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John MacArthur
Author and General Editor

New International Version

NaSHviLLe DaLLaS MeXiCO CiTY RiO De JaneirO

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The English word gospel derives from the Anglo-Saxon word godspell, which can mean either a story about God, or a good story. The latter meaning is in harmony with the Greek word translated gospel, euangellion, which means good news. In secular Greek, euangellion referred to a good report about an important event. The four gospels are the good news about the most significant events in all of history the life, sacrificial death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The gospels are not biographies in the modern sense of the word, since they do not intend to present a complete life of Jesus (cf. Jn 20:30; 21:25). Apart from the birth narratives, they give little information about the first 30 years of J esus life. While J esus public ministry lasted over three years, the gospels focus much of their attention on the last week of His life (cf. Jn 12 20). Though they are completely accurate historically, and present important biographical details of J esus life, the primary purposes of the gospels are theological and apologetic (Jn 20:31). They provide authoritative answers to questions about J esus life and ministry, and they strengthen believers assurance regarding the reality of their faith (Lk 1:4). Although many spurious gospels were written, the church from earliest times has accepted only Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as inspired Scripture. While each gospel has its unique perspective (see the discussion of the Synoptic Problem in the Introduction to Mark: Interpretive Challenges), Matthew, Mark, and Luke, when compared to John, share a common point of view. Because of that, they are known as the synoptic (from a Greek word meaning to see together, or to share a common point of view) gospels. Matthew, Mark, and Luke, for example, focus on Christs Galilean ministry, while John focuses on His ministry in Judea. The synoptic gospels contain numerous parables, while John records none. John and the synoptic gospels record only two common events ( Jesus walking on the water, and the feeding of the 5,000) prior to Passion Week. These differences between John and the synoptic gospels, however, are not contradictory, but complementary. As already noted, each gospel writer wrote from a unique perspective, for a different audience. As a result, each gospel contains distinctive elements. Taken together, the four gospels form a complete testimony about Jesus Christ. Matthew wrote primarily to a Jewish audience, presenting Jesus of Nazareth as Israels longawaited Messiah and rightful King. His genealogy, unlike Lukes, focuses on J esus royal descent from Israels greatest king, David. Interspersed throughout Matthew are OT quotes presenting various aspects of Jesus life and ministry as the fulfillment of OT messianic prophecy. Matthew alone uses the phrase kingdom of heaven, avoiding the parallel phrase kingdom of God because of the unbiblical connotations it had in first-century Jewish thought. Matthew wrote his gospel, then, to strengthen the faith of Jewish Christians, and it provides a useful apologetic tool for Jewish evangelism. Mark targeted a Gentile audience, especially a Roman one (see Introduction to Mark: Background and Setting). Mark is the gospel of action; the frequent use of immediately and then keeps his narrative moving rapidly along. Jesus appears in Mark as the Servant (cf. Mk 10:45) who came to suffer for the sins of many. Marks fast-paced approach would especially appeal to the practical, action-oriented Romans. Luke addressed a broader Gentile audience. As an educated Greek (see Introduction to Luke: Author and Date), Luke wrote using the most sophisticated literary Greek of any NT writer. He was a careful researcher (Lk 1:1 4) and an accurate historian. Luke portrays J esus as the Son of Man (a



title appearing 25 times), the answer to the needs and hopes of the human race, who came to seek and save lost sinners (Lk 9:56; 19:10). John, the last gospel written, emphasizes the deity of J esus Christ (e.g., 5:18; 8:58; 10:30 33; 14:9). John wrote to strengthen the faith of believers and to appeal to unbelievers to come to faith in Christ. The apostle clearly stated his purpose for writing in 20:31: ... these are written that you may believe that J esus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. Taken together, the four gospels weave a complete portrait of the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth. In Him were blended perfect humanity and deity, making Him the only sacrifice for the sins of the world, and the worthy Lord of those who believe.


The title of the fourth gospel continues the pattern of the other gospels, being identified originally as According to John. Like the others, The Gospel was added later.

Author and Date

Although the authors name does not appear in the gospel, early church tradition strongly and consistently identified him as the apostle John. The early church father Irenaeus (ca. a.d. 130 200) was a disciple of Polycarp (ca. a.d. 70 160), who was a disciple of the apostle John, and he testified on Polycarps authority that John wrote the gospel during his residence at Ephesus in Asia Minor when he was advanced in age (Against Heresies 2.22.5; 3.1.1). Subsequent to Irenaeus, all the church fathers assumed John to be the gospels author. Clement of Alexandria (ca. a.d. 150 215) wrote that John, aware of the facts set forth in the other gospels and being moved by the Holy Spirit, composed a spiritual gospel (see Eusebiuss Ecclesiastical History 6.14.7). Reinforcing early church tradition are significant internal characteristics of the gospel. While the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke) identify the apostle John by name approximately 20 times (including parallels), he is not directly mentioned by name in the gospel of John. Instead, the author prefers to identify himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 20). The absence of any mention of Johns name directly is remarkable when one considers the important part played by other named disciples in this gospel. Yet, the recurring designation of himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved, a deliberate avoidance by John of his personal name, reflects his humility and celebrates his relation to his Lord Jesus. No mention of his name was necessary since his original readers clearly understood that he was the gospels author. Also, through a process of elimination based primarily on analyzing the material in chaps. 20, 21, this disciple whom Jesus loved narrows down to the apostle John (e.g., 21:24; cf. 21:2). Since the gospels author is exacting in mentioning the names of other characters in the book, if the author had been someone other than John the apostle, he would not have omitted Johns name. The gospels anonymity strongly reinforces the arguments favoring Johns authorship, for only someone of his well-known and preeminent authority as an apostle would be able to write a gospel that differed so markedly in form and substance from the other gospels and have it receive unanimous acceptance in the early church. In contrast, apocryphal gospels produced from the mid-second century onward were falsely ascribed to apostles or other famous persons closely associated with Jesus, yet universally rejected by the church. John and James, his older brother (Ac 12:2), were known as the sons of Zebedee (Mt 10:2 4), and Jesus gave them the name sons of thunder (Mk 3:17). John was an apostle (Lk 6:12 16) and one of the three most intimate associates of Jesus (along with Peter and James cf. Mt 17:1; 26:37), being an eyewitness to and participant in Jesus earthly ministry (1Jn 1:1 4). After Christs ascension, John became a pillar in the Jerusalem church (Gal 2:9). He ministered with Peter (Ac 3:1; 4:13; 8:14) until he went to Ephesus (tradition says before the destruction of Jerusalem), from where he wrote this gospel and from where the Romans exiled him to Patmos (Rev 1:9). Besides the gospel that bears his name, John also authored 1 3 John and the book of Revelation (Rev 1:1).





Because the writings of some church fathers indicate that John was actively writing in his old age and that he was already aware of the Synoptic Gospels, many date the gospel sometime after their composition, but prior to Johns writing of 1 3 John or Revelation. John wrote his gospel ca. a.d. 80 90, about 50 years after he witnessed Jesus earthly ministry.

Background and Setting

Strategic to Johns background and setting is the fact that according to tradition John was aware of the Synoptic Gospels. Apparently, he wrote his gospel in order to make a unique contribution to the record of the Lords life (a spiritual gospel) and, in part, to be supplementary as well as complementary to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The gospels unique characteristics reinforce this purpose: First, John supplies a large amount of unique material not recorded in the other gospels. Second, he often supplies information that helps the understanding of the events in the Synoptics. For example, while the Synoptics begin with Jesus ministry in Galilee, they imply that Jesus had a ministry prior to that (e.g., Mt 4:12; Mk 1:14). John supplies the answer with information on Jesus prior ministry in Judea (chap. 3) and Samaria (chap. 4). In Mk 6:45, after the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus compelled His disciples to cross the Sea of Galilee to Bethsaida. John recorded the reason. The people were about to make Jesus king because of His miraculous multiplying of food, and He was avoiding their ill-motivated efforts (6:26). Third, John is the most theological of the Gospels, containing, for example, a heavily theological prologue (1:1 18), larger amounts of didactic and discourse material in proportion to narrative (e.g., 3:13 17), and the largest amount of teaching on the Holy Spirit (e.g., 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7 14). Although John was aware of the Synoptics and fashioned his gospel with them in mind, he did not depend upon them for information. Rather, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he utilized his own memory as an eyewitness in composing the gospel (1:14; 19:35; 21:24). Johns gospel is the second (cf. Lk 1:1 4) that contains a precise statement regarding the authors purpose (20:30, 31). He declares, these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (20:31). The primary purposes, therefore, are twofold: evangelistic and apologetic. Reinforcing the evangelistic purpose is the fact that the word believe occurs approximately 100 times in the gospel (the Synoptics use the term less than half as much). John composed his gospel to provide reasons for saving faith in his readers and, as a result, to assure them that they would receive the divine gift of eternal life (1:12). The apologetic purpose is closely related to the evangelistic purpose. John wrote to convince his readers of Jesus true identity as the incarnate God-Man whose divine and human natures were united perfectly into one person who was the prophesied Christ (Messiah) and Savior of the world (e.g., 1:41; 3:16; 4:25, 26; 8:58). He organized his whole gospel around eight signs or proofs that reinforce Jesus true identity leading to faith. The first half of his work centers around seven miraculous signs selected to reveal Christs person and engender belief: 1) water made into wine (2:1 11); 2) the healing of the royal officials son (4:46 54); 3) the healing of the lame man (5:1 18); 4) the feeding of a multitude (6:1 15); 5) walking on water (6:16 21); 6) healing of the blind man (9:1 41); and 7)the raising of Lazarus (11:1 57). The eighth sign is the miraculous catch of fish (21:6 11) after Jesus resurrection.

Historical and Theological Themes

In accordance with Johns evangelistic and apologetic purposes, the overall message of the gospel is found in 20:31: Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. The book, therefore, centers on the person and work of Christ. Three predominant words (signs, believe, and life) in 20:30, 31 receive constant reemphasis throughout the gospel to enforce the theme of salvation in Him, which is first set forth



in the prologue (1:1 18; cf. 1Jn 1:1 4) and re-expressed throughout the gospel in varying ways (e.g., 6:35, 48; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11 14; 11:25; 14:6; 17:3). In addition, John provides the record of how men responded to Jesus Christ and the salvation that He offered. Summing up, the gospel focuses on: 1)Jesus as the Word, the Messiah, and the Son of God; 2) who brings the gift of salvation to mankind; 3) who either accept or reject the offer. John also presents certain contrastive sub-themes that reinforce his main theme. He uses dualism (life and death, light and darkness, love and hate, from above and from below) to convey vital information about the person and work of Christ and the need to believe in Him (e.g., 1:4, 5, 12, 13; 3:1621; 12:4446; 15:1720). There are also seven emphatic I AM statements which identify Jesus as God and Messiah (6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5).

Interpretive Challenges

Because John composed his record in a clear and simple style, one might tend to underestimate the depth of this gospel. Since Johns gospel is a spiritual gospel (see Authorship and Date), the truths he conveys are profound. The reader must prayerfully and meticulously explore the book, in order to discover the vast richness of the spiritual treasures that the apostle, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit (14:26; 16:13), has lovingly deposited in his gospel. The chronological reckoning between Johns gospel and the Synoptics presents a challenge, especially in relation to the time of the Last Supper (13:2). While the Synoptics portray the disciples and the Lord at the Last Supper as eating the Passover meal on Thursday evening (Nisan 14) and Jesus being crucified on Friday, Johns gospel states that the Jews did not enter into the Praetorium in order to avoid ceremonial uncleanness... because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover (18:28). So, the disciples had eaten the Passover on Thursday evening, but the Jews had not. In fact, John (19:14) states that Jesus trial and crucifixion were on the day of Preparation for the Passover and not after the eating of the Passover, so that with the trial and crucifixion on Friday Christ was actually sacrificed at the same time the Passover lambs were being slain (19:14). The question is, Why did the disciples eat the Passover meal on Thursday? The answer lies in a difference among the Jews in the way they reckoned the beginning and ending of days. From Josephus, the Mishna, and other ancient Jewish sources we learn that the Jews in northern Israel calculated days from sunrise to sunrise. That area included the region of Galilee, where Jesus and all the disciples, except Judas, had grown up. Apparently most, if not all, of the Pharisees used that system of reckoning. But Jews in the southern part, which centered in Jerusalem, calculated days from sunset to sunset. Because all the priests necessarily lived in or near Jerusalem, as did most of the Sadducees, those groups followed the southern scheme. That variation doubtlessly caused confusion at times, but it also had some practical benefits. During Passover time, for instance, it allowed for the festival to be celebrated legitimately on two adjoining days, thereby permitting the temple sacrifices to be made over a total period of four hours rather than two. That separation of days may also have had the effect of reducing both regional and religious clashes between the two groups. On that basis the seeming contradictions in the gospel accounts are easily explained. Being Galileans, Jesus and the disciples considered Passover day to have started at sunrise on Thursday and to end at sunrise on Friday. The Jewish leaders who arrested and tried Jesus, being mostly priests and Sadducees, considered Passover day to begin at sunset on Thursday and end at sunset on Friday. By that variation, predetermined by Gods sovereign provision, Jesus could thereby legitimately celebrate the last Passover meal with His disciples and yet still be sacrificed on Passover day. Once again one can see how God sovereignly and marvelously provides for the precise fulfillment of His redemptive plan. Jesus was anything but a victim of mens wicked schemes, much less



of blind circumstance. Every word He spoke and every action He took were divinely directed and secured. Even the words and actions by others against Him were divinely controlled. See, e.g., 11:49 52; 19:11.



I. The Incarnation of the Son of God (1:1 18) A. His Eternality (1:1, 2) B. His Pre-incarnate Work (1:3 5) C. His Forerunner (1:6 8) D. His Rejection (1:9 11) E. His Reception (1:12, 13) F. His Deity (1:14 18)

II. The Presentation of the Son of God (1:19 4:54) A. Presentation by John the Baptist (1:19 34) 1. To the religious leaders (1:19 28) 2. At Christs baptism (1:29 34) B. Presentation to Johns Disciples (1:35 51) 1. Andrew and Peter (1:35 42) 2. Philip and Nathanael (1:43 51) C. Presentation in Galilee (2:1 12) 1. First sign: water to wine (2:1 10) 2. Disciples believe (2:11, 12) D. Presentation in Judea (2:13 3:36) 1. Cleansing the temple (2:13 25) 2. Teaching Nicodemus (3:1 21) 3. Preaching by John the Baptist (3:22 36) E. Presentation in Samaria (4:1 42) 1. Witness to the Samaritan woman (4:1 26) 2. Witness to the disciples (4:27 38) 3. Witness to the Samaritans (4:39 42) F. Presentation in Galilee (4:43 54) 1. Reception by the Galileans (4:43 45) 2. Second sign: healing the royal officials son (4:46 54) III. The Opposition to the Son of God (5:1 12:50) A. Opposition at the Festival in Jerusalem (5:1 47) 1. Third sign: healing the paralyzed man (5:1 9) 2. Rejection by the Jews (5:10 47) B. Opposition During Passover (6:1 71) 1. Fourth sign: feeding the 5,000 (6:1 14) 2. Fifth sign: walking on water (6:15 21) 3. Bread of Life discourse (6:22 71) C. Opposition at the Festival of Tabernacles (7:1 10:21) 1. The opposition (7:1 8:59) 2. Sixth sign (9:1 10:21)



D. Opposition at the Festival of Dedication (10:22 42) E. Opposition at Bethany (11:1 12:11) 1. Seventh sign: raising of Lazarus (11:1 44) 2. Pharisees plot to kill Christ (11:45 57) 3. Mary anointing Christ (12:1 11) F. Opposition in Jerusalem (12:12 50) 1. The triumphal entry (12:12 22) 2. The discourse on faith and rejection (12:23 50) IV. The Preparation of the Disciples by the Son of God (13:1 17:26) A. In the Upper Room (13:1 14:31) 1. Washing feet (13:1 20) 2. Announcing the betrayal (13:21 30) 3. Discourse on Christs departure (13:31 14:31) B. On the Way to the Garden (15:1 17:26) 1. Instructing the disciples (15:1 16:33) 2. Interceding with the Father (17:1 26) V. The Execution of the Son of God (18:1 19:37) A. The Rejection of Christ (18:1 19:16) 1. His arrest (18:1 11) 2. His trials (18:12 19:16) B. The Crucifixion of Christ (19:17 37) VI. The Resurrection of the Son of God (19:38 21:23) A. The Burial of Christ (19:38 42) B. The Resurrection of Christ (20:1 10) C. The Appearances of Christ (20:11 21:23) 1. To Mary Magdalene (20:11 18) 2. To the disciples without Thomas (20:19 25) 3. To the disciples with Thomas (20:26 29) 4. Statement of purpose for the gospel (20:30, 31) 5. To the disciples (21:1 14) 6. To Peter (21:15 23) VII. Conclusion (21:24, 25)

1:1 aRev19:13
bJn17:5; cPhp2:6

/ The Word Became Flesh

a Word,

In the be gin ning was the and the b and the Word was Word was with God, d God.c 2 He was with God in the be gin ning. 3 Through him all t hings were made; with out him e 4In him noth ing was made that has been made.


1:2 dGe1:1 1:3 e1Co8:6;

Col1:16; Heb1:2

14:6 gJn8:12 1:5 hJn3:19

1:4 fJn5:26; 11:25;

f and that life was the g of all man was life, light 5 The light s hines in the dark ness, and the kind. ait. h dark ness has not over come 6 There was a man sent from God whose name

1:118 These verses constitute the prologue that introduces many of the major themes that John will treat, especially the main theme that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God (vv. 12 14, 18; cf. 20:31). Several key words repeated throughout the gospel (e.g., life, light, witness, glory) appear here. The remainder of the gospel develops the theme of the prologue as to how the eternal Word of God, Jesus the Messiah and Son of God, became flesh and ministered among men so that all who believe in Him would be saved. Although John wrote the prologue with the simplest vocabulary in the NT, the truths the prologue conveys are the most profound. Six basic truths about Christ as the Son of God are featured in the prologue: 1) the eternal Christ (vv. 1 3); 2) the incarnate Christ (vv. 4, 5); 3) the forerunner of Christ (vv. 6 8); 4) the unrecognized Christ (vv. 9 11); 5) the omnipotent Christ (vv. 12, 13); and 6) the glorious Christ (vv. 14 18). 1:1 In the beginning. In contrast to 1Jn 1:1 where John uses a similar phrase (from the beginning) to refer to the starting point of J esus ministry and gospel preaching, this phrase parallels Ge 1:1 where the same phrase is used. John uses the phrase in an absolute sense to refer to the beginning of the time-space-material universe. was. The verb highlights the eternal preexistence of the Word, i.e., Jesus Christ. Before the universe began, the Second Person of the Trinity always existed; i.e., He always was (cf. 8:58). This word is used in contrast with the verb were made in v. 3, which indicates a beginning in time. Because of Johns theme that J esus Christ is the eternal God, the Second Person of the Trinity, he did not include a genealogy as Matthew and Luke did. While in terms of Jesus humanity, He had a human genealogy; in terms of His deity, He has no genealogy. the Word. John borrowed the use of the term Word not only from the vocabulary of the OT but also from Gr. philosophy, in which the term was essentially impersonal, signifying the rational principle of divine reason, mind, or even wisdom. John, however, imbued the term entirely with OT and Christian meaning (e.g., Ge 1:3 where Gods Word brought the world into being; Pss 33:6; 107:20; Pr 8:27 where Gods Word is His powerful self-expression in creation, wisdom, revelation, and salvation) and made it refer to a person, i.e., Jesus Christ. Greek philosophical usage, therefore, is not the exclusive background of Johns thought. Strategically, the term Word serves as a bridgeword to reach not only Jews but also the unsaved Greeks. John chose this concept because both Jews and Greeks were familiar with it. the Word was with God. The Word, as the Second Person of the Trinity, was in intimate fellowship with God the Father throughout all eternity. Yet, although the Word enjoyed the splendors of heaven and eternity with the Father (Isa 6:1 13; cf. 12:41; 17:5), He willingly gave up His heavenly status, taking the form of a man, and became subject to the death of the cross (see notes on

Php 2:68). was God. The Gr. construction emphasizes that the Word had all the essence or attributes of deity, i.e., J esus the Messiah was fully God (cf. Col 2:9). Even in His incarnation when He emptied Himself, He did not cease to be God but took on a genuine human nature/body and voluntarily refrained from the independent exercise of the attributes of deity. 1:3 Through him all things were made. J esus Christ was God the Fathers agent involved in creating everything in the universe (Col 1:16, 17; Heb 1:2). 1:4, 5 life... light... darkness. John introduces the reader to contrastive themes that occur throughout the gospel. Life and light are qualities of the Word that are shared not only among the Godhead (5:26) but also by those who respond to the gospel message regarding J esus Christ (8:12; 9:5; 10:28; 11:25; 14:6). John uses the word life about 36 times in his gospel, far more than any other NT book. It refers not only in a broad sense to physical and temporal life that the Son imparted to the created world through His involvement as the agent of creation (v. 3), but especially to spiritual and eternal life imparted as a gift through belief in Him (3:15; 17:3; Eph 2:5). In Scripture light and darkness are very familiar symbols. Intellectually, light refers to biblical truth while darkness refers to error or falsehood (cf. Ps 119:105; Pr 6:23). Morally, light refers to holiness or purity (1Jn 1:5) while darkness refers to sin or wrongdoing (3:19; 12:35, 46; Ro 13:11 14; 1Th 5:4 7; 1Jn 1:6; 2:8 11). Darkness has special significance in relationship to Satan (and his demonic cohorts) who rules the present spiritually dark world (1Jn 5:19) as the ruler of the kingdom of the air promoting spiritual darkness and rebellion against God (Eph 2:2). John uses the Greek term skotia for darkness 14 times (8 in the gospel and 6 in 1 John) out of its 17 occurrences in the NT, making it almost an exclusive Johannine word. In John, light and life have their special significance in relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, the Word (v. 9; 9:5; 1Jn 1:5 7; 5:12, 20). 1:5 overcome. Darkness is not able to overcome or conquer the light. Just as a single candle can overcome a room filled with darkness, so also the powers of darkness are overcome by the person and work of the Son through His death on the cross (cf. 19:11a). 1:6 sent from God. As forerunner to Jesus, John was to bear witness to Him as the Messiah and Son of God. With Johns ministry, the 400 silent years between the end of the OT and the beginning of the NT period, during which God had given no revelation, ended. John. The name John always refers to John the Baptist in this gospel, never to the apostle John. The writer of this gospel calls him merely John without using the phrase the Baptist, unlike the other gospels, which use the additional description to identify him (Mt 3:1; Mk 6:14; Lk 7:20). Moreover, John the apostle

JOHN 1:7
i 7 j con was John. He came as a wit ness to tes ti fy cern ing that light, so that t hrough him all m ight believe. k 8 He him self was not the light; he came only as a wit ness to the l ight. 9 l that g m The true l ight ives l ight to ev ery one was com ing into the world. 10 He was in the world, and t hough the w orld was made t hrough him,n the w orld did not rec og nize him. 11He



came to that which was his own, but his own did not re ceive him. 12Yet to all who did re ceive him, to t hose who be lievedo in his name,p he gave the q 13 children right to be come chil dren of God born not of nat u ral de scent, nor of hu man de ci r sion or a hus bands will, but born of God. 14 The Word be came fleshs and made his dwell ing a mong us. We have seen his glo ry, the glo ry

1:6 iMt3:1 1:7 jver15,19,32

kver12 mIsa49:6 l1Jn2:8

1:10 nHeb1:2 1:12 over7

p1Jn3:23 qGal3:26

1Pe1:23; 1Jn3:9 1:14 sGal4:4; Php2:7,8; 1Ti3:16; Heb2:14

1:13 rJn3:6; Jas1:18;

(or, son of Zebedee) never identified himself directly by name in the gospel even though he was one of the three most intimate associates of J esus (Mt 17:1). Such silence argues strongly that John the apostle authored the gospel and that his readers knew full well that he composed the gospel that bears his name. For more on John the Baptist, cf. Mt 3:1 6; Mk 1:2 6; Lk 1:5 25, 57 80. 1:7 witness to testify. The terms witness or to testify receive special attention in this gospel, reflecting the courtroom language of the OT where the truth of a matter was to be established on the basis of multiple witnesses (8:17, 18; cf. Dt 17:6; 19:15). Not only did John the Baptist witness regarding J esus as Messiah and Son of God (vv. 19 34; 3:27 30; 5:35), but there were other witnesses: 1) the Samaritan woman (4:29); 2) the works of Jesus (10:25); 3) the Father (5:32 37); 4) the OT (5:39, 40); 5) the crowd (12:17); and 6) the Holy Spirit (15:26, 27). that through him all might believe. Him refers not to Christ but to John as the agent who witnessed to Christ. The purpose of his testimony was to produce faith in Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world. 1:8 He... was not the light. While John the Baptist was the agent of belief, Jesus Christ is the object of belief. Although Johns person and ministry were vitally important (Mt 11:11), he was merely the forerunner who announced the coming of the Messiah. Many years after Johns ministry and death, some still failed to understand Johns subordinate role to Jesus (Ac 19:1 3). 1:9 The true light... coming into the world. This phrase highlights the incarnation of Jesus Christ (v. 14; 3:16). gives light to everyone. Through Gods sovereign power, every man has enough light to be responsible. God has planted His knowledge in man through general revelation in creation and conscience. The result of general revelation, however, does not produce salvation but either leads to the complete light of Jesus Christ or produces condemnation in those who reject such light (see notes on Ro 1:19, 20; 2:1216). The coming of Jesus Christ was the fulfillment and embodiment of the light that God had placed inside the heart of man. the world. The basic sense of this Gr. word meaning an ornament is illustrated by the word adornment (1Pe 3:3). While the NT uses it a total of 185 times, John had a particular fondness for this term, using it 78 times in his gospel, 24 times in 1 3 John and 3 times in Revelation. John gives it several shades of meaning: 1) the physical created universe (v. 9; cf. v. 3; 21:24, 25); 2) humanity in general (3:16; 6:33, 51; 12:19); and 3) the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, His Word, and His people (3:19; 4:42; 7:7; 14:17, 22, 27, 30; 15:18, 19; 16:8, 20, 33; 17:6, 9, 14; cf. 1Co 1:21; 2Pe 1:4; 1Jn 5:19). The latter concept is the significant new use that the term acquires in the NT and that predominates in John. Thus, in the majority of times that John uses the word, it has decidedly negative overtones. 1:11 his own... his own. The first usage of his own most likely refers to the world of mankind in general, while the second refers to the Jewish nation. As Creator, the world belongs to the Word as His property but the world did not even recognize Him due to spiritual blindness (cf. also v. 10). John uses the second occurrence

of his own in a narrower sense to refer to Jesus own physical lineage, the Jews. Although they possessed the Scriptures that testified of His person and coming, they still did not accept Him (Isa 65:2, 3; Jer 7:25). This theme of Jewish rejection of their promised Messiah receives special attention in Johns gospel (12:37 41). 1:12, 13 These verses stand in contrast to vv. 10, 11. John softens the sweeping rejection of Messiah by stressing a believing remnant. This previews the book since the first 12 chapters stress the rejection of Christ, while chaps. 13 21 focus on the believing remnant who received Him. 1:12 to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name. The second phrase describes the first. To receive Him who is the Word of God means to acknowledge His claims, place ones faith in Him, and thereby yield allegiance to Him. gave. The term emphasizes the grace of God involved in the gift of salvation (cf. Eph 2:81 0). the right. Those who receive Jesus, the Word, receive full authority to claim the exalted title of children of God. his name. Denotes the character of the person himself. See note on 14:13, 14. 1:13 of God. The divine side of salvation: ultimately it is not a mans will that produces salvation but Gods will (cf. 3:6 8; Titus 3:5; 1Jn 2:29). 1:14 The Word became flesh. While Christ as God was uncreated and eternal (see notes on v. 1), the word became emphasizes Christs taking on humanity (cf. Heb 1:1 3; 2:14 18). This reality is surely the most profound ever because it indicates that the Infinite became finite; the Eternal was conformed to time; the Invisible became visible; the supernatural One reduced Himself to the natural. In the incarnation, however, the Word did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh, i.e., undiminished deity in human form as a man (1Ti 3:16). made his dwelling. Meaning to pitch a tabernacle, or live in a tent. The term recalls to mind the OT tabernacle where God met with Israel before the temple was constructed (Ex 25:8). It was called the tent of meeting (Ex 33:7; tabernacle of witness LXX) where the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend (Ex 33:11). In the NT, God chose to dwell among His people in a far more personal way through becoming a man. In the OT, when the tabernacle was completed, Gods Shekinah presence filled the entire structure (Ex 40:34; cf. 1Ki 8:10). When the Word became flesh, the glorious presence of deity was embodied in Him (cf. Col 2:9). We have seen his glory. Although His deity may have been veiled in human flesh, glimpses of His divine majesty exist in the Gospels. The disciples saw glimpses of His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:1 8). The reference to Christs glory, however, was not only visible but also spiritual. They saw Him display the attributes or characteristics of God (grace, goodness, mercy, wisdom, truth, etc.; cf. Ex 33:18 23). glory of the one... who came from the Father. J esus as God displayed the same essential glory as the Father. They are one in essential nature (cf. 5:17 30; 8:19; 10:30). one and only. The Gr. word for this term has the idea of the only beloved one. It, therefore, has the idea of singular uniqueness, of being beloved like no other. By this

of the one and only Son, who came from the Fa t ther, full of grace and truth. 15 (John testified u con cern ing him. He c ried out, say ing, This is the one I spoke about when I said, He who comes af ter me has sur passed me v 16 be cause he was be fore me.) Out of his full w we have all re ness ceived g race in p lace of g race already given. 17 For the law was giv en through Moses; x grace and truth came through Jesus z but the Christ. y 18 No one has ever seen God, a a is one and only Son, who is him self God and in clos est re la tion ship with the Fa ther, has made him known.


JOHN 1:24

1:14 tJn14:6 1:15 uver7 vver30; Mt3:11 1:16 wEph1:23; Col1:19 1:17 xJn7:19 yver14 1:18 zEx33:20; Jn6:46; Col1:15; 1Ti6:16 aJn3:16, 18; 1Jn4:9 1:19 b Jn2:18; 5:10, 16; 6:41,52

/ John the Baptist Denies Being

19 Now

con fess, but con fessed free ly, I am not the Mes siah. c 21 They a sked him, Then who are you? Are you Elijah? d He said, I am not. e Are you the Proph et? He answered,No. 22 Fi nal ly they said, Who are you? Give us an an swer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about your self ? 23 John re plied in the words of Isa iah the proph et, I am the v oice of one call ing in the straight the way for the wilderness, f Make g Lord.c 24 Now the Phar i sees who had been sent

this was Johns tes ti mo ny when the b in Je Jewish leaders b ru sa lem sent priests and Le vites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to

1:20 cJn3:28; Lk3:15,16 1:21 dMt11:14 eDt18:15 1:23 fMt3:1 gIsa40:3

Some manuscripts but the only Son, who b19 The Greek term traditionally translated the Jews (hoi Ioudaioi) refers here and elsewhere in Johns Gospel to those Jewish leaders who opposed Jesus; also in 5:10, 15, 16; 7:1, 11, 13; 9:22; 18:14, 28, 36; 19:7, 12, 31, 38; 20:19. c23Isaiah40:3

word, John is emphasizing the exclusive character of the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Godhead (cf. 3:16, 18; 1Jn 4:9). It does not connote origin but rather unique prominence; e.g., it was used of Isaac (Heb 11:17) who was Abrahams second son (Ishmael being the first; cf. Ge 16:15 with Ge 21:2, 3). full of grace and truth. John probably had Ex 33, 34 in mind. On that occasion, Moses requested that God display His glory to him. The Lord replied to Moses that He would make all His goodness pass before him, and then as He passed by God declared the LORD... compassionate and gracious... slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness (Ex 33:18, 19; 34:5 7). These attributes of Gods glory emphasize the goodness of Gods character, especially in relationship to salvation. Jesus as Yahweh of the OT (8:58; I am) displayed the same divine attributes when He tabernacled among men in the NT era (Col 2:9). 1:15 John the Baptists testimony corroborates John the apostles statement regarding the eternality of the Incarnate Word (cf. v. 14). 1:16 grace in place of grace. This phrase emphasizes the superabundance of grace that has been displayed by God toward mankind, especially believers (Eph 1:5 8; 2:7). 1:17, 18 Corroborating the truth of v. 14, these verses draw a closing contrast to the prologue. The law, given by Moses, was not a display of Gods grace but Gods demand for holiness. God designed the law as a means to demonstrate the unrighteousness of man in order to show the need for a Savior, J esus Christ (Ro 3:19, 20; Gal 3:10 14, 21 26). Furthermore, the law revealed only a part of truth and was preparatory in nature. The reality or full truth toward which the law pointed came through the person of Jesus Christ. 1:18 who is... in closest relationship with the Father. This term denotes the mutual intimacy, love, and knowledge existing in the Godhead (see 13:23; Lk 16:22, 23). made him known. Theologians derived the term exegesis or to interpret from this word. John meant that all that Jesus is and does interprets and explains who God is and what He does (14:8 10). 1:1937 In these verses, John presents the first of many witnesses to prove that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God, thus reinforcing his main theme (20:30, 31). The testimony of John the Baptist was given on three different days to three different groups (cf. vv. 29, 35, 36). Each time, he spoke of Christ in a different way and

emphasized distinct aspects regarding Him. The events in these verses took place in A.D. 26/27, just a few months after Johns baptism of Jesus (cf. Mt 3:13 17; Lk 3:21, 22). 1:19 John. John, born into a priestly family, belonged to the tribe of Levi (Lk 1:5). He began his ministry in the Jordan Valley when he was approximately 29 or 30 years old and boldly proclaimed the need for spiritual repentance and preparation for the coming of the Messiah. He was the cousin of J esus Christ and served as His prophetic forerunner (Mt 3:3; Lk 1:5 25, 36). the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. This may refer to the Sanhedrin, the main governing body of the Jewish nation. The Sanhedrin was controlled by the family of the high priest, and thus the envoys would naturally be priests and Levites who would be interested in Johns ministry, both his message and his baptism. 1:20 I am not the Messiah. Some thought that John was the Messiah (Lk 3:15 17). 1:21 Are you Elijah? Malachi 4:5 (see note there) promises that the prophet Elijah will return before Messiah establishes His earthly kingdom. If John was the forerunner of Messiah, was he Elijah, they asked? The angel announcing Johns birth said that John would go before Jesus in the spirit and power of Elijah (Lk 1:17), thus indicating that someone other than literal Elijah could fulfill the prophecy. God sent John who was like Elijah, i.e., one who had the same type of ministry, the same power and similar personality (2Ki 1:8; cf. Mt 3:4). If they had received Jesus as Messiah, John would have fulfilled that prophecy (see notes on Mt 11:14; Mk 9:13; Lk 1:17; Rev 11:5, 6). Are you the Prophet? This is a reference to Dt 18:15 18, which predicted God would raise up a great prophet like Moses who would function as His voice. While some in Johns time interpreted this prophecy as referring to another forerunner of Messiah, the NT (Ac 3:22, 23; 7:37) applies the passage to Jesus. 1:23 John quoted and applied Isa 40:3 to himself (cf. Mt 3:3; Mk 1:3; Lk 3:4). In the original context of Isa 40:3, the prophet heard a voice calling for the leveling of a path. This call was a prophetic picture that foreshadowed the final and greatest return of Israel to their God from spiritual darkness and alienation through the spiritual redemption accomplished by the Messiah (cf. Ro 11:25 27). In humility, John compared himself to a voice rather than a person, thus focusing the attention exclusively upon Christ (cf. Lk 17:10).

JOHN 1:25
25 ques tioned him, Why then do you bap tize if you are not the Mes si ah, nor Eli jah, nor the Proph et? 26 a wa I bap tize with ter, John re plied, but among you stands one you do not know. 27He is the one who comes af ter me,h the straps of whose san dals I am not wor thy to un tie. 28 This all hap pened at Beth a ny on the oth er i side of the Jor dan, where John was bap tiz ing.


32 Then John gave this tes ti mo ny: I saw the Spir it come down from heav en as a dove and re self did not know him, main on him.l 33And I my m but the one who sent me to bap tize with wa ter told me, The man on whom you see the Spir it come down and re main is the one who will bap n 34 I have seen and I tize with the Holy Spir it. b o tes ti fy that this is G ods Cho sen One.

Isa53:7; 1Pe1:19; Rev5:6 1:30 kver15,27

1:27 hver15,30 1:28 iJn3:26; 10:40 1:29 jver36;

/ John Testifies About Jesus

next day John saw J esus com ing to ward j who him and said, Look, the Lamb of God, takes away the sin of the w orld! 30This is the one Im eant when I said, A man who comes af ter k me has sur passed me be cause he was be fore me. 31 I my self did not know him, but the rea son I came bap tiz ing with wa ter was that he might be revealed to Israel.
29 The

/ Johns Disciples Follow Jesus

1:40-42pp Mt4:18-22; Mk1:16-20; Lk5:2-11

1:32 lMt3:16; Mk1:10 1:33 mMk1:4 nMt3:11; Mk1:8 1:34 over49; Mt4:3 1:35 pMt3:1 1:36 qver29

next day Johnp was t here a gain with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw J esus pass ing by, q he said, Look, the Lamb of God! 37 When the two dis ci ples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them fol low ing and asked, What do you want?

35 The

also in verses 31 and 33 (twice) b34 See Isaiah42:1; many manuscripts is the Son of God.

1:25 baptize. Since John had identified himself as a mere voice (v. 23), the question arose as to his authority for baptizing. The OT associated the coming of Messiah with repentance and spiritual cleansing (Eze 36, 37; Zec 13:1). John focused attention on his position as forerunner of Messiah, who used traditional proselyte baptism as a symbol of the need to recognize those Jews who were outside Gods saving covenant like Gentiles. They, too, needed spiritual cleansing and preparation (repentance Mt 3:11; Mk 1:4; Lk 3:7, 8) for Messiahs advent. See notes on Mt 3:6, 11, 16, 17 for an explanation of the significance of Johns baptism. 1:27 John the Baptists words here continue a theme of the preeminence of Messiah in the prologue (vv. 6 8, 15) and demonstrate extraordinary humility. Each time John had opportunity to focus on himself in these encounters, he instead shifted the focus onto Messiah. John went so far as to state that he, unlike a slave that was required to remove his masters shoes, was not even worthy of performing this action in relationship to Messiah. 1:28 Bethany. Some translations render this word as Bethabara. Some feel that John incorrectly identified Bethany as the place of these events. The solution is that two Bethanys existed, i.e., one near Jerusalem where Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived (11:1) and one on the other side of the Jordan near the region of Galilee. Since John took great pains to identify the other Bethanys close proximity to Jerusalem, he most likely was referring here to that other town with the same name. 1:2934 The verses introduce a series of Messianic titles that refer to Jesus: Lamb of God (vv. 29, 36), Messiah/Christ (v. 41), Gods Chosen One (v. 34), Son of God (v. 49), king of Israel (v. 49), Son of Man (v. 51), and the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote (v. 45). 1:29 The next day. These events took place the day after Johns encounter with those sent from the Pharisees (v. 19ff). This same phrase occurs two more times (vv. 35, 43). the Lamb of God. The use of a lamb for sacrifice was very familiar to Jews. A lamb was used as a sacrifice during Passover (Ex 12:1 36); a lamb was led to the slaughter in the prophecies of Isaiah (Isa 53:7); a lamb was offered in the daily sacrifices of Israel (Lev 14:12 21; cf. Heb 10:5 7). John the Baptist used this expression as a reference to the ultimate sacrifice of J esus on the cross to atone for the sins of the world, a theme that John the apostle carries throughout his

writings (19:36; cf. Rev 5:1 6; 7:17; 17:14) and that appears in other NT writings (e.g., 1Pe 1:19). sin of the world. See note on v. 9; cf. 3:16; 6:33, 51. In this context world has the connotation of humanity in general, not specifically every person. The use of the singular sin in conjunction with of the world indicates that Jesus sacrifice for sin potentially reaches all human beings without distinction (cf. 1Jn 2:2). John makes clear, however, that its efficacious effect is only for those who receive Christ (vv. 11, 12). For discussion of the relation of Christs death to the world, see note on 2Co 5:19. 1:31 I... did not know him. Although John was J esus cousin, he did not know Jesus as the Coming One or Messiah (v. 30). 1:32 the Spirit come down. God had previously communicated to John that this sign was to indicate the promised Messiah (v. 33), so when John witnessed this act, he was able to identify the Messiah as Jesus (cf. Mt 3:16; Mk 1:10; Lk 3:22). 1:34 Gods Chosen One. Lit. sons of God. Although, in a limited sense, believers can be called chosen, John uses this phrase with the full force as a title that points to the unique oneness and intimacy that Jesus sustains to the Father as Chosen. The term carries the idea of the deity of Jesus as Messiah (v. 49; 5:16 30; cf. 2Sa 7:14; Ps 2:7; see notes on Heb 1:1 9). 1:3551 This portion deals with Johns witness to a third group, i.e., some of Johns disciples, on the third day (see vv. 19 28, 29 34 for the first and second groups) regarding J esus. Consistent with Johns humility (v. 27), he focuses the attention of his own disciples onto Jesus (v. 37). 1:37 they followed J esus. Although the verb follow usually means to follow as a disciple in the writing of the apostle (v. 43; 8:12; 12:26; 21:19, 20, 22), it may also have a neutral sense (11:31). The following here does not necessarily mean that they became permanent disciples at this time. The implication may be that they went after J esus to examine Him more closely because of Johns testimony. This event constituted a preliminary exposure of John the Baptists disciples to Jesus (e.g., Andrew; v. 40). They eventually dedicated their lives to Him as true disciples and apostles when J esus called them to permanent service after these events (Mt 4:18 22; 9:9; Mk 1:16 20). At this point in the narrative, John the Baptist fades from the scene and the attention focuses upon the ministry of Christ.

They said, Rab bir (which means Teach er), where are you stay ing? 39 Come, he re plied, and you will see. So they went and saw where he was stay ing, and they s pent that day with him. It was a bout four in the af ter noon. 40 An drew, Si mon Pe ters broth er, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first t hing An drew did was to find his broth er Si mon and tell him, We s have found the Mes si ah (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to J esus. Jesus looked at him and said, You are Si mon t Ce son of John. You will be c alled phas (which, when translated, is Peter a).u


JOHN 1:49
44 Phil ip, like An drew and Pe ter, was from the town of Bethsaida. x 45 Philip found Nathanael y and told him, We have found the one Mo ses z and wrote about in the Law, about whom the prophets also wrote a Jesus of Nazareth, b the c son of Jo seph. 46 Naz a reth! Can any thing good come from there? d Nathanael asked. Come and see, said Phil ip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he e in whom said of him, Here tru ly is an Is ra el ite f there is no de ceit. 48 How do you know me? Na than a el asked. Jesus an swered, I saw you while you were s till un der the fig tree be fore Phil ip c alled you. 49 Then Nathanael declared, Rabbi, g you are h you are the king of Is i the Son of God; ra el.

1:38 rver49; Mt23:7 1:41 sJn4:25 1:42 tGe17:5,15 uMt16:18 1:43 vMt10:3; Jn6:57; 12:21,22; 14:8,9 wMt4:19

1:44 xMt11:21; 1:45 yJn21:2

bMt2:23; cLk3:23


zLk24:27 aLk24:27



/ Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael

next day Jesus de cid ed to leave for Gal i lee. Finding Philip,v he said to him, Fol lowme.w
43 The

1:47 eRo9:4,6 1:49 gver38; Mt23:7 hver34; Mt4:3 iMt2:2; 27:42; Jn12:13



Cephas (Aramaic) and Peter (Greek) both mean rock.

1:39 four in the afternoon. Lit. about the tenth hour. The Jews divided the daylight period of the day into 12 hours (starting at sunrise, approximately 6 a.m.). This would make it 4 p.m. John is reckoning time by the Roman method of the day beginning at midnight. See note on Mk 15:25. This would make the time about 10:00 a.m. John mentions the precise time most likely to emphasize that he was the other disciple of John the Baptist who was with Andrew (v. 40). As an eyewitness to these events occurring on three successive days, Johns first meeting with Jesus was so life changing that he remembered the exact hour when he first met the Lord. 1:41 Messiah. The term Messiah is a transliteration of a Heb. or Aram. verbal adjective that means Anointed One. It comes from a verb that means to anoint someone as an action involved in consecrating that person to a particular office or function. While the term at first applied to the king of Israel (the LORDs anointed 1Sa 16:6), the high priest (the anointed priest, Lev 4:3) and, in one passage, the patriarchs (my anointed ones, Ps 105:15), the term eventually came to point above all to the prophesied Coming One or Messiah in His role as prophet, priest, and king. The term Christ, a Gr. word (verbal adjective) that comes from a verb meaning to anoint, is used in translating the Heb. term, so that the terms Messiah or Christ are titles and not personal names of J esus. 1:42 Jesus looked at him. Jesus knows hearts thoroughly (vv. 43 51) and not only sees into them (vv. 47, 48) but also transforms a person into what He wants him to become. You will be called Cephas. Up to this time, Peter had been known as Simon the son of John (Jonah in some translations; the name Jonah in Aram. means John; cf. 21:15 17; Mt 16:17). The term Cephas means rock in Aram. which is translated Peter in Greek. Jesus assignment of the name Cephas or Peter to Simon occurred at the outset of His ministry (cf. Mt 16:18; Mk 3:16). The statement is not only predictive of what Peter would be called but also declarative of how Jesus would transform his character and use him in relationship to the foundation of the church (cf. 21:18, 19; Mt 16:1618; Ac 2:144:32). 1:4351 This section introduces the fourth day since the beginning of John the Baptists witness (cf. vv. 19, 29, 35).

1:44 Andrew and Peter... from... Bethsaida. While Mk 1:21, 29 locates Peters house in Capernaum, John relates that he was from Bethsaida. Resolution centers in the fact that Peter (and Andrew) most likely grew up in Bethsaida and later relocated to Capernaum in the same way that Jesus was consistently identified with His hometown of Nazareth, though He lived elsewhere later (Mt 2:23; 4:13; Mk 1:9; Lk 1:26). 1:45 the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote. This phrase encapsulates the stance of Johns whole gospel: J esus is the fulfillment of OT Scripture (cf. v. 21; 5:39; Dt 18:15 19; Lk 24:44 47; Ac 10:43; 18:28; 26:22, 23; Ro 1:2; 1Co 15:3; 1Pe 1:10, 11; Rev 19:10). 1:46 Can anything good come from there? Nathanael was from Cana (21:2), another town in Galilee. While Galileans were despised by Judeans, Galileans themselves despised people from Nazareth. In light of 7:52, Nathanaels scorn may have centered in the fact that Nazareth was an insignificant village without seeming prophetic importance (cf., however, Mt 2:23). Later, some would contemptuously refer to Christians as the the Nazarene sect (Ac 24:5). 1:47 no deceit. Jesus recognized that Nathanaels forthright comment (v. 46) revealed him to be a man of sincerity and honesty who was open to the truth about Christ. The term reveals an honest, seeking heart. The reference here may be an allusion to Ge 27:35 where Jacob, in contrast to the sincere Nathanael, was known for his trickery. The meaning may be that the employment of trickery characterized not only Jacob but also his descendants. In Jesus mind, an honest and sincere Israelite had become an excep tion rather than the rule (cf. 2:23 25). 1:48 I saw you. A brief glimpse of J esus supernatural knowledge. Not only was J esus brief summary of Nathanael accurate (v. 47), but He also revealed information that could only be known by Nathanael himself. Perhaps Nathanael had some significant or outstanding experience of communion with God at the location, and he was able to recognize Jesus allusion to it. At any rate, Jesus had knowledge of this event not available to men. 1:49 the Son of God . . . the king of Israel. J esus display of supernatural knowledge and Philips witness removed Nathanaels doubts, so John added the witness of Nathanael to this section.

JOHN 1:50
50 a be Jesus said, You be lieve cause I told you I saw you un der the fig tree. You will see great er things than that. 51He then add ed, Very tru ly I tell you,b youb will see heav en open,j and the an k on c the gels of God as cend ing and de scend ing l Son of Man.


7 Jesus said to the ser vants, Fill the jars with wa ter; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, Now draw some out and take it to the mas ter of the ban quet. and the mas ter of the ban quet They did so, 9 tast ed the wa ter that had been t urned into wine.t He did not re al ize w here it had come from, though the ser vants who had d rawn the wa ter knew. Then he called the bride groom aside 10and said, Ev ery one brings out the choice wine first and then the cheap er wine af ter the guests have had too much to d rink; but you have s aved the best till now. 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Gal il ee through which he re was the f irst of the signsu v and his dis ci ples be lieved in vealed his glo ry; him.w
a b

1:51 jMt3:16
nMt12:46 pMt8:29

kGe28:12 lMt8:20

2:1 mJn4:46; 21:2 2:4 oJn19:26


2:5 rGe41:55 2:6 sMk7:3,4;



/ Jesus Changes Water IntoWine

On the third day a wed ding took place at here, Cana in Galilee. m Jesus mother n was t 2 and Jesus and his dis ci ples had also been in vit ed to the wed ding. 3When the wine was gone, J esus moth er said to him, They have no more wine. 4 Woman, d o why do you in p Jesus volve me? q re plied. My hour has not yet come. 5 His moth er said to the ser vants, Do what ev r er he tells you. 6 Near by stood six stone wa ter jars, the kind s each used by the Jews for cer e mo ni al wash ing, e hold ing from twen ty to thir ty gal lons.

2:9 tJn4:46 2:11 uver23;

vJn1:14 wEx14:31

Jn3:2; 4:48; 6:2, 14, 50OrDo you believe...? 51TheGreek is plural. c51Gen.28:12 d4 The Greek for Woman does not denote any 26, 30; 12:37; 20:30



Orfrom about 75 to about 115 liters

The use of the with Son of God most likely indicates that the expression is to be understood as bearing its full significance (cf. v. 34; 11:27). For Nathanael, here was One who could not be described merely in human terms. 1:51 Very truly. Cf. 5:19, 24, 25. A phrase used frequently for emphasizing the importance and truth of the coming statement. heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending. In light of the context of v. 47, this verse most likely refers to Ge 28:12 where Jacob dreamed about a ladder from heaven. Jesus point to Nathanael was that just like Jacob experienced supernatural or heaven-sent revelation, Nathanael and the other disciples would experience supernatural communication confirming who Jesus was. Moreover, the term Son of Man replaced the ladder in Jacobs dream, signifying that J esus was the means of access between God and man. Son of Man. See note on Mt 8:20. This is Jesus favorite self-designation, for it was mostly spoken by Jesus who used it over 80 times. In the NT, it refers only to Jesus and appears mostly in the Gospels (cf. Ac 7:56). While the term at times may refer merely to a human being or as a substitute for I (6:27; cf. 6:20), it especially takes on an eschatological significance referring to Da 7:13, 14 where the Son of Man or Messiah comes in glory to receive the kingdom from the Ancient of Days (i.e., the Father). 2:111 John relates the first great sign performed by Jesus to demonstrate His deity, the turning of water into wine. Only God can create from nothing. John identifies eight miracles in his gospel that constitute signs or confirmation of who J esus is. Each of the eight miracles were different; no two were alike (cf. v. 11). 2:1 On the third day. This phrase has reference to the last narrated event, i.e., the calling of Philip and Nathanael (1:43). wedding. A Jewish wedding could last up to seven days. It was the grooms responsibility to pay for the festivities. To run out of wine for the guests would have been an embarrassment to the groom and could have made him vulnerable to legal consequences from the brides relatives. Cana in Galilee. Cana was the home of Nathanael (21:2). Its exact location is unknown. A probable location is Khirbet Qana, a village now in ruins approximately nine mi. N of Nazareth. 2:2 J esus and his disciples had also been invited. The fact that Jesus, His mother, and His disciples were all present on this occa

sion probably indicates that the wedding was for a relative or a friend of the family. The disciples who accompanied Him are the five mentioned in chap. 1: Andrew, Simon Peter, Philip, Nathanael, and the unnamed disciple (1:35) who was surely John, who also witnessed this miracle. 2:3 wine. The wine served was subject to fermentation. In the ancient world, however, to quench thirst without inducing drunkenness, wine was mixed with water to dilute its strength. Due to the climate and circumstances, even new wine, or sweet wine, fermented quickly and had an inebriating effect if not mixed (Ac 2:13). Because of a lack of water purification process, wine mixed with water was also safer to drink than water alone. While the Bible condemns drunkenness, it does not necessarily condemn the consumption of wine (Ps 104:15; Pr 20:1; see notes on Eph 5:18). 2:4 Woman. Jesus tone was not disrespectful, but abrupt. why do you involve me? Lit. What (is that) to me and to you? The expression, common in Semitic idiom (Jdg 11:12; 2Sa 16:10), always distances the two parties, the speakers tone conveying some degree of reproach. Jesus tone was not rude, but abrupt. The phrase asks what is shared in common between the parties. The thrust of Jesus comment was that He had entered into the purpose for His mission on earth, so that He subordinated all activities to the fulfillment of that mission. Mary had to recognize Him not so much as a son whom she raised but as the promised Messiah and Son of God. Cf. Mk 3:3135. My hour has not yet come. The phrase constantly refers to J esus death and exaltation (7:30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1). He was on a divine schedule decreed by God before the foundation of the world. Since the prophets described the messianic kingdom as having an abundance of wine (Jer 31:12; Hos 14:7; Am 9:13, 14), J esus was likely referring to the fact that the necessity of the cross must come before the blessings of the millennial age. 2:6 used by the Jews for ceremonial washing. Stone jars were used because stone was more durable than earthenware and also less susceptible to uncleanness. As a result, stone was preferable for symbolic washings (cf. Mk 7:3, 4). 2:11 signs. By this word, John emphasizes that miracles were not merely displays of power but had a significance beyond the mere acts themselves.

12 x Af ter this he went down to Ca per na um y and his dis with his moth er and broth ers ci ples. There they stayed for a few days.


JOHN 2:16

2:12 xMt4:13

2:13 zJn11:55


/ Jesus Clears the Temple Courts

2:14-16pp Mt21:12,13; Mk11:15-17; Lk19:45,46
13 When it was al most time for the Jew ish Pass z a 14 over, Jesus went up to Je ru sa lem. In the tem
2:16 bLk2:49

ple c ourts he f ound peo ple sell ing cat tle, s heep and doves, and oth ers sit ting at ta bles ex chang ing money. 15 So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the tem ple courts, both sheep and cat tle; he scat tered the coins of the mon ey changers and overturned their tables. 16 To those who sold doves he said, Get these out of here! b into a mar Stop turn ing my Fa thers house ket!

2:12 After this. John often uses this phrase to connect two narratives in his gospel (e.g., 3:22; 5:1, 14; 6:1; 7:1; 11:7, 11; 19:28, 38). John placed this verse here as a transition to explain Jesus movement from Cana in Galilee to Capernaum and eventual arrival at Jerusalem for the Passover celebration. Capernaum was on the NW shore of Galilee about 16 mi. NE of Cana. 2:1325 John used this section where Jesus cleansed the temple in righteous indignation to reinforce his main theme that He was the promised Messiah and Son of God. In this section, he highlights three attributes of J esus that confirm His deity: 1) His passion for reverence (vv. 13 17); 2) His power of resurrection (vv. 18 22); and 3) His perception of reality (vv. 23 25). 2:1317 The first way John demonstrated Christs deity in the narrative of the temple cleansing was to show His passion for reverence. God alone exercises the right to regulate His worship. 2:13 Jewish Passover. This is the first of three Passovers that John mentions (v. 13; 6:4; 11:55). Jews selected the lamb on the tenth of the month, and celebrated Passover on the 14th day of the lunar month of Nisan in late March or early April. They slaughtered the lamb between 3:00 and 6:00 p.m. on the night of the festival. Passover commemorates the deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt when the angel of death passed over Jewish homes in Egypt whose door frames were sprinkled with blood (Ex 12:2327). Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Jesus journeying to Jerusalem for the Passover was a standard annual procedure for every devout Jewish male over 12 years old (Ex 23:14 17). Jewish pilgrims crowded into Jerusalem for this greatest of Jewish festivals. 2:14 people selling... exchanging money. During the celebration of Passover, worshipers came from all over Israel and the Roman Empire to Jerusalem. Because many traveled large distances, it was inconvenient to bring their sacrificial animals with them. Opportunistic merchants, seeing a chance to provide a service and probably eyeing considerable profit during this time, set up areas in the outer courts of the temple in order for travelers to buy animals. The ones

exchanging money, commonly known as money changers, were needed because the temple tax, paid annually by all Jewish men (Ex 30:13, 14; Mt 17:24 27), had to be in Jewish or Tyrian coinage (due to its high content of silver). Those coming from foreign lands would need to exchange their money into the proper coinage for the tax. The money changers charged a high fee for the exchange. With such a large group of travelers and because of the seasonal nature of the celebration, both the animal dealers and money exchangers exploited the situation for monetary gain (den of robbers; Mt 21:13). Religion had become crass and materialistic. 2:15 As John recorded this cleansing of the temple at the beginning of Jesus ministry, the Synoptic Gospels record a temple cleansing at the end of J esus ministry during the final Passover week before Jesus crucifixion (Mt 21:12 17; Mk 11:15 18; Lk 19:45, 46). The historical circumstances and literary contexts of the two temple cleansings differ so widely that attempts to equate the two are unsuccessful. Furthermore, that two cleansings occurred is entirely consistent with the overall context of J esus ministry, for the Jewish nation as a whole never recognized J esus authority as Messiah (Mt 23:37 39). Instead, they rejected His message as well as His person, making such repeated cleansing of the temple highly probable (as well as necessary). drove all from the temple courts. When the holiness of God and His worship was at stake, Jesus took fast and furious action. The all indicates that He drove not only men out but also animals. Yet, although His actions required brute force, they were not cruel. The moderation of His actions is seen in the fact that no riotous activity occurred; otherwise Roman troops would have rapidly intervened. Although the primary reference is to the actions of the Messiah in the millennial kingdom, Jesus actions in cleansing the temple were an initial fulfillment of Mal 3:1 3 (and Zec 14:20, 21) that speak of Messiahs purifying the religious worship of His people. 2:16 Stop turning. The force of the Gr. imperative indicates that Jesus made a strong demand that they stop their current practice. Gods holiness demands holiness in worship. my Fathers. John

/The Eight Signs\

Turns water into wine (Jn 2:112) Heals a royal officials son (Jn 4:4654) Heals a lame man at the pool of Bethesda (Jn 5:117) Feeds 5,000 (Jn 6:114) Walks on water, stills a storm (Jn 6:1521) Heals a man blind from birth (Jn 9:141) Raises Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:1745) Causes abundant catch of fish (Jn 21:6) Jesus is the source of life. Jesus is master over distance. Jesus is master over time. Jesus is the bread of life. Jesus is master over nature. Jesus is the light of the world. Jesus has power over death. Jesus is master over the animal world.
1997 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

JOHN 2:17
17 His dis ci ples re mem bered that it is writ ten: a c Zeal for your house will con sume me. 18 The Jews then re spond ed to him, What sign can you show us to p rove your au thor it y to do d all this? 19 Jesus an swered them, De stroy this tem ple, e and I will raise it a gain in t hree days. 20 They re plied, It has tak en for ty-six y ears to build this tem ple, and you are go ing to raise it But the tem ple he had spo ken in t hree days? 21 f 22 Af ter he was raised from the of was his body. g dead, his dis ci ples re called what he had said. Then they be lieved the scrip ture and the words that Jesus had spo ken.


23 Now while he was in Je ru sa lem at the Pass ple saw the signs he over Festival, h many peo b 24But was per form ing and be lieved in his name. Jesus would not en trust him self to them, for he He did not need any tes ti mo knew all peo ple. 25 ny about man kind, for he knew what was in each person. i

27:40; Mk14:58; 15:29 2:21 f1Co6:19 2:22 gLk24:58; Jn12:16; 14:26

2:17 cPs69:9 2:18 dMt12:38 2:19 eMt26:61;

Jn6:61,64; 13:11 3:1 jJn7:50; 19:39 kLk23:13

2:23 hver13 2:25 iMt9:4;

/ Jesus Teaches Nicodemus

Now there was a Phar is ee, a man named Nic ber of the Jew ish rul odemus j who was a mem esus at n ight and said, ing council. k 2He came to J Rab bi, we know that you are a teach er who has
a17Psalm69:9 b23Orin


gives a subtle hint of Jesus divine Sonship as well as His messiahship with the recording of this phrase (see 5:17, 18). house into a market. Jesus may have intended a play on words. The word market pictures a trading house filled with wares. 2:17 Quoted from Ps 69:9 to indicate that Jesus would not tolerate irreverence toward God. When David wrote this psalm, he was being persecuted because of his zeal toward Gods house and his defense of Gods honor. The disciples were afraid that Jesus actions would precipitate the same type of persecution. Paul quotes the latter half of Ps 69:9 in Ro 15:3 (The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me), clearly indicating the messianic nature that the psalm had for the early church. 2:1822 The second way John demonstrated Christs deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show His power over death through resurrection. Only God has this right. 2:18 The Jews. Most likely the temple authorities or representatives of the Sanhedrin (cf. 1:19). sign. The Jews demanded that Jesus show some type of miraculous sign that would indicate His authority for the actions He had just taken in regulating the activities of the temple. Their demand of a sign reveals that they had not grasped the significance of Jesus rebuke that centered in their need for proper attitudes and holiness in worship. Such an action itself constituted a sign of J esus person and authority. Moreover, they were requesting from J esus a crass display of miracles on demand, further displaying their unbelief. 2:19 At His trial, the authorities charged Jesus (Mk 14:58; cf. Mk 15:29) with making a threatening statement against the temple, revealing that they did not understand Jesus response here. Once again Johns gospel supplements the other gospels at this point by indicating that J esus enigmatically referred to His resurrection. As with His usage of parables, J esus cryptic statement most likely was designed to reveal the truth to His disciples but conceal its meaning from unbelievers who questioned Him (Mt 13:10, 11). Only after His resurrection, however, did the disciples understand the real significance of this statement (v. 22; cf. Mt 12:40). Importantly, through the death and resurrection of Christ, temple worship in Jerusalem was destroyed (cf. 4:21) and reinstituted in the hearts of those who were built into a spiritual temple called the church (Eph 2:19 22). 2:20 forty-six years to build this temple. This was not a reference to the Solomonic temple, since it had been destroyed during the Babylonian conquest in 586 B.C. When the captives returned from Babylon, Zerubbabel and Jeshua began rebuilding the temple (Ezr 1 4). Encouraged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (Ezr 5:1 6:18), the Jews completed the work in 516 B.C. In 20/19 B.C.

Herod the Great began a reconstruction and expansion. Workers completed the main part of the project in 10 years, but other parts were still being constructed even at the time Jesus cleansed the temple. Interestingly, the finishing touches on the whole enterprise were still being made at its destruction by the Romans along with Jerusalem in A.D. 70. The famous Wailing Wall is built on part of the Herodian temple foundation. 2:2325 The third way John demonstrated Christs deity in the account of the temple cleansing was to show His perception of reality. Only God truly knows the hearts of men. 2:23, 24 many... believed in his name.... But Jesus would not entrust himself to them. John based these two phrases on the same Gr. verb for believe. This verse subtly reveals the true nature of belief from a biblical standpoint. Because of what they knew of J esus from His miraculous signs, many came to believe in Him. However, Jesus made it His habit not to wholeheartedly entrust or commit Himself to them because He knew their hearts. Verse 24 indicates that Jesus looked for genuine conversion rather than enthusiasm for the spectacular. The latter verse also leaves a subtle doubt as to the genuineness of the conversion of some (cf. 8:31, 32). This emphatic contrast between vv. 23, 24 in terms of type of trust, therefore, reveals that, lit., belief into His name involved much more than intellectual assent. It called for whole-hearted commitment of ones life as Jesus disciple (cf. Mt 10:37; 16:2426). 3:12 1 The story of Jesus and Nicodemus reinforces Johns themes that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God (apologetic) and that He came to offer salvation to men (evangelistic). John 2:23, 24 actually serves as the introduction to Nicodemuss story, since chap. 3 constitutes tangible evidence of Jesus ability to know mens hearts and thereby also demonstrates J esus deity. Jesus also presented Gods plan of salvation to Nicodemus, showing that He was Gods messenger, whose redemptive work brings about the promised salvation to His people (v. 14). The chapter may be divided into two sections: 1) Jesus dialogue with Nicodemus (vv. 1 10); and 2) Jesus discourse on Gods plan of salvation (vv. 11 21). 3:110 This section on J esus dialogue with Nicodemus may be divided into three sections: 1) Nicodemuss inquiry of J esus (vv. 1 3); 2) Jesus insight into Nicodemus (vv. 4 8); and 3) Jesus indictment of Nicodemus (vv. 9, 10). 3:1 Pharisee. See note on Mt 3:7. The word Pharisee most likely comes from a Heb. word meaning to separate and therefore probably means separated ones. They were not separatists in the sense of isolationists but in the puritanical sense, i.e., they were highly zealous for ritual and religious purity according to the

come from God. For no one could per form the m ing if God were not with him. signs l you are do 3 Jesus re plied, Very tru ly I tell you, no one can see the king dom of God un less they are born an again. 4 How can some one be born when they are old? Nicodemus asked. Surely they cannot en ter a sec ond time into their moth ers womb to be born! 5 Jesus an swered, Very tru ly I tell you, no one can en ter the king dom of God un less they are o 6 Flesh gives birth born of wa ter and the Spir it.


JOHN 3:11
b p to flesh, but the Spir it gives birth to spir it. 7 c You should not be sur prised at my say ing, You must be born a gain. 8 The wind blows wherever it pleas es. You hear its s ound, but you can not tell where it comes from or where it is go ing. So it is d with ev ery one born of the Spir it. q Nicodemus asked. 9 How can this be? 10 You are Israels teacher, r said J esus, and do you not un der stand these things? 11 Very truly
TheGreek for again also means from above; also in verse7. b6Orbut spirit c7TheGreek is plural. d8 TheGreek for Spirit is the same as that for wind.

3:2 lJn9:16,33

3:3 nJn1:13;


3:5 oTitus3:5

3:6 pJn1:13; 1Co15:50 3:9 qJn6:52,60 3:10 rLk2:46

Mosaic law as well as their own traditions that they added to the OT legislation. Although their origin is unknown, they seem to have arisen as an offshoot from the Hasidim or pious ones during the Maccabean era. They were generally from the Jewish middle class and mostly consisted of laity (businessmen) rather than priests or Levites. They represented the orthodox core of Judaism and very strongly influenced the common people of Israel. According to Josephus, 6,000 existed at the time of Herod the Great. J esus condemned them for their hyper-concentration on externalizing religion (rules and regulations) rather than inward spiritual transformation (vv. 3, 7). Nicodemus. Although Nicodemus was a Pharisee, his name was Gr. in origin and means victor over the people. He was a prominent Pharisee and member of the Sanhedrin (a member of the Jewish ruling council). Nothing is known about his family background. He eventually came to believe in Jesus (7:50 52), risking his own life and reputation by helping to give Jesus body a decent burial (19:38 42). a member of the Jewish ruling council. This is a reference to the Sanhedrin (see note on Mt 26:59), the main ruling body of the Jews in Israel during the Greco-Roman period. It was the Jewish supreme court or ruling council of the time and arose most likely during the Persian period. In NT times, the Sanhedrin was composed of the high priest (president), chief priests, elders (family heads), and scribes for a total of 71 people. The method of appointment was both hereditary and political. It executed both civil and criminal jurisdiction according to Jewish law. However, capital punishment cases required the sanction of the Roman procurator (18:30 32). After A.D. 70 and the destruction of Jerusalem, the Sanhedrin was abolished and replaced by the Beth Din (court of Judgment) that was composed of scribes whose decisions had only moral and religious authority. 3:2 came to J esus at night. While some have thought that Nicodemuss visit at night was somehow figurative of the spiritual darkness of his heart (cf. 1:5; 9:4; 11:10; 13:30) or that he decided to come at this time because he could take more time with Jesus and be unhurried in conversation, perhaps the most logical explanation lies in the fact that, as a ruler of the Jews, Nicodemus was afraid of the implications of associating openly in conversation with J esus. He chose night in order to have a clandestine meeting with Jesus rather than risk disfavor with his fellow Pharisees among whom Jesus was generally unpopular. 3:3 born again. The phrase lit. means born from above. Jesus answered a question that Nicodemus does not even ask. He read Nicodemuss heart and came to the very core of his problem, i.e., the need for spiritual transformation or regeneration produced by the Holy Spirit. New birth is an act of God whereby eternal life is imparted to the believer (2Co 5:17; Titus 3:5; 1Pe 1:3; 1Jn 2:29; 3:9; 4:7; 5:1, 4, 18). Chapter 1:12, 13 indicates that born again also carries the idea to become children of God through trust in the name of the incarnate Word. no one can see the kingdom of God.

In context, this is primarily a reference to participation in the millennial kingdom at the end of the age, fervently anticipated by the Pharisees and other Jews. Since the Pharisees were supernaturalists, they naturally and eagerly expected the coming of the prophesied resurrection of the saints and institution of the messianic kingdom (Isa 11:1 16; Da 12:2). Their problem was that they thought that mere physical lineage and keeping of religious externals qualified them for entrance into the kingdom rather than the needed spiritual transformation that Jesus emphasized (cf. 8:33 39; Gal 6:15). 3:4 A teacher himself, Nicodemus understood the rabbinical method of using figurative language to teach spiritual truth, and he was merely picking up Jesus symbolism. 3:5 born of water and the Spirit. Jesus is referring not to literal water here but to the need for cleansing (e.g., Eze 36:24 27). The Old Testament sometimes uses water as a metaphor for spiritual cleansing or renewal (Nu 19:17 19; Ps 51:9, 10; Isa 32:15; 44:3 5; 55:1 3; Jer 2:13; Joel 2:28, 29). Thus, Jesus made reference to the spiritual washing or purification of the soul, accomplished by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God at the moment of salvation (cf. Eph 5:26; Titus 3:5), required for belonging to His kingdom. 3:8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. Jesus point was that just as the wind cannot be controlled or understood by human beings but its effects can be witnessed, so also it is with the Holy Spirit. He cannot be controlled or understood, but the proof of His work is apparent. Where the Spirit works, there is undeniable and unmistakable evidence. 3:10 Israels teacher. Nicodemus was a renowned master-teacher in the nation of Israel, an established religious authority par excellence. He enjoyed a high standing among the rabbis or teachers of his day. Jesus reply emphasized the spiritual bankruptcy of the nation at that time, since even one of the greatest of Jewish teachers did not recognize this teaching on spiritual cleansing and transformation based clearly in the OT (cf. v. 5). The net effect is to show that externals of religion may have a deadening effect on ones spiritual perception. 3:1121 The focus of these verses turns away from Nicodemus and centers on Jesus discourse regarding the true meaning of salvation. The key word in these verses is believe, used seven times. The new birth must be appropriated by an act of faith. While vv. 1 10 center on the divine initiative in salvation, vv. 11 21 emphasize the human reaction to the work of God in regeneration. In vv. 11 21, the section may be divided into three parts: 1) the problem of unbelief (vv. 11, 12); 2) the answer to unbelief (vv. 13 17); and 3) the results of unbelief (vv. 18 21). 3:11, 12 Jesus focused on the idea that unbelief is the cause of ignorance. At heart, Nicodemuss lack of understanding J esus words pointed not so much to his mental capacity but to his unwillingness to embrace Jesus testimony.

JOHN 3:12
s and we I tell you, we s peak of what we know, tes ti fy to what we have seen, but still you peo ple do not ac cept our tes ti mo ny.t 12I have spo ken to you of earth ly things and you do not be lieve; how then will you be lieve if I s peak of heav en ly u ex things? 13No one has ever gone into heav en vthe Son cept the one who came from heav en a 14 of Man. Just as Mo ses lift ed up the snake in the wilderness, w so the Son of Man must be lift b x 15 that everyone who believes y may have ed up, c eter nal life in him. 16 For God so l ovedz the w orld that he gave his one and only Son, that who ev er be lieves in him a 17For God shall not per ish but have eter nal life. did not send his Son into the worldb to con demn c the world, but to save the w orld through him. 18 d Who ev er be lieves in him is not con demned, but who ev er does not be lieve s tands con demned al ready be cause they have not be lieved in the e 19 name of G ods one and only Son. This is the


verdict: Light f has come into the world, but peo ple loved dark ness in stead of light be cause their deeds were evil. 20 Every one who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear g 21 But whoever that their deeds will be ex posed. lives by the t ruth comes into the l ight, so that it may be seen plain ly that what they have done has been done in the s ight of God.

3:11 sJn1:18; 7:16, 17 tver32 3:13 uPr30:4; Ac2:34; Eph4:810 vJn6:38,42 3:14 wNu21:8,9 xJn8:28; 12:32 3:15 yver16,36 3:16 zRo5:8; Eph2:4; 1Jn4:9,10 aver36; Jn6:29,40; 11:25,26 3:17 bJn6:29,57; 10:36; 11:42; 17:8, 21; 20:21 cJn12:47; 1Jn4:14 3:18 dJn5:24 e1Jn4:9

/ John Testifies Again AboutJesus

22 Af ter this, Jesus and his dis ci ples went out into the Judean countryside, where he spent some time with them, and bap tized.h 23Now John also was bap tiz ing at Ae non near Sa lim, be cause there was plen ty of wa ter, and peo ple were com ing and be ing bap tized. 24 (This was be fore John i 25 An argument developed was put in pris on.)

3:19 fJn1:4; 8:12 3:20 gEph5:11,13 3:22 hJn4:2 3:24 iMt4:12; 14:3

Some manuscripts Man, who is in heaven b14 TheGreek for lifted up also means exalted. c15 Some interpreters end the quotation with verse21.

3:11 you... do not accept our testimony. The plural you here refers back to the we of v. 2, where Nicodemus was speaking as a representative of his nation Israel (we know). Jesus replies in v. 11 with you indicating that Nicodemuss unbelief was typical of the nation as a collective whole. 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven. This verse contradicts other religious systems claims to special revelation from God. Only He had His permanent abode in heaven prior to His incarnation and, therefore, only He has the true knowledge regarding heavenly wisdom (cf. Pr 30:4). 3:14 so the Son of Man must be lifted up. Cf. 8:28; 12:32, 34; 18:31, 32. This is a veiled prediction of Jesus death on the cross. Jesus referred to the story of Nu 21:5 9 where the Israelite people who looked at the serpent lifted up by Moses were healed. The point of this illustration or analogy is in the lifted up. Just as Moses lifted up the snake on the pole so that all who looked upon it might live physically, those who look to Christ, who was lifted up on the cross, will live spiritually and eternally. 3:15 eternal life. This is the first of 17 references to eternal life in Johns gospel. The same Gr. phrase is translated in some versions as everlasting life. The two expressions appear in the NT nearly 50 times. Eternal life refers not only to eternal quantity but also to divine quality of life. It means lit. life of the age to come and refers therefore to resurrection and heavenly existence in perfect glory and holiness. This life for believers in the Lord Jesus is experienced before heaven is reached. This eternal life is in essence nothing less than participation in the eternal life of the Living Word, J esus Christ. It is the life of God in every believer, yet not fully manifest until the resurrection (Ro 8:19 23; Php 3:20, 21). 3:16 For God so loved the world. The Sons mission is bound up in the supreme love of God for the evil, sinful world of humanity (cf. 6:32, 51; 12:47; see notes on 1:9; Mt 5:44, 45) that is in rebellion against Him. The word so emphasizes the intensity or greatness of His love. The Father gave His unique and beloved Son to die on behalf of sinful men (see note on 2Co 5:21). eternal life. See note on v. 15; cf. 17:3; 1Jn 5:20. 3:18 believed in the name. This phrase (lit. to believe into the name) means more than mere intellectual assent to the claims of

the gospel. It includes trust and commitment to Christ as Lord and Savior that results in receiving a new nature (v. 7) that produces a change in heart and obedience to the Lord (see note on 2:23, 24). 3:2236 This section constitutes John the Baptists last testimony in this gospel regarding Christ. As his ministry faded away, Jesus ministry moved to the forefront. In spite of the fact that John the Baptist received widespread fame in Israel and was generally accepted by the common people of the land as well as those who were social outcasts, his testimony regarding Jesus was rejected, especially by the leaders of Israel (cf. Mt 3:5 10; Lk 7:29). 3:22 into the Judean countryside. While the previous episode with Nicodemus took place in Jerusalem (2:23), which was part of Judea, the phrase here means that Jesus went out into the rural areas of that region. baptized. Chapter 4:2 specifically says that Jesus did not personally baptize but that His disciples carried on this work. 3:23 Aenon near Salim. The exact location of this reference is disputed. The phrase may refer to either Salim near Shechem or Salim that is six mi. S of Beth Shan. Both are in the region of Samaria. Aenon is a transliterated Heb. word meaning springs, and both of these possible sites have plenty of water. 3:24 before John was put in prison. This provides another indication that John supplemented the Synoptic Gospels by providing additional information that helps further understanding of the movements of John the Baptist and Jesus (see Introduction). In Matthew and Mark, Christs temptation is followed by Johns imprisonment. With this phrase, John the apostle fills in the slot between Jesus baptism and temptation and the Baptists imprisonment. 3:25 An argument developed. The argument probably concerned the relation of the baptismal ministries of John and J esus to the Jews purification practices alluded to in 2:6. The real underlying impetus, however, centered in the concern of Johns disciples that Jesus was in competition with him. 3:253 6 This section may be divided into three parts that highlight the significance of what was occurring in relationship to Johns and Jesus ministry: 1) John the Baptist constituted the end of the old age (vv. 25 29); 2) the transition to Jesus ministry (v. 30); and

e b tween some of J ohns dis ci ples and a cer tain Jew over the matter of ceremonial washing. j 26 k They came to John and said to him, Rab bi, that man who was with you on the oth er side of the Jor dan the one you tes ti fiedl aboutlook, he is bap tiz ing, and ev ery one is go ing to him. 27 To this John re plied, A per son can re ceive only what is giv en them from heav en. 28You your selves can tes ti fy that I said, I am not the m 29 T he Mes si ah but am sent a head of him. n The f bride be longs to the bride groom. riend who at tends the bride groom waits and lis tens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bride grooms voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. o 30 He must be come great er; I must be come less.a p is a 31 The one who comes from above bove all; the one who is from the earth be longs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth.q The one who comes from heav en is a bove all. 32 He testi


JOHN 4:5
r but no one fies to what he has seen and h eard, accepts his testimony. s 33 Whoever has accepted it has cer ti fied that God is truth ful. 34For the one t whom God has sent speaks the w ords of God, b u without limit. 35The for God gives the Spir it Fa ther loves the Son and has placed ev ery thing in his h ands.v 36Who ev er be lieves in the Son has eternal life, w but who ev er re jects the Son will not see life, for Gods wrath re mains on them.

3:25 jJn2:6 3:26 kMt23:7


oJn16:24; 17:13; Php2:2; 1Jn1:4; 2Jn12 3:31 pver13 qJn8:23; 1Jn4:5

3:28 mJn1:20,23 3:29 nMt9:15

/ Jesus Talks With a Samaritan

3:32 rJn8:26;

15:15 sver11 3:34 tver17 uMt12:18; Lk4:18; Ac10:38 3:35 vMt28:18; Jn5:20,22; 17:2 3:36 wver15; Jn5:24; 6:47 4:1 xJn3:22,26 4:3 yJn3:22



Now Jesus learned that the Phar i sees had eard that he was gain h ing and bap tiz ing x 2 al though in fact more dis ci ples than John it was not Jesus who bap tized, but his dis ci ples. 3 y and went back once more to So he left Ju dea Galilee. 4 Now he had to go through Sa mar ia. 5So he
Some interpreters end the quotation with verse 36. b34Greek he

3) Jesus ministry as constituting the beginning of the new age (vv. 31 36). Instead of jealousy, John exhibited humble faithfulness to the superiority of J esus person and ministry. 3:26 everyone is going to him. The potential conflict between John and Jesus was heightened by the fact that both were engaged in ministry in close proximity to one another. Because baptism is mentioned in v. 22, J esus may have been close to Jericho near the fords of the Jordan, while John was a short distance N baptizing at Aenon. Johns followers were especially disturbed by the fact that so many were flocking to Jesus whereas formerly they had come to John. 3:27 given them from heaven. This verse emphasizes Gods sovereign authority in granting ministry opportunity (cf. 1Co 4:7; 15:10). 3:29 bridegroom... friend who attends the bridegroom. John used an illustration to clarify his role for his disciples. The friend of the bridegroom was essentially the best man. He helped organize the details of the ceremony and took great pleasure in seeing the wedding proceed without incident. Most likely, John also alluded to OT passages where faithful Israel is portrayed as the bride of the Lord (Isa 62:4, 5; Hos 2:16 20). 3:3136 In these verses, John the Baptist gave five reasons for Christs superiority to him: 1) Christ had a heavenly origin (v. 31); 2) Christ knew what was true by firsthand experience (v. 32); 3) Christs testimony always agreed with God (v. 33); 4) Christ experienced the Holy Spirit in an unlimited manner (v. 34); and 5) Christ was supreme because the Father sovereignly had granted that status to Him (v. 35). 3:34 the Spirit without limit. God gave the Spirit to the Son without limits (1:32, 33; Isa 11:2; 42:1; 61:1). 3:36 This constitutes an appropriate conclusion to the third chapter of Johns gospel. John the Baptist laid out two divergent paths, sincere faith and stubborn disobedience. As John faded from the forefront, he offered an invitation to faith in the Son and clearly expressed the ultimate consequence of failure to believe, i.e., Gods wrath. 4:126 The story of the Samaritan woman reinforces Johns main theme that J esus is the Messiah and Son of God. The thrust of these verses is not so much her conversion but that J esus is Messiah (v. 26). While her conversion is clearly implied, the apostles

focus centers on J esus declaration foretold in the Scriptures (v. 25). Important also is the fact that this chapter demonstrates Jesus love and understanding of people. His love for mankind involved no boundaries, for He lovingly and compassionately reached out to a woman who was a social outcast. In contrast to the limitations of human love, Christ exhibits the character of divine love that is indiscriminate and all-encompassing (3:16). 4:3 he left Judea. John the Baptist and Jesus had official scrutiny focused on them because of their distinctive message regarding repentance and the kingdom. Most likely, J esus wanted to avoid any possible trouble with Johns disciples who were troubled with His growing popularity and, since the Pharisees were also focusing on His growing influence, J esus decided to leave Judea and travel N in order to avoid any conflict. 4:4 he had to go through. Several roads led from Judea to Galilee: one near the seacoast; another through the region of Perea; and one through the heart of Samaria. Even with the strong antipathy between Jews and Samaritans, the Jewish historian Josephus relates that the custom of Judeans at the time of the great festivals was to travel through the country of the Samaritans because it was the shorter route. Although the verb had to may possibly refer to the fact that Jesus wanted to save time and needless steps, because of the gospels emphasis on the Lords consciousness of fulfilling His Fathers plan (2:4; 7:30; 8:20; 12:23; 13:1; 14:31), the apostle may have been highlighting divine, spiritual necessity, i.e., J esus had an appointment with divine destiny in meeting the Samaritan woman, to whom He would reveal His messiahship. Samaria. When the nation of Israel split politically after Solomons rule, King Omri named the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel Samaria (1Ki 16:24). The name eventually referred to the entire district and sometimes to the entire northern kingdom, which had been taken captive (capital, Samaria) by Assyria in 722 B.C. (2Ki 17:1 6). While Assyria led most of the populace of the 10 northern tribes away (into the region that today is northern Iraq), it left a sizable population of Jews in the northern Samaritan region and transported many non-Jews into Samaria. These groups intermingled to form a mixed race through intermarriage. Eventually, tension developed between the Jews who returned from captivity and the Samaritans. The Samaritans withdrew from the worship of

JOHN 4:6


from it him self, as did also his sons and his live stock? 13 Jesus an swered, Ev ery one who drinks this wa ter will be thirsty a gain, 14 but whoever drinks e Indeed, the wa ter I give them will nev er t hirst. the wa ter I give them will be come in them a g ing up to eter nal life. spring of water f well 15 The wom an said to him, Sir, give me this h and have to wa ter so that I w ont get t hirsty keep com ing here to draw wa ter. 16 He told her, Go, call your hus band and come back. 17 I have no hus band, she re plied. Jesus said to her, You are r ight when you say you have no hus band. 18The fact is, you have had five hus bands, and the man you now have is not your hus band. What you have just said is q uite true. 19 Sir, the wom an said, I can see that you ces tors wor shiped on this are a proph et.i 20Our an

came to a town in Sa mar ia called Sy char, near the plot of g round Ja cob had giv en to his son Jo z 6 Ja cobs well was t here, and J esus, t ired as seph. he was from the jour ney, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Sa mar i tan wom an came to draw wa ter, Jesus said to her, Will you give me a drink? 8 a to buy (His dis ci ples had gone into the town food.) 9 The Sa mar i tan wom an said to him, You are a an. How can you Jew and I am a Sa mar it anb wom ask me for a drink? (For Jews do not as so ci ate with Samaritans. a) 10 Jesus an swered her, If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a d rink, you would have asked him and he would have giv en you living water. c 11 Sir, the wom an said, you have noth ing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you Are you great er than our get this liv ing wa ter? 12 d and drank fa ther Ja cob, who gave us the well

4:5 zGe33:19; 48:22; Jos24:32 4:8 aver5,39 4:9 bMt10:5; Lk9:52,53 4:10 cIsa44:3; Jer2:13; Zec14:8; Jn7:37,38; Rev21:6; 22:1,17 4:12 dver6

4:14 eJn6:35

fJn7:38 gMt25:46

4:15 hJn6:34 4:19 iMt21:11

not use dishes Samaritans have used

ahweh at Jerusalem and established their worship at Mt. Gerizim Y in Samaria (vv. 20 22). Samaritans regarded only the Pentateuch as authoritative. As a result of this history, Jews repudiated Samaritans and considered them heretical. Intense ethnic and cultural tensions raged historically between the two groups so that both avoided contact as much as possible (v. 9; Ezr 4:1 24; Ne 4:1 6; Lk 10:2537). See note on 2Ki 17:24. 4:5, 6 These verses refer back to Ge 48:22 where Jacob bequeathed a section of land to Joseph that he had purchased from the sons of Hamor (cf. Ge 33:19). When the Jews returned from Egypt, they buried Josephs bones in that land at Shechem. The precise location of Jacobs well has been set by a firm tradition among Jews, Samaritans, Muslims, and Christians and lies today in the shadow of the crypt of an unfinished Orthodox church. The term used here for well denotes a running spring, while in vv. 11, 12 John uses another term for well that means cistern or dugout-well, indicating that the well was both dug out and fed by an underground spring. This spring is still active today. 4:5 Sychar. This town was located where the village of Askar is today, on the side of Mount Ebal, opposite of Mount Gerizim. Ancient tradition identifies Jacobs well to be about a half-mile south of Askar. 4:6 tired... from the journey. Since the Word became flesh (1:14), He also suffered from physical limitations in His humanity (Heb 2:1014). about noon. If John used the Jewish reckoning of time, calculated from sunrise at about 6:00 a.m., the time was about noon. If John used Roman time, which started reckoning from 12:00 p.m., the time would be about 6:00 p.m. 4:7 a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Women generally came in groups to collect water, either earlier or later in the day to avoid the suns heat. If the Samaritan woman came alone at 12:00 p.m., this may indicate that her public shame (vv. 16 19) caused her to be isolated from other women. Will you give me a drink? For a Jewish man to speak to a woman in public, let alone to ask from her, a Samaritan, a drink was a definite breach of rigid social custom as well as a marked departure from the social animosity that existed between the two groups. Further, a rabbi and reli-

gious leader did not hold conversations with women of ill repute (v. 18). 4:8 to buy food. This verse indicates that since Jesus and His disciples were willing to buy food from Samaritans, they did not follow the beliefs of stricter Jews, who would never have ingested food from outcast Samaritans. 4:10 living water. The OT is the background for this term, which has important metaphorical significance. In Jer 2:13, Yahweh decries the disobedient Jews for rejecting Him, the spring of living water. The OT prophets looked forward to a time when living water will flow out from Jerusalem (Eze 47:9; Zec 14:8). The OT metaphor spoke of the knowledge of God and His grace that provides cleansing, spiritual life, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Isa 1:16 18; 12:3; 44:3; Eze 36:25 27). John applies these themes to J esus Christ as the living water that is symbolic of eternal life mediated by the Holy Spirit from Him (cf. v. 14; 6:35; 7:37 39). Jesus used the womans need for physical water to sustain life in this arid region in order to serve as an object lesson for her need for spiritual transformation. 4:15 The woman, like Nicodemus (3:4), did not realize that J esus was talking about her spiritual needs. Instead, in her mind, she wanted such water in order to avoid her frequent trips to Jacobs well. 4:16 call your husband. Since the woman failed to understand the nature of the living water He offered (v. 15), Jesus abruptly turned the dialogue to focus sharply on her real spiritual need for conversion and cleansing from sin. His intimate knowledge of her morally depraved life not only indicated His supernatural ability, but also focused on her spiritual condition. 4:18 not your husband. She was living conjugally with a man who Jesus said was not her husband. By such an explicit statement, our Lord rejected the notion that when two people live together it constitutes marriage. Biblically, marriage is always restricted to a public, formal, official, and recognized covenant. 4:19 you are a prophet. His knowledge of her life indicated He had supernatural inspiration.

mountain, j but you Jews claim that the place k here we must wor w ship is in Je ru sa lem. 21 Wom an, Jesus re plied, be lieve me, a time ship the Fa ther nei is coming l when you will wor m 22You ther on this moun tain nor in Je ru sa lem. n we Sa mar i tans wor ship what you do not know; wor ship what we do know, for sal va tion is from o 23 Yet a time is com ing and has now the Jews. p ship ers will wor ship the come when the true wor q and in t ruth, for they are Fa ther in the Spir it the kind of wor ship ers the Fa ther s eeks. 24God r ship ers must wor ship in the is spirit, and his wor Spir it and in truth. 25 The wom an said, I know that Mes si ah ing. When he comes, he (called Christ) s is com will explain everything tous. 26 Then J esus de clared, I, the one speak ing to youI amhe.t


/ The Disciples Rejoin Jesus

JOHN 4:34

4:20 jDt11:29; Jos8:33 kLk9:53 4:21 lJn5:28; 16:2 mMal1:11; 1Ti2:8 4:22 n2Ki17:2841 oIsa2:3; Ro3:1, 2; 9:4,5 4:23 pJn5:25; 16:32 qPhp3:3 4:24 rPhp3:3 4:25 sMt1:16 4:26 tJn8:24; 9:3537

18 wMt12:23; Jn7:26,31 4:31 xMt23:7 4:32 yJob23:12; Mt4:4; Jn6:27 4:34 zMt26:39; Jn6:38; 17:4; 19:30

4:27 uver8 4:29 vver17,

27 u and were Just then his dis ci ples re turned sur prised to find him talk ing with a wom an. But no one asked, What do you want? or Why are you talk ing with her? 28 Then, leav ing her wa ter jar, the wom an went back to the town and said to the peo ple, 29 Come, see a man who told me ev ery thing I v w 30They Could this be the Mes si ah? ever did. came out of the town and made t heir way to ward him. 31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, Rabbi, x eat something. 32 But he said to them, I have food to eaty that you know noth ing about. 33 Then his dis ci ples said to each oth er, Could some one have brought him food? 34 z of My food, said Jesus, is to do the will

4:20 on this mountain. Both Jews and Samaritans recognized that God had commanded their forefathers to identify a special place for worshiping Him (Dt 12:5). The Jews, recognizing the entire Hebrew canon, chose Jerusalem (2Sa 7:5 13; 2Ch 6:6). The Samaritans, recognizing only the Pentateuch, noted that the first place Abraham built an altar to God was at Shechem (Ge 12:6, 7), which was overlooked by Mt. Gerizim, where the Israelites had shouted the blessings promised by God before they entered the Promised Land (Dt 11:29, 30). As a result, they chose Mt. Gerizim for the place of their temple. 4:21 neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. There was no reason to debate locations, since both places would be obsolete soon and neither would have any role to play in the lives of those who genuinely worship God. Jerusalem would even be destroyed with its temple (A.D. 70). 4:22 you do not know. The Samaritans did not know God. They did not have the full revelation of Him, and thus could not worship in truth. The Jews did have the full revelation of God in the OT; thus they knew the God they worshiped, because salvations truth came first to them (see note on Lk 19:9) and through them to the world (cf. Ro 3:2; 9:4, 5). 4:23 a time. This refers to Jesus death, resurrection, and ascension to God, having completed redemption. true worshipers. Jesus point is that in light of His coming as Messiah and Savior, worshipers will be identified, not by a particular shrine or location, but by their worship of the Father through the Son. With Christs coming, previous distinctions between true and false worshipers based on locations disappeared. True worshipers are all those everywhere who worship God through the Son, from the heart (cf. Php 3:3). 4:24 God is spirit. This verse represents the classical statement on the nature of God as Spirit. The phrase means that God is invisible (Col 1:15; 1Ti 1:17; Heb 11:27) as opposed to the physical or material nature of man (1:18; 3:6). The word order of this phrase puts an emphasis on spirit, and the statement is essentially emphatic. Man could never comprehend the invisible God unless He revealed Himself, as He did in Scripture and the incarnation. must worship. J esus is not speaking of a desirable element in worship but that which is absolutely necessary. in the Spirit and in truth. The word spirit refers not to the Holy Spirit but to the human spirit. Jesus point here is that a person must worship not simply by external conformity to religious rituals and places (out-

wardly) but inwardly (in the spirit) with the proper heart attitude. The reference to truth refers to worship of God consistent with the revealed Scripture and centered on the Word made flesh who ultimately revealed His Father (14:6). 4:25 Messiah. The Samaritans also anticipated Messiahs coming. 4:26 I, the one speaking to you I am he. Jesus forthrightly declares Himself to be Messiah, though His habit was to avoid such declarations to His own Jewish people who had such crassly political and militaristic views regarding Messiah (cf. 10:24; Mk 9:41). The he in this translation is not in the original Gr., for Jesus lit. said, I who speak to you am. The usage of I am is similar to 8:58 (see notes there). This claim constitutes the main point of the story regarding the Samaritan woman. 4:2742 These verses reinforce Jesus acknowledgment that He was Messiah by offering proof for His claim. John gives five genuine, but subtle, proofs that Jesus was truly Messiah and Son of God, which reinforces his main theme of 20:31: 1) proof from His immediate control of everything (v. 27); 2) proof from His impact on the woman (vv. 28 30); 3) proof from His intimacy with the Father (vv. 31 34); 4) proof from His insight into mens souls (vv. 35 38); and 5) proof from His impression on the Samaritans (vv. 39 42). 4:27 Just then. Had the disciples arrived earlier, they would have interrupted and destroyed the conversation, and if they had arrived any later, she would have gone and they would not have heard His declaration of messiahship. This feature subtly reveals J esus divine control over the situation that was occurring. 4:28 31 to the people. Jesus had such an impact on the woman that she was eager to share the news among the townspeople whom she had previously avoided because of her reputation. Her witness and candor regarding her own life so impressed them that they came to see Jesus for themselves. 4:32, 33 I have food. Just like the Samaritan womans misunderstanding of J esus words regarding literal water (v. 15), Jesus own disciples thought only of literal food. John commonly used such misunderstanding to advance the argument of his gospel (e.g., 2:20; 3:3). 4:34 My food... is to do the will of him who sent me. Most likely J esus echoed Dt 8:3, where Moses stated, man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD (cf. Mt 4:4; Lk 4:4). When He talked with the Samaritan

JOHN 4:35


lieve just be cause of what you said; now we have heard for our selves, and we know that this man h real ly is the Sav ior of the world.

him who sent me and to fin ish his work.a 35Dont you have a say ing, Its s till four m onths un til har vest? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for har vest.b 36Even now the c a crop one who r eaps draws a wage and har vests d for eter nal life, so that the sow er and the reap er may be glad to geth er. 37 Thus the say ing One sows and another reaps e is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not w orked for. Oth ers have done the hard work, and you have r eaped the benefits of their labor.

Lk10:2 4:36 cRo1:13 dMt25:46 4:37 eJob31:8; Mic6:15 4:39 fver5 gver29

4:34 aJn19:30 4:35 bMt9:37;

/ Jesus Heals an Officials Son

i he left for Gal the two days i lee. J esus him self had point ed out that a j proph et has no hon or in his own coun try.) 45 When he ar rived in Gal i lee, the Gal il e ans wel comed him. They had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, k for they also had been there. 46 Once more he vis it ed Cana in Gal i lee, l And where he had turned the wa ter into wine. there was a cer tain roy al of fi cial w hose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47 When this man h eard that Jesus had ar rived in Gal i lee from Ju dea,m he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. 48 n Un less you peo ple see s igns and won ders, Jesus told him, you will nev er be lieve. 44 (Now 43 Af ter

/ Many Samaritans Believe

39 f Many of the Sa mar it ans from that town be lieved in him be cause of the wom ans tes ti g 40So mo ny, He told me ev ery thing I ever did. when the Sa mar i tans came to him, they u rged him to stay with them, and he stayed two days. 41 And be cause of his w ords many more be came believers. 42 They said to the wom an, We no lon ger be
4:42 hLk2:11; 1Jn4:14 4:43 iver40 4:44 jMt13:57; Lk4:24 4:45 kJn2:23 4:46 lJn2:111 4:47 mver3,54 4:48 nDa4:2,3; Jn2:11; Ac2:43; 14:3; Ro15:19; 2Co12:12; Heb2:4

woman, Jesus was performing the will of the Father and thereby received greater sustenance and satisfaction than any mere physical food could offer Him (5:23, 24; 8:29; 17:4). Obedience to and dependence upon Gods will summed up Jesus whole life (Eph 5:17). Gods will for Him to finish is explained in 6:38 40 (see note on 6:40). 4:35 four months until harvest. The event probably happened in Dec. or Jan., which was four months before the normal spring harvest (mid-Apr.). Crops were planted in Nov., and by Dec. or Jan. the grain would be sprouting up in vibrant green color. Jesus used the fact that they were surrounded by crops growing in the field and waiting to be harvested as an object lesson to illustrate His urgency about reaching the lost, which the harvest symbolized. Jesus points out the Samaritan woman and people of Sychar (open your eyes) who were at that moment coming upon the scene (v. 30) looking like a ripened harvest that urgently needed gathering, i.e., evangelizing. ripe for harvest. Lit. white for harvest. Their white clothing seen above the growing grain may have looked like white heads on the stalks, an indication of readiness for harvest. J esus knew the hearts of all (2:24), so was able to state their readiness for salvation (cf. vv. 39 41). 4:3638 The Lords call to His disciples to do the work of evangelism contains promises of reward (a wage), fruit that brings eternal joy (v. 36), and the mutual partnership of shared privilege (vv. 37, 38). 4:42 Savior of the world. This phrase occurs also in 1Jn 4:14. The verse constitutes the climax to the story of the woman of Samaria. The Samaritans themselves became another in a series of witnesses in Johns gospel that demonstrated the identity of Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God. This episode represents the first instance of cross-cultural evangelism (Ac 1:8). 4:4354 The episode of Jesus healing of the officials son constitutes the second major sign of eight that John uses to reinforce Jesus true identity for producing belief in his readers (v. 54). In this episode, J esus chided the officials unbelief in needing a miraculous sign in order to trust in Christ (v. 48). While some believe that this story is the same as the healing of the centurions servant (Mt 8:5 13; Lk 7:2 10), sufficient differences exist to demonstrate that it is different from the synoptic account; e.g., 1) no evidence exists that the officials son was a Gentile; 2) the officials son, not his

servant, was healed; and 3) Jesus was far more negative regarding the officials faith (v. 48) than the centurions (Mt 8:10). One may divide this section into three parts: 1) Jesus contemplating unbelief (vv. 43 45); 2) J esus confronting unbelief (vv. 46 49); and 3) Jesus conquering unbelief (vv. 50 54). 4:43 left for Galilee. After two days in Samaria, Jesus traveled to Galilee, resuming the trip that began in v. 3. 4:44 a prophet has no honor in his own country. This proverb (also in Mt 13:57; Mk 6:4) contrasts the believing response of the Samaritans (v. 39) with the characteristic unbelief of Jesus own people in Galilee (and Judea) whose reticent faith depended so much on Jesus performance of miracles (v. 48). While in Samaria, Jesus had enjoyed His first unqualified and unopposed success. His own peoples hearts were not open to Him, but exhibited reluctance and hardness. 4:45 the Galileans welcomed him. The apostle may have meant these words as irony, especially in light of the surrounding context of vv. 44, 48. The reception was likely that of curiosity seekers whose appetite centered more on seeing miracles than believing in Jesus as Messiah as it had been at the Passover Festival (see notes on 2:23 25). 4:46 Cana in Galilee. The deep irony of the statement in v. 45 increases with the fact that J esus had only recently performed a miracle in Cana at the wedding. Instead of responding in belief, the people wanted more (see note on v. 48). The basis of their welcome was extremely crass. royal official. This term most likely designated someone officially attached to the service of King Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee from 4 B.C. to A.D. 39. sick at Capernaum. Capernaum was approximately 16 mi. NE of Cana. 4:47 begged him. The language here indicates that he repeatedly begged Jesus to heal his son. His approach to Jesus was out of desperation, but he had little appreciation of who Jesus was. In light of v. 46, apparently the officials motivation centered in J esus reputation as a miracle worker rather than as Messiah. 4:48 Unless you people see signs and wonders. The you is plural. Jesus addresses these words to the Galileans as a whole and not just to the royal official (see notes on vv. 45, 46). The response of the Galileans was fundamentally flawed because it disregarded

49 The roy al of fi cial said, Sir, come down be fore my child dies. 50 Go, Jesus re plied, your son will live. The man took J esus at his word and de part ed. 51 While he was s till on the way, his ser vants met him with the news that his boy was liv ing. 52 When he in quired as to the time when his son got bet ter, they said to him, Yes ter day, at one in the af ter noon, the fe ver left him. 53 Then the fa ther re al ized that this was the ex act time at which J esus had said to him, Your o son will live. So he and his whole house hold believed. 54 p Jesus performed This was the sec ond sign after coming from Judea to Galilee.


JOHN 5:10

Jn2:11 5:2 qNe3:1; 12:39 rJn19:13,17,20; 20:16; Ac21:40; 22:2; 26:14

4:53 oAc11:14 4:54 pver48;

/ The Healing at the Pool

5:8 sMt9:5,6; 5:9 tJn9:14 5:10 uver16
Mk2:11; Lk5:24

surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a reat num g ber of dis abled peo ple used to lie the blind, the lame, the par a lyzed. [4]b 5One who was there had been an in val id for thir ty- eight y ears. 6 When J esus saw him ly ing t here and l earned that he had been in this con di tion for a long time, he asked him, Do you want to get well? 7 Sir, the in val id re plied, I have no one to help me into the pool when the wa ter is stirred. While I am try ing to get in, some one else goes down ahead ofme. 8 Then Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your cured; he mat and walk.s 9At once the man was picked up his mat and walked. The day on w hich this took p lace was a Sab u said to the and so the Jew ish lead ers bath,t 10
Some manuscripts Bethzatha; other manuscripts Bethsaida Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.
b3,4 a2

Some time lat er, Jesus went up to Je ru sa lem here is for one of the Jew ish fes ti vals. 2Now t in Je ru sa lem near the Sheep Gateq a pool, which in Aramaic r is called Bethesda a and which is

the person of Christ and centered in the need for a constant display of miraculous signs. Such an attitude represents the deepest state of unbelief. 4:50 your son will live. Jesus met the demands of Galilean unbelief by healing the officials son, revealing not only His sympathy, but His marvelous graciousness in spite of such a faithless demand for miracles. 4:52 one in the afternoon. Lit. seventh hour. About 1 p.m., reckoning from sunrise (6 a.m.) using the Jewish method. 4:53 the exact time. The time when the officials son improved corresponded precisely with the time that he had spoken with Jesus. This served to strengthen the officials faith and, as a result, the whole household believed. 5:17:52 This section evidences the shift from reservation and hesitation about Jesus as Messiah (3:26; 4:1 3) to outright rejection (7:52). The opposition started with controversy regarding Jesus healing on the Sabbath (vv. 1 18), intensified in chap. 6 with many of His disciples abandoning Him (6:66), and finally hardened in chap. 7 into official opposition against Him with the religious authorities unsuccessful attempt to arrest Him (7:20 52). Accordingly, the theme of this section is the rejection of J esus as Messiah. 5:118 Although opposition to Jesus smoldered beneath the surface (e.g., 2:13 20), the story of Jesus healing at the Pool of Bethesda highlights the beginning of open hostility toward Him in Jerusalem. The passage may be divided into three parts: 1) the miracle performed (vv. 1 9); 2) the Master persecuted (vv. 10 16); and 3) the murder planned (vv. 16 18). 5:1 Jewish festivals. Throughout his gospel, John highlighted various Jewish festivals (John 2:13 Passover (A.D. 27); 6:4 Passover (A.D. 29); 7:2 Tabernacles; 10:22 Hanukkah or Festival of Dedication; and 11:55 Passover (A.D. 30), but this reference is the only instance when he does not identify the particular festival occurring at the time. 5:2 Sheep Gate. A reference to the gate identified in Ne 3:1, 32; 12:39. It was a small opening in the N wall of the city, just W of the NE corner. there is... a pool. Some have suggested that John

wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70, because his usage of is here implies that the pool still existed. However, John frequently uses what is known as a historical present to refer to past events, so this argument carries little weight. For more on the date of writing, see Introduction: Author and Date. Bethesda. Bethesda is the Gr. transliteration of a Heb. (or Aram.) name meaning house of outpouring. 5:3a lie. It was a custom at that time for people with infirmities to gather at this pool. Intermittent springs may have fed the pool and caused the disturbance of the water (v. 7). Some ancient witnesses indicate that the waters of the pool were red with minerals, and thus thought to have medicinal value. 5:3b, 4 See NIV footnote. 5:5 thirty-eight years. John included this figure to emphasize the gravity of the debilitating disease that afflicted the individual. Since his sickness had been witnessed by many people for almost four decades, when Jesus cured him everyone knew the genuineness of the healing (cf. v. 9). 5:6 learned. The word implies supernatural knowledge of the mans situation (1:47, 48; 4:17). Jesus picked the man out from among many sick people. The sovereign initiative was His, and no reason is given as to His choice. 5:8 Get up! Pick up... walk. In the same way that He spoke the world into being at creation (Ge 1:3), J esus spoken words had the power to cure (cf. 1:3; 8:58; Ge 1:1; Col 1:16; Heb 1:2). mat. The straw mat was not heavy. It could easily be rolled up, lifted, and carried by an able-bodied individual (cf. Mk 2:11). 5:9 picked up his mat and walked. This phrase emphasizes the completeness of the cure (cf. v. 5). 5:10, 11 The OT prohibited working on the Sabbath but did not stipulate what kind of work was specifically indicated (Ex 20:8 11). Scripture implies that work consisted of ones regular employment, but rabbinical opinion had developed oral tradition beyond the OT which stipulated 39 activities that were forbidden, including transporting an item from one area to another. Thus, the man had broken oral tradition, not OT law (see notes on v. 16).

JOHN 5:11


z not only was he break all the more to kill him; ing the Sab bath, but he was even call ing God his own Fa ther, mak ing him self equal with God.a 19 Jesus gave them this an swer: Very tru ly I tell b he can you, the Son can do noth ing by him self; do only what he sees his Fa ther do ing, be cause what ev er the Fa ther does the Son also does. 20For c and s the Fa ther l oves the Son hows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even great er works than these, d so that you will be a mazed. 21 For just as the Fa ther rais es the dead and gives them life,e even so the Son gives lifef to whom he is pleased to give it. 22More over, the Fa ther judg es no one, but has en trust ed all judg ment to the g 23 Son, that all may hon or the Son just as they hon or the Fa ther. Who ev er does not hon or the h Son does not hon or the Fa ther, who sent him. 24 Very tru ly I tell you, who ev er hears my word and be lieves him who sent me has eter nal life and will not be j udgedi but has c rossed over from j 25 death to life. Very tru ly I tell you, a time is

man who had been healed, It is the Sab bath; v the law for bids you to car ry your mat. 11 But he re plied, The man who made me well said to me, Pick up your mat and walk. 12 So they asked him, Who is this fel low who told you to pick it up and walk? 13 The man who was h ealed had no idea who it was, for J esus had slipped away into the c rowd that was there. 14 Lat er Jesus f ound him at the tem ple and said w to him, See, you are well a gain. Stop sin ning 15 or some thing w orse may hap pen to you. The man went away and told the Jew ish lead ersx that it was Jesus who had made him well.

5:10 vNe13:1522;
Jn8:11 5:15 xJn1:19 5:17 yJn9:4; 14:10

5:14 wMk2:5;

Jer17:21; Mt12:2

5:18 zJn7:1


/ The Authority of the Son

16 So, be cause Jesus was do ing these t hings on the Sab bath, the Jew ish lead ers be gan to per se cute him. 17In his de fense J esus said to them, My Fa ther is al ways at his worky to this very day, and I too am work ing. 18 For this rea son they tried

Jn8:28 5:20 cJn3:35 dJn14:12 5:21 eRo4:17; 8:11 fJn11:25 5:22 gver27; Jn9:39; Ac10:42; 17:31 5:23 hLk10:16; 1Jn2:23 5:24 iJn3:18 j1Jn3:14

5:19 bver30;


5:10 the law forbids you. The phrase reveals that the Judaism during Jesus time had degenerated into pious hypocrisy. Such hypocrisy especially enraged the Lord Jesus (cf. Mt 22, 23), who used this incident to set up a confrontation with Jewish hyper-legalism and identified the need for national repentance. 5:14 Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you. The basic thrust of Jesus comments here indicates that sin has its inevitable consequences (cf. Gal 6:7, 8). Although Scripture makes clear that not all disease is a consequence of sin (cf. 9:1 3; Lk 13:1 5), illness at times may be directly tied into ones moral turpitude (cf. 1Co 11:29, 30; Jas 5:15). J esus may specifically have chosen this man in order to highlight this point. 5:16 on the Sabbath. Jesus did not break Gods law since in it there was no prohibition of doing good on that day (Mk 2:27). However, J esus disregarded the oral law of the Jews that had developed, i.e., the tradition of the elders (cf. also Mt 15:1 9). Most likely, J esus deliberately practiced such healing on the Sabbath to provoke a confrontation with their religious hypocrisy that blinded them to the true worship of God (see vv. 17 47 for the main reason for Jesus confrontation; see notes on vv. 10, 11). persecute. The verb tense means that the Jews repeatedly persecuted J esus, i.e., continued hostile activity. This was not an isolated incident of their hatred toward Him because of His healings on the Sabbath (cf. Mk 3:1 6). 5:1747 These verses reveal the ultimate reason J esus confronted the Jews religious hypocrisy, i.e., the opportunity to declare who He was. This section is Christs own personal statement of His deity. As such, it is one of the greatest Christological discourses in Scripture. Herein J esus makes five claims to equality with God: 1) He is equal with God in His person (vv. 17, 18); 2) He is equal with God in His works (vv. 19, 20); 3) He is equal with God in His power and sovereignty (v. 21); 4) He is equal with God in His judgment (v. 22); and 5) He is equal with God in His honor (v. 23). 5:17 Jesus point is that God is continuously at work, and since Jesus Himself worked continuously, He also must be God. Fur thermore, God does not need a day of rest, for He never wearies (Isa 40:28). For J esus assertion to be true, the same attributes

that apply to God must also apply to Him. J esus is Lord of the Sabbath (Mt 12:8)! Interestingly, even the rabbis admitted that Gods work had not ceased after the Sabbath, because He sustains the universe. 5:18 This verse confirms that the Jews instantly grasped the implications of His remarks that He was God (see notes on v. 17). 5:19 Very truly. Cf. vv. 24, 25; 1:51. This is an emphatic way of saying Im telling you the truth. In response to Jewish hostility at the implications of His assertions of equality with God, J esus became even more fearless, forceful, and emphatic. J esus essentially tied His activities of healing on the Sabbath directly to the Father. The Son never took independent action that opposed the Fathers will. The Son only did those things that were in perfect agreement with the Father. Jesus thus implied His equality to the Father since He alone could do what the Father does. 5:20 greater works. This refers to the powerful work of raising the dead. God has that power (cf. 1Ki 17:17 24; 2Ki 4:32 37; 5:7) and so does the Lord J esus (vv. 21 29; 11:25 44; 14:19; 20:1 18). 5:23 honor the Son. This verse explains why God bestowed all judgment to the Son, i.e., so that all should honor the Son as they honor the Father. Jesus is not a mere herald sent from the heavenly court; He is the King Himself, possessing full equality with the Father (cf. Php 2:9 11). honor the Father. Jesus turned the tables on the Jewish accusation against Him of blasphemy. Instead, J esus affirmed that the only way anyone can honor the Father is through receiving the Son. Therefore, the Jews were the ones who actually blasphemed the Father by rejection of His Son. 5:24 crossed over from death to life. This develops the truth of v. 21, that Jesus gives life to whomever He desires. The people who receive that life are here identified as those who hear the Word and believe in the Father and the Son. They are the people who have eternal life and never will be condemned (Ro 8:1; Col 1:13). 5:2529 The theme of these verses is resurrection. Jesus related that all men, saved and unsaved, will be literally and physically resurrected from the dead. However, only the saved experience a spiritual (born again), as well as physical, resurrection unto

k when the dead will com ing and has now come l the voice of the Son of God and t hose who hear ther has life in him hear will live. 26For as the Fa self, so he has grant ed the Son also to have life And he has giv en him au thor i ty to in himself. 27 cause he is the Son of Man. judge m be 28 Do not be amazed at this, for a time is com their graves will hear ingn when all who are in those who have done his voice 29and come out what is good will rise to live, and t hose who have o done what is evil will rise to be con demned. 30 p I By my self I can do noth ing; judge only as I q for I seek not to hear, and my judg ment is just, r please my self but him who sentme.


JOHN 5:44

5:25 kJn4:23

5:27 mver22;

5:28 nJn4:21 5:29 oDa12:2; 5:30 pver19

Jn4:34; 6:38 Mt25:46

Ac10:42; 17:31

qJn8:16 rMt26:39;

5:31 sJn8:14 5:32 tver37; 5:33 uJn1:7 5:34 v1Jn5:9


/ Testimonies About Jesus

I tes ti fy about my self, my tes ti mo ny is not s 32 There is an oth er who tes ti fies in my fa true. t and I know that his tes ti mo ny a bout me is vor, true. 33 You have sent to John and he has tes ti truth. 34 Not that I ac cept hu man fiedu to the tion it that you may be testimony; v but I men John was a lamp that b urned and gave saved. 35
31 If

5:35 w2Pe1:19 5:36 x1Jn5:9

yJn14:11; zJn3:17;

bDt4:12; 1Ti1:17; Jn1:18 5:38 c1Jn2:14 dJn3:17 5:39 eRo2:17, 18 fLk24:27,44; Ac13:27 5:41 gver44 5:44 hRo2:29

5:37 aJn8:18

15:24 10:25

light, w and you chose for a time to en joy his light. 36 I have tes ti mo ny weight ie r than that of works that the Fa ther has giv en John.x For the me to fin ish the very works that I am do ingy z 37And the tes ti fy that the Fa ther has sent me. Fa ther who sent me has him self tes ti fied con er heard his voice nor cerning me. a You have nev dwell in you,c seen his form,b 38nor does his word d 39You for you do not be lieve the one he sent. e diligently because you tures study a the Scrip think that in them you have eter nal life. T hese f are the very Scrip tures that tes ti fy about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41 g I do not ac cept glo ry from hu man be ings, 42 but I know you. I know that you do not have I have come in the love of God in your hearts. 43 my Fa thers name, and you do not ac cept me; but if some one else comes in his own name, you will lieve since you ac accept him. 44How can you be cept glo ry from one an oth er but do not seek the b?h glo ry that comes from the only God
a39Or39Study b44

Some early manuscripts the Only One

eternal life. The unsaved will be resurrected unto judgment and eternal punishment through separation from God (i.e., the second death; cf. Rev 20:6, 14; 21:8). These verses also constitute proof of the deity of J esus Christ since the Son has resurrection power (vv. 25, 26), and the Father has granted Him the status of Judge of all mankind (v. 27). In the light of other Scripture, it is clear that J esus speaks generally about resurrection, but not about one, general resurrection (see notes on Da 12:2; 1Co 15:23; 1Th 4:16). 5:25 time is coming and has now come. Cf. 4:23. This phrase reveals an already/not yet tension regarding the resurrection. Those who are born again are already spiritually resurrected (has now; Eph 2:1; Col 2:13), and yet a future physical resurrection still awaits them (time is coming; 1Co 15:35 54; Php 3:20, 21). 5:26 he has granted the Son. The Son from all eternity had the right to grant life (1:4). The distinction involves Jesus deity versus His incarnation. In becoming a man, J esus voluntarily set aside the independent exercise of His divine attributes and prerogatives (Php 2:6 11). J esus here affirms that even in His humanity, the Father granted Him life-giving power, i.e., the power of resurrection (see note on v. 20). 5:27 authority. Cf. 17:2; see note on Mt 28:18. 5:29 those who have done what is good... what is evil. Jesus was not teaching justification by works (see 6:29). In the context, the good is believing on the Son so as to receive a new nature that produces good works (3:21; Jas 2:14 20), while the evil done is to reject the Son (the unsaved) and hate the light, which has the result of evil deeds (3:18, 19). In essence, works merely evidence ones nature as saved or unsaved (see notes on Ro 2:5 10), but human works never determine ones salvation. 5:30 to please... him who sent me. In summarizing all He has said from v. 19 on about His equality with God, Jesus claimed that the judgment He exercised was because everything He did was dependent upon the Fathers word and will (cf. vv. 19, 20).

5:3247 The background of these verses is Dt 17:6; 19:15 where witnesses were to establish the truthfulness of a matter (see note on 1:7). Jesus Himself emphasized the familiar theme of witnesses who testify to the identity of the Son: 1) John the Baptist (vv. 32 35); 2) Jesus works (vv. 35, 36); 3) the Father (vv. 37, 38); and 4) the OT Scriptures (vv. 39 47). 5:36 the works that the Father has given me. Cf. 10:25. The miracles of Jesus were witness to His deity and messiahship. Such miracles are the major signs recorded by John in this gospel, so as to fulfill his purpose in 20:30, 31 (see Introduction: Historical and Theological Themes). 5:37 Father... has himself testified. Cf. Mt 3:17; Mk 1:11; Lk 3:22. 5:39 You study. Although the verb study could also be understood as a command (i.e., Study the Scriptures!), most prefer this translation as an indicative. The verb implies diligent scrutiny in investigating the Scriptures to find eternal life. However, Jesus points out that with all their fastidious effort, they miserably failed in their understanding of the true way to eternal life through the Son of God (see notes on Mt 19:16 25; cf. 14:6; 2Ti 3:15). testify about me. Cf. v. 45. Christ is the main theme of Scripture. See note on 1:45. 5:40 refuse to come. They searched for eternal life but were not willing to trust its only source (cf. v. 24; 1:11; 3:19). 5:41 glory from human beings. If Jesus agreed to be the kind of Messiah the Jews wanted, providing miracles and food along with political and military power, He would receive honor and glory from them. But He sought only to please God (vv. 19ff.). 5:43 you will accept him. The Jewish historian Josephus records that a string of messianic pretenders arose in the years before A.D. 70. This verse contrasts the Jewish rejection of their true Messiah because they did not love or know God (v. 42), with their willing acceptance of charlatans.

JOHN 5:45
45 But do not t hink I will ac cuse you be fore the Fa ther. Your ac cus er is Mo ses,i on whom your lieved Mo ses, you would hopes are set.j 46If you be k 47 But since be lieve me, for he w rote a bout me. you do not be lieve what he w rote, how are you l go ing to be lieve what I say?


small bar ley loaves and two small fish, but how r far will they go among so many? 10 Jesus said, Have the peo ple sit down. There was plen ty of grass in that p lace, and they sat down (about five thou sand men were there). 11 s and Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, dis trib ut ed to those who were seat ed as much as they want ed. He did the same with the fish. 12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his dis ci ples, Gath er the piec es that are left over. Let noth ing be wast ed. 13So they gath ered them and f illed twelve bas kets with the piec es of the five bar ley loaves left over by t hose who had eat en. 14 t Af ter the peo ple saw the sign Jesus per formed, they be gan to say, Sure ly this is the Proph et who is to come into the world.u 15Jesus, know ing that they in tend ed to come and make v by him king force, with drew again to a moun w tain by him self.

5:45 iJn9:28

Lk24:27,44; Ac26:22 5:47 lLk16:29,31 6:2 mJn2:11 6:3 nver15 6:4 oJn2:13; 11:55 6:5 pJn1:43 6:8 qJn1:40

5:46 kGe3:15;

/ Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand

6:1-13pp Mt14:13-21; Mk6:32-44; Lk9:10-17

Some time af ter this, J esus c rossed to the far hore of the Sea of Gal s i lee (that is, the Sea and a great crowd of peo ple fol of Tiberias), 2 m he had lowed him be cause they saw the s igns Then Jesus went per formed by heal ing the sick. 3 up on a moun tain siden and sat down with his dis ciples. 4 The Jewish Passover Festival o was near. 5 When J esus looked up and saw a g reat c rowd p Where com ing to ward him, he said to Phil ip, shall we buy b read for t hese peo ple to eat? 6He asked this only to test him, for he al ready had in mind what he was go ing todo. 7 Phil ip an swered him, It would take more enough bread for than half a years wag esa to buy each one to have a bite! 8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Pe spoke up, 9 Here is a boy with five ters brother, q

6:9 r2Ki4:43 6:11 sver23; Mt14:19 6:14 tJn2:11 uDt18:15,18; Mt11:3; 21:11 6:15 vJn18:36 wMt14:23; Mk6:46

/ Jesus Walks on the Water

6:16-21pp Mt14:22-33; Mk6:47-51
16 When eve ning came, his dis ci ples went down to the lake, 17 where they got into a boat

take two hundred denarii

5:46 Moses... for he wrote about me. J esus does not mention any specific passage in the five books of Moses although there are many (e.g., Dt 18:15; cf. 1:21; 4:19; 6:14; 7:40, 52). 6:114 The story of the feeding of the 5,000 is the fourth sign John employed to demonstrate that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God. It is the only miracle recorded in all four gospels (Mt 14:13 23; Mk 6:30 46; Lk 9:10 17). Since John most likely wrote to supplement and provide additional information not recorded in the Synoptics (see Introduction: Background and Setting), his recording of this miracle emphasizes its strategic importance in two ways: 1) it demonstrated the creative power of Christ more clearly than any other miracle, and 2) it decisively supported Johns purposes of demonstrating the deity of Jesus Christ while also serving to set the stage for Jesus discourse on the bread of life (vv. 22 40). Interestingly, both creative miracles of J esus, the water into wine (2:1 10) and the multiplying of bread (vv. 1 14), speak of the main elements in the Lords Supper or communion (v. 53). 6:1 Some time after this. A large gap of time may exist between chaps. 5 and 6. If the festival in 5:1 is Tabernacles, or Booths, then at least six months passed (Oct. to Apr.). If the festival of 5:1 is Passover, then a year passed between these chapters. the Sea of Galilee. Chapter 6 is very close to the same structure as chap. 5 since both occur around a Jewish festival and both lead to a discourse of J esus deity. While chap. 5 takes place in the S around Judea and Jerusalem, chap. 6 takes place in the N around Galilee. The result of both chapters is the same: He is rejected not only in the southern but also in the northern regions. See note on 21:1. 6:2 they saw the signs. The crowds followed not out of belief but out of curiosity concerning the miracles that He performed (v. 26). However, in spite of the crowds crass motivations, Jesus, having compassion on them, healed their sick and fed them (cf. Mt 13:14; Mk 6:34).

6:7 half a years wages. Lit. two hundred denarii. Since one denarius was a days pay for a common laborer, 200 denarii would be approximately 8 months wages. The crowd, however, was so large that such a significant amount was still inadequate to feed them 6:10 five thousand. The number of men was 5,000, not including women and children, who probably brought the total up to 20,000. 6:14 the Prophet. The crowd referred to the Prophet of Dt 18:15. Sadly, these comments, coming right after J esus healed and fed them, indicate that the people desired a Messiah who met their physical, rather than spiritual, needs. Apparently, no recognition existed for the need of spiritual repentance and preparation for the kingdom (Mt 4:17). They wanted an earthly, political Messiah to meet all their needs and to deliver them from Roman oppression. Their reaction typifies many who want a Christ that makes no demands of them (cf. Mt 10:34 39; 16:24 26), but of whom they can make their selfish personal requests. 6:15 make him king by force. John supplements the information in Matthew and Mark by indicating that the reason Jesus dismissed the disciples and withdrew from the crowd into a mountain alone was because of His supernatural knowledge of their intention to make Him king in light of His healing and feeding of them. The crowd, incited by mob enthusiasm, was ready to proceed with crassly political intentions that would have jeopardized Gods will. 6:1621 The story of Jesus walking on the water constituted the fifth sign in Johns gospel designed to demonstrate the writers purpose that Jesus is the Messiah and Son of God (20:30, 31). The miracle demonstrates J esus deity by His sovereignty over the laws of nature.

and set off a cross the lake for Ca per na um. By now it was dark, and J esus had not yet j oined A strong wind was blow ing and the wa them. 18 When they had rowed about ters grew rough. 19 esus ap proach ing three or four miles, a they saw J x and they were the boat, walk ing on the wa ter; But he said to them, It is I; dont frightened. 20 ing to take him be afraid. y 21Then they were will into the boat, and im me di ate ly the boat r eached the shore w here they were head ing. 22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on z re al ized that only the op po site shore of the lake one boat had been there, and that J esus had not en tered it with his dis ci ples, but that they had oats from Ti be gone away alone.a 23Then some b ed near the place w here the peo ple had rias b land eat en the bread af ter the Lord had giv en thanks.c 24 Once the crowd re al ized that nei ther J esus nor his dis ci ples were t here, they got into the b oats and went to Ca per na um in s earch of J esus.


JOHN 6:32
d when did you the lake, they asked him, Rab bi, get here? 26 Jesus an swered, Very tru ly I tell you, you are e not be f cause you saw the signs look ing for me, I per formed but be cause you ate the l oaves and Do not work for food that spoils, had your fill. 27 g to eter h which nal life, but for food that en dures i will give you. For on him God the Son of Man j of approval. the Fa ther has p laced his seal 28 Then they a sked him, What must we do to do the works God re quires? 29 Jesus an swered, The work of God is this: to l believe k in the one he has sent. 30 m then will So they a sked him, What sign n you give that we may see it and be lieve you? Our an ces tors ate the man What will you do? 31 der ness; as it is writ ten: He gave nao in the wil bp them bread from heav en to eat. 32 Jesus said to them, Very tru ly I tell you, it is not Mo ses who has giv en you the bread from heav en, but it is my Fa ther who g ives you the

6:19 xJob9:8 6:20 yMt14:27 6:22 zver2


6:23 bver1 cver11

6:25 dMt23:7 6:26 ever24


/ Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When

they found him on the oth er side of

Mt25:46; Jn4:14 iMt8:20 1Co9:2; 2Co1:22; Eph1:13; 4:30; 2Ti2:19; Rev7:3 6:29 k1Jn3:23 lJn3:17 6:30 mJn2:11 nMt12:38 6:31 oNu11:79 pEx16:4,15; Ne9:15; Ps78:24; 105:40

6:27 gIsa55:2


5or 6kilometers b31 Exodus16:4; Neh. 9:15; Psalm


6:17 for Capernaum. Matthew 14:22 and Mk 6:45 indicate that as soon as Jesus had fed the multitudes, He immediately dismissed His disciples to travel W toward Capernaum (vv. 16, 17). 6:18 A strong wind was blowing. The Sea of Galilee is almost 700 ft. below sea level. Cooler air from the northern mountains and southeastern tablelands rushes down into the lake and displaces the warm, moist air, causing violent churning of the water. 6:19, 20 J esus... walking on the water. The Synoptics reveal that in fear and the darkness, they thought He was a ghost (Mt 14:26; Mk 6:49). The Son of God, who made the world, was in control of its forces and, in this case, He suspended the law of gravity. The act was not frivolous on J esus part, for it constituted a dramatic object lesson to the disciples of Jesus true identity as the sovereign Lord of all creation (cf. 1:3). 6:21 immediately the boat reached the shore. This wording indicates that another miracle occurred besides walking on the water, i.e., the boat miraculously and instantly arrived at its precise destination as soon as Jesus stepped into the boat. 6:2258 J esus famous discourse on the bread of life. The key theme is v. 35, i.e., I am the bread of life, which is the first of seven emphatic I AM statements of J esus in this gospel (8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5). This analogy of Jesus as the bread of life reinforces Johns theme of J esus as the Messiah and Son of God (20:30, 31). Although John records J esus miracles to establish His deity, he moves quickly to Jesus discourse on the spiritual realities of His person in order to define correctly who Jesus Christ was, i.e., not merely a wonder-worker but the Son of God who came to save mankind from sin (3:16). This discourse took place in the synagogue at Capernaum (v. 59). 6:22, 23 These verses indicate that the crowds who witnessed Jesus healings and His feeding of the multitudes were still at the original site of these miracles (E of the lake) and, out of heightened curiosity, desired to find Jesus once again. Other boats loaded with people from Tiberias (on the NW shore of the lake) also heard of the miracles and sought Him out.

6:26 because you ate. This phrase emphasizes Jesus point that the crowds following Him were motivated by superficial desire for food rather than any understanding of the true spiritual significance of Jesus person and mission (8:14 21; Mk 6:52). 6:27 food that spoils. J esus rebuked the crowd for regarding the messianic kingdom in a wholly earthly, physical way. (cf. v. 26; 4:15). Although Messiahs kingdom would be literal and physical someday, the people failed to see the overriding spiritual character and blessing of eternal life given immediately to those who believe the witness of God to His Son. food that endures to eternal life. The continuing discourse indicates that this was a reference to Jesus Himself (v. 35). 6:28 the works God requires. They thought Jesus was saying that God required them to do some works to earn everlasting life, which they thought they would be able to do. 6:29 The work of God is this: to believe. The crowd misunderstood Jesus prohibition in v. 27 (Do not work), which prompted Jesus to remind them that an exclusive focus on material bless ings is wrong. The only work God desires is faith or trust in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God (cf. Mal 3:1). The work that God requires is to believe in His Son (cf. 5:24). 6:30 What will you do? The question demonstrated the obtuseness, the spiritual blindness of the crowd, and their shallow, selfish curiosity. The feeding of 20,000 (v. 10) was a sufficient enough sign to demonstrate Christs deity (cf. Lk 16:31). 6:31 Our ancestors ate the manna. The crowds logic appeared to be that Jesus miraculous feeding was a small miracle compared to what Moses did. In order for them to believe in Him, they would need to see Him feed the nation of Israel on the same scale that God did when He sent manna and fed the entire nation of Israel during their wilderness wanderings for 40 years (Ex 16:11 36). They were demanding that J esus outdo Moses if they were to believe in Him. They quoted from Ps 78:24. 6:32 true bread from heaven. The manna God gave was temporary and perished and was only a meager shadow of what God offered

JOHN 6:33


w but hose he has giv t en me, raise them up at the x 40 last day. For my Fa thers will is that ev ery one who looks to the Son and be lieves in him s hall y and I will r have eter nal life, aise them up at the last day. 41 At this the Jews t here be gan to grum ble about him be cause he said, I am the bread that came down from heav en. 42 They said, Is this z not Jesus, the son of Jo seph, whose fa ther and a How can he now say, I came moth er we know? b down from heav en? 43 Stop grumbling among yourselves, Jesus answered. 44 No one can come to me un less c and I will the Fa ther who sent me d raws them,

true b read from heav en. 33 For the b read of God q and is the b read that comes down from heav en gives life to the world. 34 r Sir, they said, al ways give us this bread. 35 Then Jesus de clared, I am the bread of life.s Who ev er comes to me will nev er go hun gry, and t who ev er be lieves in me will nev er be t hirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not be lieve. 37 All those the Fa ther g ives u will come to me, and who me ev er c omes to me I will nev er drive away. 38 For I have come down from heav en not to do my will but to do the will v 39 of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I s hall lose none of all

6:33 qver50 6:34 rJn4:15 6:35 sver48,51


6:37 uver39;

6:38 vJn4:34; 5:30


6:39 wJn10:28; 17:12; 18:9 xver40, 44,54 6:40 yJn3:15,16 6:42 zLk4:22 aJn7:27,28 bver38,62 6:44 cver65; Jer31:3; Jn12:32

them in the true bread, Jesus Christ, who gives spiritual and eternal life to mankind (the world, v. 33). 6:33 bread of God. This phrase is synonymous with the phrase bread from heaven (v. 32). 6:34 Sir,... always give us this bread. This statement once again demonstrates the blindness of the crowd, for they were thinking of some physical bread and failed to understand the spiritual implication that J esus was that bread (cf. 4:15). 6:35 I am the bread of life. The obtuseness in v. 34 prompted Jesus to speak very plainly that He was referring to Himself. 6:37 All those the Father gives me will come to me. This verse emphasizes the sovereign will of God in the selection of those who come to Him for salvation (cf. vv. 44, 65; 17:6, 12, 24). The Father has predestined those who would be saved (see notes on Ro 8:29, 30; Eph 1:3 6; 1Pe 1:2). The absolute sovereignty of God is the basis of Jesus confidence in the success of His mission (see note on v. 40; cf. Php 1:6). The security of salvation rests in the sovereignty of God, for God is the guarantee that all He has chosen will come to Him for salvation. The idea of gives me is that

every person chosen by God and drawn by God (v. 44) must be seen as a gift of the Fathers love to the Son. The Son receives each love gift (v. 37), holds on to each (v. 39), and will raise each to eternal glory (vv. 39, 40). No one chosen will be lost (see notes on Ro 8:3139). This saving purpose is the Fathers will that the Son will not fail to do perfectly (v. 38; cf. 4:34; 10:28, 29; 17:6, 12, 24). 6:40 everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him. This verse emphasizes human responsibility in salvation. Although God is sovereign, He works through faith, so that a person must believe in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God who alone offers the only way of salvation (cf. 14:6). However, even faith is a gift of God (Ro 12:3; Eph 2:8, 9). Intellectually harmonizing the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man is impossible humanly, but perfectly resolved in the infinite mind of God. raise them. Lit. raise him. 6:4150 This section constitutes the beginning of the crowds reaction to Jesus discourse on the bread of life and may be divided into three sections: 1) the murmuring reaction of the crowd (vv. 41, 42); 2) Jesus rebuke of the crowd for their reaction (vv. 43 46); and 3) Jesus reiteration of His message to the crowd (vv. 47 51). 6:41 the Jews. In this gospel, the term Jews is often associated with hostility toward Christ. It is used ironically to indicate the incongruity of their rising hostility toward their Messiah. Since they hardened their hearts, God judicially hardened their hearts also (cf. 12:37 40; Isa 6:10; 53:1; Mt 13:10 15). In the Tribulation, Israel will turn to Jesus as their true Messiah and be saved (Ro 11:25 27; Rev 1:7; 7:1 8; cf. Zec 12:10 14). grumble. The reaction of the synagogue crowds to Jesus statements was the same as the Jews in the wilderness who grumbled against God both before and after the manna was given to them (Ex 16:2, 8, 9; Nu 11:4 6). because he said, I am the bread . . . from heaven. The Jews anger centered in two things: 1) that Jesus said He was the bread, and 2) that He came down from heaven. Both the Jews in Jerusalem (5:18) and the Galileans reacted negatively when Jesus placed Himself equal with God. 6:42 whose father and mother we know? On the human level, they knew Jesus as a fellow Galilean. These words are reminiscent of Jesus words in 4:44, a prophet has no honor in his own country. Their hostility sprang from the root of unbelief. Jesus death was impending because hostility had resulted everywhere He went. 6:44 draws them. Cf. v. 65. A comparison of v. 37a and v. 44 demonstrates that the divine drawing of sinners to salvation cannot be relegated to what is referred to as prevenient grace, i.e., that somehow the power to come to Christ is allegedly dispensed to all of mankind, thus enabling everyone to accept or reject the gospel according to their own will alone. Scripture indicates that no

/The I AM Statements\
Twenty-three times in all we find our Lords meaningful I AM (ego eimi, Gr.) in the Greek text of this gospel (Jn 4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48, 51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1, 5; 18:5, 6, 8). In several of these, He joins His I AM with seven tremendous metaphors that are expressive of His saving relationship toward the world. I AM the Bread of life (Jn 6:35, 41, 48, 51). I AM the Light of the world (Jn 8:12). I AM the Gate for the sheep (Jn 10:7, 9). I AM the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11, 14). I AM the Resurrection and the Life (Jn 11:25). I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). I AM the true Vine (Jn 15:1, 5).
1997 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

raise them up at the last day. 45 It is writ ten in a d the Proph ets: They will all be taught by God. Ev ery one who has heard the Fa ther and learned No one has seen the from him c omes to me. 46 e only Fa ther ex cept the one who is from God; 47 Very tru ly I tell you, he has seen the Fa ther. I am the the one who be lieves has eter nal life. 48 f 49 Your an ces tors ate the man na in bread of life. g 50 But here is the the wil der ness, yet they died. h which bread that comes down from heav en, I am the liv ing any one may eat and not die. 51 bread that came down from heav en. Who ev er eats this bread will live for ev er. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.i 52 Then the Jews be gan to ar gue sharp ly among flesh themselves, j How can this man give us his to eat? 53 Jesus said to them, Very tru ly I tell you, k and un less you eat the f lesh of the Son of Man 54 drink his b lood, you have no life in you. Who ev er eats my flesh and d rinks my b lood has eter l nal life, and I will r aise them up at the last day. 55 For my f lesh is real food and my b lood is real


JOHN 6:64

Jer31:33,34; Heb8:10,11; 10:16 6:46 eJn1:18; 5:37; 7:29 6:48 fver35,51 6:49 gver31,58 6:50 hver33 6:51 iHeb10:10 6:52 jJn7:43; 9:16; 10:19 6:53 kMt8:20 6:54 lver39

6:45 dIsa54:13;

drink. 56 Who ev er eats my flesh and d rinks my m 57Just as blood re mains in me, and I in them. n and I live be the liv ing Fa ther sent me cause of the Fa ther, so the one who feeds on me will live be cause of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heav en. Your an ces tors ate man na and died, but who ev er f eeds on this b read will live forever. o 59 He said this w hile teach ing in the synagogue in Capernaum.

/ Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 p said, On hear ing it, many of his dis ci ples This is a hard teach ing. Who can ac ceptit? 61 Aware that his dis ci ples were grum bling about this, J esus said to them, Does this of fend q 62 you? Then what if you see the Son of Man as r 63 The Spirit gives cend to where he was be fore! life;s the f lesh c ounts for noth ing. The w ords I have spo ken to you they are full of the Spir b and life. 64 it Yet t here are some of you who do t from the be not be lieve. For Jesus had k nown gin ning which of them did not be lieve and who
a45Isaiah54:13 b63Orare

6:56 mJn15:47; 6:57 nJn3:17 6:58 over4951; 6:60 pver66 6:61 qMt11:6 6:62 rMk16:19;
Jn3:36 1Jn3:24; 4:15

Jn3:13; 17:5 6:63 s2Co3:6 6:64 tJn2:25

Spirit; orare spirit

free will exists in mans nature, for man is enslaved to sin (total depravity) and unable to believe apart from Gods empowerment (Ro 3:1 19; Eph 2:1 3; 2Co 4:4; 2Ti 1:9). While whosoever will may come to the Father, only those whom the Father gives the ability to will toward Him will actually come to Him. The drawing here is selective and efficacious (producing the desired effect) upon those whom God has sovereignly chosen for salvation, i.e., those whom God has chosen will believe because God has sovereignly determined that result from eternity past (Eph 1:9 11). 6:45 J esus paraphrased Isa 54:13 to support the point that if someone comes to faith and repentance to God, it is because they have been taught, and hence drawn, by God. The drawing and learning are just different aspects of Gods sovereign direction in the persons life. Those taught by God to grasp the truth are also drawn by God the Father to embrace the Son. 6:49, 50 J esus contrasted the earthly and heavenly bread. The manna that was given in the wilderness, although sent from heaven to help sustain the Israelites for their physical needs, could not impart eternal life nor meet their spiritual needs as could the bread of life (v. 48) that came down from heaven in the person of Jesus the Messiah. The proof of this contrast centers in the irrefut able fact that all the fathers died who ate the wilderness manna. 6:5159 This section may be divided into three divisions: 1) Jesus pronouncement (v. 51); 2) the crowds perplexity (v. 52); and 3) Jesus promises (vv. 53 59). 6:51 This pronouncement exactly reiterates vv. 33, 35, 47, 48. bread is my flesh. J esus refers here prophetically to His impending sacrifice upon the cross (cf. 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:24). Jesus voluntarily laid down His life for evil, sinful mankind (10:18; 1Jn 2:2). 6:52 argue. Once again the perplexity of the Jews indicates that they failed to understand the spiritual truth behind J esus illustration. Every time J esus had given them a veiled saying or physical illustration, the Jews failed to see its spiritual significance (e.g., 3:4; 4:15). The Mosaic law prohibited the drinking of blood or the

eating of meat with blood still in it (Lev 17:10 14; Dt 12:16; Ac 15:29). The Jews, unable to go beyond the mere physical perspective, were perplexed and angered. 6:53 58 eat... drink. J esus point was an analogy that has spiritual, rather than literal, significance: just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life, so also is belief in His sacrificial death on the cross necessary for eternal life. The eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting Jesus cross work. For the Jews, however, a crucified Messiah was unthinkable (cf. Ac 17:1 3). Once again, the Jews, in their willful and judicial blindness, could not see the real spiritual significance and truth behind Jesus statements. Moreover, Jesus reference here to eating and drinking was not referring to the ordinance of communion for two significant reasons: 1) communion had not been instituted yet, and 2) if Jesus was referring to communion, then the passage would teach that anyone partaking of communion would receive eternal life. 6:6071 These verses constitute the reaction of Jesus disciples to His sermon on the bread of life. As with the crowds response in Jerusalem (chap. 5) and in Galilee (chap. 6), the response of many of His disciples was unbelief and rejection of Him. John lists two groups and their reactions: 1) the false disciples reaction of unbelief (vv. 60 66), and 2) the true disciples reaction of belief (vv. 67 71). After this sermon, only a small nucleus of disciples remained (v. 67). 6:61 his disciples were grumbling. Many of J esus disciples had the same reaction as the Jews in v. 41 and of the first generation of Israelites to manna, i.e., they grumbled (Ex 16:2). 6:64 Jesus had known. Reminiscent of Johns words in 2:23 25, Jesus knew the hearts of men, including those disciples who fol lowed Him. He supernaturally knew that many did not believe in Him as Messiah and Son of God so He did not entrust Himself to them. These false disciples were simply attracted to the physical phenomena (e.g., miracles and food), and failed to understand the true significance of Jesus teaching (v. 61).

JOHN 6:65


/ Jesus Goes to the Festival

would betray him. 65 He went on to say, This is why I told you that no one can come to me un less u the Fa ther has en abled them. v turned 66 From this time many of his dis ci ples back and no lon ger fol lowed him. 67 You do not want to l eave too, do you? J esus w asked the Twelve. 68 Simon Peter answered him, x Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eter nal life. 69 We have come to be lieve and to know that you y are the Holy One of God. z 70 Then Jesus re plied, Have I not cho sen you, a 71(He the T welve? Yet one of you is a dev il! meant Ju das, the son of Si mon Is car i ot, who, though one of the Twelve, was lat er to be tray him.)

6:65 uver37,44 6:66 vver60 6:67 wMt10:2 6:68 xMt16:16 6:69 yMk8:29;

Lk9:20 6:70 zJn15:16,19 aJn13:27


7:1 bJn1:19

7:2 dLev23:34; 7:3 eMt12:46 7:5 fMk3:21


Af ter this, Jesus went around in Gal i lee. He a to go about in Ju dea be cause did not want there were look ing for a way the Jewish leaders b c 2 But when the Jew ish Fes ti val of to kill him. Tabernacles d was near, 3Jesus brothers e said to him, Leave Gal i lee and go to Ju dea, so that your dis ci ples t here may see the w orks you do. 4No one who w ants to be come a pub lic fig ure acts in se cret. Since you are do ing t hese things, show For even his own broth your self to the world. 5 f ers did not be lieve in him.

Some manuscripts not have authority

6:65 I told you. See notes on vv. 37, 44. Although sinners are commanded to believe and will be held responsible for rejecting the truth, genuine faith is a gift of God that He initiates. Once again, in the face of unbelief, J esus reiterated Gods sovereignty involved in selection for salvation. 6:66 disciples... no longer followed him. The language indicates that the abandonment was decisive and final (cf. 1Pe 2:6 8; 1Jn 2:19). 6:69 We have come to believe. Peters words were somewhat pretentious in that he implied that the true disciples somehow had superior insight and, as a result, came to belief through that insight. 6:70 Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? In response to Peters words that the disciples had come to believe in Jesus, He reminds them that He sovereignly chose them (vv. 37, 44, 65). They could take no credit for Gods sovereign selection of them. a devil. The word devil means slanderer or false accuser. The idea perhaps is better rendered one of you is the devil. This meaning is clear from 13:2, 27; Mk 8:33; Lk 22:3. The foremost enemy of God so works behind the scenes through human agents that his malevolence becomes theirs (cf. Mt 16:23). Jesus supernaturally knew the source and correctly identified it. This clearly fixes the character of Judas, not as a well-intentioned but misguided man trying to force Jesus to exert His power and set up His kingdom (as some suggest), but as a tool of Satan doing unmitigated wickedness (see notes on 13:21 30). 6:71 Iscariot. The word most likely is from a Heb. word meaning man of Kerioth, the name of a village in Judah. As with the other three gospels, as soon as he was named, he became identified as the betrayer. 7:18:59 The main thrust of this section can be summarized as high intensity hatred since the smoldering dislike of Jesus in chaps. 5, 6 erupted into a blazing inferno. The culmination of this hatred occurs in 11:45 57 where the Jewish authorities plot to kill the Son of God, culminating ultimately in His crucifixion. Both chapters deal with Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths, in Jerusalem. Especially noteworthy is the fact that two major themes associated with Tabernacles, i.e., water and light, come to prominence in these two chapters (vv. 37 39; 8:12). At the next Passover following this celebration of Tabernacles, J esus was crucified. The central truth that dominates this whole passage is that Jesus was on a divine timetable. His life was not random, but operated according to Gods sovereign and perfect timing and direction. 7:113 This section has two parts: 1) Jesus avoidance of the wrong time in Gods sovereign plan (vv. 1 9), and 2) J esus perfect obedience to the right time in Gods sovereign plan (vv. 10 13).

7:1 After this. A six-month gap most likely took place between chaps. 6 and 7. While chap. 6 occurred around Passover (6:4 Apr.), chap. 7 occurs at the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths (Oct.). John wrote nothing about those months since his purpose was not to present an exhaustive chronology of Christs life but to portray Him as the Messiah and Son of God and show how men reacted to Him. went around in Galilee. Chapter 6 indicates Jesus spent two days with the multitude of 20,000 people (6:22), but He spent seven months teaching His 12 disciples who believed in Him. This phrase subtly highlights the great importance of discipleship, for Jesus concentrated great lengths of time upon training His future spiritual leaders. 7:2 Festival of Tabernacles. See note on 5:1. The Festival of Tabernacles was connected in the OT with the harvest of grapes and olives (Ex 23:16; Lev 23:33 36, 39 43; Dt 16:13 15). The festival lasted a full week from the fifteenth to the twenty-first of Ethanim (September October). The Jewish historian Josephus indicates that, of Israels three major festivals (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles), this one was the most popular. In order to commemorate the Israelites trek through the wilderness, the people built makeshift shelters out of leaves and branches (hence, booths or tabernacles; cf. Lev 23:42). Both a water-drawing and a lamp-lighting ceremony were featured. (Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink vv. 37, 38 and I am the light of the world 8:12). 7:3 Jesus brothers. Matthew 13:55 lists Jesus brothers as James, Joseph, Simon and Judas. James authored the NT epistle that bears his name and became the leader of the Jerusalem church, and Judas (or Jude) wrote the epistle that also bears his name. Because of Jesus virgin birth, they were only the half brothers of Jesus since Mary, not Joseph, was Jesus only human parent (cf. Mt 1:16, 18, 23; Lk 1:35). 7:4 to become a public yourself to the world. Jesus brothers wanted Him to put on a display of His miracles. Although the text does not clearly state their motivation, perhaps they made the request for two reasons: 1) they wanted to see the miracles for themselves to determine their genuineness, and 2) they may have had similar crass political motives as did the people, namely that He would become their social and political Messiah. Jerusalems acceptance of Him was to be the acid test for them as to whether His own family would believe in Him as Messiah. 7:5 As with the crowds in Jerusalem and Galilee, even His own brothers did not believe in J esus at first. They did not become His followers until after the resurrection (Ac 1:14; 1Co 15:7).

6 g is not There fore J esus told them, My time yet here; for you any time will do. 7 The world can not hate you, but it h ates meh be cause I tes ti i 8 fy that its works are evil. You go to the fes ti val. a go I am not ing up to this fes ti val, be cause my j time has not yet ful ly come. 9 After he had said this, he stayed in Gal il ee. 10 How ev er, af ter his broth ers had left for the fes ti val, he went also, not pub lic ly, but in se cret. 11 Now at the fes ti val the Jew ish lead ers were watching for Jesus k and ask ing, Where ishe? 12 Among the c rowds t here was wide spread whis per ing about him. Some said, He is a good man. l Oth ers re plied, No, he de ceives the peo ple. 13 But no one w ould say any thing pub lic ly a bout m him for fear of the lead ers.


JOHN 7:19

7:6 gMt26:18 7:7 hJn15:18,19


/ Jesus Teaches at the Festival

14 Not un til half way through the fes ti val did esus go up to the tem J ple c ourts and be gin to teach. n 15The Jewso there were amazed and p asked, How did this man get such learn ing q with out hav ing been taught? 16 Jesus an swered, My teach ing is not my own. r 17 Anyone It comes from the one who sent me. s who choos es to do the will of God will find out wheth er my teach ing comes from God or wheth er I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their t but he who own does so to gain per son al glo ry, seeks the glo ry of the one who sent him is a man of truth; t here is noth ing false about him. 19Has not Mo ses giv en you the law?u Yet not one of you v keeps the law. Why are you try ing to killme?

12:42; 19:38

7:8 jver6 7:11 kJn11:56 7:12 lver40,43 7:13 mJn9:22;

7:14 nver28; Mt26:55 7:15 oJn1:19 pAc26:24 qMt13:54 7:16 rJn3:11; 14:24 7:17 sPs25:14; Jn8:43 7:18 tJn5:41; 8:50,54 7:19 uJn1:17 vver1; Mt12:14

Some manuscripts not yet

7:6 My time is not yet here. This recalls the response to Jesus mother at the wedding in Cana (see 2:4). It also reveals the first reason why J esus would not go to the festival: it was not in Gods perfect timing. The sentence reveals J esus complete dependence on and commitment to the Fathers sovereign timetable for His life (cf. 8:20; Ac 1:7; 17:26). Furthermore, Jesus never committed Himself to being motivated by unbelief, even that of His own half brothers. for you any time will do. Because Jesus brothers did not believe in Him, they were of the world and therefore, knew nothing of God or His purposes. Because of unbelief, they did not listen to His word, did not recognize Gods schedule, and could not perceive the incarnate Word before them. As a result, any time would do for them, preferably that moment. 7:7 The world cannot hate you. The world cannot hate Jesus brothers because they belonged to the world and the world loves its own (cf. 15:18, 19). The evil world system and all who reject the Word and Son of God lie in the control of the evil one himself (1Jn 5:19). I testify that its works are evil. A true born-again believer who is living a life for Gods glory should experience the hatred and antagonism of the world (cf. 15:18 25; 16:1 3; 2Ti 3:12). 7:8 my time has not yet fully come. This reveals the second reason why Jesus would not go to the festival in Jerusalem. The Jews could not kill Him before Gods perfect timing and plan was ready (cf. Gal 4:4). Jesus commitment to Gods timetable would not permit any deviance from what God had decreed. 7:10 in secret. The assumption is that the Father had directed Jesus to permit Him to go to Jerusalem. The secrecy of His journey indicates His maximum discretion that was the complete opposite of what His brothers had demanded of Him (cf. v. 4). 7:12, 13 Among the crowds... widespread whispering. The crowds, made up of Judeans, Galileans, and Diaspora (scattered) Jews, expressed various opinions regarding Christ. The spectrum ranged from superficial acceptance (He is a good man) to cynical rejection (he deceives the people). The Jewish Talmud reveals that the latter view of deception became the predominant opinion of many Jews (Babylonian Talmud Sanhedrin 43a). 7:1424 The increasing hostility to Jesus did not prevent His teaching ministry. Instead, Jesus relentlessly set forth His claims regarding His identity and mission. In the midst of the Festival of Tabernacles, when Jews from all over Israel had migrated into Jerusalem, Jesus once again began to teach. In this section, Jesus

set forth the justification of His ministry and taught with authority as Gods Son. In this passage, five reasons are set forth as to why J esus claims regarding Himself are true: 1) His supernatural knowledge originated from the Father Himself (vv. 15, 16); 2) His teaching and knowledge could be confirmed by testing (v. 17); 3) His actions demonstrated His selflessness (v. 18); 4) His impact on the world was startling (vv. 19, 20); and 5) His deeds demonstrated His identity as the Son of God (vv. 21 24). 7:14 halfway through the festival. J esus may have waited until the middle of the festival in order to prevent a premature triumphal entry that some may have forced upon Him for political motivations. up to the temple courts and begin to teach. J esus taught according to the custom of the teachers or rabbis of His day. Prominent rabbis would enter the temple environs and expound on the OT to crowds who sat around them. 7:15 amazed. Jesus knowledge of Scripture was supernatural. The people were amazed that someone who had never studied at any great rabbinical centers or under any great rabbis could display such profound mastery of Scripture. Both the content and manner of Jesus teachings were qualitatively different than any other teacher. 7:16 the one who sent me. The qualitative difference of Jesus teaching was found in its source, i.e., the Father gave it to Him (8:26, 40, 46, 47; 12:49, 50). It originated from God the Father Himself, in contrast to rabbis who received it from man (Gal 1:12). While rabbis relied on the authority of others (a long chain of human tradition), J esus authority centered in Himself (cf. Mt 7:28, 29; Ac 4:13). 7:17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out. Those who are fundamentally committed to doing the will of God will be guided by Him in the affirmation of His truth. Gods truth is self-authenticating through the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit (cf. 16:13; 1Jn 2:20, 27). 7:18 he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him. While other saviors and messiahs acted for their own selfish interests, thereby revealing their falseness, Jesus Christ as Gods Son came solely to glorify the Father and accomplish the Fathers will (2Co 2:17; Php 2:5 11; Heb 10:7). 7:19, 20 kill me. If Jesus were another religious fake, the world never would have reacted in such hatred. Since the evil world system loves its own, its hatred toward Him demonstrates that He came from God (15:18, 19).

JOHN 7:20
20 You are demon-possessed, w the c rowd an swered. Who is try ing to kill you? 21 Jesus said to them, I did one mir a cle, and cause Mo ses gave you you are all a mazed. 22Yet, be tu al ly it did not come circumcision x (though ac y you cir from Mo ses, but from the pa tri archs), 23 Now if a boy cum cise a boy on the Sab bath. can be cir cum cised on the Sab bath so that the law of Mo ses may not be bro ken, why are you an gry with me for heal ing a m ans whole body on Stop judg ing by mere ap pear anc the Sabbath? 24 es, but instead judge correctly. z


authorities a real ly con clud ed that he is the Mes b siah? 27 But we know w here this man is from; when the Mes si ah comes, no one will know where he is from. 28 Then Jesus, still teach ing in the tem ple courts, c cried out, Yes, you know me, and you d I am not here on my know w here I am from. e You own au thor i ty, but he who sent me is true. 29 f do not know him, but I know him be cause I am from him and he sentme. 30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one g be laid a hand on him, cause his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd be lieved in h They said, When the Mes him. si ah comes, will i than this man? he per form more s igns 32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Phar i sees sent tem ple guards to ar rest him.


7:20 wJn8:48; 7:22 xLev12:3


7:24 zIsa11:3,4;

7:26 aver48 7:27 bMt13:55; 7:28 cver14

42 Lk4:22
dJn8:14 eJn8:26,

/ Division Over Who Jesus Is

25 At that p oint some of the peo ple of Je ru sa lem be gan to ask, Isnt this the man they are Here he is, speak ing pub lic ly, try ing to kill? 26 and they are not say ing a word to him. Have the

7:29 fMt11:27 7:30 gver32,44; 7:31 hJn8:30



7:21 one miracle. The context makes clear (vv. 22, 23) that Jesus had reference to the healing of the paralytic that evoked the beginning of persecution against Him by the Jewish authorities because it took place on the Sabbath (see 5:1 16). 7:22 but from the patriarchs. The patriarchal period during the time of Abraham when God instituted the sign of circumcision (Ge 17:10 12), which was later included as part of the Mosaic covenant at Sinai (Ex 4:26; 12:44, 45). This observation demonstrated that this rite preceded the Mosaic law (Gal 3:17). Furthermore, circumcision antedates the Sabbath law also. 7:23 on the Sabbath. According to Mosaic law, baby boys were to be circumcised on the eighth day (Lev 12:1 3). If a son was born on the Sabbath, then the eighth day (including his birthday) would come on the following Sabbath, when the Jews would circumcise the child. J esus point was that the Jews broke their own Sabbath law with the circumcision of the child. Their hypocrisy is evident. healing a mans whole body. J esus used an argument of the lesser to the greater. If ceremonial cleansing of one part of the body is permitted on the Sabbath through the act of circumcision (the less), how much more so should the actual healing of the entire body be permitted on the Sabbath (the greater). 7:24 judge correctly. While J esus forbade harsh, censorious judgment that self-righteous legalism promotes (Mt 7:1), He demanded the exercise of moral and theological discernment. 7:2536 In this section, John once again reiterates the claims of Jesus to His identity as the Messiah and Son of God. He focuses on His divine origin and citizenship. While some believed in Him at this time (v. 31), the religious leaders became even more angry at Him and nefariously planned to seize Him (v. 32). Jesus confronted the people with three dilemmas recorded in these verses: 1) the problem of dense confusion (vv. 25 29); 2) the problem of divided conviction (vv. 30 32); and 3) the problem of delayed conversion (vv. 33 36). These three problems left Jerusalem in a state of utter despair. 7:26 Here he is, speaking publicly. What surprised the masses was that in spite of the ominous threat from the religious authorities (vv. 20, 32), Jesus boldly proclaimed His identity. Have the authorities really concluded . . . ? The question indicates the crowds and the rulers were in great confusion and uncertainty as to who J esus was and what to do about Him. They did not really have any firm convictions regarding Jesus identity, for their ques-

tion reveals their doubt and unbelief. They were also perplexed at the religious leaders failure to arrest and silence Him if He really were a fraud. Such dense confusion caused the crowd to wonder if the religious authorities in private concluded that He was indeed the Christ. Mass confusion among all groups reigned regarding Jesus. Messiah. See notes on 1:20, 41. 7:27 no one will know where he is from. Only information regarding Messiahs birthplace was revealed in Scripture (Mic 5:2; Mt 2:5, 6). Beyond that, a tradition had developed in Jewish circles that Messiah would appear suddenly to the people, based on a misinterpretation of Isa 53:8 and Mal 3:1. In light of this, the meaning of this phrase most likely is that the identity of the Messiah would be wholly unknown until He suddenly appeared in Israel and accomplished Israels redemption. In contrast, Jesus had lived His life in Nazareth and was known (at least superficially) to the people (v. 28). 7:28 cried out. Jesus gave the greatest publicity to this important teaching by voicing it loudly (cf. v. 37; 1:15; 12:44). you know me, and you know where I am from. These words stand in antithesis with 8:19 where Jesus told His enemies that they did not know either Him or the Father, thus indicating a deep irony and sarcasm on Jesus part here. Jesus point is that contrary to what they thought, they really had no true understanding of who He was. They knew Him in the earthly sense, but not in the spiritual sense, because they didnt know God either. You do not know him. Although they thought that they were acutely perceptive and spiritually oriented, their rejection of Jesus revealed their spiritual bankruptcy (Ro 2:17 19). 7:30 his hour had not yet come. This reveals the reason why they could not seize Him, i.e., Gods sovereign timetable and plan for Jesus would not allow it. 7:31 many... believed. Divided conviction existed among the people regarding Jesus. While some wanted to seize Him, a small remnant of genuine believers existed among the crowds. The question here anticipates a negative answer, i.e., the Messiah could do no greater kinds of miracles than those Jesus had done. 7:32 the chief priests and the Pharisees. See note on 3:1. The Pharisees and chief priests historically did not have harmonious relationships with each other. Most of the chief priests were Sadducees, who were political and religious opponents to the Pharisees. John repeatedly links these two groups in his gospel (see also v.

33 Jesus said, I am with you for only a s hort j and then I am go time, ing to the one who sent k 34 me. You will look for me, but you will not find l me; and where I am, you can not come. 35 The Jews said to one an oth er, Where does this man in tend to go that we can not find him? m Will he go w here our peo ple live scat tered among the Greeks, n and t each the G reeks? 36 What did he mean when he said, You will look for me, but you will not find me, and Where I am, you can not come? 37 o On the last and great est day of the fes ti val, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, Let any one p 38 Whoev who is thirsty come to me and drink. q riv er be lieves in me, as Scrip ture has said, ers of a s 39By living water r will flow from with in them. t whom this he meant the Spir it, those who be u Up to that lieved in him were lat er to re ceive. time the Spir it had not been giv en, since Jesus v had not yet been glo ri fied.


JOHN 7:47
40 On hear ing his w ords, some of the peo ple w said, Sure ly this man is the Proph et. 41 Oth ers said, He is the Mes si ah. Still oth ers asked, How can the Mes si ah come from Galilee? x 42 Does not Scrip ture say that the Messiah will come from Davids descendants y and from Bethlehem, z the town where Da vid a because lived? 43 Thus the peo ple were di vid ed of Jesus. 44 Some want ed to seize him, but no one b laid a hand on him.

7:33 jJn13:33;

16:16 kJn16:5,10, 17,28 7:34 lJn8:21; 13:33 7:35 mJas1:1 nJn12:20; 1Pe1:1 7:37 oLev23:36 pIsa55:1; Rev22:17 7:38 qIsa58:11 rJn4:10 sJn4:14 7:39 tJoel2:28; Ac2:17,33 uJn20:22 vJn12:23; 13:31,32

/ Unbelief of the Jewish Leaders

Jn1:21 7:41 xver52; Jn1:46 7:42 yMt1:1 zMic5:2; Mt2:5, 6; Lk2:4 7:43 aJn9:16; 10:19 7:44 bver30 7:46 cMt7:28 7:47 dver12

7:40 wMt21:11;

45 Fi nal ly the tem ple g uards went back to the hief c priests and the Phar i sees, who asked them, Why didnt you bring himin? 46 No one ever spoke the way this man does,c the guards replied. 47 d the You mean he has de ceived you also?

And let anyone drink 38who believes in me. As Scripture has said, Out of him (or them) will flow rivers of living water.

45; 11:47, 57; 18:3) in order to emphasize that their cooperation stemmed from their mutual hatred of J esus. Both were alarmed at the faith of those indicated in v. 31 and, in order to avoid any veneration of Jesus as Messiah, attempted unsuccessfully to arrest Him (v. 30). temple guards. These functioned as a kind of police force composed of Levites who were in charge of maintaining order in the temple environs. They could also be used by the Sanhedrin in areas outside the temple environs in religious disputes that did not affect Roman policy. 7:34 where I am, you cannot come. Jesus refers here to His return to His heavenly origin with His Father after His crucifixion and resurrection (see 17:15). 7:35, 36 John again highlights the ignorance of the Jews regarding Jesus words. The words were spoken to mock Jesus. 7:35 teach the Greeks. The phrase teach the Greeks probably had reference to Jewish proselytes, i.e., Gentiles. John may have been citing this phrase with ironic force since the gospel eventually went to the Gentiles because of Jewish blindness and rejection of their Messiah. See notes on Ro 11:7 11. 7:3752 This section catalogues the different reactions of people to Jesus claims. These reactions have become universal patterns for reactions to Him through the ages. This section may be divided into the claim of Christ (vv. 37 39) and the reactions to Christ (vv. 40 52). The reactions may be subdivided into five sections: 1) the reaction of the convinced (vv. 40 41a); 2) the reaction of the contrary (vv. 41b 42); 3) the reaction of the hostile (vv. 43, 44); 4) the reaction of the confused (vv. 45, 46); and 5) the reaction of the religious authorities (vv. 47 52). 7:37 On the last and greatest day. This suggests that this occasion occurred on a different day than the controversy in vv. 11 36. Let anyone who is thirsty. A tradition grew up in the few centuries before Jesus that on the seven days of the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths, a golden vessel containing water from the pool of Siloam was transported in a priestly procession back to the temple. As it came to the Water Gate, three trumpet blasts were sounded to mark the joy of the occasion. At the temple, as the people watched, the priests would march around

the altar carrying the water container while the temple choir sang the Hallel (Pss. 113 118). The water was then offered as a sacrifice to God. The use of the water symbolized the blessing of adequate rainfall for crops. Jesus used this event as an object lesson and opportunity to make a very public invitation on the last day of the festival for His people to accept Him as the living water. His words recall Isa 55:1. thirsty come... drink. These three words summarize the gospel invitation. A recognition of need leads to an approach to the source of provision, followed by receiving what is needed. The thirsty, needy soul feels the craving to come to the Savior and drink, i.e., receive the salvation that He offers. 7:38 living water. The water-pouring rite also foreshadowed the millennial rivers of living water described in Eze 47:1 9 and Zec 13:1. The significance of Jesus invitation centers in the fact that He was the fulfillment of all the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths, anticipated, i.e., He was the One who provided the living water that gives eternal life to man (cf. 4:10, 11). 7:39 he meant the Spirit. The impartation of the Holy Spirit is the source of spiritual and eternal life. See note on 16:7. 7:41 from Galilee. This betrays the peoples great ignorance, because Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, not Galilee (Mic 5:2 cf. Mt 2:6; Lk 2:4). They did not even bother to investigate His true birthplace, showing their lack of interest in messianic credentials. 7:43 divided. See Mt 10:34 36; Lk 12:51 53. 7:44 See notes on vv. 8, 30. 7:45 the temple guards. The officers failed in their attempt to arrest Jesus when they were confronted with His person and powerful teaching. Since they were religiously trained, J esus words struck at their very heart. For their identity, see notes on v. 32. 7:47, 48 The Pharisees mocked the officers, not on professional (as police officers) but religious grounds (as Levites). In essence, they accused them of being seduced by a deceiver (i.e., J esus) in contrast to the Pharisees themselves who arrogantly and selfrighteously felt that in their wisdom and knowledge no one could ever deceive them.

JOHN 7:48


a wom an caught in adul tery. They made her stand be fore esus, Teach er, this wom an was the group 4and said to J ses com mandcaught in the act of adul tery. 5In the Law Mo j Now what do you say? 6They ed us to s tone such wom en. k in or der to have a ba sis were us ing this ques tion as a trap, l for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and start ed to w rite on the g round with his fin ger. 7When they kept on ques tion ing him, he straight ened up and said to them, Let any one of you who m at her. n 8Again is with out sin be the f irst to t hrow a s tone he s tooped down and w rote on the ground. 9At this, t hose who h eard be gan to go away one at a time, the old er ones first, un til only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straight ened up and asked her, Wom an, where are they? Has no one condemned you? 11No one, sir, she said. o Jesus declared. Go Then nei ther do I con demn you, p now and l eave your life of sin.

Pharisees retorted. 48 Have any of the rul ers or of the Phar i sees be lieved in him?e 49No! But this mob that knows noth ing of the law there is a curse on them. 50 Nicodemus, f who had gone to J esus ear li er and who was one of their own num ber, asked, 51 Does our law con demn a man with out first hear ing him to find out what he has been do ing? 52 They re plied, Are you from Gal il ee, too? Look into it, and you will find that a proph et g does not come out of Gal i lee.


7:48 eJn12:42 7:50 fJn3:1; 19:39 7:52 gver41 8:1 hMt21:1 8:2 iver20;

[The earliest manuscripts and many other ancient witnesses do not have John7:53 8:11. A few manuscripts include these verses, wholly or in part, after John 7:36, John 21:25, Luke 21:38 or Luke 24:53.]

they all went home, 1but J esus went to the h ount of Olives. M 2At dawn he ap peared again in the tem ple courts, where all the peo ple gath ered around him, and he sat down to teach i 3The teach them. ers of the law and the Phar i sees brought in


8:5 jLev20:10; Dt22:22 8:6 kMt22:15,18 lMt12:10 8:7 mDt17:7 nRo2:1,22 8:11 oJn3:17 pJn5:14 8:12 qJn6:35 rJn1:4; 12:35

/ Dispute Over Jesus Testimony

12 When Jesus spoke again to the peo ple, he q the r Whoever said, I am light of the world.

7:49 mob. The Pharisees condescendingly labeled the people as a mob. The rabbis viewed the common people (or, people of the land) as ignorant and impious in contrast to themselves. This ignorance was not only because of their ignorance of Scripture, but especially the common peoples failure to follow the Pharisees oral traditions. curse on them. The people were considered damned because they did not belong to the elite group or follow their beliefs regarding the law. 7:5052 Nicodemuss (see 3:10) mind had not closed regarding Christs claims, so that while not defending Jesus directly, he did raise a procedural point in Jesus favor. 7:51 Does our law condemn a man... ? No explicit OT text can be cited that makes Nicodemuss point. Most likely he referred to rabbinical traditions contained in their oral law. 7:52 a prophet does not come out of Galilee. The real ignorance lay with the arrogant Pharisees who did not carefully search out the facts as to where Jesus was actually born. While they accused the crowds of ignorance, they too were really as ignorant (v. 42). Furthermore, the prophet Jonah did come from Galilee. 7:538:11 This section dealing with the adulteress most likely was not a part of the original contents of John. It has been incorporated into various manuscripts at different places in the gospel (e.g., after vv. 36, 44, 52, or 21:25), while one manuscript places it after Lk 21:38. External manuscript evidence representing a great variety of textual traditions is decidedly against its inclusion, for the earliest and best manuscripts exclude it. Many manuscripts mark the passage to indicate doubt as to its inclusion. Significant early versions exclude it. No Gr. church father comments on the passage until the twelfth century. The vocabulary and style of the section also are different from the rest of the gospel, and the section interrupts the sequence of v. 52 with 8:12ff. Many, however, do think that it has all the earmarks of historical veracity, perhaps being a piece of oral tradition that circulated in parts of the Western church, so that a few comments are in order. In spite of all these considerations of the likely unreliability of this section, it is possible

to be wrong on the issue, and thus it is good to consider the meaning of this passage and leave it in the text, just as with Mk 16:9 20. 8:6 a trap... accusing him. If Jesus rejected the law of Moses (Lev 20:10; Dt 22:22), His credibility would be gone. If He held to Mosaic law, His reputation for compassion and forgiveness would have been questioned. 8:7 any one of you who is without sin. This directly refers to Dt 13:9; 17:7, where the witnesses of a crime are to start the execution. Only those who were not guilty of the same sin could participate. 8:8 Cf. v. 6. This seems to have been a delaying device, giving them time to think. 8:11 leave your life of sin. (cf. 3:17; 12:47; Mt 9:1 8; Mk 2:13 17). 8:1221 Excluding the story of the adulterous woman in 7:53 8:11, this verse attaches itself well to 7:52. The word again indicates that Jesus spoke once more to the people at this same Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths (see 7:2, 10). While J esus first used the water-drawing rite (7:37 39) as a metaphor to portray the ultimate spiritual truth of Himself as Messiah who fulfills all that the festival anticipated, He then turned to another rite that traditionally occurred at the festival: the lighting ceremony. During Tabernacles, four large lamps in the temples court of women illuminated a joyous celebration that took place there, with people dancing, holding burning torches, and singing songs of praise. Levitical musicians also played. Jesus took this opportunity of the lighting celebration to portray another spiritual analogy for the people: I am the light of the world. 8:12 I am the light of the world. This is the second I am statement (see 6:35). John has already used the light metaphor for Jesus (1:4). Jesus metaphor here is steeped in OT allusions (Ex 13:21, 22; 14:19 25; Pss 27:1; 119:105; Pr 6:23; Eze 1:4, 13, 26 28; Hab 3:3, 4). The phrase highlights Jesus role as Messiah and Son of God (Ps 27:1; Mal 4:2). The OT indicates that the coming age of Messiah would be a time when the Lord would be a light for His people (Isa 60:19 22; cf. Rev 21:23, 24) as well as for the whole earth (Isa 42:6; 49:6). Zechariah 14:5b 8 has an emphasis

fol lows me will nev er walk in dark ness, but will s have the light of life. 13 The Phar i sees chal lenged him, Here you are, ap pear ing as your own wit ness; your tes ti mo t ny is not val id. 14 Jesus an swered, Even if I tes ti fy on my own be half, my tes ti mo ny is val id, for I know where I u But you have came from and w here I am go ing. no idea where I come fromv or w here I am go ing. 15 w I pass judg You j udge by hu man stan dards; x 16 ment on no one. But if I do judge, my de ci sions are true, be cause I am not alone. I stand y 17 with the Fa ther, who sent me. In your own Law it is writ ten that the tes ti mo ny of two wit ness es is true.z 18I am one who tes ti fies for my self; a my oth er wit ness is the Fa ther, who sentme. 19 Then they asked him, Where is your fa ther? b Jesus You do not know me or my Fa ther, re plied. If you knew me, you would know my Fa c 20 ther also. He spoke t hese w ords w hile teach ingd in the tem ple courts near the place where


/ Dispute Over Who Jesus Is
21 Once

JOHN 8:26
e Yet no one s the of fer ings were put. eized him, f be cause his hour had not yet come.

8:12 sPr4:18; Mt5:14 8:13 tJn5:31 8:14 uJn13:3; 16:28 vJn7:28; 9:29 8:15 wJn7:24 xJn3:17 8:16 yJn5:30 8:17 zDt17:6; Mt18:16 8:18 aJn5:37 8:19 bJn16:3 cJn14:7; 1Jn2:23 8:20 dMt26:55


fMt26:18; hJn7:34;

8:21 gEze3:18


13:33 8:23 iJn3:31; 17:14 8:24 jJn4:26; 13:19 8:26 kJn7:28 lJn3:32; 15:15

more Jesus said to them, I am go ing g away, and you will look for me, and you will die h in your sin. W here I go, you can not come. 22 This made the Jews ask, Will he kill him self? Is that why he says, Where I go, you can not come? 23 But he con tin ued, You are from be low; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this I told you that you w ould die in your world. i 24 j you will sins; if you do not be lieve that I am he, in deed die in your sins. 25 Who are you? they asked. Just what I have been tell ing you from the I have much to say beginning, Jesus replied. 26 in judg ment of you. But he who sent me is trust heard from him I tell worthy, k and what I have l the world.

on God as the light of the world who gives living waters to His people. This latter passage probably formed the liturgical readings for the Festival of Tabernacles. For further significance of J esus as the light, see notes on 1:4, 5; 1Jn 1:5. Whoever follows me. The word follows conveys the idea of someone who gives himself completely to the person followed. No half-hearted followers exist in Jesus mind (cf. Mt 8:18 22; 10:38, 39). A veiled reference exists here to the Jews, following the pillar of cloud and fire that led them during the exodus (Ex 13:21). 8:13 appearing as your own witness. The Jews mockingly brought up Jesus own words from 5:31. However, J esus words there and here are reconciled by the fact that OT law required not one but multiple witnesses to establish the truth of a matter (Dt 17:6). Jesus was not alone in His witness that pointed to Him as Messiah, for many had already testified concerning this truth (see note on 1:7). 8:1418 These verses give three reasons why Jesus witness was true: 1) J esus knew His origin and destiny while the Jews were ignorant even of basic spiritual truths, making their judgment limited and superficial (vv. 14, 15); 2) the intimate union of the Son with the Father guaranteed the truth of the Sons witness (v. 16); and 3) the Father and Son witnessed harmoniously together regarding the identity of the Son (vv. 17, 18). 8:17 In your own Law it is written. Cf. Dt 17:6; 19:15. See notes on 1:7. 8:19 Where is your father? The Jews, as was their habit (e.g., 3:4; 4:11; 6:52), once again thought merely on human terms in asking about Jesus paternity. 8:2130 J esus revealed the consequence of the rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God, i.e., spiritual death (v. 24; cf. Heb 10:26 31). These verses reveal four ways that ensure people will die in their sins and, as a result, experience spiritual death: 1) being self-righteous (vv. 20 22); 2) being earthbound (vv. 23, 24); 3) being unbelieving (v. 24); and 4) being willfully ignorant (vv. 25 29). The Jews who rejected Jesus displayed all four of these characteristics. 8:21 Jesus repeated His message of 7:33, 34 but with more omi-

nous overtones regarding the consequences of rejecting Him. I am going away. By means of His impending death, resurrection, and ascension to the Father. 8:22 Will he kill himself.... The Jews spoke either in confusion (see notes on 7:34, 35) or, perhaps more likely, in mockery of Christ. Jewish tradition condemned suicide as a particularly heinous sin that resulted in permanent banishment to the worst part of Hades (Josephus, Jewish Wars iii.viii.5 [iii.375]). God did deliver Him to be killed (Ac 2:23); thus, as God, He gave up His own life (10:18). 8:23 You are from below. The contrast here is between the realm of God and that of the fallen, sinful world (i.e., from below). The world in this context is the invisible spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan and all that it offers in opposition to God, His Word, and His people (see notes on 1:9; 1Jn 5:19). Jesus declared that His opponents true kinship was with Satan and his realm. By this domination, they were spiritually blinded (see 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:13). 8:24 if you do not believe. Jesus emphasized that the fatal, unforgivable, and eternal sin is failure to believe in Him as Messiah and Son of God. In truth, all other sins can be forgiven if this one is repented of. See notes on 16:8, 9. I am he. The word he is not part of the original statement. Jesus words were not constructed normally but were influenced by OT Heb. usage. It is an absolute usage meaning I AM and has immense theological significance. The reference may be to both Ex 3:14 where the Lord declared His name as I AM and to Isa 40 55 where the phrase I am occurs repeatedly (especially 43:10, 13, 25; 46:4; 48:12). In this, J esus refers to Himself as the God (Yahweh the Lord) of the OT, and directly claims full deity for Himself, prompting the Jews question of v. 25. See note on v. 58. 8:25 Who are you? The Jews were willfully ignorant because chaps. 1 8 demonstrate that multiple witnesses testified to Jesus identity, and J esus Himself in words and actions persistently proved throughout His ministry on earth that He was the Son of God and Messiah. from the beginning. The start of Jesus ministry among the Jews.

JOHN 8:27
27 They did not un der stand that he was tell ing So Jesus said, When them about his Fa ther. 28 a the Son of Man, m then you you have lift ed up will know that I am he and that I do noth ing on my own but speak just what the Fa ther has The one who sent me is with me; taught me. 29 n for I al ways do what he has not left me alone, spoke, many be lieved pleases him. o 30Even as he p in him.


to it forever. u 36 So if the Son sets you free, you I know that you are Abra will be free in deed. 37 hams de scen dants. Yet you are look ing for a way v be cause you have no room for my to kill me, I am tell ing you what I have seen in the word. 38 ing what you Fathers presence, w and you are do b have heard from your fa ther. 39 Abra ham is our fa ther, they an swered. x said J esus, If you were Abra hams chil dren, c do what Abra ham did. 40As it then you would is, you are look ing for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I h eard from ham did not do such things. 41You God.y Abra z are do ing the works of your own fa ther. We are not il le git im ate chil dren, they pro test ed. The only Fa ther we have is God him a self. 42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Fa ther, b for I have come here from you w ould love me,

8:28 mJn3:14;
Jn16:32 oJn4:34; 5:30; 6:38 8:30 pJn7:31 8:31 qJn15:7; 2Jn9 8:32 rRo8:2; Jas2:12 8:33 sver37,39; Mt3:9 8:34 tRo6:16; 2Pe2:19

8:29 nver16;

5:19; 12:32

/ Dispute Over Whose Children Jesus

31 To the Jews who had be lieved him, Jesus q you are real said, If you hold to my teach ing, Then you will know the t ruth, ly my disciples. 32 r and the t ruth will set you free. 33 They an swered him, We are Abra hams de er been slaves of any one. scendants s and have nev How can you say that we s hall be set free? 34 Jesus re plied, Very tru ly I tell you, ev ery one t 35 Now a s lave has no who sins is a s lave to sin. per ma nent place in the fam i ly, but a son be longs

14:10,24 8:39 xver37; Ro9:7; Gal3:7 8:40 yver26 8:41 zver38,44 aIsa63:16; 64:8 8:42 b1Jn5:1

8:35 uGal4:30 8:37 vver39,40 8:38 wJn5:19,30;

TheGreek for lifted up also means exalted. b38Orpresence. Therefore do what you have heard from the Father. c39 Some early manuscripts If you are Abrahams children, said Jesus, then

8:28 When you have lifted up the Son of Man. Jesus impending crucifixion. you will know that I am he. Having refused to accept Him by faith and having nailed Him to the cross, they would one day awaken to the terrifying realization that this One whom they despised was the One they should have worshiped (cf. Php 2:9 11; Rev 1:7). Many Jews believed on Christ after His death and ascension, realizing that the One whom they rejected was truly the Messiah (Ac 2:36, 37, 41). 8:3136 These verses are a pivotal passage in understanding genuine salvation and true discipleship. John emphasizes these realities by stressing truth and freedom. The focus in the passage is upon those who were exercising the beginnings of faith in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. Jesus desired them to move on in their faith. Saving faith is not fickle but firm and settled. Such maturity expresses itself in full commitment to the truth in Jesus Christ resulting in genuine freedom. The passage has three features: 1) the progress of freedom (vv. 31, 32); 2) the pretense of freedom (vv. 33, 34); and 3) the promise of freedom (vv. 35, 36). 8:31 who had believed him. The first step in the progress toward true discipleship is belief in J esus Christ as Messiah and Son of God. If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. This reveals the second step in the progress toward true discipleship. Perseverance in obedience to Scripture (cf. Mt 28:19, 20) is the fruit or evidence of genuine faith (see Eph 2:10). The word hold means to habitually abide in Jesus words. A genuine believer holds fast, obeys, and practices J esus teaching. The one who holds to His teaching has both the Father and the Son (2Jn 9; cf. Heb 3:14; Rev 2:26). Real disciples are both learners (the basic meaning of the word) and faithful followers. 8:32 the truth. Truth here has reference not only to the facts surrounding Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God but also to the teaching that He brought. A genuinely saved and obedient follower of the Lord J esus will know divine truth and both freedom from sin (v. 34) and the search for reality. This divine truth comes not merely by intellectual assent (1Co 2:14) but saving commitment to Christ (cf. Titus 1:1, 2).

8:33 never been slaves of anyone. Because the Jews had often been in political subjection to many nations (Egypt, Assyria, Bab ylon, Greece, Syria, and Rome), they must have been referring to their inward sense of freedom. 8:34 Very truly. See note on 1:51. everyone who sins. The kind of slavery that Jesus had in mind was not physical slavery but slavery to sin (cf. Ro 6:17, 18). The ultimate bondage is not political or economic enslavement but spiritual bondage to sin and rebellion against God. Christ did not allow Himself to be embraced as merely a political deliverer. 8:35, 36 The notion of slavery in v. 34 moves to the status of slaves. While the Jews thought of themselves only as free sons of Abraham, in reality, they were slaves of sin. The genuine son in the context is Christ Himself, who sets the slaves free from sin. Those whom Jesus Christ liberates from the tyranny of sin and the bondage of legalism are really free (Ro 8:2; Gal 5:1). 8:39 If you were Abrahams children. The construction of this phrase indicates that J esus was denying that mere physical lineage was sufficient for salvation (see Php 3:4 9). The sense would be if you are Abrahams children, but you are not, then you would act like Abraham did. Just as children inherit genetic characteristics from their parents, so also those who are truly Abrahams offspring will act like Abraham, i.e., imitate Abrahams faith and obedience (see Ro 4:16; Gal 3:6 9; Heb 11:8 19; Jas 2:21 24). what Abraham did. Abrahams faith was demonstrated through his obedience to God (Jas 2:21 24). J esus point was that the conduct of the unbelieving Jews was diametrically opposed by the conduct of Abraham, who lived a life of obedience to all that God had commanded. Their conduct toward Jesus demonstrated that their real father was Satan (vv. 41, 44). 8:41 We are not illegitimate children. The Jews may well have been referring to the controversy surrounding J esus birth. The Jews knew the story about Marys betrothal and that Joseph was not Jesus real father; thus they implied that J esus birth was illegitimate (see Mt 1:18 25; Lk 1:26 38). 8:42 If God were your Father, you would love me. The con-

d God sent God.c I have not come on my own; e 43 Why is my lan guage not c lear to you? Be me. cause you are un able to hear what I say. 44You be long to your fa ther, the dev il,f and you want to der er car ry out your fa thers de sires.g He was a mur from the be gin ning, not hold ing to the t ruth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he s peaks his na tive lan guage, for he is a liar and the fa ther cause I tell the truth,i you do not of lies.h 45Yet be Can any of you p rove me g uilty of believe me! 46 sin? If I am tell ing the truth, why dont you be Who ev er be longs to God h ears what lieve me? 47 son you do not hear is that you God says.j The rea do not be long to God.


JOHN 9:2

8:42 cJn16:27; 17:8 dJn7:28 eJn3:17 8:44 f1Jn3:8 gver38,41 hGe3:4 8:45 iJn18:37 8:47 jJn18:37; 1Jn4:6 8:48 kMt10:5 lver52; Jn7:20 8:50 mver54; Jn5:41 8:51 nJn11:26

/ Jesus Claims About Himself

Jews an swered him, Arent we right in mon-pos say ing that you are a Sa mar i tank and de l sessed? 49 I am not pos sessed by a de mon, said J esus, but I hon or my Fa ther and you dis hon or me. 50I there is one am not seek ing glo ry for my self;m but Very tru ly I who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 tell you, who ev er obeys my word will nev er see n death. 52 At this they ex claimed, Now we know that
48 The

8:53 oJn4:12 8:54 pver50


8:55 rver19
sJn7:28,29 tJn15:10


8:56 uver37,

24 xEx3:14 8:59 yLev24:16; Jn10:31; 11:8 zJn12:36 9:2 aMt23:7 bver34; Lk13:2; Ac28:4 cEze18:20 dEx20:5; Job21:19

8:58 wJn1:2; 17:5,

39 vMt13:17; Heb11:13

you are de mon-pos sessed! Abra ham died and so did the proph ets, yet you say that who ev er o beys your word will nev er taste death. 53Are you great er than our fa ther Abra ham?o He died, and so did the proph ets. Who do you think you are? 54 p my glo Jesus re plied, If I glo ri fy my self, ry means noth ing. My Fa ther, whom you c laim as your God, is the one who glo ri fies me.q 55Though r s If I said I you do not know him, I know him. did not, I w ould be a liar like you, but I do know him and obey his word.t 56 Your father Abraham u re joiced at the thought of see ing my day; he saw v and was glad. it 57 You are not yet fif ty years old, they said to him, and you have seen Abra ham! 58 Very tru ly I tell you, J esus an swered, be w I am! x 59 A t this, fore Abra ham was born, y but Jesus they picked up stones to stone him, ping away from the tem ple hid himself, z slip grounds.

/ Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind

As he went a long, he saw a man b lind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, Rabbi, a who c or his par d that he was ents, sinned, b this man born blind?

struction here (as in v. 39) denies that God is truly their Father. Although the OT calls Israel His firstborn son (Ex 4:22) and affirms that God is Israels father by creation and separation (Jer 31:9), the unbelief of the Jews toward J esus demonstrated that God was not their Father spiritually. Jesus stressed that the explicit criterion verifying the claim to be a child of God is love for His Son, Jesus. Since God is love, those who love His Son also demonstrate His nature (1Jn 4:7 11; 5:1). 8:44 your father, the devil. Sonship is predicated on conduct. A son will manifest his fathers characteristics (cf. Eph 5:1, 2). Since the Jews exhibited the patterns of Satan in their hostility toward Jesus and their failure to believe in Him as Messiah, their paternity was the exact opposite of their claims, i.e., they belonged to Satan. He was a murderer from the beginning. Jesus words refer to the fall when Satan tempted Adam and Eve and successfully killed their spiritual life (Ge 2:17; 3:17 24; Ro 5:12; Heb 2:14). Some think that the reference may also refer to Cains murder of Abel (Ge 4:1 9; 1Jn 3:12). 8:46 prove me guilty of sin. Only a perfectly holy One who has the closest and most intimate communion with the Father could speak such words. The Jews arguing against Jesus could marshal no genuine evidence that He had ever sinned against God. 8:48 you are a Samaritan. Since the Jews could not attack J esus personal life and conduct (v. 46), they tried an ad hominem attack of personal abuse toward Him. The reference to Jesus as a Samaritan probably centers in the fact that the Samaritans, like Jesus, questioned the Jews exclusive right to be called Abrahams children (see vv. 33, 39). 8:51 never see death. Heeding Jesus teaching and following Him results in eternal life (6:63, 68). Physical death cannot extinguish such life (see 5:24; 6:40, 47; 11:25, 26).

8:52 Abraham died. J esus assertion that anyone who keeps His word will never die (v. 51) prompted the Jews to offer a retort that once again revealed their thinking on strictly a literal and earthly level (see 3:4; 4:15). 8:56 Hebrews 11:13 indicates that Abraham saw Christs day (saw them... from a distance; see note there). Abraham particularly saw in the continuing seed of Isaac the beginning of Gods fulfilling the covenant (Ge 12:1 3; 15:1 21; 17:1 8; cf. 22:8) that would culminate in Christ. 8:58 Very truly. See note on 1:51. I am. See note on 6:22 58. Here Jesus declares Himself to be Yahweh, i.e., the Lord of the OT. Basic to the expression are such passages as Ex 3:14; Dt 32:39; Isa 41:4; 43:10 where God declared Himself to be the eternally preexistent God who revealed Himself in the OT to the Jews. See also notes on vv. 24, 28. 8:59 they picked up stones. The Jews understood J esus claim and followed Lev 24:16, which indicates that any man who falsely claims to be God should be stoned. hid himself, slipping away from the temple grounds. J esus repeatedly escaped arrest and death because His hour had not yet come (see notes on 7:8, 30). The verse most likely indicates escape by miraculous means. 9:113 Jesus performed a miracle by re-creating the eyes of a man who was born with congenital blindness (v. 1). Four features highlight this healing: 1) the problem that precipitated the healing (v. 1); 2) the purpose for the mans being born blind (vv. 2 5); 3) the power that healed him (vv. 6, 7); and 4) the perplexity of the people who saw the healing (vv. 8 13). 9:2 who sinned. While sin may be a cause of suffering, as clearly indicated in Scripture (see 5:14; Nu 12; 1Co 11:30; Jas 5:15), it is not always the case necessarily (see Job; 2Co 12:7; Gal 4:13). Like most first-century Jews, the disciples thought that sin was the

JOHN 9:3
3 Nei ther this man nor his par ents s inned, said Jesus, but this hap pened so that the works of God m ight be dis played in him.e 4As long as it is day,f we must do the w orks of him who sent me. Night is com ing, when no one can work. 5While g I am in the world, I am the l ight of the world. 6 After say ing this, he spith on the ground, made some mud with the sa li va, and put it on the mans eyes. 7 Go, he told him, wash in the Pool of Siloam i (this word m eans Sent). So the man j went and washed, and came home see ing. 8 His neigh bors and those who had for mer ly seen him beg ging asked, Isnt this the same man k 9 who used to sit and beg? Some claimed that he was. Oth ers said, No, he only looks like him. But he him self in sist ed, I am the man. 10 How then were your eyes opened? they asked. 11 He re plied, The man they call J esus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Si lo am and wash. So I went and w ashed, l and then I could see.


12 Where

12:46 9:6 hMk7:33; 8:23 9:7 iver11; 2Ki5:10; Lk13:4 jIsa35:5; Jn11:37 9:8 kAc3:2,10 9:11 lver7

9:3 eJn11:4 9:4 fJn11:9; 12:35 9:5 gJn1:4; 8:12;

is this man? they a sked him. I dont know, he said.

/ The Pharisees Investigate the

13 They brought to the Phar i sees the man who had been b lind. 14 Now the day on w hich J esus had made the mud and opened the mans eyes m 15 Therefore the Pharisees also was a Sab bath. n He asked him how he had re ceived his s ight. put mud on my eyes, the man re plied, and I washed, and now I see. 16 Some of the Phar i sees said, This man is not o from God, for he does not keep the Sab bath. But oth ers asked, How can a sin ner per form p such s igns? So they were di vid ed. 17 Then they turned again to the blind man, What have you to say about him? It was your eyes he opened. q The man re plied, He is a proph et. 18Theyr still did not be lieve that he had been blind and had re ceived his sight un til they sent for the mans par ents. 19 Is this your son? they

pJn6:52; 7:43; 10:19 9:17 qMt21:11 9:18 rJn1:19

9:14 mJn5:9 9:15 nver10 9:16 oMt12:2

primary, if not exclusive, cause of all suffering. In this instance, however, J esus made it clear that personal sin was not the reason for the blindness (see v. 3). 9:3 Jesus did not deny the general connection between sin and suffering, but refuted the idea that personal acts of sin were the direct cause. Gods sovereignty and purposes play a part in such matters, as is clear from Job 1, 2. 9:4 As long as it is day. Jesus meant as long as He was still on earth with His disciples. The phrase does not imply that Christ somehow ceased to be the light of the world once He ascended, but that the light shone most brightly among men when He was on the earth doing the Fathers will (cf. 8:12). Night is coming. See notes on 1:4, 5; 1Jn 1:5 7. The darkness has special reference to the period when Jesus was taken from His disciples during His crucifixion (v. 5). 9:5 I am the light of the world. See note on 8:12; cf. 1:5, 9; 3:19; 12:35, 46. Not only was Jesus spiritually the light of the world, but He would also provide the means of physical light for this blind man. 9:6 made some mud with the saliva. As He had done when He originally made human beings out of the dust of the ground (Ge 2:7), J esus may have used the clay to fashion a new pair of eyes. 9:7 wash in the Pool of Siloam. The term Siloam is Heb. for Sent. The Pool of Siloam was SE of the original City of David. Water flowed into it from the spring of Gihon in the Kidron Valley by way of Hezekiahs tunnel. It may be identified with the lower pool or old pool mentioned in Isa 22:9, 11. Water for the waterpouring rites at the Festival of Tabernacles, or Booths, was drawn from this pool (see notes on 7:37 39). 9:8, 9 In ancient times, such severe physical deformities as congenital blindness sentenced a person to begging as the only means of support (see Ac 3:1 7). The drastic change in the healed man caused many to faithlessly believe that he was not the person born blind.

9:1334 This section in the story of the healing of the blind man reveals some key characteristics of willful unbelief: 1) unbelief sets false standards; 2) unbelief always wants more evidence but never has enough; 3) unbelief does biased research on a purely subjective basis; 4) unbelief rejects the facts; and 5) unbelief is self-centered. John included this section on the dialogue of the Pharisees with the blind man most likely for two reasons: 1) the dialogue carefully demonstrates the character of willful and fixed unbelief, and 2) the story confirms the first great schism between the synagogue and Christs new followers. The blind man was the first known person thrown out of the synagogue because he chose to follow Christ (see 16:13). 9:13 They. This has reference to the blind mans neighbors and those who had formerly seen him begging (v. 8). to the Pharisees. The people brought the blind man to the Pharisees most likely because the miracle had happened on the Sabbath (v. 14), and they were aware that the Pharisees reacted negatively to those who violated the Sabbath (cf. 5:1 15). The people also wanted advice from their local synagogue and religious leaders. 9:16 not from God. The reasoning may have been that since J esus violated their interpretation of the Sabbath law, He could not be the promised Prophet of God (Dt 13:1 5). divided. Earlier the crowds were divided in opinion regarding Jesus (7:40 43); here the authorities also became divided. 9:17 He is a prophet. While the blind man saw clearly that Jesus was more than a mere man, the sighted but obstinate Pharisees were spiritually blind to that truth (see v. 39). Blindness in the Bible is a metaphor for spiritual darkness, i.e., inability to discern God or His truth (2Co 4:3 6; Col 1:12 14). 9:18 sent for the mans parents. While neighbors may have been mistaken about the mans identity, the parents would know if this was their own son. The authorities considered the witness of the healed man worthless.

sked. Is this the one you say was born b a lind? How is it that now he can see? 20 We know he is our son, the par ents an swered, and we know he was born blind. 21But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we dont know. Ask him. He is of age; he will s peak His par ents said this be cause they for himself. 22 s who al ready were afraid of the Jew ish lead ers, had de cid ed that any one who ac knowl edged that t of the Jesus was the Mes si ah would be put out ents said, He synagogue. u 23That was why his par v is of age; ask him. 24 A sec ond time they sum moned the man who had been blind. Give glo ry to God by tell ing the ner.x truth,w they said. We know this man is a sin 25 He re plied, Wheth er he is a sin ner or not, I dont know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see! 26 Then they asked him, What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes? 27 y and He an swered, I have told you al ready you did not lis ten. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to be come his dis ci ples too? 28 Then they hurled in sults at him and said, You are this fel lows dis ci ple! We are dis ci ples spoke to Mo ses, of Moses! z 29We know that God but as for this fel low, we dont even know where a he comes from.


JOHN 9:40
30 The man an swered, Now that is re mark able! You d ont know where he comes from, yet We know that God does he o pened my eyes. 31 not lis ten to sin ners. He lis tens to the god ly per b 32 No body has ever heard son who does his will. of open ing the eyes of a man born b lind. 33If this c he could do noth ing. man were not from God, 34 To this they re plied, You were steeped in ture us! And they sin at birth;d how dare you lec e threw him out.

9:22 sJn7:13
tver34; uJn12:42;

Lk6:22 16:2 9:23 vver21 9:24 wJos7:19 xver16 9:27 yver15 9:28 zJn5:45 9:29 aJn8:14

/ Spiritual Blindness
35 Jesus h eard that they had t hrown him out, and when he found him, he said, Do you be lieve in the Son of Man? 36 Who is he, sir? the man a sked. Tell me so f that I may be lieve in him. 37 Jesus said, You have now seen him; in fact, g he is the one speak ing with you. 38 Then the man said, Lord, I be lieve, and he worshiped him. h i I have come into 39Jesus said,a For judg ment j k and blind will see those this world, so that the l who see will be come blind. 40 Some Phar i sees who were with him heard him m say this and asked, What? Are we blind too?
a38,39 Some early manuscripts do not have Then the man said... 39Jesus said.

9:31 bGe18:2332;

Ps34:15,16; 66:18; 145:19,20; Pr15:29; Isa1:15; 59:1,2; Jn15:7; Jas5:1618; 1Jn5:14,15 9:33 cver16; Jn3:2 9:34 dver2 ever22, 35; Isa66:5 9:36 fRo10:14 9:37 gJn4:26 9:38 hMt28:9 9:39 iJn5:22 jJn3:19 kLk4:18 lMt13:13 9:40 mRo2:19

9:24 Give glory to God. This means that the authorities wanted the man to own up and admit the truth that Jesus was a sinner because He violated their traditions and threatened their influence (cf. Jos 7:19). We know this man is a sinner. Enough unanimity existed among the religious authorities to conclude that Jesus was a sinner (cf. 8:46). Because of this already predetermined opinion, they refused to accept any of the testimony that a miracle had actually taken place. 9:27 In order to forcefully emphasize their hypocrisy, the healed man resorted to biting sarcasm when he suggested they desired to be Jesus disciples. 9:28 You are this fellows disciple! We are disciples of Moses! At this point, the meeting degenerated into a shouting match of insults. The healed mans wit had exposed the bias of his inquisitors. As far as the authorities were concerned, the conflict between J esus and Moses was irreconcilable. If the healed man defended J esus, then such defense could only mean that he was Jesus disciple. 9:30 The healed man demonstrated more spiritual insight and common sense than all of the religious authorities combined who sat in judgment of J esus and him. His penetrating wit focused in on their intractable unbelief. His logic was that such an extraordinary miracle could only indicate that Jesus was from God, for the Jews believed that God responds in proportion to the righteousness of the one praying (see Job 27:9; 35:13; Pss 66:18; 109:7; Pr 15:29; Isa 1:15; cf. 14:13, 14; 16:23 27; 1Jn 3:21, 22). The greatness of the miracle could only indicate that Jesus was actually from God. 9:34 how dare you lecture us! The Pharisees were incensed with the man, and their anger prevented them from seeing the penetrating insight that the uneducated, healed man had demonstrated.

The phrase also revealed their ignorance of Scripture, for the OT indicated that the coming messianic age would be evidenced by restoration of sight to the blind (Isa 29:18; 35:5; 42:7; cf. Mt 11:4, 5; Lk 4:18, 19). 9:3541 While vv. 1 34 dealt with Jesus restoration of physical sight in the blind man, vv. 35 41 featured Jesus bringing spiritual sight to him. 9:35 Do you believe...? Jesus invited the man to put his trust in Him as the One who revealed God to man. J esus placed great emphasis on public acknowledgment of who He was and confession of faith in Him (Mt 10:32; Lk 12:8). Son of Man. Cf. 1:51; 3:13, 14; 5:27; 6:27, 53, 62; 8:28. 9:36 sir. Since the blind man had never seen Jesus (v. 7) nor met Him since he went to wash in the pool, he did not recognize J esus at first as the One who healed him. 9:38 Lord. The Gr. word translated sir in v. 36 is the same word translated Lord here. At first, the blind man spoke to Christ out of respect; however, in v. 38 he spoke to the Son of Man (v. 35) as Messiah. 9:39 For judgment. Not that His purpose was to condemn, but rather to save (12:47; Lk 19:10); saving some, nevertheless, involves condemning others (see notes on 3:16, 18). The last part of this verse is taken from Isa 6:10; 42:19 (cf. Mk 4:12). the blind. Those people who know they are in spiritual darkness. those who see. Refers in an ironic way to those who think they are in the light, but are not (cf. Mk 2:17; Lk 5:31). 9:40 Are we blind too? Apparently J esus found (v. 35) the man in a public place, where the Pharisees were present listening.

JOHN 9:41
41 Jesus said, If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you c laim you can n see, your guilt re mains.


7 There fore J esus said a gain, Very tru ly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come be fore mer are thieves and rob bers, but the sheep have not lis tened to them. 9 I am the gate; a They who ev er en ters through me will be saved. will come in and go out, and find pas ture. 10The thief comes only to steal and kill and de stroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 s The good shep I am the good shep herd. t 12The herd lays down his life for the sheep. hired hand is not the shep herd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf com ing, he u Then the aban dons the s heep and runs away. wolf at tacks the flock and scat ters it. 13The man runs away be cause he is a hired hand and cares noth ing for the sheep. 14 I am the good shep herd;v I know my s heepw just as the Fa ther and my s heep know me15

9:41 nJn15:22,24 10:2 over11,14 10:3 pver4,5,14, 10:6 qJn16:25



/ The Good Shepherd and His Sheep

Very tru ly I tell you Phar is ees, any one who does not en ter the s heep pen by the gate, but c limbs in by some oth er way, is a t hief and a rob ber. 2 The one who en ters by the gate o 3 The gatekeeper is the shep herd of the sheep. opens the gate for him, and the s heep lis ten to his voice. p He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on a head of them, and his s heep fol low him be cause they know his voice. 5But they will nev er fol low a strang er; in fact, they will run away from him be cause they do not rec ognize a strangers voice. 6 Jesus used this fig ure of speech, q but the Phar i sees did not un der stand what he was tell ing them.

Isa40:11; Eze34:1116,23; Heb13:20; 1Pe5:4; Rev7:17 tJn15:13; 1Jn3:16 10:12 uZec11:16, 17 10:14 vver11 wver27

10:8 rJer23:1,2 10:11 sver14;


9:41 your guilt remains. J esus had particular reference to the sin of unbelief and rejection of Him as Messiah and Son of God. If they knew their lostness and darkness and cried out for spiritual light, they would no longer be guilty of the sin of unbelief in Christ. But satisfied that their darkness was light, and continuing in rejection of Christ, their sin remained. See note on Mt 6:22, 23. 10:139 Jesus discourse on Himself as the good shepherd flowed directly from chap. 9, as J esus continued to talk to the very same people. The problem of chap. 9 was that Israel was led by false shepherds who drew them astray from the true knowledge and kingdom of Messiah (9:39 41). In chap. 10, Jesus declared Himself to be the good shepherd who was appointed by His Father as Savior and King, in contrast to the false shepherds of Israel who were self-appointed and self-righteous (Ps 23:1; Isa 40:11; Jer 3:15; cf. Isa 56:9 12; Jer 23:1 4; 25:32 38; Eze 34:1 31; Zec 11:16). 10:1 sheep pen. J esus spoke in vv. 1 30 using a lengthy illustration drawn from the tending of sheep. The sheep were kept in a pen, which had a gate through which the sheep entered and departed. The shepherd engaged a gatekeeper (v. 3) or hired hand (v. 12) as an undershepherd to guard the gate. But those who wanted to steal or harm the sheep would attempt entrance by another way. The words of Eze 34 most likely form the background to Jesus teaching since God decried the false shepherds of Israel (i.e., the spiritual leaders of the nation) for not caring properly for the flock of Israel (i.e., the nation). The gospels themselves contain extensive sheep/shepherd imagery (see Mt 9:36; Mk 6:34; 14:27; Lk 15:1 7). 10:3 The gatekeeper. The gatekeeper was a hired undershepherd who recognized the true shepherd of the flock, opened the gate for Him, assisted the shepherd in caring for the flock, and especially guarded them at night. the sheep listen to his voice. Near Eastern shepherds stand at different locations outside the sheep pen, sounding out their own unique calls that their sheep recognize. As a result, the sheep gather around the shepherd. He calls his own sheep by name. This shepherd goes even further by calling each sheep by its own special name. J esus point is that He comes to the fold of Israel and calls out those who belong to Him. In some way, they are already His sheep before He calls them by name (see vv. 25 27; 6:37, 39, 44, 64, 65; 17:6, 9, 24; 18:9).

10:4, 5 In contrast to Western shepherds who drive their flocks from behind, Near Eastern shepherds lead their sheep, using their voice to prompt the sheep to follow. NT spiritual leadership is always by example, i.e., a call to imitate conduct (cf. 1Ti 4:12; 1Pe 5:13). 10:6 figure of speech. This phrase conveys the idea that something cryptic or enigmatic is intended in it. It occurs again in 16:25, 29 but not in the Synoptics. Having given the illustration (vv. 1 5), Jesus then began to draw salient spiritual truth from it. 10:7 10 I am the gate. This is the third of seven I am statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12). Here, He changes the metaphor slightly. While in vv. 1 5 He was the shepherd, here He is the gate. While in vv. 1 5, the shepherd led the sheep out of the sheep pen, here He is the entrance to the pen (v. 9) that leads to proper pasture. This section echoes Jesus words in 14:6 that He is the only way to the Father. His point is that He serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of Gods promised salvation. As some Near Eastern shepherds slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures Himself as the gate. 10:9, 10 These two verses are a proverbial way of insisting that belief in J esus as the Messiah and Son of God is the only way of being saved from sin and hell and receiving eternal life. Only Jesus Christ is the one true source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security. 10:111 8 Jesus picked up another expression from vv. 1 5, i.e., He is the good shepherd in contrast to the present evil leadership of Israel (9:40, 41). This is the fourth of seven I am statements of J esus (see vv. 7, 9; 6:35; 8:12). The term good has the idea of noble and stands in contrast to the hired hand who cares only for self-interest. 10:11 lays down his life for the sheep. This is a reference to J esus substitutionary death for sinners on the cross. Cf. v. 15; 6:51; 11:50, 51; 17:19; 18:14. 10:12 sees the wolf coming... runs away. The hired hand likely represents religious leaders who pretend to care for the flock in good times but who abandon the sheep when danger comes. They stand in contrast to J esus, who laid down His life for His flock (see 15:13).

xand I lay knows me and I know the Fa ther down my life for the sheep. 16I have oth er sheepy that are not of this s heep pen. I must b ring them also. They too will lis ten to my v oice, and t here shall be one flockz and one shep herd.a 17The rea son my Fa ther l oves me is that I lay down my lifeb only to take it up again. 18 No one takes c it from me, but I lay it down of my own ac cord. I have au thor it y to lay it down and au thor i ty to take it up a gain. This com mand I re ceived from my Father. d 19 The Jews who h eard t hese w ords were a gain divided. e 20 Many of them said, He is de mong Why lis possessed f and rav ing mad. ten to him? 21 But oth ers said, These are not the say ings of a man pos sessed by a de mon.h Can a de mon open i the eyes of the blind?


JOHN 10:35

10:15 xMt11:27 10:16 yIsa56:8

Eph2:1119 aEze37:24; 1Pe2:25 10:17 bver11, 15,18 10:18 cMt26:53 dJn15:10; Php2:8; Heb5:8 10:19 eJn7:43; 9:16 10:20 fJn7:20 gMk3:21 10:21 hMt4:24 iEx4:11; Jn9:32,33 10:23 jAc3:11; 5:12 10:24 kJn1:19

lJn16:25,29 nJn5:36

10:25 mJn8:58 10:26 oJn8:47 10:27 pver14


Further Conflict Over Jesus Claims

22 Then

came the Festival of Dedication a at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomons Colonnade. j 24The Jewsk who were there gath ered around

24 tJn14:28 10:30 uJn17:2123 10:31 vJn8:59 10:33 wLev24:16; Jn5:18 10:34 xJn8:17; Ro3:19 yPs82:6

10:28 rJn6:39 10:29 sJn17:2,6,

him, say ing, How long will you keep us in sus l pense? If you are the Mes si ah, tell us plain ly. 25 m but you do Jesus an swered, I did tell you, not be lieve. The works I do in my Fa thers name but you do not be lieve be testify about me, n 26 o 27 My sheep listen cause you are not my sheep. low me.q to my v oice; I know them,p and they fol 28 I give them eter nal life, and they s hall nev er per ish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.r 29 My Fa ther, who has giv en them to me,s is great b; t no one can snatch them out of my er than all u I and the Fa ther are one. Fathers hand. 30 31 Again his Jew ish op po nents picked up s tones v 32 but Jesus said to them, I have to stone him, shown you many good works from the Fa ther. For which of t hese do you stoneme? 33 We are not ston ing you for any good work, they re plied, but for blas phe my, be cause you, a w mere man, claim to be God. 34 Jesus an swered them, Is it not writ ten in x I have said you are gods c?y 35If he your Law,

is, Hanukkah b29 Many early manuscripts What my Father has given me is greater than all c34Psalm82:6

10:16 not of this sheep pen. This refers to Gentiles who will respond to His voice and become a part of the church (cf. Ro 1:16). Jesus death was not only for Jews (see notes on vv. 1, 3), but also for non-Jews whom He will make into one new body, the church (see notes on 11:51, 52; cf. Eph 2:11 22). 10:17, 18 take it up again. Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses, indicating that His sacrificial death was not the end. His resurrection followed in demonstration of His messiahship and deity (Ro 1:4). His death and resurrection resulted in His ultimate glorification (12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37 39; cf. Ac 2:16 39). 10:1921 The Jews once again had a mixed reaction to Jesus words (see 7:12, 13). While some charged Him with demon possession (see 7:20; 8:48; cf. Mt 12:22 32), others concluded His works and words were a demonstration of Gods sanction upon Him. 10:22, 23 Festival of Dedication. The Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, which celebrates the Israelite victory over the Syrian leader Antiochus Epiphanes, who persecuted Israel. In ca. 170 B.C. he conquered Jerusalem and desecrated the Jewish temple by setting up a pagan altar to displace the altar of God. Under the leadership of an old priest named Mattathias (his family name was called the Hasmoneans), the Jews fought guerrilla warfare (known as the Maccabean Revolt 166 142 B.C.) against Syria and freed the temple and the land from Syrian dominance until 63 B.C. when Rome (Pompey) took control of the region. It was in 164 B.C. on 25 Kislev (Dec. approximately), that the Jews liberated the temple and rededicated it. The celebration is also known as the Festival of Lights on account of the lamps and candles lit to commemorate the event in Jewish homes. It was winter. John indicates by this phrase that the cold weather drove Jesus to walk on the eastern side of the temple in the sheltered area of Solomons porch, which after the resurrection became the regular gathering place of Christians where they would proclaim the gospel (see Ac 3:11; 5:12). 10:24 tell us plainly. In light of the context of vv. 31 39, the Jews

were not seeking merely for clarity and understanding regarding who J esus was, but rather wanted Him to declare openly that He was Messiah in order to justify attacking Him. 10:26, 27 This clearly indicates that God has chosen His sheep and it is they who believe and follow (see notes on vv. 3, 16; cf. 6:37 40, 44, 65). 10:28, 29 J esus sheep are secure because he is the Good Shepherd, who has... them safe. Neither thieves and robbers (vv. 1, 8) nor the wolf (v. 12) can harm them. Verse 29 makes clear that the Father ultimately stands behind the sheeps security, for no one is able to steal from God, who is in sovereign control of all things (Col 3:3). See notes on Ro 8:31 39. No stronger passage in the OT or NT exists for the absolute, eternal security of every true Christian. 10:30 I and the Father are one. Both Father and Son are committed to the perfect protection and preservation of Jesus sheep. The sentence, stressing the united purpose and action of both in the security and safety of the flock, presupposes unity of nature and essence (see 5:17 23; 17:22). 10:31 For the third time John records that the Jews attempted to stone J esus (see 5:18; 8:59). Jesus assertion (v. 30) that He was One with the Father affirmed His claim to deity and caused the Jews to seek His execution (v. 33). Although the OT permitted stoning in certain instances (e.g., Lev 24:16), the Romans reserved the right of capital punishment for themselves (18:31). Nevertheless, out-of-control Jews attempted a mob action in lieu of legal proceedings (see Ac 7:54 60). 10:33 you... claim to be God. There was no doubt in the minds of those Jews that Jesus was claiming to be God (cf. 5:18). 10:3436 Quoted from Ps 82:6 where God calls some unjust judges gods and pronounces calamity against them. J esus argument is that this is an argument from the lesser to the greater. If mere men could, in some sense, be referred to as gods, why would anyone object to the Son of God Himself being called by that title?

JOHN 10:36


alled them gods, to whom the word of God c came and Scripture cannot be set aside 36 what about the one whom the Fa ther set apartz a and sent into the b Why world? as his very own then do you ac cuse me of blas phe my be cause c 37 Do not be lieve me I said, I am Gods Son? d 38 But if I un less I do the works of my Fa ther. do them, even though you do not be lieve me, be lieve the works, that you may know and un der stand that the Fa ther is in me, and I in the f but he Again they t ried to s eize him, Father. e 39 escaped their grasp. g h to 40 Then Jesus went back across the Jor dan the place where John had been bap tiz ing in the and many peo ple ear ly days. There he s tayed, 41 came to him. They said, Though John nev er i all that John said about this per formed a sign, j 42 And in that p lace many be man was true. k lieved in Jesus.

10:36 zJer1:5

aJn6:69 bJn3:17

Jn15:24 10:38 eJn14:10, 11,20; 17:21 10:39 fJn7:30 gLk4:30; Jn8:59 10:40 hJn1:28 10:41 iJn2:11; 3:30 jJn1:26,27, 30,34 10:42 kJn7:31

10:37 dver25;


/ The Death of Lazarus

11:1 lMt21:17 11:2 nMk14:3; Lk7:38; Jn12:3 11:3 over5,36 11:4 pver40; Jn9:3 11:7 qJn10:40 11:8 rMt23:7 sJn8:59; 10:31

Now a man n amed Laz a rus was sick. He lage of Mary was from Bethany, l the vil m 2 (This Mary, whose and her sis ter Mar tha. broth er Laz a rus now lay sick, was the same one who poured per fume on the Lord and w iped his n 3 So the sis ters sent word to feet with her hair.) o is sick. Jesus, Lord, the one you love 4 When he h eard this, J esus said, This sick ness will not end in d eath. No, it is for G ods glo Gods Son may be glo ri fied through ryp so that Now Jesus l oved Mar tha and her sis ter and it. 5 So when he heard that Laz a rus was Lazarus. 6 sick, he stayed where he was two more days, 7and then he said to his dis ci ples, Let us go back to Judea. q 8 But Rabbi, r they said, a s hort w hile ago the s and yet you are Jews there tried to stone you, going back?

10:35 Scripture cannot be set aside. An affirmation of the absolute accuracy and authority of Scripture (see notes on Mt 5:17 19). 10:38 believe the works. Jesus did not expect to be believed merely on His own assertions. Since He did the same things that the Father does (see notes on 5:19), His enemies should consider this in their evaluation of Him. The implication is, however, that they were so ignorant of God that they could not recognize the works of the Father or the One whom the Father sent (see also 14:10, 11). 10:40 Jesus went back across the Jordan. Because of the increasing hostility (see v. 39), Jesus went from the region of Judea into the unpopulated area across the Jordan. to the place where John had been baptizing. Cf. Mt 3:1 6; Mk 1:2 6; Lk 3:3 6. This is probably a reference to either Perea or Batanea, the general area in the tetrarchy of Philip in the E and NE of the Sea of Galilee. The statement is ironic, since the area where John first began became the last area in which J esus stayed before He left for Jerusalem and crucifixion. The people remembered Johns testimony to Christ and affirmed their faith in Him (vv. 41, 42). 11:112:50 The previous passage (10:40 42) marked the end of Johns treatment of J esus public ministry. At that point, He began to move into seclusion and minister to His own disciples and those who loved Him as He prepared to face death. Israel had her day of opportunity; the sun was setting and the night was coming. These two chapters form the transition to chaps. 13 21, which record the passion of Christ, i.e., the events surrounding the cross. 11:157 As chap. 11 begins, Jesus stands in the shadow of facing the cross. The little time that He had in the area beyond the Jordan (cf. Mt 19:1 20:34; Mk 10:1 52; Lk 17:11 19:28) would soon come to an end. John picked up the story (vv. 55 57) after He moved back into the area of Jerusalem, and His death on the cross was only a few days away. In those last few days before His death, the scene in Johns gospel changes from hatred and rejection (10:39) to an unmistakable and blessed witness of the glory of Christ. All the rejection and hatred could not dim His glory as displayed through the resurrection of Lazarus. That miracle evidences His glory in three ways: 1) it pointed to His deity; 2) it strengthened the faith of the disciples; and 3) it led directly to the cross (12:23). The chapter can be divided as follows: 1) the preparation for the miracle (vv. 1 16); 2) the arrival of J esus (vv. 17 36); 3) the miracle itself (vv. 37 44); and 4) the results of the miracle (vv. 45 57).

11:1 Lazarus. The resurrection of Lazarus is the climactic and most dramatic sign in this gospel and the capstone of His public ministry. Six miracles have already been presented (water into wine [2:1 11], healing of the royal officials son [4:46 54], restoring the lame man [5:1 15], multiplying the loaves and fishes [6:1 14], walking on the water [6:15 21], and curing the man born blind [9:1 12]). Lazaruss resurrection is more potent than all those and even more monumental than the raising of the widows son in Nain (Lk 7:11 16) or Jairuss daughter (Lk 8:40 56) because those two resurrections occurred immediately after death. Lazarus was raised after four days of being in the grave with the process of decomposition already having started (v. 39). Bethany. This Bethany is different from the other Bethany on the other side of the Jordan in 1:28 (see note there). It lies on the E side of the Mt. of Olives about two mi. from Jerusalem (v. 18) along the road leading toward Jericho. Mary... Martha. This is the first mention of this family in John. John relates the story of Marys anointing of Jesus in 12:1 8, but this reference may indicate that the original readers were already familiar with the event. Cf. Lk 10:38 42. 11:3 sent word to Jesus. Since Jesus was in the Transjordan and Lazarus was near Jerusalem, the message to Jesus would most likely have taken one whole day to reach Him. Surely by omniscience, Jesus already knew of Lazaruss condition (see v. 6; 1:47). He may have died before the messenger reached Jesus, since he was dead four days (v. 17) when Jesus arrived, after a two-day delay (v. 6) and a one-day journey. the one you love. This phrase is a touching hint at the close friendship Jesus had with Lazarus. Cf. 13:1. 11:4 Gods Son may be glorified. This phrase reveals the real purpose behind Lazaruss sickness, i.e., not death, but that the Son of God might be glorified through his resurrection (cf. v. 4; see note on 9:3). 11:6 he stayed where he was two more days. The decision to delay coming did not bring about Lazaruss death, since J esus already supernaturally knew his plight. Most likely by the time the messenger arrived to inform J esus, Lazarus was already dead. The delay was because He loved the family (v. 5) and that love would be clear as He greatly strengthened their faith by raising Lazarus from the dead. The delay also made certain that no one would wrongly think Lazarus resurrection was merely a resuscitation, since he had been dead for so long. 11:7, 8 The disciples realized that the animosity toward Jesus was

9 Jesus an swered, Are t here not twelve hours of day light? Any one who walks in the day time will not stum ble, for they see by this w orlds It is when a per son walks at night that light. t 10 they stum ble, for they have no light. 11 Af ter he had said this, he went on to tell them, Our f riendu Lazarus has fallen asleep; v but I am go ing there to wake himup. 12 His dis ci ples re plied, Lord, if he s leeps, he Jesus had been speak ing of his will get bet ter. 13 death, but his dis ci ples t hought he m eant nat u w ral sleep. 14 So then he told them plain ly, Laz a rus is and for your sake I am glad I was not dead, 15 there, so that you may be lieve. But let us go to him. 16 Then Thomas x (also k a) nown as Did y mus said to the rest of the dis ci ples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.


JOHN 11:31
21 Lord, Mar tha said to J esus, if you had c been here, my broth er would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask. d 23 Jesus said to her, Your broth er will rise again. 24 Mar tha an swered, I know he will rise a gain in the resurrection e at the last day. 25 Jesus said to her, I am the res ur rec tion and f The one who be the life. lieves in me will live, even t hough they die; 26 and whoever lives by be liev ing in me will nev er die. Do you be lieve this? 27 Yes, Lord, she re plied, I be lieve that you h who is to are the Messiah, g the Son of God, i come into the world. 28 Af ter she had said this, she went back and j is called her sis ter Mary aside. The Teach er here, she said, and is ask ing for you. 29When Mary heard this, she got up quick ly and went to him. 30Now Jesus had not yet en tered the vil lage, but was still at the place where Mar tha had met k 31 him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, com fort ing her,l no ticed how quick ly she got up and went out, they fol lowed her, sup pos ing she was go ing to the tomb to mourn there.
a16 b18Orabout

11:9 tJn9:4; 12:35 11:11 uver3


11:13 wMt9:24 11:16 xMt10:3; 11:17 yver6,39 11:18 zver1 11:19 aver31;

Jn14:5; 20:2428; 21:2; Ac1:13

Job2:11 11:20 bLk10:3842

/ Jesus Comforts the Sisters

17 On his ar riv al, Jesus f ound that Laz ar us had y 18Now al ready been in the tomb for four days. b from Jerusa miles Bethany z was less than two 19 and many Jews had come to Mar tha and lem, Mary to com fort them in the loss of t heir broth a 20 When Mar tha h eard that J esus was com ing, er. she went out to meet him, but Mary s tayed at b home.
Jn9:31 11:24 eDa12:2; Jn5:28,29; Ac24:15 11:25 fJn1:4 11:27 gLk2:11 hMt16:16 iJn6:14 11:28 jMt26:18; Jn13:13 11:30 kver20 11:31 lver19

11:21 cver32,37 11:22 dver41,42;

Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin. 3kilometers

so great that His return could result in His death because of the murderous Jews (cf. 8:59; 10:31). 11:9, 10 During the light of the sun, most people did their work safely. When darkness came, they stopped. The proverbial saying, however, had a deeper meaning. As long as the Son performed His Fathers will (i.e., during the daylight period of His ministry when He is able to work), He was safe. The time would soon come (nighttime) when, by Gods design, His earthly work would end and He would stumble in death. J esus was stressing that as long as He was on earth doing Gods will, even at this late time in His ministry, He would safely complete Gods purposes. 11:11 13 fallen asleep. A euphemistic term used in the NT to refer to death, particularly with reference to believers who will be physically raised to eternal life (cf. 1Co 11:30; 15:51; 1Th 4:13). 11:14, 15 The resurrection of Lazarus was designed to strengthen His disciples faith in Him as the Messiah and Son of God in the face of the strong Jewish rejection of Him. 11:16 Thomass words reflect loyal devotion and, at the same time, pessimism over the fact that they would probably all die. His fears were not unrealistic in the face of bitter hostility toward Jesus, and had not the Lord protected them in the garden (18:1 11), they may also have been arrested and executed. Cf. 20:24 29. 11:17 in the tomb. The term tomb means a stone sepulcher. In the eastern Mediterranean basin, such a grave was common. Either a cave or rock area would be hewn out, the floor inside leveled and graded to make a shallow descent. Shelves were cut out or constructed inside the area in order to bury additional family members.

A rock was rolled in front to prevent wild animals or grave robbers from entering (see also v. 38). The evangelist made special mention of the fourth day (see note on v. 3) in order to stress the magnitude of the miracle, for the Jews did not embalm and by then the body would have been in a state of rapid decomposition. 11:18, 19 The point is that the family was well-known in that area. The mention of the Jews also indicates the great risk that Jesus faced by travelling so close to Jerusalem, which was seething with the leaders hatred for Him. 11:21 if you had been here. Cf. v. 32. Not a rebuke of Jesus but a testimony of her trust in His healing power. 11:22 whatever you ask. Based on her statement in v. 39, Martha was not saying she believed J esus could raise Lazarus from the dead, but that she knew He had a special relationship to God so that His prayers could bring some good from this sad event. 11:25, 26 This is the fifth in a series of seven great I am statements of Jesus (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14). With this statement, Jesus moved Martha from an abstract belief in the resurrection that will take place on the last day (cf. 5:28, 29) to a personalized trust in Him who alone can raise the dead. No resurrection or eternal life exists outside of the Son of God. Time (on the last day) is no barrier to the One who has the power of resurrection and life (1:4) for He can give life at any time. 11:27 she replied. Marthas confession is representative of the very reason John wrote this inspired gospel (cf. 20:30, 31). See Peters confession in Mt 16:16.

JOHN 11:32
32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, Lord, if you had been here, my broth er would m not have died. 33 When Jesus saw her weep ing, and the Jews who had come a long with her also weep ing, n in spir o it and trou bled. he was deep ly m oved 34 Where have you laid him? he asked. Come and see, Lord, they re plied. 35Jesus wept.p 36 Then the Jews said, See how he l oved q him! 37 But some of them said, Could not he who opened the eyes of the b lind manr have kept this s man from dy ing?


z I looked up y and said, Fa ther, thank you that I knew that you al ways you have h eard me. 42 hear me, but I said this for the ben e fit of the peo a that they may be lieve that ple stand ing here, b you sentme. 43 When he had said this, Jesus c alled in a loud The dead man voice, Lazarus, come out! c 44 came out, his h ands and feet w rapped with strips e cloth around his face. of linen, d and a Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let himgo.

11:32 mver21 11:33 nver38


11:35 pLk19:41 11:36 qver3 11:37 rJn9:6,7 11:38 tver33 uMt27:60; Lk24:2; Jn20:1 11:39 vver17 11:40 wver2325 xver4

/ The Plot to Kill Jesus

45 There fore many of the Jews who had come f and had seen what g be Jesus did, to vis it Mary, h 46 But some of them went to the lieved in him. Phar i sees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief p riests and the Phar i seesi called j k he drin. a meeting of the San What are we ac com plish ing? they a sked. Here is this man per form ing many s igns.l 48If we let him go on like this, ev ery one will be lieve in him, and then the Ro mans will come and take away both our tem ple and our na tion. 49 m who Then one of them, n amed Ca ia phas, n spoke up, You know was high priest that year,

/ Jesus Raises Lazarus From theDead

once more deep ly m oved,t came to the tomb. It was a cave with a s tone laid a cross the Take away the s tone, he said. entrance. u 39 But, Lord, said Mar tha, the sis ter of the dead man, by this time t here is a bad odor, for he has v been there four days. 40 Then Jesus said, Did I not tell you that if x ry of God? you believe, w you will see the glo 41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus
11:32 See note on v. 21.
38 Jesus,

11:41 yJn17:1
zMt11:25 bJn3:17

11:42 aJn12:30 11:43 cLk7:14 11:44 dJn19:40

eJn20:7 gJn2:23 hEx14:31; Jn7:31 11:47 iver57 jMt26:3 kMt5:22 lJn2:11 11:49 mMt26:3 nver51; Jn18:13, 14

11:45 fver19

11:33 saw... the Jews... weeping. According to Jewish custom, a poor family must pay for at least a couple of flute players and a professional mourner to weep for the dead. Because the family may have been well-to-do, a rather large group appears present. he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. The phrase here does not mean merely that Jesus was deeply touched or moved with sympathy at the sight. The Gr. term deeply moved points to personal indignation (see v. 38; cf. Mt 9:30; Mk 1:43; 14:5). Most likely J esus was angered at the emotional grief of the people because it implicitly revealed unbelief in the resurrection and the temporary nature of death. The group was acting like pagans who had no hope (1Th 4:13). While grief is understandable, the group was acting in despair, thus indicating a tacit denial of the resurrection and the Scripture that promised it. Jesus may also have been angered because He was indignant at the pain and sorrow in death that sin brought into the human condition. 11:35 Jesus wept. The Gr. word here has the connotation of silently bursting into tears in contrast to the loud lament of the group (see v. 33). His tears here were not generated out of mourning, since He was to raise Lazarus, but out of grief for a fallen world entangled in sin-caused sorrow and death. He was a man of suffering, and familiar with pain (Isa 53:3). 11:39 bad odor. Although Jews used aromatic spices, their custom was not to embalm the body but to use the spices to counteract the repulsive odors from decomposition. They would wrap the body in linen cloth, adding spice in the layers and folds. The Jews did not wrap the body tightly like Egyptian mummies, but rather loosely with the head wrapped separately. This is indicated by the fact that Lazarus could move out of the tomb before he was unwrapped (v. 44; cf. 20:7). 11:41, 42 Jesus prayer was not really a petition, but thanksgiving

to the Father. The reason for the miracle was to authenticate His claims to be the Messiah and Son of God. 11:43 This was a preview of the power to be fully displayed in the final resurrection when all the dead hear the voice of the Son of God and live (5:25, 28, 29). 11:45, 46 Jesus teaching and actions often divided the Jews (e.g., 6:14, 15; 7:10 13, 45 52). While some believed (cf. v. 40), others, apparently with malicious intent, informed the Pharisees of Jesus action. 11:47 called a meeting of the Sanhedrin. Alerted by the Pharisees, a Sanhedrin committee consisting of chief priests (former high priests and members of high priestly families) and Pharisees, called the Sanhedrin to session. The Pharisees could not by themselves take any judicial action against J esus. Though subject to Roman control, the Sanhedrin was the most powerful judicial body in Israel and exercised judicial, legislative, and executive powers at that time. In Jesus day, the Sanhedrin was predominantly Sadducees, including the chief priests. The Pharisees made up a vocal minority. While the Pharisees and Sadducees were often in conflict, their mutual hatred of Jesus united them into action. 11:48 the Romans will come. The Jews were not willing to believe in Jesus as the Son of God even though Lazarus had been raised. They feared that escalating messianic expectations could start a movement against Roman oppression and occupation that would cause the Romans to come and take away all their rights and freedoms. 11:49 Caiaphas. Caiaphas became high priest ca. A.D. 18, being appointed by the Roman prefect, Valerius Gratus. He was the sonin-law of Annas, who had previously functioned in that same position from ca. A.D. 7 14 and who exercised great influence over the office even after his tenure (see 18:12 14). Caiaphas retained his position until A.D. 36 when, along with Pontius Pilate, he was removed by the Romans. He took a leading part in the trial and

noth ing at all! 50 You do not re al ize that it is bet ter for you that one man die for the peo ple than o that the whole na tion per ish. 51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he proph e sied that Jesus would die for the Jew ish na tion, 52and not only for that na tion but also for the scat tered chil dren of God, to bring them to geth er and make them one.p 53So q from that day on they plot ted to take his life. 54 T heref ore J esus no long er m oved a bout stead he publicly among the people of Judea. r In with drew to a re gion near the wil der ness, to a vil lage called Ephra im, w here he stayed with his disciples. 55 When it was al most time for the Jew ish Pass try to Je ru over,s many went up from the coun fore the salem for their ceremonial cleansing t be u and as They kept look ing for J esus, Passover. 56 they stood in the tem ple courts they asked one an oth er, What do you think? Isnt he com ing But the chief p riests and to the fes ti val at all? 57 the Phar i sees had giv en or ders that any one who found out where Jesus was should re port it so that they might ar rest him.


/ Jesus Anointed at Bethany

JOHN 12:7

Jn10:16 11:53 qMt12:14 11:54 rJn7:1 11:55 sEx12:13, 23,27; Mt26:1,2; Mk14:1; Jn13:1 t2Ch30:17,18 11:56 uJn7:11

11:50 oJn18:14 11:52 pIsa49:6;


12:1-8Ref Mt26:6-13; Mk14:3-9; Lk7:37-39

12:1 vJn11:55

12:2 xLk10:3842 12:3 yMk14:3


v Six days be fore the Pass over, Jesus came to Bethany, w where Lazarus lived, whom Here a din ner Jesus had r aised from the dead. 2 x while was giv en in Jesus hon or. Mar tha served, Lazarus was among those reclining at the table about a pinta of pure with him. 3Then Mary took poured it on nard, an expensive perfume; y she Jesus feet and wiped his feet with her hair.z And the house was filled with the fra grance of the per fume. 4 But one of his dis ci ples, Ju das Is car io t, who was lat er to be tray him,a objected, 5 Why wasnt this per fume sold and the mon ey giv en to the b 6 He did not poor? It was worth a years wag es. say this be cause he c ared a bout the poor but be cause he was a t hief; as keep er of the mon ey self to what was put bag,b he used to help him intoit. 7 Leave her a lone, Jesus re plied. It was in tend ed that she should save this per fume for

12:4 aMt10:4 12:6 bJn13:29

0.5 liter b5Greek three hundred denarii

condemnation of J esus. In his court or palace, the chief priests (Sadducees) and Pharisees assembled and schemed to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him (see Mt 26:3, 4). 11:50 one man die for the people. He only meant that J esus should be executed in order to spare their own positions and nation from Roman reprisals, but Caiaphas unwittingly used sacrificial, substitutionary language and prophesied the death of Christ for sinners. Cf. 2Co 5:21; 1Pe 2:24. 11:51 he prophesied. Caiaphas did not realize the implications of what he spoke. While he uttered blasphemy against Christ, God parodied his statement into truth (cf. Ps 76:10). The responsibility for the wicked meaning of his words belonged to Caiaphas, but Gods providence directed the choice of words so as to express the heart of Gods glorious plan of salvation (Ac 4:27, 28). He actually was used by God as a prophet because he was the high priest and originally the high priest was the means of Gods will being revealed (2Sa 15:27). 11:52 bring them together and make them one. In context, this had reference to believing Jews of the dispersion who would be regathered in Israel to share in the messianic kingdom (Isa 43:5; Eze 34:12). In a wider sense, this also anticipated the Gentile mission (see 12:32). As a result of Christs sacrificial death and resurrection, both Jew and Gentile have been made into one group, the church (Eph 2:11 18). 11:53 from that day on. The phrase indicates that their course of action toward J esus was then fixed. It remained only to accomplish it. Notice that J esus was not arrested to be tried. He had already been judged guilty of blasphemy. The trial was a mere formality for a sentence already passed (Mk 14:1, 2). 11:54 Ephraim. This probably refers to the OT city of Ephron (see 2Ch 13:19). Its modern village name is Et-Taiyibeh, and it is located 4 mi. NE of Bethel and about 12 mi. from Jerusalem. The location was far enough away for temporary safety until the time of Passover (v. 55).

11:55 Passover. This is the third Passover mentioned in John (see 2:13; 6:4) and the last in Jesus earthly ministry at which His sacrificial death occurred. For the chronology of the Passover Week, see Introduction to Luke: Outline. 11:56 They kept looking for Jesus. The Jews who filled Jerusalem for Passover were wondering if J esus would show Himself at this time and were actively seeking to find Him. The plot of the chief priests and Pharisees (see v. 47; 7:12) was known widely enough to pique their curiosity as to whether Jesus would dare show Himself in Jerusalem. 11:57 anyone who found out. The plotters ensured that the whole city was filled with potential informants. 12:150 This chapter focuses on the reactions of love and hate, belief and rejection toward Christ, leading to the cross. 12:1 Six days before the Passover. This most likely was the previous Saturday with Passover coming six days later on Thursday evening through sunset Friday. See Introduction: Interpretive Challenges. 12:3 a pint of pure nard. Nard was an oil extracted from the root of a plant grown in India. poured it on Jesus feet. The dinner guests were reclined at the table with their feet extended away from it, making it possible for Mary to anoint the feet of J esus. The act symbolized Marys humble devotion and love for Him. 12:5 a years wages. See NIV footnote. Since one denarius was a days wage given to common laborers, 300 was equivalent to a years wages (no money was earned on the Sabbath or other holy days). 12:6 a thief. Judass altruism was really a front for his own personal avarice. Because he was the apostolic bands treasurer, he was able to secretly pilfer the group treasury for his own desires. 12:7 save... for the day of my burial. Mary performed this act to signal her devotion but, as in the case of Caiaphas (11:49 52), her act revealed more than she realized at the time. During the first

JOHN 12:8
c 8 the day of my buri al. You will al ways have a d but you will not al the poor a mong you, ways haveme. 9 Mean while a l arge crowd of Jews f ound out that Jesus was there and came, not only be cause of him but also to see Laz a rus, whom he had raised from the dead.e 10So the c hief p riests made plans to kill Laz a rus as well, 11 for on ac count of himf many of the Jews were go ing over to Jesus g and be liev ing in him.


15 Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, d j seated on a donkeys colt.
16 At first his dis ci ples did not un der stand all l did they re ter J esus was glo ri fied this.k Only af al ize that t hese t hings had been writ ten about him and that these things had been done to him. 17 Now the crowd that was with himm when he called Laz a rus from the tomb and r aised him from the dead con tin ued to spread the word. 18Many peo ple, be cause they had h eard that he had per formed this sign,n went out to meet him. 19So the Phar is ees said to one an oth er, See, this is get ting us no where. Look how the w hole world has gone after him! o

Jn11:45 gJn7:31 12:13 hPs118:25, 26 iJn1:49

12:7 cJn19:40 12:8 dDt15:11 12:9 eJn11:43,44 12:11 fver17,18;

/ Jesus Comes to Jerusalem asKing

12:12-15pp Mt21:4-9; Mk11:7-10; Lk19:35-38
12 The next day the g reat c rowd that had come for the fes ti val h eard that J esus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branch es and went out to meet him, shout ing,

Hosanna!b Blessed is he who comes in the name of the c h Lord!

i Blessed is the king of Israel! 14 Jesus

12:15 jZec9:9 12:16 kMk9:32


/ Jesus Predicts His Death

20 p among those Now there were some Greeks who went up to wor ship at the fes ti val. 21They came to Phil ip, who was from Beth sa id aq in Gal i lee, with a re quest. Sir, they said, we w ould


found a y oung don key and sat on it, as it is written:

12:17 mJn11:42 12:18 nver11 12:19 oJn11:47,48 12:20 pJn7:35; 12:21 qMt11:21;
Jn1:44 Ac11:20

Deut.15:11. b13 AHebrew expression meaning Save! which became an exclamation of praise c13Psalm118:25,26 d15Zech.9:9

century, lavish sums were spent on funerals, which included costly perfumes to cover the smell of decay (see note on 11:39). 12:8 This does not mean that alms should not be distributed to the poor (Dt 15:11) but was a reminder that, while the poor would remain, J esus would not always be with them. See Mt 26:11; Mk 14:7. 12:11 going over to... believing. This phrase signaled both a conscious, deliberate move away from the religion of the authorities and a move toward genuine faith in J esus as Messiah and Son of God. 12:121 9 This section marks Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem. It is one of the few incidents in Jesus life reported in all four gospels (Mt 21:1 11; Mk 11:1 11; Lk 19:29 38). By this action, He presented Himself officially to the nation as the Messiah and Son of God. The Sanhedrin and other Jewish leaders wanted Him dead but did not want Him killed during the Passover time because they feared stirring up the multitudes with whom He was popular (Mt 26:5; Mk 14:2; Lk 22:2). Jesus entered the city, however, on His own time and forced the whole issue in order that it might happen exactly on the Passover day when the lambs were being sacrificed. As the Scripture says, Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed (1Co 5:7). In Gods perfect timing (see 7:30; 8:20), at the precise time foreordained from eternity, He presented Himself to die (v. 23; 10:17, 18; 17:1; 19:10, 11; cf. Ac 2:23; 4:27, 28; Gal 4:4). 12:12 The next day. The day after the crowds came to visit Him and Lazarus in Bethany (cf. 12:9). J esus arrived in Bethany on Saturday (see note on 12:1). Then on Sunday a great number of Jews visited Him, angering the Jewish leaders (12:9 11). It would not have been until the following day (Monday) that J esus prepared to enter Jerusalem through the East Gate of the city. 12:13 took palm branches. The supply of date palms was plentiful; they still grow in Jerusalem today. The waving of palm branches

had become a symbol of the fervent hope that the Messiah had come (6:14, 15). Hosanna! The term hosanna is a transliteration of a Heb. word that means give salvation now. It was a term of acclamation or praise occurring in Ps 118:25 that was familiar to every Jew, since that psalm was part of the Hallel (Pss 113 118) sung each morning by the temple choir during the Festival of Tabernacles (7:37) and associated with the Festival of Dedication (10:22) and especially the Passover. After shouting out the Hosanna, the crowds shouted Ps 118:26; significantly, the original context of Ps 118 may well have been the pronouncement of blessing upon a Messianic leader. Jewish commentaries have understood the verse to bear messianic implications. He who comes in the name of the LORD refers to Messiah, especially in context with the phrase the king of Israel, though that messianic title is not from Ps 118. 12:14, 15 The Synoptic Gospels give more information here regarding Jesus selection of a young donkey (see Mt 21:1 9; Mk 11:1 10; Lk 19:29 38). They convey the fact that Jesus deliberately planned to present Himself to the nation in this manner as a conscious fulfillment of the messianic prophecy of Zec 9:9 (quoted here). The words Do not be afraid are not found in the Zechariah passage but were added from Isa 40:9. Only after His ascension did the disciples grasp the meaning of the triumphal entry (cf. 14:26). 12:19 the whole world has gone after him. The whole world means the people in general, as opposed to everyone in particular. Clearly, most people in the world did not even know of J esus at that time, and many in Israel did not believe in Him. Often, world is used in this general sense (v. 47; 1:29; 3:17; 4:42; 14:22; 17:9, 21). 12:20, 21 Most likely Gentile proselytes to Judaism who had come up for the Passover and who, in their desire to see Jesus, stood in direct antithesis to the attitude of the national leaders who desired to kill Him. At the very moment when the Jewish authorities plotted virulently to kill Him, Gentiles began to desire His attention.

like to see J esus. 22 Phil ip went to tell An drew; An drew and Phil ip in turn told J esus. 23 Jesus re plied, The hour has come for the r 24 Very tru ly I tell Son of Man to be glo ri fied. you, un less a ker nel of w heat f alls to the ground s it re mains only a sin gle seed. But if and dies, it dies, it pro duc es many seeds. 25 Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while any one who hates their life in this world will keep itt for eter Who ev er serves me must fol low me; nal life. 26 and where I am, my ser vant also will be.u My Fa ther will hon or the one who s ervesme. 27 v and what Now my soul is trou bled, shall I say? Father, w save me from this hour?x No, it was for this very rea son I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name! Then a voice came from heav en,y I have glo ri fied it, and will glo ri fy it a gain. 29 The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thun dered; oth ers said an an gel had spo ken to him. 30 z Jesus said, This voice was for your ben ef it, Now is the time for judg ment on not mine. 31 rince of this w orldb will be this world; a now the p a from And I, when I am lift ed up driven out. 32 c d 33He ple to my self. the earth, will draw all peo said this to show the kind of d eath he was go ing e to die. 34 The crowd spoke up, We have heard from the Law that the Mes si ah will re main for ev er,f so ed how can you say, The Son of Mang must be lift h Who is this Son of Man? up?


JOHN 12:42
35 Then Jesus told them, You are go ing to have the light i just a lit tle while lon ger. Walk w hile j before darkness overtakes you have the light, k Who you. ever walks in the dark does not know where they are go ing. 36Be lieve in the light while you have the l ight, so that you may be come chil l When he had fin dren of light. ished speak ing, m Jesus left and hid him self from them.

12:23 rJn13:32; 12:24 s1Co15:36 12:25 tMt10:39;

17:24; 2Co5:8; 1Th4:17 12:27 vMt26:38, 39; Jn11:33,38; 13:21 wMt11:25 xver23 12:28 yMt3:17 12:30 zJn11:42 12:31 aJn16:11 bJn14:30; 16:11; 2Co4:4; Eph2:2; 1Jn4:4 12:32 cver34; Jn3:14; 8:28 dJn6:44 12:33 eJn18:32 12:34 fPs110:4; Isa9:7; Eze37:25; Da7:14 gMt8:20 hJn3:14

12:26 uJn14:3;

Mk8:35; Lk14:26

/ Belief and Unbelief Among the Jews

37 Even af ter Jesus had per formed so many igns n in t s heir pres ence, they s till w ould not be lieve in him. 38This was to ful fill the word of Isa iah the proph et:

Lord, who has believed our message and to whom has the arm of the Lord been b o revealed?
39 For this rea son they c ould not be lieve, be cause, as Isa iah says else where:

12:35 iver46

jEph5:8 k1Jn2:11

40 He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, c p nor turn and I would heal them.
41 Isa iah

12:36 lLk16:8

12:37 nJn2:11 12:38 oIsa53:1; 12:40 pIsa6:10; 12:41 qIsa6:14



said this be cause he saw J esus glo ryq and spoke about him. r 42 Yet at the same time many even a mong
TheGreek for lifted up also means exalted. b38Isaiah53:1




12:23 hour. Refers to the time of J esus death, resurrection, and exaltation (v. 27; 13:1; 17:1). Up to this point, Jesus hour had always been future (2:4; 4:21, 23; 7:30; 8:20). Son of Man. See note on 1:51. 12:24 As the sown kernel dies to bring forth a rich harvest, so also the death of the Son of God will result in the salvation of many. 12:25, 26 Not only is the principle of death applicable to J esus (see v. 24) but it is also applicable to His followers. They, too, as His disciples may have to lose their life in service and witness for Him (see Mt 10:37 39; 16:24, 25). 12:27 my soul is troubled. The term used here is strong and signifies horror, anxiety, and agitation. Jesus contemplation of taking on the wrath of God for the sins of the world caused revulsion in the sinless Savior (cf. 2Co 5:21). 12:28 glorify your name. This request embodied the principle that Jesus lived by and would die by. See 7:18; 8:29, 50. I have... and will glorify. The Father answered the Son in an audible voice. This is only one of three instances during Jesus ministry when this took place (cf. Mt 3:17 His baptism; 17:5 His transfiguration). 12:31 the prince of this world. A reference to Satan (see 14:30; 16:11; cf. Mt 4:8, 9; Lk 4:6, 7; 2Co 4:4; Eph 2:2; 6:12). Although the cross might have appeared to signal Satans victory over God, in reality it marked Satans defeat (cf. Ro 16:20; Heb 2:14). 12:32 lifted up from the earth. This refers to His crucifixion (v. 33; 18:32). See note on 3:14.

12:34 remain forever. The term Law was used broadly enough to include not only the five books of Moses but also the whole of the OT (see Ro 10:4). Perhaps they had in mind Isa 9:7, which promised that Messiahs kingdom would last forever, or Eze 37:25 where God promised that the final David would be Israels prince forever (see also Ps 89:35 37). 12:35, 36 Jesus told them. A final invitation from Jesus was recorded by John to focus on his theme of believing in the Messiah and Son of God (see 20:30, 31). 12:3740 In these verses, John gives the scriptural explanation for such large-scale, catastrophic unbelief on the part of the Jewish nation. The explanation was that the unbelief was not only foreseen in Scripture but necessitated by it. In v. 38, John quotes Isa 53:1 and in v. 40 he quotes Isa 6:10 (see Ro 10:16), both of which stress the sovereign plan of God in His judicial hardening of Israel (cf. Pauls argument in Ro 9 11). Although God predestined such judgment, it was not apart from human responsibility and culpability (see 8:24). 12:41 Isaiah... saw Jesus glory and spoke about him. This is a reference to Isaiah 6:1 (see notes there). John unambiguously ties Jesus to God or Yahweh of the OT (see note on 8:58). Therefore, since v. 41 refers to Jesus, it makes Him the author of the judicial hardening of Israel. That fits His role as Judge (see 5:22, 23, 27, 30; 9:39). 12:42, 43 The indictment of vv. 37 41 is followed by the exceptions of vv. 42, 43 (see 1:10, 11 vs. 1:12, 13). While the people

JOHN 12:43
s But be the lead ers be lieved in him. cause of the Pharisees t they w ould not open ly ac knowl edge their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue; u 43 for they l oved hu man praise more v than praise from God. 44 Then J esus c ried out, Who ever be lieves in me does not be lieve in me only, but in the one who sent me.w 45The one who looks at me is see ing the one who sent me.x 46I have come into the y so that no one who be world as a l ight, lieves in me should stay in dark ness. 47 If any one hears my w ords but does not keep them, I do not j udge that per son. For I did not z come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 There is a judge for the one who re jects me and does not ac cept my w ords; the very w ords I have spo ken will con demn thema at the last day. 49For I did not s peak on my own, but the Fa ther who b to say all that I have sent me com mand ed me spoken. 50I know that his com mand leads to eter nal life. So what ev er I say is just what the Fa ther has told me to say.


Hav ing loved his own who were in the world, he oved them to the end. l 2 The eve ning meal was in prog ress, and the dev il had al ready prompt ed Ju das, the son of Si mon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that f the Fa ther had put all t hings un der his pow er, and that he had come from Godg and was re turn ing to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his out er cloth ing, and wrapped a tow el around his waist. 5 Af ter that, he poured wa ter into a ba h drying sin and be gan to wash his dis ci ples feet, them with the tow el that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Si mon Pe ter, who said to him, Lord, are you go ing to wash my feet? 7 Jesus re plied, You do not re al ize now what I i am do ing, but lat er you will un der stand. 8 No, said Pe ter, you s hall nev er wash my feet. Jesus an swered, Un less I wash you, you have no part withme. 9 Then, Lord, Si mon Pe ter re plied, not just my feet but my hands and my head as well! 10 Jesus an swered, Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their w hole body is j clean. And you are c lean, though not ev ery one of you. 11 For he knew who was go ing to be tray

12:42 sver11; Jn7:48 tJn7:13 uJn9:22 12:43 vJn5:44 12:44 wMt10:40; Jn5:24 12:45 xJn14:9 12:46 yJn1:4; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5 12:47 zJn3:17 12:48 aJn5:45 12:49 bJn14:31 13:1 cJn11:55 dJn12:23 eJn16:28


/ Jesus Washes His Disciples Feet

c It was just be fore the Pass over Fes ti val. d for Jesus knew that the hour had come e him to l eave this w orld and go to the Fa ther.

13:3 fMt28:18 gJn8:42; 16:27, 28,30 13:5 hLk7:44 13:7 iver12 13:10 jJn15:3

seemed to trust Jesus with much more candor and fervency, the leaders of Israel who believed in Him demonstrated inadequate, irresolute, even spurious faith (see note on 2:23 25). The faith of the latter was so weak that they refused to take any position that would threaten their position in the synagogue. This is one of the saddest statements about spiritual leadership, for they preferred the praises of men above the praises of God in their refusal to publicly acknowledge Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. 13:117:16 In these remaining chapters before His crucifixion, the record looks at Jesus devoting Himself to His own disciples. While chaps. 1 12 center on the rejection of Jesus by the nation (cf. 1:11), chaps. 13 17 center on those who did receive Him (see 1:12). Beginning in chap. 13, Jesus moved completely away from public ministry to private ministry with those who had received Him. Chapters 13 17 were spoken by J esus as a farewell on the night of His betrayal and arrest to communicate His coming legacy to His followers (chaps. 13 16) and pray for them (chap. 17). The cross was only one day away. 13:1 to the end. Meaning to perfection with perfect love. God loves the world (3:16) and sinners (3:16; Mt 5:44, 45; Titus 3:4) with compassion and common grace, but loves His own with perfect, saving, eternal love. 13:2 evening meal. Passover on Thursday night after sunset. See Introduction: Interpretive Challenges. the devil . . . prompted Judas. This does not exonerate Judas, because his wicked heart desired exactly what the devil desired, the death of J esus. The devil and Judas were in accord. 13:3 returning to God. J esus faced the betrayal, agony, and death because He knew He would be exalted to the Father afterward, where He would receive the glory and fellowship He had eternally

enjoyed within the Trinity (see 17:4, 5). This was the joy set before him that enabled Him to endure the cross (Heb 12:2). 13:4, 5 The dusty and dirty conditions of the region necessitated the need for footwashing. Although the disciples would have likely been willing to wash Jesus feet, they would not consider washing each others feet. In their society, footwashing was a task assigned to the lowest-ranking household slaves. It was not an action performed by a peer, except possibly as a rare expression of profound love. Luke points out (22:24) that they were arguing about who was the greatest of them, so that none was willing to stoop to wash feet. When Jesus moved to wash their feet, they were shocked. His actions serve also as symbolic of spiritual cleansing (vv. 6 9) and a model of Christian humility (vv. 12 17). Through this action Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service that was supremely exemplified by His death on the cross. 13:61 0 These proceedings embarrassed all of the disciples. While others remained silent, Peter, perhaps on behalf of others (see Mt 16:13 23), spoke up in indignation that Jesus would stoop so low as to wash his feet. He failed to see beyond the humble service itself to the symbolism of spiritual cleansing involved (v. 7; cf. 1Jn 1:7 9). Jesus response made the real point of His actions clear: Unless the Lamb of God cleanses a persons sin (i.e., as portrayed in the symbolism of washing), one can have no part with Him. 13:10 need only to wash their feet. The cleansing that Christ does at salvation never needs to be repeated atonement is complete at that point. But all who have been cleansed by Gods gracious justification need constant washing in the experiential sense as they battle sin in the flesh. Believers are justified and granted imputed righteousness (Php 3:8, 9), but still need sanctification and personal righteousness (Php 3:12 14).

him, and that was why he said not ev ery one was clean. 12 When he had fin ished wash ing their feet, he put on his clothes and re turned to his place. Do you un der stand what I have done for you? he k and Lord, l You call me Teach er asked them. 13 and right ly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teach er, have washed your feet, you also should wash one an oth ers feet.m 15I have set you an ex am ple that you should do as I have ly I tell you, no ser vant is done for you.n 16Very tru sen ger great er great er than his mas ter,o nor is a mes than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know p these things, you will be b lessed if you do them.


JOHN 13:34

13:13 kJn11:28 lLk6:46; 1Co12:3; Php2:11 13:14 m1Pe5:5 13:15 nMt11:29 13:16 oMt10:24; Lk6:40; Jn15:20 13:17 pMt7:24,25; Lk11:28; Jas1:25 13:18 qver10 rJn15:16,19 sMt26:23 tJn6:70 uPs41:9 13:19 vJn14:29; 16:4 wJn8:24 13:20 xMt10:40; Lk10:16 13:21 yJn12:27 zMt26:21 13:23 aJn19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20

/ Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

18 q I know I am not re fer ring to all of you; fill this pas hose I have cho t sen.r But this is to ful s has sage of Scrip ture: He who s hared my b read t b u against me. turned a 19 I am tell ing you now be fore it hap pens, so v that that when it does hap pen you will be lieve w 20 Very tru ly I tell you, who ev er I am who I am. ac cepts any one I send ac cepts me; and who ev er x ac cepts me ac cepts the one who sentme. 21 Af ter he had said this, J esus was trou bled in ti fied, Very tru ly I tell you, one of spirit y and tes z you is go ing to be trayme. 22 His dis ci ples s tared at one an oth er, at a loss to know w hich of them he m eant. 23One of a was re them, the dis ci ple whom J esus loved, clin ing next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to

this dis ci ple and said, Ask him which one he means. 25 Lean ing back against Jesus, he asked him, b Lord, who isit? 26 Jesus an swered, It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have d ipped it in the dish. Then, dip ping the piece of b read, he gave it to Ju das, the son of Si mon Is car io t. 27As soon as Ju das took the b read, Sa tan en tered into c him. So Jesus told him, What you are about to do, do der stood why quickly. 28But no one at the meal un Since Ju das had c harge of Jesus said this to him. 29 hought J esus was tell ing him the money,d some t to buy what was need ed for the fes ti val, or to give das had tak some thing to the poor. 30As soon as Ju e en the bread, he went out. And it was night.

/ Jesus Predicts Peters Denial

13:37,38pp Mt26:33-35; Mk14:29-31; Lk22:33,34

gJn14:13; 17:4; 1Pe4:11 13:32 hJn17:1 13:33 iJn7:33,34 13:34 j1Jn2:711; 3:11 kLev19:18; 1Th4:9; 1Pe1:22

13:25 bJn21:20 13:27 cLk22:3 13:29 dJn12:6 13:30 eLk22:53 13:31 fJn7:39

he was gone, Jesus said, Now the Son f and God is glo g ri fied in him. of Man is glo ri fied 32 c God will glo If God is glo ri fied in him, ri fy the h and will glo ri fy him at once. Son in him self, 33 My chil dren, I will be with you only a lit tle lon ger. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: W here I am go ing, you cannot come. i j I give you: Love one an 34 A new com mand k loved you, so you must love one other. As I have
a18Greek has lifted up his heel b18Psalm41:9 c32 Many early manuscripts do not have If God is glorified in him.

31 When

13:11, 12 not every one was clean. This verse refers to Judas (6:70), who was soon to lead the mob to capture Jesus (18:3). 13:15 an example. The word used here suggests both example and pattern (Heb 4:11; 8:5; 9:25; Jas 5:10; 2Pe 2:6). J esus purpose in this action was to establish the model of loving humility. 13:17 you will be blessed if you do them. Joy is always tied to obedience to Gods revealed Word (see 15:14). 13:18 those I have chosen. A reference to the 12 disciples whom the Lord had selected (see 15:16), whom the Lord knew perfectly, including Judas, who was chosen that the prophecy of Ps 41:9 would be fulfilled. 13:21 troubled. For the meaning of this word, see note on 12:27. 13:23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved. This is the first reference to John the apostle, the author of the gospel (see Introduction: Author and Date). He specifically mentions himself at the cross (19:26, 27), at the empty tomb (20:2 9), by the Sea of Tiberias (21:1, 20 23), and in the next to last verse where he is referenced as the author of the gospel (21:24). 13:26 he gave it to Judas. It was not uncommon for the host of a banquet to pass a choice morsel of food to a guest as a gesture marking honor and camaraderie. Here, Jesus demonstrates a final gesture of friendship to Judas, even as Judas is about to betray Him. Jesus was demonstrating a final gesture of His love for Judas even though he would betray Him.

13:27 Satan entered into him. Judas was personally possessed by Satan himself in his betrayal of Jesus. See note on v. 2. 13:30 it was night. Although this was a historical reminiscence of John, the phrase may also be imbued with profound theological implications. It was the hour for Judas to be handed over completely to the power of darkness (Satan; cf. Lk 22:53). 13:3133 glorified. With Judas gone, the final events were set in motion. Rather than looking at the agony of the cross, J esus looked past the cross, anticipating the glory that He would have with the Father when it was over (see 17:4, 5; Heb 12:2). 13:33 as I told the Jews. That statement is recorded in 8:21. 13:34, 35 After indicating He was about to leave, Jesus specified what He expected of the disciples after His departure. Love is to serve as the distinguishing characteristic of discipleship (v. 35; cf. 1Jn 2:7 11; 3:10 12; 4:7 10, 20, 21). 13:34 A new command.... As I have loved you. The commandment to love was not new. Deuteronomy 6:5 commands love for God, and Lev 19:18 commands loving ones neighbor as oneself (cf. Mt 22:34 40; Ro 13:8 10; Gal 5:14; Jas 2:8). However, Jesus command regarding love presented a distinctly new standard for two reasons: 1) it was sacrificial love modeled after His love (as I have loved you; cf. 15:13), and 2) it is produced through the new covenant by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jer 31:29 34; Eze 36:24 26; Gal 5:22).

JOHN 13:35


here you are go w ing, so how can we know the way? 6 u and the t Jesus an swered, I am the way ruth v No one comes to the Fa ther ex and the life. ly know me, you will cept t hrough me. 7If you real b my Fa w From now on, you do ther as well. know know him and have seen him. 8 Phil ip said, Lord, show us the Fa ther and that will be enough forus. 9 Jesus an swered: Dont you know me, Phil ip, even af ter I have been a mong you such a long time? Any one who has seen me has seen the Fa ther? ther.x How can you say, Show us the Fa 10 Dont you be lieve that I am in the Fa ther, and y The w ords I say to you that the Fa ther is in me? z Rath er, it I do not s peak on my own au thor i ty. is the Fa ther, liv ing in me, who is do ing his work. 11 Be lieve me when I say that I am in the Fa ther and the Fa ther is in me; or at least be lieve on the evidence of the works themselves. a 12 Very truly b in me will do the I tell you, who ever be lieves c and they will do even works I have been do ing, great er t hings than t hese, be cause I am go ing to

another. l 35 By this ev ery one will know that you m are my dis ci ples, if you love one an oth er. 36 Si mon Pe ter a sked him, Lord, w here are you going? Jesus re plied, Where I am go ing, you can not o low lat er. follow now, n but you will fol 37 Pe ter asked, Lord, why c ant I fol low you now? I will lay down my life for you. 38 Then Jesus an swered, Will you real ly lay down your life for me? Very tru ly I tell you, be fore the roost er c rows, you will dis own me three p times!

Eph5:2; 1Jn4:10, 11 13:35 m1Jn3:14; 4:20 13:36 nver33; Jn14:2 oJn21:18, 19; 2Pe1:14 13:38 pJn18:27 14:1 qver27 14:2 rJn13:33,36 14:3 sJn12:26 14:5 tJn11:16

13:34 lJn15:12;


/ Jesus Comforts His Disciples

q You Do not let your h earts be trou bled. a; be be lieve in God lieve also in me. 2My Fa thers h ouse has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am go ing t herer to pare a pre pare a place for you? 3And if I go and pre place for you, I will come back and take you to be s 4You with me that you also may be w here I am. know the way to the place w here I am go ing.

14:6 uJn10:9

14:7 wJn8:19 14:9 xJn12:45;


14:10 yJn10:38

Col1:15; Heb1:3

/ Jesus the Way to the Father

5 Thomas t

14:11 aJn5:36; 14:12 bMt21:21


said to him, Lord, we d ont know

in God b7 Some manuscripts If you really knew me, you would know

13:36 you cannot follow. His work was nearly finished; theirs was just beginning (Mt 28:16 20; Mk 16:15; Lk 24:47). Particularly, Peter had a work to do (see notes on 21:15 19). Only Jesus, as the sinless sacrifice for the trespasses of the world, could go to the cross and die (1Pe 2:22 24). Also, only He could be glorified in the presence of the Father with the glory that He possessed before His incarnation (see 12:41; 17:1 5). 13:38 See 18:25 27; cf. Mt 26:71 75; Mk 14:69 72; Lk 22:54 62. 14:131 This whole chapter centers in the promise that Christ is the One who gives the believer comfort, not only in His future return but also in the present with the ministry of the Holy Spirit (v. 26). The scene continues to the upper room where the disciples had gathered with Jesus before He was arrested. Judas had been dismissed (13:30) and Jesus had begun His valedictory address to the remaining 11. The world of the disciples was about to be shattered; they would be bewildered, confused, and ridden with anxiety because of the events that would soon transpire. Anticipating their devastation, Jesus spoke to comfort their hearts. 14:1 Instead of the disciples lending support to J esus in the hours before His cross, He had to support them spiritually as well as emotionally. This reveals His heart of serving love (cf. Mt 20:26 28). troubled. Faith in Him can stop the heart from being agitated. See note on 12:27. 14:2 rooms. Or even apartments (in modern terms). All are in the large Fathers house. 14:2, 3 I am going there to prepare. His departure would be for their advantage since He was going away to prepare a heavenly home for them and will return to take them so that they may be with Him. This is one of the passages that refers to the rapture of the saints at the end of the age when Christ returns. The features in this description do not describe Christ coming to earth with His saints to establish His kingdom (Rev 19:11 15), but taking believers from earth to live in heaven. Since no judgment on the unsaved

is described here, this is not the event of His return in glory and power to destroy the wicked (cf. Mt 13:36 43, 47 50). Rather, this describes His coming to gather His own who are alive and raise the bodies of those who have died to take them all to heaven. This rapture event is also described in 1Co 15:51 54; 1Th 4:13 18. After being raptured, the church will celebrate the marriage supper (Rev 19:7 10), be rewarded (1Co 3:10 15; 4:5; 2Co 5:9, 10), and later return to earth with Christ when He comes again to set up His kingdom (Rev 19:11 20:6). 14:6 This is the sixth I am statement of Jesus in John (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 15:1, 5). In response to Thomass query (v. 4), Jesus declared that He is the way to God because He is the truth of God (1:14) and the life of God (1:4; 3:15; 11:25). In this verse, the exclusiveness of J esus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic. Only one way, not many ways, exist to God, i.e., Jesus Christ (10:7 9; cf. Mt 7:13, 14; Lk 13:24; Ac 4:12). 14:7 11 From now on, you do know him. They know God because they had come to know Christ in His ministry and soon in His death and resurrection. To know Him is to know God. This constant emphasis on J esus as God incarnate is unmistakably clear in this gospel (v. 11; 1:1 3, 14, 17, 18; 5:10 23, 26; 8:58; 9:35; 10:30, 38; 12:41; 17:1 5; 20:28). 14:12 they will do even greater things than these. Jesus did not mean greater works in power, but in extent. They would become witnesses to all the world through the power of the indwelling and infilling of the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:8) and would bring many to salvation because of the Comforter dwelling in them. The focus is on spiritual rather than physical miracles. The book of Acts constitutes the beginning historical record of the impact that the Spiritempowered disciples had on the world (cf. Ac 17:6). because I am going to the Father. The only way J esus disciples would be able to be used to do those greater works was through the power of the Holy Spirit, and He could not be sent as the Comforter until J esus returned to the Father (v. 26; 7:39).

d in the Father. 13 And I will do what ev er you ask my name, so that the Fa ther may be glo ri fied in the Son. 14 You may ask me for any thing in my name, and I will doit.


JOHN 14:26

/ Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

15 If you love me, keep my com mands.e 16And I will ask the Fa ther, and he will give you an oth er advocate f to help you and be with you for ev er 17 g The the Spir it of truth. world can not ac cept h be him, cause it nei ther sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bea in you. 18 I will not l eave you as or phans; I i 19 will come to you. Be fore long, the world will j Be not see me any more, but you will see me. k 20 cause I live, you also will live. On that day l and you you will re al ize that I am in my Fa ther, 21 are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my

14:13 dMt7:7 14:15 ever21,23; Jn15:10; 1Jn5:3 14:16 fJn15:26; 16:7 14:17 gJn15:26; 16:13; 1Jn4:6 h1Co2:14 14:18 iver3,28 14:19 jJn7:33,34; 16:16 kJn6:57 14:20 lJn10:38

14:21 m1Jn5:3

14:22 oLk6:16; 14:23 qver15


Ac1:13 pAc10:41 Rev3:20

14:24 sJn7:16 14:26 tJn15:26;


16:7 uAc2:33 1Jn2:20, 27

com mands and keeps them is the one who loves m The one who loves me will be loved by my me. Father, n and I too will love them and show my self to them. 22 Then Judas o (not Ju das Is car i ot) said, But, Lord, why do you in tend to show your self to us p and not to the world? 23 Jesus re plied, Any one who loves me will ther will love them, and obey my teach ing.q My Fa we will come to them and make our home with r 24 Any one who does not love me will not them. obey my teach ing. These w ords you hear are not my own; they be long to the Fa ther who sentme.s 25 All this I have spo ken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, t the Holy Spir it, whom the u will teach you all Fa ther will send in my name, mind you of ev ery thing I have things v and will re

Some early manuscripts and is

14:13, 14 In their hour of loss at the departure of J esus, He comforted them with the means that would provide them with the necessary resources to accomplish their task without His immediate presence that they had come to depend upon. To ask in Jesus name does not mean to tack such an expression on the end of a prayer as a mere formula. It means: 1) the believers prayer should be for His purposes and kingdom and not selfish reasons; 2) the believers prayer should be on the basis of His merits and not any personal merit or worthiness; and 3) the believers prayer should be in pursuit of His glory alone. See note on 16:26 28; on the disciples prayer, see notes on Mt 6:9, 10. 14:1531 In these verses, Jesus promises believers comfort from five supernatural blessings that the world does not enjoy: 1) a supernatural Helper (vv. 15 17); 2) a supernatural life (vv. 18, 19); 3) a supernatural union (vv. 20 25), 4) a supernatural teacher (v. 26); and 5) a supernatural peace (vv. 27 31). The key to all of this is v. 15, which relates that these supernatural promises are for those who love Jesus Christ, whose love is evidenced by obedience. 14:15 If you love me, keep my commands. Cf. vv. 21 24. Love for Christ is inseparable from obedience (see Lk 6:46; 1Jn 5:2, 3). My commands are not only Jesus ethical commandments in context (vv. 23, 24), but the entire revelation from the Father (see 3:31, 32; 12:47 49; 17:6). 14:16 ask the Father. The priestly and intercessory work of Christ began with the request that the Father send the Holy Spirit to indwell in the people of faith (7:39; 15:26; 16:7; see note on 20:22; cf. Ac 1:8; 2:4, 33). another. The Gr. word specifically means another of the same kind, i.e., someone like J esus Himself who will take His place and do His work. The Spirit of Christ is the Third Person of the Trinity, having the same essence of deity as Jesus and as perfectly one with Him as He is with the Father. advocate. The Gr. term here lit. means one called alongside to help and has the idea of someone who encourages and exhorts (see note on 16:7). Be with you has to do with His permanent residence in believers (Ro 8:9; 1Co 6:19, 20; 12:13). 14:17 Spirit of truth. He is the Spirit of truth in that He is the source of truth and communicates the truth to His own (v. 26; 16:12 15). Apart from Him, people cannot know Gods truth (1Co 2:12 16; 1Jn 2:20, 27). lives with you and will be in you. This

indicates some distinction between the ministry of the Holy Spirit to believers before and after Pentecost. While clearly the Holy Spirit has been with all who have ever believed throughout redemptive history as the source of truth, faith, and life, Jesus is saying something new is coming in His ministry. John 7:37 39 indicates this unique ministry would be like rivers of living water. Acts 19:1 7 introduces some old covenant believers who had not received the Holy Spirit in this unique fullness and intimacy. Cf. Ac 1:8; 2:1 4; 1Co 12:1113. 14:18 orphans. In this veiled reference to His death, Jesus promised not to leave them alone (Ro 8:9). 14:18, 19 I will come to you . . . you will see me. First, He was referring to His resurrection, after which they would see Him (20:19 29). There is no record that any unbelievers saw Him after He rose (see 1Co 15:1 9). In another sense, this has reference to the mystery of the Trinity. Through the coming and indwelling of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, Jesus would be back with His children (16:16; cf. Mt 28:20; Ro 8:9; 1Jn 4:13). 14:19 you also will live. Because of His resurrection and by the indwelling life of the Spirit of Christ, believers possess eternal life (see Ro 6:1 11; Col 3:1 4). 14:20 On that day. This refers to His resurrection when He returns to them alive. 14:2124 Once again, Jesus emphasized the need for the habitual practice of obedience to His commands as evidence of the believers love for Him and the Father (see note on v. 15). This is consistent with the teaching of Jas 2:14 26 that true saving faith is manifest by works produced by God in the transforming, regenerating power of the Spirit. Those works are expressions of the love that the Spirit pours into the believers heart (Ro 5:5; Gal 5:22). 14:23 them... them... them. Lit. him... him... him. 14:26 will teach you all things. The Holy Spirit energized the hearts and minds of the apostles in their ministry, helping them to produce the NT Scripture. The disciples had failed to understand many things about Jesus and what He taught; but because of this supernatural work, they came to an inerrant and accurate understanding of the Lord and His work, and recorded it in the Gospels and the rest of the NT Scriptures (2Ti 3:16; 2Pe 1:20, 21). See note on 16:7.

JOHN 14:27


a so that it will be even does bear fruit he p runes more fruitful. 3 You are al ready clean be cause of f 4 the word I have spo ken to you. Re main in me, as I also re main in you.g No branch can bear fruit by it self; it must re main in the vine. Nei ther can you bear fruit un less you re main inme. 5 I am the vine; you are the branch es. If you re main in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; h apart from me you can do noth ing. 6If you do not re main in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and with ers; such branch es are i 7If picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. you re main in me and my words re main in you, ask what ev er you wish, and it will be done for j 8 k that you bear you. This is to my Fa thers glo ry, much fruit, show ing your selves to be my dis ci ples.l 9 As the Fa ther has loved me,m so have I loved you. Now re main in my love. 10 If you keep my

said to you.w 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I orld g ives. give you.x I do not give to you as the w Do not let your hearts be trou bled and do not be afraid. 28 You h eard me say, I am go ing away and I am oved me, you w ould com ing back to you.y If you l be glad that I am go ing to the Fa ther,z for the Fa a 29 I have told you now be ther is great er than I. fore it hap pens, so that when it does hap pen you I will not say much more to you, will believe. b 30 ing. He has no for the prince of this worldc is com but he c omes so that the w orld hold over me, 31 may l earn that I love the Fa ther and do ex act ly d what my Fa ther has com mand edme. Come now; let us leave.

Php4:7; Col3:15 14:28 yver24,18 zJn5:18 aJn10:29; Php2:6 14:29 bJn13:19; 16:4 14:30 cJn12:31 14:31 dJn10:18; 12:49 15:1 eIsa5:17

14:26 wJn2:22 14:27 xJn16:33;


/ The Vine and the Branches

I am the true vine,e and my Fa ther is the He cuts off ev ery branch in gardener. 2 me that bears no fruit, while ev ery branch that

15:3 fJn13:10; 17:17; Eph5:26 15:4 gJn6:56; 1Jn2:6 15:5 hver16 15:6 iver2 15:7 jMt7:7 15:8 kMt5:16 lJn8:31 15:9 mJn17:23, 24,26

TheGreek for he prunes also means he cleans.

14:27 Peace I leave... not... as the world gives. The word peace reflects the Heb. shalom, which became a greeting to His disciples after the resurrection (20:19 26). On a personal level this peace, unknown to the unsaved, provides supernatural calm and comfort in the midst of trials (Php 4:7), and enables Gods people to respond to others in harmony (Col 3:15). The greatest reality of this peace will be in the messianic kingdom (Nu 6:26; Ps 29:11; Isa 9:6, 7; 52:7; 54:13; 57:19; Eze 37:26; Hag 2:9; cf. Ac 10:36; Ro 1:7; 5:1; 14:17). 14:28 greater than I. Jesus was not admitting inferiority to the Father (after claiming equality repeatedly, see note on vv. 7 11), but was saying that if the disciples loved Him, they would not be reluctant to let Him go to the Father because He was returning to the realm where He belonged and to the full glory He gave up (17:5). He was going back to share equal glory with the Father, which would be greater than what He had experienced in His incarnation. He will in no way be inferior in that glory, because His humiliation was over. 14:30 the prince of this world. Judas was only a tool of the prince who rules the system of darkness Satan (6:70; 13:21, 27). no hold over me. The Heb. idiom means that Satan had nothing on J esus, could make no claim on Him, nor charge Him with any sin. Therefore, Satan could not hold Him in death. Christ would triumph and destroy Satan (Heb 2:14). His death was no sign that Satan won, but that Gods will was being done. (v. 31). 15:117 Through this extended metaphor of the vine and branches, Jesus set forth the basis of Christian living. Jesus used the imagery of agricultural life at the time; i.e., vines and vine crops (see also Mt 20:1 16; 21:23 41; Mk 12:1 9; Lk 13:6 9; 20:9 16). In the OT, the vine is used commonly as a symbol for Israel (Ps 80:9 16; Isa 5:1 7; 27:2 6; Jer 2:21; 12:10; Eze 15:1 8; 17:1 21; 19:10 14; Hos 10:1, 2). He specifically identified Himself as the true vine and the Father as the gardener or caretaker of the vine. The vine has two types of branches: 1) branches that bear fruit (vv. 2, 8), and 2) branches that do not (vv. 2, 6). The branches that bear fruit are genuine believers. Though in immediate context the focus is upon the 11 faithful disciples, the imagery also encompasses all believers down through the ages. The branches that do not bear fruit are those who profess to believe, but their lack of fruit indicates genuine salvation has never taken place and they have no

life from the vine. Especially in the immediate context, Judas was in view, but the imagery extends from him to all those who make a profession of faith in Christ but do not actually possess salvation. The image of non-fruit-bearing branches being burned pictures eschatological judgment and eternal rejection (see Eze 15:6 8). 15:1 I am the true vine. This is the last of seven claims to deity in the form of I am statements by Jesus in the gospel of John (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6). 15:2 He cuts off. The picture is of the gardener (i.e., the Father) getting rid of dead wood while preserving the living, fruit bearing branches. The dead branches picture apostate Christians who never genuinely believed and will be taken away in judgment (v. 6; Mt 7:16; Eph 2:10). They have never truly experienced the life of Christ within them (8:31, 32; cf. Mt 13:18 23; 24:12; Heb 3:14 19; 6:4 8; 10:27 31; 1Jn 2:19; 2Jn 9). he prunes. God removes all things in the believers life that would hinder fruit-bearing, i.e., He chastises to cut away sin and hindrances that would drain spiritual life just as the farmer removes anything on the branches that keep them from bearing maximum fruit (Heb 12:3 11). 15:4 6 Remain in me. The remaining is evidence that salvation has already taken place (1Jn 2:19) and not vice versa. The fruit or evidence of salvation is continuance in service to Him and in His teaching (8:31; Col 1:23; 1Jn 2:24). The remaining, or abiding, believer is the only legitimate believer. Abiding and believing actually are addressing the same issue of genuine salvation (Heb 3:6 19). For a discussion of the perseverance of the saints, see note on Mt 24:13. 15:6 The imagery here is one of destruction (cf. Mt 3:10 12; 5:22; 13:40 42, 50; 25:41; Mk 9:43 49; Lk 3:17; 2Th 1:7 9; Rev 20:10 15). It pictures the judgment awaiting all those who were never saved. you... you. Lit. anyone... he. 15:710 True believers obey the Lords commands, submitting to His Word (14:21, 23). Because of their commitment to Gods Word, they are devoted to His will, thus their prayers are fruitful (14:13, 14), which puts Gods glory on display as He answers. 15:9, 10 remain in my love. Cf. Jude 21. This is not emotional or mystical, but defined in v. 10 as obedience. Jesus set the model by His perfect obedience to the Father, which we are to use as the pattern for our obedience to Him.

commands, n you will re main in my love, just as I have kept my Fa thers com mands and re main in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may o be in you and that your joy may be com plete. 12 My com mand is this: Love each oth er as I have loved you. p 13 Great er love has no one than this: to lay down ones life for ones friends.q 14You are s 15I no my friends r if you do what I com mand. lon ger call you ser vants, be cause a ser vant does not know his mas ters busi ness. In stead, I have called you friends, for ev ery thing that I learned t from my Fa ther I have made k nown to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you u so that you might go and bear fruit fruit that will last and so that what ev er you ask in my name the Fa ther will give you. 17 v This is my com mand: Love each oth er.


JOHN 16:2

15:10 nJn14:15 15:11 oJn17:13 15:12 pJn13:34 15:13 qJn10:11; 15:14 rLk12:4


15:15 tJn8:26 15:16 uJn6:70; 15:17 vver12 15:18 w1Jn3:13 15:19 xver16


15:20 zJn13:16
a2Ti3:12 cJn16:3

mem ber what I told you: A ser vant is not great er z If they per se cut ed me, they will than his mas ter.a obeyed my teach ing, persecute you also. a If they They will t reat you they will obey y ours also. 21 b for they do not this way be cause of my name, c 22 If I had not come know the one who sent me. and spo ken to them, they w ould not be guilty of d sin; but now they have no ex cuse for their sin. 23 24 Who ever hates me hates my Fa ther as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else e they would not be g uilty of sin. As it is, they did, have seen, and yet they have hat ed both me and But this is to ful fill what is writ ten my Father. 25 b f in their Law: They hat ed me with out rea son.

15:21 bMt10:22 15:22 dJn9:41; 15:24 15:25 fPs35:19;


/ The Work of the Holy Spirit

26 When the Advocate g comes, whom I will hthe Spirit of send to you from the Fa ther i ther he will truth who goes out from the Fa k And you also must tes ti fy, testify about me. j 27 l for you have been with me from the be gin ning. All thism I have told you so that you will n 2 They will put you out of not fall away.

Ro1:20 69:4

/ The World Hates the Disciples

w keep in mind that the w orld h ates you, it hat ed me first. 19 If you be longed to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not be long to the world, but I have cho sen youx out of the world. That is why the world hates you.y 20Re 18 If

15:26 gJn14:16

hJn14:26 iJn14:17

15:27 kLk24:48; 1Jn1:2; 4:14 lLk1:2 16:1 mJn15:1827 nMt11:6


13:16 b25Psalms 35:19; 69:4

15:11 your joy may be complete. Just as Jesus maintained that His obedience to the Father was the basis of His joy, so also the believers who are obedient to His commandments will experience the same joy (17:13; cf. 16:24). 15:12 Cf. 13:34, 35. See note on 1Jn 2:7 11. 15:13 This is a reference to the supreme evidence and expression of Jesus love (v. 12), His sacrificial death upon the cross. Christians are called to exemplify the same kind of sacrificial giving toward one another, even if such sacrifice involves the laying down of ones own life in imitation of Christs example (cf. 1Jn 3:16). 15:14, 15 friends. Just as Abraham was called Gods friend (Jas 2:23; 2Ch 20:7) through Gods revelation to him which he believed, so also those who follow Christ are privileged with extraordinary revelation through the Messiah and Son of God and, believing, become friends of God also. It was for His friends that the Lord laid down His life (v. 13; 10:11, 15, 17). 15:16 I chose you. Cf. v. 19. In case any pretense might exist among the disciples in terms of spiritual pride because of the privileges they enjoyed, J esus made it clear that such privilege rested not in their own merit, but on His sovereign choice of them. God chose Israel (Isa 45:4; Am 3:2), but not for any merit (Dt 7:7; 9:4 6). God elected angels to be forever holy (1Ti 5:21). He elected believers to salvation apart from any merit (Mt 24:24, 31; see notes on Ro 8:29 33; Eph 1:3 6; Col 3:12; Titus 1:1; 1Pe 1:2). bear fruit. One purpose of Gods sovereign election is that believers should produce spiritual fruit. The NT describes fruit as godly attitudes (Gal 5:22, 23), righteous behavior (Php 1:11), praise (Heb 13:15), and especially leading others to faith in J esus as Messiah and Son of God (Ro 1:13 16). 15:18, 19 Since Satan is the one who dominates the evil world system in rebellion against God (14:30), the result is that the world hates not only J esus but also those who follow Him (2Ti 3:12). Hatred toward Jesus means also hatred toward the Father who sent Him (v. 23).

15:20 servant . . . master. That axiom, spoken also in 13:16, reflects the obvious truth that led J esus to inform His disciples. They could expect to be treated like He was treated because those who hated Him dont know God (v. 21) and would hate them also; and conversely, those who listened with faith to Him, would hear them also. 15:22 24 they would not be guilty of sin. Jesus did not mean that if He had not come, they would have been sinless. But His coming incited the severest and most deadly sin, that of rejecting and rebelling against God and His truth. It was the decisive sin of rejection, the deliberate and fatal choice of darkness over light and death over life of which He spoke. He had done so many miracles and spoken innumerable words to prove He was Messiah and Son of God, but they were belligerent in their love of sin and rejection of the Savior. See Heb 4:2 5; 6:4 6; 10:29 31. 15:25 Jesus quotes Pss 35:19; 69:4. The logic here is that if David, a mere man, could have been hated in such a terrible manner by the enemies of God, how much more would the wicked hate Davids perfect, divine Son who was the promised king who would confront sin and reign forever over His kingdom of righteousness (see 2Sa 7:16). 15:26, 27 When the Advocate comes. Again, Jesus promises to send the Holy Spirit (7:39; 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7, 13, 14). This time He emphasizes the Spirits help for witnessing proclaiming the gospel. See note on 16:7. 16:115 Jesus continued the thoughts of 15:18 25 regarding the worlds hatred of His disciples and its opposition to the testimony of the Holy Spirit regarding Him as Messiah and Son of God. In this section, He specified in greater detail how the Spirit confronts the world, i.e., not only does He testify about Jesus but He convicts men of sin. Through conviction of sin and testimony of the gospel, the Spirit turns the hostile hearts of men away from rebellion against God into belief regarding J esus as Savior and Lord. This section may

JOHN 16:3


Fa ther, w here you can see me no lon ger; 11and bout judg a ment, be cause the prince of this worldy now stands condemned. 12 I have much more to say to you, more than z 13 you can now bear. But when he, the Spir it of truth, a comes, he will guide you into all the truth. b He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will glo ri fy me be cause it is from me that he will re ceive what he will make known to you. 15All that be longs to the Fa ther is mine.c That is why I said the Spir it will re ceive from me what he will make known to you.

the synagogue; o in fact, the time is com ing when any one who kills you will think they are of fer ing p 3 They will do such t hings be a ser vice to God. cause they have not known the Fa ther or me.q 4I have told you this, so that when t heir time c omes warned you a bout you will remember r that I them. I did not tell you this from the be gin ning but now I am go ing to be cause I was with you, 5 him who sent me.s None of you asks me, Where t 6 Rath er, you are f illed with g rief are you go ing? ly I be cause I have said t hese t hings. 7But very tru tell you, it is for your good that I am go ing away. u will not come Un less I go away, the Ad vo cate to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.v 8When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righ teous ness and judg ment: 9about sin,w be cause peo ple do not be lieve in me; 10 about righteousness, x be cause I am go ing to the

16:2 oJn9:22 pIsa66:5; Ac26:9, 10; Rev6:9 16:3 qJn15:21; 17:25; 1Jn3:1 16:4 rJn13:19 16:5 sJn7:33 tJn13:36; 14:5 16:7 uJn14:16,26; 15:26 vJn7:39 16:9 wJn15:22 16:10 xAc3:14; 7:52; 1Pe3:18

16:11 yJn12:31 16:12 zMk4:33 16:13 aJn14:17


/ The Disciples Grief Will Turn toJoy

d you went on to say, In a lit tle w hile will see me no more, and then af ter a lit tle w hile e you will seeme. 16 Jesus

16:15 cJn17:10 16:16 dJn7:33


be divided into four parts: 1) the killing of the disciples by the world (vv. 1 4); 2) the comforting of the disciples by the Lord (vv. 5 7); 3) the conviction of men by the Holy Spirit (vv. 8 12); and 4) the guidance of the believer into all truth by the Holy Spirit (vv. 13 15). 16:1 All this. This is what He had just said in 15:18 25. fall away. The connotation of this word has the idea of setting a trap. The hatred of the world was such that it would seek to trap and destroy the disciples in an effort to prevent their witness to Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. J esus did not want them to be caught unaware (v. 4). 16:2 they are offering a service to God. Paul, before he was saved, personified this attitude as he persecuted the church while thinking he was doing service for God (Ac 22:4, 5; 26:9 11; Gal 1:13 17; Php 3:6; 1Ti 1:12 17). After Pauls conversion, the persecutor became the persecuted because of the hatred of the world (2Co 11:22 27; cf. Stephen in Ac 7:54 8:3). 16:4 I was with you. Jesus didnt need to warn them because He was there to protect them. 16:5 None of you asks. Earlier they had done so (13:36; 14:5), but they were then so absorbed in their own sorrow and confusion that they lost interest in where He was going. They were apparently consumed with what would happen to them (v. 6). 16:7 the Advocate will not come. Again, the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent is given to comfort the disciples. See note on 15:26, 27. The first emphasis was on His life-giving power (7:37 39). The next featured His indwelling presence (14:16, 17). The next marked His teaching ministry (14:26). His ministry of empowering for witness is marked in 15:26. 16:8 When he comes. The coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was approximately 40 or more days away at this point (see Ac 2:113). prove. This word has two meanings: 1) the judicial act of conviction with a view toward sentencing (i.e., a courtroom term conviction of sin) or 2) the act of convincing. Here the second idea is best, since the purpose of the Holy Spirit is not condemnation but conviction of the need for the Savior. The Son does the judgment, with the Father (5:22, 27, 30). In v. 14, it is said that He will reveal the glories of Christ to His people. He will also inspire the writing of the NT, guiding the apostles to write it (v. 13), and He will reveal what is yet to come, through the NT prophecies (v. 13).

16:9 sin. The singular indicates that a specific sin is in view; i.e., that of not believing in Jesus as Messiah and Son of God. This is the only sin, ultimately, that damns people to hell (see note on 8:24). Though all men are depraved, cursed by their violation of Gods law and sinful by nature, what ultimately damns them to hell is their unwillingness to believe in the Lord J esus Christ as Savior (cf. 8:24). 16:10 righteousness. The Holy Spirits purpose here is to shatter the pretensions of self-righteousness (hypocrisy), exposing the darkness of the heart (3:19 21; 7:7; 15:22, 24). While J esus was on the earth, He performed this task especially toward the shallowness and emptiness of Judaism that had degenerated into legalistic modes without life-giving reality (e.g., 2:13 22; 5:10 16; 7:24; Isa 64:5, 6). With Jesus gone to the Father, the Holy Spirit continues His convicting role. 16:11 judgment. The judgment here in context is that of the world under Satans control. Its judgments are blind, faulty, and evil as evidenced in their verdict on Christ. The world cant make righteous judgments (7:24), but the Spirit of Christ does (8:16). All Satans adjudications are lies (8:44 47), so the Spirit convicts men of their false judgment of Christ. Satan, the ruler of the world (14:30; Eph 2:1 3) who, as the god of this world, has perverted the worlds judgment and turned people from believing in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God (2Co 4:4), was defeated at the cross. While Christs death looked like Satans greatest victory, it actually was Satans destruction (cf. Col 2:15; Heb 2:14, 15; Rev 20:10). The Spirit will lead sinners to true judgment. 16:13 all the truth. This verse, like 14:26, points to the supernatural revelation of all truth by which God has revealed Himself in Christ (vv. 14, 15), particularly. This is the subject of the inspired NT writings. See note on v. 7. 16:14 He will glorify me. This is really the same as v. 13, in that all NT truth revealed by God centers in Christ (Heb 1:1, 2). Christ was the theme of the OT, as the NT claims (1:45; 5:37; Lk 24:27, 44; Ac 10:43; 18:28; Ro 1:1, 2; 1Co 15:3; 1Pe 1:10, 11; Rev 19:10). 16:1619 J esus was referring to His ascension (you will see me no more) and the coming of the Holy Spirit (you will see me), emphatically claiming that the Spirit and He are one (Ro 8:9; Php 1:19; 1Pe 1:11; Rev 19:10). Christ dwells in believers through the Holy Spirit in that sense they see Him. See notes on 14:16 18.

17 At this, some of his dis ci ples said to one an oth er, What does he mean by say ing, In a lit tle while you will see me no more, and then af ter f and Be cause I a lit tle while you will see me, g 18 They kept ask ing, am go ing to the Fa ther? What does he mean by a lit tle while? We dont un der stand what he is say ing. 19 Jesus saw that they want ed to ask him a bout this, so he said to them, Are you ask ing one an oth er what I meant when I said, In a lit tle while you will see me no more, and then af ter a lit tle Very tru ly I tell you, while you will see me? 20 h while the world re you will weep and mourn joic es. You will g rieve, but your g rief will turn i 21 A wom an giv ing birth to a child has to joy. cause her time has come; but when her painj be baby is born she for gets the an guish be cause of her joy that a c hild is born into the w orld. 22So k but I will with you: Now is your time of grief, l joice, and no one see you a gain and you will re In that day you will will take away your joy. 23 no lon ger ask me any thing. Very tru ly I tell you, my Fa ther will give you what ev er you ask in my m 24 Un til now you have not a sked for any name. thing in my name. Ask and you will re ceive, and n your joy will be com plete. 25 Though I have been speak ing fig u ra tive


JOHN 17:1
o a time is com p when I will no lon ly, ing ger use this kind of lan guage but will tell you plain ly about my Father. 26 In that day you will ask in q I am not say my name. ing that I will ask the Fa ther on your be half. 27 No, the Fa ther him self r and have loves you be cause you have loved me be lieved that I came from God. 28I came from the Fa ther and en tered the w orld; now I am leav ing s the world and go ing back to the Fa ther. 29 Then Jesus dis ci ples said, Now you are t speak ing clear ly and with out fig ures of speech. 30 Now we can see that you know all things and that you do not even need to have any one ask you ques tions. This m akes us be lieve that you came from God. 31 Do you now be lieve? Jesus re plied. 32A u and in fact has come when you time is com ing v each to your own home. You will be scat tered, will l eave me all alone. Yet I am not a lone, for my w Fa ther is withme. 33 I have told you t hese t hings, so that in me you x In this w may have p eace. orld you will have trou y But take h z the world. ble. eart! I have over come

16:17 fver16

16:20 hLk23:27

16:21 jIsa26:17; 16:22 kver6 16:23 mMt7:7; Jn15:16 16:24 nJn3:29; 15:11


16:25 oMt13:34; 16:26 qver23,24 16:27 rJn14:21,23 16:28 sJn13:3 16:29 tver25 16:32 uver2,

Jn10:6 pver2

25 vMt26:31

16:33 xJn14:27
yJn15:1821 zRo8:37;

17:1 aJn11:41



/ Jesus Prays to Be Glorified

Af ter Jesus said this, he l ooked to ward heaven a and prayed:

16:20 grief will turn to joy. The very event that made the hateful realm of mankind (world) rejoice and cause grief to Jesus disciples, will be the same event that will lead to the worlds sorrow and the believers joy. The disciples would soon realize the marvelous nature of Gods gift of salvation and the Spirit through what He accomplished, and the blessing of answered prayer (v. 24). Acts records the coming of the Holy Spirit and the power and joy (Ac 2:4 47; 13:52) of the early church. 16:22 I will see you. After the resurrection, Jesus did see His disciples (20:19 29; 21:1 23; cf. 1Co 15:1 8). Beyond that brief time of personal fellowship (Ac 1:1 3), He would be with them permanently in His Spirit (see notes on vv. 16 19; 14:16 19). 16:23 In that day. This is a reference to Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came (Ac 2:1 13) and sorrow turned to joy. This is a reference also to the last days that were inaugurated after His resurrection and the Spirits coming (Ac 2:17; 2Ti 3:1; Heb 1:2; Jas 5:3; 2Pe 3:3; 1Jn 2:18). no longer ask me. After His departure and sending of the Spirit, believers will no longer ask Him since He is not present. Instead, they will ask the Father in His name (see notes on vv. 26 28; 14:13, 14). 16:24 joy will be complete. In this case, the believers joy will be related to answered prayer and a full supply of heavenly blessing for everything consistent with the purpose of the Lord in ones life. See note on 15:11. 16:25 speaking figuratively. The Gr. used here refers to a veiled, pointed statement that is pregnant with meaning, i.e., something that is obscure. What seemed hard to understand for the disciples during the life of Jesus would become clear after His death, His resurrection, and the coming of the Holy Spirit (see vv. 13, 14; 14:26; 15:26, 27). They would actually understand the ministry of

Christ better than they had while they were with Him, as the Spirit inspired them to write the Gospels and epistles and ministered in and through them. 16:26 28 I am not saying. Christ was clarifying what He meant by praying in His name. He did not mean asking Him to ask the Father, as if the Father was indifferent to believers, but not to His Son. On the contrary, the Father loves Christs own. In fact, the Father sent the Son to redeem them and then return. Asking in Jesus name means simply asking on the basis of His merit, His righteousness, and for whatever would honor and glorify Him so as to build His kingdom. 16:33 in me you may have peace. See note on 14:27. trouble. This word often refers to eschatological woes (Mk 13:9; Ro 2:9) and to persecution of believers because of their testimony for Christ (cf. 15:18 16:4; Ac 11:19; Eph 3:13). overcome. The fundamental ground for endurance in persecution is the victory of Jesus over the world (12:31; 1Co 15:57). Through His impending death, He rendered the worlds opposition null and void. While the world continues to attack His people, such attacks fall harmlessly, for Christs victory has already accomplished a smashing defeat of the whole evil rebellious system. See notes on Ro 8:35 39. 17:126 Although Mt 6:9 13 and Lk 11:2 4 have become known popularly as the Lords Prayer, that prayer was actually a prayer Jesus taught to the disciples as a pattern for their prayers. The prayer recorded here is truly the Lords Prayer, exhibiting the faceto-face communion the Son had with the Father. Very little is recorded of the content of J esus frequent prayers to the Father (Mt 14:23; Lk 5:16), so this prayer reveals some of the precious content of the Sons communion and intercession with Him. This chapter is a transitional chapter, marking the end of J esus earthly ministry and the beginning of His intercessory ministry for believ-

JOHN 17:2


for t hose you have giv en me, for they are yours, and all you have yours. 10All I have is ry has come to me t hrough is mine.o And glo I will re main in the world no lon them. 11 ger, but they are still in the world,p and I am q ther, pro tect them com ing to you. Holy Fa b your name, the name you by the pow er of r as we are gave me, so that they may be one s 12 While I was with them, I pro tect one. c that name ed them and kept them safe by cept the you gave me. None has been lostt ex one doomed to destruction u so that Scrip ture w ould be ful filled. 13 I am com ing to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full mea sure of v with in them. 14 I have giv en them my joy w your word and the w orld has hat ed them, for they are not of the world any more than x 15 My p rayer is not that I am of the w orld. you take them out of the w orld but that you pro tect them from the evil one.y 16They are
a6Greek c12Orkept

Fa ther, the hour has come. Glo ri fy your b 2For Son, that your Son may glo ri fy you. you grant ed him au thor i ty over all peo ple that he might give eter nal life to all those c 3 Now this is eter nal you have giv en him. life: that they know you, the only true God, d 4I and J esus C hrist, whom you have sent. e on earth by fin ish have brought you glo ry ing the work you gave me to do.f 5And now, Fa ther, glo ri fy me in your pres ence with the g be fore the world be glo ry I had with you h gan.

17:1 bJn12:23;
Da7:14; Jn6:37,39 17:3 dver8,18,21, 23,25; Jn3:17 17:4 eJn13:31 fJn4:34 17:5 gPhp2:6 hJn1:2 17:6 iver26 jver2; Jn6:37,39 17:8 kver14,26 lJn16:27 mver3, 18,21,23,25; Jn3:17 17:9 nLk22:32

17:2 cver6,9,24;


/ Jesus Prays for His Disciples

6 a i to t I have re vealed you hose whom j out of the world. They were you gave me yours; you gave them to me and they have Now they know that obeyed your word. 7 ev ery thing you have giv en me c omes from For I gave them the words you gave you. 8 cept ed them. They knew mek and they ac l and with cer tain ty that I came from you, m 9 I pray for they be lieved that you sent me. n I am not pray ing for the w orld, but them.

17:10 oJn16:15 17:11 pJn13:1

sJn10:30 uJn6:70

qJn7:33 rver2123

17:12 tJn6:39 17:13 vJn3:29 17:14 wJn15:19


17:15 yMt5:37

your name b11OrFather, keep them faithful to them faithful to

ers (Heb 7:25). The prayer summarizes key themes from Johns gospel. These include: 1) Jesus faithful submission to the Father; 2) the Sons commitment to glorify the Father; 3) the election and protection of His disciples; 4) their witness to a hostile world; 5) their unity with Christ and with one another; and 6) the glorious future that awaits them. The chapter divides into three parts: 1) Jesus prayer for Himself (vv. 1 5); 2) Jesus prayer for the apostles (vv. 6 19); and 3) Jesus prayer for all NT believers who will form the church (vv. 20 26). 17:1 the hour has come. The time of His death. See note on 12:23. Glorify your Son. The very event that would glorify the Son was His death. By it, He has received the adoration, worship, and love of millions whose sins He bore. He accepted this path to glory, knowing that by it He would be exalted to the Father. The goal is that the Father may be glorified for His redemptive plan in the Son. So He sought by His own glory the glory of His Father (13:31, 32). 17:2 authority over all people. Cf. 5:27; see note on Mt 28:18. to all those you have given him. A reference to Gods choosing of those who will come to Christ (see notes on 6:37, 44). The biblical doctrine of election or predestination is presented throughout the NT (15:16, 19; Ac 13:48; Ro 8:29 33; Eph 1:3 6; 2Th 2:13; Titus 1:1; 1Pe 1:2). 17:3 eternal life. See notes on 3:15, 16; 5:24; cf. 1Jn 5:20. 17:5 glorify me in your presence. Having completed His work (v. 4), J esus looked past the cross and asked to be returned to the glory that He shared with the Father before the world began (see notes on 1:1; 8:58; 12:41). The actual completion of bearing judgment wrath for sinners was declared by Christ in the cry, It is finished (19:30). 17:6 10 They were yours. Again, the Son emphasized that those who believed in Him were given by the Father (see note on v. 2). They were yours (cf. v. 9) is a potent assertion that before conversion, they belonged to God (cf. 6:37). That is true because of

Gods election. They were chosen before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4), when their names were written in the Lambs book of life (Rev 17:8). Cf. Ac 18:10, where God says He has many people in Corinth who belong to Him but are not yet saved. See notes on 10:1 5, 16. 17:8 they believed. The Son of God affirmed the genuine saving faith of His disciples. 17:11 I will remain in the world no longer. So sure was His death and departure back to the Father that J esus treated His departure as an already accomplished fact. He prayed here for His disciples because they would be exposed to the worlds snares and hatred, while He would no longer be with them physically (15:18 16:4). Based on the eternal nature of immutable God (name), He prayed for the eternal security of those who believed. He prayed that as the Trinity experiences eternal unity, so may believers. See Ro 8:3139. 17:12 I... kept them safe by that name you gave me. Jesus protected them and kept them safe from the world as He said in 6:37 40, 44. One illustration of that can be seen in 18:1 11. Believers are secure forever because they are held by Christ and by God. See note on 10:28, 29. the one doomed to destruction. This identifies Judas by pointing to his destiny, i.e., eternal damnation (Mt 7:13; Ac 8:20; Ro 9:22; Php 1:28; 3:19; 1Ti 6:9; Heb 10:39; 2Pe 2:1; 3:7; Rev 17:8, 11). The defection of Judas was not a failure on Jesus part, but was foreseen and foreordained in Scripture (Pss 41:9; 109:8; cf. 13:18). 17:15 protect them from the evil one. The reference here refers to protection from Satan and all the wicked forces following him (Mt 6:13; 1Jn 2:13, 14; 3:12; 5:18, 19). Though Jesus sacrifice on the cross was the defeat of Satan, he is still loose and orchestrating his evil system against believers. He seeks to destroy believers (1Pe 5:8), as with Job and Peter (Lk 22:31, 32), and in general (Eph 6:12), but God is their strong protector (12:31; 16:11; cf. Ps 27:1 3; 2Co 4:4; Jude 24, 25).

z not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17 Sanctify them by a the truth; your word is b I As you sent me into the world, truth. a 18 c 19 have sent them into the w orld. For them I sanc ti fy my self, that they too may be tru ly sanctified.


JOHN 18:3


17:16 zver14 17:17 aJn15:3 17:18 bver3,8,21, 17:21 dJn10:38 17:22 fJn14:20 17:23 gJn3:17
hJn16:27 jJn1:14 cJn20:21 ever3,8,18,23,25;


17:24 iJn12:26

Jesus Prays for All Believers

20 My prayer is not for them a lone. I pray also for those who will be lieve in me that all of them through their message, 21 may be one, Fa ther, just as you are in me d May they also be in us so and I am in you. that the w orld may be lieve that you have en them the glo ry that sent me.e 22I have giv you gave me, that they may be one as we f 23 I in them and you in me so are one that they may be brought to com plete uni ty. Then the w orld will know that you sent g and have loved themh even as you have me lovedme. 24 Fa ther, I want those you have giv en i and to see me to be with me w here I am, ry you have giv en me be my glory, j the glo

cause you loved me be fore the cre at ion of k the world. 25 Righteous Father, though the world l I know you, and they does not know you, m 26I have know that you have sent me. b n and will con made you known to them, tin ue to make you known in or der that the o and love you have for me may be in them that I my self may be in them.

/ Jesus Arrested


18:3-11pp Mt26:47-56; Mk14:43-50; Lk22:47-53

16:3 21, 23; Jn3:17; 7:29; 16:27 17:26 nver6 oJn15:9 18:1 p2Sa15:23 qver26 rMt26:36 18:2 sLk21:37; 22:39 18:3 tAc1:16 uver12

17:25 lJn15:21;



When he had fin ished pray ing, Jesus left with his dis ci ples and crossed the Kid ron q er side there was a gar den, Valley. p On the oth r and he and his dis ci ples went intoit. 2 Now Ju das, who be trayed him, knew the place, be cause Jesus had of ten met there with his disciples. s 3So Ju das came to the gar den, guid ingt a de tach ment of sol diers and some of fi cials from u They were the chief priests and the Phar i sees. carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

to live in accordance with b26Greek your name

17:17 Sanctify. This verb also occurs in Johns gospel at v. 19; 10:36. The idea of sanctification is the setting apart of something for a particular use. Accordingly, believers are set apart to serve the Lord exclusively so that the believer desires to obey Gods commands and walk in holiness (Lev 11:44, 45; 1Pe 1:16). Sanctification is accomplished by means of the truth, which is the revelation that the Son gave regarding all the Father commanded Him to communicate and is now contained in the Scriptures left by the apostles. Cf. Eph 5:26; 2Th 2:13; Jas 1:21; 1Pe 1:22, 23. 17:19 I sanctify myself. Meaning only that He was totally set apart for the Fathers will (cf. 4:34; 5:19; 6:38; 7:16; 9:4). He did that in order that believers might be set apart to God by the truth He brought. 17:21 all of them may be one. The basis of this unity is founded in obedience to the revelation of God given through Christ. Believers are also to be united in the common belief of the truth that was received in the Word of God (Php 2:2). This is not still a wish, but it became a reality when the Spirit came (cf. Ac 2:4; 1Co 12:13). It is not experiential unity, but the unity of common eternal life shared by all who believe the truth, and it results in the one body of Christ all sharing His life. See notes on Eph 4:4 6. 17:22 the glory that you gave me. This refers to the believers participation in all of the attributes and essence of God through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (v. 10; cf. Col 1:27; 2Pe 1:4), as v. 23 makes clear (I in them). 17:23 complete unity. The idea here is that they may be brought together in the same spiritual life around the truth that saves. That prayer was answered by the reality of 1Co 12:12, 13; Eph 2:14 22. 17:24 be with me. This will be in heaven, where one can see the full glory that is His (cf. v. 5). Someday believers will not only see His glory, but share it (Php 3:20, 21; 1Jn 3:2). Until then, we participate in it spiritually (2Co 3:18).

17:25, 26 This summarizes the prayer of this chapter and promises the continuing indwelling Christ and His love. Cf. Ro 5:5. 18:140 The events of J esus arrest and trial receive emphasis in this chapter. Since Johns purpose was to present J esus as the Messiah and Son of God, he produced evidence to substantiate this purpose throughout his account of Jesus passion. Through all of the debasing, shameful acts that were directed toward J esus, John skillfully shows that these events, rather than detracting from His person and mission, actually constitute decisive evidence confirming who He was and the reason for which He came (1:29; cf. 2Co 5:21). 18:1 Jesus left. Jesus supreme courage is seen in His determination to go to the cross, where His purity and sinlessness would be violated as He bore the wrath of God for the sins of the world (3:16; see note on 12:27). The time when darkness reigns had come (Lk 22:53; see notes on 1:5; 9:4; 13:30). the Kidron Valley. The Kidron Valley was between the temple mount on the E of Jerusalem and the Mt. of Olives further to the E. a garden. On the slopes of the Mt. of Olives, named for ever present olive groves, were many gardens. Matthew 26:36 and Mk 14:32 call this particular garden Gethsemane, which means oil press. went into. The wording here suggests a walled enclosure around the garden. 18:3 a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. A full cohort could have as many as one thousand men. Normally, however, a cohort consisted of six hundred men, but could sometimes refer to as little as two hundred. Though they were regularly kept at Caesarea, Roman auxiliary troops were brought into Jerusalem (to the Antonia Fortress near the temple) during festival days for added security (in order to ensure against mob violence or rebellion because of the large population that filled Jerusalem). The second group designated as officials refers to temple police who were the primary arresting officers since Jesus destination after the arrest was to be brought before the high priest (vv. 12 14). They came ready for resistance from Jesus and His followers (weapons).

JOHN 18:4
4 Jesus, know ing all that was go ing to hap pen v went out and to him, asked them, Who is it w you want? 5 Jesus of Naz ar eth, they re plied. I am he, J esus said. (And Ju das the trai tor was stand ing there with them.) 6 When Jesus said, I am he, they drew back and fell to the ground. 7 Again he asked them, Who is it you want?x Jesus of Naz a reth, they said. 8 Jesus an swered, I told you that I am he. If you are look ing for me, then let t hese men go. 9 This hap pened so that the w ords he had spo ken would be ful filled: I have not lost one of those a y you gave me. 10 Then Si mon Pe ter, who had a sword, drew it and struck the high priests ser vant, cut ting off his right ear. (The ser vants name was Mal chus.) 11 Jesus com mand ed Pe ter, Put your sword z the Fa away! Shall I not drink the cup ther has givenme? 12 Then the de tach ment of sol diers with its commander and the Jewish officials a arrested Jesus. They bound him 13and brought him first to b An nas, who was the fa ther-in-law of Ca ia phas, the high priest that year. 14Ca ia phas was the one


who had ad vised the Jew ish lead ers that it would c be good if one man died for the peo ple.

18:4 vJn6:64; 13:1, 18:7 xver4 18:9 yJn17:12 18:11 zMt20:22 18:12 aver3 18:13 bver24;
Mt26:3 11 wver7

/ Peters First Denial

18:16-18pp Mt26:69,70; Mk14:66-68; Lk22:55-57

Peter and another disciple were fol low ing Jesus. Be cause this dis ci ple was known to the high priest,d he went with Jesus into the high priests courtyard, e 16but Pe ter had to wait out side at the door. The oth er dis ci ple, who was k nown to the high p riest, came back, s poke to the ser vant girl on duty there and b rought Pe terin. 17 You a rent one of this m ans dis ci ples too, are you? she asked Pe ter. f He re plied, I am not. 18 It was cold, and the ser vants and of fi cials stood around a fireg they had made to keep warm. Pe ter also was stand ing with them, warm ing him h self.

15 Simon

/ The High Priest Questions Jesus

18:14 cJn11:4951 18:15 dMt26:3

18:19-24pp Mt26:59-68; Mk14:55-65; Lk22:63-71

19 Mean while, the high p riest ques tioned Jesus about his dis ci ples and his teach ing.

Mk14:54; Lk22:54 18:17 fver25 18:18 gJn21:9 hMk14:54,67


18:4 knowing all that was going to happen. John, in a matter-offact way, states that Jesus was omniscient, thus God. 18:4 8 Who is it you want? By twice asking that question (vv. 4, 7), to which they replied, Jesus of Nazareth (vv. 5, 7), Jesus was forcing them to acknowledge that they had no authority to take His disciples. In fact, He demanded that they let the disciples go (v. 8). The force of His demand was established by the power of His words. When He spoke, I am he (v. 6), a designation He had used before to declare Himself God (8:28, 58; cf. 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1, 5), they were jolted backward and to the ground (v. 6). This power display and the authoritative demand not to take the disciples were of immense significance, as the next verse indicates. 18:9 I have not lost one. J esus is saying that He protected the disciples from being arrested, so He would not lose any of them, thus fulfilling the promises He made earlier (6:39, 40, 44; 10:28; 17:12). He knew that being arrested and perhaps imprisoned or executed was more than they could bear, and it could shatter their faith. So He made sure it did not happen. All believers are weak and vulnerable if not protected by the Lord. But He will never let them be tempted beyond what they can bear (1Co 10:13), as evidenced here. Believers are eternally secure, not in their own strength, but by the gracious and constant protection of the Savior (cf. Ro 8:35 39). 18:10 Simon Peter. He surely aimed for Malchuss head, ready to start the battle in defense of his Lord, but his was an ignorant love and courage. Christ healed Malchuss ear (Lk 22:51). 18:11 not drink the cup... given me? Peters impetuous bravery in v. 10 not only was misguided, but exhibited failure to understand the centrality of the death that Jesus came to die. The cup in the OT is associated with suffering and especially judgment, i.e., the cup of Gods wrath (Ps 75:8; Isa 51:17, 22; Jer 25:15; Eze 23:31 34; see notes on Mt 26:39; Mk 14:36; Lk 22:42; cf. Rev 14:10; 16:19).

18:13 first to Annas. Annas held the high priesthood office from A.D. 6 15 when Valerius Gratus, Pilates predecessor, removed him from office. In spite of this, Annas continued to wield influence over the office, most likely because he was still regarded as the true high priest and, also, because five of his sons, and his son-inlaw Caiaphas, each held the position at different times. Two trials occurred: one Jewish and one Roman. The Jewish phase began with the informal examination by Annas (vv. 12 14, 19 23), probably giving time for the members of the Sanhedrin to hurriedly gather together. A session before the Sanhedrin was next (Mt 26:57 68), at which consensus was reached to send J esus to Pilate (Mt 27:1, 2). The Roman phase began with a first examination before Pilate (vv. 28 38a; Mt 27:11 14), and then Herod Antipas (that fox Lk 13:32) interrogated Him (Lk 23:6 12). Lastly, Jesus appeared again before Pilate (vv. 38b 19:16; Mt 27:15 31). 18:13, 14 Caiaphas. See notes on 11:49. The examination under Caiaphas was not reported by John (see Mt 26:57 68). 18:15 another disciple... this disciple. Traditionally this person has been identified with the disciple whom J esus loved (13:23, 24), i.e., John the apostle who authored this gospel, but he never mentions his own name (see Introduction: Author and Date). 18:1618 Peter. Here is the record of the first of Peters predicted three denials (see note on 18:25 27). 18:16 known to the high priest. Apparently, John was more than just an acquaintance, because the term for known can mean a friend (Lk 2:44). The fact that he mentions Nicodemus (3:1) and Joseph (19:38) may indicate his knowledge of other prominent Jews. 18:19 Their main objection was J esus claim that He was the Son of God (19:7). According to Jewish law, a case had to be built upon the testimony of multiple witnesses. If this was an informal proceeding, Annas may have justified his actions on the premise

20 I have spo ken open ly to the world, Jesus replied. I always taught in synagogues i or at the where all the Jews come to geth er. I said temple, j tion me? Ask t hose nothing in secret.k 21Why ques who heard me. Sure ly they know what I said. 22 l When J esus said this, one of the of fi cials near by slapped him in the face.m Is this the way you an swer the high p riest? he de mand ed. 23 If I said some thing wrong, Jesus re plied, tes ti fy as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the n 24 Then Annas truth, why did you strike me? sent him bound to Ca ia phaso the high priest.


JOHN 18:37
u By ia phas to the pal ace of the Ro man gov er nor. now it was ear ly morn ing, and to a void cer e mo v ni al un clean ness they did not en ter the pal ace, be cause they want ed to be able to eat the Pass w 29 So Pi late came out to them and a sked, over. What charg es are you bring ing against this man? 30 If he were not a crim i nal, they re plied, we would not have hand ed him over to you. 31 Pi late said, Take him your selves and judge him by your own law. But we have no right to ex e cute any one, This took place to ful fill what they objected. 32 Jesus had said about the kind of death he was x go ing to die. 33 y Pi late then went back in side the pal ace, sum moned Jesus and asked him, Are you the z king of the Jews? 34 Is that your own idea, Jesus a sked, or did oth ers talk to you aboutme? 35 Am I a Jew? Pi late re plied. Your own peo ple and chief p riests hand ed you over to me. What is it you have done? 36 Jesus said, My king doma is not of this world. If it were, my ser vants w ould fight to pre vent my b But now my king ar rest by the Jew ish lead ers. c dom is from an oth er place. 37 You are a king, then! said Pi late.

18:20 iMt4:23 18:22 lver3


jMt26:55 kJn7:26

Jn19:3 18:23 nMt5:39; Ac23:25 18:24 over13; Mt26:3 18:25 pver18 qver17 18:26 rver10 sver1 18:27 tJn13:38

/ Peters Second and Third Denials

18:25-27pp Mt26:71-75; Mk14:69-72; Lk22:58-62
25 Meanwhile, Simon Peter was still standing asked him, You there warming himself. p So they arent one of his dis ci ples too, are you? q He de nied it, say ing, I am not. 26 One of the high priests ser vants, a rel a tive of the man whose ear Pe ter had cut off,r challenged s him, Didnt I see you with him in the gar den? 27 Again Pe ter de nied it, and at that mo ment a t roost er be gan to crow.

18:28 uMt27:2;
vver33; wJn11:55

Mk15:1; Lk23:1 Jn19:9

Jesus Before Pilate 18:29-40pp Mt27:11-18,20-23; Mk15:2-15; Lk23:2,3,18-25

28 Then

the Jew ish lead ers took Jesus from Ca

26:2; Jn3:14; 8:28; 12:32,33 18:33 yver28,29; Jn19:9 zLk23:3; Mt2:2 18:36 aMt3:2 bMt26:53 cLk17:21; Jn6:15

18:32 xMt20:19;

that such rules did not apply in this case. J esus, however, knew the law and demanded that witnesses be called (vv. 20, 21). An official knew J esus was rebuking Annas and retaliated (v. 22). 18:23 In essence, Jesus was asking for a fair trial, while His opponents, who had already decided on the sentence (see 11:47 57), had no intention of providing one. 18:24 Annas recognized that he was not getting anywhere with Jesus and sent Him to Caiaphas because, if Jesus was taken to Pilate for execution, an official charge had to be presented by the current high priest (i.e. Caiaphas) on behalf of the Sanhedrin. See note on v. 13. 18:25 27 Simon Peter. Here was the final fulfillment of Jesus prediction that Peter would deny Him three times (cf. Mt 26:34). 18:2819:16 This section deals with Jesus trial before Pilate. Although Pilate appears in every scene here, Jesus Himself and the nature of His kingdom occupy center stage. 18:28 palace of the Roman governor. The headquarters of the Roman military commander or governor (i.e., Pilate), who was normally in Caesarea, but made sure to be in Jerusalem during the festivals in order to quell any riots. Jerusalem became his headquarters. early. The word is ambiguous. Most likely, it refers to around 6:00 a.m. since many Roman officials began their day very early and finished by 10:00 or 11:00 a.m. to avoid ceremonial uncleanness. Jewish oral law indicated that a Jew who went into a Gentile house or dwelling was considered ceremonially unclean. They stayed outside in the colonnade to avoid being tainted. John loads this statement with great irony by noting the chief priests scrupulousness in the matter of ceremonial cleansing, when all the

time they were incurring incomparably greater moral defilement by their proceedings against Jesus. 18:29 What charges . . . ? This question formally opened the Roman civil phase of proceedings against Jesus (in contrast to the religious phase before the Jews in v. 24). 18:31 we have no right. When Rome began to rule Judea through a governor, starting in A.D. 6, the Jews lost the right to administer capital punishment. Thus, the Jewish leaders were forced to ask Pilate to authorize the crucifixion of Jesus. 18:32 to fulfill what Jesus had said. J esus had said that He would die by being lifted up (3:14; 8:28; 12:32, 33). If the Jews had executed Him, it would have been by throwing Him down and stoning Him. But God providentially controlled all the political procedures to assure that when sentence was finally passed, He would be crucified by the Romans and not stoned by the Jews, as was Stephen (Ac 7:59). The Jews may have preferred this form of execution based on Dt 21:23. 18:34 others. Again (cf. vv. 20, 21), Jesus demanded witnesses. 18:36 My kingdom is not of this world. By this phrase, Jesus means that His kingdom is not connected to earthly political and national entities, nor does it have its origin in the evil world system that is in rebellion against God. If His kingdom was of this world, He would have fought. The governments of this world protect their interests by fighting with force. Messiahs kingdom does not originate in the efforts of man but with the Son of Man forcefully and decisively conquering sin in the lives of His people and someday conquering the evil world system at His second coming when He establishes the earthly form of His kingdom. His kingdom was no

JOHN 18:38


Jews gath ered there, Look, I am bring ing him outk to you to let you know that I find no ba l 5 When Jesus came sis for a charge against him. out wear ing the crown of thorns and the pur ple m Pi late said to them, Here is the man! robe, 6 As soon as the c hief priests and t heir of fi cials saw him, they shouted, Crucify! Crucify! But Pi late an swered, You take him and cru sis for a c harge cify him. n As for me, I find no ba against him. o 7 The Jew ish lead ers in sist ed, We have a law, p because and ac cord ing to that law he must die, q he claimed to be the Son of God. 8 When Pi late heard this, he was even more r and he went back in side the pal ace. afraid, 9 Where do you come from? he a sked Jesus, but s 10 Do you refuse to Jesus gave him no an swer. speak to me? Pi late said. Dont you re al ize I have pow er ei ther to free you or to cru ci fy you? 11 Jesus an swered, You w ould have no pow er t over me if it were not giv en to you from a bove. u There fore the one who hand ed me over to you is guilty of a great er sin.

Jesus an swered, You say that I am a king. In fact, the rea son I was born and came into the d Ev world is to tes ti fy to the t ruth. ery one on the e side of truth lis tens tome. 38 What is truth? re tort ed Pi late. With this he went out a gain to the Jews gath ered t here and f said, I find no ba sis for a charge against him. 39 But it is your cus tom for me to re lease to you one pris on er at the time of the Pass over. Do you want me to re lease the king of the Jews? 40 They shout ed back, No, not him! Give us Bar ab bas! Now Bar ab bas had tak en part in an uprising. g

18:37 dJn3:32

18:38 fLk23:4;


Isa50:6; 53:5; Mt27:26 19:3 iMt27:29 jJn18:22

18:40 gAc3:14 19:1 hDt25:3;

/ Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified


19:1-16pp Mt27:27-31; Mk15:16-20

19:4 kJn18:38

Then Pi late took J esus and had him flogged. h 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a pur ple robe 3and went up to him again and again, say ing, Hail, king of the Jews!i j And they slapped him in the face. 4 Once more Pi late came out and said to the

19:5 mver2 19:6 nAc3:13



19:7 pLev24:16
Jn5:18; 10:33 19:9 rJn18:33 sMk14:61 19:11 tRo13:1 uJn18:2830; Ac3:13


threat to the national identity of Israel or the political and military identity of Rome. It exists in the spiritual dimension until the end of the age (Rev 11:15). 18:38 What is truth? In response to J esus mention of truth in v. 37, Pilate responds rhetorically with cynicism, convinced that no answer exists to the question. The retort proved that he was not among those whom the Father had given to the Son (Everyone on the side of truth listens to me v. 37; see notes on 10:1 5). no basis for a charge. Cf. 19:4. John makes it clear that Jesus was not guilty of any sin or crime, thus exhibiting the severe injustice and guilt of both the Jews and Romans who executed Him. 18:40 Barabbas... uprising. The Greek word could indicate that Barabbas had been a thief and/or an insurrectionist (cf. Mk 15:7). 19:1 flogged. Pilate appears to have flogged Jesus as a strategy to set Him free (see vv. 4 6). He was hoping that the Jews would be appeased by this action and that sympathy for Jesus suffering would result in their desire that He be released (see Lk 23:13 16). Flogging was a horribly cruel act in which the victim was stripped, tied to a post, and beaten by several torturers, i.e., soldiers who alternated when exhausted. For victims who were not Roman citizens, the preferred instrument was a short wooden handle to which several leather thongs were attached. Each leather thong had pieces of bones or metal on the end. The beatings were so savage that sometimes victims died. The body could be torn or lacerated to such an extent that muscles, veins, or bones were exposed. Such flogging often preceded execution in order to weaken and dehumanize the victim (Isa 53:5). Apparently, however, Pilate intended this to create sympathy for J esus. 19:2 crown of thorns. This crown was made from the long spikes (up to 12 inches) of a date palm formed into an imitation of the radiating crowns that oriental kings wore. The long thorns would have cut deeply into Jesus head, adding to the pain and bleeding. purple robe. The color represented royalty. The robe probably was a military cloak flung around Jesus shoulders, intended to mock His claim to be King of the Jews.

19:4 I find no basis for a charge against him. See note on 18:38. 19:5 Here is the man! Pilate dramatically presented Jesus after His torturous treatment by the soldiers. Jesus would have been swollen, bruised, and bleeding. Pilate displayed Jesus as a beaten and pathetic figure hoping to gain the peoples choice of Jesus for release. Pilates phrase is filled with sarcasm since he was attempting to impress upon the Jewish authorities that J esus was not the dangerous man they had made Him out to be. 19:6 You take him and crucify him. The pronouns you and him have an emphatic force indicating Pilates disgust and indignation at the Jews for their callousness toward Jesus. 19:7 We have a law. This probably refers to Lev 24:16: anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD is to be put to death. The charge of blasphemy (5:18; 8:58, 59; 10:33, 36) was central in Jesus trial before Caiaphas (see Mt 26:57 68). 19:8 more afraid. Many Roman officials were deeply superstitious. While Jews interpreted Jesus claims as messianic, to the GrecoRoman person, the title Son of God would place J esus in the category of divine men who were gifted with supernatural powers. Pilate was afraid because he had just whipped and tortured someone who, in his mind, could bring down a curse or vengeance upon him. 19:9 Where do you come from? Pilate was concerned about J esus origins. His superstitious mind was wondering just what kind of person he was dealing with. 19:11 J esus statement here indicates that even the most heinous acts of wickedness cannot circumvent the sovereignty of God. Pilate had no real control (vv. 10, 11), yet he still stood as a responsible moral agent for his actions. When confronted with opposition and evil, Jesus often found solace in the sovereignty of His Father (e.g., 6:43, 44, 65; 10:18, 28, 29). the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin. This could refer either to Judas or Caiaphas. Since Caiaphas took such an active part in the plot against Jesus (11:49 53) and presided over the Sanhedrin, the

12 From then on, Pi late tried to set Jesus free, but the Jew ish lead ers kept shout ing, If you let this man go, you are no friend of Cae sar. Any one v opposes Caesar. who claims to be a king 13 When Pi late h eard this, he b rought J esus w at a p out and sat down on the judges seat lace known as the Stone Pave ment (which in Ar am a x is Gabbatha). 14 ic It was the day of Prep ar a tiony z of the Pass over; it was a bout noon. a Pi Here is your king, late said to the Jews. 15 But they shout ed, Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him! Shall I cru ci fy your king? Pi late asked. We have no king but Cae sar, the chief priests answered. 16 Fi nal ly Pi late hand ed him over to them to be crucified. b


JOHN 19:24

19:12 vLk23:2 19:13 wMt27:19

xJn5:2 zMk15:25 aver19, 21 19:16 bMt27:26; Mk15:15; Lk23:25 19:17 cGe22:6; Lk14:27; 23:26

19:14 yMt27:62

/ The Crucifixion ofJesus

19:17-24pp Mt27:33-44; Mk15:22-32; Lk23:33-43

dLk23:33 eJn5:2

So the sol diers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carry c he went out to the ing his own cross, place of

19:18 fLk23:32 19:19 gMk1:24


19:20 iHeb13:12 19:21 jver14

the Skull d (which in Aramaic e is called Gol go There they cru ci fied him, and with him tha). 18 one on each side and Jesus in the two others f middle. 19 Pi late had a no tice pre pared and fas tened to g the king the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, h 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, of the jews. for the place where Jesus was cru ci fied was near i and the sign was writ ten in Ar a ma ic, the city, The chief priests of the Jews Latin and Greek. 21 pro test ed to Pi late, Do not write The King of the Jews, but that this man c laimed to be king j of the Jews. 22 Pi late an swered, What I have writ ten, I have written. 23 When the sol diers cru ci fied Jesus, they took his c lothes, di vid ing them into four s hares, one for each of them, with the un der gar ment re main ing. This gar ment was seam less, wo ven in one piece from top to bot tom. 24 Lets not tear it, they said to one an oth er. Lets de cide by lot who will getit.

reference may center on him (18:30, 35). The critical point is not the identity of the person but guilt because of the deliberate, highhanded, and coldly calculated act of handing Jesus over to Pilate, after having seen and heard the overwhelming evidence that He was Messiah and Son of God. Pilate had not been exposed to that. See notes on 9:41; 15:22 24; Heb 10:26 31. 19:12 no friend of Caesar. This statement by the Jews was loaded with irony, for the Jews hatred of Rome certainly indicated they, too, were no friends of Caesar. But they knew Pilate feared Tiberius Caesar (the Roman emperor at the time of J esus crucifixion) since he had a highly suspicious personality and exacted ruthless punishment. Pilate had already created upheaval in Jerusalem by several foolish acts that had infuriated the Jews, and so was under the scrutiny of Rome to see if his ineptness continued. The Jews were intimidating him by threatening another upheaval that could spell the end of his power in Jerusalem, if he did not execute Jesus. 19:13 the judges seat. Pilate broke under pressure and prepared to render judgment on the initial accusation of sedition against Rome. This judges seat was the place Pilate sat to render the official verdict. The seat was placed on an area paved with stones known as The Pavement. The irony is that Pilate rendered judgment on the One who would one day render a just condemnation of Pilate (5:22). 19:14 day of Preparation of the Passover. This refers to the day before the Passover (according to the Judean calendar) when preparation for the Passover was done. In Gods timing, J esus was being sentenced to death around the same time that lambs were being slain for the Passover. For the chronology of the week, see Introduction: Interpretive Challenges. about noon. Lit. about the sixth hour. John is here reckoning time by the Roman method of the day beginning at midnight. See note on Mk 15:25. Here is your king. That was Pilates mockery that such a brutalized and helpless man was a fitting king for them. This mockery continued in the placard on the cross (vv. 19 22). 19:17 Carrying his own cross. This refers to the horizontal bar of the cross. Condemned prisoners were required to carry the heavy

crossbeam to the execution site. J esus carried His cross as far as the city gate, but due to the effects of the previous brutal beating, someone else had to eventually carry it for Him, i.e., Simon of Cyrene (Mt 27:32; Mk 15:21; Lk 23:26). Golgotha. This term is an Eng. transliteration of the Gr. which, in turn, is a translation of the Aram. word meaning skull. The place probably derived its name from its appearance. The precise location of the site today is uncertain. 19:18 crucified him. Jesus was forced to lie down while His arms were stretched out and nailed to the horizontal beam that He had carried. The beam was raised up and affixed to the vertical post. His feet were then nailed to the vertical beam. Sometimes a small wooden board was added to create a makeshift seat that provided partial support for the victims weight. The latter, however, prolonged the agony, not alleviated it. Victims were stripped naked, beaten, and then hung outside where they would be exposed to both the mockery of the crowds and the elements of nature. Breathing was only possible by pushing up with the legs and straining the arms. It caused excruciating pain, but it was necessary to avoid asphyxiation (see note on Mt 27:31). two others. Matthew (27:38) and Luke (23:33) use the same word for these two as John used for Barabbas, i.e., guerrilla fighters. See note on 18:40. 19:19 22 had a notice prepared. A placard listing his crimes was often placed around the neck of the victim as he was taken to the execution site. The tablet would then be nailed to the victims cross (see Mt 27:37; Mk 15:26; Lk 23:38). Pilate used this opportunity for mocking revenge on the Jews who had so intimidated him into this execution (see note on v. 12). 19:23 his clothes... with the undergarment. By custom, the clothes of the condemned person were the property of the executioners. The division of the garments suggests that the execution squad was made up of four soldiers (cf. Ac 12:4). The undergarment was worn next to the skin. The plural clothes probably implies there were other garments, including an outer garment, belt, sandals, and head covering. 19:24 John cites Ps 22:18. In the psalm, David, beset by physical distress and mockery by his opponents, uses the symbolism of the

JOHN 19:25


With that, he b owed his head and gave up his spirit. 31 v and the Now it was the day of Prep ar a tion, next day was to be a spe cial Sab bath. Be cause the Jew ish lead ers did not want the bod ies left on the crosses w dur ing the Sab bath, they asked Pi late to have the legs bro ken and the bod ies tak en down. 32 The sol diers there fore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been cru ci fied x 33But with Jesus, and then those of the oth er. when they came to Jesus and found that he was al ready dead, they did not break his legs. 34In stead, one of the sol diers piercedy Jesus side with as pear, bring ing a sud den flow of b lood and wa z 35 a has given testimony, ter. The man who saw it and his tes ti mo ny is true.b He knows that he t ells the truth, and he tes ti fies so that you also may be lieve. 36 These t hings hap pened so that the scrip c Not one of his b ture would be ful filled: ones d 37 will be bro ken,c and, as an oth er scrip ture says, e They will look on the one they have pierced.d
a24Psalm22:18 b26 d37Zech.12:10

This hap pened that the scrip ture m ight be ful k that said, filled They divided my clothes among them a l and cast lots for my garment. So this is what the sol diers did. 25 m of n Near the c ross Jesus s tood his moth er, his moth ers sis ter, Mary the wife of Clo pas, and Jesus saw his moth erp Mary Magdalene. o 26When q stand there, and the dis ci ple whom he loved ing near by, he said to her, Wom an,b here is your ci ple, Here is your moth er. son, 27and to the dis From that time on, this dis ci ple took her into his home.

19:24 kver28, 36,37; Mt1:22 lPs22:18 19:25 mMt27:55, 56; Mk15:40,41; Lk23:49 nMt12:46 oLk24:18 19:26 pMt12:46 qJn13:23 19:28 rver30; Jn13:1 sver24, 36,37 19:29 tPs69:21 19:30 uLk12:50; Jn17:4

/ The Death of Jesus

19:29,30pp Mt27:48,50; Mk15:36,37; Lk23:36

know ing that ev ery thing had now ture w ould be been finished, r and so that Scrip Jesus said, I am t hirsty. 29 A jar of fulfilled, s there, so they s oaked a sponge wine vinegar t was in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hys sop When he had plant, and lift ed it to Jesus lips. 30 u re ceived the d rink, Jesus said, It is fin ished.

28 Lat er,

19:31 vver14,42 wDt21:23; Jos8:29; 10:26,27 19:32 xver18 19:34 yZec12:10 z1Jn5:6,8 19:35 aLk24:48 bJn15:27; 21:24 19:36 cver24, 28,37; Mt1:22 dEx12:46; Nu9:12; Ps34:20 19:37 eZec12:10; Rev1:7

The Greek for Woman does not denote any disrespect. c36 Exodus12:46; Num. 9:12; Psalm 34:20

common practice in an execution scene in which the executioner divided the victims clothes to portray the depth of his trouble. It is notable that David precisely described a form of execution that he had never seen. The passage was typologically prophetic of Jesus, Davids heir to the messianic throne (see Mt 27:46; Mk 15:34). 19:25 Although the exact number of women mentioned here is questioned, John probably refers to four women rather than three, i.e., two by name and two without naming them: 1) his mother (Mary); 2) his mothers sister (probably Salome [Mk 15:40] the sister of Mary and mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee [Mt 27:56, 57; Mk 15:40]); 3) Mary the wife of Clopas (the mother of James the younger and Joseph Mt 27:56); and 4) Mary Magdalene (Magdalene signifies Magdala, a village on the W shore of Galilee, two or three mi. N of Tiberias). Mary Magdalene figures prominently in the resurrection account (see 20:1 18; cf. Lk 8:2, 3 where J esus healed her from demon possession). 19:26 the disciple whom he loved. This is a reference to John (see note on 13:23; cf. Introduction: Author and Date). J esus, as the first-born son of Mary, did not give the responsibility to His brothers because they were not sympathetic to His ministry nor did they believe in Him (7:3 5) and they likely were not present at the time (i.e., their home was in Capernaum see 2:12). 19:29 The drink here is not the same as the wine... mixed with gall offered to Him as He arrived at Golgotha (Mt 27:34) which was intended to lessen the pain. The purpose of this cheap, sour wine (cf. Mk 15:36) was to prolong life and increase the torture. The term harkens back to Ps 69:21 where the same word is found in the Septuagint. Hyssop is a little plant that is ideal for sprinkling (see Ex12:22). 19:30 It is finished. The verb here carries the idea of fulfilling ones mission and religious obligations (see 17:4). The entire work of redemption had been brought to completion. The single Gr. word here (translated it is finished) has been found in the papyri being placed on receipts for taxes meaning paid in full (see Col

3:13, 14). he... gave up his spirit. The sentence signaled that Jesus handed over His spirit as an act of His will. No one took His life from Him, for He voluntarily and willingly gave it up (see 10:17, 18). 19:31 day of Preparation. This refers to Friday, the day before or the Preparation day for the Sabbath. See Introduction: Interpretive Challenges. did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath. Though the Romans had no problem leaving crucified victims hanging on crosses long after they died (allowing their corpses to rot or be eaten by birds), the Jewish leaders insisted that Jesus body be taken down. The Mosaic law stipulated that a person hanged on a tree should not remain there overnight (Dt 21:22, 23). They would have been especially wary of this in light of the Passover celebration. to have the legs broken. In order to hasten death for certain reasons, soldiers would break the legs of the victim with an iron mallet. Doing so inhibited the dying mans ability to push up with his legs in order to breath (see note on v.18). Death by asphyxiation soon followed. 19:34 The soldiers stabbing of Jesus side caused significant penetration because of the sudden flow of blood and water. Either the spear pierced Jesus heart or the chest cavity was pierced at the bottom. In either event, John mentions the outflow of blood and water to emphasize that Jesus was unquestionably dead. 19:35 The man who saw it. This has reference to John the apostle who was an eyewitness of these events (v. 26; 13:23; 20:2; 21:7, 20; cf. 1Jn 1:1 4). 19:36, 37 John quoted from either Ex 12:46 or Nu 9:12, since both stipulate that the bones of the Passover lamb must not be broken. Since the NT portrays J esus as the Passover Lamb that takes away the sins of the world (1:29; cf. 1Co 5:7; 1Pe 1:19), these verses have special typologically prophetic significance for Him. This quote comes from Zec 12:10. The anguish and contrition of the Jews in the Zechariah passage, because of their wounding of Gods Shepherd, is typologically prophetic of the time of the coming of

/ The Burial of Jesus
19:38-42pp Mt27:57-61; Mk15:42-47; Lk23:50-56
38Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of J esus. Now Jo seph was a dis ci ple of Jesus, but se cret ly be cause he f eared the Jew ish lead ers. With Pi lates per mis sion, he came and took the body away. 39He was accompanied by Nicodemus,f the man who ear li er had vis it ed Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.a 40Taking Jesus body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spic es, in cor dance with Jew strips of linen.g This was in ac place where Jesus was ish burial customs.h 41At the cru ci fied, there was a gar den, and in the gar den a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Be cause it was the Jew ish day of Prep a ra tioni and j they laid Jesus there. since the tomb was near by,


JOHN 20:9

19:39 fJn3:1; 7:50 19:40 gLk24:12;


Jn11:44; 20:5,7

jver20,41 20:1 kver18; Jn19:25

19:42 iver14,31

lMt27:60,66 nver13

20:2 mJn13:23 20:3 oLk24:12 20:5 pver11


/ The Empty Tomb


20:1-8pp Mt28:1-8; Mk16:1-8; Lk24:1-10

Ear ly on the f irst day of the week, w hile k went it was still dark, Mary Mag da lene

Jn2:22 uLk24:26, 46

20:7 rJn11:44 20:8 sver4 20:9 tMt22:29;

to the tomb and saw that the stone had been re ning moved from the en trance.l 2So she came run to Si mon Pe ter and the oth er dis ci ple, the one en the Jesus loved, m and said, They have tak Lord out of the tomb, and we dont know where n they have put him! 3 So Pe ter and the oth er dis ci ple start ed for o 4 Both were run ning, but the oth the tomb. er dis ci ple out ran Pe ter and reached the tomb p at the s He bent over and l ooked in trips first. 5 q ing there but did not go in. 6Then of linen ly Si mon Pe ter came a long be hind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of lin as well as the cloth that had en lying there, 7 r The cloth been wrapped around Jesus head. was still ly ing in its place, sep a rate from the lin en. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached s also went in side. He saw and the tomb first, (They s till did not un der stand from believed. 9 esus had to rise from the dead.)u Scripture t that J


the Son of God, Messiah, when at His return, Israel shall mourn for the rejection and killing of their King (cf. Rev 1:7). 19:38 Joseph of Arimathea. This man appears in all four gospels, only in connection with Jesus burial. The Synoptics relate that he was a member of the Sanhedrin (Mk 15:43), he was rich (Mt 27:57), and he was looking for the kingdom of God (Lk 23:51). John treats the idea of secret disciples negatively (see 12:42, 43), but since Joseph publicly risked his reputation and even his life in asking for the body of Jesus, John pictures him in a more positive light. 19:39 Nicodemus. See notes on 3:1 10. about seventy-five pounds. Myrrh was a very fragrant gummy resin, which the Jews turned into a powdered form and mixed with aloes, a powder from the aromatic sandalwood. The Jews did not embalm but did this procedure to suppress the odor of decay (see note on 11:39). 19:40 spices, in strips of linen. The spices most likely were spread along the full length of the cloth strips, which were then wrapped around Jesus body. Additional spices were placed underneath the body and set around it. The sticky resin would help the cloth adhere. 19:41, 42 garden... new tomb. Only John relates that the tomb was near the place where Jesus was crucified. Since the Sabbath, when no more work was allowed, was nearly upon them (6:00 p.m., sunset), the close proximity of the tomb was helpful (Mt 27:58 61). For the time of the Lords death and burial, see note on Mt 27:45. 20:131 This chapter records the appearances of J esus to His own followers: 1) the appearance to Mary Magdalene (vv. 1 18); 2) the appearance to the 10 disciples (vv. 19 23); and 3) the appearance to Thomas (vv. 24 29). Jesus did not appear to unbelievers (see 14:19; 16:16, 22) because the evidence of His resurrection would not have convinced them as the miracles had not (Lk 16:31). The god of this world had blinded them and prevented their belief (2Co 4:4). J esus, therefore, appears exclusively to His own in order to confirm their faith in the living Christ. Such appearances were so profound that they transformed the disciples from cowardly men hiding in fear to bold witnesses for Jesus (e.g., Peter; see 18:27;

cf. Ac 2:14 39). Once again Johns purpose in recording these resurrection appearances was to demonstrate that Jesus physical and bodily resurrection was the crowning proof that He truly is the Messiah and Son of God who laid down His life for His own (10:17, 18; 15:13; cf. Ro 1:4). 20:1 first day of the week. A reference to Sunday. From then on, believers set aside Sunday to meet and remember the marvelous resurrection of the Lord (see Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:2). It became known as the Lords Day (Rev 1:10). See notes on Lk 24:4, 34. while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb. Perhaps the reason why Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene was to demonstrate grace by His personal, loving faithfulness to someone who formerly had a sordid past; but clearly also because she loved Him so dearly and deeply, that she appeared before anyone else at the tomb. Her purpose in coming was to finish the preparation of Jesus body for burial by bringing more spices to anoint the corpse (Lk 24:1). 20:2 the one J esus loved. This is the author John. They have taken. Though J esus had predicted His resurrection numerous times, it was more than she could believe at that point. It would take His showing Himself alive to them by many convincing proofs (Ac 1:3) for them to believe. 20:5 7 looked in at the strips of linen lying there. A contrast existed between the resurrection of Lazarus (11:44) and that of Jesus. While Lazarus came forth from the grave wearing his grave clothes, Jesus body, though physical and material, was glorified and now able to pass through the graveclothes much in the same way that He later appeared in the locked room (see vv. 19, 20; cf. Php 3:21). strips of linen... cloth. The state of those items indicates no struggle, no hurried unwrapping of the body by grave robbers, who wouldnt unwrap the body anyway, since transporting it elsewhere would be easier and more pleasant if it was left in its wrapped and spiced condition. All appearances indicated that no one had taken the body, but that it had moved through the cloth and left it behind in the tomb. 20:8 the other disciple. John saw the graveclothes and was convinced by them that Jesus had risen.

JOHN 20:10
10 Then the dis ci ples went back to where they were staying.


brotherse and tell them, I am as cend ing to my Fa f and your Fa ther, to my God and your God. ther 18 Mary Magdalene g went to the dis ci plesh with the news: I have seen the Lord! And she told them that he had said these things to her.

20:11 vver5 20:12 wMt28:2,3;

Mk16:5; Lk24:4; Ac5:19 20:13 xver15 yver2 20:14 zMt28:9; Mk16:9 aLk24:16; Jn21:4 20:15 bver13 20:16 cJn5:2 dMt23:7

/ Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

11 Now Mary stood out side the tomb cry ing. As v she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 w seated where and saw two an gels in white, Jesus body had been, one at the head and the oth er at the foot. 13 They asked her, Wom an, why are you cry x ing? They have tak en my Lord away, she said, and y 14At I dont know where they have put him. this, she turned around and saw Jesus stand ing a there,z but she did not re al ize that it was J esus. 15 He asked her, Wom an, why are you cry ing?b Who is it you are look ing for? Think ing he was the gar den er, she said, Sir, if you have car ried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him. 16 Jesus said to her, Mary. She turned to ward him and cried out in Ar amaic, c Rabboni! d (which means Teach er). 17 Jesus said, Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet as cend ed to the Fa ther. Go in stead to my

/ Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the eve ning of that first day of the week, when the dis ci ples were to geth er, with the doors i Jesus came locked for fear of the Jew ish lead ers, j be with and s tood among them and said, Peace k 20 Af ter he said this, he showed them his you! l The dis m ci ples were over joyed hands and side. when they saw the Lord. 21 n As Again Jesus said, Peace be with you! o p ing you. the Fa ther has sent me, I am send 22 And with that he b reathed on them and said, q 23 If you for give any Re ceive the Holy Spir it. ones sins, their sins are for giv en; if you do not r for give them, they are not for giv en.

20:17 eMt28:10

20:18 gver1

20:19 iJn7:13 jJn14:27 kver21, 26; Lk24:3639 20:20 lLk24:39, 40; Jn19:34 mJn16:20,22 20:21 nver19 oJn3:17 pMt28:19; Jn17:18 20:22 qJn7:39; Ac2:38; 8:1517; 19:2; Gal3:2 20:23 rMt16:19; 18:18 20:24 sJn11:16


/ Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas s (also a), known as Did y mus one of the Twelve, was not with the dis ci ples

Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin.

20:9 did not understand from Scripture. Neither Peter nor John understood that Scripture said Jesus would rise (Ps 16:10). This is evident by the reports of Luke (24:25 27, 32, 44 47). J esus had foretold His resurrection (2:19; Mt 16:21; Mk 8:31; 9:31; Lk 9:22), but they would not accept it (Mt 16:22; Lk 9:44, 45). By the time John wrote this gospel, the church had developed an understanding of the OT prediction of Messiahs resurrection (cf. still). 20:1113 crying. Marys grief may have drawn her back to the tomb. She apparently had not crossed paths with Peter or John and thus did not know of J esus resurrection (see v. 9). 20:12 two angels. Luke (24:4) describes both. Matthew (28:2, 3) and Mk (16:5) report only one. Johns reason for the mention of angels is to demonstrate that no grave robbers took the body. This was an operation of the power of God. 20:14 did not realize that it was J esus. The reason for Marys failure to recognize Jesus is uncertain. She may not have recognized Him because her tears blurred her eyes (v. 11). Possibly also, the vivid memories of Jesus bruised and broken body were still etched in her mind, and Jesus resurrection appearance was so dramatically different that she failed to recognize Him. Perhaps, however, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, she was supernaturally prevented from recognizing Him until He chose for her to do so (see Lk 24:16). 20:16 Mary. Whatever the reason for her failure to recognize Jesus, the moment He spoke the single word, Mary, she immediately recognized Him. This is reminiscent of Jesus words My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (10:27; cf. 10:3, 4). 20:17 Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended. Mary was expressing a desire to hold on to His physical presence for fear that she would once again lose Him. J esus reference to His ascension signifies that He would only be with them temporarily and though she desperately wanted Him to stay, He could not. Jesus was with them only for 40 more days and then He ascended (Ac 1:3 11).

After He went to the Father, He sent the Holy Spirit (the Advocate) so that they would not feel abandoned (see note on 14:18, 19). my brothers. Disciples have been called servants or friends (15:15), but not brothers, until here. Because of J esus work on the cross in place of the sinner, this new relationship to Christ was made possible (Ro 8:14 17; Gal 3:26, 27; Eph 1:5; Heb 2:10 13). 20:19 of that first day. See note on v. 1. with the doors locked. The Gr. word indicates the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. Since the authorities had executed their leader, they reasonably expected that Jesus fate could be their own. Peace be with you. See notes on 14:27; 16:33. Jesus greeting complements His It is finished, for His work on the cross accomplished peace between God and His people (Ro 5:1; Eph 2:14 17). 20:20 Jesus proved that He who appeared to them was the same One who was crucified (cf. Lk 24:39). 20:21 This commission builds on 17:18. See Mt 28:19, 20. 20:22 Since the disciples did not actually receive the Holy Spirit until the day of Pentecost, some 40 days in the future (Ac 1:8; 2:1 3), this statement must be understood as a pledge on Christs part that the Holy Spirit would be coming. 20:23 See notes on Mt 16:19; 18:18. This verse does not give authority to Christians to forgive sins. J esus was saying that the believer can boldly declare the certainty of a sinners forgiveness by the Father because of the work of His Son if that sinner has repented and believed the gospel. The believer with certainty can also tell those who do not respond to the message of Gods forgiveness through faith in Christ that their sins, as a result, are not forgiven. 20:2426 Thomas has already been portrayed as loyal but pessimistic. Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his failure, but instead compassionately offered him proof of His resurrection. Jesus lovingly met him at the point of his weakness. Thomass actions indicated that Jesus had to convince the disciples rather forcefully of

when Jesus came. 25 So the oth er dis ci ples told him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Un less I see the nail marks in his hands and put my fin ger w here the t I will nails were, and put my hand into his side, u not believe. 26 A week lat er his dis ci ples were in the house again, and Thom as was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and s tood a mong v be with you! w 27Then them and said, Peace he said to Thom as, Put your fin ger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my x side. Stop doubt ing and be lieve. 28 Thom as said to him, My Lord and my God! 29 Then J esus told him, Be cause you have seen y blessed are those who me, you have be lieved; z have not seen and yet have be lieved.


JOHN 21:11

20:25 tver20
uMk16:11 wver21

20:26 vJn14:27 20:27 xver25; 20:29 yJn3:15

z1Pe1:8 bJn21:25 20:31 cJn3:15; 19:35 dMt4:3 eMt25:46 21:1 fJn20:19,26 gJn6:1 21:2 hJn11:16


20:30 aJn2:11

/ The Purpose of JohnsGospel

30 a in the Jesus per formed many oth er signs pres ence of his dis ci ples, which are not re cord ed b 31 But these are writ ten that you in this book. c that J may believe a esus is the Mes si ah, the Son of God,d and that by be liev ing you may have life e in his name.

/ Jesus and the Miraculous Catch

iJn1:45 jJn2:1 kMt4:21



21:3 lLk5:5 21:4 mLk24:16; 21:6 nLk5:47 21:7 oJn13:23 21:9 pJn18:18

Afterward Jesus appeared again to his g It hap i lee.b disciples, f by the Sea of Gal pened this way: 2 Simon Peter, Thomas h (also


known as Didymus c ), Nathanael i from Cana in k and two oth e dee, er Galilee, j the sons of Zeb Im go ing out to fish, disciples were together. 3 Si mon Pe ter told them, and they said, Well go with you. So they went out and got into the l boat, but that n ight they c aught noth ing. 4 Ear ly in the morn ing, Jesus stood on the shore, but the dis ci ples did not re al ize that it was Jesus.m 5 He called out to them, Friends, h avent you any fish? No, they an swered. 6 He said, Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. When they did, they were un able to haul the net in be cause n of the large num ber of fish. o said to 7 Then the dis ci ple whom Jesus loved Pe ter, It is the Lord! As soon as Si mon Pe ter heard him say, It is the Lord, he wrapped his out er gar ment around him (for he had tak en it The oth er dis off) and jumped into the wa ter. 8 ci ples fol lowed in the boat, tow ing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, a bout a When they land ed, they saw a hundred yards. d 9 p of burn q and ing coals there with fish on it, fire some bread. 10 Jesus said to them, Bring some of the fish you have just caught. 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and d ragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so
a31Ormay continue to believe b1Greek Tiberias c2 Thomas (Aramaic) and Didymus (Greek) both mean twin. d8 Orabout 90meters

His resurrection, i.e., they were not gullible people predisposed to believing in resurrection. The point is they would not have fabricated it or hallucinated it, since they were so reluctant to believe even with the evidence they could see. 20:28 My Lord and my God! With these words, Thomas declared his firm belief in the resurrection and, therefore, the deity of J esus the Messiah and Son of God (Titus 2:13). This is the greatest confession a person can make. Thomass confession functions as the fitting capstone of Johns purpose in writing (see vv. 30, 31). 20:29 Jesus looked ahead to a time when such physical evidence as Thomas received would not be available. When Jesus ascended permanently to the Father, believers would come to saving faith without the privilege of seeing the resurrected Lord. J esus pronounced a special blessing on those who believe without having Thomass privilege (1Pe 1:8, 9). 20:30, 31 These verses constitute the goal and purpose for which John wrote the gospel (see Introduction: Background and Setting). 21:125 John 21:1 25 constitutes the epilogue or appendix of Johns gospel. While 20:30 31 constitute the conclusion of the main body of the work, the information here at the end provides a balance to his prologue in 1:1 18. The epilogue essentially answers five lingering questions. 1) Will Jesus no longer directly provide for His own (cf. 20:17)? This question is answered in vv. 1 14. 2) What happened to Peter? Peter had denied Christ three times and fled. The last time Peter was seen was in 20:6 8 where both he and John saw the empty tomb but only John believed (20:8). This

question is answered in vv. 15 17. 3) What about the future of the disciples now that they are without their Master? This question is answered in vv. 18, 19. 4) Was John going to die? J esus answers this question in vv. 20 23. 5) Why werent other things that Jesus did recorded by John? John gives the answer to that in vv. 24, 25. 21:1 Sea of Galilee. An alternate name for the Sea of Tiberias, found only in John (see 6:1). 21:2 Simon Peter. In all lists of the apostles, he is named first, indicating his general leadership of the group (e.g., Mt 10:2). 21:3 Im going out to fish. The most reasonable explanation for Peter and the others to go to Galilee in order to fish was that they went in obedience to the Lords command to meet Him in Galilee (Mt 28:16). Peter and the others occupied themselves with fishing, which was their former livelihood, while they awaited Jesus appearance. 21:4 This could be another instance in which the Lord kept His disciples from recognizing Him (20:14, 15; cf. Lk 24:16). 21:7 the disciple whom Jesus loved. John immediately recognized that the stranger was the risen Lord, for only He had such supernatural knowledge and power (v. 6). Peter impulsively jumped in and headed to see the Lord. 21:9 fish... and some bread. Apparently, the Lord created this breakfast as He had created food for the multitudes (6:1 13). 21:11 153. Johns recording of the precise number reinforces the fact that he was an eyewitness author of the events he recorded

JOHN 21:12


w He said, Lord, hird time, Do you love me? t x you know that I love you. you know all things; y 18 Very tru ly I tell Jesus said, Feed my sheep. you, when you were youn ger you dressed your self and went w here you want ed; but when you are old you will s tretch out your h ands, and some one else will dress you and lead you where you Jesus said this to in di cate do not want to go. 19 z by which Peter would glorify the kind of death a Then he said to him, Fol lowme! God. 20 Pe ter turned and saw that the dis ci ple whom low ing them. (This was the Jesus loved b was fol one who had l eaned back a gainst J esus at the sup per and had said, Lord, who is go ing to be c 21 When Pe ter saw him, he asked, tray you?) Lord, what about him? 22 Jesus an swered, If I want him to re main alive until I return, d what is that to you? You must Be cause of this, the ru mor s pread follow me. e 23 ci ple would not among the believers f that this dis die. But J esus did not say that he would not die; he only said, If I want him to re main alive un til I re turn, what is that to you? 24 This is the dis ci ple who tes ti fies to these

many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, Come and have break fast. None of the dis ci ples dared ask him, Who are you? They knew Jesus came, took the bread it was the Lord. 13 and gave it to them, and did the same with the This was now the third time Jesus ap fish.r 14 s af ter he was r aised from peared to his dis ci ples the dead.

21:13 rver9 21:14 sJn20:19,26 21:15 tMt26:33,


35; Jn13:37

21:16 vMt2:6;

Ac20:28; 1Pe5:2,3

/ Jesus Reinstates Peter

15 When they had fin ished eat ing, Jesus said to Si mon Pe ter, Si mon son of John, do you love me more than these? Yes, Lord, he said, you know that I love t you. u Jesus said, Feed my lambs. 16 Again J esus said, Si mon son of John, do you loveme? He an swered, Yes, Lord, you know that I love you. v Jesus said, Take care of my sheep. 17 The third time he said to him, Si mon son of John, do you loveme? Pe ter was hurt be cause Jesus asked him the

21:17 wJn13:38
18:32 a2Pe1:14

xJn16:30 yver16

21:19 zJn12:33; 21:20 bver7;

21:22 dMt16:27;

Jn13:23 cJn13:25 1Co4:5; Rev2:25

21:23 fAc1:16

(1Jn 1:1 4). Jesus action here in providing the fish also indicated that He would still provide for His disciples needs (see Php 4:19; Mt 6:2533). 21:14 the third time. The reference to the third time refers only to the appearances reported in Johns gospel, i.e., the first being in 20:19 23 and the second in 20:26 29. 21:1517 The meaning of this section hinges upon the usage of two synonyms for love. In terms of interpretation, when two synonyms are placed in close proximity in context, a difference in meaning, however slight, is emphasized. When J esus asked Peter if he loved Him, He used a word for love that signified total commitment. Peter responded with a word for love that signified his love for Jesus, but not necessarily his total commitment. This was not because he was reluctant to express that greater love, but because he had been disobedient and denied the Lord in the past. He was, perhaps, now reluctant to make a claim of supreme devotion when, in the past, his life did not support such a claim. Jesus pressed home to Peter the need for unswerving devotion by repeatedly asking Peter if he loved Him supremely. The essential message here is that J esus demands total commitment from His followers. Their love for Him must place Him above their love for all else. J esus confronted Peter with love because He wanted Peter to lead the apostles (Mt 16:18), but in order for Peter to be an effective shepherd, his overwhelming drive must exemplify supreme love for his Lord. 21:15, 16 more than these? This probably refers to the fish (v. 11) representing Peters profession as a fisherman, for he had gone back to it while waiting for J esus (see v. 3). Jesus wanted Peter to love Him so supremely as to forsake all that he was familiar with and be exclusively devoted to being a fisher of men (Mt 4:19). The phrase may refer to the other disciples, since Peter had claimed he would be more devoted than all the others (Mt 26:33). Feed my lambs. The word feed conveys the idea of being devoted to the Lords service as an undershepherd who cares for His flock (see 1Pe 5:1 4). The word has the idea of constantly feeding and

nourishing the sheep. This served as a reminder that the primary duty of the messenger of Jesus Christ is to teach the Word of God (2Ti 4:2). Acts 1 12 records Peters obedience to this commission. 21:17 Peter was hurt. The third time Jesus asked Peter, He used Peters word for love that signified something less than total devotion, questioning even that level of love Peter thought he was safe in claiming (see note on vv. 15 17). The lessons driven home to Peter grieved his heart, so that he sought for a proper understanding of his heart, not by what he said or had done, but based on the Lords omniscience (cf. 2:24, 25). 21:18, 19 A prophecy of Peters martyrdom. Jesus call of devotion to Him would also mean that Peters devotion would entail his own death (Mt 10:37 39). Whenever any Christian follows Christ, he must be prepared to suffer and die (Mt 16:24 26). Peter lived three decades serving the Lord and anticipating the death that was before him (2Pe 1:12 15), but he wrote that such suffering and death for the Lord brings praise to God (1Pe 4:14 16). Church tradition records that Peter suffered martyrdom under Nero (ca. A.D. 67 68), being crucified upside down, because he refused to be crucified like his Lord. 21:2022 J esus prophecy regarding Peters martyrdom prompted Peter to ask what would happen to John (the disciple whom J esus loved see 13:23). He may have asked this because of his deep concern for Johns future, since he was an intimate friend. Jesus reply, You must follow me, signified that Peters primary concern must not be John but his continued devotion to the Lord and His service, i.e., Christs service must be his all-consuming passion and nothing must detract from it. 21:22, 23 until I return. J esus hypothetical statement for emphasis was that, if John lived until His second coming, it was none of Peters concern. He needed to live his own life in faithfulness, not compare it with any other. 21:24 the disciple who testifies. John is a personal witness of

things g and who wrote them down. We know h that his tes ti mo ny is true. 25 i If ev Jesus did many oth er t hings as well. ery


JOHN 21:25

21:24 gJn15:27

21:25 iJn20:30

one of them were writ ten down, I sup pose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that w ould be writ ten.

the truth of the events that he recorded. The we most likely is an editorial device referring only to John (see 1:14; 1Jn 1:1 4; 3Jn 12), or it may include the collective witness of his apostolic colleagues.

21:25 John explains that he had been selective rather than exhaustive in his testimony. Although selective, the truth revealed in Johns gospel is sufficient to bring anyone to faith in the Messiah and Son of God (14:26; 16:13).