John

The last, or second-last apostolic writing, this Gospel was probably written around AD 96, after John’s banishment to Patmos in 95 AD by Domitian, which ended a year later with the emperor’s death. Unlike the other Gospels, some events are told out of sequence, and John’s Gospel may have been written as a commentary or supplement to other extant Gospel writings.

John's theme is belief. Eighty-six times--nearly three times more than the other Gospel writers combined--he uses the word pisteuo (believe). This often means to express faith, rather than to intellectually acknowledge something, and the paraphrase will bring that out in some verses.

CHAPTER 1

CHAPTER 1

1 In the beginning was the Word1, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God2.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.3

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.4

18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.5

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.6

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;7

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

35 Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;8

36 And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!

37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.

38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?

39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.

41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.

44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.

45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.9

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!

48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.10

49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.

50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.

51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.11

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God!

2 He was with God when the universe began.

3 Everything that exists was made by him, and nothing came into existence without him.

4 In him was (divine) life, and that life was the light of man.

5 And the Light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness has not extinguished it.

6 Now there was a man sent by God whose name was John (Yochannon).

7 John came to proclaim the Light and lead people to it, that all men might believe through him.

8 John himself was not the Light, but he was sent to bear witness of the Light,

9 Which was the true Light that enlightens every man, the Light that comes into the world.

10 He was in the world and made the world, but the world did not know who he was.

11 He came to his own people, and they would not accept him.

12 But to as many as did accept him and believe in his person and position, he gave the power to become the sons of God.

13 For these sons were born not of blood, nor through the will of human flesh, but (were born in spirit) through the will of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we beheld his glory--which was the glory of one begotten by the Father, full of grace and truth!

15 John bore witness of him, and proclaimed: This is the one about whom I have been saying, “He who is coming after me is preferred to me, for he existed before me!”

16 And we have all partaken from his fullness, and received (undeserved) grace upon grace.

17 For the Law was given by Moses--but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ!

18 No man has ever seen God, but the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has revealed Him to us.

19 Now this is what happened during John’s ministry: The Judeans sent priests and Levites to him from Jerusalem, asking: Just who are you?

20 He didn’t hold back, and made it clear: I am not the Messiah!

21 So they asked: If you’re not the Messiah, who and what are you? Are you Elijah? John said: I am not. So they asked: Then are you the prophet Moses said was coming (whom all the people were required to hear)? And John answered: No.

22 To this, they said: Then who are you? Tell us who you claim to be so we can report to the elders who sent us.

23 John’s answer was: I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the path of the Lord, as Isaiah prophesied.

24 Now those who had been sent, went out at the behest of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked John: Why are you baptizing if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?

26 John answered: I am immersing in mere water, but there is a man standing amongst you all, whom you don’t know.

27 He’s the one coming after me, who is preferred to me--a man whose sandal straps I am unworthy to untie.

28 These things happened in Bethabara, beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing people.

29 The next day, John saw Jesus coming to him, and he exclaimed: Behold the (sacrificial) Lamb of God, who will take away the sins of the world!

30 He is the one of whom I said, “After me, a man is coming who is preferred to me, for he existed before me.”

31 I did not know who he was, but I knew he was coming to be revealed to Israel, and so I started baptizing with water (as a precursor to his arrival).

32 And John testified about him, saying: I saw the Holy Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and resting upon him.

33 And as I say, I did not know who he was, but (God) who sent me to baptize with water also told me, “The one upon whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who will baptize people with the Holy Spirit.”

34 And I saw this happen, and I proclaim that he is the Son of God!

35 The next day, John was standing (at the river) with two of his disciples.

36 He saw Jesus walking in the distance, and once more said: Behold the Lamb of God!

37 The two disciples heard this, and followed after Jesus.

38 Jesus turned and saw them following, and he said: What is it that you are looking for? They answered: Rabbi--which is interpreted as master--where are you staying?

39 He said to them: Come and see. So they followed to where he was staying and remained with him that day, for it was around (4 PM).

40 One of the two who had heard John speak, and followed Jesus, was Andrew, Shimon Peter’s brother.

41 He went out and found his own brother, Shimon, and told him: “We have found the Messiah”--which, by interpretation, means the Christ.

42 So Philip brought Shimon to Jesus, and when Jesus saw him, he said: You are Shimon (meaning a reed), the son of Jonah. You will be called Cephas (meaning stone).

43 The next day, Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip, and told him: Follow me!

44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city Andrew and Peter (Cephas) were from.

45 Philip went and found Nathanael, and told him: We have found the one Moses and the prophets wrote about in the Scriptures--Jesus of Nazareth, son of Joseph!

46 Nathanael wondered in response: Can any good thing come out of a place like Nazareth? Philip said: Come see for yourself!

47 When they arrived and Jesus saw Nathanael approach, he said about him: Behold! A true Israelite of honesty and integrity!

48 Nathanael replied: Where do you know me from? Jesus answered: Before Philip called you, when you happened to be under the fig tree, I saw you (in a vision).

49 Nathanael answered back: Rabbi--you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!

50 Jesus said in response: Simply because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree you believe in me? You will see much greater things than that before we’re done!

51 Truly, truly, I say to you that hereafter you will see heaven revealed, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man!

1. The word here is logos, which is sometimes translated as “Divine expression” in some Bibles. John’s apparent use of a Hellenistic term has caused some confusion, for the usage in Greek can refer to the written Scriptures along with terms such as “wisdom” or “utterance.” In Hellenism, however, it also embodied a concept of Deity somewhat similar in our culture to what we might call “the Force.” That sort of principle was developed in later centuries in Kabalistic writings dealing with the 10 Sephiroth, or 10 emanations proceeding from God which permeate the universe, the highest being “the Word.” However, John was not employing a Greek word that expressed his true thoughts, but rather translating a Hebrew word into the closest Greek counterpart despite that counterpart’s flawed meaning in Hellenistic culture.

The actual use of the word is derived from a Hebrew word memre. Memre means “word,” but in Jewish philosophy was far richer than Hellenism’s impersonal force that set the universe in motion and sustained it. “The Word” in Hebrew usage embodied the very living essence and being of God through which He created all things. So identifiable is “the Word” with God Himself that an Aramaic Targum of Genesis actually says that Adam and Eve heard “the Word of the Lord” walking in the garden! John’s usage here, as shown in the last half of the verse, is clearly to affirm that “the Word” was Christ Himself, and that “the Word” is Deity.

2. The great problematic statement for the Jehovah’s Witnesses, for instance, who deny the Deity of Christ. Relying upon the fact that the text does not include the word ho (the) before the word “God--which would make Christ the Father--they go on to insert their own indefinite article a, making Christ merely “a God.” While it is not absolutely impossible to render the verse as they choose to, it is poor grammar at best, and is quickly refuted by John’s use of logos in the verse (when its Hebrew understanding is acknowledged over the Greek).

3. Better paraphrased as: “And from his fullness, we have received undeserved grace upon grace.”

4. An important verse calling into question a popular teaching within Messianic Judaism, which in its zeal to honor the Torah makes no distinction between the Mosaic and Christian covenants. Grace did not necessarily exist in the same way in the Old covenant as it does under the New. True, men were always saved by God's grace, but that grace was limited because of the boundaries of Torah, which demanded obedience and mandated direct punishment for transgression. Under the New covenant, the punishment for transgression has fallen upon Christ on the cross, and thus the measure of God's grace toward man is no longer held back by the limitations of the written Torah, which place humanity under a curse with God's wrath separating man from full fellowship.

5. Some take this verse literally, and believe that any appearances of God in the Old Testament were all pre-incarnate appearances of Jesus. While some undoubtedly were, there seem to be some issues with this notion, as verses like Dan. 7:14, Acts 7:56, and Rev. 5:6 appear to show visions of the Father and Son together, while Moses and the elders (Ex. 24:11) “saw God.” John could actually mean that no fallen mortal has ever seen God in His unveiled fullness. But in taking human form, Jesus has now provided a means for God to again interact directly with fallen humanity face-to-face as in the Garden of Eden.

6. Several possible Messiahs were expected by the Jews: The Messiah ben Joseph, a “Suffering Messiah” (Gen. 49:22-23); the prophet like unto Moses (Deut. 18:15); and, of course, the Messiah ben David, the conquering Messiah. The men here are asking John if he claims to be any of the expected Messiahs, or if he is the Elijah who is to precede the arrival of the Messiah ben David. John’s denial is probably a Spirit-inspired utterance, for the original Elijah will indeed return before Christ’s second coming (Matt. 17:11). John here has come in the spirit and authority of Elijah, and thus, in a sense, he is Elijah, but in a sense is not, for the greater Elijah still has an appointed task ahead.

7. “Among you” by some is mistakenly believed to refer to Jesus being some sort of Pharisee. John is probably referring to the crowd on the bank of the river, among whom Jesus was apparently standing, but not yet ready to be baptized.

8. Andrew, Peter’s brother, and probably John.

9. Not necessarily referring to Jesus being the son of Joseph the carpenter, but possibly a reference to the Messiah ben Joseph, which Jesus seems to be more akin to than a conquering military Messiah. This Messiah was expected by many to come before the greater Messiah ben David.

10. We aren’t given enough information to know what Jesus means when He mentions Nathanael being under a fig tree. Jews would sometimes pray under fig trees--the symbol for Israel--and Nathanael, apparently a pious man, may have been praying for the Messiah to come as he sat underneath such a tree. This Word of Knowledge--not changing water into wine--is the first recorded miracle of Jesus.

11 A reference to Joseph’s dream in Gen. 28.

 

CHAPTER 2

CHAPTER 2

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee1; and the mother of Jesus was there:

2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.

3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.

4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman2, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.

6 And there were set there six water pots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.3

7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the water pots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.

8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast4. And they bare it.

9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,

10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.

11 This beginning of miracles5 did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

12 After this he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, and his brethren6, and his disciples: and they continued there not many days.

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,

14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:7

15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;

16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.8

18 Then answered the Jews9 and said unto him, What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things?

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I10 will raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?11

21 But he spake of the temple of his body.

22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.

24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,

25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

1 The third day thereafter, a wedding took place in Cana of Galilee, and Jesus’ mother was there.

2 Jesus, along with his twelve disciples, was invited to it.

3 When they ran low on wine, Jesus’ mother said to her son: They have no wine.

4 Jesus responded: Ma’am--what is that to you and me? My time has not come yet.

5 But his mother told the servants: Do whatever he tells you to.

6 Now there were six stone water pots used for Jewish ritual purification of objects, and they held around twenty gallons each.

7 Jesus ordered the servants: Fill those up with water. So they did, all the way up to the brim.

8 Then Jesus told them: Go ladle some out and take it to the Levite presiding over the feast. So they brought it to the man.

9 When the Levite presiding over the feast tasted the wine created out of the water and didn’t know where it came from--though the servants knew--he summoned the groom,

10 And told him: Everyone always puts the best wine out at the beginning of the banquet, and after the guests have drunk their fill, they bring the watered-down wine to finish up with. But you kept the best wine until the end!

11 This was the first of Jesus’ miracles, manifesting his glory, that took place in Cana of Galilee; and the event anchored the disciples’ faith in him.

12 After this, Jesus, his mother, his kinsmen, and his twelve disciples, went down to Capernaum, but remained there for only a few days.

13 Now the Jewish feast of Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

14 At the Temple, he found people selling sacrificial oxen, sheep, and doves, along with changing money (--and they were actually disrespecting the Temple by sitting down while doing these things)!

15 After making a whip of ropes, he lashed them all out of the Court of Gentiles, drove out the sheep and oxen, poured out the money-changers’ cash boxes, and overturned their tables.

16 He shouted to the dove sellers: Get these things out of here--don’t make my Father’s house a place of business!

17 When he did this, the disciples recalled the Scripture verse, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

19 Jesus replied to them: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.

20 Then the Judeans spat back: It took forty-six years to build this Temple complex, and you’ll rebuild it in three days, will you?!

21 But he meant the temple of his body.

22 So after Jesus had risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had told them this, and they believed the Scripture and what Jesus had said (about rising from the dead).

23 Now when Jesus was in Jerusalem at the Passover, by the time the Day of Sacrifice came, many (placed faith in him as Messiah) when they saw all the miracles he did.

24 But Jesus did not trust or rely on them, because he knew the truth about every person he met,

25 And did not need anyone to tell him any details about them, for he, himself, already knew what was in the heart of every man.

1. Some believe this was the marriage of John the apostle, although it’s impossible to know for certain. Since it’s said Mary “was there,” while Jesus was only “called,” it seems she may have had something to do with the wedding itself, and possibly this means that a relative of Jesus--perhaps a sister, if not John--was marrying someone. Some also theorize that the reason they ran out of wine is because Jesus showed up with 12 friends the host hadn’t counted on.

2. The term is not as cold in the original language as it is in English. “Woman,” in this sense, would be a term of honor akin to saying, “Ma’am.”

3. Around 8 gallons or possibly around 20; we can’t know for sure how the measurement was determined.

4. In all probability, this was a Levite who presided over the ceremony to bless the couple. It was not necessarily a rabbi.

5. It should be noted that changing water into wine is not the first miracle Jesus did, but rather this act and those recorded elsewhere in the Gospels (the miracle with the catch of fish, for instance) are “the beginning of miracles”--i.e. the start of His public miracle ministry. By the way, verse 9 uses the word oinos, and thus shows that the wine was alcoholic and not grape juice as some teach!

6. The “brethren” are possibly brothers of Christ, but more likely cousins since at the Crucifixion Jesus gives Mary over to John to take care of.

7. These all sold sacrificial animals and exchanged coinage at an exorbitant rate, the profits of which went to Annas, enabling him to bribe the Romans to keep the office of High Priest in his family. The reason that the vendors are mentioned as “sitting” is because it was forbidden to sit in any court other than the Court of Women.

8. An example of John’s Gospel jumping forward out of chronological order, for this is actually the second time Jesus drove out the vendors, in the days just prior to the Crucifixion. Although I have yet to find a reference source to substantiate it, tour guides in Israel make the claim that the vendors never returned to the Temple after Christ’s cleansing of it.

9. The first example of the word ioudaoi arbitrarily being translated as “Jews” to make an arbitrary distinction between the followers of Christ and the Jewish people. The word, in this instance, should be translated: “Judeans.”

10. An important verse showing the nature of equality, and yet distinction, within the triune Godhead. Here, Jesus says that He will raise Himself from the dead, while Peter (Acts 2:24) gives credit for that to God, and Paul (Romans 8:11) gives credit to the Holy Spirit. In the case of Peter and Paul, it is unlikely that either is making a measured theological statement to consciously promote Trinitarian belief, but rather that these were Spirit-inspired declarations bringing forth the mosaic that eventually reveals the triune nature of God.

11. We aren’t precisely certain how the elders here are dating the construction of the Temple, and whether they are or are not including two or three years of preparation time prior to actual construction. Assuming they are not, this dates the event to 29 or 30 AD, fitting perfectly with the year of the Crucifixion. Josephus mentions that Herod began the Temple in the 18th year of his reign, and lived for a total of 37 years after being made king by Caesar. Jesus would have been born in his 35th year of reign, and supposing Jesus to be 30 at this time, there would indeed be 46 years between Herod’s 18th year of reign and Christ’s 30th year upon the earth.

 

CHAPTER 3

CHAPTER 3

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler1 of the Jews:

2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi2, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.

3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?

5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit3, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

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

7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.4

8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?

10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master5 of Israel, and knowest not these things?

11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.

12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?

13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 6

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

22 After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there he tarried with them, and baptized.

23 And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim, because there was much water there: and they came, and were baptized.

24 For John was not yet cast into prison.

25 Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews7 about purifying.

26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.

27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.

28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

30 He must increase, but I must decrease.8

31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.

33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.

34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.9

35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.10

1 There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a member of the panel in Jerusalem that interpreted Jewish Law.

2 He came secretly by night and told Jesus: Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who comes from God, for no man can do the miracles you do if God is not with him.

3 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you: Unless a man is born twice, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.

4 Nicodemus then asked: How can an old man be born twice? Can he climb back into his mother’s womb, and be born a second time?

5 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you: Unless a man is born both of water and Spirit, he cannot enter the Kingdom of God!

6 That which is birthed of flesh is mere flesh. But that which is birthed of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Don’t wonder that I said to you, ‘You must be born twice.’

8 The wind blows where it wants, and you see and hear its effects, but you don’t know where it comes from or what makes it (for it is beyond your comprehension). So it is with everyone who is birthed through the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus then asked: How can this be the case?

8 The wind blows where it wants, and you see and hear its effects, but you can’t comprehend where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is birthed through the Spirit.

9 Nicodemus then asked: How can this be the case?

10 Jesus answered: Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you have no knowledge of the concepts I’m expressing?

11 Truly, truly, I say to you: We have testified about what we know and have seen, yet none of you accepts our witness.

12 If I have told you about earthly things and you can’t believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

13 No man has ascended into heaven but he who came down from heaven--even the Son of Man who is in heaven.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

15 That whosoever will place faith in him will not perish, but have everlasting life!

16 For God so loved humanity that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever places faith in him will not perish, but have everlasting life!

17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save the world through him!

18 He who places faith in him is not condemned, but he who does not place faith in him is already condemned, because he did not believe in the person and position of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is what condemns them: That the light came into the world, but men preferred darkness rather than light, as evidenced by the fact that their deeds were evil.

20 For everyone who practices evil hates the light and won’t come to it, lest his deeds be shown for what they are (--that they are of Satan).

21 But he who practices truth is drawn to the light so his deeds may be seen for what they are: that they are done in God.

22 After these things, Jesus and the disciples went out and encamped in the Judean wilderness, baptizing people there.

23 John was also baptizing in Aenon, near Salim, because there was a lot of water there, and people came there to be baptized.

24 This was before Herod Antipas threw John into a dungeon.

25 Now a question arose between John’s disciples and the Judeans about ritual purification (because some were wondering if Jesus’ baptism was in conflict with John’s).

26 So they came to him and said: Rabbi--the man who was with you beyond the Jordan, the one you testified about--is baptizing, and the people are all flocking to him. (Is he right to be baptizing?)

27 John replied: A man can receive nothing (--such as commission to a ministry--) unless it is given by God in heaven.

28 You, yourselves, recall that I denied being the Messiah, but that I was sent on ahead to announce him.

29 It’s the groom who possesses the bride, not the best man. But the best man stands at the groom’s side and greatly rejoices when he hears the groom’s approaching voice. Thus, I rejoice in this.

30 (And, like the best man, I now step aside, having played my role.) He must grow greater, and I must now recede into the background.

31 He who came from heaven above is above everything. But I, who am of the earth, am nothing more than a man, and can only speak the limited revelations of a man. He who is from heaven outranks everything and everyone (and his revelations and understanding are far greater than my own).

32 And what he has seen and heard (in heaven), he testifies to, but no man accepts what he is testifying about.

33 But anyone who receives his message has made a declaration that he agrees that God is true,

34 For he whom God has sent speaks the very words of God Himself, for God has given him an unlimited amount of wisdom of the Spirit.

35 The Father loves the Son, and has given control of everything to him.

36 He who places faith in the Son has everlasting life, but he who does not place faith in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God will remain upon him!

1. Nicodemus (Nakdimon in Hebrew), from the language used about him, appears to have held a high position within Jerusalem. He may well have been a member of the Beit Din, a three-judge tribunal of men who were masters of rabbinic law. Their task was to judge local matters of a religious nature, passing issues of special difficulty on to the Sanhedrin for a final determination.

2. Nicodemus’ use of the word rabbi shows that he has already accepted that Jesus is the Messiah, or at least a true prophet, for no judge of Israel would use the word rabbi to one of lesser status as the word, in this instance, is an indication of submission.

3. Better translated as: “Unless a man be born of water and spirit.”

4. Jesus is not inventing the evangelical term Born Again! The term was well known to Judaism, and referred to the status of a new convert who had repented from sin and come under covenant with God. What Nicodemus fails to comprehend is that he must put aside the philosophies and religious training he has grown up with, and begin to think an entirely new way with respect to sin and justification, making a transition from a Pharisaic to a Christian worldview, and through that to gain eternal life.

Also, Jesus’ words are often translated as being “born from above,” which technically can be rendered in that way. However, Nicodemus’ reply in verse 4 shows that “Born Again” is a better understanding of Jesus’ words, as is Peter’s using the term in 1 Peter 1:23.

 

5. Better translated as: “Teacher.”

6. Here is the great illustration of salvation Jesus gives which so many denominations fail to grasp: Reconciliation to God comes through nothing more difficult than for a man to look back to the Crucifixion with faith. As shown in Numbers 21, those who were dying from the bite of the serpents had only to look at the serpent upon the pole to live--not look to the serpent and be baptized...not look at the serpent and obey commandments...not look at the serpent and perform meritorious works. They simply were to look, and believe the word that they would be saved by looking to the serpent on the pole! The fact that Jesus Himself acknowledges the tie-in with the brazen serpent upon the pole--the very symbol of sin and the devil--reveals the false teaching of some who deny or redefine in a 180-degree manor Paul’s own words that Christ was “made to be sin” on the cross. Those who think there was only purity on all possible levels of the cross clearly miss the point of Jesus’ own illustration, and Paul’s words in 2 Cor. 5:21.

7. Absolutely should be translated “Judeans,” for indeed there were disputes between the Pharisees of Judea and regions like Galilee over extraneous ritual washings and the like.

8. Words true for all of us, for only if we decrease our own will can Christ’s will increase in our lives.

9. Better paraphrased as: “For he whom God has sent teaches the mysteries of God, for God has given him an unlimited amount of wisdom of the Spirit.

10. A sobering warning to some sincere people who mistakenly believe that somehow “good” people who never hear the Gospel message, or else sincerely reject it in favor of heartfelt commitment to Islam, Judaism, or what have you, can obtain eternal life without conscious faith in Christ’s atonement. There simply is no other way! The exception would be those who die before they know right from wrong (Deut. 1:39), and probably those who for some reason are incapable of knowing right from wrong, or making a decision for or against Christ. These may reach heaven, but without a reward; or they may be resurrected at the Millennium to live out their lives on earth, making the choice for or against Christ they could not make in their first life. The Bible doesn't say for certain.

 

CHAPTER 4

CHAPTER 4

1 When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

2 (Though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples,)

3 He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee.

4 And he must needs go through Samaria.1

5 Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.

7 There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.

8 (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.)2

9 Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.3

10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

11 The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?

12 Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle?

13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

15 The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither.

17 The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband:

18 For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly.

19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.4

22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.5

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.6

26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.7

27 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman8: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?

28 The woman then left her water pot9, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,

29 Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

30 Then they went out of the city, and came unto him.

31 In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat.

32 But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that ye know not of.

33 Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat?

34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

35 Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?10 Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.

36 And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.

37 And herein is that saying true, One soweth, and another reapeth.

38 I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.

39 And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.

40 So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.

41 And many more believed because of his own word;11

42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

43 Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee.

44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.

45 Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast.

46 So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.

47 When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death.

48 Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

49 The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die.

50 Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way.

51 And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth.

52 Then inquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.

53 So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house.

54 This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.

1 When the Lord came to know that the Pharisees were aware that he was baptizing more disciples than John--

2 Though Jesus did not do the baptizing, the disciples did--

3 He left Judea for Galilee.

4 But he had to pass through Samaria to reach his destination.

5 On the way, Jesus came to a city in Samaria called Sychar, which is near the parcel of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.

6 Now Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus--being exhausted from the long walk--sat on it to rest. It was about [noon].

7 It happened that a Samaritan woman came out to draw water from the well, and Jesus told her: Give me a drink of water.

8 His disciples, you see, had gone into town to buy meat.

9 Then the Samaritan woman said: How is it that you--a Jew--ask me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink, seeing that you Jews won’t even drink out of the same cups we use?

10 Jesus answered back: If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that’s asking “Give me a drink of water,” you would have asked him for water, and he would give you the real living water!

11 The woman said: Sir--the water down in the well is too deep to reach without a rope and bucket, so how could you have any living water to give me?

12 Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and drank from it along with his children and livestock? (Even he needed a rope and bucket.)

13 Jesus answered: Whoever drinks the water down in that well will get thirsty again.

14 But whoever drinks the living water I offer will never thirst again. The living water I give shall be a wellspring inside him that springs forth to everlasting life.

15 The woman then said: Sir, then give me this water so I never thirst again, and won’t have to walk all the way out here for water!

16 Jesus answered: Go get your husband, then return.

17 To this, the woman replied: I have no husband. Jesus said back: You’ve answered well to say you have no husband.

18 You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t married to you, so you’ve spoken truthfully.

19 The woman now said: Sir, I realize you must be a prophet!

20 Now tell me--our fathers worshipped God in the temple here, at Mount Gerazim, but you Jews say Jerusalem is the place to worship God. (Which is right, or does it make a difference?)

21 Jesus said in response: Woman, believe me--the time is coming when whether you worship the Father at Mount Gerazim or Jerusalem will be irrelevant.

22 But more importantly, you Samaritans worship a God you don’t really know, while we Jews know Whom we worship, for salvation comes from us.

23 But the time is coming, and now is beginning, when the true worshippers of the Father will worship Him in spirit and in truth, for those are the sorts of worshippers the Father wants. (Thus, where you worship God is irrelevant, for the place to worship God is in your heart.)

24 For God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth.

25 Then the woman said: I know that the Messiah is coming--the one they call Christ--and when he does, he will tell us everything we have to do.

26 Jesus said to her: I, who speak to you, am the Messiah!

27 About this time, the disciples returned and were amazed to see that he was talking with a Samaritan woman, of all things. But none of them asked her, “What do you want?” or asked Jesus, “Why are you talking to her?”

28 The woman, meanwhile, actually left her rope and bucket, and ran back into town where she found the townsmen, whom she told:

29 Come see a man who told me all I ever did! Is this not the Messiah?!

30 So (out of curiosity) they came out of the city, and followed her back to the well where Jesus was.

31 Meantime, the disciples encouraged Jesus, saying: Rabbi, eat something.

32 But he said: I have food to eat that you don’t know about.

33 Therefore, they asked one another: Did someone else bring him some food to eat?

34 Jesus said: My food is to do the will of Him who sent me, and to finish the work He gave me to do.

35 Isn’t there a saying, In four months comes the harvest? I tell you, lift up your eyes and look upon the fields, for the harvest is ripened and ready even now!

36 (The wages of both the sower and the reaper is the harvest of souls who will gain eternal life--and both can rejoice together with the same pay.)

37 It’s a true saying that, One plants/another harvests.

38 I sent you to reap a harvest you had no part in planting. It was others, who came before you, that did the planting, and you are now doing your part in continuing and being blessed by their past labors.

39 Now many of the Samaritans there put faith in Jesus because of what the woman had told them: “Come see a man who told me all I ever did.”

40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they begged him to stay in Sychar, so Jesus remained there for two days.

41 And many more placed faith in Jesus because of the teachings they heard from his own mouth,

42 And they told the woman: Now we believe, not because of what you told us, but because we have heard him ourselves, and we realize this is the Christ, the savior of the world!

43 After the two days, Jesus went on to Galilee.

44 Jesus had said, “A prophet receives no honor in his own country.”

45 But when he arrived in Galilee the people received him, having seen the things he had done at the Feast, because they had been there as well.

46 Jesus eventually returned to Cana of Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain nobleman from Capernaum whose son was deathly ill.

47 When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he found him and begged him to come back and heal his son who was near death.

48 Jesus said to him: Except you people see miraculous signs and wonders, you will not believe.

49 The nobleman begged him, saying: Sir--please come back with me before my child dies!

50 Jesus replied: Go home--your son lives. So the man believed what Jesus told him, and went back home.

51 As he was on the way back, his servants met him, and announced: Your son is alive and well!

52 Then the nobleman asked what time his son began to improve, and they told him it was around (1 PM).

53 So the nobleman realized it was at the same time Jesus had told him, “Your son lives.” And he and his entire household believed in Jesus.

54 This was the second miracle Jesus did when he was in Galilee, having returned from Judea.

1. Traveling through Samaria, according to Josephus, was the quickest way to get from Jerusalem to Galilee, and was a three-day trip of about twelve miles per day.

2. They probably went themselves into the city, leaving Jesus at the well because they considered Him too good to defile Himself by entering a Samaritan village.

3. The poor woman in this, one of the most magnificent tales of Christ's ministry, is almost always accused of trying to deflect attention away from her sin by throwing out a theological question. In actuality, her legitimate question--and Jesus' direct answer which never again brings up her sin--suggests to me she honestly took advantage of the opportunity to ask a prophet something that had been debated for centuries. It should also be noted that this woman is the first person noted in the Gospels to whom Jesus clearly, and unequivocally, reveals He is the Messiah. It should be noted that this woman is the first person noted in the Gospels to whom Jesus clearly, and unequivocally, reveals He is the Messiah. By the way, she actually says something akin to, “We don’t use the same dishes,” not, “The Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.” There was, you see, mutual hatred between Jew and Samaritan, with the Jews treating the Samaritans as half-breeds, and the Samaritans hating the Judeans for the burning of their temple by John Hyrcanus. The Mishna, by the way, shows Jewish contempt for Samaritans by equating Samaritan bread with pork.

Sychar is within view of Mt. Gerazim, where the Samaritans had their rival temple to that of Jerusalem, and this well was several hundred yards out of town, confirming that the woman was undoubtedly somewhat of an outcast with respect to the other local women since she traveled that far for water. The well is particularly beautiful, being  deep and fed by cool underground streams. Since the waters are spring-fed, they were known as mayim chaim, or “living waters” even in the time of Jesus--who used this term in his sermon.

As a point of interest, the Samaritans of today claim to possess an ancient Torah scroll written by Abisha, the great-grandson of Aaron.

 

4. A statement all too often passed over by some of my brothers in the Messianic movement who cling a bit too tightly to the notion that God wants all Christians to worship Him in the manner the Jews do.

5. An important verse showing that the Jews of Christ’s time--despite problems with some of the religious Movements--indeed knew the One True God.

6. As did the Jews, the Samaritans expected a Messiah to come--known as the Taheb--and restore some of the sacred vessels of the first tabernacle, and to teach them the ways of righteousness.

7. Jesus’ first recorded affirmation that He is the Messiah.

8. Because, in the culture, it is next to unthinkable for a man to be speaking in public with a woman--even his wife or sister!

9. John illustrates her great level of excitement by mentioning her leaving the water pot, for a bucket/water pot and rope was quite a valuable--and necessary--commodity in that part of the ancient world, and no person would normally let it out of his sight.

10. Harvest time was around April or May, showing this event happens in December. There is no evidence, although it is suspected, that Jesus is quoting a saying of the time.

11. It is noteworthy that this is the only recorded mission of Christ in which He reaps a harvest of souls by doing no miracles, and using only preaching. As a point of interest, an ancient sect of Christians called Dositheans, after their founder Dositheus, an early disciple of John the Baptist, lived in Samaria. Dositheus is thought by some to have been one of the original 70 disciples of Christ. The Christians of Samaria, however, seem to have quickly drifted into heresy, teaching that Jesus was the reincarnation of Seth. Simon Magus, of Acts 8 fame, was supposedly a disciple of Dositheus.

 

CHAPTER 5

CHAPTER 5

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews1; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.

3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.2

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?3

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.4

11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.

12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?

13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.

14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.5

16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.6

18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.7

19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

20 For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth: and he will show him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.8 He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.

31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.9

32 There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.

33 Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.

34 But I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.

35 He was a burning and a shining light: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his light.

36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.

37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.

38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.

39 Search the scriptures10; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.

41 I receive not honour from men.

42 But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you.

43 I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.11

44 How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?

45 Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust.

46 For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.

47 But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?

1 After this, Jesus returned to Jerusalem during another Passover.

2 Now at Jerusalem is a spring with five porches called in Hebrew Bethesda (meaning House of Mercy), which is down by the sheep market.

3 In the porches lay a great crowd of sick and infirmed people waiting for the water to be disturbed.

4 (For every so often, an angel would disturb the water, and whoever stepped in first would be healed of whatever ailments he had.)

5 A certain cripple was there who had been in that state for thirty-eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and came to understand he had been crippled for that many years, he asked: Do you really want to be made whole?

7 The cripple answered: Sir, I have no one who can lift me into the spring when the water is stirred up--someone always beats me in!

8 Jesus told him: Rise, pick up your mat, and walk!

9 And immediately the man was healed, took up his mat, and began walking home. This happened to be done on a Sabbath.

10 Some Judeans spotted him, and said: This is the Sabbath--you’re violating the Law by carrying the burden of a mat!

11 But the man answered back: The man who healed me told me to pick up my mat, and walk.

12 So they demanded to know: Who told you that?!

13 But the man who had been healed couldn’t show them, for Jesus had left the area due to the large crowd that had gathered.

14 Jesus later spotted him in one of the Temple courts and came up to him, saying: You are made whole now--sin no more, lest a worse thing befall you!

15 Then the man went out and told the Judeans that Jesus was the one who had restored his limbs to full strength.

16 Therefore, the Judeans persecuted Jesus and wanted to slay him for doing these things on the Sabbath.

17 But Jesus told them: My Father works (--doing good on the Sabbath--) and so do I!

18 That statement made the Judeans seek to kill him all the more, for not only had Jesus broken the Sabbath, but he also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.

19 Then Jesus added: Truly, truly, I say to you: The Son can do nothing on his own--only what he sees the Father do! Thus, the things the Father does, the Son does likewise!

20 For the Father is very fond of the Son, and shows him all the things He does, and will show him even greater things--things that will amaze you.

21 For as the Father raises and gives life to the dead, even so the Son will give (eternal) life to whomever he chooses.

22 For the Father judges no man, but has given the right to pass judgment to the Son,

23 So that all men may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him!

24 Truly, truly, I tell you: He who hears my Message and believes on Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not face condemnation, but has made the transition from death to life.

25 Truly, truly, I tell you: The time is coming, and is now starting, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones who hear it will live.

26 For as the Father is the source of life, so He has enabled the Son to also be a source of life,

27 And has given him the authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of Man (--the bar Enash DSaniel prophesied of)!

28 Don’t be shocked by this, for the time is coming in which all who are in the grave will hear his voice,

29 And will come out. Those who have done good will come out to enter the resurrection of life, while those who did evil will come out to the resurrection of damnation!

30 I can’t do anything of my own volition. As God tells me, I judge--and my judgment is fair, because I am not seeking my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me.

31 If I testify on my own behalf (for my own glory), I am a fraud.

32 There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know his testimony of me is true. (That person is John.)

33 You sent inquisitors to John, and he testified about the truth.

34 But the only testimony about me that matters to me is not from man (but from God). Even so, I boast of John’s testimony for your own good, that you might be saved.

35 John was a bright and shining light, and for a short time you were willing to rejoice in his light (until you realized he wouldn’t dance to your tune).

36 But I have a greater testimony than John: the miracles my Father has given me to accomplish. These miracles testify that I haven’t come on my own, but that the Father sent me.

37 And the Father Himself, who did send me, has testified about me. But you have never heard His voice, nor ever seen Him in person (as I have).

38 Nor does His Word live in your hearts, because you don’t believe the one He has sent to you.

39 You constantly study the Scriptures, for you think they will lead you to eternal life, and those very Scriptures tell you about me.

40 Yet you will not come to me in order to have true life.

41 I don’t say that because I seek honor from men,

42 But because I know you don’t have the love of God dwelling in your hearts!

43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you reject me. (Someday,) one will come in his own name, and him you’ll eagerly accept.

44 How can you believe in the first place, when you crave the approval of each other instead of the approval of God alone?

45 Don’t think I will be the one bringing accusations against you to the Father. The one who will do that is Moses, in whom you trust!

46 For if you had believed Moses, you would have believed me as well, because Moses wrote (and prophesied) about me.

47 But if you won’t believe his writings, how can you believe what I tell you?

1. Probably Passover.

2. Verse 4 is not in the oldest manuscripts and does not appear in any Gospel texts until the 5th century, although Tertullian (On Baptism, chap. 5) seems to have been aware of it in the 2nd century. Likewise, the 2nd century Diatesseron records it.

3. Possibly better paraphrased as: “Do you really want to get well?” Some believe the man had just given up and sunk into an attitude of despair.

4. David Stern believes that to carry one’s mat within the confines of Jerusalem on the Sabbath would have technically been Lawful, but assuming the man lived outside the city he would have been breaking rabbinic law to leave the gates with the mat in his hands, and thus he may have been stopped by the elders at the city gates, and warned. It is equally likely these were simply some of the more strict Shammaiites, rebuking him for carrying a burden on the Sabbath.

5. Showing these were indeed elders who had questioned the act--and we can only imagine what greater bane fell upon this fool in the following days after he betrayed Jesus to them.

6. Stern suggests that Jesus is pointing out that God “works” on the Sabbath (by maintaining the earth, and even by causing the human body to heal normally, even though it is a Sabbath), and so the Son is equally expected to.

7. Jesus has just equated Himself with God by declaring that He can do the “work” of healing on the Sabbath, which otherwise the Shammaiites forbid to ordinary men who are commanded to rest.

8. An interesting use of the word phileo, the intimate love of friendship, rather than agape, the typical word for selfless, sacrificing, spiritual love for others. Were Jesus speaking in our vernacular, he might actually say something along the lines of, “God doesn’t just love me--He actually likes me!”

9. This statement is utter blasphemy to a Jewish mind, suggesting that any man--even the Messiah--is to be honored as God is honored. The natural understanding of Christ’s words is that He is revealing His divinity, for otherwise the elders are perfectly correct: God does not share His glory with man.

10. Better paraphrased as: “If I’m doing my works to promote my own glory,rather than God’s, I am a fraud.”

11. Better understood as: “You constantly study the Scriptures, for you think they will lead you to eternal life, and those very Scriptures tell you about me. Yet you will not come to me in order to have true life.

12. Thought by some to be a prophetic reference to the coming Antichrist.

 

CHAPTER 6

CHAPTER 6

1 After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias.

2 And a great multitude followed him, because they saw his miracles which he did on them that were diseased.

3 And Jesus went up into a mountain, and there he sat with his disciples.

4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.

5 When Jesus then lifted up his eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?

6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.

7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth1 of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.

8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, saith unto him,

9 There is a lad2 here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?

10 And Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.

11 And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would.

12 When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

13 Therefore they gathered them together, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves, which remained over and above unto them that had eaten.

14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.

15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.3

16 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea,

17 And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them.

18 And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew.

19 So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid.

20 But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid.

21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;

23 (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:)

24 When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus.

25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?

26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?4

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

30 They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?

31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.

37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.

40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.

42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?

43 Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.

44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

48 I am that bread of life.

49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.

54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.

55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.

57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.

60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?

61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?

62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?

63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.5

64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.

65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.

66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.6

67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

70 Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?

71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

1 After these events, Jesus sailed across the Sea of Galilee, which is called the Sea of Tiberius by the Romans.

2 And a great multitude of people followed him because of all the miracles they had seen him perform on the diseased.

3 Meanwhile, Jesus went up onto a mountain, and sat down there with his disciples.

4 This was when the Jewish Feast of Passover was at hand.

5 When Jesus looked up and saw what a great crowd was gathering, he asked Philip: Where will we ever buy enough bread to feed all these people?

6 But he said this to test Philip’s faith, because he knew what he had in mind.

7 Philip answered: Six months’ wages wouldn’t buy enough bread for everyone in this mob to take one bite!

8 Now one of the other disciples, Andrew, the brother of Shimon Peter, spoke up, and said:

9 There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and a pair of small fish--but what good is that among so many?

10 But Jesus said: Make the men sit down. Now it was a very grassy area so the men, who numbered five thousand, sat down as ordered.

11 Then Jesus took the barley loaves, and when he had given thanks to God, he broke them up and distributed them to the disciples who then distributed them to the people. He did that with the fish as well, giving the people as much as they wanted.

12 When everyone was full, he told the disciples: Gather up the leftovers so nothing is lost.

13 They did this, and filled twelve baskets with leftover bread from the five barley loaves!

14 Then, when the men in the crowd saw this miracle of Jesus, they said: Surely this is the prophet Moses said would come into the world!

15 When Jesus concluded they would try to take him by force and make him a king, he left the area and went alone to a mountain.

16 That evening, the disciples went down to the sea of Galilee,

17 And entered a boat with the intention of sailing to Capernaum. Now it became dark, and Jesus still had not returned to them,

18 And then the lake was hit by a tremendous windstorm, whipping the water into a maelstrom.

19 So when they had rowed several miles in the face of the storm, they saw Jesus walking atop the sea, making his way toward them, and they were terrified.

20 But he called out to them: It’s I--don’t be afraid!

21 Then they let him board, and the boat immediately arrived at its destination.

22 The next day, the crowds on other side of the lake saw only one small boat on shore after Jesus’ disciples had sailed off. They knew that Jesus hadn’t departed with them, but that the disciples had left by themselves.

23 Meanwhile, word of the miracle had spread to Tiberius, and boatloads of people began arriving near the place where the Lord had performed the miracle of the loaves after giving thanks.

24 When the people on shore saw that neither Jesus nor the disciples were there, they took to the boats and sailed over to Capernaum, hoping to find him.

25 When they found him there on the other side of the sea, they said: Rabbi, when did you come here?

26 Jesus answered, and said: Truly, truly, I tell you: You’re not looking for me because you saw miracles (and believed in who I am)--you’re only here because you ate the loaves I fed you with!

27 Don’t seek for the meat that is here today, and gone tomorrow--seek for the meat leading to eternal life that the Son of Man will give you, for God the Father has ordained him to that task!

28 (Frustrated,) the crowd then asked: Well, then what must we do to be able to perform miracle works of God (like you do)?

29 Jesus responded: The foundation for that is to place faith in the one who was sent by Him.

30 They therefore replied: Then what sign do you have to show us so we can see it, and place faith in you? What deed will you do?

31 Our ancestors received manna to eat in the desert. The Scripture says, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. (Since you want us to follow you, is it not reasonable--even Scriptural--for you to do the same for us as well?)

32 Then Jesus said to them: Truly, truly, I tell you: Moses didn’t give you that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven!

33 For the true bread of God is he who came down from heaven and gives life to the world.

34 Then they said to him: Lord, forever give us this bread you speak of.

35 Jesus’ reply was: I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me shall never hunger; and he who places faith in me will never thirst either!

36 But as I said, you do not believe, even though you have seen me.

37 All whom the father gives me shall find their way to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out!

38 For I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me.

39 And this is the will of the Father who sent me: That of all He has given me, I shall lose none, but will raise them up on the last day.

40 And this too is the will of the Father who sent me: That everyone who sees and believes on the Son may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

41 Then the Judeans murmured at him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”

42 And they said: Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? Then how can he claim, ‘I came down from heaven’?

43 Jesus then answered the crowd: Stop murmuring amongst yourselves.

44 No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him to me, and I will raise him up on the last day.

45 It is written in the scrolls of the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Thus, every man who has heard and been taught by the Father will come to me.

46 Not that any mortal man has ever seen the Father, except him who is of God--he has seen the Father!

47 Truly, truly, I tell you: He who believes on me has everlasting life!

48 I am the bread of life!

49 The bread you spoke of in the wilderness? Your ancestors ate that manna, and they are all dead.

50 But I am the bread that came down from heaven, which a man can eat and never die!

51 For I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If any man eats this bread, he will live forever, and the bread I give is my flesh, which I will offer up to give life to the world.

52 Hearing this, the Judeans argued amongst themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?

53 Then Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I tell you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, you will have no life in you.

54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day!

55 For indeed, my flesh is meat, and my blood is drink.

56 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in him.

57 As the living Father has sent me, and as I live by the Father, so he who consumes me will live by me!

58 So then, I am the bread that came down from heaven, not the manna your ancestors ate--all of whom are now dead! The bread I am will give eternal life to whoever eats it!

59 These things Jesus said as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum.

60 Many of his disciples, when they heard all this, said to each other: (This is outrageous, and makes no sense. Who can understand and accept what he says?)

61 When Jesus perceived that his disciples murmured at his words, he said to them: Does this offend you?

62 What if you were to see the Son of Man ascend back to where he was before?

63 It is the Spirit that gives life, and man’s efforts (to find life on his own, through efforts of his own) are pointless! The teachings I impart to you are (revelation), and they are life.

64 But there are some of you here who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who did not truly believe, and who would betray him.

65 Jesus concluded: This is why I said to you that no man can come to me unless the Father enables him to.

66 From that point, many of Jesus’ disciples returned home, and no longer followed him.

67 Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you leave as well?

68 Then Shimon Peter answered: Lord, to whom would we go? You alone have the teachings of eternal life.

69 And we are absolutely convinced, and believe, that you are the Messiah, Son of the Living God!

70 Jesus answered: Have I not chosen you all, and one of you is a devil?

71 He was referring to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, who was one of the twelve, and the one who would betray him.

1. Months’ worth of a workman’s daily wages.

2. Probably young John Mark who, with Barnabas and perhaps other relatives, followed Jesus about at times.

3. Jesus refuses their overtures to make Him king because it is God who has appointed the time of His coronation, and also because they wish to make Him king only because their needs were being met. (See verse 26.)

4. Most theologians reasonably understand the people to be asking, “What must we do, so we can do the things God wants us to?” However, the people are actually frustrated at Jesus’ rebuke, and are asking what they need to do in order to perform supernatural works for themselves since Jesus isn’t cooperating. Unlike other Gospel writers, the word for “works” (ergon) is repeatedly used by John (25 times compared to 5/2/and 2 in the other Gospels) in context of both normal and supernatural deeds, while the other writers tend to limit it to normal deeds, and so rarely use the word. As we see from the context of both Jesus’ words and what happens by the end of the chapter, the people absolutely do not (verse 36) believe in Him. Thus, they cannot be speaking in humility and asking how they might please God--but instead are asking what they need to do in order to work the sort of miracles they’ve seen Jesus do. Jesus gives them a straight answer despite their attitude, but their attitude causes them to reject Him by the end of the chapter.

5. Jesus’ words here make no real sense to a Western mind. Saying, “My words are spirit,” is as non sequitur as saying, “My words are grapefruit.” Because of this, theologians faced with this puzzling remark, and no frame of reference for it, typically default to the Holy Spirit, and assume Jesus must be saying that His words are anointed by the Spirit, come from the Spirit, or something along those lines. However, Jesus did not say anything of the sort. He said His words “are spirit”! A westerner can’t comprehend that statement, but an Eastern listener understands that Jesus is making a word play by using the word spirit in one of its Eastern meanings apart from the Holy Spirit: that of a revelation! Thus, they know Jesus is saying that He is giving them a revelation of the way to eternal life through a word play, using the word “spirit” to refer both to the Holy Spirit, and the revelations coming from mouth of the Son of God.

6. Jesus had a habit of offending people’s minds to reveal what was in their hearts. Verses like 53-56, alluding to eating flesh and drinking blood were absolutely blasphemous in the minds of observant Jews, for the Torah forbids both. It would be akin to walking into a strict Holiness church of today, and announcing that only those who commit fornication and adultery can be saved. For whatever reason Christ chose to work in this manner, His calculated sayings to offend the mind caused those who were not truly His to fall away.

 

CHAPTER 7

CHAPTER 7

1 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him.1

2 Now the Jews' feast of tabernacles was at hand.

3 His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest.

4 For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world.

5 For neither did his brethren believe in him.

6 Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready.

7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

8 Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come.

9 When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee.

10 But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.

11 Then the Jews2 sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he?

12 And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, He is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people.

13 Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.

14 Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught.

15 And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?

16 Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.

17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.

18 He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

19 Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me?

20 The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee?

21 Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel.

22 Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision; (not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers;) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man.

23 If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the sabbath day?

24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

25 Then said some of them of Jerusalem, Is not this he, whom they seek to kill?

26 But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ?

27 Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is.

28 Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not.

29 But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me.

30 Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come.

31 And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done?

32 The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him.

33 Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me.

34 Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come.

35 Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?

37 In the last day, that great day of the feast3, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)4

40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.

41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?

42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

43 So there was a division among the people because of him.

44 And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him?

46 The officers answered, Never man spake like this man.

47 Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived?

48 Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed.

50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,)

51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

52 They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.5

53 And every man went unto his own house.

1 After these events, Jesus traveled about Galilee, but would not go into Judea because the Judeans wanted to kill him.

2 Now the Jewish Festival of Sukkot (Tabernacles) was at hand.

3 Jesus’ kinsmen thus told him: Go back to Judea, and let your disciples there see the same miracles you’re doing here.

4 No man makes a name for himself by staying hidden. If you can do all these miraculous things, don’t do them in secret--do them openly, for the whole world to see!

5 For his kinsmen didn’t believe in him either.

6 Jesus answered: My time is not yet come, but any time is a good time for you, isn’t it?

7 The world has no reason to hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its whole system is evil.

8 If you want to go to the Feast, then go! I’m not ready to go (because God hasn’t released me to go yet).

9 After saying this, Jesus remained in Galilee for a time.

10 But after his kinsmen had gone up, he subsequently followed, but he did so in secret.

11 Now the Judeans looked for him amongst the crowd assembled for the Feast, and they wondered: Where is he?

12 And there was a great debate among the people with some saying, “He is a good man,” while others said, “No, he’s deceiving the people!”

13 But no one voiced their opinion loudly, because they were afraid of saying something that would offend the (Judean religious leaders).

14 Now during the middle part of the Feast, Jesus went into the Temple courts and taught the people.

15 And the Judeans marveled, saying: How did this man learn to read and teach the Scriptures, seeing as he has never been trained by any yeshiva?

16 Jesus answered them: This is not my doctrine--it is the doctrine of Him who sent me.

17 If any man does His will, he will know if the doctrines I teach are of myself, or of God.

18 He who preaches his own doctrine seeks his own glory. He who seeks the glory of the One who sent him is sincere and guiltless.

19 Didn’t Moses give you the Torah, yet none of you keeps it? Why are you plotting to kill me?

19 Didn’t Moses give you the Torah, yet none of you keep it? Why are you plotting to kill me?

20 The crowd (of leaders) answered: You have a demon! Who here is plotting to kill you?

21 Jesus replied: I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you all were amazed I would do such a thing on that day.

22 Now Moses gave you the laws about circumcision--though it came down from the Patriarchs first, of course--and you have no problem breaking the law of Resting by circumcising an infant on the Sabbath yourselves.

23 So if you agree it is permissible to work on the Sabbath by doing a physical operation of circumcision, why would you be angry that I had made a sick man completely whole on the Sabbath?

24 Judge not according to outward appearance, but judge righteously!

25 Then some residents of Jerusalem said: Isn’t this the man they want to kill?

26 But look--he speaks boldly, in their faces, and they can’t respond. Do the elders actually know he is the Messiah?

27 The strange thing is, we know where this man comes from, but won’t the Messiah arrive out of nowhere?

28 Then Jesus cried out to the crowd in the Temple courtyard as he taught: You may know me and where I come from, yet I did not come on my own, but the One who sent me is true--and you don’t know Him!

29 But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent me!

30 Then the elders sought to take him into custody, but no one could because his hour had not yet arrived.

31 And many people believed in him, saying: (If he’s not the Messiah,) when the Messiah does come, will he do more miracles than this man?

32 When the Pharisees heard the people saying such things, they and the chief Sadducee priests assigned some Temple officers to take him.

33 Jesus said to them: I will be with you only for a little while longer, and then I will go to Him who sent me.

34 You will seek me, but not find me, for where I am you cannot come.

35 The Judeans said among themselves: Where will he go that we can’t find him? Does he mean he’ll go to the Jews living abroad, and teach the Gentiles?

36 What kind of saying is this, ‘You will seek me, but not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?

37 In the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood forth, and shouted out: If any man is thirsty--let him come to me, and drink!

38 He who places faith in me, as the Scripture says, Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

39 Jesus here was referring to the Spirit of God, which those who placed faith in him would receive, for the Holy Spirit had not yet been given to man because Jesus had not been glorified yet.

40 Many of those present, when they heard him speak these words, said: This man is certainly the prophet Moses spoke about!

41 Others said: This is the Messiah! But some wondered: Will the Messiah come out of Galilee?

42 Hasn’t the Scripture prophesied that the Messiah will come from David’s line, out of Bethlehem where David was from?

43 So the people were divided over him.

44 Some still wanted to take him into custody, but no man laid hands on him.

45 Then the officers ordered to apprehend Jesus returned to the chief Sadducee priests and Pharisees who had sent them. They were asked: Why haven’t you brought him in?

46 They replied: No man ever spoke like this man!

47 Then the Pharisees who were present said: Are you deceived too?

48 Have any of the elders of Israel, or any of the schools of the Pharisees believed on him?

49 (Only) these common people (have,) who don’t know the Torah, and are cursed by God!

50 Nicodemus, the one who had come to Jesus by night, replied:

51 Does our Torah judge any man before he has a chance to defend himself?

52 They answered: Are you a Galilean too? Search the Scriptures--no prophet is prophesied to come out of Galilee!

53 After this, everyone went back home.

1. Should be translated: “For he would not walk in Judea because the Judeans sought to kill him.”

2. Should be translated: “Judeans.”

3. This is the culmination of the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles), during which water and wine are mixed together by the High Priest, and verses from the Old Testament dealing with water are spoken. Jesus probably shouted out His famous statement, “come unto me, and drink” as the High Priest said prayers for rain. As a point of interest, during this Festival a series of golden lamps were set up in the Court of Women, the wicks of which were made from the swaddling cloths of the priests. The lamps were known as the Lights of the World. It is also during the seven days of this Feast that a total of 70 bulls were sacrificed to atone for the sins of the Gentiles. This is important to note because Judaism today asserts that sacrifice cannot atone for intentional sin, but only for unintentional sin. Since the 70 bulls were sacrificed for the Gentile nations that obviously were not in a state of repentance, we can see that the notion is a false one. (For those interested, the Talmud solves the problem of how a Jew who commits an intentional sin obtains forgiveness by claiming that repentance moves the category of sin from willful to unintentional in God’s eyes.)

4. This is an important verse to contradict the theology of some who present an unbiblical teaching that the Holy Spirit has always indwelt the people of God. In point of fact, the Holy Spirit did not indwell believers until after the Crucifixion and the subsequent events of Acts 2. Thus, using David’s words imploring God not to take the Holy Spirit from him is no evidence whatever contradicting the notion of a “second blessing” of the Holy Spirit available to believers. It is true that the Holy Spirit fell upon and anointed some of the men and women of God in prior ages, but there is a distinct difference between the pre-Christianity fellowship of the Spirit, and the literal indwelling and release of the Spirit available after the Crucifixion.

5. They are almost certainly meaning that there is no prophecy of a prophet to arise from Galilee, for they cannot have been unaware that Jonah was a Galilean.

 

CHAPTER 8

CHAPTER 8

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.

2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,1

4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.

5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?

6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.2

7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?

11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.

14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man.

16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.

17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.

18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.

19 Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury3, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.

21 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins:4 whither I go, ye cannot come.

22 Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come.

23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.

25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

26 I have many things to say and to judge of you: but he that sent me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I have heard of him.

27 They understood not that he spake to them of the Father.

28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.

30 As he spake these words, many believed on him.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

33 They5 answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free?

34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

37 I know that ye are Abraham's seed; but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you.

38 I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father.

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham's children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

40 But now ye seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God: this did not Abraham.

41 Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.

42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?

47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.

48 Then answered the Jews, and said unto him, Say we not well that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?

49 Jesus answered, I have not a devil; but I honour my Father, and ye do dishonour me.

50 And I seek not mine own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth.

51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

52 Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death.

53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?

54 Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:

55 Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am6.

59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.

1 Jesus now went to the Mount of Olives.

2 Early the next morning, he returned to the Temple and sat down to teach the throng of people.

3 As he was doing this, the Torah teachers and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught committing adultery. When they made her stand forth with them,

4 They said to Jesus: Rabbi--this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery!

5 Moses, in the Torah, commanded us to stone women like her. What do you say?

6 They said this to try to trick Jesus and get something to use against him. But Jesus simply stooped down, and with a finger began writing in the dust on the ground as though he hadn't heard them.

7 When they pressed the point, he stood up and said: Fine--let whichever of you who has never committed (the same) sin cast the first stone at her.

8 Then he bent down, and began to write again.

9 Those who heard his statement, being convicted by their consciences, now began drifting away, one by one, starting with the oldest, down to the youngest. Finally, the woman was left behind with the crowd that had assembled to hear Jesus preach.

10 When Jesus stood up and saw the woman left alone, he said: Woman, where are the ones who accused you? Has no one condemned you?

11 She said: No one, Lord. And Jesus replied: Neither do I condemn you. Go, and sin no more.

12 Then Jesus proclaimed to everyone: I am the light of the world! He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life!

13 The Pharisees thus said to him: You’re testifying about yourself, so your testimony is not true!

14 Jesus replied: Even though I testify about myself, my testimony is still true, because I know where I came from, and where I’m returning to. But you have no idea of where I came from or where I’m returning to.

15 You pass judgment (on me) according to fleshly logic, even though I judge no man.

16 But if I did set myself up as judge, my judgment would be accurate, because I would not be the only one doing the judging--so would the Father who sent me.

17 It’s written in your own Torah that the testimony of two witnesses is acceptable proof in court.

18 I testify about who and what I am, and so does my Father.

19 Then they asked him: Where is your father? Jesus answered: You don’t know me or my Father! If you knew me, you would know my Father as well!

20 Jesus spoke these words in the Courtyard of Women as he taught at the Temple, and no one laid a hand on him, for his hour had not yet come.

21 Then Jesus added: I will go where I must, and you will seek me, but will continue on without repenting until you die and are lost--for where I am going you cannot come!

22 Then the Judean (Pharisees there) said: Will he kill himself? Is that what he means when he says, “Where I am going, you cannot come?”

23 Jesus’ response was: You are from beneath, and I am from above. You are of this world, and I am not of this world.

24 That is why I said that you all will die in your sins, for if you do not believe I am He, you will continue in your sins until you die (and are lost)!

25 They asked: Then who are you? Jesus retorted: I am the same one I’ve told you I was from the beginning!

26 I have many things to say to you and to pass judgment on--but He who sent me is true, and I tell the world what I heard Him say.

27 They did not understand that he was speaking about the Father.

28 Then Jesus added: When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize I am He, and that I am doing nothing on my own, but I am only speaking what my Father has taught me.

29 And He that sent me is with me. The Father has not abandoned me, for I always do the things that please Him.

30 As Jesus spoke these words, many believed on him.

31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed on him: If you continue in my teachings, you are indeed my disciples.

32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free!

33 The (Pharisees) answered: We are Abraham‘s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can you say, ‘You shall be set free‘?

34 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever continually commits sin is the slave of sin (and in bondage to it and its god).

35 And the slave (to sin) does not remain in the House (--meaning the Temple--) forever. But the Son will abide there forever!

36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

37 I know you are descended from Abraham, but you plot to kill me because my teachings cannot take root in your hearts.

38 I tell about what I have seen with my Father, but you do the works of your father!

39 They answered back: Abraham is our father! But Jesus said: If you really were Abraham’s children, you would do the things Abraham did.

40 Instead, you seek to kill me--a man who cared enough about you to tell you the truth God had for you. Abraham never acted like that!

41 No, you do the deeds of your real father. They snapped back: We’re not the ones who were conceived out-of-wedlock! We have one father (--not two, like you--) and our father is God Himself!

42 Jesus said: If God were your father, you would love me, because I came out from Him to you, for I didn’t come on my own--He sent me to you.

43 You wonder why you can’t understand my manner of speech? It’s because you cannot understand what I say (because of your hardness of heart).

44 You are the children of your father the devil, and the things he enjoys doing, you likewise enjoy doing. He was a murderer from the beginning, and did not remain in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks what comes naturally to him, because he is a liar and the father of lies (and liars).

45 And so, because I tell you the truth, you don’t believe me.

46 Which of you can convict me of committing sin? And if I tell you the truth, why don’t you believe me?

47 He who is of God, hears God’s words. You don’t hear them because you obviously are not of God!

48 Then the Judeans retorted: Aren’t we right to say you’re nothing but a demon-possessed Samaritan?!

49 Jesus replied: I have no demon. I simply honor my Father in the face of your dishonoring me.

50 And I care nothing about my own glory. It is (God) who judges what I do, and desires to glorify me because of it.

51 Truly, truly, I say to you: If a man follows my teachings, he will never see death!

52 Then the Judeans spat back: Now we know you have a demon! Abraham and the prophets are all dead, yet you say, “If a man follows my teachings, he will never die”!

53 Are you greater than our father Abraham or the prophets, who are dead? Just how high are you trying to elevate yourself?!

54 Jesus answered: If I‘m trying to bring honor to myself, my honor is worthless. It is the Father who honors me--the One you claim is your God.

55 But you don’t know Him, whereas I do. And if I were to deny that, I would be a liar like you. But I know Him, and (obey what He has said to do).

56 Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced when he glimpsed my day. He saw it, and was glad.

57 The Judeans retorted: You aren’t fifty years old, but you’ve seen Abraham, have you?

58 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you: Before Abraham was even born--I AM!

59 (At hearing Jesus use the name of God in reference to Himself), they grabbed up rocks to stone him, but he vanished and walked invisibly through their midst, leaving the Temple.

1. There is a debate among scholars regarding this event, for no manuscript older than 1000 years possesses it, and some suggest it is either spurious, or perhaps a work of Luke’s. Papias, however, is recorded as having mentioned “a woman accused of many crimes before our Lord,” a possible reference to this event, which he also seems to attribute to Matthew’s ‘Gospel of the Hebrews.’

2. Just what Jesus was writing has long been debated, with the usual assumption that He must have been writing down the sins committed by the elders, or something similar. He may have been writing down the names of those present, fulfilling a prophecy in Jeremiah 17 that the names of those who have rejected the source of Living Water would be written in the earth, a prophecy that would have been read aloud to the people during the Temple services for Sukkot. Jesus thus would be fulfilling this prophecy by writing down the names of those who brought the woman to Him, all of whom undoubtedly heard the prophecy read the day before, and knew exactly what the implication of Jesus’ action was. Thus, they left, one by one, as He wrote down the names of those present from the oldest to the youngest.

Another issue that may be raised is whether we correctly understand what Jesus was saying in verse 7. At face value, it seems pretty straightforward: Jesus asks that whomever is sinless cast the first stone. The problem is that the Torah nowhere asks that sinless men enact a death penalty; the Law requires only that the witnesses cast the first stones. So in what way were the consciences of the listeners affected that they leave the woman alone instead of carrying out the requirement of the Torah? It’s possible that the convicting power of the Spirit simply pricked their hearts, but we see no other incidents like that in the Gospels, and some of the crowd apparently don’t stay convicted for very long since they seek to stone Jesus by the end of the chapter. Now His statement to them is better translated as: “Let the sinless one among you cast the first stone,” and it is possible that--whatever Jesus literally said, in whatever language He said it--the listeners understood him to be saying, “Let the one among you who has never committed adultery or fornication cast the first stone,” a position taken by the paraphrase, although this cannot be said with certainty. There is a final possibility that Jesus is saying: “Let the one among you who had no part in setting up this event in the first place cast the first stone.”

 

3. Another term for the Court of Women, where the 13 trumpet-shaped offering boxes were placed.

4. Another clear statement by Christ that there is no other way to salvation. Also, the phrase “die in your sins” is an idiomatic way of saying they will continue their course of rebellion to the end of their lives, not simply that they will die without proper atonement.

5. The “they” are not those who believed in Jesus, but hostile Pharisees (verse 13) in the crowd.

6. In what continually enraged the elders, Jesus here uses the Ineffable Name of God (YHVH) about Himself.

 

CHAPTER 9

CHAPTER 9

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?1

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

4 I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,3

7 And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

8 The neighbours therefore, and they which before had seen him that he was blind, said, Is not this he that sat and begged?

9 Some said, This is he: others said, He is like him: but he said, I am he.

10 Therefore said they unto him, How were thine eyes opened?

11 He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight.

12 Then said they unto him, Where is he? He said, I know not.

13 They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind.

14 And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes.

15 Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see.

16 Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.3

17 They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet.

18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight.

19 And they asked them, saying, Is this your son, who ye say was born blind? how then doth he now see?

20 His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:

21 But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself.

22 These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

23 Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him.

24 Then again called they the man that was blind, and said unto him, Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner.

25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

26 Then said they to him again, What did he to thee? how opened he thine eyes?

27 He answered them, I have told you already, and ye did not hear: wherefore would ye hear it again? will ye also be his disciples?

28 Then they reviled him, and said, Thou art his disciple; but we are Moses' disciples.

29 We know that God spake unto Moses: as for this fellow, we know not from whence he is.

30 The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes.

31 Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.

32 Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.

33 If this man were not of God, he could do nothing.

34 They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out.

35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?

36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.

38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.

40 And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?

41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

1 As Jesus was walking along, he came upon a beggar who had been blind from his birth.

2 His disciples asked him: Rabbi--who sinned, that this man was born blind? Was it his parents? Or was it himself (in a previous life, and God cursed him to be reborn blind)?

3 Jesus replied: Neither. This happened so that the works of God can be displayed in him, and

4 I must perform the works of Him who sent me while it is still day. The night is coming when no man can work.

5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

6 After he had spoken that, Jesus spat on the ground, kneaded it into mud, and placed the mud upon the man’s eyes.

7 He told him: Go wash in the pool of Siloam (a word meaning sent) He went as he was told, washed himself in the pool, and came up seeing!

8 When he came walking home, his neighbors--and those who had seen him blind from before--were amazed, and said: Isn’t that the blind man who used to sit, and beg?

9 Some said: It’s he! Others said: No, he just looks like him. But he said: I am the man.

10 Therefore, they asked: How did you get your sight back?!

11 He answered: A man named Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes with it, then he told me, “Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash.” I did so, and could see!

12 Then they asked: Where is he? And the man answered: I don’t know.

13 So they brought him to the Pharisees.

14 It so happened that this was the Sabbath when Jesus had made the mud and opened his eyes.

15 The Pharisees repeated the question, asking how he had received his sight. The man said: He put mud on my eyes, I washed it out, and I can now see.

16 Therefore some of the (Shammaiite) Pharisees said: This man is not of God, because he violates the command to rest on the Sabbath! Others (from the school of Hillel) said: How can a sinner work miracles like this? So there was a division of opinion about Jesus.

17 They turned back to the man and asked: What do you think about this man, since you’re the one whose eyes he opened? He answered: That he is a prophet!

18 But the Judeans became skeptical that the man had even been blind until they summoned his parents.

19 So they asked them: Is this your son, whom you say was born blind? How is it that he now sees?

20 The parents replied: This is indeed our son, and he was indeed born blind.

21 But how he can see now, we have no idea. Nor do we know who did it. He’s an adult--ask him! He can speak for himself!

22 His parents spoke like this because they feared the Judean authorities, for they had already issued an edict that anyone who proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah would be excommunicated from the synagogues.

23 So his parents ducked the question, and told the Pharisees: “He’s an adult--ask him!”

24 The Pharisees again summoned the man and told him: Give glory to God for this--we know this man is a sinner!

25 He answered them: I have no idea whether he is a sinner or not--I only know that where before I was blind, now I can see!

26 Then they asked again: Well, just how did he do it?! How did he heal your eyes?!

27 He answered back: I already told you, and you didn’t hear it--are you deaf? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?

28 Then they rose up, enraged at him, and said: You may be his disciple, but we are Moses‘ disciples!

29 We know God spoke to Moses. As for this man, we know nothing about him, or where he comes from!

30 To this, the man said: Now this is a great thing--he made me, a blind man, able to see, yet you know nothing about him, or where he’s from?

31 We all know God doesn‘t hear the prayer of sinners, but if any man worships God and does His will--God hears that man‘s call!

32 Since the world began, no one has ever made a person born blind able to see (including the greatest of prophets).

33 If this man weren‘t of God, he could do nothing!

34 Furious, they answered: You were born blind because of your sins to start with--and you dare teach us?! So they (excommunicated him, and) threw him out.

34 (Alternate reading): Furious, they answered: You mamser--who do you think you are to teach us?! So they (excommunicated him, and) threw him out.

35 Jesus heard about this, and when he found the man, he asked him: Do you believe on the Son of God?

36 The man replied: Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?

37 Jesus answered: You have seen him--he is the one talking with you now!

38 And he said: Lord, I believe! Then he did obeisance to him.

39 Jesus said: I have come so that judgment would come to this world, so the blind would be made to see, and so those who see would become blind.

40 Some of the Pharisees who were with him and heard this asked: Are we also blind in your opinion?

41 Jesus said in response: If you were truly blind, you would have no sin. But you insist you are not, saying, “We can see just fine.“ Therefore, (you cannot repent, and) your sin remains upon you.

1. The Greek here can theoretically be understood not as suggesting that the apostles were asking if the man was guilty of some sort of sin before his birth, which caused him to literally be born blind (“made blind” is an acceptable translation); but could pose the question of whether he was made blind by some sort of sin on the part of him or his parents. (It was a common notion that God could punish children for the sins or their parents.) However, there were and are some beliefs in Judaism of souls having pre-existence before birth, or of some limited reincarnation. It’s not impossible for the apostles to be approaching the subject with those ancient extra-Biblical beliefs in mind. In no way does this incident give credence to any notion that the New Testament affirms reincarnation since that doctrine contradicts everything the New Testament teaches on death, judgment, and the Resurrection.

2. Jesus here is intentionally breaking rabbinic Sabbatical law by kneading, creating medicine on the Sabbath (spit was thought to have medicinal properties), and then performing the healing of a non-life-threatening illness.

3. We see here the divide between the Shammaiites and Hillelites over Jesus, with the followers of Shammai rejecting Him out of hand because He fails to keep the strict Pharisaic law, while the Hillelites aren’t sure.

 

CHAPTER 10

CHAPTER 10

1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

6 This parable spake Jesus unto them: but they understood not what things they were which he spake unto them.

7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.

8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.

9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep1 I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

19 There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings.

20 And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?

21 Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?

22 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication2, and it was winter.

23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch.

24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.

25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me.

26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and my Father are one.3

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

32 Jesus answered them, Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?

33 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not.

38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.

39 Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand,

40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode.

41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.

42 And many believed on him there.

1 Truly, truly, I tell you: A man who comes into the sheep pen by some way other than through the gate is obviously a thief and robber.

2 But he who comes in through the gate is obviously the shepherd of the sheep.

3 To him, the gatekeeper opens the gate up, and the sheep hear his voice calling them each by name, and so he leads them out.

4 And after he brings the sheep out, he walks before them and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

5 They won’t follow a stranger, but will run from him because they don’t recognize the voice of strangers.

6 Jesus spoke this parable to them, but they didn’t understand its meaning.

7 So he said again: Truly, truly, I tell you: I am the gate to the sheep.

8 All who ever came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep didn’t listen to them.

9 I am the gate. If any man comes in through me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

10 The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. But I have come so that all might find supernatural fullness of life, and have it in abundance.

11 I am the good shepherd, and a good shepherd will sacrifice his life to save his sheep.

12 But a hired hand, who doesn’t consider the sheep his own, will run at the first sight of a wolf, leaving the sheep to fend for themselves--and the wolf will ravage the whole flock.

13 The hired hand runs because he doesn’t work unless he is paid to, and he cares nothing for the sheep he has charge over.

14 I am the good shepherd, and I know my sheep, and they know me,

15 Just the Father knows me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And there are other sheep I have that are not of this flock. I must gather them into the flock as well, and they will respond to my voice, and come. Then there will be one flock with one shepherd.

17 Thus, because I willingly lay down my life (for my sheep), that I might take it up again, my Father loves me.

18 No man takes my life from me; I freely lay it down. I have the power both to lay it down, and to pick it up again. This permission I received from my Father.

19 These words caused a new split amongst the Judean leaders over Jesus.

20 Many said: He’s demon-possessed, and insane! Why do you listen to him?

21 Others said: These don’t sound like the words of a demon-possessed man. Can a demon make a blind man see?

22 Now it was winter at Jerusalem during the Feast of Hanukkah,

23 And Jesus happened to be walking in Solomon’s porch in the Temple complex.

24 Then a group of Judean leaders encircled him, and demanded to know: How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, say it plainly!

25 Jesus answered: I already told you what I was, but you didn’t believe it. The miracles I do in my Father’s name prove who and what I am!

26 But as I told you, you don't believe it because you're not my sheep.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man take them from my hand.

29 My Father, who gave them to me, is greater than anyone or anything, and no one is able to take them out of my Father’s hand.

30 Thus, I and my Father are one!

31 The Judeans, upon hearing this, again reached for rocks to stone Jesus.

32 But Jesus replied: Many good deeds have I shown you from my Father. For which of them are you stoning me?

33 The Judeans answered: We’re stoning you for blasphemy, not for doing good deeds! You, being a mere man, have the gall to equate yourself with God!

34 Jesus answered back: Doesn’t your own Torah say: I said, Ye are gods?

35 If God called mortal men “gods” to whom the Word of God came, and since the Scripture cannot fail,

36 Why do you say to the one God sanctified and sent to the earth, 'You're blaspheming,' because I affirm that I am the Son of God?

37 If I don’t do the deeds my Father does, then don’t believe me.

38 But if I do, even if you won’t believe me, then believe what you see, and accept that the Father is in me and I in Him.

39 Therefore, the crowd sought to drag him off to be stoned, but he escaped from them,

40 And departed the city to the place at the far side of the Jordan where John first baptized. There he encamped (with the disciples).

41 Many people came to him there, and said: John did no miraculous deeds, but everything he said about this man is true!

42 And many people put faith in him at that place.

1. The “other sheep” are the Gentiles.

2. Hanukkah. It is interesting to note that Jesus honors an extra-Biblical holiday of the Jews.

3. A key Trinitarian verse. Jesus has obviously claimed equality with God--an otherwise blasphemous act worthy of stoning, which the elders immediately seek to do. While some non-Trinitarians would attempt to use verses 34 and 35 as a claim that Jesus is qualifying His Godhood as on par with, or only slightly superior to, that of a judge or king over Israel, the fact that Jesus intentionally uses the Ineffable Name, along with language calculated to be understood in a manner that implies He is claiming to be Deity, makes it clear that Jesus is indeed claiming equality with the Father, but yet is in voluntary submission.

 

  CHAPTER 11

CHAPTER 11

1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany1, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)

3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.

6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.2

7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.

8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews3 of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?

9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.

10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.

11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.

12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.

13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.

14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.

15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.4

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.

18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:

19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.

21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.

23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.

24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.

29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.

30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.

31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.

32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.5

33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,

34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.

35 Jesus wept.6

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!

37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?

38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.

39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.

40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.

43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.

44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.

47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees7 a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.

48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place8 and nation.

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,

50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;

52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.

53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.

54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews9; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples.

55 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves.

56 Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast?

57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should show it, that they might take him.

1 Now a certain man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the town where he and his two sisters, Mary and Martha, lived.

2 (It was Mary, the sister of this same sick man Lazarus, who anointed Jesus with ointment, and dried his feet with her hair.)

3 Therefore, his sisters sent word to Jesus, saying: Lord--the man you love is sick!

4 When Jesus heard that, he said: This sickness is not for death, but to glorify God, that the Son may be glorified by it.

5 Now Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.

6 But when Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he remained where he was for two more days.

7 After that, he told the disciples: Let’s return to Judea.

8 The disciples said in response: Master--the Judeans just tried to stone you, and you’re going back?!

9 Jesus replied: Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight during which a man can walk without stumbling?

10 But if a man walks in the night, he will stumble because no light is in him.

11 He added after saying that: Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I must go to awaken him from that sleep.

12 But the disciples said: Lord, if he’s resting we don’t need to go, for he will be fine.

13 But Jesus was talking about Lazarus’ death, and the disciples misunderstood him to be talking of resting in normal sleep.

14 Finally, Jesus said plainly: Lazarus is dead.

15 And I rejoice for your sakes I was not there (to heal him), because your faith will now be strengthened. Let us go to him.

16 Then said Thomas, called Didymus (“the twin”), to the other disciples: We may as well go too--and die with him.

17 When Jesus arrived a couple of days later, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

18 Now Bethany is only a couple of miles from Jerusalem.

19 And many Jews from there visited Martha and Mary to comfort them at their brother’s loss.

20 Then Martha, when she heard that Jesus was approaching, went out to meet him, but Mary remained sitting shiva in the house, and did not stir.

21 When she met him, Martha said to Jesus: Lord--if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!

22 But I know that even now, God will do whatever you ask Him to.

23 Jesus told her: Your brother will rise again.

24 Martha said in response: I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.

25 Jesus proclaimed: I am the resurrection, and the life! He who places faith in me, though he is dead, yet shall he live!

26 And whoever lives, and places faith in me, shall never die. Do you believe this?

27 Martha said: Yes, Lord--I have faith that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who was to come into the world!

28 After she said this, she went her way and secretly called Mary, saying: The Master is here, and is calling for you.

29 As soon as Mary heard that, she hastily rose up and came to where Jesus was.

30 Now Jesus wasn’t in town yet, but outside it (near the graveyard) where Martha had met him.

31 When the Jews who had been in the house saw Mary hurry out, they followed her, saying: She must be going to the grave to weep there.

32 When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and cried out: Lord--if you had been here, my brother wouldn’t have died!

33 When Jesus saw that both she and the Judeans who came with her were weeping, he groaned in his spirit, and was troubled.

34 He asked: Where have you laid him? They said: Lord, come see!

35 Jesus began to sob.

36 (When they saw this,) the Judeans said: See how he loved him?

37 But some said: Couldn’t he, who made that blind fellow see, have saved this man from dying?

38 Jesus, groaning in himself (at these statements), came to the tomb, which was inside a cave over whose mouth a large stone had been placed.

39 Jesus said: Some of you go remove the stone. Martha, the sister of the dead man, replied: Lord, by now he smells terrible--it’s been four days since he died and was interred!

40 Jesus said in response: Did I not say that if you will have faith, you will see the glory of God?

41 So they rolled the stone away from the tomb where the dead Lazarus lay. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said: Father, I thank You that You have heard me.

42 And I know You always hear me, but because of the people standing here, I said that to help them have faith that You sent me.

43 After saying this, Jesus shouted: Lazarus, come out!

44 And the dead man did come out, wrapped up in linen like a mummy, with even his face wrapped in a swath of cloth. Jesus said: Get him free of those wrappings.

45 And he who sees me sees Him who sent me!

46 But others went to tell the Pharisees what Jesus had done.

47 Then the chief Sadducee priests and some of the key Pharisees formed a sanhedrin, and debated: What shall we do about this man, for he does many miracles?

48 If we don’t stop him, all the people will believe on him, and the Romans will come and destroy our Temple and nation.

49 And one of them named Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, said to them: You know nothing at all!

50 Nor have you enough brains to realize it is better for us that one man die for the people so that Israel itself does not die!

51 His words did not come from his own mind, but being High Priest that year, he spoke a prophecy (from God, who honored his position,) that Jesus should die for the nation.

52 And not only for Israel, but that he also would gather together, in one, all the children of God who were scattered upon the earth (--both Jew and Gentile).

53 From that point on, they all plotted how to put Jesus to death.

54 Jesus thus no longer walked openly among the Judeans, but retreated into the desert countryside to the city of Ephraim, where he remained with the disciples.

55 Then came the Jewish Passover, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem beforehand in order to ritually purify themselves.

56 These people looked for Jesus, and debated amongst themselves as they stood around at the Temple: What do you think? Won’t he come for the Festival?

57 Meanwhile, both the chief Sadducee priests and the Pharisees had issued a joint edict that if anyone knew where Jesus was, they should inform them so they could take him into custody.

1. Bethany, on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives, was renowned for the citizens showing special hospitality toward pilgrims on their way to Jerusalem. In all probability, Jesus met the family of Lazarus by being invited in off the road to dine with the family as He and the apostles passed the house.

2. It is unfair to think that Jesus deliberately waited for two days, intentionally allowing poor Lazarus to suffer and die. As we see from verse 17, by the time Jesus arrives, even after waiting for two days, Lazarus has already been buried for four days. Thus, Lazarus may well have already been dead by the time the messenger arrived in the first place, although it's still possible that Jesus allowed him to die so that He could bring glory to God by resurrecting him, and through that also build the faith of His followers. Part of the reason Jesus delayed in coming may be attributed to a belief among the Jews that a spirit hovered around the body for three days after death, during which time there was a chance of revival. By arriving on the fourth day, any possible hope of Lazarus returning to life would be absolutely gone, short of a miracle of God.

3. A perfect example of the anti-Semitism of the King James Bible. The word should absolutely be translated as “Judeans,” not “Jews”!

4. An interesting glimpse into Thomas’ morose personality.

5. It is interesting to note that Mary--the one who loved Jesus most--was the one who was also most angry and disappointed that He had not come earlier. This seems to be why she remains inside, undergoing the Shiva--customary sitting and mourning--instead of going out with Martha to meet Jesus.

6. The shortest verse in the Bible. We don’t know why Jesus was weeping. It probably was His own pain and grief over the sisters’ lack of faith, and their own visible resentment over His delay in coming, coupled with remarks from the crowd.

7. The “Pharisees” in this instance must have been predominantly Shammaiites. We can reasonably presume that the Hillelites were largely kept out of the loop by the fact that Gamaliel is not mentioned in any of the events of the Crucifixion, and is later praised in Acts. Had Gamaliel, as the head of the Sanhedrin, been a participant in the council formed by the Sadducees and Shammaiites, it is unthinkable that Acts would speak so positively about him. It is likely that he was not in Jerusalem during the final culmination of Christ’s ministry, although we cannot know that for certain.

8. The “Place” is another word for the Temple, not a reference to the elders’ positions of power.

9. Again, should be translated “Judeans.”

 

CHAPTER 12

CHAPTER 12

1 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.

2 There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.

3 Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.

4 Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray him,

5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.1

7 Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying hath she kept this.

8 For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always.

9 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.

10 But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;

11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.2

12 On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

13 Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

14 And Jesus, when he had found a young ass, sat thereon; as it is written,

15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt.3

16 These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.

17 The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.

18 For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle.

19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.

20 And there were certain Greeks4 among them that came up to worship at the feast:

21 The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus.

22 Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.

23 And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.

29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.5

30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.

32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.

33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.

34 The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, The Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man?

35 Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.

36 While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light. These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.

37 But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him:

38 That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again,

40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him.

42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me.

45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me.

46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.

1 In the six days before Passover, Jesus went to Bethany where Lazarus, the man he had raised from the dead, was.

2 They prepared dinner for him, Martha doing the serving, while Lazarus reclined at the table with him.

3 Mary took a pound of expensive spikenard ointment and anointed Jesus’ feet with it. Then she dried them with her long hair, and the whole house smelled from the scent of the ointment.

4 Seeing this, Simon’s son, Judas Iscariot--who would betray him--grumbled:

5 This ointment could be sold for nearly a year’s wages! Why not do so, and give it to the poor?

6 He said this not because he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief--for he was the group’s treasurer, and would often embezzle money.

7 Jesus answered: Let her alone. She has done this to prepare for the day of my burial.

8 You will always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me with you.

9 Many of the Judeans, by the way, knew Jesus was there and so they came not just to see him, but also Lazarus whom he had resurrected from the dead.

10 Then the chief priests of the Temple plotted to kill Lazarus as well,

11 Because the miracle involving him caused many of the Judeans to leave, rejecting them and placing faith in Jesus.

12 The next day, when they heard Jesus was on his way to the Festival, many people who were coming to Jerusalem,

13 Took palm fronds and went out to meet him, crying: Save now! Blessed is the King of Israel who comes in the name of the Lord!

14 And Jesus, when he had found a young donkey, sat upon it, fulfilling a prophecy:

15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass’s colt.

16 When such things were happening, the disciples did not understand their implications. But after Jesus was glorified, they remembered all these various prophecies, and things like this that they had done to fulfill them.

17 Meanwhile, the people who were there when Jesus called Lazarus forth from the grave, and raised him up from the dead, were spreading word of the miracle.

18 Because of this, others flocked to Jesus after hearing word of this miracle he had done.

19 When the Pharisees saw this, they said amongst themselves: See? You can’t stop him. Look--the whole world has gone after him!

20 Now there were certain Greek proselytes to Judaism who had also come to Jerusalem to participate in the Feast.

21 They came to Philip, who was from the town of Bethsaida (--meaning House of the Hunt--) in Galilee, and told him: Sir, we would like to speak to Jesus.

22 Philip passed word to Andrew, and Andrew and Philip both went and told Jesus.

23 And Jesus answered: (Now even the Gentiles are coming!) The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

24 Truly, truly, I say to you: Except a kernel of wheat be buried in the ground and die, it will remain a single seed. But if it dies, it will provide a great harvest of grain.

25 The person who loves his life shall lose it, but he who hates his earthly life shall keep it into eternity and eternal life.

26 If any man will serve me, let him follow me, and where I am my servant shall be also. And if any man serves me my Father will honor him.

27 Now my soul is distressed (at what lies ahead). But what shall I say: “Father, save me from this hour”? No--it was for this approaching hour that I came.

28 Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice thundered from heaven that said: I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again!

29 Some of the people (with hard hearts) who were there said: That was only thunder. But others: An angel spoke to him.

30 But Jesus said: This voice was for your sake, not mine.

31 Now this world shall be judged. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.

32 And I, if I be lifted up above the earth, will draw all men to me.

33 He said this to signify the sort of death he would die.

34 But the people now said: We’ve heard that the Torah says that the Messiah will live forever. How is it you say, “The Son of Man must be lifted up”? Who is this “Son of Man”?

35 Jesus responded: For only a little while longer will the light be with you. Walk while you have the light, lest the darkness overtake you, for he who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he is going.

36 While you have the light with you, place faith in the light, that you may be the children of enlightenment. Jesus spoke these things and then left, disappearing into the crowd, and vanishing from everyone’s view.

37 But despite the many miracles that he had done before their eyes, the people did not believe on him,

38 That the words of Isaiah would be fulfilled: Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?

39 Therefore, they could not believe because Isaiah also said,

40 He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.

41 Isaiah said these things when he foresaw and spoke of Jesus’ glory.

42 Nevertheless, many--including some of the chief rulers of the people--did believe (in what he claimed to be), but they did not say so because they feared the Pharisees would excommunicate them from the synagogues.

43 For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

44 Jesus shouted out: He who believes on me, believes not on me, but on Him who sent me!

45 And he who looks upon me looks upon Him who sent me!

46 I have come as a light to the world so that whoever believes on me will not remain (trapped) in darkness.

47 And if any man hears my words and does not believe them, I do not judge him, for I came not to judge (and condemn) the world, but to save it!

48 He who rejects me and my words has this as his judge--the very words he has rejected! Every word I spoke that he rejected will come back to condemn him at the Last Judgment!

49 For I have not spoken at my own whim. The Father who sent me commanded me what to tell you.

50 And I know that to do what He says is to receive life everlasting, so what He has said to me, I pass on to you!

1. Against the teaching of some that Jesus was penniless, the fact that the group had need of a treasurer shows that large amounts of money had to have passed through the apostles’ hands. Just as clearly, the text suggests that it fell to Judas to disburse the offering brought by the people to the poor.

2. Keep in mind that one reason the Sadducees want to kill Lazarus is that they deny a resurrection will take place, and Lazarus is living proof of their false theology.

3. This prophecy in Zechariah 9:9 about the King arriving on a donkey caused the Jews some problems because of a contradictory belief that the Messiah would arrive on a white horse, symbolizing victory and kingly rule. The problem was essentially solved in two ways, with some groups holding to the notion of two coming Messiahs (the Messiah ben Joseph and the Messiah ben David); and the Talmud opining that only one Messiah would come, arriving on a donkey if the people were unrighteous, or on a white horse if they were righteous. As we see in Rev. 19, Jesus arrives on a white horse, showing that the Jews are indeed righteous--meaning they have accepted His atonement and imputed righteousness by faith.

4. Possibly Hellenistic Hebrew Jews, but more likely Gentile converts to Judaism, or “God-Fearers.” In the final stages of Jesus’ earthly ministry, even the Gentiles now desire to hear Him. How He must have rejoiced, despite the time of testing ahead!

5. It is here that the Jews finally receive the sign they have demanded: a Bat Kol, or heavenly voice, confirming that Christ is the Messiah. Yet we now see why there was never a point to Jesus acceding to their demand, for the hardness of their hearts showed they were incapable of perceiving God even if He did speak to them, mistaking, in their spiritual deafness, a Bat Kol for normal thunder. This is a warning to us as well, showing there should be very little upon which we are absolutely dogmatic on, lest we also become blind to the truth as we proclaim our doctrine is infallible. This is why many in Christian denominations--some good, some bad--cannot see truths in the Scripture that contradict their denominational beliefs: their dogmatic insistence that their beliefs are infallible or “have” to be true.

 

CHAPTER 13

CHAPTER 13

1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son1, to betray him;

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

5 After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet2, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.

17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.3

18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

19 Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.

21 When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.

23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.4

24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.

25 He then lying on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?

26 Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

28 Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.

29 For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.

30 He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.

31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.

32 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.

33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow5, till thou hast denied me thrice.

1 Now just before the day of the Passover sacrifice, Jesus--knowing his time to depart the world and return to the Father was at hand--and having loved his own to the end (fellowshipped with the disciples one last time to reaffirm his undying love for them).

2 After the dinner was over, Satan having inspired the heart of Judas Iscariot--Simon’s son--to betray him,

3 Jesus, who knew that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and would now return to God,

4 Rose from the table, removed his robes, and donned a towel around his waist (--the garb of a slave).

5 He poured some water into a basin and began washing the disciples’ feet. Then he dried them with the towel.

6 When he came to Shimon Peter, Peter tried to stop him, saying: Lord--you’re (lowering yourself) to wash my feet?!

7 Jesus answered back: You can’t understand what I’m doing right now, but eventually you will.

8 But Peter said: You will never wash my feet! Jesus said in response: If I don’t wash you, then you have no part with me.

9 Shimon Peter then said: (Give me a whole bath then!)

10 Jesus replied: He who has had a bath needs only to have the dust of the earth that clings to his feet washed away. You are already clean, most of you--but not all.

11 Jesus said this because he knew who would betray him, so that’s why he said, “You are already clean, most of you--but not all.”

12 So after Jesus had washed their feet and donned his normal clothes again, he reclined at the table, and asked: Do you understand the meaning of what I just did?

13 You call me “Master” and “Lord,” and you’re right to do that, because I am.

14 If I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet like a slave, how much more should you be ready to serve each other even in the most menial way?

15 I did this an example that you should have the same attitude toward each other as I just displayed to you.

16 Truly, truly, I say to you: The slave is not above his master, neither is the one sent (with a message) greater than the one who commissioned him to give that message.

17 If you understand and put into practice these concepts I’ve taught you, you will indeed be happy!

18 I’m not talking to all of you--I know the ones I have chosen. But so that the Scripture can be fulfilled, it’s true that: He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.

19 I’m telling you that now so that when things are set in motion, you will believe that I am He.

20 Truly, truly, I say to you: He who receives whomever I send forth receives me. And he who receives me, receives Him who sent me.

21 After speaking this, Jesus was greatly saddened in spirit, and said: Truly, truly, I say to you--one of you will betray me.

22 Then the disciples looked back and forth at each other, wondering who it might be.

23 Now leaning close to Jesus, on his right side, was John, the disciple whom Jesus loved.

24 Shimon Peter gestured to catch his attention, and mouthed the words: “Ask him who.”

25 John then whispered to Jesus: Lord, who is it?

26 Jesus whispered back: The one to whom I will hand the unleavened bread after dipping it. Then, when Jesus had dipped the unleavened bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

27 After receiving the unleavened bread, Satan entered into Judas, and Jesus told him: What you have to do, do quickly!

28 No one at the table knew what Jesus meant.

29 Some thought that because Judas was the treasurer, Jesus was saying, “Buy something for the Passover,” or that he should give a donation to the poor.

30 So Judas, having received the portion of bread, immediately went out. And it was night.

31 After Judas left, Jesus announced: Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God glorified in him.

32 And if God is glorified by the Son, the Son will, in turn, be glorified in God and will immediately receive God’s full glory in himself.

33 Little children, for only a short time more will I be with you. You will seek me, but as I told the Judeans, Where I go, you cannot come.

34 I give you this new commandment: Love each other as I have loved you--exactly as I have loved you!

35 This is how all men will know that you are disciples of mine: Your (unselfish) love for each other.

36 Shimon Peter asked: Lord, where are you going? Jesus replied: Where I am going, you cannot go now; but you will follow me there in time.

37 Peter responded: Lord--why can’t I follow you right now? I will lay my life down for you if need be!

38 Jesus answered: Will you really lay down your life for me, Peter? Truly, truly, I say to you: The “rooster” will not cry out before you deny even knowing me, not once, but three times!

1. Probably the Simon of Bethany (see Matthew 26).

2. This is a reference to the spiritual fact that we are “washed” clean of our sin through Christ’s atonement. Even so, we still sin and need Him to wash the incidental sin that still remains in our lives as we live on the earth.

3. This is one of very few verses in the New Testament that illustrates how one can be “happy.”

4. During the Passover seder, it was customary for a rabbi’s youngest student to recline with him on his right, whereas his oldest student would recline on his left. These are exactly the positions we see Judas and John (whom we know was chronologically the youngest of the apostles) in.

Just when the group holds their seder is a matter of debate along with the precise date of the Crucifixion. I hold the view that this occurs on Wednesday, Nisan 14, 30 AD, with the Crucifixion happening Thursday (which is still Nisan 14 until sundown). We can never know with 100% certainty because we don’t know what calendar Jesus was observing. The Pharisees and Sadducees disagreed on how to count certain Feast days, and so the Sadducees would sometimes have false witnesses come forth to claim they had seen the new moon before it actually rose. The Essenes, meanwhile, had their own calendar, and Jesus might have been using it since, according to tradition, the Last Supper was celebrated in an Essene area of Jerusalem. This has brought up the question in the minds of some whether Jesus is somehow violating the Torah by holding a seder on an improper day. My speculation--although there is no historic evidence to support it--is that the people were slaughtering Passover lambs not merely on the Pharisee preparation day, but throughout the week. I base this on the fact that Josephus (Jewish Wars, vi. 9,3; ii. 14, 3) records that over 250,000 lambs were sacrificed. Each lamb fed up to 10 people, and given the fact that there was a window of only 3 hours (noon to 3 PM--although some claim it may have been a 6-hour window) in which to slay those lambs, it is a sheer impossibility to have accomplished the sacrifice in that amount of time, requiring each of the two lines to sacrifice 12 lambs per second (or 6 lambs if you take the more generous figure). As efficient as the people may have been, it is beyond belief that they could consistently move into position, slay and then pour the blood of 6-12 lambs each second for several hours.

 

Edersheim on the slaughtering of the Passover lambs

It was done on this wise: The First of the three festive divisions, with their Paschal lambs, was admitted within the Court of the Priests. Each division must consist of not less than thirty persons (3x10, the symbolical number of the Divine and of completeness). Immediately the massive gates were closed behind them. The priests drew a threefold blast from their silver trumpets when the Passover was slain. Altogether the scene was most impressive. All along the Court up to the altar of burnt-offering priests stood in two rows, the one holding golden, the other silver bowls. In these the blood of the Paschal lambs, which each Israelite slew for himself (as representative of his company at the Paschal Supper), was caught up by a priest, who handed it to his colleague, receiving back an empty bowl, and so the bowls with the blood were passed up to the priest at the altar, who jerked it in one jet at the base of the altar. While this was going on, a most solemn ‘hymn’ of praise was raised, the Levites leading in song, and the offerers either repeating after them or merely responding. Every first line of a Psalm was repeated by the people, while to each of the others they responded by a ‘Hallelujah,’ or ‘Praise ye the Lord.’ This service of song consisted of the so-called ‘Hallel,’ which comprised Psalms 113 to 118.

 

5. Again, not referring to a rooster (which were forbidden in Jerusalem by Pharisee custom), but to the gever, a Temple officer who shouted the command for the various trumpets to sound, calling the priests to their stations.

 

CHAPTER 14

CHAPTER 14

1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?

6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?

10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.1

14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.2

15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in3 you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.

20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot4, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.

31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.

1 Don’t let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God. Have faith in me as well.

2 In my Father’s mansion are many rooms. If that were not the case, I would have told you. I am going to prepare places for each of you.

3 And since I am going to prepare a place for each of you, I will return and receive you to myself, so where I am you will also be.

4 The place I am going, you already know. You also know the way to go there.

5 Thomas said to this: Lord, we don’t know where you’re going, so how can we know the way?

6 Jesus proclaimed: I am the way, the truth, and the life! No man shall come to the Father except through me!

7 If you know me, you will know my Father as well. From this point on, you know Him and have seen Him.

8 Philip now spoke up, saying: Lord--then show us the Father, and that will satisfy us.

9 Jesus replied: Have I been with you so long that (even now) you don’t know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father! So how is it that you say, “Show us the Father”?

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and He is in me? The words I speak to you come from Him, not me--and the Father who dwells in me is the one doing the mighty deeds you’ve seen me do!

11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father, and He is in me. And if my word isn’t good enough, then believe because of the miracles you’ve seen with your very own eyes.

12 Truly, truly, I say to you: He who places faith in me, the same miracles I do, he will do--and even greater things will he do because I am going to my Father!

13 And whatever you ask in my name, I will do it so the Father will be glorified in the Son.

14 I repeat: If you ask anything in my name, I will do it!

15 And if you love me, do what I have commanded you to do.

16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper who will be with you forever.

17 He is the Spirit of truth, whom the world at large cannot receive because it doesn’t see Him, neither does it know Him. But you know Him, for He accompanies you, and shall be in you!

18 I won’t leave you helpless (like orphans)! I will come to you (through the Spirit I send).

19 In a short time, the world will see me no more, but you will see me. And because I will live, you will live also.

20 At that day, you will absolutely know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.

21 He who knows and keeps my commands is he who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father as well, and I will love that person and reveal myself to him.

22 Jude said to him: Lord, how is it that you will show yourself to us, but not to the world as a whole?

23 Jesus answered: If a man loves me, he will (walk in my teachings,) and my Father will love Him--and both of us will come to him and make our home with him (through the Spirit I will send).

24 He who doesn’t (walk in my teachings) doesn’t love me. And the one who has decreed this is not me, but the Father who sent me.

25 These things I have spoken while I was still with you.

26 But the Helper, whom the Father will send in my name--the Holy Spirit--shall teach you everything you need to know, and He will bring to your memory all the words I have spoken to you.

27 Peace I bequeath to you--true peace, not the sort of peace mankind offers! So don’t let your hearts be troubled, nor let fear rule them!

28 You have heard me say, “I am going away”; and, “‘I will return to you”. If you loved me, you would rejoice at the fact I said “I am going to the Father,” for My Father is greater than I.

29 And I have told you this now, before things come to a head, so that when these things happen you will (stay in faith, and not stumble).

30 I can only talk with you for a short while longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no power over me,

31 But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I obey what He has comannded me to do. Arise, and let us go from this place.

1. A strong verse showing the Deity of Christ, for here He takes upon Himself the right of Deity to answer prayers made to Him, a right otherwise reserved only for God.

2. If the first statement wasn’t enough, here Jesus reiterates that He will accept prayers made to Him, a right reserved only for God.

3. This verse is one that has become the basis of a teaching by some that denies the literal indwelling of the Holy Spirit within believers in favor of some nebulous “relationship with the Holy Spirit.” That doctrine is quickly overturned by simply noting that in the same verse Jesus has acknowledged the apostles are already in relationship with the Holy Spirit (“He dwelleth with you...”), who will now move from a position of relationship to a literal inhabitation within the jar of clay of the believer (“He shall be in you”).

4. This is possibly the father of Mark. Otherwise, many presume it to be the apostle also known as Jude Thaddeus. There is even speculation it is referring to Thomas by his actual Hebrew name.

 

CHAPTER 15

CHAPTER 15

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:1 and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.2

8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.3

21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.4

24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Comforter5 is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he cuts off and casts away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes so that it bears more fruit.

3 You are all clean from the Message I preached to you (that you have believed and followed).

4 Abide in me, and I will abide in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit on its own without being a part of the vine, you cannot bear fruit unless you abide in me.

5 Again--I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, brings forth much fruit, for outside of me you can do nothing.

6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast out like a dried-up branch that men gather into bundles and throw into the fire to burn up.

7 If you abide in me, and my (teachings) abide in you, you shall ask what you want and it will be granted to you.

8 This is how my Father is glorified--that you be my disciples, and bear much fruit.

9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.

10 If you do what I have ordered you to do, you will remain in my love, just as I did what my Father ordered me to do, and thus abide in His love.

11 These things I have told you so that my joy will remain in you, and your own joy may be full.

12 This is my command to you: Love each other with the same love I have loved you with.

13 There is no greater love, than that a man sacrifice his own life to save the lives of his friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command you to do.

15 From now on, I no longer consider you to be servants. Servants don’t know what their master is doing--but friends do, and now I call you friends. Everything my Father has told me, I have told you.

16 You have not chosen me--I chose you, and ordained you so you could go and bear fruit that will last forever, so that if you ask anything as my representatives you may receive it from my Father.

17 This is my command--that you love one another.

18 If the world hates you, know that it hated me before it hated you.

19 If you were a part of this (lost) world, it would love you, because it loves its own. But because you are not of this world, but have been chosen by me to come out of it, the world hates you.

20 Remember what I said in teaching: The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they used my own words against me, they will use yours against you.

21 But they will do all these things to you because of who and what I am, since they do not know Him who sent me.

22 If I had not come and corrected them, they would not be guilty of having sinned. But now they have no way to claim ignorance regarding their sin.

23 He who hates me hates my Father!

24 If I had not done the miracles among them that no man has ever done, they would not be counted guilty of sin. But they saw and hated both me and my Father.

25 But this came about so that a prophecy in their Scriptures could be fulfilled: They hated me without a cause.

26 But when the Helper comes, whom I will send from the Father--the Spirit of truth who comes forth from Him--He will testify about me.

27 And you also will tell others about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.

1. A warning to us not to take salvation for granted; and a direct contradiction to the false doctrine of, “Once saved, always saved.”

2. A clarification to John 13:14, a verse which is easily misused by some Christians who take it too literally, without the wisdom that this verse shows must be used.

3. Better paraphrased as: “If they have used my words against me, they’ll use your words against you.”

4. It is regrettable that in some circles of Christianity the view is still held, and sometimes articulated from the pulpit or microphone, that somehow there is a chance of salvation for sincere people who honestly, yet mistakenly, reject Christ. Once again, Jesus absolutely ties Father and Son together in a way that rejecting the Son automatically means rejecting the Father, whether one agrees with that notion or not.

5. “Comforter” is not a good translation. Helper would be a better understanding, though “advocate” (in the legal sense) is the precise meaning. In Hebrew, however, “comforter” would fit the word.

 

CHAPTER 16

CHAPTER 16

1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

5 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?

6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him1 unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;

10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.2

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.

14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.

15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you.

16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.

17 Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?

18 They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.

19 Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?

20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.

22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.

23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing3. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.

24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall show you plainly of the Father.

26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb.

30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.

31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe?

32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

1 I have told you these things so you do not (stumble in your faith):

2 They shall excommunicate you from the synagogues. The time will even come when those who kill you will think they are doing a religious obligation to God.

3 But they will all be doing these things because they have never known the Father or me.

4 But I’ve told you these things so that when they happen, you’ll remember I warned you about them. I did not tell you about them earlier because I was still with you.

5 But now I am going back to Him who sent me, and none of you is asking, “Where are you going?”

6 Yet because I have spoken these things, your hearts have been filled with sorrow.

7 Nevertheless, I tell you truthfully that it is good for me to leave you, because if I do not, the Helper will not come to you. But if I leave you, I will send Him to you.

8 And when He is come, He will confront the world about sin; about righteousness; and the coming judgment.

9 Of sin: Because they do not believe on me.

10 Of righteousness: Because I will return to the Father (unhindered by Satan), and you will see me no more.

11 Of Judgment: Because the prince of this world (--its god--) has been judged.

12 I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot understand them yet.

13 But after the Spirit of truth has come, He will guide you into all truth, for He will not speak on His own accord, but He will speak the things He hears to you. He will also show you things to come.

14 He shall glorify me by revealing greater truths I tell Him to reveal (that you cannot even fathom yet).

15 Everything the Father has is mine, therefore I said that He will take what is mine and reveal it to you.

16 A little while, and you will not see me. But in a little while, you will see me because I go to the Father.

17 Then some of the disciples said amongst themselves: What does he mean, “A little while, and you will not see me. But in a little while, you will see me because I go to the Father”?

18 What’s this “A little while” talk? We don’t understand.

19 Jesus knew they were confused and wanted to ask him what he meant, so he said: Are you all trying to figure out what I meant by saying “A little while, and you will not see me. But in a little while, you will see me”?

20 Truly, Truly I say to you: You will cry and mourn while the world rejoices. You will be filled with sorrow, but that sorrow will be turned into joy!

21 A woman in labor is in great sorrow at the pain, but as soon as she delivers her baby, she forgets the pain because of the joy she feels at bringing a son into the world.

22 Right now, you sorrow. But I will see you again, and your heart will rejoice--and that joy no man will ever take from you!

23 In that day, you will have no more questions for me, and truly, truly I say to you: Whatever you thereafter ask the Father as my representatives He will give to you.

24 Up to now, you have asked nothing on the basis of being my representatives. Ask now, on that basis, and you will receive so your joy will be full.

25 I’ve been saying all these things in the proverbs I’ve been telling (but you haven’t understood). The time is coming when I will no longer speak in proverbs, but will speak plainly about the Father.

26 In that day, you will make requests as my ambassadors, and I won’t need to ask the Father for you,

27 Because the Father Himself loves you because of your love for me, and for your belief that I came from Him.

28 I came forth from the Father into this world, and now I leave the world to go back to the Father.

29 His disciples now said: Finally, you speak plainly, without these confusing proverbs!

30 Now we’re sure you know and are revealing all things to us without needing to be asked. By this, we believe you came from God!

31 Jesus answered: Do you really believe now?

32 Behold, the hour comes that you will be scattered, each one running for his life, and shall abandon me. But I will not be alone, for the Father is with me.

33 These things I have spoken to you so that in me you will have peace. In this life, in this world, you will have troubles. But be of good cheer--I have overcome the world (and you will overcome it through me).

1. It should be pointed out that the word “Him” is the only acceptable rendition of the Greek word here in this verse, leaving no textual justification for denying the Personhood of the Holy Spirit.

2. A reference to such things as the Trinity, for certainly the humble Jewish apostles could not fathom some of the spiritual truths yet to be revealed by the Holy Spirit. (They can’t even accept that the Messiah must die, for example.)

3. Better paraphrased as: “In that day, you will have no more questions for me,” despite the traditional translation which seems to fit the next sentence. Two different words are used for “ask” in the two sentences; the first, meaning to ask a question; the second, meaning to make a request.

 

CHAPTER 17

CHAPTER 17

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:

2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.1

4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.

8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.

9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.

10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.

11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.

12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition2; that the scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

25 O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

1 Jesus spoke these things, then lifted his eyes up to heaven, saying: Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son so he can glorify You,

2 So that, as You have given him authority over every living thing, he will bestow eternal life to as many as You have given him.

3 And this is eternal life: That they know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

4 I have glorified You on earth by completing the work You gave me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify me with Your own glory, the same glory I had with You before time began.

6 I have displayed exactly what You are to these men--out of all the men in the world--that You gave to me. They were Your men, and You gave them to me. They have kept Your decrees.

7 (Now they know that everything I am, everything I do, and everything I say comes from You.)

8 I have given them the teachings You taught me, and they received them, being firmly persuaded that You sent me, and that I came out from You.

9 Now I pray for them. But I pray not for all the world, but only for those You have given me, for the ones You gave me are Yours,

10 And all of mine are Yours, and all of Yours are mine--and I am glorified (in what they have done, and will do, on my behalf).

11 And now, I will no longer be present in this world, but these will be; and I come to You, Holy Father, asking You to keep and care for them through Who and What You are. Let them be in perfect unity just as You and I are.

12 While I was in the world, I kept them for You. Those You gave me I have kept safe, and not one has been lost but for Judas--the son of Perdition--so that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

13 And now I come to You, and say these things while I am still in the world, that they may be partakers of my own joy in themselves.

14 I have given them Your Message, and the world hated them because they were not a part of the world any more than I was a part of the world.

15 I do not ask that You would take them out of the world; I ask that You would keep watch over, and protect them, from the Evil One.

16 They are not of the world as I am not of the world.

17 Set them apart by Your truth, for Your Message is truth.

18 As You sent me into the world, even so I send them out into the world.

19 And for their sakes I devote myself wholly to You, that they might also be devoted wholly to You through Your (Message of) truth.

20 I also do not pray for them alone, but also for the ones who will come to believe through their testimony,

21 So that (throughout all ages) my followers may be one just as You, Father, are in me and I in You. Let them all be one in us so the world may believe that You sent me.

22 And the glory You gave me, I have given to them, so that they may be one as You and I are:

23 I in them, You in me, that they may be made complete and perfectly united, so the world will know that You have sent me and have loved them no less than You have loved me.

24 Father, I also desire and decree that those whom You have given me shall come to be with me, where I am, that they may behold my glory that You gave me, for You loved me before time began.

25 O righteous Father, the world has not known You--but I have known You, and these whom You gave me have known that You sent me.

26 And I have declared who and what You are, and will continue to do so, that the love You have for me may be in them, and I be in them as well.

1. It is ultimately to this end that mankind was created by God: Not to carry out His will, not to serve Him, but to “know” Him, and through that to do the rest.

2. Judas

 

CHAPTER 18

CHAPTER 18

1 When Jesus had spoken these words, he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where was a garden1, into the which he entered, and his disciples.

2 And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

3 Judas then, having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons.

4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also, which betrayed him, stood with them.

6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he2, they went backward, and fell to the ground.

7 Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way:

9 That the saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

11 Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?3

12 Then the band and the captain and officers of the Jews took Jesus, and bound him,

13 And led him away to Annas first4; for he was father in law to Caiaphas, which was the high priest that same year.

14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.

15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest5, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.

16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.

17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples? He saith, I am not.

18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals6; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.

19 The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.

20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.

21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.

22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?

23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?

24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.7

25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.

26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?

27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.

28 Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.8

29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?

30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.

31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death: 9

32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.

33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?

35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?

36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.

38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth?10 And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas11. Now Barabbas was a robber.

1 After Jesus had spoken these things, he and the disciples crossed the Kidron brook to a garden that he and the disciples entered.

2 Judas, who betrayed him, knew about the place as well, for Jesus and the disciples often retreated there.

3 So Judas, having been given a band of men and officials from the chief Sadducee priests and the Pharisees, advanced upon the place with lanterns, torches, and weapons.

4 Jesus, knowing what lay ahead for him, stepped up and asked: Who are you looking for?

5 They answered: Jesus of Nazareth! So Jesus said in return to them and Judas, who stood with the crowd: I AM!

6 When the words “I AM” left his mouth, the crowd fell back prostrate to the ground.

7 Jesus then repeated: Who are you looking for? And again they said: Jesus of Nazareth.

8 Jesus replied: I told you that I am, so if I’m whom you’re looking for, let these others go.

9 He said this to fulfill the prophecy he made at the Passover seder: Those You gave me I have kept safe, and not one has been lost.

10 Then Shimon Peter, who had brought along a sword, drew it and attacked Malchus, a servant of the High Priest, cutting off his right ear.

11 But Jesus stopped him, saying: Sheath your sword! Shall I not drink the cup the Father has given me?

12 Then the band of people led by their captain and the officers of the Judeans, bound Jesus,

13 And led him first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year. (Then Annas sent him to Caiaphas’ palace.)

14 Now this same Caiaphas was the one who said to the Judeans, “It is better for one man to die for the people, that Israel itself does not die.”

15 Meanwhile, Shimon Peter followed along from a distance, and so did John. Now John happened to be acquainted with Caiaphas, and so he slipped into his palace.

16 But Peter halted at the gate, and John went back and spoke to the girl who was the gatekeeper. Then Peter was allowed in as well.

17 As Peter stepped in, the girl in charge of the gate asked: Aren’t you also one of this man’s disciples? But Peter said: I am not.

18 Inside the courtyard, the servants and officers of the Temple had made a bonfire, for it was cold, and Peter mingled among them, warming himself.

19 The High Priest, Caiaphas, then questioned Jesus about who his disciples were, and what his doctrine was.

20 Jesus replied to him: I spoke openly to everyone. I was always in the synagogue and the Temple where the Jews spend their time, and I have said nothing in secret.

21 Why then do you ask me what I taught? Ask the ones who heard me. They know what I said.

22 When he had spoken this, one of the officers standing by slapped Jesus across the face, saying: Is this how you talk to the High Priest?!

23 Jesus replied: If I have said something insulting against him personally, point it out. If I have not insulted him personally, then why do you strike me?

24 Now this was taking place after Annas had bound Jesus and sent him to Caiaphas, the current High Priest.

25 As this was going on, Shimon Peter was standing at the fire, trying to keep warm. Some of those gathered there asked him: Aren’t you also one of his disciples? But he denied it, saying: I am not!

26 One of the High Priest’s servants, who was related to the man whose ear Peter had cut off, said to him: Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?

27 Peter denied it again, and it was then that the “rooster” cried out.

28 Then they took Jesus from Caiaphas to the Roman Hall of Judgment, even though it was early in the morning. But they did not go in themselves, lest they violate the oral Law and become ritually defiled, making them unable to eat the Passover lamb later that day.

29 So Pilate went out to them and asked: What accusations are you bringing against this man?

30 They answered: Take our word for it--if this man weren’t a criminal, we wouldn’t have brought him to you!

31 Pilate answered: Then you take him and judge him by your own law! The Judeans replied: The Law does not allow us to pass a death sentence (for only the Great Sanhedrin can do that).

32 This fulfilled what Jesus had said about the sort of death he would die (--that they would ‘lift up’ the Son of Man).

33 Then Pilate went back into the Judgment Hall and called Jesus to him, asking: Are you the King of the Jews?

34 Jesus replied: Are you asking that yourself, or did others tell you to ask that?

35 Pilate answered: Am I a Judean? (I have no idea what this is all about!) Your own countrymen and chief priests brought you here. What have you done to so trouble them?

36 Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If it were of this world, my followers would have taken up arms and fought to keep me from being taken by the Judeans. But my kingdom is elsewhere.

37 Pilate’s response to this was: So you are a king? Jesus replied: You are saying that I am a king (by what you are doing). To this end I was born and came into the world, to bear witness of the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice.

38 Pilate responded: (Truth?!) What is truth? Then he went out to the Judeans,and told them: I find no guilt in this man at all.

39 But you have a custom at the Passover (and other Festivals) that I grant clemency to a criminal. Do you wish me to release the “King of the Jews”?

40 Then they cried out: Not this man--give us bar Abbas! Now this bar Abbas was a robber (and revolutionary).

1. The word here for “garden” (kepos) is of uncertain origin, and may actually be related to a chasm or cave as well as a “garden.” If this is the case, it suggests that Jesus would pray in a certain cave He was aware of.

2. It is not possible to say, in Hebrew, “I am,” and the name of God does not literally mean that, but rather “He who will be.” Jesus here, once again, uses the power of the Ineffable Name with respect to Himself.

3. Some have wondered why Jesus earlier has the disciples arm themselves, yet now rebukes Peter for using the sword. The answer is that Jesus meant for the apostles to defend themselves, not to protect Him through violence from accomplishing His ultimate task of crucifixion.

4. Annas, remember, is the power controlling the city of Jerusalem.

5. Just how John is so known to the house of Caiaphas is a mystery. Some have speculated that John must have been related to him.

6. We know by this it cannot be Thursday-Friday, Nisan 15 yet, for that day is a Sabbath, and kindling a fire is forbidden.

7. Some see a contradiction between John’s Gospel and Matthew’s here since John seems to indicate these events and Peter’s denial occur at Annas’ palace, while Matthew says it was at Caiaphas’. However, the Greek can theoretically be viewed as a past tense statement, a position taken by the KJV and this paraphrase to rectify the issue.

8. This prohibition is Pharisaic, tracing itself to Shammai’s 18 edicts forcing separation between Jew and Gentile. Note there is some debate as to whether the Sadducees believed they would be defiled until sundown of the next day, or for seven whole days.

9. This statement is somewhat puzzling. There is insufficient evidence to believe that the right to try and execute Jewish criminals was reserved solely by the Romans, although the Jews clearly had no right to judge Roman citizens. We note that the elders moved quickly enough to attempt to stone Christ (John 10:31); we know from the Talmud that they executed a priest’s daughter for adultery; and they stoned Stephen with Paul’s approval. Some of the possibilities follow:

 

Only the Sanhedrin proper, headed by Gamaliel, had the authority to make a death sentence; the Sadducee Sanhedrin of Jerusalem lacked this authority. It should be noted that Gamaliel’s Sanhedrin had been boycotting the Chamber of Hewn Stone in the Temple (the only spot a death sentence could legally be made) because the Romans held the priestly vestments, allowing them out only for Festivals, and then retrieving them afterward.

The group wants Jesus to be crucified by the Romans so that they can place the blame elsewhere if the population becomes enraged over it. (Luke 20:20.)

The group wants Jesus to die by the torment of crucifixion.

 

10. The apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus records an interesting response from Jesus to Pilate’s question: “Believe that truth is on earth among those who, when they have the power of judgment, are governed by truth and form right judgment.” If Jesus didn’t say this, it sounds like something He could have said!

11. The name means: “Son of the father.” It has been suggested the man was the son of a High Priest, though actual proof is lacking.

 

CHAPTER 19

CHAPTER 19

1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.1

2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,

3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.

4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.

5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!

6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.

7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.

8 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;

9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.

10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?

11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend:2 whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.

13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.

14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!

15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.

16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

17 And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:

18 Where they crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

19 And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.3

20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.

21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.

22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.4

26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!

27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.5

28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.

30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken7, and that they might be taken away.

32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.

33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:

34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.

35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.

36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.8

38 And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.

41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.

42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.

1 Then Pilate had Jesus flogged,

2 And the soldiers made a crown of thorns that they placed upon his head. Then they put a purple robe upon him,

3 And said: Hail, King of the Jews! And they slapped him with their hands.

4 After this, Pilate went out to the crowd again, and said: I am bringing him out now, and I want you to know I find him innocent of any wrongdoing.

5 Then Jesus came out, the crown of thorns upon his head and dressed in the purple robe. Pilate said: Look at the man now! (Is this punishment enough to satisfy you?)

6 When the chief priests and their officers saw him, they cried out: Crucify him! Crucify him! To this, Pilate responded: You crucify him! I find no guilt in him.

7 The Judeans answered back: We have laws in our religion, and by our Torah he should die, because he appointed himself to be the “Son of God” (--the supposed Messiah, and king of Israel)!

8 Now when Pilate heard this, he was all the more afraid.

9 So he went out once more to the Judgment Hall and asked Jesus: Where did you come from? But Jesus was silent.

10 Pilate added: You have nothing to say to me? Don’t you know that, at my word, you can be crucified, or set free?

11 Jesus answered: You could have no authority at all unless it came from Above. Thus, the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.

12 From this point on, Pilate tried to find a way to release him, but the Judeans shouted out: If you free this man, you are not Caesar’s friend! Anyone who makes himself a king challenges Caesar’s authority!

13 When Pilate heard that comment, he finally gave in and brought Jesus forth. Then he sat upon the judgment seat in a place called the Pavement, which in Aramaic is called Gabbatha.

14 And it was (close to 9 AM) on the preparation day of Passover. Pilate then said: Behold your “King.”

15 But they began to shout: Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him! Pilate replied: Shall I crucify your “King”? Then the chief priests replied: We have no king but Tiberius Caesar!

16 Then Pilate gave up, and handed Jesus over to be crucified. So the soldiers led him off.

17 And he went, carrying his cross to a place outside the city called the Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is Golgotha.

18 There, they crucified him along with two others, one on either side of him.

19 And Pilate hung a sign atop the cross that read: JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.

20 The sign was in Aramaic as well as Greek and Latin, and many people read it, for the crucifixion site was close to the city (outside the east gate, where the red heifer was also sacrificed).

21 Then the chief priests of the Jews told Pilate: Don’t write, The King of the Jews! Say instead that he claimed to be King of the Jews!

22 But Pilate replied: What I have written, I have written.

23 Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, divided up his four pieces of clothing, one for each legionnaire present. They also took his coat, which was of fine quality, being seamlessly knitted together,

24 And said: Let’s not tear it apart, but dice for it. This fulfilled a prophecy in the Psalms that said: They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. Thus, the soldiers found themselves doing their part to fulfill prophecy.

25 Now at the cross of Jesus stood his mother Miriam and his mother’s sister, who was also named Miriam--though she was the wife of Cleopas. Mary of Magdala was also there.

26 When Jesus beheld his mother standing there with John, the disciple whom he loved, he told his mother: Woman, behold your son.

27 Then he said to John: Behold your mother. And from that day on, Miriam lived under his roof.

28 After this, Jesus--knowing that he had done all that he needed to do--did one last thing. So to fulfill the Scriptures, he said: I thirst.

29 Now someone had brought along a jar full of non-kosher Roman posca (vinegar wine). So they dipped a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop stick, and lifted it up to his mouth.

30 When Jesus received it, he said: It is finished! Then he lowered his head and gave up his spirit to death.

31 Meanwhile, the Judeans--because it was the Preparation Day--asked Pilate to break the legs, and finish off those crucified, because they did not want the bodies hanging overnight (for the next day was the Feast of Unleavened Bread, a High Sabbath that fell upon the weekly Sabbath).

32 So the soldiers broke the legs of those on either side of Jesus.

33 But when they saw Jesus was already dead, they did not break his legs.

34 One of the soldiers, however, thrust a spear into his side, and out came a flow of blood and water.

35 John the disciple saw all this, and his record of it is true, and is written down so you can also believe it is true.

36 All this happened so that the Scripture could be fulfilled that said, A bone of him shall not be broken.

37 And another verse of Scripture says, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

38 After all this, Joseph of Arimathea, a disciple of Jesus--but a secret one because of his fear of the Judean leaders--begged Pilate to let him have Jesus’ body. Pilate agreed, and he came and took down the body of Jesus from the cross.

39 Nicodemus, the man who first met Jesus by night, came with him, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds.

40 Then they took the body of Jesus and wrapped it in a linen shroud with the spices, which is how the Judeans bury their dead.

41 Now near the place where Jesus was crucified was a garden, and in it a new tomb (that had never been defiled by anyone else’s body being placed in it).

42 They hurriedly laid Jesus within this convenient tomb because the Jewish preparation day was at hand.

1. Not with 39 stripes, but with Roman flagellation, opening up a victim from head to toe with the barbs of the flagrum.

2. If the traditional date of the Crucifixion is correct (33 AD), on Pilate’s mind is the recent treason of the Praetorian Lucius Aelius Sejanus, and the accompanying actions of Tiberius in 31 AD, executing anyone suspected of collusion. Pilate owed his position to Sejanus, and he dared not arouse even the slightest suspicion of the Emperor.

3. It will be noted that John differs from the other Gospel writers in placing the Crucifixion at the 6th hour, compared to the 3rd hour. The usual explanation is that he is using Roman time, whereas the other writers use the Jewish manner of reckoning time. However, this notion does not seem to jibe with other incidents earlier in John’s Gospel. John may have switched from Jewish reckoning to Roman reckoning for the events of the Crucifixion.

4. See the commentary under Matthew 27:37.

5. Mary Magdalene is traditionally--and unjustifiably--viewed as a former prostitute. If her name indicates she was from the city of Magdala, near Tiberius, it is true that the city had a reputation for prostitutes. However, other possibilities are that the tag Magdalene may refer to a hairdresser, or even to the fishing trade.

6. As noted in the other Gospel commentaries, Jesus giving Mary over to John is unthinkable if she has other living sons.

7. Although often taught that this was a method of fast execution by breaking the legs to prevent the victim from being able to stand up enough to take in air, it was primarily a method of torture reserved for those being allowed to cheat the days that crucifixion could otherwise take to slay their victim. After a few minutes of suffering, the victims, if still alive, were finished off with a spear as you see happens to Jesus, who is already dead.

8. This is an interpolation of Zechariah 12:10, which actually says: They shall look upon me whom they have pierced.” Once again, clear indication that Jesus was co-equal and co-identifiable with the Father, since the verse in context refers to God.

 

CHAPTER 20

CHAPTER 20

1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark1, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.

2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.

3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.

4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.

5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.

6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,

7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself.

8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.

9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.2

10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.

11 But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,

12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.3

13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.

14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.

15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.

16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

20 And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.

21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.4

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

1 Early Sunday morning, while it was still dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb and found the stone rolled away.

2 Then she ran to Shimon Peter and John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them: They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have laid his body!

3 Peter and John thus set out to go to the tomb.

4 They ran as fast as they could, but John (--being younger and faster than Peter--) got there first,

5 And he stooped down to peer inside. He saw the linen wraps lying there, but he did not go in.

6 Then Shimon Peter, following behind, arrived and went straight into the tomb, where he also saw the linen wraps lying.

7 He also saw the linen piece that had been wrapped about his head folded up by itself and laid to the side.

8 Then John, who arrived there first, entered in too and also believed (when he observed the interior).

9 But they still didn’t understand the Scriptures that revealed Jesus must rise again from the dead.

10 Then the disciples left and returned home.

11 However, Mary of Magdala stood outside the tomb, weeping. As she cried, she stooped down and looked inside the tomb.

12 Inside, she beheld two angels in white sitting facing each other (in the form of the Ark of the Covenant). One was at the head, and the other was at the feet of where the body of Jesus had lain.

13 And they asked her: Woman, why are you weeping? She answered them: Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they laid his body.

14 And when she had said this, she glanced over her shoulder and saw a man standing nearby. She didn’t know it was Jesus.

15 Jesus said to her: Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for? Mary, supposing he was the gardener, said to him: Sir, if you have taken him someplace, tell me where, and I will go and take him from there.

16 Jesus then called out: Mary! And she turned toward him, exclaiming: Rabboni; which is to say, Great Master!

17 Jesus told her: You must let me go, for I have not yet ascended to my Father. But go to my brothers and tell them: “I go to ascend to my Father, and your Father, and my God, and your God!”

18 So Mary of Magdala went and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and she repeated what he had told her.

19 That same Sunday at evening, when the doors were shut and barred, with the disciples hiding in fear from the Judeans, Jesus appeared and stood in their midst. He announced: Peace be to you!

20 After saying this, he displayed the wounds in his wrists and his side--and the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

21 Then Jesus repeated: Peace be to you! As my Father has sent me, so I now send you.

22 And when he had said this, he breathed into them (as God had done to Adam in the beginning), and said: Receive the Holy Spirit!

23 Whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven. Whose sins you do not forgive, they remain.

24 Now one of the twelve, Thomas, called Didymus (“the Twin”), wasn’t there when Jesus came.

25 When he arrived, the others told him: We have seen the Lord! But he refused to believe it, saying: I won’t believe unless I see the nail holes in his wrists, the spear wound in his side, and I put my fingers into the wounds!

26 Eight days later the doors were still shut in the house, and the disciples were still there. But this time Thomas was with them. Then Jesus appeared amongst them, and said: Peace be to you!

27 Then he said to Thomas: Come here, and stick your finger into my wrists, and thrust it into my side so you will be believing instead of faithless!

28 Thomas (shaken to the core) exclaimed: My Lord and my God!

29 Jesus said in return: Thomas, you have believed because you have seen. Blessed are those who have not seen, but who will still believe!

30 Jesus did many other things in the presence of his disciples that are not written down here.

31 But these things have been written so that you can continue to have faith that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, and that by having this faith, you will have eternal life through who and what he is!

1. A good, but not compelling, case can be made that the various Gospel accounts suggest that the women come to the tomb as the Sabbath ends at sundown Saturday rather than Sunday morning as is traditionally understood. This argument most often crops up between Sabbatarians and those who think the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. As I point out elsewhere, it is wholly irrelevant because Gentile Christians were never required to observe the Sabbath regardless of the day. The “change” to a Sunday Sabbath probably came about as separate worship services were set up for the Gentile believers who were out of place in the Synagogue.

2. Meaning that their minds were spiritually darkened in a manner that they did not understand the Scriptures on this issue.

3. They were arranged similarly to the angels that decorated the top of the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant.

4. This is a very troublesome verse for Protestantism. There are only two good possibilities as to what Jesus may be saying:

Jesus is instituting some form of sacramental forgiveness for the penalty for sin, which is performed by those in the church.

Jesus is saying that if the apostles forgive the sins personally committed against them, God will forgive the offender as well (Acts 7:60).

 

Of the two, the first theory is the more likely, since forgiveness is not optional with the Christian. Now the question will arise as to whether this affirms the Catholic and Orthodox notion of the sacrament of Confession. The answer is a definite…probably not. The practice is not shown in the Gospels (in fact, Jesus gives an example in Luke 18:13-14, of a sinner receiving forgiveness with no human mediator by crying out to God alone for mercy), Acts, or the epistles, nor can it be substantiated by 1st century sources like the Didache (which does allude to a public confession of sin, not entirely inconsistent with what Jews were known to do), leaving it to the 2nd century Shepherd of Hermas, and later sources, to outline and develop it into the form it came to exist in. We also note that in virtually every instance where Jesus forgives someone’s sins it is done in connection with physical healing, and not in the sense of the Confessional. (In fact, we see no instances of anyone specifically coming to Jesus and confessing sins in a desire for absolution.) Now evangelicals would agree that we confess our sins to the priest, and seek forgiveness through him--but we would say that our priest is Jesus, and the sacrifice He makes for our atonement is His death on the cross.

 

CHAPTER 21

CHAPTER 21

1 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise showed he himself.

2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.

3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing.1 They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.

4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.

5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.

6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.

7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.

8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.

9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.

10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.

11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three2: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.

12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.

13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.

14 This is now the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.3

18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.

19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.

20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?

21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.4

23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?5

24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.6

25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

1 After all this, Jesus again appeared to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee, and this is how it happened:

2 Shimon Peter, Thomas the twin, Nathaniel of Cana in Galilee, James and John, and two other disciples were gathered together.

3 Shimon Peter said to them: I’m going fishing. The others responded: We’ll go with you. So they got in a boat and went out onto the lake. They fished all night long, but could catch nothing.

4 When morning came, Jesus appeared on shore but they did not know it was he.

5 Jesus called out to them: Boys--have you caught any fish? They shouted back: No!

6 Then he told them: Cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you’ll catch some! They did as he said, and the net became so full of fish that they could not pull it into the boat!

7 It was then that John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, told Peter: It’s the Lord! When Shimon Peter heard that, he thew on his tunic, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake, swimming for shore.

8 The others rowed to shore in their small boat, being about a hundred yards distant, dragging the net and its fish with them.

9 As soon as they landed, they beheld a fire of coals already prepared with some fish cooking on them. There was also some bread.

10 Jesus told them: Bring some of the fish you’ve caught.

11 Shimon Peter then went over and single-handedly drew the net onto the shore. It was filled with a hundred and fifty-three large fish! Even so, the net did not break.

12 Jesus told them: Come and eat. None of the disciples, meanwhile, asked, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.

13 Jesus then came up, took some bread, and distributed it to the disciples along with the fish.

14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he had risen from the dead.

15 After they had eaten, Jesus turned to Shimon Peter, and asked: Shimon, son of Jonah, do you love me with your whole being--more than you do fishing? Peter answered: Yes, Lord, you know I love you (like my dearest friend). To this, Jesus told him: Feed my little sheep.

16 Then Jesus said to him a second time: Shimon, son of Jonah, do you love me with your whole being? Peter again answered: Yes, Lord, you know I love you (like my dearest friend)! So Jesus said: Shepherd my little sheep.

17 Jesus now asked him a third time: Shimon, son of Jonah, do you love me? Peter was now grieved that Jesus had asked a third time “Do you love me?” So he said back: Lord--you know all things. You know I love you! Jesus said: Feed my little sheep!

18 Truly, truly, I say to you: When you were young, you would put a belt on and go to wherever you wanted. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and another will put a belt around you and then take you where you won’t want to go.

19 Jesus spoke this to signify the sort of death Peter would have that would glorify God. Then he added: Follow me!

20 Peter then turned back and spotted the disciple whom Jesus loved--the one who had leaned on Jesus’ breast and asked who it was that would betray him.

21 Glancing back at him, Peter asked: What will happen to John, Lord?

22 Jesus responded: If I desire that he remain alive until my return, what business is that of yours!? You follow me!

23 Then an incorrect oral tradition circulated amongst the brethren that John would not die (before Jesus’ return to earth). But Jesus did not tell Peter, “He won’t die”; he said, “If I desire that he remain alive until my return, what business is that of yours?”

24 I John, am the one testifying about these things, and am the one who wrote them down. (And we know his testimony is true!)

25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did in his life--so many, in fact, that I don't think that the world could contain all the books it would take to write them down in! Amen.

1. The tone suggests that it could be less Peter’s deciding to go fishing because he has nothing better to do, and possibly that he was returning to being a fisherman.

2. It is thought that there were approximately 153 known nations at this point in history. The Church Fathers came up with a variety of proposed symbolism for this number otherwise. It is also commonly missed that Peter here is performing a miracle by single-handedly hauling a net to shore that the other disciples couldn’t lift into the boat earlier!

3. The English fails to properly convey the words used here for love. The following shows the conversation more clearly:

Jesus: Peter, do you agapan me more than these?

Peter: Lord, I philein you.

Jesus: Peter, do you agapan me?

Peter: Lord, you know that I philein you.

Jesus: Peter, do you philein me?

Peter: Lord, I philo you.

Jesus would be understood along the lines of saying, “Peter, do you love me with the same love you have for God?” Peter would then be responding: “Well, I love you, Lord,” stopping short of acknowledging an absolute, committed love. He is thus challenging Peter to a greater love than mere friendship. Additionally, when Jesus asks if Peter loves Him “more than these,” it is written in the neuter form, and refers not to whether Peter loves Christ more than the other apostles, but whether he loves Christ more than fish and fishing.

As to why Jesus asks Peter the question three times, it is because there were three calls upon his life:

To be chief among the 12 (or to be the first Pope if you’re Catholic).

To be the first to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles (Acts 10).

To be crucified.

 

4. In other words, “Don’t you worry about John--worry about yourself, Peter!”

5. A very important verse showing that the apostles did not orally teach infallibly! This misunderstanding of Jesus’ words was purposeful, for by their incorrectly believing Jesus would return within only a few years, many of the them worked that much harder to advance the Kingdom. If they had known it would be 2000 years, they probably would have been far more lax.

6. The last part of this verse was probably written by faithful followers of John in Ephesus.

 

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