Dr. W. Noble King
This document consists of notes taken by students who attended Dr. King's class at Bethany Nazarene College. The notes therefore reflect student response to Dr. King's lectures and do not necessarily represent fully or accurately his thought in all respects. ***....***
1. The writer and his purpose.
(1) The writer.
a. The writer was from Galilee; thus a Palestinian Jew. He met Jesus early in his ministry, and was with him to the end (John 1:14; 19:35; 21:24). His name was St. John the Divine.
b. The writer of the book of John refers five times to one of the apostles as "that disciple whom Jesus loved;" but he does not identify himself as that disciple until the very end of the book. The five times are: John 13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20. Then the identification is in John 21:20-24.
c. His fatherís name was Zebedee, and his motherís name was Salome. He also had at least one brother who appeared to have been older than he (Wescott). The family resided at Bethsaida (Matt. 4:21), and was engaged in the fishing business. John was one of five partners in this business. The business was large enough to employ hired servants (Mark 1:16-20). Possibly also John had a house in Jerusalem (John 19:27), and was personally acquainted with the high priest (John 18:15, 16). His father, Zebedee, was in full sympathy with Jesus as he did not mind his two sons and his wife following Jesus.
d. John was also a disciple of John the Baptist (John 1:35, 40), and started to follow Jesus on the recommendation of John the Baptist (John 1; 35--51). Thus, with his brother James, he was one of the first five to follow Jesus, and was one of the inner circle of three (Peter, James, and John). His brother James was the first of the twelve to die, and it is said that he was the last of the twelve to die, and the only one of the twelve to die a natural death (Acts 12:2).
e. Jesus called the two brothers (James and John) "sons of thunder" because of their fiery natures. They forbade one to cast out devils as he did not follow them. Jesus rebuked them for so doing (Mark 9:38, 39). They also wished to call down fire from heaven on Samaritan villages. Jesus again rebuked them (Luke 9:54, 55). They wanted the first and second places in the expected kingdom; again Jesus corrected their attitude (Mark 10:35; Matt. 20:20ff). They probably thought that they had a physical relationship--right to the best going. Pentecost changed all that.
(2) The writerís purpose.
a. Jerusalem fell by the hand of Titus in A.D. 70 At that time apparently John alone remained of the original twelve. Also the Judaistic section of the Christian Church apparently came to an end. John then moved to Ephesus, in Asia Minor, where he spent most of his remaining days. One age had passed, and another had come, and he was the link between the two.
b. Between 90, and 96 A.D. John wrote this book which contains the consummation of gospel thought on the Person of Jesus the Christ. Matthew had written for the Jews, Mark for the Romans, Luke for the Greeks. Now John writes for the Christians of all time, and presents the Christ as God incarnate. He did this not merely for the benefit of believers, but also to prevent, and remove encroaching errors from gripping the Christian church with regard to the Person of the Christ.
John himself states his purpose in one brief verse, as follows:
(1) "A word is that by which we communicate our will; by which we convey our thoughts; or by which we issue commands--the medium of communication with others." "The son of God may be called the Word because he is the Medium by which God promulgates his will and issues his commands." The term word may refer to verbal communication, written communication, or mediation. In this case it refers to the Mediator between God and man--the man Christ Jesus.
(2) The term Word of Logos was in use in philosophy; but John did not necessarily borrow the word from the philosopher Philo. Harnack, and Gaebelein, and others say no. Harnack says, "...the Logos of John has little more in common with the Logos of Philo than the name." The rabbinical paraphrases of the Old Testament in the Targums "speak hundreds of times of the LORD as the Word, Memera." "They heard the Word walking in the garden" (Gen. 3:8).
We quote further from Gaebelein:
These Jewish comments ascribe the creation of the world to the Word which communed with the patriarchs. According to them Ďthe Wordí redeemed Israel from Egypt: Ďthe Wordí was dwelling in the tabernacle; Ďthe Wordí spake out of the fire of Horeb; Ďthe Wordí brought them into the promised land. All the relationships of the LORD with Israel is explained by them as having been through Ďthe Wordí.
John thus relates the Word (Memra) or the Christ of the New with the Jehovah-God of the Old for both Jews and Gentiles alike to timeís end.
(3) In Genesis 1:1 the beginning (bereshith) refers to the commencement of time or to the beginning of creation as such. In John 1:1 the beginning refers to that beginning-less beginning before creation began. This Personal Logos or Word or Christ filled immensity and inhabited eternity before time. He was with God or close to God or face to face with God and was himself God in essence and in Person. As the Father is a Person and God, so is this Logos a Person and God (John 1:1, 2; 6:62; 8:58; 17:5).
(4) There is thus a personal consciousness of identity in eternity with regard to this Person. In the past, and present, and future this Person always has known, and always will know himself, as himself. Throughout all of his changes or mutations in office, he, in Person, remains unchangeable or immutable (Heb. 13:8; Mal. 3:6a). This does not refer to his human nature, but to his rational self-hood: "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" (John 1:14).
(5) All things were created by or through him as the active Agent of the eternal Godhead. Without him , outside of his activity as Creator, not one thing was brought into existence that hath been brought into existence (He himself is out of that creation; hence uncreated). He is Life, and the Imparter of life; he is Light, and the Imparter of light. Man was given the gift of life, with powers to observe the light, and respond to the light. The enemy and the powers of a fallen world have not been able to overcome or to crush that light (John 1:3--5).
(6) There arose or came into being a man sent by God. Christ did not come into being at his physical beginning, but merely assumed our human nature at that point. Thus John gathered up the Old--patriarchs, prophets, priests, and the sacrificial system figuratively--in himself, and then pointed to the New. He and they must decrease; but Jesus the Christ and the New must increase. He was already in the world. But the world, although created by him, yet it refused to recognize him. Those who did, however, were made children of God. This birth is not a natural one but a spiritual one . We have a repeat of this in Jesus conversation with Nicodemus.
(7) The eternal Logos was made or became flesh . It was not the beginning of a new personality or Person--something that was became . The Word dwelt in flesh and tabernacled among us, and we saw his glory. The law was given through or by Moses, but grace and truth came by or through Jesus the Christ. He came after John but he was before John: "Before Abraham was I am" (John 8:58). Thus grace and truth were here before Moses and the Law, before Abraham, before Noah and the flood; indeed grace and truth appeared or were revealed in Eden at the first sacrifice, and revealed by the Jehovah-Christ. God the Father cannot be seen, but God the Son was seen in human flesh. The Godhead of both, however, is one.
The Wordís humanity was real and complete and permanent. His humanity and Deity did not change when conjoined in on Person. The Word became flesh. He was half Jew through Mary, but the half caused to be by God was not necessarily Jewish. The Wordís human nature and divine nature were united in one Person. He does not have two personalities, but one--a Theanthropic Person. The Word did not acquire a personality by the incarnation. He was Person, in the sense that the Father is a Person, before the incarnation (Westcott).
We here quote:
1. The Witness of John the Baptist (1:19--34).
(1) John defines his own position:
Negatively (1:19--21)--He emphatically stated that he was not the Christ, nor the person of Elijah, nor the expected prophet (Deut. 18:15, 18). The Jews erred in separating Deut. 18:15, 18 from the expected Messiah, and then looked for Elijah to return before their messiah came (Mal. 4:5; Matt. 11:14; 17:10--13; Luke 1:17). One was to come in the spirit and power, and office and with the message of Elijah. John was that person (Matt. 17:12; Luke 1:17).
Positively (1:22, 23)--He stated that he was a crying warning voice in the wilderness, calling the people to repentance, preparing the way, and heralding the Messiah. In doing so he related himself to prophecy (Isa. 40:3; also Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4). Thus John the Baptist gathered up in himself the total voice of the Old, and directed it to the Christ as the Fulfiller of that Old. Then he was to decrease, and Christ was to increase.
(2) John testified to the pre-existence and superiority of Jesus the Christ (1:24--28). In person John prepared the way for him, in message he prepared the way for him, and in baptism he prepared the way for him; but Jesus was far superior to him.
(3) All symbolism was fulfilled in Jesus (1:29, 30). The next day after that referred to in 1:19 as Jesus came along, John said "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world: (1:29). Here John relates Jesus to the entire sacrificial system begun in Eden, passing to the Paschal Lamb in Egypt, on to Sinai, and down to the day of the crucifixion. Thus the altars, lambs, and officiating priests passed away in him--John knew this.
(4) John had not met the physical Jesus before. Hence he did not know him in the flesh. He had been given the sign of the coming of the Spirit upon him in the form of a dove. John accepted the sign, and recognized the Person as the Incarnate Word; the Son of God; the Lamb of God; the Baptizer with the Holy Ghost (1:31--34).
2. The Witness of the early Disciples (1:35--51).
(1) The next day after that mentioned in Verse 29, as Jesus walked along, John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God." Two of his disciples heard him so say and followed Jesus. Jesus invited them to stay for the night or evening (One was Andrew and the other was evidently John himself) (1:35--39).
(2) Andrew found his brother Simon (called Cephas or Peter by Jesus), and introduced him to Jesus. Then the next day Jesus went to Galilee and found Philip and called him (Andrew and Peter and Philip were of Bethsaida). Philip found Nathanael (the son of Tolmai, or Bartholomew), and informed him that they had found the Messiah, or the Christ, mentioned by Moses and the prophets (Gen. 3:15; 22:18; 49:10; Jer. 23:5; 33:14, 15; Ezek. 34:23; 37:24; Dan. 9:24; Micah 5:2; Zech. 6:12; 9:9; 12:10).
(3) Nathanael wondered if any good thing could come out of a demoralized dump like Nazareth. He was told to come and see. He came and saw and said, Rabbi: Son of God, King of Israel. As Jacob saw angels ascending and descending; that is, linking heaven and earth, and earth and heaven together; so he would see heaven and earth brought closer together in the Person of the Christ (Gen. 28:12; John 1:46--51).
3. The Witness of Nature to its Lord (2:1--11). The third day from the last day mentioned (1:43). It was about four or six miles N.E. of Nazareth, and about sixty miles from where John was baptizing (Westcott). It could have been the marriage of a relative as Mary was there, and Jesus, with his disciples, had an invitation.
(1) The wine ran out, and Mary told Jesus about it. Here Jesus dropped the mother-son relationship as it was to be used no more. It was hers to order no more; but rather to obey. This is hard on Mary as an object of adoration, or Mariolatry.
(2) His hour had not come. That is, he was first to present himself as the Messiah to the rulers at Jerusalem, and then elsewhere. He was the Creator of creation as well as the sustainer of it. Hence the laws of nature are his habitual ways of doing things, but not his only way--he merely set the laws of nature aside and did it direct. Each one of the stone jars held upward of 20 gallons; hence there would be 120 gallons or more in all six jars. Probably Andrew, Peter, Philip, Nathanael, and John were present.
4. The Further Initial Manifestation of Himself in the matter of:
(1) The cleansing of the temple (2:13--15). The five disciples believed on him in Cana, and then journeyed on to Capernaum for a few days. Then they returned to Jerusalem for the Passover (2:11--13).
The temple was cleansed twice by Jesus, but three years apart. The first at the beginning of his public ministry (2:13--15), and the second at its close (Matt. 21:12-16; Mark 11:15-18; Luke 19:45-46). In the first he drove out the cattle; in the second he drove out the traders. In the first he called the temple a "house of merchandise," and in the second he called it "a den of thieves."
They were trafficking in things necessary to temple sacrifices, and profiting therefrom. They were doing so in an area dedicated to actual worship. Jesus ignored all authority, and appealed to no authority in cleansing it. He also called the temple "my Fatherís house." They challenged his right. He appealed to the forthcoming resurrection of himself by himself as all the authentication that he needed (2:18-22). Jesus was Godís Son, the temple was Godís house, and he had been sent to execute Godís will--his resurrection of himself was the highest proof possible.
(2) The new birth and the love of God (3:1-21). Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews, and a member of the Sanhedrin, and a Pharisee (3:1; 7:48-53). He saw him cleanse the temple, and heard him speak at that time. His soul was disturbed, as was Paulís later, and he sought an undisturbed midnight interview with Jesus.
Religious institutions cannot save; sacrifices as ends in themselves cannot save; institutional leaders cannot save; institutional office-holders cannot save; ritualism, knowledge, and morality cannot save. No known office carries salvation with it, nor does an office carry grace with it.
One must be born again. The physical birth is a fact, and is first. Now again one must be born. This second birth is as real as the first. Each is after its own kind--the first physical, the second spiritual. The second is as mysterious as the wind which cannot be seen physically, but its results can be experienced (3:3-12).
The sacrificial system, including the elevation of the serpent in the wilderness, all pointed to the sacrificial death of the Son of man by being lifted up on a pole. To believe with the heart in this Person, and to believe in the heart on his redemptive death brings the new birth (3:13-15).
The love of God prompted this sacrifice. To believe in this sacrifice brings life. To reject this sacrifice brings condemnation. However, God sent his Son to save and not to condemn (3:16-18). Light is given for man to walk in--that is Godís purpose; but if that light is rejected by man, condemnation is the result (3:19-21).
(3) A period in Judaea (3:22-63). Jesus and his disciples returned to Judaea (the lower Jordan), and baptized (Jesus did not, but his disciples did (John 4:2). John the Baptist had moved about 40 miles up the river Jordan and was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim (3:23). A question arose between Johnís disciples and the Jews, about purifying. The Jews evidently went to John about it. Johnís reply, in the form of an address, is strong and clear:
"I said, I am not the Christ, ...I am sent before him." He is as the bridegroom, and I am but the friend of the bridegroom. I rejoice at his success. He shall increase; I shall decrease. He is from above, and I am of this earth.
God is true, and he is from God, and speaks the words of God, and is anointed with apt measure by the Spirit. He is the Son of the Father, and the Father hath given everything into his hands.
He who believes the Son hath everlasting life, and he who does not believe the wrath of God abideth on him. He has already said that Jesus was the Lamb of God, and the One to whom all the prophets pointed and of whom they spoke.
(4) A period in Samaria (4:1-42). Jesus was obliged to leave Judaea. As he journeyed on to Galilee, he passed through Samaria, and touched the town of Sychar, and sat on Jacobís well, as his disciples went into it to buy food (4:1-6).
The Samaritans were colonists, who had been settled there by the Assyrians 700 years before (II Kings 17:6, 24, 26, 29; Ezra 4:1, 9, 10). They had accepted the Jewish religion, the Pentateuch, Jacob in the place of Abraham, and looked for the Messiah to come who would tell them all things and take over.
Jesus asked of her a drink. The Giver of all asks alms, and thus submits to the normal conditions of humanity. The woman was surprised that he, a Jew, would ask of her, a Samaritan. Jesus introduced the water of life, and revealed her private life. She then declared that there was a battle on, on where the correct place of worship was--at Jerusalem, or on this mountain. Jesus then replied that neither was right for that matter, as God was Spirit, and sought for people to worship him in spirit and in truth anywhere.
The woman then declared that when the expected Messiah would come he would tell them all things. She got the astonishing answer: "I am he, I who am speaking to you now" (4:26--NEB).
To Nicodemus Jesus had said that he was the Fulfiller of the entire Old Testament redemptive sacrificial system. It pointed to him, and found its consummation in him. He was to be lifted up and die, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness. To accept this in heart faith and repentance was to be born again. To the woman at the well he said that he was the promised and expected Messiah who was to come from God. Put the two together and we have the total scheme of redemption revealed--Jesus of Nazareth was Godís Son, who was to die upon a cross to redeem mankind.
The Samaritans received him and he stayed a short time. In connection with this experience he said that the harvest was great but the laborers were few.
(5) A period
in Galilee (4:43-54). Jesus visited Cana in Galilee where he turned
the water to wine. An officer, in the service of Herod, came
and requested healing for his son. Jesus healed the boy, fifteen miles
away in Capernaum.
The Fuller Revelation by Jesus the Christ of Himself to the Jews and the Subsequent Growth of Unbelief among them (John 5:1-12; 50).
1. Christ Proves Himself the Source of Life (5:1-47).
(1) A year before Jesus had cleansed the temple in a grand introductory sign of his messiahship; now he heals a man on the Sabbath to show that he was Lord of the Sabbath and could set it aside at will. Here the officials first resolved to kill him, although it took them two years to accomplish their design (5:18). Jesus used this miracle to sharply draw their attention to his claims and to himself.
(2) In one work both Father and Son act (5:17, 18). That is, when One acts the other acts in him, or concurrently with him--his act is the act of the other also. This calls for identity of Essence and identity of actions. The Jews understood it so; for they declared that he claimed equality and identity with the Father (5:17, 18) (to God).
(3) Not only is there an identity of works, but there is an identity of knowledge, and purpose and love (5:19-22). God sees all I do and I see all God does. I cannot act myself alone; nor yet can the Father act alone--each One of us does it, and each knows. Thus when One acts the other acts in that act. Each loves the other equally and supremely.
(4) This oneness of action is carried to what appears to be an extreme degree, but it is not: the act of resurrection is one, the will to resurrect is one, the judgment is one--in judgment the Son is the Agent but the Father wills and acts in him. Here we have a oneness in deity, and actions, and attributes (5:21-22, 25, 27-28). The Father is sometimes the Agent, and the Son is sometimes the Agent, but the one action is the action of both.
(5) To dishonor the Son is to dishonor the Father. To honor the Father is to honor the Son. One cannot accept one and reject the other, or reject one and accept the other--it is both or none. The honor and glory are one and belong to each in an equal degree (5:23, 24, 26, 30).
(6) The Essence
and attributes are one, but the persons are three--to the extent that each
can legally witness in behalf of the other:
2. Christ Declares Himself the Sustainer of Life (6:1-71).
(1) The feeding of the five thousand is mentioned in all four gospels (Matt. 14:13-33; Mark 6:32-52; Luke 9:10-17; and here in John 6:1-15). Jesus is the creator and supplier of all human needs. Also he is laying the foundation to show that he is the spiritual bread that came down from heaven.
(2) Shortly thereafter Jesus came walking on the sea during a storm, and stilled the sea with a word. The so called laws of nature are under his immediate control. He is Lord and Master of nature during time (6:16-21).
To do the work of God one must believe on him whom the Father hath sent. To see and to believe from the heart and with the heart is to have eternal life, and Jesus the Christ will raise him up at the last day (6:28, 29, 40).
Moses brought manna from heaven from God, and Jesus had just fed 5000 men by means of a miracle. This bread perished, and was merely a type of the true Bread which the Father sent from heaven in the Person of the Son. To eat his body and drink his blood was to have eternal life (6:47-59). The R.C.C. builds its system of salvation on this area. Jesus, however, meant that he came down in human flesh and blood and had that flesh broken and that blood shed, so that the spiritual Christ could take up his abode in the redeemed heart (This is Jesusí own interpretation of it) (6:60-63; this the R.C.C. ignores): "It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life" (6:63) (RSV).
Jesus inferred that it would cost them just as much to be his disciples as it was to cost him to procure salvation for them. They, too, would have to take up their cross and follow him. All but the twelve left him; they declared that they would not leave as he was the Son of God. Jesus, however, declared that one of them was to betray him (6:64-71).
3. Christ states that he is the source of truth (7:1--8:11).
(1) His unbelieving brethren. Jesus walked in Galilee because he could not walk in Jewry as the Jews sought to kill him. Then when the feast of Tabernacles arrived his own brethren taunted him about going up to the feast, as they did not believe on him at the time. Jesus declared that they were of the world and were accepted by the world; but he was not accepted, and his time had not yet come. So he did not go up with them (7:1-10).
(2) Controversy among the Jews. Jesus did later go up to the feast of Tabernacles. If Jesus missed one Passover (John 6:4) , this would have been a year and an half since the last Passover when he discussed his Deity (John 5:18), and half a year before his death at the next Passover (Hallye. B.H., p. 488).
Some said that he was a good man; others said that he was a deceiver (7:12). At the midst of the feast Jesus went into the temple and taught. They marveled that he knew letters. Jesus declared that if they knew God they would know that his words were the words of God. Some said that he had a devil and went about to kill him (7:14-19).
Ignorance, insolence, and perplexity were answered by Jesus (7:20-24; 25-29). They declared that he had a devil and they sought to kill him. Jesus reminded them that they had sought to do this 1 1/2 years ago when he had healed a cripple at the pool of Bethesda on the Sabbath day. Now Moses ordered a child circumcised on the Sabbath if that were the 8th day after birth, as the law could not be broken. Then why not heal a man on the Sabbath day? Judge righteously. The people wondered at the boldness of Jesus in teaching in public when the Jews sought to kill him. Jesus cried and said that they both knew him, and knew from whence he had come; but they could not grasp the greatness of that fact because they knew not God.
The Jewish rulers sought again to take him, but they could not. Jesus informed his hearers that his time had not arrived; so walk in the light while you have the light, as the Light is going to move on by and by (7:30-36).
On the last great day of the feast Jesus stood and cried: "...if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water: (7:37b, 38). This he spake referring to the outpouring of the Spirit, as the Spirit had not yet come as the dispensational Head, and the Witnessing Indweller in the hearts of the sanctified (7:39).
Many said, "Of a truth this is the Prophet." Others asked if Christ would come out of Galilee, when the scriptures said Bethlehem (7:40-42). They should have put the matter across the board, and they would have found out that he was to be born in one place and raised in another (Micah 5:2; Isaiah 9:1). It could also refer to an unwritten statement of a prophet well known to all. In any case no one questioned Matt. 2:23 as stating an accepted fact--(See both Clarke and Lange on Matt. 2:23).
The chief priests and scribes sent some to take him. Those sent were captivated by his words, and returned without him. They were accused of being in league with him. Many did secretly believe with the mind at least. Nicodemus came to the rescue of Jesus, and broke up the meeting. They went home undismissed (7:40-53).
(3) A woman was taken in the act of adultery--probably planned; but certainly she was watched, so they could bring her before Jesus. If Jesus forgave and set her free he would be breaking the law of Moses, as Moses had said that she was to be stoned. Jesus hesitated, evidently to bring out their animosity and hate against himself. He then wrote on the ground, and finally said that he who was without this sin of which they condemned her was to cast the first stone at her. The old men beat the young ones to the door (8:1-11). Jesus commanded her to sin no more. The spirit of the law was greater than the letter. Indeed the Giver of the law was there, and could set it aside at will.
4. Christ is the Light of the world (8:12--9:41). Again Jesus goes back to his own Deity. He insists on driving this subject home.
(1) We have a solemn formal assertion. No light outside of Jesus. To reject his claims was to remain in moral and spiritual night (8:12).
(2) The Pharisees refused to accept his unsupported claim. Again Jesus referred to the witness and testimony of the Father. In this respect he and the Father were two different Persons. He also said that his Father was their God (8:13, 19) (10:33).
(3) Controversies with different groups followed, and some partially admitted his claims (8:30-33). Others did not. Jesus said to them that he came from the Father, was from above and not of this world; they were of this world and from beneath. Jesus then said that if they did not believe that he was the One they would die in their sins. They sneeringly asked who he thought that he was. Jesus replied: "Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning" (8:25b). Jesus further said that after they had lifted up the Son of man they would know who he was (8:28).
(4) The offer of spiritual freedom to the seed of Abraham generated bitter hostility (8:33-46). They declared themselves the seed of Abraham and said that they were never in bondage to any man. At that moment they were servants of sin, and slaves to Rome, as they previously had been to Babylon, and Nineveh. They did the works of their father, the devil, and not the works of Abraham. Abraham worshipped instead of seeking to kill him. Abraham must have met Jesus or else this statement has no meaning (8:40; Gen. 18:25). The devil was and is a liar, and ye are his children (8:44). They could not believe because they were the children of the devil, and his characteristics were in his children (8:44-46).
(5) Jesus declared that they did not believe in him because they were not of God (8:47). In verse 48 we have a sneering reference to his questionable birth; then we have Jesusí reply to the supposed sneer in verse 54: "...it is my Father that honoreth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God." Jesus then said that if a man kept his sayings he would never die (spiritually). They laughed and pointed out that Abraham and the prophets all died; who did he think that he was. Then Jesus said that before Abraham was "I AM." He was the "I AM" of the burning bush and well as the One who appeared to Abraham in the prayer-battle over Sodom (8:58; Exod. 3:14). They then took up stones to stone him; but he lost himself in the crowd and went his way (8:59).
(6) For the benefit of those who had believed, Jesus demonstrated that he was the Light of the world, by restoring eye-sight to one blind from birth (9:1-7) (see ver. 5). The parents verified the fact that he was their son and born blind. The man taunted the pharisees for not knowing who Jesus was and yet he had power with God. they then cast him out of the synagogue (9:34). In this regard Jesus pointed out that the Pharisees were sinning against light (9:40, 41).
5. Christ is the Shepherd of the flock of God (10:1-21). Jesus declared himself the door and the only door of the sheepfold; the way and the only way. All who had come before were thieves and robbers, and fled when danger was near. This, too, would hold for all who would follow. There is a suggestion that a born-again person should know fakes. If this is what he meant then a lot who claim to be saved are merely saved to a person and not to Christ at all (10:3-5).
(1) Jesus again states how he would die. This time he declares that his death is to be voluntary, and his resurrection is to be by his own Personal power: "...I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 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" (10:17, 18).
(2) The Christ, in spiritual self-hood, acted as Creator in eternity before time (1:1-14); and also acted in the spiritual order during his life on earth; and that same self-hood also acted in the spiritual order while his body was in the grave, and since. There was and is thus a continuity of consciousness and identity and action--his body, when dead, was acted upon by his spiritual self-hood.
(3) The people were sharply divided: some said that he was devil-possessed; others said that that was impossible--if he was not devil-possessed then he would have to be what he claimed he was--one in Essence with God. That is now the point (10:19-21).
6. Jesus attended the feast of dedication. It was winter and cold, but the excitement of the people ran high (10:22-42).
(1) The Jews came and asked him the question: "How long does thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly" (10:24b). Jesus declared that he had told them but they would not believe. Those who wanted the truth did believe, and nothing could pluck them out of his Fatherís hand (10:28). Verse 29 suggests that they can leave his Fatherís hand; but no one else can pluck them out.
(2) Jesus then declared that he was One with the Father in attributes and Essence, but not one in Person. It is the neuter one (hen) that is used (10:30; The P.C. "John" I, Int. clvii, line 44). The Jews, knowing that he claimed one Substance with the Father, took up stones to stone him for making himself God (10:33). Jesus restated his claim to Sonship and appealed to his works. They sought again to destroy him. He escaped and went his way (10:39-42).
7. Jesus the Christ is the antagonist and Conqueror of death (11:1-57). Being the life he was also the resurrection: if he is the one he is also the other (11:26, 27).
(1) Lazarus sickened and died. Jesus was absent and remained absent from Bethany for the glory of God and for our sakes (11:4, 6, 15). Death is merely physical sleep (11:1, 14). This has nothing to do with the rational self-hood.
(2) Jesus wept (11:35) either as a result of racial sin and its results; or from sympathy for human woes and misery. He allowed Lazarus to die for the glory of God and for our good; so he probably wept from human compassion for human sufferings.
(3) There was something for them to do--they had to remove the stone. Indeed they had placed it there in the first place. Into the open tomb, at some distance, Jesus cried, "Lazarus come forth." Now Jesus had allowed him to die for our benefit; he cried loudly with a physical voice for our benefit; he prayed for our benefit (11:41-43). A little later in this same connection a voice spoke to him from heaven, and Jesus declared that that, too, was for our benefit (12:27-30).
(4) Lazarus came forth bound hand and foot. Again Jesus ordered them to loose him. They did so, and he was completely free. We have here Jesus showing himself to be the Maser and Conqueror of death. Also teaching two works of grace, and showing us that in both works there is something for us to do.
(5) After the resurrection of Lazarus the authorities finally decided to slay Jesus. Better remove one man than have the Romans take away what freedom we have left. They also appeared to realize that it was prophesied that some one man was to die for mankind. They used this as an excuse to put Jesus out of the way (11:47-53). Jesus then went up north into temporary hiding until the last Passover should arrive (11:54-57).
8. Decisive judgments, final signs, close of his ministry (12:1-51). After the feast of Dedication Jesus went north; now he returns to Bethany six days before his final Passover (12:1).
(1) Mary anointed his feet, and later they prepared a supper for him. At the supper Judas complained at the waste of the ointment. Jesus reproved him sharply (12:3-8). He apparently went to the priests and drove his bargain with them.
(2) Many people came not only to see Jesus but to see Lazarus also. The priests planned the deaths of both. Then the next day the group marched to Jerusalem. They scattered palm leaves on the way, and Jesus rode to the city on an ass, and thus fulfilled Zechariahís prophecy (Zech. 9:9).
(3) Greeks came and were told that salvation was by death: a grain of wheat died to give life; so Jesus was to be lifted up in death to bring salvation to all (12:24, 32). Among the chief rulers many believed, but did not confess him, lest they be put out of the Synagogue, for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God. In spite of head belief their hearts did not make it (12:42, 43).
The Fuller Revelation by Jesus the Christ of Himself to the Disciples and their Growth in Faith in His Messiahship (13:1-19; 42).
1. The God-Man Humiliating Himself in Self-Sacrificial Service (13:1-17). His hour had come (13:1); he had come from God, and was now to return to God (13:1b, 3b, 16:16). He veiled his essence, honor and worship, and laid aside his glory, and served them and washed their feet--including the feet of Judas (13:4-7).
(1) Judasí hour had also come. He no doubt had the money in his pocket, and the guilt was in his soul, and he said, "Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said" (Matt. 26:25; Mark 14:18-21; John 13:26). At that moment only John knew, for Jesus had whispered his reply to each one.
(2) Jesus had first said that the traitor would be one of the twelve; then one of the four dipping out of the same central bowl as he himself was dipping. Then Judas felt that the next step would be to name him. He arose hastily and left. At that moment not one of the twelve knew but John.
2. The faithless has now left, and the faithful alone remain. At that moment there was not a hypocrite in the Church. I suppose that in the upper room at Pentecost there was not a hypocrite in the Church (13:18-30).
3. Valedictory addresses then follow, as the atmosphere appeared to clear when Judas left (13:31-38). However, time is now limited by the actions of Judas--all addresses to his own must be finished before Judas returns.
(1) In the 14th chapter we have what we call the many mansioned chapter (1-10). Jesus also again related himself to the Father in essence and works (11-14). Love and obedience are placed together, and the coming of the Comforted is introduced (14:26). The conflict between the world and the child of God is also referred to (14:27ff).
(2) In the 15th chapter we have the vine and the branches chapter--one of the great areas on heart cleansing by the removal of the unwanted. The dead branches, and the sap draining branches were to be removed (15:1-9). The bond between God and Christ, and then between Christ and his own is emphasized. The unbridgeable rift between the world and the child of God is strongly underscored (15:18ff).
(3) In the 16th chapter we have what we call the Trinity chapter. Jesus introduce the subject in ch. 14:26. Jesus was to send him from the Father. He would convict the world of sin in its attitude to the Father and to the Son (16:8ff). In 16:16 Jesus settles the matter for all time as to where he was during the time that his physical body was in the tomb. The power of prayer in his name is then emphasized. Much here is hard to grasp because it is conditioned by previous statements.
(4) Again Jesus emphasized his union with the Father, and again he stated that he had come form the Father and went to the Father. How anyone can argue as to where Jesus was during those three days is hard to explain (16:27, 28).
4. The High Priestly intercession (17:1-26). This is probably the greatest prayer ever listened to by man. Much is in it for our benefit. The glory is one; the life-giving power is one; both work in perfect harmony; the manifestation of the Father is finished. He then prays for his own that they may be kept from the world and sanctified wholly. They were to share in the task, and in the reward. It is also interesting to notice Jesusí way of referring to Deity or to the Father here (17:24-26).
5. The Betrayal (18:1-11). In John 17 Jesus had prayed for himself, for his disciples, and for the Catholic church as a whole. Now the ceiling comes down as it were. Judas came with a band and identified him. Jesus also identified himself to them: "I am he." Peter was willing to die fighting for him, but that was not the way it was to be accomplished.
6. The Double trial (18:12-19:16). We have here the preliminary examination before Annas, and the weakness and fall of Simon Peter (18:12-27). The high priest questioned Jesus, and Jesus told him to ask those who had heard him. An officer near by smote Jesus on the face for so speaking to the high priest (18:19-22).
(1) The Roman trial presupposes the decision of the Sanhedrin. This trial is at the Praetorium. The Jews would not go in lest they be defiles. Hence, Pilate is in and out (18:28).
(2) Without the Praetorium: Pilate sensed their evil desires, and seemed to dare them to defy Roman law (18:28-32).
(3) Within the Praetorium: Jesus states that he is King in a far deeper sense than Pilate realized. His kingdom, however, was a spiritual one, and not of this wicked order. In this sense Christ was not in opposition to Rome (18:33-38).
(4) Without the Praetorium: Pilate declared Jesus faultless, and then suggested the Barabbas-proposal (18:39-40).
(5) Within the Praetorium: Pilate had him scourged, and crowned with thorns, and further mocked him; and then turned him over to the Jews to have him crucified (19:1-6).
(6) Pilate further protested their demands; but they declared that Jesus had claimed to be the Son of God, in the sense that made him God himself (19:7).
(7) The Self-Surrender to death (19:17-22). As a lamb, the Lamb of God was led to death. It was a self-surrender; for he gave himself, and laid down his life voluntarily.
(8) The Crucifixion (19:23-37). John gives the writing on the cross as JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. John states that it was written in three languages--Hebrew, Greek, Latin (19:19-21). John also tells us of the dividing of the clothes of Jesus, and the gambling over the robe (19:23). John also gives us three of the seven words: "Woman behold thy son...Behold thy mother" (19:26, 27); "I thirst" (19:28, 29); "It is finished" (19:30). They did not break his legs, but they did pierce his side--they thus fulfilled the paschal lamb type in Egypt, and also the rending of the vail type in the temple (19:31-37). See also with regard to John 19:34; Zech. 13:1; Zech. 12:10; Ex. 12:46; Num. 9:12.
(9) The Burial (19:38-42). Joseph of Arimathaea and Nicodemus--both heart believers (19:38; 7:51-53), went boldly to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus and then buried it in a nearby garden tomb belonging to Joseph.
The Resurrection and Related Events (20:1-21:23).
1. The Empty Tomb (20:1-10). His death was amply authenticated, and accepted by Rome, by his enemies, and by the disciples. His resurrection was by himself wielding divine power. Thus the power of the Father and the Spirit raised him, but he himself was the acting Agent. In the act of resurrection his body was spiritualized, but his glory was still veiled until Pentecost (John 7:39). Rome believed in the resurrection, for it accepted the fact; his enemies believed, for they paid soldiers to lie about it; his friends were the last to believe and the hardest to convince of the fact.
2. The Living Lord (20:11-29). The tomb was empty; angels did appear and testify to the fact; him they saw and touched as well as did Thomas (20:24-29; I John 1:1).
3. The Correlation of Faith and Understanding (20:30-21:23). Much else happened not written; but these are written that all might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God (20:30, 31).
(1) John tells us about the great breakfast on the shore of the lake, and then the great haul of 153 fish. We then have Peterís confession of his failure. Thrice he denied, thrice he confessed--he had to retrace his steps (21:15-17).
(2) We then
have Christ telling Peter how he (Peter) would leave this world (21:18-24).
John then identifies himself as the writer and as one who knew having been
present throughout (21:24).
The Epilogue Sustaining the Prologue (20:1-21:25). Particularly 20:31. John started with God clothing himself in human flesh or in a human nature; and, in that nature tenting or tabernacling among us. Then he winds up the same way by stating that this Person called Jesus of Nazareth was God in flesh called the Son of God. Paul is also in perfect agreement with this (Col. 1:19; 2:9).
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