The Seven “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John: “I Am the Resurrection and the Life.”

Let’s look back at John 10:37-38 where Jesus said to the unbelieving Pharisees, “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me;  but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Now let’s jump forward to John 14:10-11, where Jesus said to his disciples, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” And finally, back to John 10:25, “Jesus answered [the Pharisees], ‘I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me…’”
Here we see Jesus speaking to two groups, the Pharisees who did not believe in him and sought to kill him in John 10, and his disciples just before the crucifixion, in John 14. Why was Jesus so insistent that even if they did not, or could not, believe because of his words, they could and should believe him because of his works?

Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus performed miracle after miracle, turning water into wine, returning sight to the blind, casting out demons, healing the sick, feeding thousands from the storerooms of heaven, and providing net-breaking boatloads of fish to incredulous fishermen! But in John 11, Jesus was preparing to perform his most incredible miracle to date. The resurrection of his friend, Lazarus.
John 11:1-4 sets the scene, reporting, 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.” This is very curious, because in fact, Lazarus’ illness did lead to his death, and by the time Jesus and his disciples reached the town of Bethany where Lazarus, Mary, and Martha lived, Lazarus had been dead and buried for four days. This is significant because in the Ancient Near East, due to the hot climate, bodies were buried immediately because they tended to decompose quickly.
However, because burial took place in caves and medical practices at that time were somewhat hit or miss, the custom was to consider a person really, truly dead after four days. This is when Jesus and his disciples appeared on the scene, saying to his disciples, “…’Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there [to heal him], so that you may believe. Let us go to him’” (John 11:14-15). Now Bethany was two miles from Jerusalem, and many friends of Lazarus’ family had come to comfort his sisters.
When Jesus arrived, he found Martha at her brother’s tomb, weeping. She said to him, “’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’” (vv. 21-24). Martha believed that Jesus had the power to ask God to raise her brother up on the day of judgment, according to Jewish custom. But she had no idea what Jesus had planned, even after he reminded 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’” (vv. 25-27).

They had heard him teach and been witness to him performing miracles, but even though Martha believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, she still did not understand what this meant. She had heard his words and seen his works, but when her need was immediate, personal, and desperate, her faith wavered.
After Martha had spoken to Jesus, she went and called her sister Mary, who had remained in the house, saying “The Teacher is here and is calling for you” (v. 28b). Mary and those who were with her made haste to go to the tomb. Mary fell at Jesus’ feet, and mourned, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 32). When he saw how Mary and the others grieved, Jesus was deeply moved, and he also wept until they cried out, “See how he loved him!” (v. 36). But they wondered amongst themselves, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man also have kept this man from dying?” (v. 37b).
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, “Lazarus, 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.” (vv. 38-44)
Chapter 11 ends by relating that because of this tremendous miracle of bringing Lazarus back from the dead, many of the Jews who were there believed in him. But others went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done, and thereafter, the Pharisees plotted to kill him, and made plans to arrest him (vv. 45-57).
A week later was Palm Sunday and Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem, where in just a few days he would be taken and crucified. But John 12:37 says that even though the people had seen Jesus perform so many miracles, they still could not believe in him.

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead as proof of what he had told his disciples on the night of his arrest, “’I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you’” (John 14:18-20). As we read above, the miracles that Jesus performed were proof that he is in the Father, and the Father is in him. Although he could have easily healed his friend Lazarus, Jesus allowed him to die so that by the power of the living God, he could be raised to life again as a testimony that his followers could take with them once he, himself, had been placed in the tomb.
This is why Jesus said to Martha, “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?” (John 11:25). Remember that Jesus said to Nicodemus “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Lazarus being raised from the dead was proof, not only that in just a few days Jesus would be resurrected, but that Jesus has the authority to raise up those of us who believe in him. Because Lazarus’ death took place before Jesus’ atonement at the cross, he was not raised to eternal life. He died again. And afterward, he would never die, because as Jesus proclaimed in John 10:27-29, “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 than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.”





All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

The Seven “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John: “I am the Good Shepherd.”

Jesus said, “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 catches and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:11-12).
Chapter 14 of Luke’s gospel relates that Jesus had been invited to dine at the home of one of the chief Pharisees and that the religious leaders were all watching him very closely to find some fault in his teaching. In Luke chapter 15, Jesus continued the conversation at the Pharisee’s table with the Parable of the Lost Sheep:
Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.”
So he told them this parable: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. (Luke 15:1-7)

In John chapter 10, Jesus described the religious leaders as the “hired hands” who did not own the sheep – who had no real personal investment in the welfare of God’s flock, and therefore mistreated them. They proved Jesus’ point in Luke’s gospel, by complaining that Jesus was eating with sinners, when meanwhile Jesus’ parable illustrated that the sinners the Pharisees were so offended by were the very sheep that the Good Shepherd had been sent to find and to save. He made it clear that heaven rejoices over one lost sheep being found, not over the self-righteousness of legalistic Pharisees.
So here we are, moving from the scene in John’s gospel, which took place outdoors where Jesus was surrounded by disciples, common people, and these same religious leaders; and Luke’s gospel, which takes place in the home of one of the chief Pharisees.
In John 10:14-15, Jesus proclaimed, “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.”
 At the Pharisee’s dinner table, Luke’s gospel stated that One Sabbath, when [Jesus] went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. And he said to them, “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” And they could not reply to these things. (Luke 14:1-6)

In John 10:16-20, Jesus continued speaking to the Pharisees and the gathered crowd, “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 lay it down, and 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 he is insane. Why listen to him?”
Do you recognize the contrast between the cold-hearted religious leaders and the heart of God? Jesus was speaking to the same men who would call for his crucifixion (See John 19). He knew that the Pharisees were looking for reasons to condemn him, and he plainly stated that no one had the authority to take his life from him. He made it plain that he would lay it down of his own accord at the proper time, not because the Pharisees’ charges against him were justified, but because as the Good Shepherd, he had come for the specific purpose of laying down his life for the Father’s sheep.
As John chapter 10 continues, we find Jesus walking in the temple: 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 among my sheep. 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 than 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. (John 10:24-31)

This is not to be seen as a condemnation of all Jewish people. Rather it is an illustration of the difference between those who turn to God with a broken and contrite spirit as David wrote in Psalm 51:17, and the blind religious leaders whom Jesus described in Matthew 15:8 as the people who worshipped God with their lips, but their hearts were far from him.
Jesus provided an example of a hard-hearted elder brother to those same religious leaders at the Pharisee’s table in Luke 15:11-32, in the Parable of the Lost Son. In the story, the younger son of a wealthy family asked for his inheritance while his father was still alive, left home, squandered his birthright, and returned in disgrace. The father, rather than rejecting the boy, received him with open arms, and prepared a celebratory feast. But the elder brother, who had followed every rule while his younger brother had gone astray, became very angry when his father welcomed the prodigal son: “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’  And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.  It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’” (Luke 15:25-32)
Jesus went on to say to the Pharisees, “…’You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God’” (John 16:15).
King David, the man after God’s own heart, wrote the Pentitent’s Psalm, where he cried out to God, “Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:9-12). When the prodigal son returned to his father, he pleaded for forgiveness, saying “…’ ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son’” (Luke 15:21).
But the father received him, saying to his servants, “…‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet.  And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate” (Luke 15:22-24).
This takes place every time a lost sheep repents and is saved, because the Good Shepherd, who is the express image of the heart of God says, “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7).





All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

The Seven “I Am” Statements in the Gospel of John: “I Am the Door.”

As John chapter 10 begins, Jesus gives us the assurance of his protection, saying “I am the door of the sheep.” Jesus’ many times great-grandfather King David provided us with a foretaste of this when he wrote the 23rd Psalm, proclaiming, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” (v. 1). Yet before Jesus describes himself as our shepherd, he informs us that he is the door. Why is this important?
Jesus illustrated the contrast between those who want to devour the sheep, and the Good Shepherd who defends us. He made this distinction by saying, “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…” (John 10 1-3a). If you have been following this series on the seven “I Am” statements in John’s gospel, you know that there were many, including the religious and political leaders of the day, who wanted to silence Jesus, scatter his followers, and end his ministry. Therefore, Jesus understood that it was necessary to warn his disciples not to trust “wolves in sheep’s clothing” or false shepherds who would attempt to harm them or lead them astray. He wanted to reassure them, and us, that our shepherd is always vigilant on our behalf against predators.
Like a solid door that cannot be moved, Jesus is always standing guard over his flock. He said of the shepherd who guards his sheep, “…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” (v. 3b-5). And we can see the parallel again in David’s beloved Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake” (Psalm 23: 1-3).


It is important for us to know that Jesus proclaimed “…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 only comes to steal and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (v. 7b-10).

Notice that nowhere in the 23rd Psalm does David, who was also known as the Shepherd King, make any reference to the shepherd consuming, harming, or leading his sheep into the wilderness. On the contrary, the picture that King David gives us is one of the shepherd who feeds and cares for his flock both in peaceful, green pastures, and in the presence of our enemies. David wrote that we can be confident in the care of our shepherd in every type of circumstance: “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:4-5)
Jesus warned that “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 catches and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep” (John 10:12-13). Jesus is not a “hired hand,” he is the Son of God, the owner of the sheep who is responsible for our care. Therefore, he is the door, who sees to it that no wolf can enter in and scatter the flock, and no false shepherd is allowed to clamber over the wall and destroy them.

This may be difficult to understand in light of the terrible persecutions that followers of Christ have suffered for the past two millennia. John wrote that those who heard Jesus speak this parable did not understand what he was saying to them (v. 6). However, Jesus gives us the assurance that the life that he gives to his sheep is not limited by our earthly existence but goes forward into eternity. He promised, “I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture” (v. 9). As he explained to Nicodemus, the Pharisee who visited Jesus under the cover of night, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:16-17).
Jesus was a carpenter, who knew that every well-constructed house requires a sturdy door. Peter wrote that we are like living stones, being built up into a spiritual house (See 1 Peter 2:4-8); and Paul wrote “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17). Through us, Jesus is building his Church, a building not made with hands but by the grace of God (See 2 Corinthians 5:1). He is the door through which we enter and are saved, to become the Church, the Body and Bride of Christ. By entering through him, we receive the promise of eternal life.
King David, who was also a prophet, foresaw this gift of grace when he wrote the concluding line of the Shepherd's Psalm, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).




All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Resurrection Sunday: Behold! I Show You a Mystery!

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.
Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.”
Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
(John 20:1-18)
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” ...What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain...
 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
 O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:35-58)

Holy Saturday: Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled.

On the way to Gethsemane, knowing the confusion and suffering that his disciples would face in the wake of his crucifixion, Jesus spoke about the promise of the Holy Spirit, saying “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.” He went on to explain that he was going to prepare an eternal place at his side for us, his Church, “In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:1-3).
Not only did Jesus promise that he would go and prepare a place for us, he promised that even though for a while we would not be able to see him face to face, he would not leave us alone, and that through his Holy Spirit, his Church would be empowered to follow him in doing the works of the Father:
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you (John 14:10-20).

This transfer of purpose from Jesus’ mission on earth to the Holy Spirit’s mission in and through his Church was implemented while Jesus’ body was in the tomb. Paul wrote about this miraculous transfiguration in his epistle to the Romans:
But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:10-17).

Knowing he was on the way to the cross, Jesus promised:
These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe…But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you…I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you…
 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.  So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
 I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.

His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
(John 14:25-29; 16:6-33)




All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Holy Week Continues: Good Friday…

Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Luke 22:33-62

All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.

Holy Week: “Maundy Thursday” – The Last Supper…

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. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 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, rose from supper.
He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”  Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”  Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you…

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus' side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.  Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
(John 13:1-15, 21-35)…





All scriptures are from the English Standard Version translation.