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.
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).
As Jesus continues to teach from the temple during the Feast of Tabernacle, He interacts with religious unbelief. We learn from John 8:30-31 that some have proclaimed faith in Jesus. The life of a true believer will bear forth the fruit of repentance. While some profess faith in Christ, others confess faith in Him. This passage in John helps us discern between profession and confession. Earlier in this book, we read how some professed faith in Jesus as King, trying to forcibly crown Him. However, these people did not confess Him as Savior and Lord. John writes his gospel with the purpose of proving that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that we might believe, and in believing, that we might have life through His name, not just professing but confessing Him as Lord.
John 7 is a chapter full of assessments as people try to figure out who Jesus is and Jesus continues to make statements of Himself and His divine authority. It occurs in the middle of the week-long festival of booths, just 6 months before He would be tortured and crucified for our sin.
John writes his gospel three decades after the other gospel writers with the purpose of proving that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, so that we might believe, and in believing, that we might have life through His name. It is interesting to note that John 1-11 covers almost three years, while John 12-21 covers three days. A chapter of assessment, John 7:1-14 is specifically an assessment of the situation. Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry and has reached the zenith of His popularity. In Galilee, not even Jesus’s biological brothers are believing in Him (John 7:5), and the fury against Christ in Jerusalem is increasing as the head Jews seek to kill Him (John 7:1). Knowing His death will be the following year in Jerusalem, Jesus proceeds with the wisdom of God to perfectly observe the Mosaic feasts as the sinless Son of God.
John places a discourse of teaching before or after each of the miracles he writes about. A chief discourse is found in John 6:22-71 after the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus' walking on the water. In this passage, Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry. Having fed the 5,000, He and His disciples are along the shores of the Sea of Galilee near Jesus’s hometown. Those who have been fed and healed have found their way to the other side of the lake, marveling that Jesus is there too, knowing He had not set out in the boat with His disciples the evening before.
John 5 is a robust chapter recounting Jesus’ time spent in Jerusalem telling religious unbelievers that He is God. This is where threats upon Jesus’ life begin. For the next 3 years, He lives under these threats because of His works and His words, which proclaim that He is God.
Jesus modeled for us perfectly how to trust and obey the Father with divine purpose. Philippians 2 explains how Jesus was obedient even unto death on the cross. Even the beginning of His public obedience had as its aim His duty on the cross of Calvary. This model of obedience unto gospel purpose is for each believer to follow from the moment of conversion until the point of heavenly transformation.
Old Testament and gospel narrative is the product of inspiration, revealing historic accounts inerrantly and infallibly. In these accounts, God is always the hero, and Jesus is the heroic representative of the Godhead in the Gospel of John. We are reminded in 1 Corinthians 10 that these accounts are given to us as examples. Jesus’s atonement, accomplished and applied, dramatically changes life for the coming new faith community, the church.
Written to people who need to know Christ, the gospel of John is clear about God’s initiating love towards each of us. John desires for us to understand God’s amazing love so we would surrender our hearts to Him as Lord and Savior.
John introduces the reader to Nicodemus, a Pharisee, in John 3:1-2. The name Nicodemus is a common, proper Greek name in history, and during the time of Jesus, it was also a common, popular Jewish name. The Pharisees were a sect of the Sanhedrin, the highest-ranking Jewish school of the time.
One of the most fundamental questions a Christian must ask is "what constitutes true belief?" How do I know if my own or someone else's belief is genuine or sincere? Do I have enough faith?
In John 1, Andrew and Simon Peter are introduced to Jesus, the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. Though both follow Jesus, they have not yet officially left their nets to follow him as seen in the other gospels. After spending time with Jesus, Andrew hurries to find his brother, Simon Peter.
The earliest of the five books written by the Apostle John, the gospel of John was written primarily to a Greek-speaking, Jewish audience, highly influenced by the Greek culture. Most of the people in John’s audience would have been unsaved, needing to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. John omits many of the words, parables, actions, and miracles of Jesus which the other three gospels include. John’s themes are different than the other gospel writers. The material in chapters 1-5 of the book of John is unique and not found in the other gospels. The healing miracles in chapters 9 and 11 are also exclusive to John. Similarities between the book of John and the other three gospels include the Spirit's anointing of Christ, Jesus feeding the five thousand, Jesus walking on water, Jesus’s sonship to the Father, and Jesus’s authority over nature to name a few.
John is known as the most theological gospel writer, though his name is never mentioned in the book as the author. Luke calls John an apostle in Luke 6. Polycarp, a direct disciple of the Apostle John, testified to knowing that John had written this fourth gospel while in Ephesus. Six times within the book, John is referred to as "the disciple whom Jesus loved." Matthew tells us that John and his brother James were known as the sons of Zebedee. Jesus named them "sons of thunder" in the book of Mark. One of the three most intimate associates of Jesus during His earthly ministry, John writes of his own spiritually close relationship with Christ (1 John 1:1-4). After Christ’s ascension, John became a leader in the Jerusalem church (Gal. 2) and ministered with Peter all through the book of Acts. He was living in Ephesus when the gospel of John was written before Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70. The Roman government exiled John to the island of Patmos where his final work, Revelation, was written.
In this text, Jesus enters Jerusalem again for last time. The Gospel writers record 55 events within the last week before Jesus’ crucifixion, and this Triumphal Entry kicks them all off. Today we will use terms from literature to look at the characters in this event, their attitudes and reactions, and the influence Jesus had in their lives.
Job is a book of wisdom. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 9:10). Wisdom is not merely knowledge. Wisdom is living the knowledge of God’s will, being able to apply what we know. The genuinely saved person longs to know the will of God and perseveres in living it. Job 1:1 describes Job as blameless and upright, fearing God and turning away from evil, giving us a brief description of the person of Job and his character.
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