Jesus states that He and the Father are One

The Gospel of John

John 10:22–24

I and the Father are One

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. At the time of the Feast of Dedication, otherwise known as Hanukkah, commemorating the rebuilding of the temple in 164 BCE, which temple had been destroyed by Antiochus Epiphanes IV in 167 BCE, Jesus was at the Stoa of Solomon, a covered walkway, when His accusers once again found Him.
  2. They demand that He state whether He is the Messiah or not. They not so much want an answer as they want a reason to kill Him.
  3. Jesus replies that He had already answered them, and the trouble is they do not believe Him. His works, especially the healing of the man born blind, is proof enough. If they were part of His flock, Jesus being the Good Shepherd, they would hear His voice and follow Him.
  4. Once again Jesus refers to God as “My Father.” He even states that He and the Father are One, whereupon His enemies pick up stones again. Jesus then asks them for which of His works (signs-miracles) are they about to stone Him.
  5. The accusers say the reason for the stoning is that Jesus had committed blasphemy for making Himself out to be God.
  6. Jesus, in response, refers to Psalm 82:6 where we read, “I said, ‘You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you.’”
  7. These “gods”, as understood by the rabbis, meant that the judges of Israel, passing sentence, are akin to being gods.
  8. Jesus turns the tables, so to speak. He is not only the Son of God but His words and deeds actually bring judgment upon

His very accusers by their rejection of who He is, mainly His doing the works of the Father, who is in Him.

9.         Jesus now retreats across the Jordan to where John the Baptist ministered, thus safely away from His enemies.

I am the Door & I am the Good Shepherd

The Gospel of John

John 10:1–21

I am the Door & I am the Good Shepherd

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. This passage follows the ill treatment given the man born blind and his parents. The religious authorities clearly demonstrate they are concerned more for religious show than for caring for those who are lost and alone.
  2. Two more “I am” sayings follow, both of which depict the work of the Messiah of Israel.
  3. The “shepherd” images are found at various places in the Hebrew Bible, most notably Psalm 23. God is the protector of the sheep.
  4. Jesus’ analogy using sheep, shepherd, and flock reveal the intention of the Godhead. As the owner of sheep, the shepherd guards and feeds his own. Jesus is the good shepherd, and they come into the sheep fold through Him.
  5. The Shepard intends that the sheep have an abundant life, and this is not merely health, wealth, and pleasure. Jesus is looking ahead to the kingdom of heaven.
  6. There will be one flock with many sheepfolds. Jesus is again looking ahead to what the reality of His kingdom here on earth will look like.
  7. In addition, Jesus also has other sheep that He will gather together. These sheep are Gentiles. Jesus begins with the children of Abraham, but will reach out to His sheep, whomever they are.
  8. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, will die for His sheep. He lays down His life willingly and will also rise from death.
  9. Of course, a division among the religious authorities follows. Some go so far as to say Jesus has a demon and is insane. Others completely disagree. Typical then and now.

Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind, part 1-John 9:1–23

The Gospel of John

John 9:1–23

Jesus Heals a Blind Man, part 1

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. A man born blind is forced into becoming a beggar on the streets of Jerusalem. We are not certain of his age, but we know his parents were yet living.
  2. One day while walking through the city, Jesus and His disciples come across a blind man and the issue comes up about whose sin caused the man to be blind. There were a number of ideas about on this issue in that day and this.
  3. Jesus rejects all the usual concepts and simply states that this man’s blindness will turn out to be for the glory of God. Jesus thus sweeps aside all philosophical ideas.
  4. Jesus’ focus for His disciples is on the work they will be sent to do, to announce the One who is the Light of the World.
  5. Jesus proceeds to “anoint” the man’s eyes with clay, the product of dirt and His own spittle. We note, that in another account of Jesus healing a blind man, no clay is used. (see Mark 10:46–52)
  6. A controversy arises since it was on a Sabbath when the sign/miracle occurs. A group of Pharisees, not the full Council of Israel, the Sanhedrin, are offended that “work” was done on a Sabbath by someone no less than Jesus who was already in the cross-hairs of the legalists. (Yes, one of the 39 Sabbath laws was broken by Jesus.)
  7. Upon questioning by the authorities, neither the man healed of blindness nor his parents, give any information that might be used against Jesus.
  8. We learn however, that if anyone were to “confess Jesus to be the Messiah,” they would be put out of the synagogue.

Before Abraham Was, I Am

The Gospel of John

John 8:48–59

Before Abraham Was, I Am

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. The confrontation with religious authorities continues in the temple, likely still in the court of women.
  2. Jesus’ opponents, after hearing Him say that they are of their father the devil, accuse Jesus of being a hated, religiously errant, Samaritan and also of having a demon Himself.
  3. Jesus immediately denies such a possibility and restates that He in fact honors the Father. Plus, that He seeks the glory of His Father and not His own.
  4. Then most shockingly, Jesus states that if anyone keeps His word they will not experience death. And by death, He is referring to eternal and conscience separation from God. (see Luke 16:19–31)
  5. Jesus’ hearers do not understand and retaliate with the fact that Abraham is already dead, which to them confirms their notion that Jesus has a demon.
  6. Once again Jesus states He does not seek His own glory.
  7. If Jesus were to deny His relationship with God the Father He would be a liar like His listeners were.
  8. Jesus even states that Abraham rejoiced that he would see the day when He would be incarnated.
  9. To those hearing Jesus’ words, they cannot possibly grasp the meaning of His words.
  10. Now comes the 3rd of the “I Am” sayings: “before Abraham was, I am.” Here is the ego eimi based on Exodus 3:14. Jesus states He is in fact God.
  11. The reaction, which His opponents thought quite proper in the face of what they considered blasphemy, would be to kill Jesus by stoning.

The Truth Will Set You Free & You are of Your Father the Devil

The Gospel of John

John 8:31–47

The Truth Will Set You free &

You are of Your father the devil

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Some of Jesus’ hearers believed in Him. Is this saving faith? Likely not, but a step in the right direction. Some of these may have been converted on the Day of Pentecost. The sign of genuine conversion is a continued abiding or remaining in the words of Jesus.
  2. The hearers protest they had never been enslaved. Of course, this is not politically true what with the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Persian, Syrian, and Roman occupations, but they likely mean religious bondage.
  3. Sin enslaves and this is not restricted to individual sinning, but rejection of Jesus Himself. Only the Son makes free. They are not free because they mean to kill Him.
  4. Jesus reveals something so very frightening: they have a father, who is not Abraham, but is the devil. For indeed if they were in fact Abraham’s children, they would believe in and accept Jesus as the son of the Father, the Messiah.
  5. In fact, these people’s intent is to kill Jesus, the very son of the Father.
  6. Jesus explains that if they were Abrahams children, they would love Him.
  7. The reality is these opposers cannot even stand to hear what Jesus is saying.
  8. Now He tells them that their father is the devil, that means, they are under the influence and power of Satan. And their opposition to Jesus is inspired by the devil.
  9. Jesus now, in my opinion, reaches out in love to those who are opposing Him. There is love in the wording.

The 2nd of Jesus’ “I Am” statements

The Gospel of John

John 8:12–30

I Am the Light of the World

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. The focus of this passage is the stark difference between darkness and light. And this has nothing to do with color, but about has to do with the absence of light.
  2. In Genesis chapter 1 we find that darkness was universal and complete, then God created light. “And God saw that the light was good” (Genesis 1:3).
  3. Jesus, very likely, while still in the Temple and surrounded by the crowds, said, “I am the light of the world.” We note that like His statement, “I am the bread of life” the “I am” actually, “ I, I am” takes us once again to Exodus 3:14, the very name of God. And the name has to do with Who He is.
  4. The Pharisees complain that Jesus is merely bearing witness about Himself and thus His testimony is not to be accepted.
  5. Essentially Jesus replies that the judgment rendered by His opposers is based on ignorance. The fact is, they do not know where He comes from and who He is.
  6. Jesus points out that He is speaking truth because he has two witnesses, His own and His Fathers.
  7. The core of the issue is that the religious leaders do not know the Father though they represent the God of Israel.
  8. Then, Jesus speaks truth to them, a truth of utmost importance: by rejecting Him they are consigning themselves to eternal death.
  9. Indeed, Jesus goes on, if they continue to reject Him, they will die in their sins. And this truth is the Father’s truth.
  10. His opposers did not understand, and Jesus speaks of His being “lifted up” or His crucifixion, and then they will know.
  11. Again Jesus declares that He does nothing except those things that please the Father.
  12. The result of His preaching is that many believed in Him.

 

A most incredible story: Jesus and an adulterous woman

The Gospel of John

The Woman Caught in Adultery

John 7:53–8-11

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Though it is not known where exactly this story originated, it fits in this place in John’s Gospel as Jesus has been teaching in the temple without His disciples.
  2. The religious authorities have been trying to discredit Jesus due to the great crowds that have been listening to Him. Their motivations would be many: envy, jealousy, and fear.
  3. Highly irregular that a woman, especially one who had just been caught in a sinful act, would be brought into the Temple.
  4. Some commentators suspect the entire event had been staged in the first place given that someone could have been caught in the very act.
  5. Does this event highlight the desperate need of the religious authorities to discredit and attack Jesus?
  6. The Law did specify that adulterers were to be stoned. We must ask about the man. Why only is the woman brought forward? Many unanswered questions are evident. One suspects a setup.
  7. Jesus, in the midst of what must have been a super-charged challenge, begins to write upon the ground. (He is sitting down to teach.) There is no hint at all at what He wrote. Some suggest the Ten Commandments or portions thereof.
  8. As the authorities continue to question Jesus, He says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once again He writes on the ground.
  9. Those who heard Jesus’ statement, starting with the oldest among them, walk away from the confrontation. Eventually only Jesus and the woman remain.
  10. It is probably that those who left the scene would be the religious authorities; a large crowd may have remained.
  11. Now the conversation with the woman. Jesus asks if no one has condemned her. Her answer is, “No one Lord.” Is the “Lord” part of her answer revealing?
  12. Jesus most gracious response is that He does not condemn her either. Then He admonishes here to sin no more.
  13. We can almost hear Jesus saying this to us.

Rivers of Living Water

The Gospel of John

Officers sent to Arrest Jesus, Rivers of Living Water, Division Among the People

John 7:32–52

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. The religious authorities feel threatened by all the attention Jesus is receiving. They send the temple guard to arrest Him and He tells them He is leaving and they will not be able to find Him.
  2. The officers surmise He means He will be going to those Jews who live outside of Palestine, in the broad Roman world. Jesus states again that they (the Jewish leaders) will seek Him but will not be able to find Him.
  3. On the last day of the Feast of Booths, at the time of the final pouring out of water taken from the Pool of Siloam in a golden pitcher, Jesus cries out to the crowd “If anyone thirsts let him come to me and drink.” And once this occurs, “out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
  4. John explains, in verse 39, that Jesus is referring to the Spirit which believers would receive at a time after the glorification of Jesus. This points ahead to the resurrection following Jesus’ crucifixion.
  5. Those who heard Jesus speak of the working of the Holy Spirit, were divided among themselves. Some thought He must certainly be the prophet, likely referring to Deuteronomy 18:15–18, where Moses speaks of a “prophet” who is to come. Others said Jesus must be the Christ.
  6. The “prophet” and the “Christ” are really one in the same, Jesus being that prophet Moses spoke of and also the Messiah or Christ. John the Baptist was not this prophet, he was the announcer of the coming of the Messiah. (see Malachi 3:1–4)
  7. Many knew that the Christ was to come from Bethlehem of Judea, but the general understanding was that Jesus was from Galilee and so could not be the Christ. It is interesting that Jesus never attempted an explanation.
  8. Though some wanted Jesus to be arrested, in some mysterious way, they were not able to. Fact is, it was not Jesus’ time to be arrested. That time would come later.
  9. Nicodemus, a member of the Sanhedrin, pointed out to them that Jesus was being condemned improperly. He was not even given a hearing.
  10. Members of the council of Israel belittled Nicodemus and rejected his advise.
  11. Nothing has changed from that day to this. Unless the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of the blind, Jesus will remain hidden and rejected.

Jesus at the Feast of Booths part 2 & Can This Be the Christ?

The Gospel of John

Jesus at the Feast of Booths, part 2 &

Can This Be the Christ?

John 7:14–31

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. During the middle of the Feast of Booths, Jesus, alone, arrives in Jerusalem, enters the temple and begins to teach. There is no mention of the Twelve being with Him.
  2. The religious leaders are shocked at the wisdom of this person who has not studied in a rabbinical school.
  3. Jesus’ quickly states that which they are hearing is from the Father, and those who honor the Father would know this.
  4. Jesus states that the leaders do not keep the law of Moses, which law they boost to obey. And why, because they seek to murder Him, which is a violation of Moses’ law.
  5. The leaders are so enraged they accuse Him of being demon possessed. Jesus responds that He did one thing, healed a man on the Sabbath, which the leaders considered a violation of the law. At the same time they themselves work on the Sabbath by circumcising males on the 8th day after their birth.
  6. This exchange is overheard by the crowd, which cause some of them to wonder if indeed Jesus is the Messiah. After all, Jesus is even teaching in the temple, and during the feast of Booths, and the leaders allow this.
  7. These people claim to know where Jesus comes from, and of course, nothing good comes from Nazareth. Yet, at the time of Jesus’ birth, it was known that the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. Did this generation not know this?
  8. As is usually the case, some of those who were at the temple rejected Him, but some believed.

 

The Feast of Booths, John 7:1–13

The Gospel of John

Jesus at the Feast of Booths

John 7:1–13

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

 

  1. Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, one of the three Great Feasts of Israel, like Passover and Pentecost, when all men that were capable were to come to Jerusalem for eighth days. It would have been in late September or early October. It celebrated God’s care for His people while in the wilderness following their escape from Egypt. People constructed little houses of brush or tree limbs. Many Jews do so today.
  2. Already, at this point, and we do not know at what point in Jesus’ public ministry this took place, but He knew about His opposition.
  3. Jesus’ own family members wished, but for reasons that are not clear, wanted their half-brother as they were but likely did not know about the “half” of it, wanted Jesus to show off His miracles in Jerusalem.
  4. Jesus knew that the Kairos, or the timing of God, was not yet.
  5. The “hate” Jesus refers to is generated by fear, the fears associated with guilt, shame, exposure, judgment, and everlasting death, And reasonably so. We have all experienced this to some degree. Here it is now from Jesus and is, when understood properly, the fundamental of all terrors.
  6. Jesus urges His brothers to go up to the Feast, like they had no doubt done many times before; Jesus will not go up with them at that time. It is thought that Jesus considered that such an entrance into the temple to be dangerous.
  7. After His brothers had departed for Jerusalem, Jesus privately made the journey. And indeed, the Jewish leadership was looking for, expecting even, Jesus’ arrival. This indicates that some considerable time had passed in Jesus’ ministry, which is otherwise recorded in the Synoptic Gospels.
  8. There was then, as there is now, much confusion about Jesus. “Much muttering” John the Apostle tells us, was evident in Jerusalem. And this among the citizens and visitors gathered for the Feast of Booths.
  9. “A good man” some said, others that “he is leading the people astray.”
  10. For fear of the religious authorities, no one spoke publicly about Him. We must ask: Is the same true today? Or will such come to be?