Lesson 17 Lecture – Chapter 13:1-30
It has been interesting as we go through these chapters of John; Jesus giving his farewell discourse to his disciples. I had not thought about it this way, but …. Synoptic Gospels (having the same view) are Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is thought that John wrote his gospel 20-30 years later. I remember Christie, our leader, talking about a rock tumbler, how it spins and tumbles until the rock is smooth and thoroughly processed. This was John, one who thought and mulled over all he had seen with Jesus before actually writing it down. He might have overlapped a few things the other Gospels had written, but he usually took a different approach in his writing.
Each of the gospels talked about the Feeding of the 5,000, yet in John he teaches us about the Bread of Life Teachings of Jesus. Usually when one thinks of the Last Supper, they think of communion. John talks about the love Jesus had for his disciples, and he shows his love for them through the washing of their feet, removing all sin. He is showing us the Why and the How. Jesus tried to teach us things over and over, the theology taught was truth and showing his humility and servanthood. Wow! How may times have I wanted to be perfect, have everything perfect, but I know it will never happen because I’m a sinner. Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us a much needed cleansing! Just to process and internalize all that Jesus has provided for me, allows me the freedom to go out and do the exact same thing his disciples did… spread the Glory of Jesus and try to reflect His character. It is not always easy to do. One can never go wrong with those characteristics. (Heavenly Father, help me to comprehend and live as You want me to!)
We all know what the picture of The Last Supper looks like. The pictures below are of the building they believe was where The Last Supper may have taken place.
John 13:1-5 1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
The love Jesus shows for his disciples is evident in his washing their feet. He is showing servanthood, and he asks that they serve one another. I would say that the washing of their feet is a symbol of Jesus washing sins away. In those days, foot washing was important, not only did they wear sandals for comfort, but their feet would get dirty quickly. They didn’t have blacktop to walk on. However, there were servants who usually did those things, and Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet, but Jesus told him he would have no “share” or “part” of Him if he did not wash them. (I think Jesus was telling his disciples then and there that it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, you are equally important and to love one another.)
As Christie said, “As believers, washing daily in our spiritual walk, we sometimes “step” in it.” That is why it is so important to continue to repent of our daily sins in order to walk close with God.
A one-time bath brings Union with God through Jesus’ sacrifice and that cannot be broken. When one does not confess their daily sins to God, one is spoiling that relationship and communication with him. When we confess, He faithfully cleanses us so we can grow, becoming more Christ-like, and continue to walk with him.
Principle #1 Jesus’ cleansing provides union & communion.
Questions to ask of self: Do I know both kinds cleansing? Have I had a bath? Am I really a new creation? When was the last time I came clean with God? Reminder – It is a daily cleansing of repentance, to continue being close to Jesus.
John 13:15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
It is something the disciples may not have realized what it meant until after Jesus died on the cross and the Holy Spirit came into them.
In our world today, happiness seems to mean it is all about others serving you. Jesus is showing us that the real joy is all about serving others. Being genuine in our love, strengthen one another, and serve in humility. Remember what John The Baptist said? “I must become less, so that he can become greater.”
John 13:16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
I believe Jesus is telling us that no one is greater than the other, referring to himself as the messenger sent by God. God is greater than all, but as humans we are all equal! Taking care of one another, love one another, mirroring exactly what Jesus did and was, is all he wants of us. Unconditional love and humility is shown here to a depth we may find difficult to understand. God knew this when he sent Jesus to die for us and wash away all sin. Even when Peter protests, Jesus is telling them all, “Unless I wash you spiritually clean, you are not a part of me.” If that doesn’t make one sit up and take notice, I don’t know what will.
Principle #2 Jesus’ servanthood provides an example for believers to follow.
Questions to ask myself: Where am I going beyond just knowing and stepping out that I am a servant to God? What has been my response if He directs me to do something? What excuses am I giving?
As suggested: Get over it! Take your eyes off of you, and humbly serve.
John 13:20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
Jesus refers to all those who trust and believe in the disciples’ teachings. He determines who to send out, who will share the word of the Lord. That includes you and me! You only have to trust in Jesus, go forth and spread the word to all!
John 13:21 After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Jesus knows Judas will betray him and his heart is saddened. He knows Satan is at the core of all evil. Jesus dips a piece of bread and gives it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. Jesus knows all that goes on in our thoughts and minds at ALL times. Do we really get that? It is only when we can see any part of evil in ourselves will we be reminded, and understand, the enormity of Satan’s power. Yet Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, has much more power! Let Jesus be the one to take over your thoughts, actions, stress, worry. There truly is peace when you let Him take over.
Psalm 41 is a song about betrayal. It isn’t about Judas, but how Jesus was betrayed. On the “inside”, Judas had never taken a bath. Yet Jesus loved Judas enough and he never let the other disciples know of his betrayal. Can you imagine the shock on the other disciple’s faces as Jesus handed that piece of bread to Judas. Instead of Judas responding with love and thankfulness to Jesus, doesn’t it make you wonder what the look was like on Judas’ face as he yielded to Satan?
In John, he often refers to light and darkness. Here Judas got up and left the presence of the “Light of the World”.
Principle #3 Judas’ betrayal provides a warning for all who reject Jesus.
Scripture tells us that helping those who are less fortunate is doing God’s work. He chose you! Yet in Psalms 41:9 ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me’, is when one turns their back on another, or hurts them (with words or evil thoughts) that is when the enemy has entered, trying to pull you from Jesus’ blessing. Just as Judas turned his back on Jesus and betrayed him. Can you imagine how devastated Jesus was, knowing Judas would betray him? Even gossiping about another could be determined as one not being trusted to carry out God’s plan. It is when one allows Satan to take over, not walking in the “light” of the Lord. Pray, pray, pray to keep Satan at bay! It is only when we surround ourselves with the light of Jesus that we are safe. I am learning that even though I have Jesus in my heart, and mind, and thoughts throughout the day, it does not take much for Satan to attack. That is when I say, “Go away, stand back, you evil one!”
Think about this: Judas was on a path of spiritual darkness, paved with choices. He had a choice, just as we do! How easy his choice could have been for him to love as Jesus did, and love others. He rejected the signs and miracles of Jesus’ deity. He made the choice to steal, deceive, and to betray. Satan tempted him to do so. Satan is a prowler. Satan knows who to tempt in the big things, because he knew who had fallen in the little things.
We are strengthened to make the best out of the big choices when we practice in the little ones. Amen!
John 13:27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him.
I think Judas was weak, choosing to let Satan in; and in his weakness Satan took over, now dominating him completely. There is no escaping the darkness of Satan once he is allowed in. One must always be on their guard, watching and praying and thinking only of The Lord. Have you ever had a thought pop into your head and wonder where it came from because it was not something you would even think about? Satan is so deceitful, he will try anything to bring you down. Can’t you just feel the darkness, the hate, the EVIL when talking about him? Yet, when you trust and talk of Jesus, the love overpowers everything else within you! You can feel the love to the very core of your being!
I cannot tell you how many times I have listened to my Pastor give a sermon and it is as if he is speaking to me! I know it is the Holy Spirit telling me that God knows! He is aware of everything and asking me to change my ways. Do I do it? Or, do I repeat the same thing over and over again? Don’t let evil enter! Remember when Jesus tells the woman in John 8:11 And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.” He is telling us he forgives us, to confess your sins to God, accept this gift of salvation, and sin no more. How simple it is, but that nagging, evil Satan will continue to plague you if you let him! It is a simple choice whether you listen to Satan or not!
Never fear, Jesus always knows what is going on. He is with you! He knows your thoughts, your feelings, everything. He knows when Satan calls you. Jesus knows all.
Lesson 18 Lecture – Chapter 13:31-38 – 14:14
Here was a wonderful lesson on love! Judas left and Jesus still has more to teach his disciples. The main thing Jesus wanted them to know was that the cross IS his purpose and God’s will. He talks about the wonderful words like exalted, honor, and splendor states. He lets them know that where he is going they cannot come. Yet, all the disciples hear is the fact that he is leaving them!
Do you think they felt abandoned? His new command was: Love one another as I have loved you. What he is saying is to love as He loves, humble and sacrificial. He is about to teach us to love others as He loves. There is no other love like Jesus’.
As believers we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Fellowship with others is a blessing. If we show all these “True Jesus symptoms” it will enable others to get a glimpse of how we love one another.
Yes, God transforms us and He asks me, who do I need to love?
Peter is so focused on Jesus leaving, he didn’t hear him say, “You will follow later, but not now.” As I ponder this I think of how to tell others who are stressed and crying out for help so they really understand what I’m saying. How can I clearly tell them that by relying on Jesus, and not on their own strength, eventually it all clears itself up and they are left with a peace within. Worry does not help anything, except allowing the evil one to creep into their mind with doubt. If it is God’s will, what will be will be. Leave the worry to Him who knows all! Once again, the concept is so simple, but so difficult to comprehend. I’ve been there! I don’t want to fall in that hole ever again!
Principle #1 Believers are called to love as Jesus did, through reliance on Him.
Learn to look at others as God sees them. They are no different than you. That saying, “It’s what is on the inside, not on the outside.” How true… we just have to see past the outside.
“Human tendency is to be blinded by worry.” Isn’t that a fact!
Before Jesus’s crucifixion, we find one disciple who betrayed and one who denied. Jesus knows he is going to die, but the remarkable thing is, he continues to comfort them! A believer will glance at the circumstances and gaze at God. Jesus continues to tell the disciples (and us) to trust. Faith in Jesus is our help when we don’t understand!
I like this most of all from the lecture: The One who loves and knows me more perfectly than I can imagine; He has provided me with a perfect place. This is my REWARD as a believer and follower of Jesus!
Jesus then tells them: John 13:36 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”
Unfortunately, the disciples do not understand because they only see the worldly view, and are not thinking spiritually. (Raise your hand if you can relate.) Jesus then tells them: “I am the way, the truth, and the light. We are separated from God because of our sins (a choice made for all of us by Adam and Eve long ago) so we NEED Jesus’ righteousness. What many of us do not understand is that it is a gift from God, that we can receive.
The truth is knowing Him. Remember: The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome The Light. No one can be reconciled with God, except through Him, Our Savior.
The real question is, “Why did God make a way to come to him at all?” It all had to do with — His Love!
Principle #2 God’s people need not fear; they can take refuge in Jesus and His promises.
Jesus tells us over and over again that he promises to return for His followers, so we must trust in Him and wait! (There, here comes patience again!)
Question to ask myself: How can his promises strengthen me in my current circumstances?
John 14:8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
When Jesus said this, he is revealing The Father’s perfect deity. (Divine being, supreme being). One has to wonder if Philip and the others believed in the evidence on the works themselves. (Walking on water, raising Lazarus from the dead, turning water into wine.)
When Jesus was gone, who would encourage the disciples? Would they be like lost sheep without a shepherd? Yet, Jesus did not leave them alone. Their work would not stop when he died. They didn’t know it yet, but the Holy Spirit would become their shepherd.
Principle #3 If you want to know God, look at Jesus Christ.
There is no truer statement than the following: You can never know Him enough! Until we see him in heaven, face to face. For now, you can get to know Him better through Jesus Christ!
He knows me completely; He knows my needs and my heart. It’s all a matter of trusting Him, for He will keep His promises.
Lesson 19 Lecture – Chapter 14:15-31
I will always remember that Jesus promises all. Just as he promised the disciples years ago that he would not leave them alone. Instead, he gave them the Holy Spirit, another advocate, who would be with them forever.
In our notes today it says: In some ways, trying to explain the Trinity is like trying to explain the beauty of a rainbow to someone who is colorblind. Isn’t that the truth, the complete understand is beyond our comprehension. Oh, we grasp the bits and pieces, but we all have limits of knowledge. (Truly, until you bring Jesus into your heart, allowing the Holy Spirit to indwell in you, one will never understand the bits and pieces of the Trinity, nor will you ever understand it all.) Just thinking of the love God and His Son had for us, to enable us to experience true spiritual awareness, only through The Holy Spirit.
God’s thoughts are so far above us, the Triune God infinite (limitless), but we are finite. He reveals to us what we need, when we need it. The rest will come when it is our time. It is impossible to accept God’s entire logic and his revelation.
To think that the disciples actually experienced seeing the Holy Spirit, among all the authority and majesty of Jesus. I cannot even begin to fathom this. It would have been overpowering to the mind, to say the least.
The doctrine of the Trinity proclaims: There is only ONE God. He exists eternally as three distinct persons, fully and equally God. Yes, we love, we serve, we worship, and we enjoy the three: God, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit.
The Bible tells us right away that the One God is a unity of persons in Genesis 1:2 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. The Spirit of God appears in the second verse of the first chapter.
God uses plural “us” and “our” often. Genesis 1:26 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness.
Genesis 1:27 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
I had never thought of it like this, but as some of our notes say, even in the Old Testament there are “shadows” of the entire Trinity throughout it. In Isaiah 6:8 8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
Basically, in the Old Testament, God reveals himself little by little; (from notes: some saying like a dimly lit room that is furnished beautifully.) The dim light creates the shadows of who He is. It is when Jesus entered that the Light shone. Can’t you just visualize this? Now when I go into a dimly lit room, I shall always think of this. Light equals Christ, The Son.
Jesus is distinct from God, The Son of God, as is the Holy Spirit distinct from The Father and The Son. Another thing I never realized, but the entire Trinity was there for Jesus’ baptism. I guess I had never thought about it like that. First, the Holy Spirit descended outwardly upon Jesus like a dove. Then God was heard to say: This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.
Matthew 3:16-17 16 And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17 and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased
Jesus always referred to the Holy Spirit as a person. He… never “it”. As previously said, no one can really explain adequately, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. He is One God in three persons. Yet, The Father is fully God, The Son is fully God, and The Spirit is fully God.
Here is where we must trust the Holy Spirit to make clear to us who God is, and to help others understand this. We are not meant to understand all.
Love this summary in our notes:
God the Father plans creation and redemption.
God the Son executes God’s design at creation and in respect to redemption.
The Holy Spirit applies creation and redemption.
Plans, Executes, Applies. Awesome and thought-provoking. They can never be separated and they always work together, as One.
One cannot not justify obedience, but obedience as a believer makes you more likely to be “like” our Savior. It is the Holy Spirit who enables to love and obey. As our notes said, The Spirit is the Father’s gift through His Son. Jesus clearly stated that he would send the Holy Spirit from the Father. The words “give you” shows us that The Father and The Son personally gave us another “Advocate”. All believers are given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is a divine person; just as Jesus is the exact same as The Father, so the Holy Spirit is exactly like the Son. Jesus came to be with the disciples, but the Holy Spirit came to indwell in all believers. He would never leave us, but was here to stay, to comfort and help us forever.
Think about all the names of the Holy Spirit: Our Advocate, Helper, Comforter, Legal Counselor. The Spirit of Truth, In Greek, the word Parakleton means someone who comes alongside to help and strengthen. (That is who the Spirit of truth” is! Our guidance to love and obey Christ, The Son, God, The Father.) Having the Holy Spirit indwell in you, gives you the strength to carry on in difficult situations, in sadness, and in fear and affliction.
Principle #1: The Holy Spirit matures believers and empowers us to live boldly for the Glory of God. It is a ‘heart’ decision.
Before the disciples could understand who the Spirit was, Jesus had to die, rise and return to Heaven. The Spirit of Truth came to instruct and teach the inner deeper meaning of Jesus’ words. Another thing to remember, it is the Holy Spirit who gives me the insight into the words of the Bible. Without the Holy Spirit, I know nothing and cannot dig deeper into the meaning of God’s word.
The Bible, which comes alive to all of us who hear The Spirit, it makes us want more and more of Jesus’ Word.
It is those unbelievers who cannot know the person of The Holy Spirit. You will not know him unless YOU choose to receive Christ. Without Christ, the unbelievers know nothing, and can never understand, but live only for the spirit of the world. Without the Spirit, God’s truth is foolish to those who do not know him. When I read the Bible, and I don’t always understand what God is saying, I leave it and then let the Holy Spirit do the work, who eventually guides me to the truth, bringing God so alive I can’t even explain it. I feel so rejuvenated and the love that pours forth from within is truly a God thing.
The disciples could not quite understand why Jesus had to leave, but eventually they would know all: Jesus is in His Father, and believers are in Him, and He in us.
Did you know that the Holy Spirit came seven weeks later to the disciples? I thought he had come to the disciples when Jesus passed. They finally grasped the truth that Jesus was in the Father and they were in Him, and He was in them.
Sometimes it is difficult to grasp Jesus’ commands, but one thing I did learn, if I hold on to them, treasure them, make them a part of me, I will forever have his commands in me. Let others know that you consider all of scripture The Truth from the Holy Spirit and what God wants for me in life.
Question to ask self: Do I read and reread scripture until I understand it? Do I listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me about God’s Word, and most important do I apply it to my life?
The more time you spend with Jesus, the more you begin to know him on a personal basis, internally, which enables you to interact with others on a different level totally. You no longer see negativity within your life; you see as Jesus saw the world. Knowing He could not fix everyone or thing, but trying hard to make others know Him to their fullest potential, saving them for bliss in eternity forever.
Open the Bible and let the Spirit make His Words come alive.
Just think, when someone asks if you can trust the Gospels; there is not just one account of Jesus’ mission on earth, but written in four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. How can anyone disregard or argue with that? They cover Jesus’ full three years of discipleship. It is not just the memory of The Word of God, it is the fact that The Holy Spirit will guide you as you read and learn! I get it now! My friend, Donna, used to say, “You are trying too hard; let the Holy Spirit guide you as you read.” Amen to that!
From our notes: When the Holy Spirit lives in your heart and you yield to His control, He will bring to your mind what Jesus has spoken to you in His Word. (Father, help me to know you completely, through the Holy Spirit at all times. To learn your Word, and your desires for me! Amen)
When I am troubled and I turn to Jesus, there is a peace that envelops me to no end. It is as if He lifted the huge weight from my shoulders, whispering, “All is well, with me by your side.” As it stated in the notes: Shalom means tranquility or safety. Isn’t that exactly what you feel when you have Jesus in your heart? I know it is for me. It is Jesus who restored and enlarged Shalom into one full of blessing and comfort. Yes, there is going to be trouble in our lives. Yet, Jesus assures us with a gift of his own peace – the state of his own inner being. This is given and can be received in the darkest circumstances.
Jesus’ peace is like an oxygen mask that supplies you with His own atmosphere in the midst of poisonous pollution. (Taken from notes.)
When we trust and depend on Him, He gives us the inner peace needed to get over the fear, or whatever the circumstance. Turn to him, always, when overcome with doubt.
Principle #2: Only Jesus gives perfect peace.
Jesus completed the work His Father sent him here to do. Unless he went to His Father, exalted in Heaven, the Holy Spirit would not return to dwell within others. He teachers us, pours out His love into our hearts by The Holy Spirit. The world offers a cheap replacement for peace but it is only temporary, not like the peace from Our Savior. What promise of His, will you turn to in times of crisis?
Darkness is the prince of this world. Satan is no match for Jesus. He promised the disciples and all of us, that he would not leave us alone, he would give us someone to stand against evil. It was at the cross that Jesus broke the power of Satan over God’s people forever. Had he not died on the cross, we would still be wallowing in our sin completely surrounded with the evil one. It is the darkness one must avoid at all cost. The Father will bring us eventually into the New Kingdom, to live with Him for eternity.
From the notes: The Lord chose to allow the prince of this world to come “so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me.”
Only the Trinity is perfectly transcendent. They need nothing, they are high above us, completely holy, God with us and in us. God is unchangeable. Just think of this: Before He created angels or humanity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit delighted in mutual, unchanging love. He is one God in three persons, one mind and will, determined to save this broken people and world.
Read Book of Acts, which records how the Holy Spirit transformed fearful and weak disciples into people who stood for Christ. Just as he does today. This can happen to you, when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you, as a believer. He will stimulate you from within. He will give you a heart that cries out to Him at all times.