DISCIPLES OF JESUS MINISTRY

Where He leads us we will follow

The Gospel of John chap 1:1-5 audio

The Gospel of ohn 1: 6-13

Devotional Studies of John

                            The Gospel According to John Devotional Study by Raymond McGough

 

The Eternal Self Sustaining Word Who Is The Son Of God. John.1:1-5.

 

(1)   The apostle speaks of the beginning when the Word was but I believe he is asking me to look further back than that. John is thinking of a time when there was no time simply because the Word is timeless as the title to this section suggests.

                  At this moment my spirit within me is constricted because of my physical body. I am limited to what I can do because I can only be in the one place at the one time. I cannot be in two places at the same time. Impossible.

        However; before He became Incarnate the Word was everywhere .There was not a time when He did not exist. A fact that is beyond my understanding because I am made from the dust even although my soul has been reignited through God the Holy Spirit and I have been born again. My spirit has been rebirthed.

        This great evangelist John the apostle because that was one of his many gifts from the Lord wants me to think further than myself because who he is writing of is the greatest Person than there will ever be. He who made me. At one time stood outside of me. The gospel is all about the Word Jesus Christ and here John is speaking of his preincarnate state before I was born and everybody else including those who have died in the past and the decades that have gone on before He existed before.

            Jesus Christ the eternal Word Son of God from everlasting to everlasting in His radiant glorious glory that outshines the sun the moon the stars and the universe reigned with His Father God and God the Holy Spirit beyond the universe, time, space and history. After all He was the very one who placed them in position. How awesome! How incredible. What I see in front of me is something of gigantic cosmic proportions deeply profound beyond my tiny earthly intellect. He who made and rules the cosmos was now coming to make a cosmos change to the comos by coming in Person to the world I live in.

              The very Person of the Son of God He who made me was coming to save me and countless others who are my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. John writes these words so that God the Holy Spirit can draw my soul and spirit deeper into the very presence of the living God all praise and honour must come from my tongue my heart my strength and mind in exaltation of His glorious majestic radiant Personality who does this for me because of His love towards me which is undeserved and the rest of the saints only because He chooses to do so. Hallelujah!!

              I notice that John does not take credit for what he writes here because he does not mention his name the early church tradition accredits it to him. Nevertheless in this I see the humility of my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ who is also the Lord of John the apostle and evangelist who guides him in the writing of this account of the gospel.

            Talking about humility the greatest act of humility is the Son of God coming to the earth as a man and leaving his glory behind as one who is God absolutely breathe taking as it would have been for this great godly man.

             When John speaks of the Word as a title of my Lord in this account of the gospel he is thinking of his divine deity the preincarnate God before becoming a man. He is all that God the Father is being His Son. I must never lose sight of this. Being the Word Jesus Christ is the ultimate identity and expression of God His Father in heaven He is the very stamp and image of God the Father. He is the final Word to mankind those who looked upon Him as a man saw God the Father but did not see that because their eyes were veiled but not all of them. He is the utopia of all that I seek and desire from my Lord included all my brothers and sisters who are in Christ. Amen.

          When God spoke the universe into being and everything which that entails the Word was there with Him. Now God speaks through the living Word Jesus Christ His Son to all of humanity in the gospel as given to the apostle John. Jesus Christ is depicted here as the living Word and so that part of deity is exclusively His as the Word but it is not the full deity or the Godhead as it is known. He is known as the Word not all of the Godhead as the second Person of the trinity.

           I am using words to try to convey to my heart as well as my mind the absolute greatness of God without being proud and to stop pride from taking over my heart because then these words would become empty and meaningless to me. I want to know God so that I can become like Him. In order that I may please Him. The only way to do that is to study His word as I am doing with the help of God the Holy Spirit.

          Without God I would be nothing God is everything to me. He is the One who made me and that is precisely the point.

             John speaks of Jesus here in his position of deity as the Word preincarnate outside of the universe time and space. But in his first epistle he is the Word of God as a man and God. The very essence of the gospel. He is the gospel the good news of God the Father to mankind. Embodied in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth now the Christ. I find evidence for this in these words of John.cf.I Jn.1:1-2. ( That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-2 the life was manifested") God and man on earth but God concealed in human flesh that many human eyes will not see.

          Again my Lord is called the Word of God in John's Revelation from my Lord and his Lord in the last book of the Bible of the New Testament as the risen glorified exalted Lord. But that is after he had been on earth as a man and the gospel of John is first about Jesus being a man while he walked upon the earth. His title the Word of God is forever. Cf.Rev.19:13(.He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.) The Word will live forever. How astonishing and incredulous this is to me a totally awesome concept that is beyond my earthly reasoning to even begin to try  to understand and if I did He would not be God in the way He should be.

            I digress, at this moment the apostle John wants me to focus on the incredible glorious greatness of the Word who is the Son of God while He stands outside of the universe and eternity waiting to break in at the right time which had been planned before anything was. How can I as a human grasp the understanding of this which is way beyond earthly wisdom it is too great for me but I love my Lord and it is on His understanding I lean on. When I do that I will be all that He wants me to be in this life. Praise God my Lord. Hallelujah!!!

 

                    The evangelist draws my attention to something of vital importance to my spirit the point being God was with God. God the Word a designation for my Lord who is also Jesus Christ. He is not speaking of two gods John talks of one God. The Son was with the Father Here I see two individuals one a Son the other a Father but they are different to humanity because they are one God. Further on in his narrative of the gospel the author makes this point quite clear.cf.Jn.17:5. A valid central characteristic is made plain to me here that the Word who is the Christ was not only with His Father He had his own exclusive glory peculiarly his which he left behind for my sake. A great and mighty glory the Shekinah transcendent glory that was rightfully His A sobering thought my Lord came to earth in obedience to His Father.

                    Jesus Christ who is God the Son is described here as the Word is with God. He is standing or sitting with one who is God, standing or sitting are only human expressions to describe closeness of the Word who is God Jesus Christ to one who is also God. The Word using John's terminology is the Son of God who is in close conjunction with God who is his Father The Father looks to the Son and the Son looks to the Father both are peculiarly God exclusively in their own right and they enjoy harmony with one another as Father and Son with the third Person of the trinity although He is not mentioned by name nevertheless He is here as He has always been God the Holy Spirit enjoying love and sweet communion with the Son and the Father. He expects the same from me with my attitude of heart and mind towards my brothers and sisters who are in Christ and towards the lost. To love them as He loves me. 

                      Central to this passage in the evangelists heart and mental spiritual know how as gifted to him from the Holy Spirit is the fact that the Word Jesus Christ is the gateway into the very presence of God which includes Himself the Son of God. He is the Chief cutting edge of the salvation he is now ready to bring to those whom He had made from the very primitive beginning of mankind but they were not like that until after the fall. Man had been made in and through the Son of God in the image of God until they had fallen into sin. Now He was coming to save, rescue and restore them to his Father's side. I am indebted to God because He has done this for me because I could not do anything not even for myself it is all of God His love, compassion, mercy, and longsuffering towards me knows no end as this beginning of the prologue eloquently points out to my soul from the pen of the evangelist a servant of the Word who is God

          I should also say that God the Father is in agreement with His Son that He should come to earth in order to help mankind the Son was not commanded to go He volunteered because He is of the same substance of his Father and like Him loved man and continues to do so. Words escape me in order to describe what God means to me. He is everything as He was to the apostle John imprisoned on the Island of Patmos in his later years because of his obedience to the Lord. I want to be obedient just like he was. And more

(2) Unlike me the Word had no beginning He existed and exists and as the Son of God has always been with God His Father beyond eternity Do I understand this the answer is no not with my limited understanding as that of a man but to learn and know of Him who gave me my being I have to study his Word in Scripture so that I might come to know more of Him in my heart.

                I believe that the Word as God can be clearly seen in the Genesis account in the first book of the Old Covenant at chapter one and the first verse. Cf.Gen.1:1.John speaks of the Word as being God although He uses the past tense was that is only because He is coming into the world as a man relying on God the Holy Spirit to enable him to do all that God the Father looks for from him. He cannot use his own power that would mean he would not be truly man. But He is still God he has relinquished his power for a season. John writes of the Word as being God was God a description of my Lord and God Jesus Christ clearly indicating that when the author Moses declares in the first book of the Bible of the Old Testament.Gen.1:1 (In the beginning God.) My belief is that what Moses would have me understand with the help of God the Holy Spirit on his behalf and mine is the fact God the Father and God the Son is on view. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God. This being the case I can with confidence say the Father is God. God can only come from God. There is in a sense no earthly mind on view here it is all about God that is the subject matter not a dry as dust exercise because it is about the living God. Amen and Hallelujah!!!! The living God!!!! This is reinforced further down in the first chapter of Genesis at verse 26 when God says Let us make man in our own image. Plural and not singular and there are more references on the pages of the Old Testament that corroborates and give evidence to support what has been said here. Praise the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ for the authenticity of Holy Scripture that testifies to the one and only true holy triune God and not only that alone because his works can be seen everywhere

        (3) Not only have I been made through Him that is the Word Jesus Christ my Lord everything has and continues to be brought into existence through Him an on going process. Jesus my Lord is the person through who all things exist and are being brought into being. cf. (Col.1:16.17).Paul adds more to what John is saying here and as far as I am concerned just as valid Note through Him things have been made in heaven and on earth they are visible and invisible. They are thrones and Dominions, principalities or powers. They are all for Him. So that everything that was made good and evil was made first of all through him the origin of evil did not come from Him but that is how it ended and they will all come under him. A mighty awesome powerful divine power that has already being unleashed upon the world in and through God the Holy Spirit To add more weight to what he has already said John reiterates the point for good measure. (.Jn1:3 without Him nothing was made that was made.)Jesus Christ in His very being is God and nothing will distract from that the very essence of who He is in His matchless Character. The point being creativity belongs to God which has always been the case who made everything through his Son whom the writer of the fourth gospel describes as the Word otherwise known as Jesus Christ. It is also important to realize that this creativity will continue under the Godhead. I think of it in this fashion before the beginning God at the beginning God while in the process of beginning God after the initial beginning God from everlasting to everlasting continuing to be God. Present tense at all times applicable to God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit three different individual persons but one God. Who is my Lord and my God whom I can call my Father because of the work and person of my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ of which John will write of later on in this his narrative of the Gospel of Jesus Christ whom he describes as the Word in his prologue.

                What I find totally incredible is that in the first five verses of the prologue there is no mention of a mere mortal but God has chosen such to write this passage about Himself and the Word His Son Jesus Christ. He Himself could have wrote it but He chose someone whom He had chosen for His Son before the foundation of the created universe to do this because those whom He loves He has chosen to be a people of his Son and of Himself which He is the Father of .Love being the key.

          (4) The evangelist John the apostle describes the Word as being life and light. It is in the Word Jesus Christ that I find life and light. John is not only thinking of the ordinary physical life He breathes into me coupled with that the writer is thinking of the spiritual life he brings to me for those who have been reborn in the Spirit for eternity and this will unfold as I read on. I have not only a physical earthly life as I journey on because the Holy Spirit who is in me gives me a quality to my life that I would not have otherwise. He gives meaning to it. I possess this spiritual life only because it was given to me in and through the Word who is identified later on to be Jesus Christ and becau8se I trust Him as my Lord and God. It is a free gift of God his Father towards me. Jesus Christ his Son is the gift of grace to me. God's unmerited favour to the world of mankind it cannot be earned. The gift is His Son whom John describes as the Word and later on as Jesus of Nazareth and as the Christ who had come into the world.

                Life and light are strictly themes that John uses to depict the cardinal truths of    the importance of the work and Person of my Lord and Saviour the Word Jesus Christ. They are terms that belong only to this apostle in his usage of these expressions and meaning behind them as guided by God the Holy Spirit. I can see this in his very First Epistle.1Jn.5: 20. (And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.) However; at this moment John is still describing Him as the Word. He is now life and light to men. As described in the fourth gospel from the hand of John the apostle. I said earlier on what John meant life to mean as I understand it as guided by the Spirit of God. Now I turn my attention to what John means when he says that the Word is life and light to mankind. What does he exactly mean when he describes the Word as well as being life he is also light? Because He is the Eternal Life He is the Light to the souls of mankind that had been lost in the fall of mankind as described in the first three chapters of Genesis. The time had come to free them from darkness and only the Word can do this not only for me it is for the whole of mankind. The evangelist John speaks on the subject further on in the narrative. Jn.8:12 ( Then Jesus spoke to them again,saying,I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.) The eternal life that I have belongs to my risen Lord it is not exclusively mine it is also for the rest of his sheep who are still in the world who are at this moment in the world of the lost the light that shines in me will also shine in them because He knows who his sheep are and it is my responsibility to allow Him to guide me to them. So that they can know of His love for them as I know of His love for me.

          (5)The light will continue to shine forever He will not only shine in the brilliance of his own Person He will also shine through His own people as He does. The darkness will never overcome the light he will go on forever with his people in an incredible phenomenon of brilliance and light that will stretch over and diffuse the darkness for ever. All I can say is praise God that He should do this for mere mortals like me and could only be done by Him John quotes the Son of God Jesus Christ using these words and as I have said He is God my God.Jn.12:46.( I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness..)How great and wonderful is the love of God to me earthly words can never really describe the indescribable no wonder He says lean on my understanding and not your own. Not about knowledge it is about me knowing Him as a great and wonderful God who loves the whole of  His created order the universe, heaven and earth and the pinnacle of it all mankind. The great and glorious God full of majesty and truth from everlasting to everlasting omnipotent and omniscient the eternal God. Father. Son, and Holy Spirit the one triune God who loves the creativity of His hands.

 

John the Man from God    John.1:6-13.

 

(6) The man the apostle writes of here is none other than John the Baptist but that is what he would be known as later on what I believe the writer is pointing out is the fact this man would be born into the world just like other men in the sense he would come out of his mother's womb and he would be born into the world. The difference between him and other men is that he had been sent from God. Specially chosen for a very important task that had been foreordained before the foundations of all that there is.

       As far as the writer is concerned it is not as much as about the man but the task set before him who he is is not as relevant as the work that is set before him as one who is a man. He was conceived in and through God the Holy Spirit but still remained a man. The Holy Spirit would control his life the difference between him and other men.cf.Lk.1:13.15. The vital ingredient for successful victorious Christian living is to let the Holy Spirit control my life and enable me to live my life that pleases Jesus and his Father in heaven. A prerequisite for all my brothers and sisters in Christ.(7) Before he baptized anyone in water John's primary function was to witness and testify to the Light. that had already come into the world. Witness is about what someone has already seen with their own eyes, They saw it so they witnessed it. At this juncture John had not yet seen the Light. John while calling for repentance and baptizing in the river Jordan would declare to the crowds that the Light was coming so that when the Light finally came they would believe what John said , concerning Him.

           John is the herald of good news heralding in the King who is my Lord known to the crowds at that time as Jesus of Nazareth but who is Jesus Christ the Son of God. I believe then that you could call John the first evangelist of the New Testament or indeed of the Bible in its entirety. He is the messenger of the gospel of Jesus Christ the good news embodied in the Word who is Jesus Christ the Light that shines and continues to shine into the soul and has shone and shines in mine. John is not the Light he is a man sent by God the Father to tell the good news that He had sent His Son into the world and John was preparing the hearts of His people before His Son came amongst them as man concealing his identity as God in the flesh because of His mercy towards them anyone seeing God would be cosummed with fire because of their sin.

            The apostle is making the point that I should understand although John has been brought into the world for the very purposes of God nevertheless he is still man a special man in the eyes of God. But that diminishes after He has declared that the Light is coming although he still calls for the crowds to repent and be baptized in the Jordan River and that he is not that Light. Not that John is not important but against the Son of God it pales into total insignificance. He is a man the Light is God. John the Baptist would be elated in his spirit and soul to know God in the special relationship that he had with Him while here on earth he never forgot his place and why God had sent him and the message he was to convey to mankind. I remember John speaking of himself as the day of the Lord was drawing closer. I must decrease and he must increase. Depicted here in the words of John the Baptist and not just his words his actions too is the action of humbleness belonging to a great man of God beheaded by King Herod because he spoke out against the fact that he was sleeping with his brother's wife. He definitely knew himself to be man but more importantly God was the centre of his earthly life. A lesson on what I should be focused on..

      (8)John the apostle underlines the mission that God had given to John the Baptist he had been sent to testify and proclaim in word by mouth to the vast crowds who came out to the desert places in the wilderness to see him and hear what he had to say. He spoke to them about a Great Light that was soon to descend upon them the Lord Himself. I do not believe that any of them could envisage God's Son coming to the earth as a man because in their thinking that would mean two gods instead of one totally alien to the  religious thought of the day. They were right in the fact that God is one because theirs was a monotheistic religion but what they failed to realize was nothing is impossible for God

      If they had looked a little closer into the Old Testament Scriptures they would have seen that it referred to the plural and not the singular because they did not it made it very hard for them to understand such a concept even to this day and they are still trying to live by the rules of the law.

                      The prophet Isaiah predicted that a Great Light would come and shine upon those who walk in darkness and has already shone upon them and continues to shine. He it is who has given me eternal life not only for me but for others too. This is the Light that John the Baptist cries out too the crowds who had gathered around him. The plurality of Father and Son can be found in the Psalms. Pss.110: 1( The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.) Obviously there are not two Lords on view here only one Lord Although the text would suggest to the contrary. On the premises it does not directly speak of the numeral two There is no denying the plural but I believe it exists in God the Father being in His Son and his Son being in Him but separate as Father and Son Each of the same substance. The difficulty I believe is the fact that I am human and God is not and if I was to bring God down to my earthly rational mind He would cease to be God. An extreme view to those who do not know God. Particularly to those who do not want to know. But that is their choice no matter how bleak The Light is only for them who will accept Him for who He is the Son of God.

(9)  The true Light that comes from God is for me and the whole of mankind.. What they do with it is their responsibility I know I have accepted into my heart even though there are those who will reject the true Light .It is their responsibility, not mine. The true Light which is Jesus Christ my Lord gives light to every man that comes into the world as He has done with me. There are no exceptions all are given the light. The proof of this is once again found in the book of Isaiah the prophet of the Old Covenant. Regarding this very important benefit towards mankind including me because I am part of mankind. God had this to say to the prophet Isaiah speaking of God the Son he said this.Isa.49:6.( I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, That  You should be My  salvation to the ends of the earth.) I am a Gentile who has tasted the salvation of the Lord and I still taste it.             

      (10) From a mighty statement  concerning the true Light and who He is the writer casts me down into the very depths of darkness that which is not light.. To know the true Light is to accept Him from knowledge that comes to the heart from the true Light Himself and I have accepted the knowledge from Him. The darkness that I speak of is not mine but that of the world and how it reacts towards its maker in a total irrational manner complete in its danger towards itself almost touching the self destruct button. Man has chosen to ignore the One who has made them and by making that choice does not know Him. It is the same to day men and women have the choice to either choose God or reject Him I had the same choice to either accept his call on my life or reject it and am I glad I accepted. The choice is there for me all of the time to serve Him wherever He would send me.

       (11) I am a Gentile Christian but it was to His own people that the Word Jesus Christ came to first .He was born as a Palestinian Jew and it was to the Jews He arrived  when He was born into this world. The extraordinary circumstances of his birth were that his own people did not receive Him as Lord. Yet that is what He is. I will never know how grieved and sad that He and His Father must have been at this time to see this happen and continue to happen. From my human point of view is the fact  that He and his Father knew from the beginning that this is what would happen and in my finite wisdom I will never understand with my limited earthly view. It is enough as long as God  gives breathe to mankind He and only He can change them into accepting the gospel of His Son Jesus Christ.Hallelujah!!It was nothing to do with me when the Holy Spirit changed my course and He can do it for others.

       (12) Received refers to them who have accepted God's gracious invitation to receive His Son Jesus Christ as Lord as I have done and  because of this act towards God not because of anything in me I have become a child of God the Father. I like many others have not seen Jesus Christ in the flesh but because I have believed in his name and He is my Lord I am a child of God the Father. I have been given that right and authority because it is the authority of Jesus Christ my Lord. The great apostle Paul had this to say on this very important subject which is for the whole of the human race Jews and Gentiles Jews first and then Gentiles.Gal.3:26.( For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.) The whole thing is centred in God comes from God seen in His Son Jesus Christ my Lord and God the Holy Spirit. Saved and unsaved like it or not God is interested in His world. Which leads me to a fitting conclusion for this section.

      (13) I have  been born again not of blood not again by the will of the flesh becoming an earthly baby not because of the will of man but because it is the sovereign will of God my Father in heaven that I should be spiritually reborn again simply because He loves me. There are no other words that can describe this they can only be found in the Lord. On this the apostle Peter said, 1,Pet.1:23,(.having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.)


 

                              The Word becomes a human being as a man 1:14-18.

 

(14) God the Son now becomes a man. My mind finds this a very difficult and complex idea because I am a mere mortal with limited understanding, that, does not mean I do not accept it as being true because I do Jesus Christ is my Lord. It is awesome the gap between my earthly mind and the mind of one who is God because nothing can bridge the chasm between the uncreated mind and the made mental faculty. He is God and will always be God. To become a man Jesus had to become flesh. The substance of the human body literally like me but without sin. The Son of God had now become incarnate in the body of a man, how am I to respond to such wonderful news because it is indeed wonderful in fact it is totally over whelming to my mind body and soul and my response should be is to love him with the whole of my life. The apostle Paul corroborates what John is speaking on here, Gal.4:4 Jesus Christ is truly a real physical human male. A man. (But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,) Is it so unbelievable that He who made me could not become a man Himself when it would suit the divine purpose of the Godhead as now I know it did and He became man for my sake with one noticeable difference with out sin. Is there anything impossible for God? All things are possible with God but not with men.

         Jesus the Son of God lived among us as a man. John is looking back on my Lord's early life from the time of his earthly birth. He is baffled by the fact that he came into the world as an ordinary man which of course he was not The Psalmist speaks of himself as being fearfully and wonderfully made how much more does that apply to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the agent through whom all things are made and continues to be Who Himself was not made but continues to be God and now man.

       It is as if I was walking in Galilee, perhaps talking to a couple of strangers and Jesus would pass by me and I would not notice. The Son of God walking by me veiled in human flesh. Very possible because thousands walked by him and failed to recognize who he was. My God the Lord Jesus Christ walking with the crowds as a man. He who is God had relinquished His powers as God for the season when he would be man. He would have no power of his own Jesus would have to rely on God the Holy Spirit to enable him to live a life of obedience to His Father in heaven.

       Jesus chose to live and dwell with us for a time as a man but still God with out his awesome power. I am perplexed with this because my finite mind which was made through the very one I speak of is not capable of understanding such a concept it is indeed too great for me as an ordinary mortal. But my spirit leaps for joy because of the love He gives out to me. I too must love him with the whole of my life and all my being until He calls me home as He will. Praise God.

       However; there were those who saw his glory and John was one of them he uses the plural, we. There was more than one of them. Beheld, means a continuing presence. God's glorious presence is always there I do not always feel it because if there is something that is unconfessed in me then I certainly will not know of his divine presence until I have put that right. I need to desire his presence because God is always after me but He wants me to pursue Him so that He knows of my serious intent towards Him.

       The glory that is being spoken of here is more than earthly glory. After its initial appearance it fades but not this glory. Isaiah the prophet had this to say on the glory of the Lord as revealed to him and prophesied through him for a later day that day I am now in. Isa.40:5. (The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the Mouth of the Lord has spoken.) Strongs 1391 gives a superb illustration of this. The NT doxa becomes splendor, radiance, and majesty centred in Jesus. Here doxa is the majestic, absolute perfection residing in Christ evidenenced by the miracles he performed and I would like to add a footnote to Strongs comments not only that. This was seen in the method of his birth conceived in and through God the Holy Spirit The angel of the Lord glorified the Lord when He spoke to the shepherds speaking to them and informing them that the Lord had now been born in Bethlehem as a male child. He would be the Saviour of the world who is Christ the Lord. I notice the term used is the present tense. My Saviour and Lord the Lord Jesus Christ is always with me. He is Christ the Lord and there is no other Lord. All of the writers of the New Testament testify and agree to this, corroborate, and concur together putting their weight behind this mighty and glorious declaration the fact that Jesus who was known for a while as a Nazarene is in His true identity the Saviour Christ the Lord. I wholeheartedly agree and say, Amen.

        The only begotten of the Father.I ask myself what does this mean? Only suggests to me there can only be one .Jesus Christ is exclusively the Son of God. There are no other sons. He and His Father God are of the same substance and though He is not mentioned here so too God the Holy Spirit. As a Son in His substance the exclusiveness belongs to the Word who is Jesus Christ my Lord. Nobody else has the same substance of God certainly not human flesh although there are those indirectly would like to think so particularly scholars and theologians who set themselves the target to discredit God. In their eyes they may not think of themselves as gods but they act as if they were. Of course they are entitled to their views just as I am.

        Conclusively in my belief the Word the Son of God Jesus Christ the Lord who is my God is of the same substance of His Father God as too is God the Holy Spirit and there is none other of the same substance three individuals one God .Hallelujah!!! John concludes the verse by ascribing to the Word Incarnate Jesus Christ grace and truth The Word is full of grace and truth. Jesus has in abundance in his character these vital necessities as the Son of God because He is going to give them to the whole world and I am part of the world whom he has given it too. Grace as I believe in the Bible context means the giving of one self with out thinking of a reward. The grace I have received from God is in his Son Jesus Christ I do not warrant his favour and mercy that which has been extended to me through the Son of God. I cannot earn it. I am unworthy of it and undeserving of it.

     This is the unmerited favour of God towards me as made visible in His Son Jesus Christ which I have gladly accepted and continue to do so always remembering that it is about the Son of God my Lord. This is the grace in which He has in full abundance and extends it to others but the passage is all about the Word becoming Incarnate Jesus Christ my Lord Grace belongs to Him.

                Quote: The grace of God is supremely revealed and given in the person and work of Jesus Christ.Jesus was not only the beneficiary of God's grace (Lk.2:40.) but he was also its very embodiment (Jn.1:14.) bringing it to mankind for salvation (Tit: 2.11). By his death and resurrection. Jesus restored broken fellowship between God and his people, both Jew and Gentile. The only way of salvation for any person is through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Acts.15:11.) The Hayford Bible Handbook p632.End of Quote.

     The clause speaks of grace and truth the truth is about who God is in Jesus Christ His grace unfolds before me every day and I want to know more of his truth who He is as God. My God. I find the evidence and substance of his truth as one who is God the Son my Lord later on in John's account of the gospel of Jesus Christ The apostle records these words spoken by Jesus to a question asked of him by Thomas in one of his post resurrection appearances. Jn.14:6. (I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.) And if I needed further proof which I do not all I need to do is look at the last conversation between my Lord and Pilate on earth.Jn.18:37. (Pilate therefore said to Him, "Are you a king?"  thenJesus answered, "You say rightly that I am a King. For this cause I was born and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.  Absolute truth of God in God the Son."

(15)         John who is the voice in the wilderness and not John the apostle now is speaking or addressing the crowds who had come out to hear what he had to say. Speaking of the birth of Christ as a man the Baptist testifies or witnesses to the fact that the one he is addressing them of is already here. John the Baptist is the Herald declaring the coming of the Lord. I have no idea of how John the Baptist felt or thought but He must have known he had been chosen by God for this very special honour to announce the coming of God's Son like a voice crying in the wilderness the term I believe would be shouting .Shouting with a loud voice enabled to do so with God the Holy Spirit like the prophets of the Old Testament John the voice in the wilderness had been filled with the Holy Spirit from his birth nevertheless it did not make him any less remarkable. A remarkable man. Because of the fact that God shone through all that he did including his weakness. The weakness I refer to is when he had been imprisoned by Herod he sent a few of his followers to ask Jesus if He was the One the Messiah. 

               Very easy to be critical when you are not in the brother or sister's shoes. I am not going to be critical it's the easiest thing for me to do. What I would say is that I am of the flesh and I can do nothing without the help of God the Holy Spirit and when I criticize a brother or sister let God convict me and discipline me into true repentance.

                 Taking the necessary action that He would have me take best of all let Him who is my merciful God guard my tongue and heart.

                  John knows he is the King's messenger and he makes it quite clear to the crowds that had gathered about him who he is the one God had sent before the coming of His Son to prepare and soften the hearts of God�s people in order that they would receive the Lord.

                It is not the ministries or whether I am a Leader that matters it is how my heart is before the Lord .John the Baptist is a great illustration of humility he is happy to stand aside because the one whom he stands aside for is my Lord and his Lord

                A few years back I was put to the test as we all are when  I had been preaching and teaching in a former church and the theme I had expounded on what was more important in my heart the gifts that He had given to me or anything else  I had put before him.

               One of my son's who had graduated from Strathclyde University. A few years later suffered a nervous breakdown, not that I am alone in this. All of us are tested to see what our faith consists of what kind of substance it is made of .Do I really truly believe in the supernatural power of my Lord or is it lip service? God was looking into my heart

               A week later my Lord said to me that my work was finished in that church I phoned my pastor and informed him of what the Lord had said to me and that I was leaving and at that time I and my wife had no clear indication of where we would be worshipping. Difficult and hard very much so for both us but God looks upon the heart and in this case ours more specifically mine and there were changes that had to be done that only my Lord can do Radical revolutionary changes that only He could do but I had to be obedient and agree to do what He had in mind for me. Changes that are on going. To help me to grow and mature spiritually less of me and more of Christ.

             As soon as the Lord spoke to me and after I had spoken to Irene my wife I immediately phoned him and he asked me to come the following week so that my Irene and I  would have a valedictory service There were quite a number who did not us to leave but we pointed out that God had something else in mind for Irene and I to do my pastor was a little upset but after a little time he and I have been reconciled together through the working of God the Holy Spirit  we are friends once again as well as brothers in Christ and we keep in close contact some times going out together for a coffee.

          He can see the difference that God the Holy Spirit is making in me and remarked on how glad he is to see God�s change in me and my prayer is that it will continue

           Nobody can live my faith for me that is my responsibility towards my Saviour my God and my Lord Jesus Christ.

            John the Baptist would not have been John the Baptist had he not been obedient to the voice of God the Holy Spirit within him. There is no such thing as a passive Christianity. My God Jesus Christ came to earth in obedience to His Father in heaven and went and died, nailed to a wooden cross, and was raised by His Father. No passiveness there Actions and words together in my obedience to my Lord clearly indicate to the world at large that my God is very much alive.

I see this in the life of John the Baptist importantly the apostle only calls him by his first name in the text. He is John

Who with the heavy weight of his words directs my heart and mind to He who is the most important of all. The Son of God Jesus Christ is now set to appear on the scene as a man but underneath his skin He is God. My God. Not only my God the God of all my brothers and sisters in the Lord His people.

I note the voice in the wilderness who is John speaks to the crowd giving them an indirect clue to the true identity of the man he is representing but regretfully they miss it.

He comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me After and before me. You cannot be before when you come afterwards physically impossible for human kind. I look at the words preferred before; a clear indication that the man who would soon be standing before them is more than a man.. Before he became a man Jesus as the Son of God which He still is was omnipresent in other words He was everywhere but now He is limited because His Spirit is imprisoned inside His physical body and at the time could only be in the one  place at any given time

               Is it any wonder that God says to me in His still small voice lean not on your own understanding and lean on mine. I can also find it in the Word of God the book of Proverbs of the Old Testament. Pr.3:5. These things are too wonderful for my human wisdom but I praise God not only because He loves me for the fact of who He is. The great and mighty God full of holiness and righteousness who continues to love me and His world full of honour, majesty, and glory the one triune God .Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Let every man, woman, and child bow  of every nation before Him in the acceptable year of grace because He as God loves them. Before it is too late, that is why He sent His Son my Saviour and Lord the risen Christ.

(16) I have received everything from God through His Son my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ receiving that which I am undeserving of and not getting that which I deserve

        Grace is the unmerited favour of God released to me in the faith I have in Jesus Christ as my Lord and God provided to me in and through God the Father through God the Holy Spirit working in me the Spirit of Christ. Christ my Lord is the unmerited favour of God with unlimitless supply He Himself embodies  fully the benefits of unmerited favour His grace as He dispenses these benefits to His people.

 (17) In the Old Testament God gave the law to Moses to take down the mountain to His people but as I know from reading the Old Testament nobody could keep it and no one tried. It ended up being a ritual and a religious ceremony with no real meaning to the heart. I certainly cannot keep the law but because I have accepted the unmerited favour of my risen Lord God's Son Jesus Christ and His Love and the fact I love Him He will enable and help me with God the Holy Spirit to serve Him. Jesus Christ is the gift of God the Father's unmerited favour. He is that divine unmerited favour at this point in the flesh and always..

 (18) The only person to have seen who God the Father is. Is his Son who lies upon His chest He has seen Him and declares it to the world

          Only God the Son can do this both equal in deity with the third Person of the Godhead. God the Holy Spirit. Each of the same substance the one triune God

          Magnificent and glorious to Behold." Holy Holy Holy  Lord God Almighty, All the saints adore thee.God in three Persons. Blessed  Trinity, "

 

A voice thunders out in the wilderness Jn.1:19-28

A voice thunders out in the wilderness Jn.1:19-28

(19) Previously in the chapter the apostle had spoken of a man that had been sent from God. He like my risen Lord had been born in and through God the Holy Spirit. The difference although sent from God was a man. My Lord was and is both God and man. John was a man

       Zacharias’s son was sent from God to tell the people that God’s Son the Messiah was coming and they were to prepare their hearts for his arrival

         From an early age as soon as Zacharias’s son John was able too he grew up in the desert not a normal habitation to grow up in but this he did under the Lord’s guidance cf.Luke.1:80.

        My own belief is that John would have learnt all that he would have needed to know from his father Zacharias because he belonged to the priesthood of the Jewish religion. The Holy Spirit would have done the rest.

        Luke provided the evidence of the fact that John the Baptist grew up in the desert from his childhood days until it was time for the Lord to show him to his people Israel.

         This would explain why the authorities of the day would have no notification of what they believed to be the proper credentials that would allow the son of Zacharias to do what he was doing

          Human wisdom can be so often the obstacle that stops God from using someone but not in the case of John that was not allowed to happen.

          My own mind intellect, and thought patterns have to some degree conditioned by the wisdom of this world it would be foolish to think otherwise.

          Obviously John had been preaching in the desert and the peoples of the region had gone out to listen to what he had to say.

           The Jews had now got hold of the rumours of what the people had said concerning John and they I believe were angry with him. That he should have done this without any formal training or any kind of religious education under their authority

           It had not crossed their minds the fact that God’s choice was not influenced by what they thought and did.

 

           God is not influenced by anyone because He is God I continue to learn this. A sobering and sombre thought. The flesh is always carnal a fact I keep on learning.

            The question they ask of John is of a closed mind because they feel and think that he really should not be doing what he is active in. No formal training who does he think he is? An upstart. They had forgotten it is God who equips the people of his choice not theirs so too it was the same for John.

            When they said to John who are you? I believe there would have been a derisory tone too their voices.

             John would hear and see this and he being full of the Holy Spirit would give them the answer they least expected.

             The apostle speaks of the testimony of John because later on in the author’s narrative Jesus would speak of it.

             The voice that thundered in the desert cofesses to them I am not the Christ

I do not believe they asked the question openly but they thought it and John perceived what they were thinking of. (20)

(21) They still fail to recognize who he is by stating who they think he is an a assumption based upon their own ideas and interpretation of the law and the prophets. I see this in the questions they ask of him are you Elijah or the prophet.

         What is uppermost in their minds is that the law and the prophetic word spoke of the coming of Elijah and then the prophet. It failed to dawn upon them that the voice in the wilderness would be that of a man chosen of God Here he stands before them incredible that they as priests and Levites who studied the law and the word of prophecy failed to grasp and understand what was happening in the midst of them.

 (22) I have no idea how they missed the point that John was making to them depending on what they had studied and their understanding of their own interpretation or even if they had studied the scripture that John tells them that he is the fulfillment of in the next verse. Certainly comes accros as being very rude and ignorant to the extreme the priests and the Levites give the impression that they know it all and John is doing this on his own accord nothing could be further from the truth.

           I can feel and hear their derision in the questions they ask of John in a sarcastic manner because they did not expect him to answer them but he did much to their chagrin and surprise they want to get the matter finished and concluded that will satisfy them and the Pharisees.

(23) The priests and Levites want to put this to bed once and for all but for those supposedly to know all that was known of the law and the prophets at that time they did not seem to know very much. Much to their irritation and annoyance and not knowing certain scriptures of the Old Testament they found themselves at a great disadvantage in their conversation with John. I t was an uncomfortable time for them especially in front of the crowds who had gathered together .Presumed and assumed

 to their cost that it would be easy to deal with this fellow in the desert

    Again they seemed not to understand what John was saying of himself to them as being the embodiment and fulfillment of the prophecy spoken of him by the prophet Isaiah. It would seem they did not know of the passage that John quoted to them or they lacked the understanding of it.

      Cf. Isa.40:3(The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.)

             I believe that the religious leaders of the Baptist’s day had limited their interpretation to an earthly understanding including the priests and the Levites the idea behind the thinking was that the Lord would come and throw out their oppressors the Romans and restore their lands to them. So John and the priests and the Levites would always be talking at cross purposes. They failed to understand because they could only think and speak of an earthly kingdom. The voice if they could only but see was pointing them to a spiritual and heavenly kingdom here now and eternity

            Many many peoples of the earth fail to recognize this to day and are hurling to a lost eternity as was the priests, the Levites, and Pharisees.

 (24) John the apostle identifies the Jews from which the priests and the Levites had been sent from as the Pharisees

(25) The priests and Levites now realized that they were not going to stop John from fulfilling the purpose of the task that God had set before him. Had they listened to the voice of the wilderness who was indeed John the Baptist they would have repented of their sin and accepted Christ as their Saviour and Lord but they did not but chose the way of destruction. Men and women of high office religious or otherwise who do not repent of their sin including the most lowly working or not follow the same path to destruction in this list there are kings queens rulers prime ministers presidents and politicians. As there was then.

               They now commit a very grave error God’s judgment is now upon them because  they blasphemed against the Holy Spirit who is working in the voice and life of John the son of Zacharias the priest. This can be seen in the fact that they question John about who authorized him to baptize. To ask if he was the Christ Elijah or the prophet was just a smoke screen to stop him from doing the Lord’s work. John had already discerned this

in his spirit as revealed to him by the Spirit of God and his next words show they had indeed stepped into the abyss with their souls to go and belong to the devil. Their words and actions towards John illustrate the devil’s handiwork in their lives. Because if they do not know Christ they must know somebody and that could only be the devil

              I would like you to read the passage carefully and note that it is with their own determination and will they the priests and Levites decide on the course of action that they themselves have taken the choice was there for them to decide on and what they would say it was not forced upon them. Jesus Christ never forces himself on anyone who does not want him. You either accept the love of God the Son and make him your Saviour and Lord who is Jesus the Christ as I have done or reject him there are no half measures. God knows the hearts of men are exceedingly wicked He should know because He made all of us.He knows my heart and he knows yours he knows whether you have decided for or against Him.Before I decided anything He already knew. God knew what was in the hearts of those who questioned John and through John’s voice finds them guilty sentenced them and condemned them to hell as He does with all who blaspheme against the Holy Spirit

(26) My own belief and understanding of this as helped by God the Holy Spirit seen in the words of John addressed to his accusers whom he turns round and accuses them of not knowing God. I believe that John is not only speaking of God the Son although that is who he is speaking of directly he also means God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. You cannot know God the Father without knowing God the Son therefore they did not know God..

(27) The voice in the wilderness John the Baptist son of the priest Zacharias gives a great example of how my heart should be before God. Before any man the Son of God everything else of the created order came afterwards that is why John speaks of him as being preferred before me because he was before me. Before I was brought into existence God the Son In another translation speaking of Christ the Son of God John is quoted as saying ranked higher than I. I am not worthy to untie his shoes He is God and I am a man made by his hands and so too am I

        I am a man a human being mortal flesh with a spirit and a soul my belief is that this is John’s point without God I am nothing and can do nothing without God’s help and this I get in and through His Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ because He has chosen me because He loves me and for no other reason and I love Him and I pray that the Spirit of the living God would help me to love and serve my Lord with all of my heart in showing and giving this love to others.

    (28)John’s accusers left him to continue the work of the Lord but their exit from the scene is one with regret because they refused to acknowledge the Lordship of his Son Jesus Christ and it is not God’s will that any should perish. Man has a choice and many will make the wrong one based on their own intellect and worldly wisdom there will be those who make the right choice. God bless them.

The gospel according to John The Word who is the Son of God and the Lamb of God. Jn.1:29-34

The gospel according to John

 The Word who is the Son of God and the Lamb of God. Jn.1:29-34

 

(29)   There is only one person that can deal with my sin and others who are my brothers and sisters in Christ as well as the sin of the whole world.

          Sin cannot be tolerated by God in any shape or form you and I have sinned against God but I focus and concentrate on what God would say to me on this very important issue  and challenge of how I react and  what I do in regard to this.

            I make no mistake on how God viewed me in regard to sin before He in His mercy and forbearance towards me chose me in and through His Son Jesus Christ to be born again not because I deserved any of it  only because He loved me and loves me

            So how did God view sin in me? However; God the Holy Spirit is now dealing with the flesh that still lingers in me and I will not arrive until I am in heaven I digress

            To get back to the time I did not know God in a proper sense before I was born again.

              Sin comes from the Greek word hamartia meaning I have missed the mark. I have failed. I have committed an offense against God I deliberately took the wrong course and I knew I was doing wrong.

               When Adam sinned and rebelled against God genetically I inherited his sin in the same manner as others have. I was cursed with Adam and my future would have been on course for the pit of hell, fire and sulpher, endless agony and torment.

                 There are those who will decide against God and this will be their end but that is their choice all of us are free voluntary moral agents to choose what path we will take the choice lies before us I say this because not everyone will accept the Lamb of God as the door into heaven infact some will say there is no God. I do not decide who goes into heaven and who does not God makes that decision. Enough to say that sin is enmity towards God and His anger will always be directed against it.

                 This is how God saw my sin before He graciously showed mercy and compassion towards me in and through His Son Jesus Christ His only begotten whom He gave up for me that is how grieved He feels towards my sin. The only other alternative is too horrific to even think of to die and sacrifice myself would not achieve anything because my blood would still be unclean and I would still be heading towards the pit.

                  John the Baptist speaks to those beside him and in his words lies the solution to the sin of mankind everywhere including me past present and future. The voice of the wilderness sees Jesus coming towards him there is no doubt in his voice as he describes Jesus as the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world.

                Lamb signifies a young sheep.In the Old Testament lambs were sacrificed in order that the people of Israel would cleansed of their sins by the blood of the lambs but it was a repetitive act that would be repeated at the time and place as required by God's law

               The problem is it never changed the hearts of God's people and how He wanted them to live. A few did most of them did not. It was by large ineffectual. How would I have been at that time I have no idea. But God chose me for this time.

                 Sin is always here it was no different in the times of the Levitical Priesthood

cf Lev.4:3.Simply because he was human the anointed priest could commit sin at any time even before he officiated over the blood sacrifice for God's people to cleans them from sin. He could then pass his sin onto others but God had provided a means to stop him from doing this he is to offer a young bull without blemish as a sacrifice for his own sin If a ritual could stop evil from coming into my heart and mind that would be great and there would have been no need for God�s Son to have sacrificed Himself to the death upon a cross but as I know that was not the case

      Most of the religious leaders including the people of God used these ordinations laid down by God to absolve themselves from wrongdoing and carry on from were they had left off not what God had intended. God knew their hearts as He knows mine.

          What I learn from this is just how serious God views personal sin and the reason why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for me and the whole world He was made the scapegoat for the whole world. Cf.Lev.16:8 From this I can see how deep God's love is for me but I as a mortal will never plunge to the ends of the depths of this love nor the lengths of it nor soar to the ends of the heights of it all I ask is that He draws me close every day that I walk with him on my life's journey and be ever grateful to Him for his love and the gift of his Son Jesus Christ made available to me and my responsibility is to Him who is the Lamb of God my Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ the gloriously resurrected One.

               I cannot say enough about the One who died for me rose again and set me free from my sin. The apostle Peter explains it superbly in his words. Cf.1.Pet.2:24 "..who himself bore our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness-by whose stripes you were healed, I was healed!"

        (30) Again John the Baptist repeats to the crowd what he has already said to them in the previous verses before our immediate passage with more detail. "After me comes a man who is preferred before me, for he was before me. Preferred means as I have said ranked higher than me. John the voice to distinguish him from the apostle John is now speaking of the Son of God as a man.It could be that what the Baptist is thinking of here is my Lord's sinless character as a man I am quite sure that is exactly how the wilderness voice sees Him and wants me to see him exactly as that. The man with no sin                                                                                                                                 

             Interestingly how the Baptist uses the expression before me twice in the same verse. What is it that God would have me understand in the interpretation of the said phrase? John the apostle would have good reason to include this in his narrative of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe in some sense it alludes to the glory and the greatness of my risen Lord before becoming a man as the Son of God in all His glorious Shekinah glory in majestic splendour which has always been his who for my sake in this part of history left it for a season.

(31)The messenger John speaking of the Son of God acknowledges that he did not know him as a man nor knew him intimately as the Son of God which is impossible anyway because he is man and the Son of God is God. John knew God in a limited way and was closest to him than any other person mentioned in the New Testament other wise he would not have been able to accomplish the mission that God had sent him on. God only reveals so much of Himself to me because He is God and is sovereign over all and there will always be that deep mystery that He covers Himself with. The unknowable that belongs to Him and the second and third person of the trinity. How would He be God otherwise? He is knowable in as much He allows Himself to be known of to me in and through His Son Jesus Christ my Lord and God as He reveals Himself to me through the still small voice of God the Holy Spirit

(31) The voice in the wilderness John the messenger speaks of what has been revealed to him that the Lord would be revealed to Israel he had come baptizing with water symbolizing the fact that the Messiah would come baptizing with the power of the Holy Spirit which I and others have been baptized with.

      John's baptism of water was just a mere outward confessional ritual of repentance of ones sins it had no power to make change in a persons life only God the Holy Spirit can do that. But it is a very important symbol and a public confession of Christ's Lordship over our lives. I went through the waters of baptism when I was eighteen to make an outward confession of my new life in Christ.

(32) John speaks and declares to the crowds what he saw he saw God the Holy Spirit descend from heaven like a dove and enter and remain on Jesus Christ my Lord

(33)At this juncture God speaks to John the Baptist and informs him that it is only His Son that can baptize with the Holy Spirit and I have too keep asking Him to fill me with His Spirit to enable me to live a victorious Christ like life the only way to overcome the world I live in.

(34) Again he declares to the crowds that he has seen and testifies that he has seen the Son of God who listened and acted in the right response as expected from God I do not know not at this point in time but what is important is it was declared to the crowds.                                                                

 

 

 

The first two disciples of Jesus Andrew and John Jn.1:35-42.

                   

                            

 

(35) John the Baptist had his own followers until they met the Messiah Jesus of Nazareth the Christ. Obviously there were more but it is Andrew and John who are mentioned here.Andrew and John are disciples of John They had listened to what John had to say about the coming Messiah because that is who Jesus is and had entered into agreement with him. I believe they went through all John had commanded of them including the baptism John performed over them in the river Jordan So their hearts are ready for the coming King. Both had now started out on the journey as well as could be expected but more important is to finish the race

(36)The ability of John to know his place before God the Father as being a man a great man but you never see him claiming that for himself. His humility is not spoken of but I can see it in his every word and action he does not clamor for recognition he is the one who will point the way to the Messiah the Son of God and the apostle John writes of this in this text. The Baptist while standing with his disciples was looking at Jesus while He was walking and spoke "Behold the Lamb of God" In all I do and say must match my commitment to my Lord and Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ sometimes it does not because I take my eyes of the Lord

         Andrew and John left a very lucrative life style as fishermen perhaps not so lucrative but they were able to make a living. Now as I see in the next verse they left everything to follow Jesus. But the point I believe the apostle John is making in this verse is I have to take my eyes off of myself as John the Baptist had done and put myself totally at the disposal of my risen Lord and God Jesus Christ and give Him all the glory for what He does through me because in myself I can do nothing. To be a true disciple of Jesus Christ is very costly in fact I would say it is a different life style instead of looking to my values as I once did influenced by the world I live in I now look to my Lord so I will know the path He would have me trod on. Not easy but this is what Andrew and John did even although they knew the religious leaders of their day was set against Him as they would be against them and it is the same for me to day. True Christianity is actually harder to live than conforming to the world I live in and the genuine mark of every authentic disciple of my Saviour Jesus Christ. I have heard it said that Christianity does attract thousands but not all for the right reasons and I can see this right across the globe and as I read through the Gospel of John it was prevalent then too. However what has struck me in the previous passages I have studied including the last two verses is the humility of John the Baptist known as the voice in the wilderness what a great lesson for me. The forerunner of the King and his messenger to the world as a man depicts a humble heart and attitude towards His Messiah my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ the very same that is expected of me..

(37) Andrew and John heard what John said about Jesus the second time as he was walking and they were standing. There was an immediate effect because they began to follow Jesus

 I have no idea whether they knew who Jesus was even although they had heard everything that John the Baptist had said about Jesus being the Lamb of God who had come to take away the sin of the world but they both had some kind of grasp of it Seeing Jesus in person the two of them followed him I believe Jesus possessed a magnetic personality he drew people too him. A vitality of life that just shone out of his humanity towards others. I in hindsight can see what they did not see God in human flesh radiating his own Shekinah glory in front of all men but what radiated from him drew these men to himself. The same thrill and experience of becoming sheep of the Lamb is available to others come and learn of him when he says I am the good shepherd come and learn of me. As I have done.

(38) Now Jesus who can discern what thoughts a man has in his heart knows that there are two men following behind him and he probably knows what they are thinking of... I should know that Jesus knows what I am going to do before I do it because He is God and He loves me and has only the best intentions towards me how he must feel when I do something and do not consult him and fall into error.

         Perhaps Andrew and John should have spoken to Jesus instead of just following Him without introducing themselves it would have been the right thing to do. Jesus had not spoken to them and John the Baptist certainly had not spoken to him on their behalf

         Jesus knew just how hard and difficult it was going to be for his disciples but they did not know how difficult and hard it was going to be for them. No one can truly serve God without the help of the Holy Spirit without His help it is totally impossible these two men were not aware of that at that time but Jesus was. The question he asks of them is a question He continues to ask me. "What do you seek? Is it what I can do for you or have you come to serve me? "At this juncture Andrew and John completely miss the point because they do not answer Him and instead they ask a question both of them address Jesus by replying to him and calling him Rabbi and asking if he had a place to stay.

         I believe they were stunned when Jesus turned round and questioned them probably thought we will wait for some quiet spot and then speak to Him. He took them by surprise He just does that. My Lord is always one step ahead of me and when I think I have it sussed He says no Raymond I want you to do this. It was the same with these men Jesus was speaking his authority over them you will through time recognize my Lordship over you. You call me Rabbi but I am more than that and the time will come when you will know-How wonderfully patient and compassionate Jesus is too these two men and he loves them that is clear to see. Full of mercy, compassion, and love for the whole world.

(39) The Religious Leaders of the day would not have even spoken to them the Pharisees and the Sadducees made up of scribes priests and lawyers. They were too holy in their own eyes not to be contaminated by the crowds touching them the poor and the ignorant they must have committed sin for that too befall them. I believe there are misguided Christians who believe the same as the Pharisees and the Sadducees because they have been born again they believe mistakenly that they are a cut above the common people who do not know Christ and if in church office some of them believe that they are better than their brethren and Lord it over them why did John the apostle who is writing an account of the gospel of my Lord in his first letter to the first century Christians warning them to be on guard because in the latter days wolves will come into the flock disguised as sheep then and it is my responsibility and my brothers and sisters to recognize this when it rears its ugly head as it will. You can do all that you need to do go through the motions as everyone expects you too and look like a very godly man preach and teach what is true and acceptable and God the Holy Spirit will help you to do that because it is applicable to everyone but He knew I was not applying it to me. I have heard it said that once you become a Christian and you come from a working class background you can end up being middle classed and categorized as that when you stay that way thinking that you know best. Something that can happen and does when you graduate from a Bible College as I have done. Not everyone falls into that pit but I did but praise God He rescued me from myself and I have being doing street evangelism under the direction of God the Holy Spirit and what a difference He makes. Sadly and unfortunately many churches try to do the work of God without the leading of God the Holy Spirit and regretfully they look to human self sufficiency and that breeds contempt in them without them realizing it.

   You are given a position in the body of Christ because of your status in the secular world not because you are any more spiritual than your brothers and sisters I know this because I have experienced it. It does not mean that you cannot be successful in the world and spiritually too. It is the means taken to achieve your success.

     I was a worker in a factory from the age of eighteen and I was employed there for twelve years but the church in which I was baptized in as Christ commanded made sure I knew my place. No academic qualifications of any kind and yet God took me from educational obscurity sent me to Bible College gave me a three year diploma and educated me to the equivalent of a years university degree through my religious studies as it was called for Cambridge passing a number of their papers..

     After graduating from college I began to work in the insurance industry first with the CiS for two years and then I was successful in applying for the position of District Office Inspector for Glasgow South for the Scottish Legal Assurance Society in which I was successful and left after two years because the pay was not that great for the job

      

      Why am I relating all of this because there are two sides of the coin as soon as I got the position I was promoted to the Deaconate in a church that I had just joined they did not know what I was like outside of the church and did not ask. Jesus continues to ask me the same question. "Is it what  I can do for you or have you come to serve me?" My answer is to pray that God the Holy Spirit will always help and enable me to serve my risen Lord with joy and love that comes from all of my heart.

(39) Jesus responds in an unexpected manner if it had been someone else they would have ignored these two men because they had failed to answer his first question Not only the religious leaders of the day. I would have done too. I still get upset when someone fails to answer me when I speak to them but not so much now God continues to deal with it. He forgives me and He helps me to forgive them. The crucial point for me in this point of the narrative of the life of Jesus penned by the apostle John is how the world re-acts to this situation in contrast to how Jesus responds. He is not of this world but he is in the world as God and man. I do not know what was in the minds of Andrew and John when instead of answering the question they re-acted by asking Jesus a question .I believe like I have said about how I would respond the religious leaders would have done likewise. But this is no excuse to be bad mannered towards our brothers and sisters when I am asked a question by them and the world but if they do not want to answer me it is their prerogative hardly Christ like it is their choice

      God sets a new standard in how He wants man to be not the world's standards his standards and I can see this in the Son of God Jesus Christ in his attitude, response, and reaction to the response he received from Andrew and John.. He invites them to come and see. Anybody else would have told them to mind their own business and in the world's eyes they would have been correct not how God sees it. Jesus is the Son of God but here I see him as a man without his own power as God he is reliant on God the Holy Spirit to enable Him as a man to meet the  new standards his Father is looking for from him and making the equation that it is indeed true that with God the Holy Spirit in my life it is possible to please God and meet his criteria. God loves the world so much that he sent his Son down to meet with men and in this interlude I can see the love of the Father in his Son Jesus being poured out upon these two men who knew him as a Rabbi a teacher still to learn of him as being the Son of God giving up everything to follow in his footsteps

     No comforter to help and enable them to understand because Jesus the Son of God was with them and he had to come to the world himself in order that they and I could be saved from sin the Holy Spirit would come afterwards once Jesus had appeared after his death and had ascended into heaven. At the moment that was quite a distance off

      I should appreciate more that unlike the first few disciples of my Lord I have been given the abundance of the Holy Spirit to enable me to live a life that is pleasing to Him

       Not only do I see the mercy and compassion that Jesus pours out upon these two men I see his love too in a practical way not only does he ask them to come and see He allows them to stay with Him. I have to follow the same example in loving people with the love of Christ who is in me and only with his Spirit am I able to do that I can not do it on my own very effectively I need his help. Andrew and John once they entered into the accommodation that Jesus had managed to get both of them into stayed with him that day.

       The fascinating importance of this day cannot be lost because Andrew and John were on a one to one basis with Jesus and John more than anyone else including Andrew was left with a deep impression of his Lord that imprinted itself deep down into his heart that changed him completely forever and the Gospel of Christ that he writes of here is proof and evidence of that. He was compelled with a zeal and a passion and the love he held for his Lord because Jesus loved him first to live a life of dedicated obedience his whole life given over to his Lord and God Jesus Christ no easy task for the time he lived in under Roman occupation. A terrific challenge towards me in the century I find myself living in and all who love the Lord.

(40) The seed Jesus had sown was now beginning to bear fruit like some one throwing a stone into a river when it hits the water it causes many ripples to occur upon the surface.

Likewise with Andrew the seed had been planted deep down into his heart. He is the brother of Simon Peter. When I speak to my family about the love that Jesus Christ wants to give them which I have I must leave it in my Lord's hands for it to bear fruit and because my witness and testimony as a father has not been good  I make it harder for my Lord to speak to them. Again I have to make hard decisions that will be good for them in the long run they will not see that at the moment but eventually they will. I believe they call it tough love. But in the case of Andrew I can see how infectious he is in his personality bubbly full of euphoria his meeting with Jesus dramatically and drastically changed him for the good of the gospel and I believe he would be excited in regard to this as I am excited about it but it brings tears of joy to my face when I have a close encounter with my Lord and when He speaks to me.

(41) After his meeting with Jesus full of enthusiasm and euphoria he immediately goes and looks for his brother Simon Peter and without any hint of embarrassment or fear because these were perilous times while under Roman occupation only Caesar was called

 god and if anyone called someone else god they would have been immediately killed put to the sword a bloody violent death and their families imprisoned.With that background in mind it is quite astounding what I see them say and do such is the effect Jesus makes upon them. A very radical step forward with no turning back the same effect Jesus made on me but I am not in perilous times as they were. The time was fraught with danger for them all. All of the time including their Lord and my Lord but as long as Jesus was with them as a man they were not in danger but they were not to know that

     I look at the boldness and audacity of Andrew as he searches out his brother Simon Peter. Speaks to him and includes John because he uses the plural we. There is no doubt in his mind as far as Andrew is concerned they have found the Messiah the Christ and these are the words he uses to speak to Simon Peter his brother. I see drama at its peak here because of the troublesome times they lived in as there was always violence of some description but it did not deter them from what they were doing astonishing because the Holy Spirit had still to come upon them

    (42) Actions and words because there is no such thing as a passive belief. Such is the faith of Andrew that he brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus and he looked at Simon and said he was the son of John but now he will be called Cephas meaning a stone a hard object that will not break He would eventually prove to be that when filled with the Holy Spirit because He would change Him as He changes me and my brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus so that we can bring in the lost. I have to allow God the Holy Spirit to change me and be obedient to Him as He guides me in this life down here in the same manner He changed those early disciples and followers of Jesus Christ our Lord from them the church of the Lord Jesus Christ would grow and I and my brethren are charged to keep it growing.

 

Jesus calls Philip and Nathanael to follow Jn.1:43-51


(43) It is quite explicit Jesus found Philip spoke to him and said follow me. Nobody can follow Jesus unless he asks them too. Many are called few are chosen. The many are those who hear the call the chosen are those who respond to Jesus and keep responding to him. Response is my part the command to follow comes from my Lord and to continue to respond and obey His voice. Unlike Andrew and John they followed Jesus without being asked. When they walked behind him.

       The apostle John speaks of the desire of Jesus of wanting to go to Galilee and then He found Philip the inexplicable is at that moment Philip did not know Jesus until he was asked to follow him. There is no tie up with the names of towns and cities but there is as I will see in the next verse. I believe that John only mentioned Galilee because that was the next city that he and Jesus and the rest of the disciples intended to visit.  There is no spiritual significance another stop on the route for Jesus.

  (44)But this is highly significant Philip Andrew, and Peter was from the same city of Bethsaida. The passage does not provide clear proof that these three individuals ever met but how do I answer the question that Philip immediately got up and followed Jesus without knowing something about him. I am not saying it is not impossible for this to happen but John does include the fact that the three early disciples Philip, Andrew, and Peter came from Bethsaida.My own conclusion is that they did know each other and Philip probably heard Andrew and Peter talking about Jesus and when he was asked to follow he did so. But there is no hard and fast method of how Jesus reveals Himself to those He loves sometimes it can be very unconventional

         I lost my earthly father when I was only four as an only child left with my mother to bring me up and God my heavenly Father stepped in. The supernatural coming to a small boy not that I recognized that as that just thought in my child like way that it was perfectly natural and He has been with me ever since. Praise his wonderful name

(45) Now as I read on I find something very interesting in the character of Philip and perhaps he did not know Andrew and Peter as I first suggested looking at the words he uses to speak to Nathanael. Philip is quite sure in his own mind that Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Messiah he has an unshakeable faith in Jesus being the Son of God I am not saying he understood everything but he was sure in his mind that Jesus is the Messiah.

        God in Jesus as the Son commanded Philip to follow him and he did so that is what my Lord asks of me just to be obedient to His voice He will do the rest. It is not what I want to do it is what He wants me to do.

          Obviously looking at what Philip says to Nathanael he is aware of what is being taught in the Synagogues about the One who is to come. What is said by Moses in the law and the Prophets. For to hear this Philip must have attended the Synagogue on a regular basis to hear what was being taught. So when Jesus came along he already had some idea. Of who Jesus was and is

          My Lord is gathering a number of  men here from very different backgrounds to teach them about himself and who he is reminding me of how very important it is to have fellowship with my brothers and sisters in the Lord. I can only achieve this by attending my local fellowship in the city on Sunday morning and evening services. Jesus still attended the Synagogue along with his disciples and Philip was doing this before meeting Jesus. I note that Philip does not hesitate to tell Nathanael the man in question is Jesus of Nazareth the Son of Joseph. Philip must have been aware that what he is saying was not the popular opinion of were the Messiah would come from and he knew Nathanael would know that but nevertheless he said it to him probably knew the reply he would get.

(46) Is there anything good in Nazareth replies Nathanael not being derisory towards the city but because it was so far away and obscure. Philip is not put off and encourages the man to come and see Jesus make up his own mind. I am to press on in to what God wants me to do and not to be shackled by others as I see Philip doing here..He was not deterred

     I am going to press in towards God in Christ so that I may know him and become like him as I can see Philip doing my relationship with God my Father and my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ guided and strengthened by God the Holy Spirit must come first at all times. This is what Jesus is teaching his disciples here.

(47) Jesus the man sees Nathanael walking towards him but now I see him as God his foreknowledge of all things before being called into existence. When Jesus was born as a man he was still God There is never a time when he is not God and this is clearly demonstrated here. The problem begins when for whatever reason I take my eyes off of him. I am the one out of step never the Lord.

        He knows everything there is to know about Nathanael in his foreknowledge in similar fashion he knows me. Perhaps if I studied this more thoroughly letting God the Holy Spirit wash over me I would not make as many rash decisions as I have done.

        Taking this a step further when you think of the foreknowledge of God the Son he who knows everything it is quite awesome. He knows what I am going to do before I do it good or evil including my thought life whether a bad thought comes into me or a good thought before it even occurs. How stupid am I to think He does not know what I say and do or think. Sin in human flesh is irrational flaunting itself against a Holy and righteous God who is Jesus Christ the Son.

      Jesus already knew the answer Nathanael had given to Philip and now was going to reveal to Nathanael He is who Philip said He is by the use of his fore knowledge of Nathanael.The doctrine of the Person and work of my Lord Jesus Christ is of ultimate importance as the Bible clearly defines it aided and abetted by God the Holy Spirit I will learn much more about the foreknowledge of God and the more I know of Him the more effective will my worship will be towards Him. This is just a small insight into a subject vast in its contents. I am always learning something new from the Word of God. I digress

       Nathanael is not to know who Jesus is he can only go by what he had been taught the divine revelation of who Jesus is was now upon him. If I do not tell people who Jesus is while He walks with me who else is going to tell them when He leads me by His Spirit to speak to them. God in the Person of His Son was now revealing to Nathanael through His foreknowledge of him that He is indeed the Christ. Only things that Nathanael knew of Himself beautiful intimacy the deep things He knows about me as He knows about this man. Immediately Nathanael without being aware of it has something Jesus sees in him that is to his advantage and the fact He knows of it will make even a skeptic like Nathanael know Jesus is the Christ when He imparts this knowledge to him. Unfortunately I can be like that at times but the solution is to press on into God it is in my hands to do that. When I was at Bible College I had studied the foreknowledge of God but from an academic back ground perhaps if God gives me time it will be more devotional

       Jesus said of Nathanael,”Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit”

Deceit causes all kinds of problems I have been guilty of that one in the past it means to deliberately deceive someone for my own gain stealing something from someone that is not rightfully mine does not need to be tangible it could mean stealing someone’s time and that can never be put back.

     For my Lord to say to this man that he was an Israelite with no deceit no higher accolade could have been given to Nathanael especially when it came from the Son of God. To be told you have no deceit from someone in authority particularly in religious affairs was a great honour for a Jew when only a few knew. Cf.Ps32:2”Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in his spirit there is no deceit.”

     Now when you are told very personal details in regard to your life from a complete stranger it would take the wind out of your sails this has happened to me from one of my brothers in Christ an a evangelist from Canada who came to my church Glasgow Elim last year he had been invited by the senior pastor Simon Foster his name Mark Griffins and God revealed the fact to him that I had been sowing seed in hard soil since I had been a Christian and it had been very hard ground he told me that it would bear fruit and the fruit from the seed would be great in my latter years than in my former I have never told anyone about this and it was great encouragement to me from God revealed to his faithful servant Mark Griffins. Not the first time either in my walk with God. Praise his wonderful name.

(48) No wonder Nathanael replied how do you know me I have never even met you this is the first time I have saw you. And yet you have these details of me that only a few know? But even now the man continues to be skeptical towards Jesus he has after all revealed to the man as a stranger to him something he should not have not known. I believe Nathanael was perplexed about this.Something was going to have to give to shift his earthly stance the next verse is the key I have wrestled with this in my mind trying to understand what God would have me understand in the next verse and after consulting a few devotional commentaries the Holy Spirit at last gave me the interpretation that I needed a word of knowledge revealed from deity Jesus who is God that is the only way that the next verse makes any sense. A word of knowledge is when God tells you something about a person and he wants you to go over and speak to them and a conversation is struck up between you and that person and at the right time you mention a few details that God has revealed to you about that man and woman and they know it could only come from God. Sometimes it’s about God just putting a thought into your heart about someone you are speaking too and you do something for them and that is exactly what they were looking for without them speaking of what they were looking for.

A word of knowledge about the need of a man or woman you are talking too.

(49) Taking these two verses together is the only way I believe to understand Nathanael’s reaction when Jesus said to him that he had seen him standing under the fig tree before Philip spoke to him I believe my Lord was not meaning his physical sight but one who is God who can see everything. A rather frightening concept for me but not frightening in the idea of terror frightening in the sense that I have to pursue holy righteous living separated to God not my holy righteousness the righteousness of Christ within me because one day I will appear before the throne before Him. This is what Jesus is calling Nathanael too and he is making sure that this man knows that he is God the

 Son of God

       I believe when Jesus spoke to Nathanael about seeing him under the fig tree Jesus was no where to be seen and Nathanael thought I did not see you. You cannot have seen me because I did not see you.Suddenly the Holy Spirit revealed to Nathanael the true identity of Jesus as the Son of God and the King of Israel

       Nobody can save anyone only God can through His Spirit I can go and listen to great godly people preaching and teaching but without the Spirit of the living God moving in my heart nothing will be accomplished the crucial test is being obedient to the still small voice it had to be a word of knowledge from my Lord to Nathanael in order to reveal to this man that he is indeed a Rabbi the Son of God and King of Israel not only Israel of all the nations of this world.

(50)You think this is great Nathanael Jesus replies to him. He would see Jesus healing the sick raising the dead casting out demons and the greatest miracle of all the Son of God being resurrected from a cruel blooded barbaric death upon a cross in which he suffered a lingering death raised by His Father God.Nathanael would see all of this.

(51) My Lord gives a view into the future to Nathanael great and wonderful miracles that will make all that he sees on earth pale into insignificance he who was despised and rejected by men will be coming back from heaven he who was looked upon as a heretic and blasphemer by the religious leaders of his day because he came from Nazareth will provesomething good and perfect had come out of that city. Heaven will open and my Lord and King will come down to reign upon the earth but this will be a new heaven and earth the old heaven and earth will have melted and dissolved in the elements what a frightening picture for those who do not know God that is why I am accountable for the way I live

        The angels are God’s messengers they will carry messages from heaven to earth and vice versa for Him and all we who love Him will be there. A vision of great glory, majesty, and splendour a fiery fire that shines forever.

 

Jn.2:1-11. The first manifestation of Jesus� glory as deity

      

 

(1) To understand why Jesus chose Cana to perform His first miracle depicting an outward sign of his majestic glory as one who is God I believe I need to go back to the Old Testament to find out the history of the town and the region.

       Turning to Joshua the information needed is found there but turning to the particular passage and verse (Jos.17:28) it is spelt Kanah under the rule of the tribe of Asher

     However; it is in the book of Judges of the Old Testament Israel refused to conquer the whole of Canaan and lived to regret what they had done because they had disobeyed a Holy God reminding me that my Father in heaven is a Holy Righteous God He is not Lord God for nothing He is my Lord and my God. Nothing was made that was not made through His Son Jesus Christ and that includes the rebellious and they too will be made to bow the knee.

       I digress there is more to this narrative than changing water to wine important as that is the towns and cities in the Galilean region which included Cana are those who did not obey the royal decree that came from the Lord God to destroy the Canaanite inhabitants that being the case Jews and Canaanites grew up together for hundreds of years

       More than likely those responsible and their earlier offspring had died and the Lord God was doing a new thing in their midst in the person of his Son Jesus Christ He had said He would keep a remnant of His people for Himself and where better than those former towns and cities that had rebelled against Him because His ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than mine and the world for that matter after all He made it.

        So how incredible He begins to show mercy and compassion to those who receive His Son as their Lord and as I read the following chapters it includes Samaritans. Notably the Samaritan woman at the well which is further on. The region of Galilee took in the towns of Chorazin.  Bethsaida Capernaum Nain, Cana, and Nazareth all located in Northern Israel who from time to time was visited by our Lord. Each of these towns had a very high percentage of Gentiles living there interestingly Jesus chose his apostles from these towns despite the commonly held belief that no prophet could come from there.

 

It brings to memory what the prophet Isaiah prophesied over this region of northern Israel that a great light would shine upon the Gentiles in the region of Galilee of the Gentiles (Isa.9:1,2)In Galilee of the Gentiles. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, Upon them a light has shined) The irony of this is that the Jews hated all non Jews and yet Jesus chose men from these towns to be his apostles because He knew he would send them later on to preach the gospel the good news that he had come and had died upon the cross for them that they as well as the Jews in belief on his name as Lord now sitting in glory would be released from their sins. A concept far too difficult for the ordinary Jewish man and woman to swallow they were after all the chosen race what they had forgot is that God made the entire human race and He loved them all. If they had only read this passage in Isaiah but I must remember that the men my Lord chose from this region to be his apostles were Jews and He was a Jew himself.

        The bottom line is that God loves the whole of mankind whatever race religion and colour because His way is the true way to eternal life. Jesus Christ my Lord is the great light He continues to shine in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome His light.

         I believe that the apostle would want me to understand these two verses together because it would seem that Mary the mother of Jesus was a prominent guest at this wedding to whom she had been invited along with her Son Jesus and his disciples.cf 2:2-3.Note that John never mentions my Lord's mother's first name Mary he always describes her as the mother of Jesus

        It could be as far as I am concerned and it is only a suggestion Mary the mother of Jesus is his earthly parent and that is all. Not that there is no great privilege, honour and responsibility .Of course there is but she is human as I am and not part of the deity.

 As a man Jesus was born from his mother's womb Mary but as God never the crucial importance of this I believe must be seen in the fact Mary was and always will be remembered for being the earthly mother of Jesus she was chosen by God to be the means of bringing his Son Jesus Christ into the world as a man he is not the son of Mary he is properly the Son of God

         The emphases and prominence of the passage is thrust upon one who is God and the mother of Jesus recedes into the background the mission that God his Father had begun initiated by God put into action by God made active in and through God the Son Jesus Christ the Son of God the Father.

         In that context everything else pales into insignificance.Turning to the verse the wedding party had run out of wine and Jesus was informed of this through his mother.

          I have no idea why she would do this because I believe Jesus all ready knew of the situation and whether he would have performed the first of his miraculous signs with out being prompted by his mother I will never know. What it does show is human impatience I am at fault with the same weakness and so too are my brothers and sisters to some degree I want God to give me what he haves for me yesterday that is not how God works and the person Mary is addressing is one who is God but she speaks to him as one who is her earthly son as his mother she was too close to him

        Difficult situation for Mary because she brought him out of her own womb and in her eyes he was her son mothers have a hard time of letting go of their sons and daughters and there comes a time when they have too in particular to godly parents because like my wife and I they belong to God   The Lord God made everything in and through and for his Son Jesus Christ. I cannot get away from this truth I was not made for myself I was made for Christ but I have to agree to stay in Christ and love Him with a desire to love because He loves me.

    At the end of verse three the mother of Jesus comes to him and asks for assistance of an earthly nature because she knows him to be not only man but that of God what she did not know was that this would be the first of many signs pointing to the miraculous character of one who is God an outward visible manifestation of glory of one who is deity

  (4)I believe that the mother of Jesus was trying to influence him into helping out with the wine situation because they had run out and she was very much a prominent guest and was in need of help to supply more and turned to Jesus because she knew who He is the Son of God and had lost sight of his real mission He had come to save mankind and this was just a side show against the real purpose of his visit to earth and that was to serve the will of His Father God.

       The turning of water into wine was not of a lasting quality it only served the taste buds of the flesh the wine had no spiritual deposit. It was only to celebrate an earthly wedding even although it is a high light of Jewish culture and had there been no wine it would have been embarrassing for the mother of Jesus the motivation of her thinking perhaps that is why his reply was terse because after He had turned the water into wine they would only think of the miracle and not the one who had made it happen apart from his disciples at the end of the passage I am told they believed in Him

        My Lord now reminds his mother not to think anymore of him being her son He is the Son of God and his public ministry and life was coming on full stream in obedience to God his Father. Of course He continues to love his mother as He does with everyone. The time had come to leave home and pursue the purpose and mission handed to Him from God His Father. I can see this in the words of Jesus Christ my Lord and God "My hour has not yet come." He is aware and conscious of the fact that He is doing the will of the Father and after each action there is a time put on it. A time that is subject and appropriate to the action taken. (7:6 My time has not yet come.) cf. ( 8:20;12:23.)

     (5) Mary the mother of Jesus realizes that this was no longer her son He is the Son of God and as her God submits to his authority and directs the servants to do what He asks of them. When I gave my life to the risen glorified Lord I could no longer do what pleased me but I was a child and the flesh was still in me even after I was born again the flesh was still in me and to conclude when I prayed the flesh was still there It is extraordinary how the Holy Spirit is leading me and only because I determined to press into God and know more of Him despite a serious push from the enemy to stop me from doing so. Yielding myself into submission to Him who is my Lord and my God and he saw what was in my heart towards Him and saw the serious intent to serve Him no matter what.

      He was gracious and merciful to me and gave a word of knowledge a revelation that released me from a genealogical curse from my ancestors and to see how I would deal with it and when I dealt with it in the way He commanded me to do so the Lord in His mercy said it was only for the senior pastor of my church and not for the body of Christ I was obedient to His word submission is the key. I am allowed to reveal this. The Lord said to me Raymond this is not your victory this is my victory when after you were born I taunted the enemy with you. Look at my son see what he is doing. I am no longer an infant a child I am a son.

      I was watching Benny Hinn on the God channel this morning roughly about 9.30 and this is what his subject was sonship I do not normally watch television at that time another word from God affirming and confirming the fact that I was now one of His sons because I am willing to crucify Raymond McGough in submission and obedience to his sovereign will not only my life Irene my wife's too. A decision she took a long time ago I ask myself why are men so slow?  Only my Lord can answer that question

      The journey to being a son and a daughter of God begins when you decide to crucify yourselves the old nature the old man who lingers in you the old rebellious Adam.

      Until such an action has been taken you will remain as children such as I was and I have come to this place of maturity only because I pressed into knowing who God is the Lord Jesus Christ my God and my Lord. To know more of Him of the Father God and the Holy Spirit. Amen

       (6-8) A major key to this miracle is the belief of the servers in believing that Jesus was going to do something miraculous but what they did not know.  So they filled the six water pots with water each could hold thirty gallons a piece and the time involved in doing this would test their belief and confidence in that Jesus would be able to do something. To the people who were doing this it would have seemed absurd and ridiculous.

 The full volume of water was 150 gallons and it was all changed to wine.

         When Jesus spoke to the servers they had to have the belief in the word he spoke to accomplish what He said for their part they had to have trust in Him for the finished result. In other words act upon the word received When God the Holy Spirit tells me to do something I have to be obedient and go and do it no matter how ridiculous it may seem to my way of thinking it still needs to be done. God is God and the enemy the devil is a defeated foe I must understand and grasp that fact.

   (9-10) Now the reality of the water being made into wine because the master of the feast called for the wine and tasted it and I believe was completely astonished because it was in far superior quality and taste than the wine that was served before He compliments Jesus on the quality of the wine he had produced not knowing it had come from water

      A symbolic miraculous sign that what my Lord did with water He can and does with me he pours life into my soul life that is eternal as He does with all those who are in Christ Jesus and follow Him as His disciples no matter the cost...

(11-12)My Lord performed this miraculous sign to show forth His majestic glory of one who is wholly other He who is God in the flesh He is preeminent as He has always been from everlasting to everlasting the Holy One standing for a season as a man for my sake.

     This great and wonderful miraculous sign had a practical side to it the strengthening of the trust of his disciples in Him who is God. Seeing is believing but my Lord said blessed are those who believe and have not seen just like me. After this Jesus went to Capernaum in which the home of James and John was located

     

John 2:13-22. Temple is cleansed by Jesus.


(13) The Passover was a very important day in Jewish religious history and the Jews celebrated this event in remembrance of what God had done for them fourteen hundred years a go but it had become an empty ritual and the presence of God had long gone.

       An occurrence that took place in the early years of Isaiah when he was called by the Lord to be a mighty prophet

       The time had passed and the Jewish religious leaders were looking for an earthly world kingdom believing that the long expected Messiah would come and help them to kick out the Roman invaders from Jerusalem and all of Israel they had lost sight that it was to be a spiritual kingdom they could not perceive of such a thing and many are still under this preconceived idea and sadly are totally wrong

      Not only them there are those who shut out physical death and think that death is the end of everything and the life we live is all there is the enemy has done a number on these kind of people

      I believe that the Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the soul but believed misguidedly that you could get there by keeping the law perhaps the reason why Gentiles not all of them believe it is in doing good works but another totally false idea.

       Passover means exactly that and this is what had happened in 1400B.C. when the Israelites were under captivity of Egypt enslaved by Pharaoh the final judgment had been made against him from God because once again he had hardened his heart.

     Now God was going to kill every first born male child of Egyptian families from the Pharaoh himself to the last family living at that time because the king had defied God for one more last time and he would perish with his army in the Red Sea.

      I was listening and watching the God slot a couple of evenings ago I can’t remember the title of the programme but what I do remember is what Benny Hinn had to say about our walk with God and how we are to serve those immediately above us

     The comments he made illustrate the terrifyingly awesomeness of the holiness of one who is God he is not someone whom you can trifle with his feelings he soon lets you know this when you are disciplined and depending how severe your offence against Him He could call you Home.

      I have no idea whom I am speaking too but if you have been called by God to be the understudy of one of His mighty men or women you cannot leave because you have been trained by God the Holy Spirit to be the individual chosen by God to take place of the great man or woman of God when they are called home. Does this apply to men and women who know God? I am afraid so. When you and I go against God and He, “Lets say me” I go against his express instructions that is a hardness of heart and wilful disobedience on my part and I criticise the man or woman whom God has clearly instructed me that I will take over from whom may be the pastor or leader of the flock and remember this is just a presupposition and I walk away God could decide to call me home my life on earth would be cut short.

    Not only did Pharaoh show a hardness of heart towards God so too did Miriam and Aaron but you say God is our heavenly Father loves us and that is indeed true He is however; principally God who cannot look upon injustice and those who rebel against Him including His own. Cf.Num.12:1-16.

    You cannot fight against God how totally impossible and irrational and yet to some ++

+degree we all do it. At last God is helping me to see sense. There was a hardness of heart in me and I thought it would never be broken I actually despaired of it but praise God in the last number of years He has broken through and is now softening my heart only because I desired this and with serious intent I have been looking for God and what pleases Him.

    To get back to what I had been speaking of the Passover memorial feast celebrating the release of the Israelis from the captivity of the Egyptians through the supernatural activity of God

    They were instructed by God through Moses to take a lamb out of the herd which had no blemish sacrifice it and cover the door posts and the lintel with its blood so that when the angel of death flew over no Hebrew family would be harmed. The angel would pass over these Jewish homes in Egypt

      I believe this depicts how serious God views sin it is an abomination in his sight and He will ruthlessly and utterly destroy sin with an all consuming righteous fire including the person and persons who habitually do this.

     I have to understand that my God is a holy righteous God who is perfectly moral and upright in all of his ways and He is one who is God and demands a certain standard of life from me. I in myself cannot do this and God is very much aware of that.

     From what I have said in the above paragraph the importance of it is in the blood of the lamb and once the door posts and the lintel had been touched by this blood the Jewish families were covered death could not touch them.

     But all of this had fallen into a meaningless ritual the people and the Jewish religious leaders continued in their disobedience towards God and used this as a habitual system to confess their sin against God and go out after this and do what they done before. It was used as a means to go out and sin again.

      What does this tell me about what I am? Without God I am nothing I may as well not exist. He looks into my heart and spirit seven days a week and twenty four hours a day knows my every thought and knows what I am going to do before I do it.Good, bad, and indifferent He knows. Pretty frightening. I need to know God pursue Him as He himself pursues me there is no other alternative of pleasing Him. I see this in his Son Jesus as he goes up towards Jerusalem God making himself known to man in a human body such is his love for the creativity of his hands from which I have been made. Pursuing me wanting to make himself known to me. A great and wonderful love that is indeed beautiful absolutely intimate and majestic deep in total divine splendour.

               Jesus who is God the Son covered in human skin with blood, muscles, sinew, and bones in every sense a man like any other the difference is He is without sin. The real nature of His Person hidden because He is one who is God. The synoptic gospels and the gospel of John testify to each other and to those who read them that the Jesus they speak of is none other than Jesus Christ the very Son of God to the Jews the long awaited Messiah and to the rest of the world the Saviour of mankind.

            At this period in history to the crowds and those who passed by him to them he looked nothing out of the ordinary just a man in the street

             The startling thing is that God is there right in the midst of them and they do not know Him. Everything that God has revealed of Himself in and through His Son Jesus Christ to man can be known in His Word the Bible with God the Holy Spirit in attendance. You need to have an encounter with God to change your life because just knowing the Bible and what is in the contents does not do it of course reading the word of God is very important for our spiritual growth and nourishment but in order for that to happen you need to meet the living God in person a supernatural occurrence that is done in the activity of God the Holy Spirit who breathes spiritual life into a man and woman’s spirit including children by speaking to them as well as breathing spiritual life into them you also need a desire in your heart for this. An occurrence that had happened to me many years gone by.

    The reason behind me speaking like this is at this time and before Jesus came to earth as a man the presence of God had left Israel because of her rebellion and disobedience towards God and only a few individuals retained the righteousness of God there were not many of them.

     A backdrop behind the cold indifference and eventually the hatred of the Jewish religious authorities towards Jesus because spiritually they were bereft and their whole idea was in keeping their own rules that they had added to the Old Testament. The traditions of your fathers Jesus said of them.

      An interesting thought has occurred to me I spoke of the presence of God leaving the temple of Jerusalem behind many, many hundreds of years before this period of time now I see it returning in the person of God’s Son Jesus known only as the man from Nazareth his true identity hidden from the crowds but still truly God and as God which I believe He is what He finds in the Temple truly upsets Him because of his intrinsic nature of who he is being God but nobody in the Temple could see this the veil that covered their eyes had not been lifted

 (14)

      In the light of what Jesus speaks of in this verse the Holy Spirit puts a question into my heart which I still grapple with the Temple that is mentioned here is a building consecrated and dedicated to God for the use of his people to gather together and worship Him and to focus entirely in what He would want them to say and do. To be still in their hearts and know He is God. When there is clamour and noise it becomes next to impossible and nobody can hear what is being said from the front at the start of the service. God says I have to come with a joyous heart but I have to come with an awe and a reverence to one who is God a humbleness and a humility if you like to one who is God over all the majestic creator of the whole of the universe in whom I have my being and whom He loves undeservedly on my part without Him I would be nothing

     So what do I struggle with here the time I spend with my brothers and sisters in the body of Christ together in the one location in our corporate dedication and worship of God and towards God and you can feel the presence of God the Holy Spirit in the midst of us it is at the height of this experience that the enemy breaks in because of the structure of the service. Announcements and the offering needs to be taken the problems are when and has always been the case. As a believer I will struggle with this as I believe we all do.

    The time we spend with the Lord together is very precious indeed. What I see here in this verse flies in the face of that commerce and business is vaunting itself in a place it had no right to be because I believe greed had taken over and it’s only my suggestion that this was the case look closely at what the words actually say. Jesus found a number of those in the Temple selling oxen, sheep, and doves and the money changers doing business. The key to the verse is in the clause doing business. Doing business not for the Temple they were profiteering for themselves making huge amounts of money from those who could scarcely afford their prices. Making money from the name of God with no respect and love towards the God who had made them from the creativity of his hands.

    (15)Nobody rose to challenge Jesus as he drove the stall holders out before him until afterwards. I believe when I arrive at my place of worship there is at times not enough reverence in my heart towards God because that is exactly who He is and He demands my focus and attention to be on Him at all times. It is not a deliberate thing I just get caught up in the life of the church and quite often our conversations have nothing to do with God anything but.Even although the money changers and the stall owners did not know the true identity of Jesus they were in awe of Him. (16)What am I meant to understand by this statement Jesus makes to those who are doing the selling only this that the merchandise they were selling was going into the pockets of the sellers for profit and not for the house of God to enable and help his people particularly those who were in great need. And not in a position to help themselves. Those who are in authority over us have to be very careful in what they do with the tithes that comes in from the people of God and what is done with it who are ultimately responsible before God with what they do with it and not fritter it away on some grandiose idea and project that achieves nothing for the spirituality of the body of the church in helping them to grow in the Godhead including those in authority Again Jesus underlines the point that He is God  equal with His Father God as God even though at this point he is a man but still very much God his identity hidden in the flesh of a man from many who looked upon him while in the flesh. The idea that God could become a man was inconceivable to the mind of the Jew infact in their view it was blasphemous and for the orthodox Jew it still is their mental and human intellectuality had become stuck in the mode that God was monotheistic He was one God and could not speak to humans unless He used His angels to speak to them the possibility that he could become man was unthinkable never mind that there could be three different individual persons in the Godhead one God Father Son and Holy Spirit a fact that is borne out in the early chapters of the book of Genesis of the Old Testament something they had managed to overlook. Never crossed their minds that God being God nothing is impossible for Him to do. (17)An important principle for the strengthening of the belief of the disciples in Jesus of who He is the Holy Spirit brought to their minds a text that had been written of Him contained in the book of the Old Testament regarding his zeal for His Father’s house.cf Psalm69:9. “Because zeal for your house has eaten me up.” Zeal means jealousy but from a good sense jealousy is a derivative from the root word zeal from the Greek zelos.Jesus is passionate about His Father God because He is the Son of God. Passionate committed to the things of His Father God He is wrestling the strongholds of the enemy off of him because they rightfully belong to His Father. While my Lord was on earth he carried within him an intense desire and an enthusiasm to do these things because He loves God His Father and was pleased to do his will that is why he came down to this world I find myself living in because the same intensity that marked his life manifests the love of God towards me Jesus Christ my Lord expects commands the very same from me. Can I do this? The answer would have to be no. Only God the Holy Spirit who dwells within me can equip and enable me to do this. I look at my Lord in this passage and what is very clear is that he has come to do the will of God his Father and he expects the very same of me. There is one crucial element in all of this that I have to take on board and that is that I can do nothing without God the Holy Spirit’s help the Son of God Jesus Christ my Lord left his own power behind as one who is God and became totally reliant on God the Spirit to help Him to please the Father in being obedient the very same Holy Spirit is available to me and I can only be successful in pleasing God when I rely on Him in my obedience to God the only way to die to self and me because my earthly mind fights this and will do so until I am called home to glory. Sacrifice and obedience is better than any offering that costs me nothing because He the Son of God my Lord gave His life for me so that my life would be his to do with what he chooses he has given to me the prize of eternal life and I have to show the same characteristics of love to my brothers and sisters and the lost and only he can help me do that. I can enjoy the physical life I live and the spiritual life as long as I keep trusting in the Holy Spirit He is the key to all of this. (18) Still the Jews did not recognize who he is because they ask for a sign when John refers to the Jews it is mostly about the Jewish Religious Leaders and not the ordinary public although they too can have the same ideas

      For them to believe who Jesus Christ declared himself to be depended on a sign and not what he said would mean that they would forever be looking for signs not believing his own spoken word to them that he is God and the Father and he are one they could not get by that stumbling block Jesus knew this.

       I cannot allow my faith in Jesus Christ to be built solely on the spectacular because that is not what he is about I am to trust in the invisible God who is visible in all that I see in the eyes of the spiritual realm things that cannot be seen with my earthly sight but are nevertheless still there. A leap of trust in the person of Jesus Christ as one who is God which certainly was not present in these Jews who asked for a sign from him

      Regretfully most of the world leaders are like this because they do not see Jesus Christ my Lord in the flesh they draw the conclusion that he is not there a very grave error because God can be seen in his creation it speaks of his creativity and is meant to lead them to repentance before Him He who is God who continues to hold out open arms before them but it will not always be the case rebellion is still there within them and their own wisdom has dug a hole that they are desperately trying to climb out of

The apostle Paul in one of his epistle’s commands me to pray for these leaders that while they still breathe there is hope that God the Holy Spirit can turn them from the course that they are presently on to Jesus Christ the Son of God and have their lives radically changed what a huge difference that would make to the world I live in but at present they all have the mind set of the Jews mentioned here. God’s Spirit can make the difference in my life and the lives of others including the world’s Leaders.

(19) They would get a sign of a great miraculous wonder the magnitude of which they would never see again a once off event neither space, nor time, nor the vastness of the universe in which the earth is only a small part of in comparison it is insignificant and even all of that is nothing to the one who it is made through and holds it together including the Jews who demand a sign of him whose lives God his Father breathes life into the physical breath whose earthly lives could be cut off from the living in the fraction of a second. To my mind incomprehensible because of my human mortality He is God I am not so what he can do I cannot do. I find it difficult to put into words all that God is simply because He is God there is no human language to describe all of his awesomeness the Supreme Being in majestic splendour. What limits me does not limit Him He can walk on water rise into the sky still the waves and calm the wind and much, much more. Science does not restrict Him as it does me because He made it and it is in obedience to Him. Incredible and absolutely staggering there are those of the created order including humans who deliberately with intent defy Him and know such actions lead to a terrible spiritual death believing the lie that there is no other life after the earthly demise completely irrational and what I would call infantile behaviour it is worse than that because you can tell infants how to behave and they can be quicker to latch on to something they see in adults that they cannot see in themselves

The Jews as John the apostle describes them can see there is something that marks Jesus out from them but they have no idea what it is they know he is a teacher known in Jewish terms as a Rabbi so they expect a sign from him in their unbelief and ignorance what they do not know is the one who stands before them is God unknown to them they are the creativity of his hands how astonishing is their unbelief and hardness of heart because he declares to them in his own voice and tongue who he is by telling them what they and the rest of the Jews would do to him at some point in the future they would try to destroy the temple which is his body and in the next part of the verse gives a clue to his true identity after they had destroyed him he would raise his body after three days.I have no idea what must have went through their hearts and minds when they heard this from Jesus but they thought he was talking about the temple built with bricks or did they or were they afraid of what Jesus was saying of himself and had not made up their minds concerning Him He was pointing them in the direction of himself as one who is their God even although they did not know it He is my God as well as theirs. Even although they did not know who he was and saw him only as a man Jesus continued to love them as he does the world and his church which was still to be established through his apostles guided and helped by God the Holy Spirit

(22) John reminds me that this was said for the benefit of the disciples they would remember this after their Lord and my Lord had risen from the dead and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had said. The spoken word while accompanied by the Spirit of God is very powerful indeed and leads to the conversion of souls only God can do this.They believed the scripture I believe the scripture in question is Isaiah 42:23 “ Who among you will give ear to this? Who will listen and hear for the time to come?”

                I believe this is the text my Lord had spoken of to the disciples and had also given his own word and they believed the Old Testament text and the word He had spoken to them. But I believe my risen glorified Lord has given me this to ponder on deep in my heart and act upon as guided and influenced by God the Holy Spirit. Great is the Lord God of heaven and earth who with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit is deserving of my praise honour love adoration and worship because of his unmerited favours He showers upon me every day and night his love compassion mercy and pity and from the abundance of his heart he gives me every good thing but more precious and greatest of all is the gift of his Son my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ worthy of all my praise and love my life belongs to Him unreservedly. Amen

Jesus knows the thoughts of humanity John.2:23-25

  Many believed in the name of Jesus because of the miracles he had performed but I believed in Jesus because his Spirit spoke to me through the preaching of his word there were no supernatural occurrences as men would understand them the miracle was God speaking to me through the Holy Spirit that is not to say I do not believe in the supernatural abilities of God because I do. However; H e can work through the mundane as well as the spectacular with one common thread bringing his people to faith in himself.

Jesus issues a warning to me the fact that my trust in him as Lord must not be founded upon miracles it must be deeply rooted and grounded in Him alone (24) Many a Christian’s faith has floundered upon the rocks because they believed in miracles to strengthen their faith and when there is no miracles of the spectacular their faith weakens and dies because it is a trust built on signs and wonders and not in and through the person of Jesus Christ. I need to have an experience of God all of the time to know Him seeing angels everywhere I look so that my trust in God can be increased when I do that my faith is very superficial. I am not trusting in Jesus Christ my Lord and my faith would be shallow indeed yes I have had supernatural experiences with God. but it is in the ordinariness of my life in which He works best no fanfare of trumpets only the still small voice and being obedient to God’s commands. A warning to us all whether born again or not can be found in the gospel of Matthew and when I looked at it a check was put upon my spirit and looking at it closely the gravity of my errors are exposed to the brilliant light of God       How foolish we who are mortal can be.cf. Mtt.9:4. (But Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?”) Any wrong thought is evil and God can see it whether I am judging a brother and a sister or being envious of them gossiping it all constitutes sin I am not to do it. A point that Jesus Christ my Lord can see everything I think say and do there is no hiding place.

John 3: 1-16

                    You must be born of water and the Spirit to enable you

To enter the Kingdom of God .Jn.3:1-16

 

(1)  The apostle reminds me of the fact that God chose me through the activity of the Holy Spirit working in my heart and bringing me to repentance and accepting the love and mercy of the forgiveness of sin by accepting his Son Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour and the point being made is it is all of God the Father he initiated the whole thing through his Son and his Spirit.

       However; at this juncture Jesus who is God is a fact that was hidden from most of the men in his time on earth including the religious leaders Nicodemus being one of them

       This Pharisee and ruler of the Jews had no idea who Jesus was and he was one of the many who belonged to the religious group called the Pharisees who ruled over the affairs of Israel in theology and religion. What they had in general apart from a few exceptions was a book of rules that they tried to live by a vehicle that had no power to change anything a form of godliness that was empty

         Sadly and regretfully the orthodox Jews are still trying to live to this ideal who also persecute the messianic Jews who know the truth as the word messianic implies.

          But that is also true of many Christians who think they know Christ and by their actions they obviously do not. I am talking about myself who is born again and nominal Christians as well as those who have been born in the Spirit and have not moved on from there

      But I digress from what I am speaking of and will discuss the subject later on to get back to the passage the inference John is making is that God is the one who reveals Himself to mankind on his terms not on any human beings

      You have to seek God asking Him to reveal Himself to you on his understanding realising that you are as the dust which He made you from everything you have and possess comes from God even the breath you breathe so really I have nothing of my own it all comes from God

        A far cry from how Nicodemus would think and understand this matter I have no idea how his mental faculty would operate and work and the conclusions he would arrive at they would not be correct because he depended upon his own academic brilliance and human wisdom and not the Spirit of the living God who would give him more than he could ever think of. To give him credit as I will see he came with a open mind to speak to Jesus

(2) I am told this man comes by night probably because he does not know who Jesus is and wants to protect his reputation and career. He is curious to know who exactly Jesus is perhaps he thought he could be the long expected Messiah. Nicodemus is correct in part of his thinking and that is that Jesus had come from God. He knew Jesus could not have done the miracles without the help of God. The Holy Spirit had put a hunger in his heart.

     There was something that attracted Nicodemus to Jesus but he did not know what it was he mentioned the miracles and the fact that Jesus was a teacher a Rabbi the Jewish equivalent but I believe it was more than that two key phrases give me the clue and they come from the mouth of Nicodemus he speaks of Jesus coming from God and God is with him. Whether he understood what he said I have no idea because in the circles Nicodemus moved in some may have misconstrued this to be blasphemous because of their rigid view on monotheism God is one and nobody can see God never mind a man to come from a Holy God. They had forgotten God had made man in his own image and had walked in the garden with the man and because of the fall of mankind now was in the process of restoring this back to man and Jesus is the chief instrument of doing this because He is the Son of God. He was with his Father before the beginning and I find evidence for that in the book of Genesis when God speaks and He says, “let us make man in our image” plural not singular there were two individuals not one but one God still monotheistic God is God and is not enclosed within a book and acts according to his own divine purpose and Jesus as I see him here is fulfilling that purpose (Gen.1:26)

Perhaps he saw the glory of God the Father his Shekinah glory radiating through his only begotten Son Jesus Christ and was drawn to him like being pulled by a magnet an irresistible force whatever it was it drew Nicodemus to Jesus. I believe a much better suggestion would be is that it is the love of God for mankind as seen in his Son Christ Jesus was the magnetism that compelled Nicodemus to come to Jesus as it did me. Glory to God in the highest. (3)Now Jesus answers the questions that were troubling Nicodemus I notice he never mentioned them to Jesus but He is God and knows the thoughts of men including my own he is in control and knows what lies in front of me as he does Nicodemus. This man was living in the past and to change his mind set something has to happen to him a radical change of view I believe you would call it an earth shattering moment my Lord is just about to do that informing Nicodemus that he has to change just as I had too. “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” Nobody would know what Jesus meant in this statement of his because he is bringing in the kingdom of which he speaks therefore the reaction of Nicodemus is quite understandable most people of his time then and of the present would find it hard to understand without the intervention of the Spirit of God and that had not happened at that time. A normal reaction that Nicodemus should think of a physical birth for himself for the second time but more than likely he said it in disbelief which is more likely to be the case and perhaps with a touch of sarcasm because after all he was a teacher of Israel you could add a touch of pride too. Jesus was more than aware of this he certainly was not going to make it easy for Nicodemus to understand because he knew what was in his heart as he does with me. Nevertheless he points Nicodemus too the true path to the Kingdom of God. (5) Nobody can enter the Kingdom of God unless they follow this command of Jesus and it applies to everyone not one person is exempt. I have to be born of water and the Spirit to enable me to enter the Kingdom of God exactly what Jesus is speaking of here. To be born of water is a reference to my physical birth because a baby is covered in water in a woman’s womb this gives protection to the child while waiting to come out of the womb and be born into the world Nicodemus had grasped that point so what is it that Jesus is speaking of I believe and this is just a suggestion he refers to the water that a new convert stands in while receiving adult baptism and on the confession of his faith is immersed  into the water when the person doing the baptism baptises the new covert in the name of the Father the Son and the Holy Spirit the convert making a public confession  of the salvation that he or she has received from the Lord Jesus Christ and that their lives belong to Him that part Nicodemus did not understand.

Earlier on in the previous chapters I have explained how I was born again and how I received adult baptism it is a reoccurring theme illustrating its crucial importance to the whole of humanity because without it no one can enter the Kingdom of God.

However; I am reminded of at this time in my Lord’s life he is still to go to the cross Nicodemus does not have the spiritual insight that my brothers and sisters have today because of the finished work of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ his cross work having been concluded. While he speaks to Nicodemus the conclusion of his earthly ministry had still to arrive.

Something else more puzzling to Nicodemus than being born of water is to be born of the Spirit he had no idea of what Jesus is talking of here and yet the Old Testament furnishes a number of examples the most notable one is of Isaiah the prophet

(Isa.6:7)And he touched my mouth with it, and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips: Your iniquity has been taken away, and your sin purged.”

         A classic example of how the Holy Spirit works even away back in the Old Testament and what had touched the lips of the prophet was a fiery coal sent to him from heaven after he  had become contrite because of his own personal sin before God.  “Woe is me because I am a man of unclean lips.” Here I can see the repentance of man who had come into the very presence of God.  God saw this and had mercy upon him and cut off his sin from him through the fiery coal Isaiah saw this in a vision and once that had ended  he was cleansed from sin ready to do the work of the Lord.

       The problem for Nicodemus was that he did not know that the person he was talking to and conversely to him was and is God and as a teacher and a ruler of Israel he should have known had he really looked into the Old Testament he would have saw the evidence for himself Jesus would remark on this later on in the passage,

 To be born of the Spirit means a new spiritual birth that can only be had by an encounter with God the Holy Spirit He then goes on to renew and transform your spirit as He did with my Spirit. But as Isaiah and the same with me we had to confess our sins before a righteous and Holy God before we could receive His mercy and forgiveness the same was expected of Nicodemus. H e was a Pharisee and with all the study that he had done Nicodemus of all people should have known Jesus was and is the Christ the Messiah the Son of God God Himself. Had he not read Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 they both speak of Christ being the Anointed One of God and Lord (6) Again Jesus reiterates to Nicodemus the ultimate importance of being born of the Spirit and not of the flesh. The apostle Peter corroborates what John is writing of here when he speaks of being born again through the word of God that lives for ever and ever I know that my flesh such as it is will not live forever but my spirit will and when I go to be with Christ my Lord I will be given a new body. (1Pet.1:23)My Lord underlines that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Paul adds more weight to this through his apostolic authority as one chosen by the glorious risen exalted Lord the Son of God Jesus Christ when Paul met him on the Damascus road. (Rom.7:6But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.) From this I can see I was never meant to live by keeping the law because I know it cannot be done the law was meant to lead me to God but it failed to do that Nicodemus had still to learn that Paul later on did.In the newness of the Spirit that is the key. The Spirit that Paul speaks of is the very same Spirit Jesus speaks of to Nicodemus the difference is Paul had experienced it for himself Nicodemus at this juncture had not

       The Holy Spirit is a person not an it He is not some impersonal  power He lives and abides in every individual believer and the fundamental point is to listen and obey all that He asks you to do because He receives His instructions from the Father and the Son He does not operate on his own. When Jesus said he had come to do the will of the Father and not of himself the very same is expected of me. A disciple does all that his master does and seeing that I am a disciple of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I have to carry a cross as he had done dying to himself as he walked the path that pleased God to his death of a bloody execution on a wooden cross nailed upon it after he had been beaten to an inch of his life. While he spoke to Nicodemus that was the path that stretched out before him which he willingly took because he loved the creativity of his hands Nicodemus being part of that creativity including me and the whole of humanity it is only his love that sets a person free he died to give forgiveness of sin to those who believed in Him this was the challenge he was setting before Nicodemus and at that point in this man’s life he was still to understand.

         I had been speaking about the fact that the Holy Spirit is a person and not some impersonal power when Jesus speaks here of being born again he is speaking of the activity of God the Holy Spirit as He works and brings conviction into the heart of a man and a woman of their state before a righteous and holy God exactly who Jesus is and God his Father it is at that point while the Spirit continues to work in the heart He brings repentance into their spirit and soul and when prompted by the Spirit to ask for forgiveness He gives this benefit to them there is no mention of any human agency intervening on the behalf of humanity it is all of the work of the Holy Spirit precisely what Jesus is saying to Nicodemus.The same can be said of today and the future I cannot do anything it is God the Holy Spirit who does things in and through me equally applicable to all my brothers and sisters who are in Christ Jesus. Praise the only God the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit the one true triune God bless his holy name.

       I would like to speak of the characteristics of God the Holy Spirit as the apostle Paul described them and I am quoting from what Strong has to say in regard to this matter

        (Rom.7:6)( Please see page1559 of the New Spirit Filled Life Bible. Quote. Word Wealth from the New King James Version.7:6 Spirit, pneuma (pnyoo-mah); Strong’s #4151:Compare “pneumonia,”  “pneumatic.”Breath,breeze,a current of air, wind, spirit.

Pneuma is that part of a person capable of responding to God. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, who draws us to Christ, convicts us of sin, enables us to accept Christ as our personal Saviour, assures us of salvation, enables us to live the victorious life, understand the Bible, pray according to God’s will, and share Christ with others. End of quote.)

     (7) This great man of learning esteemed by his peers was perplexed and amazed by what Christ is speaking of to him because he had thought he had known all there was to be known  in that period of history he failed to understand the point he was indeed relying on his own human wisdom that could effect nothing  neither for himself and those whom he taught but the man to whom he talks could because he is God his true identity is hidden from Nicodemus.The Spirit had to still enlighten him.

         My mind if you like has been influenced by the world I live in since I was born the world’s values as influenced by the enemy the devil when the only God is not my God other gods come in whatever they may be where the desire of your heart is that is your god for me it was music worldly wisdom drink sex and a whole lot of other things. I was focused on what I wanted for me I was not interested in what happened to others as long as I was doing great but when God in his mercy took me out of this the Holy Spirit has to keep working on the carnality of the old me that still lingers inside and I have to earnestly want that whatever God does not like that is in me I have to want to give it up of course it is hard and difficult because I like whatever it is and the me screams in my ear are you crazy because whoever we are we all like to be in the limelight Lording it over others and I am no different but God is slowly changing me and my hope and desire is that it does become quicker.

 At this stage Nicodemus has still to pursue this path the Holy Spirit has still to touch his heart the fact that he has come out to see Jesus even at night illustrates the work of the Spirit had begun in him. But there were things he still did not know. Jesus is aware of this and the reason for what he says to Nicodemus at the beginning of the verse. “Do not marvel that I said to you,…” He was without spiritual understanding it still had to come but it was beginning to come.

(8) Now Jesus speaks to him about something he knows but in a sense he does not know Nicodemus knows the wind exists because from time to time it has blown upon him the problem is that he does not know from which direction and how a purely physical issue.

    Very similar to those who are born of the Spirit he in his present state will not be able to tell where the people of God have come from and where they will go. He had tremendous difficulty in what Jesus had said to him the first time that he had to be born again now he is left in an even more confused state.

     Why is Jesus making it so difficult and hard for Nicodemus to understand or is he? I do not believe he is. The problem is the man’s own interpretation of what Scriptures he had studied John the apostle and author of this gospel introduced Nicodemus at the beginning of chapter three as a Pharisee and a ruler of Israel therefore he had ample time to study the law, the prophets, and the Psalms exactly the point Jesus would make further down the passage. God had clearly defined in his word of the Old Testament the origin of the wind how could someone like Nicodemus have forgotten only he could answer that.( Psalm.135:7.He causes the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightning for the rain, He brings the wind out of his treasures.) Now just as I have read this so too could have Nicodemus because it existed upon the scrolls of the Old Testament long before he was born in the book of Psalms. There are other books of the Old Testament that corroborate and give evidence to what the Psalmist says here about God. For instance in the book of Ecclesiastes at chapter eleven and verse five.(As you do not know what is the way of the wind, or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child, So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.) Finally although there are more passages in the Old Testament to reinforce the point that God made the wind it comes from Him and goes back to Him because He is the source. I would like to turn to the Prophets. Ezekiel had this to say,(Ezek.37:9. Also he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath,prophesy,son of man, and say to the breath, “ Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain that they may live.” )

    No wonder Jesus is making it hard for him Nicodemus should have at least known where the wind had come from and where it was going the question is what had he been doing all of those years before the arrival of Jesus only he could answer but with a certainty Jesus already knew that. Nicodemus did not need the Spirit to tell him that it was already in writing which could be found in the Old Testament so what had he been studying more than likely the law and all of the rules that the religious body of priests belonging to Israel and later on the Pharisees had added on. That as I can see profited him nothing. Bringing verses 9 and 10 together I can see that. “ How can this be?” Expresses a total disbelief because of the man’s inability to accept he could be wrong and as far as earthly matters are concerned he has been proved to be wrong in regard to the Old Testament. No wonder Jesus although he loved him gave a withering reply.(  “ Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things?”) Of course he did not because he had been studying man made rules and was trying to live by them and Israel whom he taught.

(11) Continuing to speak to Nicodemus Jesus uses the plural we he begins with I and then in the plural at this stage I believe he has lost Nicodemus in the dialogue he could not think of God the Son and God the Father existing co-equal  with each other never mind God coming in the flesh as a man and He who stood before him conversing with him was and is God and man but still one God. I am in the Father and the Father is in me precisely what Jesus is saying to Nicodemus.( Mtt.11:27. “ All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one the Son wills to reveal him.”) In the next part of the verse Jesus delivers a chilling condemnation to Nicodemus both he and his Father is God and have eternal knowledge of this so they testify to each other of this and both see this although both are one. Jesus is in effect speaking to Nicodemus on this again the Old Testament corroborates what Jesus is saying in regard to himself and his Father yet you reject our witness. The disbelief was all over the face of Nicodemus his lack of understanding was apparent as Jesus looked at him he refused to believe what Jesus was saying to him such was his lack of trust that Jesus had to rebuke him as I will see in the next verse which I believe speaks volumes of Nicodemus and his incapability to believe and as it was then the same can be said of today, tomorrow and the future.(12) He cannot believe in the earthly things that Jesus is speaking of here therefore it is highly unlikely that he is going to believe in heavenly things but the Spirit would change and transform his heart and mind as I will see further on in the passage

(13) Jesus speaks of himself here using the description Son of man to describe who he is I have no idea if Nicodemus knew what he was talking about more than likely not because he once again makes himself equal with God. In the eyes of the Jews particularly the religious leaders total blasphemy for which the penalty was death.There is no reaction from Nicodemus he obviously does not know what Jesus is speaking of. To confuse things further my Lord uses the second person figuratively to speak of himself because if had spoken directly, Nicodemus would have been outraged. In his eyes Jesus had been sent by God but was still a man

Again the lack of knowledge in regard to the Scrolls having been passed down to Israel containing the law, the prophets. and the Psalms is quite apparent in Nicodemus because they quite openly speak of Christ as the Son of man

.Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of Jesus not for Nicodemus and not for me quite a number of times my Lord has said the word testifies of him. I need to read God’s word and ask the Holy Spirit to interpret it to my spirit and soul so that I can become like Him. What is it that Jesus is saying to Nicodemus? Nicodemus I am the one who was in heaven and I have come down from there. I am God but at this moment in time you do not understand and yet the Scriptures testify of me. My Lord says to me. “I am your God.”

        There are two references that verify and corroborate the evidence of what Jesus here claims for himself and it can be found in the Old Testament. I will use only one of them.

   (Proverbs.30:4. “Who has ascended into heaven, or descended? Who has gathered the wind in his fists? Who has bound the waters in a garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name and what is His Son’s name? ) There is no excuse.

         I find it regrettable and very sad that there are those who are in some kind of church position who remain stuck in their restricted mind sets and some how think they are more important than anyone else regardless of what leadership position that may be whether they are pastors, elders, and deacons. Added to the list are leaders of the different ministries who become stumbling stones to themselves and others some without realising it others do

It is only in the last ten years that God the Holy Spirit has been quickened in my soul and spirit making me realise what God views as being important in me He is not interested in anything else that I should love Him more than anything else and that includes Irene my wife and my two sons and my daughter including church ministries

 And the ecclesiastical positions of assistant pastor which I have already held including that of being a deacon and an elder when God asked me to relinquish these positions I did so.

       Why did He do that He was checking the motivation of my heart and the reasons for what I was doing and why I was doing it. I was seeking the praise of men when I had been in these positions robbing God of his glory and He knew this but his chastisement of me was tempered with mercy and He has brought me closer to him because of it praise His glorious name Father, Son and Holy Ghost. There is so much covetous pride in the church of God.

I had been a deacon for many years in an evangelical church until one day the leader decided that we would take on the teaching of Romanism I resigned because God comes first not man nor position... I have preached and taught the scriptures as well as having been an assistant pastor but that is nothing compared to the love of God that He gave to me in and through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour and in and through God’s Spirit  I have to show Christ’s love to others.

The point Jesus was making to Nicodemus (14)Jesus now goes on to speak about his forth coming crucifixion to Nicodemus I do not think the man would understand God the Holy Spirit the comforter had still to come and only He would give him the enlightenment that he would need. Would I have understood had I been in the shoes of Nicodemus? I think of it like this the cross of my Lord had still to come it is easy to criticize with what I already know this man did not have that he could only rely on what he knew at the time. What was in his favour was the fact he was seeking God exactly what God is asking of me and His people.

Having said what I have said Nicodemus is not excused by Jesus because of his ignorance my Lord had already acknowledged to Nicodemus that he was a teacher of all Israel and there was enough evidence to point him in the direction of Christ who stands before him speaking to him as the long awaited Messiah.

Evidence that could be found in the Old Testament that he would have access to at any time. ( Numbers.21:4-9. “Then they journeyed from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became very discouraged on the way.5 And the people spoke against God and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and our soul loathes this worthless bread 6 So the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and many of the people of Israel died 7 Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, “ We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord and against you ; pray to the Lord that He take away the serpents from us.” So Moses prayed for the people.

8 Then the Lord said to Moses, “ Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and it shall be that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it shall live.” 9 So Moses made a bronze serpent, and put it on a pole; and so it was, if a serpent had bitten anyone. when he looked at the bronze serpent, he lived “ ) A type of crucifixion that Jesus uses figuratively of himself because it points forwards from the Old Testament to the manner of death that he would die. But instead of saving humanity physically he would save them from the second death a spiritual death that would cut them off from the living God forever. A dreadful end with the horrendous prospect of living in agonising torment without any escape. Without Christ my Lord that would be the destiny I would be heading for.

Jesus uses his favourite description of himself as recorded by the apostle John, “ Son of Man…” To be lifted up I believe speaks of his new body physically as a man the evidence for that is the fact he asked Thomas to put his fingers into the place where the wounds had been in his body and then he appeared on the shore with the rest of the apostles and ate fish with them. My Lord was no ghost he has substance.He would continue to be God and man in the one body. Difficult  for the human mind to understand but I believe it is true and I lean on God’s understanding not my own. I will continue to praise his great name Hallelujah !! 15 Believe in Him is the crux to all that Nicodemus is searching for. At this period in his life he did not know  that but at the end of John’s record of Jesus he would. Eternal life comes from God there is no one else who can give this.Only God Himself and here he is speaking to Nicodemus through his Son Jesus Christ the Son of God.Eternal life can only come in and through Christ Jesus my Lord

  16The great declaration of God’s love for the whole of humanity it is the chief point to why  I possess eternal life not because I had done anything for it the whole thing was and is planned by God the Father executed through His Son Jesus Christ assisted in and through God the Holy Spirit. Eternal life begins with God the Father and it ends with Him

 God in three persons Blessed trinity the one true God for there is no one else Christ his Son is the gospel. Begotten one of a kind unique of the same substance of his Father God

     He willingly gave up for me. The faith I have God placed in me there is nothing that I can take credit for it is all of God while I was yet a sinner His Son died for me upon the cross. God as a man because that is exactly who Jesus was and is being the Son of God did this wonderful thing for me not only me but for the whole of mankind and why because He loved us and continues to love us. Not only man Jesus Christ is God and man King of kings and Lord of lords. Greatly to be praised Love is the answer to why He has done this I am not meant to understand it with my intellect because I cannot I am just to enjoy being in it and  to always seek his face. Hallelujah!!!

        How would I explain God’s love that He  continues to shower upon me on a daily basis? He gives it to me unconditionally H e chooses to do so an act of his will and purpose the initiative is always with Him a love that cannot be conquered or defeated in any way always seeking the good for me and the whole of mankind. You do not need to feel it there is no chemistry involved a word that only belongs to God in the sense that explains it here. No wonder Paul the apostle has said in his writings belonging to the New Testament. I also say it with him from my heart. “ All glory, honour, and praise are to God the Father God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Amen. “ The great and glorious truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ in this one verse. The riches of his glory and majesty can never be adequately described in any earthly language.

        I have to look at the role God the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ occupies here in this central tenet of the gospel of his Son the Christ.  It is the Father God who loves mankind who brought his Son to earth although John the apostle writing this account uses the past tense loved but it is continuous because God the Father loves all the time.

     God is the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ and he is always at the forefront of everything his Son does. He it was who gave his one and only Son to the world I live in a Son made in the same substance as of Himself very God. Christ as the Son of God is God

      He can be nothing else H e must be God emphatically so when John categorically affirms in his own writing of this account of the Gospel of Christ as his intellect is guided and instructed by God the Holy Spirit and the fact of his relationship with the living God as a man and then one who is God who had an unique relationship with the risen glorified Christ because it was after Christ had been resurrected, exalted, and glorified that he penned this gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ his Lord and my Lord. The number of times John recorded Jesus speaking of himself I can only do what the father has sent me to do are many. Peculiar only to the apostle’s style of writing nevertheless fundamentally important to what God would have me understand in regard to this very important section of cardinal truth. The Father loves the creation of his hands the pinnacle of that is man because He formed him from the dust breathed life into him and the man became a living soul made in the image of God but after the fall of man he lost that intimacy and was lost from God but even then God had a remedy for that H e would send his Son who would bridge the gap between Himself and man. I have to stress to my soul that I have no part to play in this not at all as can be seen in the text. Unconditional favour and mercy freely flowing from the great and mighty God who is the Father of my Lord Jesus Christ who is also God the Lord. Central to God is His love for me and the whole of humanity this is what sparks His initiative and the actions that follow He sends His only Son there is no other Son only one. The word begotten means unique one of a kind Jesus the Christ the same substance of the Father. God the Father’s love for me is incredible I am speechless there is nothing I can add to that. From before the beginning it is the love of God and after the end stretching out to eternity the love of God the Father totally awesome.

     The apostle Paul adds his own weighty authority as conferred upon Him by the risen glorified Lord.  (Rom.5:8 “But God demonstrated his own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us,”)Demonstrates His love. While I live and breathe He continues to do that. I do not need to do anything to get that He gives it to me anyway but I need to be obedient to his voice.

      Speaking about my God I now come to the Son of God who is also God because God the Father and He are One God. I t had been prophesied in the Old Testament that the people of Israel would have a Messiah the Son of God would be He. (Isa.9:6) There he is called mighty God with a few of his other titles.  The pre- eminence is God hard to miss from the reading of the text it means nothing else. He is God there is no other God the God of the living who speaks to his servants in that still calm voice of his as He does to me. The voice that spoke to Elijah the Prophet. (1.Kings. 19:9. And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place ; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and H e said to him, “ What are you doing here, Elijah ?” ) The emphases is on the voice of God.

     Jesus Christ is in every point the same as God his Father the very same substance He is God who has come from God continued to be God co- equal in the attributes of his Father the chief hallmark of his identity is God is His Father in an exclusive position that can only be his he is the only one in the same substance of his Father therefore He is God the Son the only difference between Him and His Father apart from that both are co- equal with each other. I have now moved on to the Son of God but the material is very much about God who is my Lord. The Him John writes of here is Jesus Christ the Son of God who is his Lord and my Lord too. However there is a deeper meaning here because the father and the Son are here as one and both are on view. But it is God the Son who is now prominent in the middle of the text. “, that whoever believes in Him should have eternal life.” The key is to believe without belief I cannot enter the Kingdom of God and have eternal life. John the apostle had to believe all the claims that Jesus the Nazarene made for Himself that he was the Son of God and accept what he said of himself had he not then there would not have been this tremendous narrative of the gospel of Christ and what the author brings to it as influenced by God the Holy Spirit Jesus is in John’s heart and mind is the Christ the Son of the Living God He is the Living God too. The Lord of glory who continues to live always with no end in view in matchless glory stretching from eternity past present and future. This is what my Lord the glorious One Jesus Christ wants me to believe in regard to Him as Lord of lords and King of kings and I do! Belief is the key in my view to grow in spiritual maturity my Lord continued to stress and underline the importance of belief while he was on the earth and then through his apostles

   Paul in that great epistle to the Romans made sure that the believers there would know this cardinal principle for themselves. I read these words of Paul and it is like as if I am standing right next to Him and in the spiritual context that is indeed is what is happening.

   (Romans.10:9. “….that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”) As I have said my God is the living God and God the Father raised God the Son from the dead who is my Lord and King Jesus Christ He who is the very same God of the apostles John and Paul.

 I t furnishes and very importantly illustrates the main thrust of being a disciple and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and that is to believe in Him I need to trust and be obedient to his voice not of myself or that of the world. This is no empty doctrinal statement for me it is life itself a personal trust in the person and work of my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ and to be submissive to his Lordship ever me while I journey down here in my earthly tent. Not how I think or feel but how He would have me think and feel there is a vast difference. Taking a negative and making it a positive Luke the author of the third gospel from a reliable source such as the apostle Paul reported what Simon Peter had said to him in regard to what Jesus had said in front of him while he was here as a man.( Luke.9:56. “For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.”) There is no thought of annihilation here only the dwelling place of ones spirit and soul to be separated from the living God or not whatever the case may be. I am a witness to the fact that God my Saviour and Lord who is Jesus Christ has saved me and that is his intention for the whole of mankind. The choice is theirs whether to accept or reject human beings have a free moral choice in what they choose regardless of influences.

 I t should be said that from the outset God wants to save the whole of mankind despite what choice they may make his offer is open to them while every man woman and child continue to breathe while continuing to live down here

John 3: 17-21

    Verse17 makes the point very clear. God did not send his Son my Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ to condemn me as I was once part of the world in which I live as others do who are still to be saved apart from those who have already been saved .When Jesus was on the earth as a man he was still God he was and is therefore able to forgive sin and heal physically and spiritually with the help of God the Holy Spirit who resided in him as he had relinquish his power in heaven for a season to come down to earth as a man

      The religious leaders of Christ’s day were rigid in their monotheistic view of God and that God being God would do things in his purpose and plan even although it meant upsetting them. My evidence for that is found in the gospel of Luke specifically how Jesus forgives sin and heals individuals. (Lk.7:48; 50)Then he said to her. “Your sins are forgiven”50.Then he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you, Go in peace.”) My faith in Christ has saved me. When others believe in Christ they too will be saved...

          18 Now Jesus continues with some very strong words to say to those who were listening to him. I have to remind myself that these are words of one who is God my God not my words his words as penned by his servant John. Words that will stand the time of eternity because of his love for the world and the rejection of these words and his love of the world. Because I have believed I have not been judged but if I have not believed I am already judged. In a sense Jesus Christ depicted as the Son of Man is the judge here but He himself does not judge it is my actions and my words that already judge me. My belief or the lack of belief has already judged me. If the thought in my head is unbelief then I am already condemned. I have not believed in the name of the only Son of God but have. So why do I address myself in such manner because of the very grave consequences of unbelief and sin that rebels against the name of the only begotten Son of God. There is no eternal life for that type of mind set only separation from God and to be condemned forever to the fiery pit what a dreadful prospect but God does not want anyone to go there because He loves them and that is why He sent His Son to earth and the Son loves them also. I believe the words of my Lord  adds weight and reinforces what is being said by him in the following chapters (5:24)  “ Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in Him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.”

 19 Jesus comes right to the point and faces the challenge head on men have rejected Him because He is the light that continues to shine will always shine in eternity therefore I do not need to be afraid of anything but there are those who do who love themselves self centred and selfish they are of the world’s systems controlled by these things. Interestingly I turn to the gospel of Luke where my Lord had something more to say in regard to the darkness that covers men physical and spiritual. (Lk.11:35. “Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.”) The expression darkness is from the Greek which simply means to cover physically in the sense you seek after what pleases you or I seek after what pleases me in total disregard to the effect it has on others. It could also mean that I am spiritually, morally, and in an intellectual sense bankrupt metaphorically. I am then in a darkness that arises from me in error of my ways, ignorant, disobedient. I wilfully choose to be blind and be in rebellion against God who is the Light but that is no longer the case.  Praise God and Hallelujah.

    20 This is a warning to those who do evil because Jesus knows the situation they are in and that they already hate Him and a warning to me not to step backwards. The apostle Paul endorses this point. (Eph.5:11. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.”) Really hard and difficult things to do but God the Holy Spirit will help and enable me to do it. 21 A great word of encouragement from my Lord to me asking that I should draw close to him because he will help me to do what is true so that I can come to his wonderful light which enables him to see the deeds I have done not because he has not seen them already but because I come to the light which He is and they have been done in God and not me the essence of pleasing God. The grace of God that abides in me enables and equips for his service so that He should get the glory

         One of my favourite apostles the apostle Paul was very masterful in his grasp of language and God had given him a tremendous ability to write the simplest profundities with great eloquence and the precious truth of Christ and I end this section quoting from one of his epistles a timeless truth that is very dear to me. (1.Cor.15:10. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”)

John the Baptist humbles himself in the praise and exaltation of the Christ

 

(22) The reality of the Messiah had now come. The anointed one was already here in the person of Jesus the Christ, but was not known as that to the populace at large.

       Note that his public work and ministry had begun. He had entered Judea with his disciples stayed with them and had baptized.

         John the Baptist had earlier made the point that he was not the light but the forerunner.        Who pointed to the Light, addressing those around him of what needed to be done before the Light came. In order to believe what the Light Himself would have to say to them. (Jn1:8)

       Now we see the fruit of what John the Baptist had already said to others. The Light who is our Saviour and Lord the Lord Jesus Christ had already baptized a few through his disciples. Not himself. The reason for that will shortly be made apparent. Now a number had joined the Kingdom the Kingdom to which you and I belong.

      My friend’s do you belong to Christ’s Kingdom? Only you and the Lord know. If not why not make Him Lord now? The whole purpose of the good news is for you. To give you eternal life.

    (23)   John the Baptist the herald who proclaimed the coming of the Messiah told to prepare the hearts of the people of Israel was actively doing that. With the baptism in and through the waters of the River Jordan immersing those who renounced their sins leading them to repentance. Confessing their sins in a very public manner while standing in the river in front of the crowds who were watching.

         The apostle remarks that there was a lot of water. Probably one of the widest and deepest sections of the River Jordan. Concluding at the end of the verse the author comments that many of the crowd came and were baptised.

           But it should be observed that the baptism they were receiving was the outward show of a public confession before God, and they would still need the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. To enable them to live lives pleasing to God. That was still to come.

(24) John the apostle makes a strange remark about John the Baptist that the latter had not been thrown into prison. What exactly does the apostle mean here? Bear in mind he and Andrew had been disciples of John the Baptist before leaving to follow Jesus who would be the Messiah.

         Perhaps in their humanistic manner of thinking John the Baptist should have stopped because Christ the Messiah was here. But that is of men and not of God

        I should always be careful of what I think because I do not know the mind of God only that which He reveals to me.

         My belief.  The author’s point exactly. Even although John the Baptist’s role is only temporary. He himself knew that. His only concern that the Jesus he knew from Nazareth was infact the Christ the chosen and anointed one of God. John was a man with the weaknesses and the frailty the flesh brought to him.

       A great man of God. The Herald of the King. Jesus Christ his Lord. Chosen by God to announce the coming of his Son. Jesus said of John the Baptist as that of a man that there was no one greater than him, before and after.

     A lot can be learnt from the Baptist’s humility towards God. The temptation must have been there to think he was greater and better than any ordinary mortal being

   But where the Bible stays silent I must be silent. Jesus Christ his God conferred the honour upon him. John as a man. He was the greatest prophet ever to have walked the earth...He is not the Christ.

(25) + (26) an argument had arisen between John’s disciples and the Jews. I believe that when the author uses this term he is meaning the religious leaders of his day. They were always openly hostile to Jesus, and at this moment John the Baptist‘s disciples.

          But there was something much deeper here that needs more than a cursory glance.

Enmity between God and the Devil He uses every opportunity to oppose everything God is doing here in and through his Son Jesus Christ. The Jews are unwittingly his accomplices. H e tries to drive a wedge between John’s disciples and the disciples of Jesus.

          No blame can be levelled at John the Baptist because of his disciples refusal to leave him to go and follow Jesus Christ. He had told them plainly who He was. They obviously failed to understand what the Baptist had said to then concerning the true identity of the one who was called Jesus of Nazareth

       It could be that they did not believe what John had said to them in regard to Jesus. As far as they were concerned he was just another of the many who claimed to be the Christ

      I believe that is the underlying current beneath the words of the next verse. Look how John’s disciples come and meet him. They are agitated and vexed because in their eyes Jesus was taking away more people from John who could be disciples. Failed miserably to understand who Jesus was and is.

        Rabbi, they say to him, that man, you met and you testified to beyond the Jordan he is doing what you are doing. They do not say it but John knows what they want him to do. To oppose Jesus and stop him from doing the things he does.

         John never spoke directly about the true identity of Jesus but he left enough for the discerning hearer to pick up.  The ones who have come to him still need more of God’s revelation on the subject of His Son. The Baptist knew that.

       One of the paradoxes of John the Baptist’s life is the fact he claims not to have known Jesus. I believe what is meant here is our Lord’s earthly existence. There is no record of them meeting until they encountered each other in the River Jordan, and that is after both had had a life span of thirty years. Not only that they were both related to each other in their earthly genealogy.

      Perhaps explains the difficulty of John to point his followers in the direction of Jesus added to that was their inability to listen. The other side of the coin is the fact the time had not yet come for God to reveal to the world the presence of His Son.

      (27) After complaining  John  once again uses a picture of words indirectly to give them the understanding they obviously lacked. He never gives a direct answer to them John reminds me of our Lord when he spoke in parables to some. Mostly the crowd and the religious leaders of his day. I suggest John the Baptist is very much like that. He is not going to give them it on a plate. God will not allow that. They that are the disciples of John if they are serious then they themselves must search God out. Show their desire for Him the revelation of who Jesus is then will follow.

          You and I have not to just rely on what the pastor brings every Sunday or whoever is preaching We have a responsibility to study the Holy Scriptures themselves to see what God  will reveal of Himself asking the Holy Spirit to reveal what God would have us know in regard to the purposes of His plans for us.

 (27)         John the voice of the wilderness reminds them that it is God who gives and nobody else but in the context of this passage the Baptist speaks to them of the Christ.

               God has given to His Son those who have flocked together to see him. He Jesus has made them his disciples. The same principle applies to John the Baptist because he is the man God sent to be a forerunner of His Son

                All that I have been given is from God in order to glorify Him here on earth. My life belongs to Him. John the Baptist knew this deep down in his heart as well as the author of this gospel the apostle John A priceless truth enshrined within them held tightly like precious gems for the whole of eternity.

      (28) You begin to wonder how many times John the Baptist had to keep on repeating to his followers who he is and had told them a number of times that he is not the Christ.

               I have no idea whether he was exasperated or not and how he felt having to repeat the same information over and over again.Frustrated, exasperated, and agitated. I believe I may have been in John’s position. There is no evidence to speak of what his feelings and emotions were like at that time. He got on with the task that he had been sent to do.

           Again he reminds them of the day when the Pharisees sent out priests and Levites to him and they had asked if he was the Christ to which he replied he was not. John emphatically said, “I am not the Christ.” The whole perplexing point to this those who are asking John about who the man was he had met beyond the Jordan had been eye witnesses of what he had said to the priests and the Levites and had heard him reply that he was not the Christ.

         John patiently describes to them that he is not the Christ. Almost as if he is teaching them by rote. If you tell them enough times the penny will drop.

           While answering the Levites and Priests the Baptist brings back to memory of those who had followed him and now stood around him of that incident which had now passed of how they had seen and heard his reply to them... “I have been sent before him”

              I am not looking at it from John the Baptist’s perspective but from that of his disciples. After all it is to them he addresses these words.

             How did they view and interpret what John the Baptist had said in his description and purpose of the coming Messiah Jesus Christ? He seems to take quite elaborate discussions to explain to them who he is in his relationship to the Messiah Jesus Christ who was already there.

           What I must bear in mind is that the Holy Spirit was still to be revealed .To give to them the understanding they lacked.

But John the Baptist is the subject and object of what the author John the apostle is writing of here.

The apostle gives a tremendous and vivid description of the feelings and emotions of the one he describes as the voice in the wilderness. He had been a disciple of his.

Something like a biography. Similar. An account of a person’s life. After they have left this life. True in the case of John the Baptist’s life but not in the context of the Good News of Jesus Christ or as the manuscripts read: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There the similarities end.

The gospel is good news now and after death which can only be found in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our author’s sole purpose and object of his account of the gospel of his God and Lord. The glorified Christ. Is, as we read it. Guided through the Holy Spirit. Those who have yet to believe will be led to repentance and accept Jesus Christ as Lord. The whole aim of the gospel of Christ.

I was talking of the feelings and emotions of John the Baptist let’s add to that his thinking. He never at any time forgot why God sent him, before sending His Son. John knew his position. He was the forerunner who had came to prepare the way of the Lord and after that would willingly bow out of the pages of human history. An object lesson to all who aspire to be leaders to take the lower route. John the Baptist the man. From him we can draw the conclusion of what true humility ought to look like

We can see that from one of the earlier passages that we had read. “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.” (Jn.1:6.) The significant point, even although he was filled with the Holy Spirit from birth he was still a man.

Earthly words some of the time fails to convey the deepest significance and meaning of all of the mightiest and wonderful exploits of God our Father in heaven, and in John the Baptist. A miraculous miracle of the highest magnitude. In the sense he was a man given to the world as a representative of His Son our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ

The magnificent magnitude of a miraculous miracle belongs to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ in the magnificent magnitude of his love and mercy including his long suffering towards us all.

From our point of view the greatest miracle of all is that He loves us and continues to love you and me but He hates sin.  The evidence of which lies in His Son whom He sent to earth who is now our risen Lord

(29) The bridegroom of which John the Baptist speaks of here is Jesus Christ. The difficulty here is that John who is described by John the apostle as the voice in the wilderness is still very much alive and at that time the church as we know it was still to come into being.

        When John the Baptist speaks of the bride who is she that he speaks of? I know that the apostle who wrote this gospel would probably think of the church as being the bride of Christ because the church had been established when he wrote this gospel but that does not answer what John the Baptist was thinking of.

        Perhaps the word church is not the vehicle that should be used here in the context of the passage that is under study and scrutiny. I do not believe John the Baptist would have understood this expression.

        My belief is that he would know the meaning of it but not expressed in the word church. I do not think he knew any of the Greek of which the New Testament was written in. Begging the question from what source did he take the word bride and use it in the manner he uses here?

          I believe we can find the answer in the prophet Isaiah that John known as the voice in the wilderness would be well aware of. Carries the same meaning of church. (Isa.49:18) They will come to you and we see that here as Jesus draws the crowds. Those who are chosen by Him from the crowds are bind to Him as a bride binds herself to her bridegroom.

       My own personal belief is that; this is the case. I have no evidence of John whom the apostle writes of here as the voice in the wilderness of using the Old Testament in such a way. Against that the Old Testament uses portraits of married life to a great extent. I am sure John the voice in the wilderness would be very familiar with.  I am assuming that John the voice in the wilderness did not speak any Greek but there is no evidence to say he did not. Like Jesus he never wrote of himself that was left to the authors of the New Testament...

        The friend of the Bridegroom Jesus Christ is John the Baptist who had been the forerunner and the herald who had proclaimed the coming of the Lord for his people

Preparing their hearts for the Bridegroom from heaven...

          I had spoken earlier of the humbleness that so marked the character of John the Baptist but with it came a tremendous joy of one who knew he was serving his Lord and God in such an exceptional role nobody would take from him. The world still writes books concerning him but they are nothing to the greatness that God the Father bestowed upon him as the forerunner and the herald of His Son Jesus Christ a privilege and an honour that outweighed anything the world could give to him. The world had stolen everything from God anyway, and was not theirs to give.

         To John his time had come to slip quietly back into anonymity the pinnacle of what he had been sent to do had now arrived. Note how he handles this important time in his life he does not protest but accepts his task is done.

       Accepting it with tremendous dignity and humility with great rejoicing in his heart because at long last the Messiah the Anointed One of God had arrived in the Person of Jesus Christ but only known to the crowds as Jesus of Nazareth until his true identity would be revealed to them.

(30) Selfless love is on view John thinks not of himself but of his Lord. Although he call’s Jesus Christ his friend He is also his Lord. To be successful in my witness and testimony towards my Lord He must come first. The very same Lord of John’s. A very painful business dying to self but that is what we all have to do by putting Jesus Christ first in everything.

(31)We see in the words from John the Baptist to his disciples that the man they had met on the other side of the Jordan is clearly the Christ. What else could they have thought of when John speaks of him as coming from above? The Baptist provides the key in two sharp distinctions one is from above the other is from below.

      I would like us to focus on what the apostle John is thinking of here while he had listened to what John known as the voice in the wilderness had said and recorded it here in this passage.

     Speaking of the Messiah the Christ the Baptist clearly indicates to his listeners that the man they had seen on the other side of the Jordan is more than a man He is God. The Godman as a number of Biblical scholars and theologians have expressed the phrase.

      To try to understand this very difficult concept with our own limited human intellect is beyond us including those who have been saved. The Holy Spirit is continuing His work within us burning the residue of carnality off of us transforming our earthly minds into the perfect mind of Christ our Lord. A work that will continue until we are called home to glory.

       If you and I have difficulty in understanding the concept of God coming from heaven to step into the world He had made? How much more difficult was it for these men to whom John the Baptist spoke too.

      They did not have the hind sight you and I have. Our Lord had just started his public ministry. I believe that some of them had a vague idea of what John the Baptist was speaking of to them. No more than that

      For any man belonging to the Jewish race to call himself God was blasphemy for which the penalty was death

         You can see the quandary John’s disciples felt themselves in. The Jews believed totally in a monotheistic God.  He is one. To talk about three individuals residing in the one God was completely alien to the religion they had been brought up in and taught. A system of rigid rules and ritual with no room for change.

         Unfortunately the Orthodox Jews still believe in these things to day and are still waiting for the Messiah who has already been according to what we believe. There are the Messianic Jews who believe in what we believe as against the Orthodox.

         Nevertheless; there is no doubt in the mind of John the Baptist this man whom he had met on the other side of the Jordan Jesus Christ is God. His God your God, and my God. God in the flesh!

          Jesus Christ in his deity is God of John the Baptist the voice in the wilderness who would know this deep down in his own spirit. More so than any other human.

        But how astounding God’s Son should even step down from heaven placing his feet upon the earth’s crust for our sakes. Nobody recognized Him for who he was and is

         To those of the crowds who passed by he was just another ordinary man like them

Little did they know God was in the midst of them as a man without sin. What a paradox.!

         Jesus is the heavenly man who has come from heaven. Adam was the first man to be made from the dust. The dust was already flesh when our Lord stepped into it.

         The apostle Paul illustrates these two distinctive ideas better than anyone. (I.Cor.15:47) “The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second man is the Lord from heaven”

        Again the author of this gospel will repeat later on the point He who has stepped down from heaven is above all.

          Above all. A very significant short sentence. To those of us who are saved, and are being saved. Tremendous joy and gladness and to those who rebel, and are not. An ominous warning. (Jn...6:33) “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jesus Christ our Lord speaking of Himself and we will look at this chapter with a deeper intensity when we come to it.

    (32)   Fundamental for the increase of our faith in our risen glorified Lord is that we understand correctly the author’s recording of what John the Baptist speaks of here to his disciples.

             To differentiate from the author John the apostle and John the Baptist in this verse I will describe the Baptist as the voice in the wilderness

            The voice in the wilderness is not speaking of himself here he is speaking of our Lord.

         Jesus when he spoke to Nicodemus spoke of himself and God his Father in the use of the plural we. “We speak what we know,” Our Lord can only speak of what he knows of in his Father God. God the Father speaks through his Son of himself and what he knows of his Son both have complete knowledge of each other as the First and Second Persons of the Trinity. The one triune God the Holy Spirit being the third Person of the trinity

         “…That he testifies…” God the Father testifies that He Jesus Christ His Son has now come upon the earth through His Son Jesus Christ known at the moment as Jesus of Nazareth who openly vocally testifies to Nicodemus who he really is. The Messiah the Son of God.

               To really get a grasp of what the voice in the wilderness John the Baptist is saying to his followers concerning our Lord we need to turn to the gospel of Matthew.

(Mtt.11:27) Jesus speaking of himself said this. “All things have been delivered to Me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

             From this we can conclude because the text from Matthew makes the above verse quite transparent now. Jesus Christ has seen and heard his Father and his Father has seen and heard Him. Therefore; the witness and testimony of them being one God is true.

          All that the law and the prophets had said about Him was accurate and now had come to pass.

            A damming indictment comes from the mouth of John the Baptist to those who were listening to him.     No one at that moment believed in the message the Son was bringing from the Father. The same applies today not everyone will receive the message.

Quite a negative view but in the next verse a more positive tone. We must except the truth of God no matter how stark it can be. God’s Son our risen Lord has the final say to who He will reveal His Father God

    (33)  He of whom John the Baptist speaks of here is none other than our Lord. Jesus Christ is the Son of God sent by God his Father because He is God the Son He can only speak of what God the Father has given to Him to speak

           Christ then can therefore testify and assert God is true because He God the Son and God His Father are one.

            The author in his second contribution to the books that make up the New Testament his first circular letter described as the first letter of John the Apostle speaks further of this incident date of writing probably A.D. 90 (I Jn .5:10) “He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he does not believe the testimony that God has given of His Son”

         At this period Jesus had already received the baptism of the Holy Spirit He dwells within the Son of God now. The Spirit testifies in and through the Son Of God that is who He is. The Holy Spirit is the witness and the testimony of the fact that Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God the long promised Messiah. (Jn I.33.)

     “   He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself”  To believe you and I  already had the Holy Spirit working within our hearts softening them towards the mercy  of God our Father enabling us in accepting Jesus Christ His Son as Lord and Saviour. (An additional note. Before coming to earth as a man God the Son always exerted divine universal authority He is divine in His origin has always been, will continue to be

              Never at any time was not God. When He came to earth all that He did was to relinquish his power as one who is God for the time He would need to accomplish his Father’s plan for the salvation of mankind.) (34) He who God sent in this case Jesus Christ our Lord speaks the words of God. He Himself is God because He is God the Son

    All the power of the Holy Spirit had been afforded to Him with nothing held back in order that he would finish the work God his Father had asked of him. We are the recipients of that finished work those of us who believe and many who will come to believe. Praise God!

 (35) Without distinction God has given everything into the hands of the Son he loves.

The whole of everything nothing excluded. A sober and serious business nothing is left out of the remit of our God

         Christ the righteous judge will judge all who appear before Him. All. Includes the whole of humanity the living and the dead the godly and the ungodly. The Demonic invisible world with the chief principal the Devil. Nothing will escape the judgment of the Righteous Judge Jesus Christ our Lord.

      The author of the book of Hebrews makes a comment in regard to this matter. (Heb.2:8)  “You have put all things in subjection under his feet “At this moment all things are being put under his feet a continuing process. The finality will come as God ushers in the close of the age.

      (36) You can have law but no justice. Justice, equity, and the law as God made them here are faultless. The fulfillment of them is found in His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

              There are two options brought before us in the words of the author the apostle John recording the conversation of John the Baptist with his disciples. The gravity of which we must ponder and deliberate upon because of the decisions made will decide on the destiny of our spirit. Again the decision is left to us our responsibility. God will not force Himself upon us. But leaves us in no doubt to what will happen when we decide against Him.

         Unlike an earthly jury the penalty of what we say and do can be plainly seen. No court in the world of judiciary is anything like that probably why we have so many miscarriages of justice and innocent people are sent to jail. Not here. Believe in Jesus Christ our Lord and you will have eternal life not my words God’s. If there are some who are reading this and do not know Jesus Christ why not accept Him into your heart now

        All you have to do is say to Him in your own voice quietly “Jesus I would like to accept you as the Lord of my life and forgive me of my sin” When you do that with meaning and sincerity giving Him all your love. Your life will be dramatically changed and for the better.

       I am not one for overstating the real danger of going to hell but to go to a lost eternity cut off from God forever is what it means .Not to believe means exactly that.

      When you reject the love of God as seen in his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. While you continue to live and breathe in this world His anger will be directed against you. Not God’s decision yours. Many continue to do that knowing the consequences. All we can do is pray for them.

    An on going situation that we find ourselves in because the world has never changed in its hostility and war against our God

     Listen to the words of the apostle Paul. (Rom.1:18) “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.”

 

 

                            

John.14:1-31.

Final arrangements of Jesus with his disciples

 

                                                   John.14:1-31.

 

 

                                 He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.14.1-6

 

14.1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me.”

 

                 The cornerstone of this text is found in the middle clause of the sentence which also runs into the end of the text. “You believe in God, believe also in me.” The belief of the disciples is on the agenda of the thinking of Jesus.

                 I believe the disciples have only partially understood who God the Father is, likewise his Son Jesus Christ. Starting with the middle clause of the verse, Jesus affirms to them that they believe in his Father God. My suggestion is that Jesus, God in the flesh with his foreknowledge, knew that this small band of men really did not know who God his Father was, and is, the same principle applying to him as one who is God.

               Let us just say, that in regard to the disciples, the confirmation from their mouths that God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven, and that he is his Son is only on the grounds of their earthly intellectual consent.

             In the period of 450 years before Christ was born the word of prophecy had remained silent. God was to a certain extent unknowable; you could not even mention Him by name, incase; you were being irreverent towards Him. There were only a few names you could approach him with. You could say, because of their background the disciples know of God, but they do not know him. Jesus is quite aware of how they thought towards him and His Father. Time would radically change their thinking after being filled with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. But this is now.

              Jesus knew that his own earthly life was drawing to a close with the passion of the crucifixion, and his glorious resurrection gravitating towards him. He was speaking to them about things that they could not understand for the moment, which they would, after his death, and resurrection

             At the moment they had some kind of belief in God his Father, and in him as God’s Son...Even although it was not personal, as we know it. The beginnings of the seed of the church were there. Let not your heart be troubled is something God’s Spirit repeats to us, all of the time, because of our slowness to believe in Him, that all things are possible, and we let the enemy get in.

              He is speaking words of comfort to this small band of his disciples. The very same words he uses to you and me

           Like you and I they have grown up without seeing the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, but trusting in Him, regardless of the content, and extent of their belief. On that we really do not know.

            Only after his resurrection, when he appeared to them, the real significance of who he is would grab hold of their hearts. Jesus the Nazarene is the Christ, the Son of God.

           Perhaps Jesus is alluding to his Father in heaven, and the fact that in some kind of measure they had each trusted in Him without seeing him. Now they would have to do the same thing for him, when he would be taken away from them, and then killed, coming back to see them, after his resurrection.

                You and I, who trust in Jesus Christ, call him Lord, without actually seeing him. What is it based upon, our earthly intelligence or from the spirit within us? I agree God has given us mental faculties to be able to reason things out. But it is a poor substitute for his divine reasoning, and supernatural powers. He has given us the ability to think over the things he communicates to us. Self sufficiency can stop us from depending on God.

            The disciples Jesus had called upon to follow him had left everything. We have no New Testament record of how they managed to live, eat, and drink fluid necessary for the body. It is difficult to imagine a scenario like that. But the fact that it did happen has never been in doubt. Surely not to difficult to realize the God of miracles Jesus Christ provided for them through God his Father.

         Everything is dependant on Jesus being God veiled in human flesh. I believe that is the crucial point of our belief. He is either God or not. The man who performed miracles in Palestine continues to do so through his people now. There is however one qualification needed on our part, how strong is our belief? I ask myself the very same question every day, asking God the Holy Spirit to increase my own personal belief in Jesus Christ my Lord. He helps me to grow into the image of my Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ. I could not live the Christian faith as described in the Bible without him. I give all honour, and glory to the Spirit of the living God, without him I would not be able to please the Father, and his Son. It took a long time coming being baptized in the Holy Spirit, but it did come. Hallelujah! I will discuss this later on further down in the passage.

       When you and I know God fully and intimately our hearts will not be troubled, but we must desire his presence all of the time

        (2) “In my Father’s house are many mansions; if it was not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” I believe our Lord’s disciples, at this moment, did not fully understand, what he was promising to them. It would only be after the resurrection that with the help of the Holy Spirit the understanding of what Jesus had promised would be complete. The question we must ask ourselves is why did Jesus give them this promise? He knew his passion was just about to descend upon him. I spoke of his foreknowledge as one who is God. Jesus is the Christ veiled in human flesh the long awaited Messiah. At this critical period of human history Jesus is still a man talking to his disciples. He knew, they only knew him as God, from intellectual consent, but not from the heart.

             How many of us are still like that, even although you and I have been born again. The action of God the Holy Spirit speaking to our hearts, and softening them, after hearing the preaching of the Good News of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ towards us. The Spirit spoke to the spirit within us, our hearts, and our intellect.  At salvation you and I had the experience of being transmitted from an earthly kingdom to a Spiritual Realm. But it was not done based on our intellect alone. Baptism in water by immersion is an outward confession of our faith and ordinance which represents that which has taken place on the inside of us.

            Unfortunately, I like many others, after that experience, forgot that the Spirit of the living God speaks to our hearts, as well as our intellect, resulting in a struggle with our Christian life, when that should not have been the case. I had years of struggle with that one, praise God for his mercy, he brought me through this to the other end, and is still doing so. If you are struggling with your intellect and trying to rely on what the Spirit of God is asking of you? Then simply ask the Spirit of God to show you how. He is there to help you to do whatever he asks.

       Because of what lay ahead of Jesus, he feels it is imperative to speak of the reality of heaven, in his foreknowledge, he knows, when he is arrested, and taken away from them, and crucified. It will be too much for their fledgling faith. All but one will desert him, the author of this gospel, the beloved disciple. But look deeper into this illustration, and you will see the love of Christ for this tiny little band of followers, upon these men he will build his church. It did not seem likely at the time, but Jesus knew their hearts, and with the help of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, it would happen. The very same love God gives to us through his Son Jesus Christ, our risen Lord. Let us love him with our hearts until we are all called home to glory.

        We need to see the mercy, compassion, and love Jesus gives to these men at a critical period in their lives, and his. Unbelievable in human terms is his love, and concern for them, when he knows his own death is imminent, always putting them before his own needs. He asked them for prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane , and none could do it, still he loved them. Brothers, and sisters, he saw the frailties of the flesh in these men of his, did not judge them, loved them. The very same love he gives to you and me. (Jn.13:33, 34. 36.) “Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, Where I am going you cannot come, so now I say to you. (34) “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Impossible, yes; when we try to do this in our own strength, and ability, at best totally useless. The answer is in Jesus our Lord, he gave up his own power, and authority, to come and live as a man, as we see here with his disciples, relying fully on God the Holy Spirit to enable him to please God the  Father. The essence and dynamics of living a life fully pleasing to God is always to look to be in the Spirit of the living God, which I earnestly seek, and keep asking for, in order to further his kingdom, and glory, here upon the earth.

                    The reality of heaven is found in Jesus the Son of God. We find this in the conversation Jesus had with his disciples in the previous chapter. ( 13:36 ,)  “Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” He knew that Simon Peter did not really understand what he meant, but like the rest of the disciples, he would after the resurrection. Let us not be too harsh upon these early disciples of our risen Lord. He still had to meet with his crucifixion, and resurrection, the disciples at this time, did not have the indwelling power, and influence of the Holy Spirit. The end clause of verse 2 is important to all who love our Lord. “I go to prepare a place for you.” At this juncture, Jesus is looking at what is soon to follow, his crucifixion, death, and resurrection. But it will be after he has ascended, that a place will be prepared for his disciples. You and I have the wonderful hindsight to look back at the work of Jesus leading to the cross, his crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension. I would like us to think from the disciples point of view, for a change. None of them had received in full measure the gift of the Holy Spirit. All they had were the words of Jesus without the power. But it is to our Lord, and this small band of men, the gospel of Christ was built upon. From these small beginnings we have our church, the church of our Lord Jesus Christ. Never forget the choice to follow Jesus was always before these early disciples of Our Lord’s. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude, and appreciation, for following through all that Jesus asked of them, although they will not see it that way. They like all the heroes of faith, who have went before us, will be glad to see us follow their footsteps, in following Jesus Christ our risen glorified Lord.

      (3) “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”  The key I believe is in the middle clause of the verse, when Jesus talks of receiving each of the disciples, so that they may be where he is. A final appearance to them was in his resurrected body, but I do not believe that is what is meant here. He still had not taken them to the place he had prepared for them. Scripture informs us that he left them, while ascending into heaven. (Acts.1:11)...who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” I believe the operative mechanism is in the words, “I go to prepare a place for you,” A place means a geographical location, something that is permanent. I believe Jesus is speaking here of the new heaven and earth, which is still to come, and will come with his Second Coming. Of course, when we die we will go to be with Jesus in glory, but that is not what is meant here. My own thoughts turn to the Book of Revelation. (Rev.21:2) “Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” My dear friends, brothers, and sisters, this is the glorious future that awaits us. Those of us who have went home to glory, before us, including the disciples mentioned in this passage are waiting like you and I for the fulfillment of his Second Coming. Hallelujah! Let us praise God’s wonderful name (4) “And where I go you know, and the way you know.” Jesus repeats to them what he has already said in his promise to these followers of his. He has already disclosed to his disciples the fact that his destination is to go to be with his Father in heaven. Not only that, but the way it will be achieved. The questions he is asked in regard to what he has said, illustrates, that none of them could accept the spiritual principles on face value, even although they still had to wait on the Comforter the Holy Spirit, for which there is no excuse. (5) Thomas said, to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” The problem with Thomas, and the rest of the disciples, because I believe he also speaks for them is that they believe the place Jesus speaks of is here on the earth, a literal interpretation. He along with the rest shut their eyes to other possibilities. (6) Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” I would like to focus on the latter two ideas spoken of in the last two clauses of the first sentence; he is the truth, and the life. Never forget that the Son of Man is always God Jesus of Nazareth hidden in human flesh. (Jn.1:14)(And the Word (Jesus Christ) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.) Like his Father in heaven, one as God, he can only be true to himself. He also expects us to be true to him in how we conduct our Christian lives. When Jesus speaks about life, the life he talks of is of our spiritual life, now, and the future. Before you and I came face to face with Jesus in a God encounter with him, my spirit, and your spirit was dead. H e actively with God our Father, and the Holy Spirit working within our hearts, ignited, and brought alive the spirit within us. You could say God the Holy Spirit made us aware of the Father and the Son, and his love for us. The love of God the Son is also the love of God the Father made visible to you and I through his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. What is uppermost in the Johannine thought is the Spiritual life Christ gives or will give to his early disciples. The spiritual life you and I have already received. The words he spoke to the disciples, before his passion, were crucially important then, as they are for us now, as well as the future. (Jn.11:25,) Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die he shall live.” Note the emphasis is on living in faithful and glad obedience to our Lord, even although it may lead to being murdered, as he was .If we cling on to our earthly existence, at any cost, does that not deny the fact of a Spiritual Realm, that God is leading us to through his Son Jesus Christ? I believe that this leads us into the experience of living with God, every day, and night, Jesus call’s it, the way.  “I am the way,” We are to take the same route that our Lord took towards God, as we have seen in our Lord’s earthly life, through suffering, and like him triumphant through our humiliation, identifying ourselves in Christ with his glorious victory over the enemy. “No one can come to the Father accept by me.” Unless you and I accept Jesus Christ as Lord, we will never know God his Father or him. If that is the case for some of us, we will never enter into heaven, and have eternal life. To know Jesus Christ in our hearts as well as our intellect is what is on view. (1.Tim.2:5) “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.”  Until we understand that God the Father can only be approached though the man Jesus Christ, we will never get near the Father. Some have only given intellectual consent to be born again, when the Spirit of God has spoken to them, but have not aligned the spirit within them to Him.

           For many believers who fall into this category living a Christ like life will be a mighty struggle, in fact, it will be impossible. T o know God in the deepest sense of knowing someone close to you, we all need the help of the Holy Spirit to make it possible. God desires that we earnestly chase after him, when we do that he shows up

          These early apostles will achieve God’s presence and love through experience and chasing after him, as we should.

          Jesus speaks of what Paul the Apostle said to Timothy in his first letter as mentioned above; He is the source of it. “No one comes to the Father except though Me”

           Christ is central to our Christian faith without him you and I would have no faith.

John in the earlier part of his narrative recorded these words of Jesus for our behalf. (Jn.10:7-9.)  Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) “All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. (9) “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Emphases on the fact that Jesus is the door, through him only we have access to eternal life, and of being able to enter into the presence of God the Father. Only Jesus can save us from a lost eternity.


John in the earlier part of his narrative recorded these words of Jesus for our behalf. (Jn.10:7-9.)  Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. (8) “All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. (9) “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Emphases on the fact that Jesus is the door, through him only we have access to eternal life, and of being able to enter into the presence of God the Father. Only Jesus can save us from a lost eternity.

 

 

                                       Father and Son Revealed.  14:7-11.

 

(7) “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him” The underlying truth is seen in the term known, past tense. To know, as Jesus sees it, is more than merely an intellectual consent of God existing.Furthermore,what is more astounding to the disciples is the claim Jesus makes for himself that God His Father exists in him as a person. The problem here is that the Jews believed in strict monotheism, that there is only one God, who cannot be seen by human flesh, let alone dwell in a man. They had restricted God into someone who is remote from the crowning moment of his creation, man being made in his image. God is holy and unapproachable for his chosen people. They had forgotten that he had revealed himself to the prophets, who were made of the very substance they are made of, flesh and blood. Anybody who called himself a god in the eyes of the religious leaders of the Jews was blasphemy, the penalty was death, for such people. When Jesus informs his disciples that they can see his Father God in him, he is actually proclaiming, that he is God, to them.

       We can see that in the last clause of the verse. “ ..And from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” I really do not think they understood what Jesus had said to them, regarding his identity with the Father, spiritual recognition would come much later. My belief is that the process of knowing God the Father had begun with the encounter the disciples had, had, with Jesus Christ his Son, when they had first met. The very same encounter we have all had with him, when we were first saved; the trick is to continue to seek the face of God. Without an encounter with the living exalted Christ the Bible will remain meaningless to us, because we cannot apply the instructions given to us in our own natural strengths, and resources, quite impossible, probably, why the greatest intellects of the world have struggled with the face value principles of God’s Word. Do not see God in how they visualize him, and therefore does not exist, for others a great impersonal force, who keeps the universe, and the planet we live on in an ordered manner. We are all free to choose the path that we follow on; those intellects that reject God in Christ are free to do so, after weighing up the evidence, as they see it. (8) Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father.” But in the previous verse as we have discussed Jesus had said to him, “…and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.” Jesus is the Son of God, He and his Father are one, that being the case, when the disciples gazed upon Jesus, not only were they looking upon the Son of God, they were also looking upon His Father God. Philip’s question illustrates that they had not really understood what Jesus had said to them. (9) Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father?” We need to understand that when God the Holy Spirit speaks to you and me, the instructions conveyed to us comes from both the Son Jesus Christ our Lord and God his, and our Father. The apostle Paul gives a superb description of this in his Letter to the Colossians. (Col.1:15) “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Keep in mind the disciples were still waiting on the gift of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who would lead them into the truth of what Jesus had said to them.

        (10)  “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.” There is a distinction here between God the Father and God the Son, both of the same substance in the deity of the one triune God. We can see the order of the divine relationship, first there is God the Father, secondly God the Son, and thirdly God the Holy Spirit.

               I would like to put this scenario before you; in His foreknowledge God the Father and God his Son had already seen the downfall of Adam, discussed together with God the Holy Spirit, how best to recover the situation mankind had allowed himself to fall into, God the Son, agreeing to fulfill the purposes, and the sovereign will of his Father to rescue man from an impossible crisis. We have on view here the first two persons of the trinity Father and Son, both work closely together in actual fact work as one. How can two people be one? This is precisely what Jesus is speaking of to his disciples. Let us look closely at the first sentence of the verse, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me?” A very difficult concept to accept on face value from the humanistic manner of our thought processes of an earthly mind. I know what Jesus is alluding to, and it can be seen from those who read it, who do not know God, accepting it is another matter, impossible without the intervention of God the Holy Spirit.

  Again it is worth reiterating the disciples had to still receive God the Holy Spirit in full measure. They have a man in front of them, who has told them, he is the Son of God, and although they have believed in what he has said of himself, Jesus of Nazareth, still are struggling with the concept. To make matters worse, they have been told not to disclose his true identity to anyone. Add to that, if anyone found out what Jesus had said of himself, regarding his true identity, he would have been killed immediately, and his disciples along with him. I have no idea what must have been going through the hearts and minds of these men, but you can be sure it was absolute turmoil. What did they have as proof of what he was saying that he was God, a few miracles, and his word. Not a lot to go on, when they knew the religious leaders were plotting to kill him. The fact he declared himself to be God deserved the death penalty from his own religious authorities that is one of the reasons why he spoke to the crowds in parables. The miracle is, that even in these trying times, they stayed with him. My suggestion is that God the Father was exercising calmness over them through his Son Jesus of Nazareth soon to be the risen glorified Christ. They could not understand the idea Jesus had just put to them, the fact that he and his Father are one. When Jesus spoke to them, he was actually saying, “When you look at me, you are not only seeing one person, you are seeing two, “My Father and I.”  I think, I would have been just like the disciples, and wondered what Jesus was talking about? Like them, I would have still been waiting for the gift of the Holy Spirit. We were without the Spirit of the living God until He graciously showed up in our lives, Praise God.

   (11) “Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or believe me for the sake of the works themselves.”

             Jesus previously, in the early chapters of this gospel, had said to the disciples, that he had laid down his own authority, in order to come under the authority of his Father; he had relinquished his own power by becoming a man. He could do nothing  of himself he had come to glorify his Father.

            What is Jesus trying to get across to his disciples? The importance of the kingdom of God being seen in their lives, how they talk and act. Always allowing the Spirit of the living God to control every emotion, and thought that comes into their hearts. To be guided by the voice of the Holy Spirit doing what He asks with a glad and obedient heart.

           However; as we know the Spirit had still to fall upon them, but these instructions are for us in the now. There is a work to be done, but only God knows where it is, and what it is, and we must ask the Spirit of God to give us guidance on the matter. Our sole purpose is to build his kingdom here on earth under his authority, and rule, to do it any other way is not of Him. Pray and ask Him for direction in your lives, listen for his voice, and do what he asks of you, always showing the fruits of the Spirit to everyone When you and I do that, the works Jesus was able to do, will also be done through you and I, with one provision, we give the glory to God. 

   The Promise of the Comforter.14:15-17

 

(15) “If you love Me you will keep my commandments.” (16) “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever...” (17) “...the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”(18) “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”

 

(15) “If you love Me you will keep My commandments,” You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord, must continue to love him, by these means, we will be able to keep his commandments. The imperative is there for all of us to see. Jesus Christ loves you and me, but it is our responsibility, with gladness, to give him all the love of our hearts.

       John the apostle of this gospel makes it very plain, what happens, when you, and I, love our risen glorified Lord, and how it manifests itself to the world that we are in. We can find this in his First Letter. (1.Jn.5:3) “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.” Let Jesus Christ our Lord carry the weight, Hallelujah! (Mtt.11:30) “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Words Jesus spoke to his disciples, the very same words, he addresses to you, and me. The expression, easy, comes from the New Testament Greek term, “chrestos,” Built upon our relationship with God our Saviour, through the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, giving us the strength, and the boldness to do what God the Father, and Jesus Christ his Son, our Lord, asks of us. It is so easy to do the work of God, when we do it, while resting in Him. It is not that we do it, but God who does it through us, when you, and I, are obedient to the soft whispering voice of our God.

    (16) “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever…” Jesus felt the necessity to pray, a characteristic mark in most of his earthly life. You and I as his disciples are called to do likewise, without prayer, talking of our own personnel prayer life, there will be no fruit, and how do we expect to hear God, if we do not speak to him, and listen? The great heroes of faith spent as much time praying to God, and listening, while being active in the work of God, that is why, they were so successful. The very same principle that marks the great men and women of God in this era, would you not like to be like them, in the pursuit of the holiness of Christ? Let us take up the challenge in our glad obedience to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Not just listening to what he says to us, but actually doing it.

    “…and He will give you another Comforter,” Jesus will ask his Father through prayer to send someone just like himself, but different, because He is different, although of the same substance of the Father, and the Son. Some manuscripts describe Him as the helper, others the Comforter. I believe the best view of one who is called another, is that He is both helper and Comforter. The New Testament Greek for our English translation of another is allos, meaning, of the same type, but in another person like Jesus Christ the Son, and God the Father, but not God the Father, and not God the Son. He will be like Him, Jesus Christ, after He has been taken into heaven to be with His Father. He will do the very same things Jesus done while here in the flesh, but with a wider scope, through many, not just a few. Allow the Spirit of the living God to control your life, and He will take you on an amazing journey, cultivating into being taken home to glory, the very same glory, these early disciples have already gone too, with all the saints who have passed through the pages of history up until the present. My suggestion, live and breathe Jesus Christ, with the help of the helper, and the Comforter. You cannot see the Comforter but He is here, and those who know Jesus Christ know Him, and are mightily used by, and of Him, to increase the Kingdom Of God with the grace and love of God the Father, and His Son, being magnified through us to our brethren, and a lost world

        Jesus speaks of the Comforter again, in the following chapter, ( 15:26 ) “But when the Comforter comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”   The English word Comforter is the translation of the Greek term, “parakletos,” which means, from the expression, Para, beside, and kaleo,”to call,” put into a sentence like the following: the Comforter, the Helper, the Spirit of truth will be called to help the disciples to overcome all that will come against them, after the resurrection, and ascension, the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. He will always testify of the Lordship of the risen glorified Christ to us who know Him including the testimony of the Glorified Lord. He will also bring to us the proper understanding of the truth of the Old Testamment, and New Testament Writings, the book we call the Bible. Only He can give us the supernatural power to overcome the persecution, and hostility of the world, that is against us, because it was, and is, an enemy of our risen Lord. The promise of the Holy Spirit to abide with them forever is equally true for you, and me. There is, however, one important detail, you and I, must want Him in our lives!  To live, and breathe, the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we need to give permission to the Holy Spirit, to allow Him to speak to us, of what God, our Father, and Jesus Christ, our Lord ,where, and what He wants to use us for? Like the disciples, afterwards, when our Lord was taken to heaven, we must always think of God, first, from the time we waken, until the time, we lie down for the night. When you and I do that, we are actually reforming ourselves from the inside, by, and through the help of the Spirit of the living God. The great Reformer John Hus of what is now the Czech Republic was taken out, and burned on a wooden stake, because he dared to live by the Word of God, upsetting the church of his time, who had been corrupted by the enemy, through false religion that meant nothing to anyone. Before John Hus was taken out, and burned, he asked the Lord Jesus Christ to forgive them; we ask ourselves, how it was possible to do that? I t is quite simple, but very profound; he loved God, with the same love, he loved his enemies. “O,” for the zeal of the Reformers in their love for God, who enabled them to return the church to her principles, and values of the New Testament. My heart burns to see the same desire for God’s love in us for Him, and for his church, and the lost, not settling for pious religion, that means nothing, cold, and lethargic.

  (17) “The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you, and will be in you.”

           Supernatural ability, given by the Spirit of God, is beginning to tale shape here, for Christ’s disciples. God’s Spirit is called the Spirit of truth; He brings the truth of God, our Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord, into the spirit that belongs to you, and me, which then merges into one, when you, and I, desire to be one with Christ. There is a greater importance of responsibility placed upon our shoulders as believers to submit our will and desire to that of our Lord’s. What we want must be subdued to what God desires, and wants of us, to build his kingdom. The decision to do that is left to you, and me.

          Later on John the Apostle would write further on this vital teaching in his First Letter, (1.Jn.4:6.) “We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.”

             “..Whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him;”

I spoke earlier of only giving intellectual admission, and consent, to being born again, without it coming from the heart; perhaps, these belong to the many groups Jesus had in mind. If that is the case, your heart will remain cold and hard, only you can repent, and seek forgiveness from God! Let Him stir your heart. The man or woman who does things through self sufficiency, without seeking guidance from God, even although he and she declares himself or herself to be a Christian is not. He or she may have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit, before, and after conversion, responding only with the intellect, but you need to align your heart with God by loving Him, or we may be likened to the people the apostle Paul wrote of in his First Letter to the Corinthians.( 1.Cor.2:14)  “ But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

          Continuing in the latter part of verse 17, listen to the words of Jesus as he speaks to his disciples, and we who know, and love the Lord, speaking of the Spirit of truth, he says to us: “...But you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”

          At this stage in the life of Jesus, while with his disciples, the Spirit is with them, because He is in the person of Jesus, not only that, they know the Spirit, because they know Him. Not only is the Spirit with them, after the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, he would send the Holy Spirit upon them, at Pentecost, the very same Holy Spirit, you, and I, enjoy today.

             The apostle John, much later in life, now full of the Spirit of God, gives us further details on how the very same Spirit can help us to please God. We can find this in his First Letter, which is found on the pages of the New Testament. (1.Jn.2:27) “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him”  

            I would like to look at the end of verse 17, “….and will be in you….” Crucially important are the words, “in you” Without the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, you will never hear God’s instructions for your life, because God the Holy Spirit does nothing of himself, he brings the help to do what pleases our God. You could say God the Holy Spirit is the messenger, helper, and Comforter who proceeds from God to us.

      (18)  “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.” Once our Lord’s resurrection has been completed ,he will appear before the disciples, instructing them to wait until the Day of Pentecost, where upon the Holy Spirit will enter into each of their spirits, giving them the power to do what God our Father commands of them, through God the Holy Spirit. Difficult as it may seem, when we ask the Lord to take over the lives, you, and I live, the whole of the trinity enters into each individual spirit of every believer, the Godhead bodily Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hard for the flesh to understand, but your spirit, and my spirit will, the natural man will not. Spiritual enlightenment comes from God. We can never hope to understand the intellect of God with our earthly mind sets, but what we can do, is believe in our hearts, and in our spirits, what God communicates to us through his Spirit. There is that otherness of God that you, and I, will never know, because he is God, the exclusiveness of being God. Where we to know all that there is to know about God, he would cease to be God.

                  I believe you, and I should have an awe of him, without being terrified or afraid, because of what, and who he is, the God who lives eternally. The Genesis narrative on the opening page, the author affirms, and confirms, “In the beginning God,” God has never ceased to exist, he stands outside of our world, but is available in and through his Son Jesus Christ, to those who listen to what his Spirit would say to them, and obey.

            Jesus talks of his Father quite a lot. Later on the apostle Paul in quite a few of his letters to the early church, describes the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, as Abba, Aramaic for Father, Jesus also used the Aramaic, when speaking of his Father. (Mk.14:36) And He said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for You. Take this cup away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what You will.” The whole emphases is on what God our Father’s will is for you, and me, the very basics of living a Christ like life with the help of the Holy Spirit. The key element, I believe, is to seek God’s will, and purpose, for our lives, sacrificing our own self interests, for the sake of the gospel of  Jesus Christ, Amen.

          Ending the passage on the first part of the verse, Jesus informs his disciples that he will not leave them as orphans. I said earlier in this study, that the Holy Spirit had still to fall upon the disciples, that being the case, they would still be without a complete understanding, which is still applicable.

         My understanding of this, which is a suggestion to you, is in the first words of Jesus to his disciples, when he informs them, that he will not leave them as orphans, we have the earliest hint of adoption. Through the cross work of Christ, and of himself, they will be accepted as sons of God. You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord, and Saviour, have, because of His saving work upon the cross, have been adopted by God our Father, to be His sons and daughters through His Son Jesus Christ, our risen, glorified Lord. Hallelujah!

 

 

                              The Father and the Son will live in you.14:19-24.

 

(19) “A little while longer the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also (20) “At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.”(21) “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (22) Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it You will manifest Yourself to us, and not the world?” (23) Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love Him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.” (24) “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word you hear is not Mine but the Father who sent Me.”

 

(19) “A little longer the world will see Me no more,” The world can only see Jesus while he is here in the flesh. We must also remember that in his first chapter of this gospel, John wrote of the fact of Jesus being in the world, but even although it was made through him, did not recognize him. The same truth will apply right into eternity that is why; many will not accept the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but let us praise God for those who will be saved. (1:10.) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him

       However; we see a more positive note in the next part of the verse, “…but you will see Me...” See him in his resurrected glorified body, and after the ascension in the Spirit.

        Wonderful as that is, there is an even greater conclusion to the verse, “Because I live, you will live also.” Is Jesus talking about the life he is living upon the earth now or the Spirit life? My personal belief is that he is speaking of both, which concludes, when we leave our physical bodies behind to go to be with the Lord. While we continue to live, and breathe in the now, your spirit, and my spirit is in the kingdom of heaven, while our physical frames are upon the earth. This is only possible because of God. We owe a great debt to God, because of what he has done for you, and I, let us continue to love God our Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, with the whole of our heart.

        The great apostle Paul, although he would not think of himself in that way, had this to say, (Rom.5; 10) “For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” When Paul call’s himself an enemy of God, even after he has been on the road of Christianity, for quite a long period, although that is not the case now, it should make us take stock of ourselves, and where we are now? Only by the grace of God, we are saved, and by no other means.

     (20) “At that day you will know that I am in My Father and you in Me, and I in you.” I believe Jesus is speaking of the day of Pentecost, when God the Holy Spirit will fall on all the gathered assembly; he, with the Father, and the Son, would enter each believing heart. The pattern for all of those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord, with out the Holy Spirit, it is impossible to be a Christian, and live a Christ like life. I believe it could also mean, the Rapture, when the dead in Christ, with you, and I, who are alive, go to meet the risen glorified Lord, with the clouds. What a terrific future that awaits the people of God; Hallelujah!

      (21) “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” Notice; how Jesus reminds his disciples to love him, the same responsibility holds good for us. There is no one way street mentioned in the Bible, where we are constantly taking, but not giving. The emphases is on having Christ’s commandments in us, and keeping them, but without having the Spirit of God dwelling with in us, this is impossible.

             However; when we have the Spirit of God dwelling within us, we still need to surrender our will to Him, to let the will of God the Father, and His Son be worked out in us. When we give all the love of our hearts to Jesus Christ, with out being distracted by the things of this world, doing what he asks of us with the help of the Spirit, we then will be loved even more by God the Father. Never forget that the responsibility of free will is still with us, and from time to time it will rear its ugly head, to try and stop us from doing what pleases God. It is not easy, but that is why God has given us the help of the Holy Spirit to enable us to be overcomers.

          The chief cornerstone of the Good News of Jesus Christ is found in the last clause of the verse, “….and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…” I would like us to focus on the expression, manifest. Jesus takes the initiative; it is he who reveals his love to us, or in other words, makes himself visible to you, and me. Jesus Christ reveals the identity of Himself to believers. Manifest simply means to make visible. You and I who know Jesus Christ as Lord, is because, he revealed knowledge of himself into our spirit, and that, of his identity.

         (22) Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” The following two verses provide the answer to the question, Judas asked of Jesus. Just as there will be many who accept his word of who he is, the Son of God, many will reject it.

         (23)  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” How does a person make a home? By entering and living in it. When nobody lives in a house, it is empty, because nobody is living there.

                  The question you and I have to ask ourselves, is how does the Son of God and his Father, come and make a home with us? Although the Holy Spirit is not mentioned directly, the Son of God includes Him with God his Father in the expression, “ we.” “We will come and make Our home with him,” Revelation of God comes by and through his Spirit to our spirit, our hearts, and intellect. When we accept Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, immediately, the one triune God makes a home within our spirit. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit take up residence within our physical bodies.

        The Apostle Paul, later on, gives evidence of agreeing with the risen glorified Lord, on this very important element of Christian doctrine.

         Please turn with me to Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians chapter six and at verse sixteen, “ And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said.” “ I will dwell with them And walk among them. I will be their God, And they shall be my people.” The temple Paul speaks of is our human bodies that can be seen from the outside, the external, what people can see, but God sees what is inside, the interior.

        The challenge will always lie before us, while we live and breathe, who is it we will serve, God or self? Time and time again, and again, Jesus always issued a challenge towards his disciples, to be active in the support of the kingdom of God , by putting into action the words that he spoke to them. The very same principles hold good for us today, until we are called home, or when we are received at the Rapture.

         There is no such thing as a safe church, merely the deception of the devil in this modern world that we live in, conforming to the secular laws of godless authorities, we find ourselves living under, who do not believe in God ,and have no time for him. We seem to forget that Paul, and Peter were executed, because of their faith in Jesus Christ, declaring him to be the one and only true God.

          Stephen was the first to be murdered, because he preached the gospel of Jesus Christ, when the crowds while listening took up stones, and threw them at him, causing his death. See the book of Acts at chapter 7 and verses 59, and 60, “And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”60 Then he knelt down and cried with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin,” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.  A hard challenge to what some conceive to be true Christianity. What we have here is the essence of the love of God being spilled out in the earthly life of Stephen in his death, when he cries out to God to forgive them for his murder, replicating the words of our risen Lord, exactly what our risen Lord would have us do. The challenge of showing the love of Christ to others is left with us. What will you do with it?  Stephen with tremendous willingness illustrated a life of faith that is possible when you walk close to God. He was not self seeking nor self serving totally committed to loving his master and serving him. I take great courage from this, and so should all the other faithful disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

          We now come to the very opposite of this, for those who do not love the Lord Jesus Christ, or have watered down, and diluted the love they have towards him, ignoring the Holy Spirit within them, accepting what the world call’s Christianity, an unbiblical Christianity. The following and last verse of this passage makes it quite plain what has already been said.

      (24) “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” The presumption on our Lord’s part is quite clear and obvious. Jesus is speaking about the love you and I are to give to Him. The responsibility of loving Him must come from our hearts, he must be given the first place in our lives, or otherwise, it does not work. If you and I love Jesus Christ our risen Lord? We will seek what pleases him in what we say and do, the success of that will span the years we live down here. Again our Lord repeats what he has already said to his disciples, the fact that he had come to do the Father’s will, the words he utters to them is from his Father. The still small voice we hear from God, is from God the Father, and his Son, relayed to us from God the Holy Spirit; the voice of the one triune God. I will bring to conclusion this passage by quoting from an earlier Johannine statement from this gospel narrative of his. Jn.5:19, Then Jesus answered and said to them, “ Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” You and I must allow the Spirit of the living God to control the whole of our lives, so that we will see the kingdom grow.

 

The Peace of the Risen Glorified Lord. 14:25-31.

 

 

(25) “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. (26) “But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (27) “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (28) “ You have heard Me say to you, “ I am going away and coming back to you,” “ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, “ I am going to the Father,” for My Father is greater than I.(29) “ And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.(30)  “ I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. (31) “ But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandments, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.”

 

     (25) “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.” Jesus knew that they had from the beginning relied too much on his physical presence, and that it would be hard for them, after he had left them though and because of his death upon the cross. Only after he had risen again, and met them in his resurrected body, would their faltering faith start to grow, meeting the increase, when the Holy Spirit fell upon them at Pentecost.

            Unless you have had an encounter with the living God, through his Son Jesus Christ, whom he raised from the dead giving him a resurrected glorified body, now the Lord of glory, whatever shape and form that comes in it is impossible to have faith. You can read the Bible from cover to cover; it will still mean nothing that is why many in the New Testament era refused to believe that Jesus had been raised from the dead. The same lack of belief is present in the world we live in and will continue until the Second Coming. Easier to believe in something we can see with our physical sight rather than that which is invisible. Only God can reveal his invisible visible kingdom

   (26) “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” He does that through God the Holy Spirit, sometimes called the Comforter and the Helper, sent to help God’s people to be overcomers, without Him the Christian life is impossible.

           The name Comforter is the English translation of the New Testament Greek word Parakletos from Para , “beside,” and kaleo, “to call,” from this you can see that the Parakletos or the Comforter is sent from God in the Person of his Son the Lord Jesus Christ. You can call on Him to come beside you, asking that he would interpret the Bible, God’s word to you, as well as overcoming the hostilities of the world towards you. The very basics of how to live the Christian life is found in the Holy Spirit.

         Once again we turn to the Apostle Paul in corroboration with his Master and Lord.

. The glorified Son of God Jesus Christ, affirming and confirming the uselessness of the words of men that change nothing. Turning to the First Letter of his to the Corinthians at chapter 2 and verse13, he goes on to say, “ These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches, comparing  spiritual things with spiritual.” Unless you give over the whole of your thinking to God through the Holy Spirit operating within your spirit, your intellect, no matter how great it is, despite holding university degrees will amount to nothing because it is the wisdom of man. You can preach, teach, and do good works, but if God is not in it nothing will come of it. There is nothing wrong with academic achievements, but that alone will not cut it.

      (27) “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” This is quite a difficult concept for the disciples to understand, and even to day, there are a number of saints who still have great difficulty with it. I believe the answer is to live a fully surrendered life to Jesus Christ. Unless I live like that walking close to God I am going to have insurmountable difficulties in living the Christian life. I know what you are thinking that’s hard to do. Of course it is, Jesus speaking to his disciples, said to them, “If any man wants to follow me, let him deny himself and take up his cross, and follow me.” But that is why you and I have been given the gift of the Holy Spirit to make it possible to deny ourselves. When we commit ourselves in pleasing God the devil cannot accuse us of any wrong doing.

            Turning to the peace Jesus is speaking of giving to his disciples, the word signifies a peace that only God can give to his people. What exactly is Jesus talking of here? Having the knowledge of God in you, that no matter what the devil throws at you, God is in control, and has already given you the victory over the devil. The victory is not spoken of here in this passage, it was still to come. But now we look back on it, in and through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul knew and experienced this peace in his life. The very same peace that is open to you and me. Listen to the Apostle’s words to the believers at Colosse, Col.3:15 “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

       But this could not happen when Jesus was here in the flesh; he had to die in order that he could return in his Spirit to us, that with him, including his Father with the Holy Spirit abiding in you and me we will be able to overcome all that the enemy throws at us.

        (28)  “You have heard Me say to you, I am going away and coming back to you. If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I am going to the Father, for My Father is greater than I.”

           My belief in understanding what Jesus is trying to say to his disciples here, is that they have not to put him in a position that looks down upon his Father. The very reason why he is standing in front of them is because of the Father’s love for these men chosen by his Son. Jesus Christ is the visible proof of God his Father’s love to them, who came in obedience to the express will and purposes of his Father God.

         When you and I use the word God, we mean by that expression the three individual persons who make up the one triune God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus stresses the point that his Father is greater than he. This does not overlook the importance of the Son of God, coming in the first instance, with out Him, there would be no Christianity. But he came in submissiveness to the purposes and sovereign will of his Father.

            “I have not come to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me.” This saying of Jesus and many more are recorded in the synoptic gospel accounts, as well as the fourth gospel, recorded by John the Apostle.

             Grasp the fact that it is exactly because God our heavenly Father loved us, and continually loves us, that he sent his Son to die on a cross, that through his death, and resurrection, that those who believe in Him, accepting him as Lord, our Father in heaven provides through his Son’s blood the salvation that we receive. Let us praise God with all of our hearts!

           The Apostle Paul brings out this point in his Letter to the Church at Philippi . (Phil.2:6) “….who being in the form of God, did not consider it something to be held onto to be equal with God,” A completely different mind set that you and I are looking at here. Foreign to our nature, totally opposed towards it. Submissiveness of self towards the purposes and sovereign will of God the Father, as has been illustrated to us in the earthly life of Jesus Christ, recorded in the synoptic, as well as the fourth gospel of the New Testament. Not possible with human strength but only with God. (Jn.5:19) Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.”

      (29) “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.”

            The disciples were having a hard time in believing what Jesus had said to them, regarding, what was to happen to him in the very near future. Only after his death by crucifixion, and then his resurrection from the dead by God his Father, meeting him in his resurrected body would they then believe what he had said to them, concerning himself. Even then some doubted. You can only believe in God, after having an encounter with him in your life. The realization of who Jesus Christ is, would only dawn upon them at the Day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit fell upon them. In that moment the voice of the living God will start to speak to them and us, and continues to do so.

     (30) “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.”

              Try as hard as he can, the devil never got a foothold in the life of Jesus Christ. Not even his death upon the cross would shake his resolve looming ever nearer; because he knew it was necessary for him to die, in order to save mankind, and bring them back to his Father God. The world is under the dominion of Satan, and will continue to be so until Christ’s Second Coming. Therefore the enemy will try everything he can to entice us away from God; we must resist him with the help of the Spirit of the living God.

            The Apostle John makes this abundantly clear in his first circular Letter to the churches in and around Ephesus , written in the first century of the early church. (1 Jn.5:19, 20.)  We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one. (20) And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.

        (31) “But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.” Perhaps not then, but the world now knows the Son of God loves the Father, as he has always. The commandment Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Lord gives to us is to love him and his Father in exactly the same manner, as he has, illustrated to us through his life’s obedience towards his Father, depicted through the writings of the New Testament authors, and to love one another as he has loved us.

            

 

 

 

 


 


John chapter 17

                               My Lord’s Prayer.Jn 17:1-5

 

(1) The focus is now on Jesus in the words he speaks of to his Father. While he was speaking he lifted his eyes towards heaven. He had been speaking to his disciples and they still stood around him. I believe you could call it a very public and personal prayer because of that.

       Jesus was illustrating the truth of his identity to them. He did not hide the fact of who he is. Publicly portraying to them he is the Son of God soon to be the Lord of Glory. At the moment Jesus is veiled in human flesh. The disciples could only see a man standing before them. They knew who he claimed to be and had accepted what he had said in regard to himself but at this time never really understood what it meant. Later on they would benefit from this.

      At the time only a few knew his real identity. To the crowds they could only see a man. To the world of today he still continues to be that. The age I live in only accepts him as a historical figure. A man who went about doing good but one who is God totally ridiculous. Many are called few are chosen .On that basis the idea of Jesus just being a man will persist to the end. It is easier for humanity to accept Jesus the man but not God. Jesus would know this. The motivation behind his prayer is that the world would know he is God the Son revealing God the Father to it.         `          

      The reason why he looks to heaven is because he looks towards his Father. He is totally dependant on Him to fulfil the work that had been given to him to do.Crucialy important, even more so than any earlier period in his life. The hour as the writer of the fourth gospel superbly calls it had come. Jesus would need all the strength that the Spirit of God would give to him to enable him to triumph victoriously over all that the devil would bring against him.

        “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you,” Glory for the Son of God and glory for God the Father. When God glorifies his Son he is also glorifying Himself through His Son. The Son glorifies the Father and the Father glorifies the Son.

         There is no selfish request from my Lord. In this verse his ultimate aim and desire is to glorify His Father in the world I live in, and He lived in then... “…that your Son also may glorify you.”

            Many Christian scholars and theologians have entitled this passage of Scripture as the High Priestly prayer for Christ himself. He intercedes on his own behalf, and for those whom his Father has given to Him. I believe there are times when I need to take myself out of the equation, when my Lord only wants me to meditate and ponder on His Person, and Character equally true of God His Father. The same can be said, of the Holy Spirit

            My gut feeling is that this is one of these occasions. The passage is peculiarly my Lord’s He is caught up in a conversation with His Father. All of it is God centred. God the Son speaking to God His Father. What wonderful grace He the Son of God my Lord gives to me in his insight to the drama unfolding before my eyes. To give me a glimpse of the divine deity. To let me see and understand that it is all about Him soon to be the Lord of Glory. To see it from the God point of view not from my own perspective as much as the Spirit of God allows                                                                                                                                        (2) Breathe taking from the earthly point of view whether anybody likes it or not depending on the premises they are looking from. God the Father has invested His authority upon His Son. Jesus Christ my Lord. He is to have dominion and rule over the whole of mankind the godly and the ungodly. It really does not matter in the end the fact that the ungodly will not recognize his rule and authority and be sent to a lost eternity that is their decision. Not because he does not love them but because of their continuing rebellion against the Lord of lords and King of kings. Daniel the prophet of the Old Testament prophesied of this event six hundred years before the birth of Christ my Lord. Here I see it being acted out in the person of my Lord (Dan.7:14) (“Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion,

         Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”) From my own spiritual perspective in view of what I read of here I am completely humbled. The question in my heart why should God care about me? His word tells me that I rebelled and walked away from Him, not only me the whole of humanity.

          Nobody humanly speaking would have even considered this plan of action unfolding before me. The answer is His love towards me. An intellectual answer that answers my mental faculty of an earthly mind. No! Throws up more questions than answers. Sin darkened my intellectual progress the Holy Spirit continues to burn that off.

    But in the passage before me He is still to come in that format which does not happen until later. We find his introduction in this format in the Acts of the Spirit of God through the apostles. (Acts.2)He continues to transform my mind and spirit into the perfection of Christ my Lord. an on going process However; the passage is directly about the Son of God being glorified. Through His glory He will glorify His Father in heaven. I am spoken of in an indirect fashion but the tremendous thrust behind it is the love of God my Father towards me, and all my countless brothers and sisters chosen by God the Father

           Eternal life finds its centre in the God and Father of my risen Lord. Jesus Christ. The whole concept and origin of eternal life springs from the Father. “That He...”  God the Father should give me eternal life “To as many you have given Him” There is no mistake I am a gift from God the Father to His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. You means God our Father. “Given Him.”

 Means the Son of God Jesus Christ.

             The many are all of those who have been chosen by God our Father to be His before the beginning and the foundation of the world that we live in today. How astonishing to the weakness of my human heart and spirit. But nevertheless it is true for each and everyone who knows Jesus Christ as Lord. We who have been chosen by God our Father in heaven did not know this but H e did, and when the time came He revealed this to us through His Son Jesus Christ our Lord. He gave us as a gift to His Son Jesus Christ. I note that it is not in my hands it has always been in His hands to do whatever pleases Him. There are many more out there who are the Father’s children to be given to his Son Jesus Christ as a gift from Himself. Only His Spirit can lead me to them because I am a brother of theirs. How limitless are the riches of God’s love to all. Radiant glory from both God the Son and God the Father continuing to blaze fire and light not seen by mere mortals who continue to walk in the dark. I would like to concentrate on the last part of the verse and see what the Spirit of God would have me understand in regard to it. “..As you have given Him...” Reinforces what God is doing which involves his Son Jesus Christ. The whole concept of the conversation is of that which had already been planned before anything was. When mankind was only a supposition still to be introduced upon the earth. The unimaginable becoming the reality to the spiritual realm of human kind. This is what I see unfolding here a done deal in heaven and eternity. I did not create me; God did including the whole of humanity. Many will not recognize the fact; not withstanding it is not only about them. The whole frame looks to the glory of God the Son, and God the Father, and those who have been chosen by Him before anything was to be given to God my Saviour.

           Unthinkable to design make and create a race of finite creatures fashioned in the image of their maker, and to give them a choice of either to follow the one who made them or to follow their own devices.. The wonderful news God already knew whom He had chosen to give to His Son. However; I have no idea who they are that is why I have the glorious gospel of the Son of God to take to the nations. Jesus in his foreknowledge knew who God His Father had chosen for Him. (Jn.6:37.) “All that the Father gives Me will come to me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” I would like to reiterate I have no idea who they are only God my Father and Jesus Christ his Son my Lord knows the identity of those who will come into the Kingdom of God. I have to allow His Spirit to guide my spirit. (3)

           Again I have to take myself out of the equation the whole of the text is centred upon the God and Father of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. What wonderful insight the Spirit of the living God affords to John the Apostle author of the fourth gospel of which this is a majestically glorious passage insights he shares with me. To know God the Father is to have eternal life. Not to know Him intellectually, although that is important to enable me to acknowledge that He exists. He is there. More important to know Him intrinsically as a great and glorious person not unlike an earthly father and mother but He is greater than that because He is from everlasting to everlasting. When you hear Him speaking to you in that still small voice of His Spirit you will be assured of the eternal life that only comes from Him through His Son Jesus Christ. Then you will know you know Him.

         Earlier on in the gospel the author recorded the words of John the Baptist and what he had to say on the context of this message. (Jn.3:34) “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God does not give the Spirit by measure.” Jeremiah the prophet had a lot to say concerning God, the God and Father of Jesus Christ my Lord. (Jer.9:23, 24.)  Humanity is not to glory in themselves that belongs to God. I am not to glorify myself. All glory and honour must go to God. The wise are not to glory in their wisdom the mighty in their might the rich in their riches. All Glory belongs to God.

            I must keep in mind that the words here come from the mouth of the Lord. Jeremiah received them and wrote them down just as he heard them from the Lord.

          Again it is not about pursuing intellectual wisdom for its own sake I will never get to know God using that method. John the apostle brings it up to date in His account of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the glory He is going to be glorified with. The same glory Jeremiah speaks of here. The words God gives to the prophet are the very same John the Apostle writes of, the very same glory of God my Father. If I am to glorify then it is God my Father I am to glorify in the fact that I know Him and understand what He reveals to me. I do not know Him fully only in part as my knowledge of Him in the role of my heavenly Father continues to grow. He and only He exercises what is truly glorious being the Lord God. The Lord brings lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.

         “For in these I delight.” says the Lord. To know this is to have eternal life by receiving and knowing Jesus Christ as my God and Saviour. For He through His Spirit will enable me to do these things. At the time of John‘s writing of this passage Jesus is still upon the earth, although John wrote of it afterwards, nevertheless, he was still there when it occurred. The whole of the passage is of my Lord speaking of Himself using the name only the disciples knew, and had been told to keep it secret. Jesus Christ, he says to them, that he had been sent to earth by God His Father. The rest of the populace only recognized him as Jesus the Nazarene, but He would soon be my glorified Christ, the Lord of Glory. (4)  The work God the Father had given His Son to do was now at an end. Jesus Christ my Lord had glorified His Father God upon the earth in front of humanity. Before his great high Priestly prayer of which I read here. Jesus knew the time had come for him to depart and go back to His Father. I find evidence of this in the earlier discourse that Jesus had taken with his disciples. (Jn.13:31) So when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him” My Lord continues his conversation with his Father in heaven. He is not reminding His Father that the work He had sent His Son to do is now finished. The Father already knew that. I believe this high priestly prayer is for the benefit of the disciples reminding them of my Lord’s glorious identity as one who is God. A mutual benefit for all those who have been chosen by God the Father to be a gift to His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. Jesus always spoke of doing the work of his Father never a work of his own. It was exclusively the work of His Father in and through Him. Jesus Christ the Son of God came to earth to serve His Father God. Isaiah the prophet said this of Him. (I sa.49:3) (“And He said to me,

You are my servant Israel,

    In whom I will be glorified,”) Obviously a word of prophecy now being fulfilled in and through Jesus Christ my Lord. As I see it here.

      (5) As I have said the passage is all about God the Father and God the Son. I am a gift of God the Father to Jesus Christ His Son. But the greatest gift is of His Son Jesus Christ to me. Those who have been chosen by God the Father to have eternal life, my brothers and sisters are His gift to His Son Jesus Christ. He is the greatest gift to them from God the Father. Hallelujah!

            But now to take my eyes off of me. Jesus Christ the Son of God speaks of His own incredible glory. While on earth he had lived in His Father’s glory veiled in his own human flesh. It was time to take the covers off. The glory that He always had as the Son of God, which he had left for a season to be obedient to His Father. He will now return too. However; I notice he wants to be glorified together with His Father, the glory of the Father and the Son; both love one another, and are in harmony with each other. How majestic! He really let’s the disciples know who He is, He is God, and this has always been the case. They like all flesh had been made through Him. Jesus Christ the Son of God now asks His Father to glorify Him with the glory that He had, had, already before the beginning of the world. I have no idea what must have went through the heads of the disciples when they heard this. Nevertheless Jesus said these words on their behalf and my behalf. A great precious truth that will not die.

         Further proof of this can be found in the book of Proverbs (Prov.8; 22-28) I will keep these words of Jesus Christ my Lord before me, as I look at this passage of Scripture in Proverbs. Evidence of the fact of His glory which He had left for a time when He came to earth on the behalf of mankind... (22) “The Lord possessed me...” The Son of God is in possession of God the Father and God the Father is in possession of God the Son. I note the author speaks of the beginning and of the way, better to be understood, before the beginning of the way.

         There was no man before the beginning.I look at the phrase at the start of the sentence. “The Lord possessed me...” God the Father cannot look upon sin and after the fall he could not look upon man without destroying him. Let alone possess any human mortal.

       My understanding as guided and influenced by the Spirit of God, that the person King Solomon speaks of here is none other than the Son of God. Whether the king knew this of what he was writing, I do not know. This is one facet of glory that my Lord possessed before coming to the earth. He was before all things, including the works of old. The works of old is a reference to the beginning of earth and the universe which is getting older as time moves on. His works of old is again a reference to the glory of the Son of God. He along with his Father and the Spirit brought into being the earth and the universe

     Remember Jesus always spoke of his Father and Himself as being one both in possession of each other. Glory beyond glory. This is one strand of the many belonging to the glory of the Son of God. So many facets to and of his glory. I as a mere mortal can only wonder wide eyed in astonishment at what the Spirit is unfolding to me. The graciousness of the revelation of God the Father of His Son Jesus Christ and the glory He had with Him before the beginning of anything. This is overwhelming. My earthly mental faculty cannot understand, but my spirit is drinking, and growing rich in God in my desire to know Him in my heart. (23)

         Conclusively this proves to me the point that Solomon is not writing of a mere man. Here I see another facet of the glory of the Son of God the absolute glory he had, had, of his own with God his Father. The glory he now wants to be glorified with along with the glory of his Father at this particular hour.

           The whole passage reinforces the love of God the Father for his Son and the love of His Son for God the Father self existing, self sustaining from eternity onwards and backwards time means nothing the core of it all. The love of the one triune God in the second Person of the trinity towards me. Jesus Christ my Lord his Son. The love of them both includes the Spirit. This is the glory of God the Father Jesus Christ His Son and God the Holy Spirit to know Him, and the love He brings to me through His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. The great and glorious God. Jesus Christ the Son of God. My Lord. Now wants His Father God to crown Him along with His Father God with this heavy weight of tremendous glory. T o know God is to glorify Him. Jesus Christ His Son was certainly doing that, and had done it. Now the pinnacle was coming to be crowned with his glory, and the glory of his Father. Thereby, glorifying his Father God.

            

 

                                             Prayers of Jesus for his disciples. 17:6-19

 

(6)    Nobody chose the God and Father of my Lord Jesus Christ. He chose me through Christ Jesus his Son. The whole thing is totally out of my hands. Exactly the same that can be said of all of God’s people who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour whom they serve.

        Jesus speaking to his Father confirms and affirms that He has revealed the identity of his Father to the men who are standing around Him... I believe the importance of what Jesus is saying here is absolutely crucial for the understanding of our Christian faith.

         The men standing around him apart from one would need to get it right, because they would be the pioneers of Christ’s church, which was still to be established upon the earth of which you and I are members.

         We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and appreciation, and even more so to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Who I see standing here having conversation with the Father.

         I believe this is the fulfillment of Psalm 22:22 “I will declare your name to my brethren;” Not only does Jesus speaks to his Father of the disciples gathered around Him here he speaks of you and me. Wonderful! “….whom You have given Me out of the world.” I had said earlier that everything that we have ever done and still to do God already knew. T o take that equation as far as it goes can be quite frightening but not for God’s people.  Looking at it from a different perspective as I have already said what Jesus is talking of here with his Father was when you and I were nothing before anything. There was no creation. Hard to think of nothing You and I were nothing, complete nothing. I am nothing. I do not exist. Nobody and nothing existed apart from God. I was an idea still to be brought into reality but very real in God’s eyes. You could say that we who belong to God the Father existed before anything was as an idea still to be formed from the power of the mental faculty of the divinity.

        Whatever shape and form we existed in we were there. What other meaning can we take from the words of Jesus as He speaks them to his Father. Speaking of his disciples Jesus acknowledges that they first belonged to his Father. Ezekiel the prophet spoke on the matter.( Ezk.18:4) “ Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine..” Conclusive proof of what Jesus is speaking of here to his Father.

          Unmistakeable you and I were and are children of God the Father now given to Jesus Christ as a gift... The time had come for the Father to give us as a gift to his Son. He then would give to us the greatest gift. The gift of his Son Jesus Christ The next part of the verse throws up more questions instead of answers. Jesus speaking of his disciples acknowledges that his Father had given them to Him but it is at the end of the verse when he confirms that they have kept the Father’s word. Incredible! When in the previous chapter they had claimed that they did not know what He had been discussing with them.

          My own feeling and interpretation is that the Lord is looking to the future when His Spirit would help them to keep His Father’s word. Strengthening them, and enabling them to live it out in their own lives. Much the same as we do today, but for them a greater level of expectancy, sadly not seen much of in our day.

          I believe like them expect great things from God and they will happen. The glorification of Jesus Christ our Lord and God our Father will bring it to fruition. Increasing the level of my own belief. (7) Christ my Lord his intent is to glorify His Father here upon the earth in and through the disciples who had already been handpicked for Him.  I can do nothing apart from the will of the Father is a phrase Jesus reiterated often. The glory chiefly spoken of here is of the Son Jesus Christ includes God his Father. The men chosen by the Father and given to Him is the by product of His glory. Central to all of this is Christ Himself and the intimate personal relationship He enjoyed with His Father. A relationship which He enjoyed even before anything was because He had been with the Father. Slowly ponder these precious words none of what is unfolding here could have occurred without the consent and the permission of the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

           When I see Jesus Christ I see God the Son but I also see God the Father two individuals in the one triune God.

             When Jesus speaks there is in a sense God his Father is speaking too. Note how Jesus in His conversation with His Father in this great High priestly prayer of his confirms and affirms what He has done upon the earth. Namely, the disciples have been made aware of the fact that He Jesus soon to be the Christ had come to glorify His Father and that everything He possessed had been given to Him came from the first person of the trinity. God His Father.

            “They have known that all things you have given me are from you” Past tense Jesus had deposited the words of his Father deep down into their very beings which would burst into flame at the coming of Pentecost.

(8)  Jesus is speaking of the words He received from His Father. Now they have been deposited into the hearts of His disciples. Unknowingly to them they had been sown deep down into their spirit. They are not conscious of this. An intellectual admission and consent to who they believe He is. The human response from the mind not the heart.

      The disciples acknowledged Christ’s Lordship over them but were yet to understand what he really means. Jesus talks to the disciples reiterating the fact that he and his Father love them and he had come from the Father. (Jn: 16:27, 28.)

     However in his conclusion in verse 28 of chapter 16 Jesus repeats Himself but adding something else to what He had said already. H e had come from the Father to the world but now it was time to go back to His Father. He would need to leave the world to do this.

      The disciples would be without him for a short period. I see from the disciples reply further down the passage that they had not understood anything. This man whom they called Lord had just announced his departure

       A man whom they had given up everything to follow. Three years later he calmly announces H e is leaving. I notice that they speak to Jesus acknowledging Him as the Son of God who had come from the Father. Absolute silence regarding His departure. Frightened to ask what He meant? Nothing is said by any of them. A continuing wall of silence. Perhaps they thought that what Jesus had said to them would disappear. Comfortable not to know what you do not want to know. I believe they still stood in awe of Him which stopped them from asking questions that Jesus would have been only to glad to answer. Instead they reasoned with their own human limited understanding best to leave it alone.

       No wonder in His reply to their s he says, “Do you now believe?” Notice the question mark. Jesus already knew they had grasped nothing of what He had said. The same can be said of us. There are tremendous truths contained within God’s Word we fail to believe because of the lie of the Devil. The very same thing we see here in the lives of the disciples. The enemy had come into their earthly thinking in the silence of human thought.

       Jesus knew that this would happen. Unknown to them but known to the Son and the Father the timing of what  they are both doing at this critical hour would benefit all of Christ’s disciples, then and now, as well as in the future. The gift of eternal life which is the Son of God Jesus Christ.

         On the positive side they believed Jesus when he informed them that His Father had sent Him to them to reveal God the Father as the one and only true God. Just as we do.

           The prophet Moses hundreds of years before prophesied of the event unfolding before them... Moses was a type of Christ still to come. . (Deut.18.15, 18) Jesus Christ my Lord is the chief prophet. Most of the Old Testament prophets prophesied of His coming of which I read of here.

        (9) Now Jesus turns his prayer from Himself to His disciples. Remember in His foreknowledge as one who is the Son of God He knew exactly what lay ahead of Him

             Terrible suffering an agonising ordeal for one who is truly man as well as God. The physical pain, excruciating agony of being whipped until the flesh was torn from His back. Mental agony and torment horrendous suffering. Not only of the flogging, that was bad enough worse was to follow. He had to bear the weight of a heavy wooden cross of rough wood. After almost being beaten to death. So bad was his injuries for me and the rest of the world that he fell because of the weight, and some one else had to carry it for him. Saw his death upon that cross hands nailed to the cross beam.

            Importantly, he saw this as a man as well as being the Son of God. In his Godliness I have no idea how he suffered mentally, but I know from the Scriptures he did. “My God! My God why have you forsaken me?” The human mind can only take so much. Jesus while on earth was every bit a human like you and me. With one proviso he had no sin.

             He sees all of that, but because of the love which is in His heart towards those whom the Father had given to him he begins to pray and make intercession on their behalf. Unbelievable to my earthly imagination and mind. Nobody humanly speaking could have ever thought this up. The hero in story books and comics always came out on top and lived to see another day. But not in this case. The destiny of my Lord was to die as a man for the sins of the world. My sins and yours.

             I would like you to notice Jesus does not pray for the world. Great emphases are reinforced by the words of Jesus on praying for his disciples. “I pray for those whom you have given me, for they are yours” A statement that brings us back to the one triune God

             The first and second persons of the Godhead Father and Son. Earlier the discussion had been on the Father of how everything originates and comes from Him. That never changes. The disciples Jesus points out belong to him and God our Father.

            How extraordinary that in a later date John one of the disciples in this group of whom Jesus prays for would write a letter including all of Christ’s disciples. Disciples like you and me. I believe we must walk the road of a true disciple of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (1.Jn.5:19.) “We know we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” But at the moment our Lord’s focus and attention are on this small group of his disciples. The nucleus of what we would become.

          (10) A terrific word of prophecy from Jesus that would find fulfillment in the lives of this small group of men who are his disciples. The oneness of the Son and the Father again brought to the forefront under the pen of the author John the apostle. Very distinctive Johannine literature. Distinctive ideas like light being distinctive against the darkness. The Father is distinctive against the Son in relationship. Words that bring a distinctive contrast. “And all mine are yours, and yours are mine.” Extremely difficult to understand from a human father and son relationship particularly from this passage... However; the relationship is of both who are one God but two different individuals. Father and Son from the divine perspective. One God two individuals of the same substance Father and Son. Same substance means they are one in each other.

         When Jesus speaks of the disciples being all of his he then goes on to say that they are all of His Father’s I believe it speaks of the oneness of the Father and the Son .John turns the equation round stating the next part of what Jesus had said, “Yours are mine,” The Son’s oneness with His Father of the same substance from eternity past, present and future continuing to love each other with complete harmony.

       The disciples can be said to belong to God the Son and God the Father because although they are both different individuals both are one. One God. God the Son and God the Father.

         “And I am glorified in them.” Jesus looks to the future of His disciples beyond the cross and how he would be glorified through them Him and His Father because of his foreknowledge as one who is God.

             I said previously there are times when we must take ourselves out of the equation realising that to be faithful to God is not to trust in our own self sufficiency. To trust and rely on God to bring to fruition His Sovereign will and purposes for you and I. Not only mankind included the whole realm of human history, time, and space which H e will bring to an end.

           Took me quite a long time to learn that one. But God is gracious. Some of us have to still drop the self sufficiency because He can supply the work whether it is in the secular or vocational. The critique, “Do you believe you are where God wants you to be? Always remembering Paul was a tentmaker”. I have turned aside for a moment now let us see the glory of God the Son and God the Father with the help of the Spirit of God. A wonderful person.

     (11) Quite astonishingly Jesus speaking to his Father in heaven makes an amazing prayer in regard to himself in front and  in ear shot of his disciples “ Now I am no longer in the world,” The author a disciple who belonged to this small group does not give an account of his or their reaction to this startling news. It is like me standing with my friends, and telling them I am not here. Privately, thinking he has definitely left the planet. I will speak to him when there is nobody near. I can only assume the disciples were completely shocked by the news. The other contradicting fact was that he was standing in front of them praying.                                                                                                                                                                                                     Jesus while he was in the world did not belong to the world He belonged with his Father God.     Although he had been in the world he and his Father are one. Now the time had come to go back to Him. World in the context of how Jesus uses it and the way the Holy Spirit interprets it to the author John the apostle is that which is openly hostile and against all that the Son and the Father stand for. The very same principle will apply until we are called home or are received in the rapture.

      Jesus is mindful in his love for this small group of disciples of the fact he will be leaving them to a world that will be openly hostile to them as it is to Him.

       With the same strength and vigour he relied upon when calling upon His Father’s name he asks for the same for his disciples. T o be kept in the name of God His Father

        He call’s Him Holy Father and so He is .Again he speaks of the oneness of His Father with Himself and that the disciples would be one together. The same holds true for all of the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ. We should be one.  My Lord always spoke of this. (Jn.10:30) “I and my Father are one.”

    (12) A wonderful insight of the intimate and personal relationship between God the Son and God the Father continuing to love each other in close harmony. The subject the disciples whom the Father and Son continue to love.

          Jesus praises his Father for listening to his request to keep the disciples in his name. He glorifies his Father by saying he had kept them in his name. God had answered His Son’s prayer. The same as He does for you and I.

          None of them will be lost remembering that Jesus at this time is still man he was also God. Seeing that he continues to be the Son of God who knows the beginning and the end of all things in his foreknowledge he would see that would be the case. The disciples did not know that at the time. More importantly our Lord did. He also knew the one who would betray Him describing him as the son of perdition or destruction. The foreknowledge of God the Son our Lord. Frightening for those who continue to rebel against God’s Anointed. He confronted Judas Iscariot spoke to him told him that he was the person who would be the betrayer as he stood in the group without using his name. He had the opportunity to grasp the mercy of God and repent. The man did not flinch. His heart had become cold and hard. (Jn6:70) Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?”  

        Again our Lord offers hope of reconciliation to the betrayer when he uses the word might in the last clause of the verse. It did not need to be Judas Iscariot. The words of the last section of the verse speak for themselves. “…that the Scripture might be fulfilled.”

        (Pss.41:9) “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” H e may not have realised it but Jesus had looked upon Judas Iscariot at one time as a friend. How terrible to be so near and yet so far from paradise. To be thrown into a lost eternity by your own choice exactly what Judas Iscariot is doing? The question mark is there because he is still to commit the act of betrayal and rebellion. When you read the chapters that lie ahead you will find that he does.

         (13) The joy of which the Son speaks of to His Father is eternal. Not dependant on our emotions or our feelings. Joy our Lord speaks of is of knowing the Father. He wants the joy he knows of to be the joy of his disciples. Jesus Christ wants them to be filled with his joy. To know God is to know the Son and the Father. Knowing both as one God. The gift of the Son of God to us who believe comes from God the Father brings eternal life to the believer who is a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. Bringing with it the incredible joy straight into our hearts of knowing our sins have been forgiven. The joy of the Son of God to see this joy as has been described fulfilling the hearts of his first disciples.  

      (14) A fiery trial awaits these disciples because the Son has given to them the word of his Father. Our Lord uses the past tense the world has hated them. He can see the work he has began in them coming to a successful finish. The world is always in rebellion against God and his Son. Therefore the disciples because they have been chosen by God through his Son the world will be against them. The world is the age we live in controlled by the enemy Satan once an archangel thrown out of heaven to earth because of his rebellion against God. God threw him to earth with the rest of the fallen angels who had sided with the Devil. Another name for Satan. He knew that God would send someone to rescue the fallen. But was determined to take as many as he could to a lost eternity because that is his destination. He hates the disciples because he hates God and his Son. The Son did not rebel against His Father nor would he. He had come to be obedient to the will and purposes of God the Father. Now that work is coming to an end. The world epitomises all that is evil. Our Lord makes it quite clear that He and his disciples are not of the world for that very reason.

       Jesus when he spoke to the Jews a term he used for the religious leaders and politicians of his day made it quite plain to them where they stood.  (Jn.8:23) And He said to them, “You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of the world; I am not of this world.” Quite clearly the Devil had got a hold over them. What had happened to them was not going to happen to the disciples. The next verse provides evidence of that.

(15) Our Lord makes his intentions clear those whom he will depart from shortly are to carry on in the work he has commissioned them to do. They will founder and establish his church upon the earth. A responsibly I am glad to meet as a disciple of His. Meeting the challenge of his salvation provided to me through Him. The unmerited favour of God the Father in his love towards me in the receiving of the free gift of his Son Jesus Christ into my life as Lord. Nothing can take the place of eternal life of which God the Father affords to me through his Son Jesus Christ. The abundance of divine mercy and love.

      These early disciples had experienced up until now a little of that. But that would grow enormously, as they walked further into their faith. Provided with in and through the Lord. I had said our Lord would not allow his disciples to be captured and trapped like the Jews had been

         A fact that is made very plain at the end of the verse when Jesus prays for his Father to keep them from the evil one. The proof of that is in me because I am in the same body of Christ as they were. The difference; they have been called home to be with the Lord. I will meet them when I am called home.

        (16) The disciples had been obedient to Jesus Christ their Lord and had done everything God His Father had revealed to them through His Son Jesus Christ.

               In light of that Jesus could say of Him and of them I am not of the world.

Underlines the importance of making sure what I do is pleasing to my Lord. If I am only interested in me then I belong to the world. The criterion is to give the whole of my life to the Lord as these disciples had done. To be separate from the world but be still in it. The word sanctify means to separate. A word Jesus uses in the next verse.

        (17) I want you to separate them from the world. I believe that is what Jesus is asking his Father to do for this small group of disciples. The truth of God the Father of our Lord revealed through his Son had already separated them. But now Jesus would be leaving them. He prays for his Father to continue separating them from the world when they are still on the earth without Him He would only be gone for a short time. A lot would happen.  The truth Of God’s word is found in the contents of the Scriptures. (Pss.119:9) “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to your word.”

(18) God the Father had sent His Son into the world to give as many as possible the gift of eternal life. The very same of which He has given to me. Now that his departure is almost here he has sent his disciples into the world. When the Lord’s departure is concluded the disciples will have received the Holy Spirit who will enable them to take the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. The divine commission. All three individual persons of the Godhead are actively involved in this work. The Father and the Son including the Holy Spirit. The same can be said of today and the future. I would like to reiterate the words of my Lord. (Jn20:21)  “Peace to you! As the Father sent Me, I also send you.”

     (19) The truth of God the Father can only be found in His Son Jesus Christ his purity and holiness. Purity and holiness of God the Son made visible to this small band of disciples to whom Christ’s purity and holiness will be imputed when they are filled with God the Holy Spirit.

              Jesus now to become the Christ speaking of himself says to his Father, “And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.” The time had come for Jesus to totally separate from the world. He would take the sins of his disciples

upon himself, and the world. Through this very necessary death. for those like his disciples, who accept him apart from one, would be free having received eternal life. The disciples would be separated through the truth of God’s Son being separated from the world to his Father.

          I believe what Christ has done and continues to do through his Spirit cannot be emphasised enough, the words, “...For their sakes…” leaps off the page. I would like to conclude this section by quoting from Hebrews. (Heb.10:10)  “By that will we have been sanctified (separated) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”

 

 

                                    The great High Priestly prayer for all believers. 17:20-26

 

        Finally the conclusion of this passage not the final word in our Lord’s eyes. What has been said before is equally as important as what is going to be said now Christ’s great high priestly prayer for all believers.

       

             You and I who know Christ as Lord are included in this prayer of his even although we still had to step into the world. Ponder for a minute upon that.

 

(20) Vessels made from the dust of the earth like you and I had been entrusted by God and his Son to carry the gospel of Christ to the world. From such vessels we received the word of Christ in and  through the Scriptures and the preaching of it. No wonder it was of the utmost importance that they should not fail, and we are the fruit of their labour

       Never minimize the work of these early disciples. The choice of to do what Christ had called them to do or go their own way was always before them. The time was more perilous then than now. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and appreciation for being faithful to their Lord and ours in founding and establishing the church of Christ which we are members of. Believe and do what the Spirit lays on our hearts.

      The ingredient of their success is our Lord’s prayer for them and us failure was not an option. God praying to God for all of us. God the Son communicating to God His Father.

      Can our finite minds grasp this incredible truth and drama continuing to unfold before me I ask myself. The drama and the atmosphere at that time while Jesus was praying audibly in front of his disciples must have been heavy with static and electricity .I believe it made the hairs on the back of their necks stand on end. Glory from heaven. Christ’s prayer for them and me is that many would come to believe in Him through his word which is in all of us.

    (21)We do not compete against each other with our differing ministries they are meant to bring us together as one. “…that they all be one...” Jesus is speaking of one body. The body of his church of which He is the Head. Paul the apostle spoke upon the subject. (Gal.3:28) “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” The same principle applies to all who believe in Jesus Christ and call him Lord. All believers are one in Christ Jesus. Unity.

                  The Father and the Son are of the same divine substance both distinctively separate individuals but one God. I believe while he prays to his father in heaven the disciples who stood with him would hear him praying these words. They may not have understood but they certainly heard. Not until a later date would they benefit from this knowledge. Not only them you and I. Just as the Son is in the Father the Father is in the Son. They are one having unity together. You in me I in you Father and Son. He goes on to pray that the disciples would be one in them, not only these disciples, but every disciple who would come after them. To be one with each other only the Lord can accomplish that and is accomplishing it. As he seeks to bring us together into Him and His Father. Marvellous agape love. Eternal love that is unmerited. Praise God.

             There is still hope for the world because the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be carried to the world with the Godhead existing within the physical frames and the spirit of these disciples. Many in the world would be set free.

Are still being set free.

           (22) You and I who have accepted Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord have received his glory. To participate in the glory of the Son of God. How absolutely astounding quite astonishing that earthly creatures such as you and I should enjoy that privilege. Sharing in the glory of one who is God. The glory God gave to His Son the Son gives to us. “And the glory which You gave Me I have given them.” The glory Jesus Christ speaks of here is that which leads to unity and fellowship. John the apostle author of the fourth gospel continues the theme of being one.

            He records the words of our Lord who speaks of the glory of His Father and Himself and of the result of such glory. “…that they may be one just as We are one:”

           The glory we receive from God our Father through Jesus Christ our Lord is not for the exclusive use of any individual to promote him or herself over the body of Christ. The sole function is to bring us together as one. Like the text reads the Father and the Son are one and we as a body of believers are to be one To achieve that oneness of mind and spirit is to be one in Christ Jesus our Lord. The glory of Christ  is also one of a life of self denial going to the cross and dying there to make us free being bought by his shed blood The path of glory that we share with the risen Christ has the same hallmarks living a life of humble service carrying my cross. “Humility, self-denial and the willingness to suffer for Christ will ensure the true unity of believers and will lead to true glory” (Life in the Spirit Study Bible. Page.1639.

           To conclude on this text of the passage on the subject of divine glory, although it can never be exhausted. I turn to the apostle Paul reading his magnificent declaration in regard to it. (2.Cor.3:18) “ But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

        (23) What we should be like as God’s children. I must pursue the target set before me. Perfect unity of the Father and the Son. Jesus still continuing to pray for all believers speaks of being in his disciples “I in them, And You in Me” A colossal affirmation and confirmation from the mouth of our Lord.

                  We need to digest this slowly of what is being said here. When we gloss over something or give it a cursory glance we can so often miss the importance of it.

                  The whole dynamism of the active work of perfecting us into the image of Jesus Christ to the outside world is because Jesus Christ dwells within you and I. None of this can be achieved without Him. He is the power and the energy of enabling us to do what pleases Him. You is a reference to God the Father

                A stunning revelation that you and I who know the Lord have the Father and the Son dwelling within us. But this is no mere academic intellectual exercise. I believe many of God’s people miss that point and are poorer in spirit

                 The reason why we have the Son and the Father dwelling within us is that we may be made perfect in one. Notice the on going process. “may be made perfect...” Not completed as yet.Doctrinaly rich with a practical application.

                We need to open our hearts to what is being said here. To realise we already have what we need to take the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ into the world. The Father and the Son living in our spirit. Not forgetting the Holy Ghost. By these very means the world in which we live will know God sent His Son Jesus Christ. I t will also know the Father loves the Son knowing also the Father loves us with the same love He loves his Son with. A love that can only be understood by the spirit man within us too great for the human finite mind.

              (24) The unity of the invisible visible universal church of our Lord Jesus Christ will reach its climax with her consummation in heaven. As members of this great body of the church of our Lord Jesus Christ, when that happens, only then we will be perfect and united as one in Christ Jesus our Lord.

                        Only then when the church of Christ is lifted into heaven will she be made perfect in unity and love. Love of the Bridegroom with his Bride the church. The Bridegroom is the Lord of glory Jesus Christ. Praise his wonderful name! Hallelujah!

         Consummation from the divine perspective is when everything the Father and the Son planned reaches its fulfillment and the new heaven and the new earth comes into being. What a wonderful place for you and I to dwell in

             Our risen glorified Lord’s will and desire is that we should be there. He sees this and speaks of it. “Father, I desire that they also whom you gave me may be with me where I am,” Where is he? In heaven. He wants you and I to be with him to share in the love of his Father and Himself. I cannot imagine what that will be like. However my heart rejoices over it. He can see that day. Paul saw it. Does your heart not leap with incredible joy I know my heart does. (I.Thess.4:17) “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.”

             When you and I are there we will be able to behold his glory something we could not do when we were our former selves enslaved to sin. H e who freed us will allow us to look upon his glory only made possible because of the love of God the Father and of Himself He showered upon us. The greatest God there will ever be. Words are beyond me.

         Jesus now touches on the fact that he has always been God the Son. He knows of the Father’s love that had been afforded to him before the foundation of the world reaching beyond eternity. No earthly mind is able to understand this. Not even the cleverest of the clever.

 (25) True wisdom and glory is to know God in our heart and our spirit. The world does not know the Father nor His Son. Jesus still continuing to pray to His Father in heaven speaking of the world says that it does not know Him. We can see that in our day. Therefore what he says next is of vital importance to our spirit. “ ..But I have known you;” He God the Son and God the Father are one. Obviously know each other. The reason why you and I know the Father is that his Son our glorified Lord chose to reveal Him to us. I had said earlier, when our Lord reveals Himself the Father is also revealed

It is because of that we know the Father sent His Son. Jesus Christ our Lord.

      (26)  Jesus Christ declared the name of his Father to the disciples. He will keep on doing that with the rest of the disciples who are still to come He prays for the love which his Father loves him with may be found in all of his disciples. To know God my Father is to know of his love in me. Cannot be found anywhere else, there was a time when I looked everywhere, but there. But it is true God is in you. God the Father and God the Son. The hope of glory including the Holy Spirit is in you. He is waiting for you to let Him have control of your life.

 

 

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