John

April 13, 2017

John 18:33-19:16a

JOHN 18:33-19:16a (ESV)

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands.Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and crucify him, for I find no guilt in him.”The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”

12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.” 13 So when Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judgment seat at a place called The Stone Pavement, and in Aramaic Gabbatha. 14 Now it was the day of Preparation of the Passover. It was about the sixth hour. He said to the Jews, “Behold your King!” 15 They cried out, “Away with him, away with him, crucify him!” Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar.” 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified.

 

Reflection Questions

John 18:39-19:16

“Realizing that the priests were implacable and that resisting them would only endanger his career, Pilate finally gave in and ordered the Crucifixion. Certain features of Pilate’s examination of Jesus are significant. Pilate’s behavior shows that he was apprehensive of trouble. From the outset he was uncertain of his position. He oscillated between public confrontation with the Jewish mob and private interrogation of Jesus. Seven times in this brief narrative the author says or implies that Pilate ‘went out’ or ‘went in’ (18:29, 33, 38; 19:1, 4, 9, 13). Beneath his arrogant manner, there was an uncertainty that came from the conflict between Pilate the Roman judge and Pilate the politician. He finally succumbed to expediency.” [1]

  • How many times did Pilate declare Jesus’ innocence?
  • If he knew Jesus was innocent, why did Pilate fail to release him? What was the process by which Pilate came to the point of handing Jesus over to be crucified?
  • What did Pilate forfeit in order to preserve/secure his political position?
  • In what ways do people compromise the truth, or stop short of following inner convictions, in order to gain (or not lose) something in this world (e.g. fame, wealth, status, etc.)?
  • What have I forfeited in order to preserve myself in the past?
  • What is the irony of Pilate saying, “Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you”?
  • What can I learn about true power from Jesus’ response to Pilate?

[1] Frank E. Gaebelein, Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1992), notes for John chapter 19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 12, 2017

John 18:28-19:1

JOHN 18:28-19:1 (ESV)

28 Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters. It was early morning. They themselves did not enter the governor’s headquarters, so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate went outside to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this man?” 30 They answered him, “If this man were not doing evil, we would not have delivered him over to you.” 31 Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32 This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

33 So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” 38 Pilate said to him, “What is truth?”

After he had said this, he went back outside to the Jews and told them, “I find no guilt in him. 39 But you have a custom that I should release one man for you at the Passover. So do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 40 They cried out again, “Not this man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.

19 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.

 

Reflection Questions

John 18:28

  • Reflect on the irony of the Jews not entering the palace “so that they would not be defiled, but could eat the Passover” while they were bent on having Pilate kill an innocent man.
  • Are there ways in which I am blind to the true state of my heart because of surface adherence to the Scripture?

John 18:33-19:1

  • What can I learn about Jesus’ heart through his interaction with Pilate?
  • Contrast Jesus’ view of truth with Pilate’s view of truth as revealed by his action (19:1).
  • What evidence is there in my life that I am on the side of truth?

 

 

 

 

 

April 11, 2017

John 18:15-27

JOHN 18:15-27 (ESV)

15 Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, 16 but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in. 17 The servant girl at the door said to Peter, “You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” He said, “I am not.” 18 Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.

19 The high priest then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching.20 Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. 21 Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” 22 When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” 24 Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

25 Now Simon Peter was standing and warming himself. So they said to him, “You also are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it and said, “I am not.”26 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, “Did I not see you in the garden with him?” 27 Peter again denied it, and at once a rooster crowed.

Reflection Questions

John 18:15-18, 25-27

  • Reflect on the picture of Peter warming himself by a fire while Jesus was inside being interrogated and beaten. What does this reveal about human nature, and how does this apply to me?
  • Are there some parallels between Peter’s denial of being associated with Jesus and the way I live?

John 18:19-24

  • In what ways are people like “one of the officers” who struck Jesus?
  • What can I learn from what Jesus says in v. 23 about how to respond to words spoken to me?

 

 

 

 

 

April 10, 2017

John 18:1-14

JOHN 18:1-14 (ESV)

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered.Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”

12 So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews arrested Jesus and bound him. 13 First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. 14 It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people.

Reflection Questions

John 18:1-8

  • Reflect on the fact that Jesus went out to meet the approaching soldiers “knowing all that would happen to him.” What is my reaction when I need to move toward danger, discomfort or pain in the process of obeying God’s will?
  • What must Jesus have been like given the fact that those who came to arrest him “drew back and fell to the ground” upon meeting him?
  • How did Jesus express his concern for his disciples till the end?

 

John 18:11

  • What does Jesus’ statement reveal about His approach to “the cup that the Father has given [him]”?
  • In what ways have I been (or am I being) tempted to “not drink the cup that the Father has given me”?
  • What is the “sword”Jesus calls me to put away, because I wield it to avoid the way of the cross?

 

 

 

 

 

April 7, 2017

John 17:24-26

JOHN 17:24-26 (ESV)

24 Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. 26 I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

Reflection Questions

John 17:24

  • What is revealed about Jesus’ heart in his prayer for the disciples to be with him in his glory?
  • What assurance does this give me?

John 17:26

  • How am I experiencing the process Jesus describes in v. 26?

 

 

 

 

 

April 6, 2017

John 17:20-23

John 17:20-23 (ESV)

20 “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, 21 that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Reflection Questions

John 17:20-23

  • According to this passage, what is the basis and motivation for Christian unity?
  • What is the relationship between oneness with God and oneness with the people of God?
  • How does Christian unity show the world the reality of Christ’s incarnation (cf. Acts 2:44-47)?
  • Am I experiencing this kind of oneness with the people of God? If not, what may be the reason?
  • How does Jesus’ final prayer for his disciples show me what my priority should be?

 

 

 

 

 

April 5, 2017

John 17:6-19

JOHN 17:6-19 (ESV)

“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 11 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Reflection Questions

John 17:6-19

  • What did Jesus pray for his disciples, and what can I learn from the fact that these are the issues he prayed about?

John 17:11, 14-18

  • According to vv. 14-16, what are the characteristics of Jesus’ disciples? Are these evident in my life?
  • What are the unique challenges Christians face as those who are “in the world” but “not of the world”? What is the role of the word in this context?
  • How have I experienced the sanctifying work of God’s word in my life?

John 17:19

  • How is Jesus’ love for his disciples manifested in this verse?
  • For whose sake do I need to consecrate myself in order that “they also may be sanctified in truth”?

 

 

 

 

 

April 4, 2017

John 17:1-5

JOHN 17:1-5 (ESV)

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Reflection Questions

John 17:1-5

  • What “authority over all flesh” has Jesus been granted?
  • What is my view towards Jesus’ authority over my life? What is the implication of rejecting Jesus’ authority?
  • Notice Jesus’ definition of eternal life. What are some wrong notions of “eternal life” that people hold?
  • In what ways can I pursue eternal life today?

John 17:1, 4-5

  • What brings God glory?
  • What specific work do I need to carry out on earth to bring God glory?

 

 

 

 

 

April 3, 2017

John 16:25-33

JOHN 16:25-33 (ESV)

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for 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 have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Reflection Questions

John 16:31-33

“‘You will leave me all alone’ reveals Jesus’ disappointment and emotional tension. The sympathy and support of these men, imperfect as they were, meant much to him. Nevertheless, his chief resource was the Father, whose purpose he came to fulfill and by whose power he was able to execute it.”[1]

  • How could Jesus say, “Yet I am not alone,” in the face of the disciples’ imminent abandonment?
  • Are there some situations in which I need to cling on to this fact that “[y]et I am not alone, for the Father is with me”?

“Jesus imparted to his disciples the information concerning his death and his provision for them that they might be calm and confident in the face of disillusionment and apparent disaster. […]  Even in the hour of his greatest suffering he had an unshakable confidence in the victorious purpose of God. Jesus did not overlook the trial that would affect them as well as himself, for that was inevitable in a world alienated from God. He did proclaim victory over it.”[2]

  • What can I learn about Jesus from the fact that he told his disciples to “take heart” right after telling them about their imminent failure and disloyalty?
  • How do the cross and resurrection of Jesus allow me to “take heart” despite my failures?
  • How does the triumph of Jesus help me to “have peace” in the midst of tribulations?

[1] Frank E. Gaebelein, Expositor’s Bible Commentary CD (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub. House, 1992), notes for chapter 16.

[2] Ibid.

 

 

 

 

 

March 31, 2017

John 16:16-24

JOHN 16:16-24 (ESV)

16 “A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.” 17 So some of his disciples said to one another, “What is this that he says to us, ‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’; and, ‘because I am going to the Father’?” 18 So they were saying, “What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.” 19 Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them, “Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’? 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.

Reflection Questions

John 16:17-24

  • In what ways do Christians today “weep and lament” while the world rejoices?
  • How will our sorrow “turn into joy”? How is this joy unlike the world’s joy?
  • What should be my perspective on present suffering?

 

 

 

 

 

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