
In John 12:27-36, we come to the end of Jesus’ public ministry. We’ve already talked about the curious Jew worshiping Jesus, the marvelous worshipper Mary, and covetous Judas. As we look at these groups and their responses to Jesus, hopefully we aren’t interested in just calculating what we can get from Jesus like Judas did. Instead, let’s elaborate on how the seed has to die in order to bear fruit.
The heart of a true disciple will trust in Jesus no matter the cost.
The Scriptures describe past military parades and conquests of Israel’s kings (1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles) as well as one to come (Rev. 6). John 12:12-19 is an explanation of the Christian’s greatest parade of conquest to this point in spiritual history. Recorded in all four gospels, the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem at the beginning of the Passover is the commencement of Christ’s passion week. We see an irony of faith in this grand parade for the Son of God who has come to suffer and die for the sin of the world.
We learn from the woman at the well that true worshippers of God must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24), while those who are forgiven much, love much, as demonstrated by the woman who washed Jesus’s feet with her tears (Luke 7:36-50). In John 12:1-11, we learn from Mary how to worship.
John 11 marks the turn of Jesus’s public ministry to His private ministry. Jesus states that the purpose for the death and resurrection of Lazarus is the glory of God so that the Son of God may be glorified (John 11:4). The response to this miracle by the Jews and the religious leaders is the focus of the remainder of this chapter. Though some Jews believe in Jesus because of this miracle (John 11:45), many who were eyewitnesses to the death and resurrection of Lazarus do not believe in Him (John 11:46). We see unbelief acknowledge the miracle but resist submitting to the lordship of Christ.
Many scholars have called the raising of Lazarus, Jesus’s seventh sign and last public sign, the climax of Jesus’s ministry and the greatest of His public signs. In this chapter, John is preparing the reader for the cornerstone of our faith in Jesus Christ, which is the resurrection of the dead. We cannot have Christianity without the resurrection, and there cannot be resurrection without Jesus having authority over death.
Today we will examine 3 interactions that Jesus had once he arrived in Bethany in John 11:17-37.
Last week, we studied Jesus' human love for the family of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha. This week, we will look at how He ministered to His 12 disciples during this crisis.
For approximately 90 days between the events of John chapters 10 and 12, Jesus ministers in the Perean area. John 10 contains Jesus' last public invitation for the Jews to believe in Him, and John 11 contains Jesus' most powerful self-proclamation and most dramatic miracle.
In Philippians 2:1-4, Paul discusses the necessity of maintaining relationships in Christ so a robust gospel effort can be achieved by the local church. This gospel effort is first individual, disciples of Christ making disciples.
During the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus is confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus’s desire for these religious leaders to believe is an act of His mercy, an attribute of God manifested in Christ. Though not mentioned in this passage, the twelve disciples are witnessing the debate between Jesus and the religious unbelief at Solomon’s portico (John 10:23). It was customary for open theological debates to occur during festivals and for followers to be near their Rabbi. Jesus’s followers were only three years old in Christ or less. Though Jesus is specifically addressing unbelief, He is mindful of those listening to Him and how His words might strengthen them. Just as Peter had to be instructed by Paul (Galatians 2), it is normal for the followers of Jesus to become unsettled at times by circumstances and situations.
We learn in John 10:22-23 that Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication, a national holiday not mentioned in the Old Testament. It was winter, and Jesus walked in the portico where it would have been warmer. Here, Jesus was confronted for the final time in His public ministry by the religious leaders. Only three months away from crucifixion, Jesus boldly proclaimed (John 10:30) that He and His Father are one, and the Jews picked up stones to kill Him (John 10:31).
In John 10, Jesus refers to Himself twice as the door/gate as well as the Good Shepherd twice. Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees (John 9:40), the religious leaders and spiritual shepherds of the Jewish people. These men, spiritually blind and deaf to the truth of Jesus (John 10:6), are causing division (John 10:19).
Jesus being the Good Shepherd is one of the more familiar depictions of Christ. In John 10, Jesus refers to Himself as both the gate and the Good Shepherd. Jesus’s audience would have had the usual understanding of shepherding in mind. Sheep were a common industry in Israel, not only for clothing and food, but also sacrificed in religious worship as part of regular temple activity.
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