Archive for the ‘John’ Category

John 17:20-26 Jesus Prays For All Believers 

July 21, 2016

Jesus finishes His verbal prayer:

[20] “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,

He was talking about US!

[21] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

The oneness about which Jesus is talking is all of us having the same spirit, the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we all think the same-although I wish there was more of that kind of oneness…

[22] I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one:
[23] I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 

When we are all on the same page-literally-about evangelism, worship, and righteous living, we ARE a light in a dark world. The problem is that we have diluted the Gospel down to having Jesus forgive our sins…that’s it. There is no followship, no discipleship, and no fruit from many who say they came to Christ. All we can do is be faithful and preach a correct message. 

 [24]  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

BEST VERSE! It explains Jesus’ passion and plan for us while giving us a glimpse of His former glory. 

[25] “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. [26] I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” 

I love the word, “continue;” it tells us that Jesus will be interacting with His disciples (and us) revealing the Father to us as we go. His love is to overflow in our hearts to those around us, especially to those who need Jesus! 

John 17:13-19 More Prayer For His Disciples 

July 20, 2016

Jesus prays some powerful things for us!

[13] “I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.

We are to have the full measure of His joy! Wow! What does that mean? Love, joy and peace are given to us by God. They actually radiate from the throne to us and through us. We are conduits of His love, joy and peace to others all the while experiencing them as they flow through us. SO LET THEM FLOW!!! 🙂

[14] I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.

People hate what is different from them, especially if it is better. We must remember that the vast majority of people are NOT interested in the Gospel and prefer the dark (John 3:19-20). Be ready. 

[15] My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.

We are Christ’s hands and feet and mouthpiece to the world. It is His design, so we go with it. Staying under the umbrella of God’s protection is important. 

[16] They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.

(Reiteration; identification)

[17] Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

There it is: We are sanctified (set apart and made holy) be the Word of God. Let’s read it, study it, meditate on it, and obey it!

[18] As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

Jesus’s Plan for the Church. 

[19]  For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

As God, Jesus was able to sanctify Himself. As He did, He also sanctified His disciples. I don’t know if He sanctified them before He went to the cross or by way of the cross. What do you think?

John 17:6-12 Jesus Prays For His Disciples 

July 19, 2016

Jesus prays a summary/supplication for the disciples. He is speaking aloud for their benefit (John 11:42). 

Summary-[6] “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.

[7] Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you.

[8] For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me.

Supplication-[9] I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

Summary-[10] All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

[11] I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. SupplicationHoly Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one.

Summary-[12]  While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is confirmation of His intercession for them. He does for us, as well:

Hebrews 7:24-25 “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood.
[25] Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”

He also lets them know that they belong to God. Comforting words! Jesus prays for their protection from the evil one. Staying under the umbrella of His protection is key to victorious Christian living and a “happy” life. Judas didn’t…  He also prayed that they may have unity just like Jesus has with the Father. What a new concept! Think about it: Israel’s entire existence has been because of the Sinai Experience. Look at how they perceived God:

Exodus 19:12-13 “Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not go up the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death.

[13] He shall surely be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on him. Whether man or animal, he shall not be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they go up to the mountain.”

Intimacy with God the Father was a new concept. They didn’t really understand until Pentecost. WE understand it, and teach it-maybe too well. Maybe we need to teach the fear of the Lord more often. 

More tomorrow!

John 16:1-5 Jesus Begins to Pray

July 18, 2016

This prayer of Jesus reveals to us the unique relationship between the Father and Him. If a person were to read just this prayer-with assistance and guidance-he would get a real flavor of the Person of God the Son, Jesus. 

[17:1] After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

It’s all about God the Father and bringing glory to Him. 

[2] For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

Wow! Even while He was here on Earth! I am reminded of the young man being lowered through the roof on the mat (Mark 2:1-12); Jesus forgave his sins and then healed him. 

[3] Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

This is a key salvation verse. It’s not about what you do; it’s about Who you know. 

[4] I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

What was Jesus’ work? He trained His disciples! He set the example and now we are to continue His Plan. “Those who get it, teach.”

[5]  And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

 “Before the world began–” WOW! Take a look at these verses:

John 2:2 He was with God in the beginning. 

Philippians 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped [retained]…

Revelation 13:8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world. 

And now the big one:

John 17:24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.

Want to know Jesus’ heart? It’s right here! He wants us to be with Him in Glory. “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” We really do have ten thousand reasons to bless His holy name!

John 16:28-33

July 17, 2016

John 16:28 “I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

Even though they finally understood, it was still a wild ride for the next three days–and then 40 days…and then 10 more to Pentecost…and then…

Jesus warned them one more time about what will happen and says, [33]  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Not a truer statement could be made, and aren’t you glad?! Let’s take heart today and enjoy His presence in our lives. 

John 16:16-27 Grief to Joy!

July 16, 2016

Jesus uses the word, “joy,” four times in this passage:

[20] I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.

[21] A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.

[22] So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy

[24] Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.

I think He wants us to have joy! It’s the part of the relationship that He gives to us (along with peace and love). We actually channel His joy-the joy that He is feeling!

Another neat revelation is what Jesus has to say about asking in His name and actually asking the Father. Now, don’t get hung up on procedures; you may talk to any of the Three and they hear you. It’s more about understanding our relationship with them and how Jesus was changing it and transforming it into something beautiful and intimate. 

[23] In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

[25] “Though I have been speaking figuratively, a time is coming when I will no longer use this kind of language but will tell you plainly about my Father.
[How? Through the Spirit]

[26] In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf.
[27] No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

John 6:29 says, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” Because we have believed in Jesus, God Himself loves us! 

Knowing God loves us fills us with the Joy of Jesus! Keep it and share it at the same time. It’s catching…


John 16:1-15 More Work of the Holy Spirit

July 15, 2016

This chapter is difficult to digest. Better to take it one verse at a time:

[1] “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray.”

I love the fact the Jesus knows them (and us) so well! My version says, “fall away.” Both indicate a wandering off-course, although one may be more extreme than the other. 

[2] “They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.”

I’m thinking Saul/Paul. He began the “eradication ” soon after Pentecost.  

[3] “They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.”

But even then, they can be saved. Paul was!

[4] “I have told you this, so that when the time comes you will remember that I warned you. I did not tell you this at first because I was with you.
[5] But now I am going to him who sent me,”

Jesus knew what to mention and when. Prudence IS one of the seven pillars of wisdom (Prov. 9:1 using 1:2-5).

“yet none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?'[6] Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief.”

 I think Jesus was acknowledging their grief. It was a natural emotion to His news. Neither could they grasp just what was taking place. 

[7]”But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

This verse is the entire reason for Jesus’ visit to Earth! He wanted to change the way our relationship with Him works. 

[8] “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to convict–not ours! Look at how He convicts:

[9] in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
(See 15:22)

[10] in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer;
(He truly IS GOD!)

[11] and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.
[One of a series of judgments of Satan. The first was being cast down from Heaven (much is described in Rev. 12), now this one, then the bottomless pit (20:1-3), and then the  lake of fire (Rev. 20:10)].

 [12] “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.
[13] But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.  

I bolded the best part. Of all that we read today, let us grab onto this: God is NOT distant, nor is He vague. He loves us with an everlasting love and wants intimate fellowship with us ALL THE TIME! Hence, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

[14] He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.
[15] All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you. 

These two verses explain the Trinity and how that relationship works: the Father gives to the Son who gives to the Spirit who gives to us. The Spirit is not less than God, but He is the Motion of God and is a separate entity, which is how God can live in us. We could spend an entire week just on what it means to have the Motion (Power, Dynamo) of God inside us!

Aren’t you glad God had all of this figured out?!!!


John 15:26-27 The Work of the Holy Spirit

July 14, 2016

Something has been missing from our evangelism program and I believe it is found right here:

[26] “When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
[27] And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

When it comes to sharing the Gospel, this passage puts it into perspective for me. It is the Spirit who does the calling; if He doesn’t make Jesus known to the person, then no amount of sharing on my part will change his mind. Indeed, he cannot unless the Spirit opens his eyes and ears to hear the Gospel. 

Also, I don’t have to “sell Jesus.” Instead, I put forth the Gospel:

  1. Christ left His throne in heaven to come to earth and be born of a virgin, 
  2. He lived a sinless life as our example, 
  3. died on a cross in our place taking our sins with Him to the grave, 
  4. three days later rising from the dead defeating sin and death for us and was seen by over 500 people over a period of forty days,
  5. and then ascended back to His throne with the Father promising to come back for us when the time is right. 

Paul quoted the Apostles on this one (I included #1 and 2 above because we deal with people with virtually no knowledge of Christ and His mission):

1 Cor. 15:1-8 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.

[2] By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

 [3] For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

[4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

[5] and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.

[6] After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.

[7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,

[8] and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
[This verse is where we attest that we have met Him, as well]. 

At this point in the conversation we ask, “Are you interested in hearing more?” If so, give your testimony. If not, well…move on. But pray for them that they will fall under the conviction of the Holy Spirit. A seed of the Gospel was planted; from here it depends on what kind of soil it landed. 

John 15:18-25 The World Hates the Disciples

July 13, 2016

[19] If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

Be warned. This world is not fair. You may be the perfect fit for that character in the school play, or the best candidate on the election ballot, but you are a Follower of Jesus and you smell bad to them. 

2 Corinthians 2:15-16 “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
[16] To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task?”

The world will hate us and not even know why. Did you know that when you received Christ you took a vow of obscurity? You also took one of poverty and chastity. God MAY bless you and make you great in these areas, but more likely not. 

“If the persecuted Me, they will persecute you.” (v.20) Be ready. Understand that it is coming; know it; own it; glory in it! Peter and John and the other apostles did:

Acts 5:40-41 His speech persuaded them. They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.

[41] The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

 One more thing: They may hate you, they may hate Jesus, but the line is drawn when they reject the Spirit. 

Matthew 12:31-32 And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven.

[32] Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

Why is this so? Because it is the Spirit who woos, who calls, and who comes in and saves. Without Him THERE CAN BE NO SALVATION.

Let’s be like the apostles and rejoice when persecution comes because we will have been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.

John 15:5-17 More About Vines and Branches

July 12, 2016

[5] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

 This verse is a reiteration of verse 4, it’s just worded differently. Verse 7 is a reiteration of 14:14. Verse 8 is new: what IS the Father’s glory? That we bear much fruit. What fruit? The fruit of obedience, of belief in Him, of trust and faith. Remaining in Him requires all of these. 

There is more fruit: Love and Joy. As we remain in His love (and enjoy His presence), we have love to share. Keeping His commands is how we show our Lord that we love Him (9-10). What is the result of remaining in His love? JOY! COMPLETE and OVERFLOWING!

“Now, armed with My love and My joy, love each other as I have loved you.” [12]

[13] Jesus states His intention. 

[14] Then He changes the relationship-they have graduated and are now considered friends! 

[15] Jesus has revealed everything necessary for the disciples to carry on the work of the Father. 

Verses 16-17 are a recap of 1-15. We have been chosen to carry on His work by trusting in His name to love one another in His fashion. He has promised to not only be WITH us, but IN us!

It doesn’t get any better than that this side of heaven!