light, life, the word, truth, the way, Jesus Christ, read through the Bible, thoughts on John

Thoughts on John

We’ve traveled through all four gospels!! 🙂

We’ll take this day to reflect on John (and allow for catch-up), and then we’ll start Acts tomorrow.

write down your thoughts

In the book of John, some key recurring themes we see are Love, Light, Life, Truth, the Spirit, and the Word.


John 1

v. 24-25

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

Like many religious leaders today, the Pharisees questioned the works and teaching of those without authority granted – or recognized – by men.

They distrusted the true works and teaching of God.

What do we more readily seek for guidance and discernment: the church system (organized religion), or the Spirit of God?

Galatians 5:25 - living and walking by the Spirit


John 3

v. 2

Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”

John 3:1-2

From these verses, it would appear that the Pharisees actually knew Jesus was from God because of His signs. Which would suggest that despite the compelling evidence and conviction, they simply did not wish to acknowledge His authority.

v. 3

Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Born again = born from above. Here, Christ lays out what is necessary for eternal life.

Jesus doesn’t mention water birth until Nicodemus brings up natural birth.

(Many reference the “water” in the following passage as “proof” for physical baptism leading to salvation.)

v. 5

Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

John 3:4-5

Jesus follows in v. 6 by referring to both flesh and spirit.

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Given the context, it appears that when Jesus speaks of “flesh“, this corresponds to the water birth (amniotic fluid), and when He speaks of “Spirit“, this refers to spiritual birth.

Why didn’t Jesus mention water the first time when He said “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”?

Why didn’t Jesus mention water in most of His calls for repentance and belief? Why was belief alone stated as necessary for eternal life?

Why didn’t Jesus mention water initially, if the usage of the word referred to baptismal regeneration?

Likely answer: water birth is already a given.

“Water” (natural) birth is already a given for any human who exists on this planet. It’s not an occurrence we have to worry about orchestrating, because it’s how we enter this life.

However, one must be born not only of water but of the Spirit also to attain eternal life.

It is only when Nicodemus brings up natural birth, that Jesus says, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

Unless one is born both naturally and spiritually, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

So far, we all have the natural birth behind us. What remains is spiritual birth.

Below are some different interpretations of the meaning of “water” in John 3:5:

(1) Baptism for salvation, or baptismal regeneration (contradicts many other NT passages / Eph. 2:8-9).

(2) Stands for act of repentance that John’s baptism signified. (So, “repent” and be born of the Spirit.)

(3) Refers to natural birth (fluid released when the amniotic sac breaks. Born first time by water and second by Spirit).

(4) Refers to the Word of God, as in John 15:3 (“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”).

(5) It is a synonym for the Holy Spirit and may be translated, “by water, even the Spirit.”

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.

Ephesians 5:25-27

The word washes.

But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Titus 3:4-7

The Spirit is poured out on us like water, renewing us.

v. 7

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

John 3:7-8

Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ (“Born again” implies that there was a first birth. The second birth is by the Holy Spirit, the first by water.)

v. 10

Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things?

Even a religious teacher does not always have understanding. We must test all teachers through the Spirit of Christ – through His word – no matter how esteemed or respected they are by the church or organized religion.

v. 19-21

This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

The Pharisees loved the darkness of their profitable, respected religion, rather than the Light Christ was shining on their deeds – the Light which pointed to the true and eternal way of life.

In the same way today, many “Christian” leaders love their money, their status, and/or their religion more than the truth.

We must be on our guard, not trusting a “Christian leader” based on their title, but according to the discernment the Spirit of Christ within us provides.

The Spirit of Christ is the monitor, the accountability, the One who tests all things in the church. We must listen to Him and live by Him.

We must remember that among the wheat there are many tares in the church (Matt. 13).

We are not called to be one with the tares – or accept their teaching – but to be one with the true Bride of Christ.

If we love the Light (Christ), we will walk in the Light (the Spirit of Christ).

If we walk in the Light, we will see the darkness for what it is, and expose it.

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them; for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.

Ephesians 5:6-13

v. 36

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

“He who believes” is pitted against “he who does not obey the Son”. This seems to imply that the only ones who can and do obey Christ are those who have truly believed in Him. Those who do not obey must not truly believe.

Later, we see the new commandment (love) Christ gives His disciples, which can only be lived out by His strength and through His Spirit (not through our laborious striving).

who or what are we trusting?


John 5

v. 38

You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

Those who believe in Christ have His Spirit, which causes the word to abide in them.

The word is not just something we read. It’s something that is written on our hearts.

It’s also this word abiding in our hearts which enables us to interpret and understand Scripture correctly.

A true Christian must seek Christ’s teachings and truth before church “tradition” for counsel.

v. 39-40

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.

searching for eternal life

Many who claim to be religious still don’t have relationship with Christ. They have head knowledge (“search the Scriptures”) but not heart knowledge.

v. 41-43

I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

Today, many receive the false prophets while rejecting the Spirit of Christ, even as they claim to be “Christian”.

v. 44

How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God?

Religious people often receive their glory – their sense of spirituality, security, significance, and sufficiency – from men and man-made religious systems rather than from God.

v. 45

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.

Many religious people set their hope in “keeping” the Law, rather than knowing Christ and being saved by Him alone.


John 6

In this chapter, Jesus declares Himself to be the bread of life.

From our present vantage point, it is clear that Jesus is not telling us to physically eat Him.

His words are speaking of a spiritual reality.

v. 26-27

Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

Jesus is not referring to physical food, but spiritual food. (Not the food which perishes, but the food which endures to eternal life.)

Later, in v. 35, He says:

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

Jesus is not telling us to go find Him in wine and a wafer that we may have eternal life.

He is not telling us that the Eucharist saves us.

v. 28-29

How do we do the will of God? What is the will of God?

Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

It seems we have a tendency to unnecessarily complicate what it means to do the work of the Father. The work of the Father is that we believe in Jesus (not in communion, baptism, the Law, “good” works, bishops, or the pope).

When we truly believe in Christ – and have no confidence, assurance, security, or trust in ourselves, our works, our church membership, our participation in sacraments, or in other men – then we have “done” the work of God, and other fruit (good works) naturally spills out of our walk with Him.

v. 47-51

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life.”

It’s very clear that belief leads to eternal life, not participation in sacraments.

“This is the bread which comes down out of heaven”. (Not out of a factory.)

Jesus, not the wafers, is the bread of life. Jesus is talking of spiritual food and the one-time sacrifice of His flesh on the cross.

We must believe in Him to be saved, not recrucify Him or make sacrifices every Sunday for our sins. Christ is our High Priest. His sacrifice was once for all

The bread which gives us life is the one-time sacrifice of Christ on the cross, not a routine Mass.

For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens; who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself. For the Law appoints men as high priests who are weak, but the word of the oath, which came after the Law, appoints a Son, made perfect forever.

Hebrews 7:26-28

If the Mass were necessary for salvation, we would need to be performing it every day, every hour.

At the Anglican Mass, the congregation confesses the sins which they have “from time to time most grievously committed”.

I don’t know about you, but “from time to time” doesn’t very accurately describe my life or my struggles.

It seems that every day – every hour – I catch myself in sin.

It’s not “from time to time” – it’s all the time!

Thanks be to God that all of this sin has already been paid for, and I am no longer identified by my sinful flesh, but as a child of God in Spirit and soul. I have already been severed from sinful flesh.

I have already been grafted in. I am one of Christ’s sheep, and no one (including myself or my wicked flesh) will snatch me out of His hand.

I don’t need communion, baptism, church membership, or faithful Mass attendance to reassure me of what has already taken place, once for all.

If these were requirements for maintaining my good standing with God – my salvation – I’d basically have to live at the church building and hire a full-time priest to administer the sacraments every hour.

I’d perpetually hide myself in a corner and make sure I was never in a position where I might die without access to the sacraments, for fear of dying “in my sins”.

If you think your sins only occur “from time to time”, it’s easy to think that you can also “clean up” from time to time (every Sunday, every Mass).

But if you’re painfully aware of your constant struggle with sin, you’ll soon realize that this ritual can never be enough.

Only Christ HimselfNO faithfulness on my part – can preserve me and keep me until that day. My flesh has no power to do this.

the bread of life - Jesus quote


John 8

Jesus discloses that He is the Light of the world.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”

John 8:12

the Light of the world - Jesus quote


John 9

v. 3

As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

John 9:1-3

Often our suffering exists so that the works and power of God might be displayed. His power is perfected in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12)

v. 16

Therefore some of the Pharisees were saying, “This man is not from God, because He does not keep the Sabbath.” But others were saying, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And there was a division among them.

Christ was walking in the Father’s will, and the religious Jews said that He was not from God.

Many religious leaders today say that the true followers of Christ are not from God, when they walk by the Spirit.

Those without the Spirit of Christ (even if they profess to be His followers) do not understand the ways or the wisdom of the Spirit.

We will be persecuted even by false Christians in the church for walking by the Spirit, and not by the Law or the flesh. (Gal. 5)

v. 22

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone confessed Him to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.

In many “Christian” cults, true followers of Christ are excommunicated from fellowship for speaking of the true Christ and exposing the false Christ worshiped by these religions.

Religion has persecuted many true believers.

v. 29

We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where He is from.

This sort of statement is still seen in religion today.

“We know that God has spoken through tradition (the precepts and commandments of men), but as for those who “walk by the Spirit”, we do not know where they are from.”

The religious but dead cannot see Jesus – or recognize His true followers – when they are right before them.

Rather, His true followers are often accused of being of the devil, while the truth is that religion apart from the Spirit of Christ is of the darkness. Such religion causes men to trust in their own flesh (natural mind, strength, reasoning) rather than the Spirit and power and wisdom of Christ.

v. 30-31

The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that you do not know where He is from, and yet He opened my eyes. We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him.”

The formerly blind man called them out on their blindness to the truth (or unwillingness to see it).

The evidence of the power and wisdom of God was right before the religious Jews’ eyes, and yet they did not recognize it as such.

v. 32-33

“Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”


John 10

v. 1-5

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

John 10:1-5

v. 7-9

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:7-9

Christ is the door of the sheep. Whoever does not enter the flock through Christ (they don’t know Christ and aren’t saved) is not a shepherd or a sheep, but a thief and robber.

Many such thieves and robbers are in the church today, and the true sheep do not follow them because they do not hear them. (But many false Christians do follow them.)

v. 11-13

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.

John 10:11-13

There are many “hired hands” in the church today. They are in positions of leadership for money, and not out of care or concern for the sheep.

Many church leaders are not saved, but are in the church only for income, or to cause spiritual destruction.

But what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may cut off opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:12-15

There is nothing new under the sun. This was happening then, and it’s happening now. There are false apostles and deceitful workers in the church today, disguising themselves as servants of righteousness.

v. 17-18

For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.”

John 10:17-18

No one was able to kill Christ apart from His will and authority. He has authority to lay down His life and to take it back up again.

the good shepherd - Jesus quote


John 11

v. 4, 11-44

But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”

John 11:4

It seems that Jesus intentionally let Lazarus die. He had told Martha and Mary that this sickness would not end in death, but was for the glory of God, so that the Son of God would be glorified in it.

This was, no doubt, a test of faith for Mary and Martha. They were told this sickness would not end in death, yet they saw their brother die.

The only way His words could still be true would be for Lazarus to be raised from the dead.

v. 25-26

Jesus declares that He is the resurrection and the life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

v. 33-38

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”

So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

John 11:33-38

Jesus felt the sorrow of the people, and hurt with them. This is just one of many examples of His deep compassion and love.

v. 49-52

But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all, nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish.” Now he did not say this on his own initiative, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

John 11:49-52

Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, appears to have unwittingly prophesied Jesus’ death for His people. His words had a different meaning than he likely understood at the time.

the resurrection and the life - Jesus quote


John 12

v. 42-43

Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

John 12:42-43

Many of the rulers believed but did not confess, because they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God.

This is a dangerous place to be!

How far are we willing to go to continue being identified with Christ?

approval of men or approval of God?


John 13

v. 8

Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

If we took this verse about foot washing in a strictly physical sense – like many do other passages about water and baptism in connection with eternal life – we would conclude that foot washing was also necessary for eternal life!

Jesus still washes us even though He is not physically present on the earth. He washes us with the Spirit and the word (see notes on chapter 3).

Good thing churches don’t also read this passage or “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt. 3:11, Luke 3:16) in a purely physical or material sense (like they do other passages about water or baptism)!

Hm….

v. 13-15

You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.

How many “leaders” and “teachers” in the organized church serve their spiritual family humbly – even doing dirty jobs?

Jesus gave an example for all believers to follow when He washed His disciples’ feet.

If a “Christian” leader is only interested in a lofty title or luxury and not concerned with or interested in putting himself on par with or below the flock – not interested in humbly serving them – he is not walking in the footsteps of Christ.

v. 34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

By love within the (true) body of Christ, all men will know that we are His disciples.

These words should not be misapplied in order to condone unsound teaching or to silence those who expose the evil workers and works of darkness among the church.

These whistleblowers are not being unloving. Out of love for the flock, they are speaking truth.

They are not destroying unity within the true body. Truth spoken in love will unite those who truly know and follow Christ.

We are an aroma of death to those who are perishing. We are not being unloving in sharing the truth.

Love cannot exist apart from truth.

True love does not twist or bend the truth.


John 14

v. 13

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

John 14:13-14

I believe this is saying that whatever we ask according to the will of Christ (that is, “in His name”) He will do.

v. 15

“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Used to read this as a “chore list”.

But if we love Jesus, we will naturally, organically keep His commandments because His love is in us.

We cannot please Him or obey His commandments through striving. We must walk by the Spirit. When we walk with Jesus, then we will desire and have the strength to live according to His will.

(His work is that we believe in Him, and His will is that we abide by the new commandment of love.)

Jesus goes on in vs. 16-17 to talk about the Holy Spirit, who equips us with His love and truth so that His commandments are carried out.

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

v. 18

“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

This shows that Jesus is still our Father and brother, even though He has physically left this earth. We do not need men to teach us (1 John 2:27) or to claim spiritual fatherhood over us, for we have one Father. (Matt. 23)

As for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him.

1 John 2:27

They love the place of honor at banquets and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called Rabbi by men. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 23:6-12

v. 19

After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.

If a spiritual “leader” is chastising or correcting you for saying that you know Jesus and that He speaks to you, do not be persuaded to ignore the voice of the Shepherd in favor of the traditions of the church and precepts of men.

If you are truly seeking His voice and will and not your own, you will know His will.

His truth will offend many people in the church (the tares).

These people who have no personal relationship with Jesus (haven’t “seen” Him) will think you’re crazy because you have experience with Him that they don’t, because the Spirit is in you.

v. 21

“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

The one who loves Jesus will know Jesus. He will disclose Himself to him.

v. 26

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 

The Spirit will teach us all things. Just as He taught and reminded the disciples of all the words of Christ, so He can and will teach us. He is the Word living within us.

the way, the truth, and the life - Jesus quote


John 15

v. 7

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

This does not mean “ask for worldly pleasures” or “Jesus is a genie”. Rather, if one abides in Christ, they will desire and ask for the things that please Christ.

Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

Psalm 37:3-5

Because the desires of your heart will be pleasing to Him if you are delighting in Him. You will desire what He desires.

v. 13-14

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.

There is no greater love than laying down one’s life for his friends. Jesus is our Friend, and we are His, if we lay down our lives for Him as He did for us.

We lay down our lives for Him by following Him and doing what He commands (love). And if we do this, we are His friends.

v. 15

No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.

No longer did Christ call them slaves, but friends. However, we do well to see ourselves as slaves of Christ.

Christ says that “a slave is not greater than his master”. (John 13:16, 15:20) We are his slaves, although we are also children of God. (John 1)

v. 17

This I command you, that you love one another.

Jesus again commands His disciples to love one another. (Also seen in v. 12 and 13:34)

It is clear that Jesus’ commandment is love for one another – for those who follow Him. (Although it is also clear that Jesus had love for everyone, which manifested in different ways – more harshly [tough love] or softly depending on the person and situation.)

v. 18-21

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.

Jesus prepares His disciples for persecution.

We are not greater than our Master. If the world hated and persecuted Him, it will do the same to His slaves, His followers.

James 4 warns us about friendship with the world.

The message is not that we should hide away and not interact with unsaved people or care for them, but rather that we should not love anything in the world or the approval of men.

We should not allow ourselves to live like we are of this world.

If we seek the approval of this world or worship its comforts, we are at enmity with God.


John 16

v. 2

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.

In the history of the church and the Jewish religion, persecution of true Christians has been viewed as “offering service to God”.

v. 13

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.

The Spirit guides us into all the truth.

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

1 Cor. 2:10


John 17

v. 3

Christ’s definition of salvation:

This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

Beware of the John 17 movement. It promotes “unity” at the expense of doctrine. At the expense of the truth of Christ.

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Christ desires unity within His true church, not unity between so-called Christians and true Christians. Not unity between tares and wheat!

John 17 also uses the term “Holy Father”.

Christ calls His Father this when He prays the “High-Priestly Prayer”.

Guess who else assumes the title of “Holy Father”?

The pope.

If that isn’t blasphemy, I don’t know what is.

The pope is coming in the name of God.

For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.

Matt. 24:5

But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.

Matt. 23:8-10

Such blasphemy is the M.O. of the Antichrist. Satan was a blasphemer from the beginning.

The pope is twisting this chapter (John 17) to advocate unity between true and false Christians.

But the unity of which Christ is speaking in this chapter is unity between followers of Christ.

“But do not be called Rabbi…. Do not call anyone on earth your father…. Do not be called leaders….”

Jesus speaks these words in the context of spiritual leadership and religious “teachers” and “leaders”.

He doesn’t seem to be referring to biological fathers. What’s the danger in referring to your biological father as “father”?

Rather, it seems He is saying “call no one your father” in a spiritual sense.

To place your soul’s welfare and direction in the hands of mortal men is idolatry and a death wish. No man’s wisdom can save you. You must know Jesus yourself.

Only Jesus can teach and sustain you spiritually. And only if you’re learning from Him can you then discern truth from error in men’s words.

Jesus soon follows this warning with these words:

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.

Matt. 23

That is exactly what the pope is doing.

Many religious “leaders” and “fathers” in the Catholic and Anglican and Episcopalian churches are not entering heaven, and they also prevent those who are entering from going in.

They persecute those who question their teachings or the teachings of “the (false) church”.

They assure people – as they are dying in their sins – that they are entering heaven because they’ve been baptized or received communion.

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”

Jesus

Again, Satan can appear as an angel of light.

For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15

Religion, religious teaching, ecumenical calls for “unity” can appear right. But all except the pure religion of James 1 is a counterfeit. And all religious unity that is not of the truth of Christ is against Him.

Satan has no problem with unity between false religions and false believers.

Be watchful. Be on the alert.


Way to go, reading all the gospels! *high five*

Having trouble keeping up? Struggling to navigate the site or keep track of the readings?

On the “Read Through the Bible” page, you’ll find links to the chapters we’ve read so far.

For some quick access, here are the beginnings of each gospel:

Matthew Chapter 1

Mark Chapter 1

Luke Chapter 1

John Chapter 1

the truth will make you free - Jesus quote

 

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