Tuesday, July 29, 2014

John Chapter 12

"Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they gave a dinner for him there.  Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.  Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.  The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.  But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"  He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it.  Jesus said, "Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial.  For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me."

When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesus was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead.  So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus.

The next day the large crowd that had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem.  So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying out, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!"  And Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, just as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt."

His disciples did not understand these things at first, but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things had been written about him and had been done to him.  The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness.  The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.  So the Pharisees said to one another, "You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him."

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks.  So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."  Philip went and told Andred; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.  And Jesus answered them, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.  If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

Now is my soul troubled.  And what shall I say?  Father, save me from this hour?  But for this purpose I have come to this hour.  Father, glorify your name.  Then a voice came from heaven:  "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again."  The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered.  Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."  Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine.  Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out.  And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself."  He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.  So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever.  How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up?  Who is the Son of Man?"  So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer.  Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going.  While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may becomes sons of light."

When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.  Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

"Lord, who has believed what he heard from us,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?"

Therefore they could not believe.  For again Isaiah said,

"He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them."

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.  Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

And Jesus cried out and said, "Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.  I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment--what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life.  What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me."

Explanation for verses 12:1-50; 12:3; 12:12-19; 12:24; 12:25-26; 12:27; 12:31; 12:35-36; 12:37-40; 12:41; 12:42-43 in John Chapter 12 from The MacArthur Study Bible ESV, pages1566, 1567, 1568.

"12:1-50  This chapter focuses on the reactions of love and hate, belief and rejection toward Christ, leading to the cross."

"12:3 a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard.  The term used for "pound" actually indicates a weight around three-fourths of a pound (approximately 12 ounces).  "Nard" was an oil extracted from the root of a plant grown in India.  anointed the feet of Jesus.  Since those who were eating reclined at the table, their feet extended away from it, making it possible for Mary to anoint the feet of Jesus.  The act symbolized Mary's humble devotion and love for him."

"12:12-19  This section marks Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  It is one of the few incidents in Jesus' life reported in all four Gospels (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-38).  By this action, he presented himself officially to the nation as the Messiah and Son of God.  The Sanhedrin and other Jewish leaders wanted him dead but did not want him killed during the Passover time because they feared stirring up the multitudes with whom he was popular (Matt. 26:5; Mark 14:2; Luke 22:2).  Jesus entered the city, however, on his own time and forced the whole issue in order that it might happen exactly on the Passover day when the lambs were being sacrificed" (1 Cor. 5:7).  In God's perfect timing (see John 7:30; 8:20), at the precise time foreordained from eternity, he presented himself to die (12:23; 10:17-18; 17:1; 19:10-11; cf. Acts 2:23; 4:27-28; Gal. 4:4)."

"12:24  As the sown kernel dies to bring forth a rich harvest, so also the death of the Son of God will result in the salvation of many."

"12:25-26  Not only is the prinicple of death applicable to Jesus (see v. 24) but it is also applicable to his followers.  They, too, as his disciples may have to lose their life in service and witness for him (see Matt. 10:37-39; 16:24-25)."

"12:27  Now is my soul troubled.  The term used here is stong and signifies horror, anxiety, and agitation.  Jesus' contemplation of taking on the wrath of God for the sins of the world caused revulsion in the sinless Savior (cf. 2 Cor. 5:21)."

"12:31  the ruler of this world.  A reference to Satan (see 14:30; 16:11; cf. Matt. 4:8-9; Luke 4:6-7;   2 Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2; 6:12).  Although the cross might have appeared to signal Satan's victory over God, in reality it marked Satan's defeat (cf. Rom. 16:20; Heb. 2:14)."

"12:35-36  Jesus said to them.  A final invitation from Jesus was recorded by John to focus on his theme of believing in the Messiah and Son of God (see 20:30-31)."

"12:37-40  In these verses, John gave the scriptural explanation for such larage scale, catastrophic unbelief on the part of the Jewish nation.  The explanation was that the unbelief was not only foreseen in Scripture but necessitated by it in v. 38, John quotes Isa. 53:1 and John 12:40 he quotes Isa. 6:10 (see Rom. 10:16), both of which stress the sovereign plan of God in his judicial hardening of Israel (cf. Paul's argument in Rom. 9-11).  Although God predestined such judgment, it was not apart from human responsibility and culpability (see John 8:24)."

"12:41  Isaiah. . . saw his glory and spoke of him.  This is a reference to Isa. 6:1 (see notes there).  John unambiguously ties Jesus to God or Yahweh of the OT (see note on John 8:58).  Therefore, since 12:41 refers to Jesus, it makes him the author of the judicial hardening of Israel.  That fits his role as judge (see 5:22-23, 27, 30; 9:39)."

" 12:42-43  The indictment of vv. 37-41 is followed by the exceptions of vv. 42-43 (see 1:10-11 vs. 1:12-13).  While the people seemed to trust Jesus with much more candor and fervency, the leaders of Israel who believed in him demonstrated inadequate, irresolute, even spurious faith (see note on 2:23-25).  The faith of the latter was so weak that they refused to take any position that would threaten their position in the synagogue.  This is one of the saddest statements about spiritual leadeship, for they preferred the praises of men above the praises of God in their refusal to publicly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and Son of God."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  I just pray for softened hearts and eyes that see the truth of the Jesus of the Bible.  I ask for Your wisdom and favor and protection. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

John Chapter 11, I Am the Resurrection and the Life...

Continuing in the Book of John. . .

"Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair,  whose brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill,"  But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death.  It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."  The disciples said to him, "Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?"  Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  But if anyone walk in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."  After saying these things, he said to them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him."  The disciples said to him, "Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover."  Noe Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you my believe.  But let us go to him."  So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with him."

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days.  Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, the many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.  So when Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.  Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."  Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."  Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day."  Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?"  She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in private, "The Teacher is here and is calling for you."  And when she heard it, she rose quickly and went to him.  Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha had met him.  When the Jews who were with her in the house, consoling her, saw Mary rise quickly and go out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there.  Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet, saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died."  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled.  And he said, "Where have you laid him?"  They said to him, "Lord, come and see."  Jesus wept.  So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"  But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?"

Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb.  It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.  Jesus said, "Take away the stone."  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days."  Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?"  So they took away the stone.  And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, "Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me."  When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lazaurs, come out."  The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth.  Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."

Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.  So the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered the Council and said, "What are we to do?  For this man performs many signs.  If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation."  But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all.  Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish."  He did not say this of his own accord, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.  So from that day on they made plans to put him to death.

Jesus therefore no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there to the region near the wilderness, to a town called Ephriam, and there he stayed with the disciples.

Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and many went up from the country to Jerusalem before the Passover to purify themselves.  They were looking for Jesus and saying to one another as they stood in the temple, "What do you think?  That he will not come to the feast at all?"  Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that if anyone knew where he was, he should let them know, so that they might arrest him."  John 11, ESV

Explanation for John 11:1-57; John 11:1; John 11:4; John 11:14-15; John 11:25-26; John 11:27; John 11:49; John 11:50; John 11:51; John 11:52; John 11:53.  From The MacArthur Study Bible pages 1563-1566.

"11:1-57  As ch. 11 begins, Jesus stands in the shadow of facing the cross.  The little time that he had in the area beyond the Jordan (cf. Matt. 19:1-20: 34; Mark 10:1-52; Luke 17:11-19:28) would soon come to an end.  John picked up the story (John 11:55-57) after he moved back into the area of Jerusalem, and his death on the cross was only a few days away.  In those last few days before his death, the scene in John's Gospel changes from hatred and rejection (10:39) to an unmistakable and blessed witness of the glory of Christ.  All the rejection and hatred could not dim his glory as displayed through the resurrection of Lazarus.  That miracle evidences his glory in three ways; 1) it pointed to his deity; 2) it strengthened the faith of the disciples; and 3) it led directly to the cross (12:23).  The chapter can be divided as follows: 1) the preparation for the miracle (11:1-16); 2) the arrival of Jesus (vv. 17-36); 3) the miracle itself (vv. 37-44); and 4) the results of the miracle (vv. 45-57)."

"11:1 Lazarus.  The resurrection of Lazarus is the climactic and most dramatic sign in this Gospel and the capstone of Jesus' public ministry.  Six miracles have already been presented (water into wine [2:1-11], healing of the official's son [4:46-54], restoring the impotent man [5:1-15], multiplying the loaves and fishes [6:1-14], walking on the water [6:15-21], and curing the man born blind [9:1-12].  Lazarus's resurrection is more potent than all those and even more monumental than the raising of the widow's son in Nain (Luke 7:11-16) or Jairus's daughter (Luke 8:40-56) because those two resurrections occurred immediately after death.  Lazarus was raised after four days of being in the grave with the process of decomposition already having started (John 11:39).  Bethany.  This Bethany is different from the other "Bethany across the Jordan" in 1:28 (see note there).  It lies on the east side of the Mount of Olives about 2 miles from Jerusalem (11:18) along the road leading toward Jericho.  Mary. . . Martha.  This is the first mention of this family in John.  John related the story of Mary's anointing of Jesus in 12:1-8, but this reference may indicate that the original readers were already familiar with the event. Cf. Luke 10:38-42."

"11:4  the Son of God may be glorified.  This phrase reveals the real purpose behind Lazarus's sickness, i.e., not death, but that the Son of God might be glorified through his resurrection (cf. v. 4; see note on 9:3)."

"11:14-15  The resurrection of Lazarus was designed to strengthen his disciples' faith in him as the Messiah and Son of God in the face of the strong Jewish rejection of him."

"11:25-26  This is the fifth in a series of seven great "I am" statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7,9; 10:11, 14).  With this statement, Jesus moved Martha from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place "on the last day" (cf. 5:28-29) to a personalized trust in him who alone can raise the dead.  No resurrection or eternal life exists outside of the Son of God.  Time ("on the last day") is no barrier to the One who has the power of resurrection and life (1:4) for he can give life at any time."

"11:27  She said to him.  Martha's confession is representative of the very reason John wrote this inspired Gospel (cf. 20:30-31).  See Peter's confession in Matt. 16:16."

"11:49 Caiaphas.  Caiaphas became high priest c. A.D. 18, being appointed by the Roman prefect Valerius Gratus.  His father-in-law was Annas, who had previously functioned in that same position from c. A.D. 7-14 and who exercised great influence over the office even after his tenure (see 18:12-14).  Caiaphas remained in office until A.D. 36 when, along with Pontius Pilate, he was removed by the Romans.  He took a leading part in the trial and condemnation of Jesus.  In his court or palace, the chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees assembled "and plotted together to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him" (see Matt. 26:3-4)."

"11:50 one man should die for the people.  He only meant that Jesus should be executed in order to spare their own positions and nation from Roman reprisals, but Caiaphas unwittingly used sacrifical, substitutionary language and prophesied the death of Christ for sinners. Cf. 2 Cor. 5:21 and 1 Pet. 2:24."

"11:51 he prophesied.  Caiaphas did not realize the implications of what he spoke.  While he uttered blasphemy against Christ, God parodied his statement into truth (cf. Ps. 76:10).  The responsibility for the wicked meaning of his words belonged to Caiaphas, but God's providence directed the choice of words so as to express the heart of God's glorious plan of salvation (Acts 4:27-28).  He actually was used by God as a prophet because he was the high priest and originally the high priest was the means of God's will being revealed (2 Sam. 15:27)."

"11:52 gather into one the children of God.  In context, this had reference to believing Jews of the dispersion who would be gathered together in the Promised Land to share the kingdom of God (Isa. 43:5; Ezek. 34:12).  In a wider sense, this also anticipated the Gentile mission (see John 12:32).  As a result of Christ's sacrifical death and resurrection, both Jew and Gentile have been made into one group, the church (Eph. 2:11-18)." 

"11:53 from that day on.  The phrase indicates that their course of action toward Jesus was then fixed.  It remained only to accomplish it.  Notice that Jesus was not arrested to be tried.  He had already been judged guilty of blasphemy.  The trial was a mere formaltiy for a sentence already passed (Mark 14:1-2)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  Thank You for Your sacrifical death and resurrection.  That those who believe in You should have eternal life.  This is just so nice.  I wish people could see how lovely, awesome and wonderful You are.  I pray that the truth found only in Jesus would touch the hearts of those who do not believe--so that they may believe and have eternal life. I pray for wisdom.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

John Chapter 10, I Am the Good Shepherd, I and the Father are One.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber.  But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.  To him the gatekeeper opens.  The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.  A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."  This figure of speech Jesus used whith them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from my Father."

There was again a division among the Jews because of these words.  Many of them said, "He has a demon, and is insane; why listen to him?"  Others said, "These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon.  Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

At the time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem.  It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon.  So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."  Jesus answered them, "I told you, and you do not believe.  The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not part of my flock.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater that all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.  I and the Father are one."

The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.  Jesus answered them, "I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?"  The Jews answered him, "It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you but for blasphemy, because you, being a man, make yourself God."  Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your Law, 'I said, you are gods'?  If he called them gods to whom the word of God came--and Scripture cannot be broken--do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?  If I am not doing works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe in the works, that you may know and understand that the father is in me and I am in the Father."  Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing at first, and there he remained.  And many came to him.  And they said, "John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true."  And many believed in him there."  John Chapter 10

Explanation for verses in John Chapter 10 from The MacArthur Study Bible, pages 1561-1563.  Verses John 10:1-39; John 10:7-10; John 10:9-10; John 10:11-18; John 10:11; John 10:12; John 10:16; John 10:17-18; John 10:26-27; John 10:28-29; John 10:30; John 10:34-36; John 10:35; John 10:38.

"10:1-39 Jesus' discourse on himself as the "good shepherd" flowed directly from ch. 9, as Jesus continued to talk to the very same people.  The problem of ch. 9 was that Israel was led by false shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39-41).  In ch. 10, Jesus declared himself to be the "good shepherd" who was appointed by his Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-apopointed and self-righteous (Ps. 23:1; Isa. 40:11; Jer. 3:15; cf. Isa. 56:9-12; Jer. 23:1-4; 25:32-38; Ezek. 34:1-31; Zach. 11:16)"

"10:7-10 I am the door.  This is the third of seven "I am" statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12).  Here, he changes the metaphor slightly.  While in 10:1-5 he was the shepherd, here he is the gate.  While in vv. 1-5, the shepherd led the sheep out of the sheepfold, here he is the entrance to the fold (v. 9) that leads to proper pasture.  This section echoes Jesus' words in 14:6 that he is the only way to the Father.  His point is that he serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God's promised salvation.  As some Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures himself as the gate."

"10:9-10  These two verses are a proverbial way of insisting that belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God is the only way of being "saved" from sin and hell and receiving eternal life.  Only Jesus Christ is the one true source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security."

"10:11-18  Jesus picked up another expression from vv. 1-5, i.e., he is the "good shepherd" in contrast to the present evil leadership of Israel (9:40-41).  This is the fourth of seven "I am" statements of Jesus (see vv. 7, 9; 6:35; 8:12).  The term "good" has the idea of "noble" and stands in contrast to the "hired hand" who cares only for self-interest."

"10:11  lays down his life for the sheep.  This is a reference to Jesus' substitutionary death for sinners on the cross. Cf. v. 15; 6:51; 11:50-51; 17:19; 18:14."

"10:12  sees the wolf coming. . .flees.  The hired hand likely represents religious leaders who perform their duty in good times but who never display sacrificial care for the sheep in times of danger.  They stand in contrast to Jesus, who laid down his life for his flock (see 15:13)."

"10:16  not of this fold.  This refers to Gentiles who will respond to his voice and become a part of the church (cf. Rom 1:16).  Jesus' death was not only for Jews (see notes on John 10:1, 3), but also for non-Jews whom he will make into one new body, the church (see notes on 11:51-52; cf. Eph. 2:11-22)."

"10:17-18 take it up again.  Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses indicating that his sacrifical death was not the end.  His resurrection followed in demonstration of his messiahship and deity (Rom. 1:4).  His death and resurrection resulted in his ultimate glorification (John 12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37-39; cf. Acts 2:16-39)."

"10:26-27  This clearly indicates that God has chosen his sheep and it is they who believe and follow (see notes on vv. 3, 16; cf. 6:37-40, 44, 65)."

"10:28-29 The security of Jesus' sheep rests with him as the good shepherd, who has the power to keep them safe.  Neither thieves and robbers (vv. 1, 8) nor the wolf (v. 12) can harm them.  Verse 29 makes clear that the Father ultimately stands behind the sheep's security, for no one is able to steal from God, who is in sovereign control of all things (Col. 3:3).  See notes on Rom. 8:31-39.  No stronger passage in the OT or NT exists for the absolute, eternal security of every true Christian."

"10:30 I and the Father are one.  Both Father and Son are committted to the perfect protection and preservation of Jesus' sheep.  The sentence, stressing the united purpose and action of both in the security and safety of the flock, presupposes unity of nature and essence (see 5:17-23; 17:22)."

"10:34-36  Quoted from Ps. 82:6 where God calls some unjust judges "gods" and pronounces clamity against them.  Jesus' argument is that this psalm proves that the word "god" can be legitmately used to refer to others than God himself.  His reasoning is that if there are others whom God can address as "god" or "sons of the Most High," why then should the Jews object to Jesus' statement that he is "the Son of God" (John 10:36)?"

"10:35 Scripture cannot be broken.  An affirmation of the absolute accuracy and authority of Scripture (see notes on Matt. 5:17-19)."

"10:38 believe in works.  Jesus did not expect to be believed merely on his own assertions.  Since he did the same things that the Father does (see notes on 5:19), his enemies should consider this in their evaluation of him.  The implication is, however, that they were so ignorant of God that they could not recognize the works of the Father or the One whom the Father sent (see also 14:10-11)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, Thank You for being our good shepherd and for protecting Your flock.  I pray that those reading Your words would see the truth.  I pray that You would reveal Yourself to them.  I say these things in Jesus' name.  Amen.


Monday, July 7, 2014

John Chapter 9

"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.  And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"  Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.  We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."  Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva.  Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent).  So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, "Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?"  Some said, "It is he."  Others said, "No, but he is like him."  He kept saying, "I am the man."  So they said to him, "Then how were your eyes opened?"  He answered, "The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to Siloam and wash.'  So I went and washed and received my sight."  They said to him, "Where is he?"  He said, "I do not know."

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind.  Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.  So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight.  And he said to them, "He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see."  Some of the Pharisees said, "This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath."  But others said, "How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?"  And there was a division among them.  So they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?"  He said, "He is a prophet."

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, "Is this your son, who you say was born blind?  How then does he now see?"  His parents answered, "We know that this is our son and that he was born blind.  But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes.  Ask him; he is of age.  He will speak for himself."  (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put our of the synagogue.)  Therefore his parents said, "He is of age, ask him."

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, "Give glory to God.  We know that this man is a sinner."  He answered,  "Whether he is a sinner I do not know.  One thing I do know that though I was blind, now I see."  They said to him, "What did he do to you?  How did he open your eyes?"  He answered them, "I have told you already, and you would not listen.  Why do you want to hear it again?  Do you also want to become his disciples?"  And they reviled him, saying, "You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses.  We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from."  The man answered, "Why, this is an amazing thing!  You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes.  We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.  Never since the world began has it been heard than anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind.  If this man were not from God, he could do nothing."  They answered him, "You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?"  And they cast him out.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"  He answered, "And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?"  Jesus said to him, "You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you."  He said, "Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him.  Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind."  Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, "Are we also blind?"  Jesus said to them, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, 'We see,' your guilt remains."  John 9 (ESV)

Explanation for John 9:1-13; John 9:2; John 9:5 and 6; John 9:13-34; John 9:17; John 9:30; John 9:34, John 9:35-41; John 9:35 and 36; John 9:39; John 9:40; John 9:41.  From The MacArthur Study Bible (ESV) pages1559, 1560, 1561.

"9:1-13 Jesus performed a miracle by recreating the eyes of a man who was born with congential blindness (v.1). Four features highlight this healing:  1) the problem that precipitated the healing (v.1);  2) the purpose for the man's being born blind (vv. 2-5); 3) the power that healed him (vv. 6-7); and 4) the perplexity of the people who saw the healing (vv. 8-13)."

"9:2 who sinned.  While sin may be a cause of suffering, as clearly indicated in Scripture (see 5:14; Num. 12; 1 Cor. 11:30; James 5:15), it is not always the case necessarily (see Job; 2 Cor. 12:7; Gal. 4:13).  The disciples assumed, like most Jews of their day, that sin was the primary, if not exclusive, cause of all suffering.  In this instance, however, Jesus made it clear that personal sin was not the reason for the blindness (see John 9:3)."

"9:5 I am the light of the world.  See note on 8:12; cf. 1:5, 9; 3:19; 12:35, 46.  Not only was Jesus spiritually the light of the world, but he would also provide the means of physical light for this blind man."

"9:6 made mud with saliva.  As he had done when he originally made human beings out of the dust of the ground (Gen. 2:7), Jesus may have used the clay to fashion a new pair of eyes."

"9:13-34 This section in the story of the healing of the blind man reveals some key characteristics of willful unbelief:  1) unbelief sets false standards; 2) unbelief always wants more evidence but never has enough; 3) unbelief does biased research on a purely subjective basis; 4) unbelief rejects the facts; 5) unbelief is self-centered.  John included this section on the dialogue of the Pharisees with the blind man most likely for two reasons: 1) the dialogue carefully demonstrates the character of willful and fixed unbelief, and 2) the story confirms the first great schism between the synagogue and Christ's new followers.  The blind man was the first known person thrown out of the synagogue because he chose to follow Christ (see 16:1-3)."

"9:17 He is a prophet.  While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisees were spiritually blind to that truth (see v. 39).  Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i.e., inability to discern God or his truth (2 Cor. 4:3-6; Col. 1:12-14)."

"9:30 The healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of Jesus and him.  His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief.  His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying (see Job 27:9; 35:13; Ps. 66:18; 109:7; Prov. 15:29; Isa. 1:15; cf. John14:13-14; 16:23-27; 1John 3:21-22).  The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God."

"9:34 would you teach us?  The Pharisees were incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated, healed man had demonstrated.  The phrase also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the OT indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind (Isa. 29:18, 35:5; 42:7; cf. Matt. 11:4-5; Luke 4:18-19)."

"9:35-41 While vv. 1-34 dealt with Jesus' restoration of physical sight in the blind man, vv. 35-41 featured Jesus bringing spiritual "sight" to him."

"9:35 Do you believe. . . ?  Jesus invited the man to put his trust in him as the One who revealed God to man.  Jesus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who he was and confession of faith in him. (Matt. 10:32; Luke 12:8). Son of Man. Cf. John 1:51; 3:13-14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28."

"9:36 sir.  The word here is the same for "lord," but it should be understood not as an indication that he understood Jesus' deity but as meaning "sir".  See also v. 38.  Since the blind man had never seen Jesus (v.7) nor met him since he went to wash in the pool, he did not recognize Jesus at first as the One who healed him."

"9:39 For judgment.  Not that his purpose was to condemn, but rather to save (12:47); Luke 19:10); saving some, nevertheless, involves condemning others (see notes on John 3:16, 18).  The last part of this verse is taken from Isa. 6:10; 42:19 (cf. Mark 4:12).  those who do not see.  Those people who know they are in spiritual darkness.  Those who see.  Refers in an ironic way to those who think they are in the light, but are not (cf. Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31)."

"9:40 Are we also blind? Apparently Jesus found (v. 35) the man in a public place, where the Pharisees were present listening."

"9:41 your guilt remains.  Jesus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of him as Messiah and Son of God.  If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ.  But satisfied that their darkness was light, and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remained.  See note on Matt. 6:22-23."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord, I pray for those who are in spiritual darkness, but think they are in the light.  I pray that their eyes would be opened and instead of being spiritually blind that they would see.  I pray that Your words would speak the truth to their heart so that they may find the joy and freedom of salvation in You, Lord Jesus.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.