THE WORDS OF JESUS IN RED
1:1-5 – At the beginning God expressed himself. That personal expression, that word, was with God, and was God, and he existed with God from the beginning. All creation took place through him, and none took place without him. In him appeared life and this life was the light of mankind. The light still shines in the darkness and the darkness has never put it out.
The gospel’s beginning on earth
1:6-8 – A man called John was sent by God as a witness to the light, so that any man who heard his testimony might believe in the light. This man was not himself the light: he was sent simply as a personal witness to that light.
1:9-13 – That was the true light which shines upon every man as he comes into the world. He came into the world – the world he had created – and the world failed to recognise him. He came into his own creation, and his own people would not accept him. Yet wherever men did accept him he gave them the power to become sons of God. These were the men who truly believed in him, and their birth depended not on the course of nature nor on any impulse or plan of man, but on God.
1:14-18 – So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw his splendour (the splendour as of a father’s only son), full of grace and truth. And it was about him that John stood up and testified, exclaiming: “Here is the one I was speaking about when I said that although he would come after me he would always be in front of me; for he existed before I was born!” Indeed, every one of us has shared in his riches – there is a grace in our lives because of his grace. For while the Law was given by Moses, love and truth came through Jesus Christ. It is true that no one has ever seen God at any time. Yet the divine and only Son, who lives in the closest intimacy with the Father, has made him known.
1:19-20 – This then is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He admitted with complete candour, “I am not Christ.”
1:21 – So they asked him, “Who are you then? Are you Elijah?” “No, I am not,” he replied. “Are you the Prophet?” “No,” he replied.
1:22 – “Well, then,” they asked again, “who are you? We want to give an answer to the people who sent us. What would you call yourself?”
1:23 – “I am ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Make straight the way of the Lord’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”
1:24-25 – Now some of the Pharisees had been sent to John, and they questioned him, “What is the reason, then, for your baptising people if you are not Christ and not Elijah and not the Prophet?”
1:26-28 – To which John returned, “I do baptise – with water. But somewhere among you stands a man you do not know. He comes after me, it is true, but I am not fit to undo his shoes!” (All this happened in the Bethany on the far side of the Jordan where the baptisms of John took place.)
1:29-31 – On the following day, John saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Look, there is the lamb of God who will take away the sins of the world! This is the man I meant when I said, ‘A man comes after me who is always in front of me, for he existed before I was born!’ It is true I have not known him, yet it was to make him known to the people of Israel that I came and baptised people with water.”
1:32-34 – Then John gave this testimony, “I have seen the Spirit come down like a dove from Heaven and rest upon him. Indeed, it is true that I did not recognise him by myself, but he who sent me to baptise with water told me this: ‘The one on whom you will see the Spirit coming down and resting is the man who baptises with the Holy Spirit!’ Now I have seen this happen and I declare publicly before you all that he is the Son of God.!”
Men begin to follow Jesus
1:35-36 – On the following day John was again standing with two of his disciples. He looked straight at Jesus as he walked along, and said, “There is the lamb of God!”
1:37-38 – The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned round and when he saw them following him, spoke to them. “What do you want?” he said. “Master, where are you staying?” they replied.
1:39-41 – “Come and see,” returned Jesus. So they went and saw where he was staying and remained with him the rest of that day. (It was then about four o’clock in the afternoon.) One of the two men who had heard what John said and had followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He went straight off and found his own brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah!” (meaning, of course, Christ).
1:42 – And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked steadily at him and said, “You are Simon, the son of John. From now on your name is Cephas” – (that is, Peter, meaning “a rock”).
!:43-45 – The following day Jesus decided to go into Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me!” Philip was a man from Bethsaida, the town that Andrew and Peter came from. Now Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have discovered the man whom Moses wrote about in the Law and about whom the Prophets wrote too. He is Jesus, the son of Joseph and comes from Nazareth.”
1:46 – “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” retorted Nathanael. “You come and see,” replied Philip.
1:47 – Jesus saw Nathanael coming towards him and remarked, “Now here is a true man of Israel; there is no deceit in him!”
1:48 – “How can you know me?” returned Nathanael. “When you were underneath that fig-tree,” replied Jesus, “before Philip called you, I saw you.”
1:49 – At which Nathanael exclaimed, “Master, you are the Son of God, you are the king of Israel!”
1:50-51 – “Do you believe in me,” replied Jesus, “because I said I had seen you underneath that fig-tree? You are going to see something greater than that! Believe me,” he added, “I tell you all that you will see Heaven wide open and God’s angels ascending and descending around the Son of Man!”
The Son of God and a village wedding
2:1 – Two days later there was a wedding in the Galilean village of Cana.
2:2-3 – Jesus’ mother was there and he and his disciples were invited to the festivities. Then it happened that the supply of wine gave out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”
2:4 – “Is that your concern, or mine?” replied Jesus. “My time has not come yet.”
2:5 So his mother said to the servants, “Mind you do whatever he tells you.”
2:6-11 – In the room six very large stone water-jars stood on the floor (actually for the Jewish ceremonial cleansing), each holding about twenty gallons. Jesus gave instructions for these jars to be filled with water, and the servants filled them to the brim. Then he said to them, “Now draw some water out and take it to the master of ceremonies”, which they did. When this man tasted the water, which had now become wine, without knowing where it came from (though naturally the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called out to the bridegroom and said to him, “Everybody I know puts his good wine on first and then when men have had plenty to drink, he brings out the poor stuff. But you have kept back your good wine till now!” Jesus gave this, the first of his signs, at Cana in Galilee. He demonstrated his power and his disciples believed in him.
Jesus in the Temple
2:12-17 – After this incident, Jesus, accompanied by his mother, his brothers and his disciples, went down to Capernaum and stayed there a few days. The Jewish Passover was approaching and Jesus made the journey up to Jerusalem. In the Temple he discovered cattle and sheep dealers and pigeon-sellers, as well as money-changers sitting at their tables. So he made a rough whip out of rope and drove the whole lot of them, sheep and cattle as well, out of the Temple. He sent the coins of the money-changers flying and turned their tables upside down. Then he said to the pigeon-dealers, “Take those things out of here. Don’t you dare turn my Father’s house into a market!” His disciples remembered the scripture – ‘Zeal for your house has eaten me up’
2:18 – As a result of this, the Jews said to him, “What sign can you give us to justify what you are doing?”
2:19 – “Destroy this temple,” Jesus retorted, “and I will rebuild it in three days!”
2:20 – To which the Jews replied, “This Temple took forty-six years to build, and you are going to rebuild it in three days?”
2:21-22 – He was, in fact, speaking about the temple of his own body, and when he was raised from the dead the disciples remembered what he had said to them and that made them believe both the scripture and what Jesus had said.
2:23-25 – While he was in Jerusalem at Passover-time, during the festivities many believed in him as they saw the signs that he gave. But Jesus, on his side, did not trust himself to them – for he knew them all. He did not need anyone to tell him what people were like: he understood human nature.
Jesus and a religious leader
3:1-2 – One night Nicodemus, a leading Jew and a Pharisee, came to see Jesus. “Master,” he began, “we realise that you are a teacher who has come from God. Obviously no one could show the signs that you show unless God were with him.”
3:3 – “Believe me,” returned Jesus, “a man cannot even see the kingdom of God without being born again.”
3:4 – “And how can a man who’s getting old possibly be born?” replied Nicodemus. “How can he go back into his mother’s womb and be born a second time?”
3:5-8 – “I assure you,” said Jesus, “that unless a man is born from water and from spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Flesh gives birth to flesh and spirit gives birth to spirit: you must not be surprised that I told you that all of you must be born again. The wind blows where it likes, you can hear the sound of it but you have no idea where it comes from and where it goes. Nor can you tell how a man is born by the wind of the Spirit.”
3:9 – “How on earth can things like this happen?” replied Nicodemus.
3:10-21 – “So you are a teacher of Israel,” said Jesus, “and you do not recognise such things? I assure you that we are talking about something we really know and we are witnessing to something we have actually observed, yet men like you will not accept our evidence. Yet if I have spoken to you about things which happen on this earth and you will not believe me, what chance is there that you will believe me if I tell you about what happens in Heaven? No one has ever been up to Heaven except the Son of Man who came down from Heaven. The Son of Man must be lifted above the heads of men – as Moses lifted up that serpent in the desert – so that any man who believes in him may have eternal life. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that every one who believes in him shall not be lost, but should have eternal life. You must understand that God has not sent his Son into the world to pass sentence upon it, but to save it – through him. Any man who believes in him is not judged at all. It is the one who will not believe who stands already condemned, because he will not believe in the character of God’s only Son. This is the judgment – that light has entered the world and men have preferred darkness to light because their deeds are evil. Anybody who does wrong hates the light and keeps away from it, for fear his deeds may be exposed. But anybody who is living by the truth will come to the light to make it plain that all he has done has been done through God.”
Jesus and John again
3:22-24 – After this Jesus went into the country of Judea with his disciples and stayed there with them while the work of baptism was being carried on. John, too, was in Aenon near Salim, baptising people because there was plenty of water in that district and they were still coming to him for baptism. (John, of course, had not yet been put in prison.)
3:25-26 – This led to a question arising between John’s disciples and one of the Jews about the whole matter of being cleansed. They approached John and said to him, “Master, look, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the one you testified to, is now baptising and everybody is coming to him!”
3:27-30 – “A man can receive nothing at all,” replied John, “unless it is given him from Heaven. You yourselves can witness that I said, ‘I am not Christ but I have been sent as his forerunner.’ It is the bridegroom who possesses the bride, yet the bridegroom’s friend who merely stands and listens to him can be overjoyed to hear the bridegroom’s voice. That is why my happiness is now complete. He must grow greater and greater and I less and less.
3:31-36 – “The one who comes from above is naturally above everybody. The one who arises from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks from the earth. The one who comes from Heaven is above all others and he bears witness to what he has seen and heard – yet no one is accepting his testimony. Yet if a man does accept it, he is acknowledging the fact that God is true. For the one whom God sent speaks the authentic words of God – and there can be no measuring of the Spirit given to him! The Father loves the Son and has put everything into his hand. The man who believes in the Son has eternal life. The man who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; he lives under the anger of God.”
Jesus meets a Samaritan woman
4:1-7 – Now when the Lord found that the Pharisees had heard that “Jesus is making and baptising more disciples than John” – although, in fact, it was not Jesus who did the baptising but his disciples – he left Judea and went off again to Galilee, which meant passing through Samaria. There he came to a little town called Sychar, which is near the historic plot of land that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph, and “Jacob’s Spring” was there. Jesus, tired with his journey, sat down beside it, just as he was. The time was about midday. Presently, a Samaritan woman arrived to draw some water.
4:8-9 – “Please give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for his disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)
4:10 – “If you knew what God can give,” Jesus replied, “and if you knew who it is that said to you, ‘Give me a drink’, I think you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water!”
4:11-12 – “Sir,” said the woman, “you have nothing to draw water with and this well is deep – where can you get your living water? Are you a greater man than our ancestor, Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank here himself with his family, and his cattle?”
4:13-14 – Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”
4:15 – The woman said, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may stop being thirsty – and not have to come here to draw water any more!”
4:16 – “Go and call your husband and then come back here,” said Jesus to her.
4:17-18 – “I haven’t got a husband!” the woman answered. “You are quite right in saying, ‘I haven’t got a husband’,” replied Jesus, “for you have had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband at all. Yes, you spoke the simple truth when you said that.”
4:19-20 – “Sir,” said the woman again, “I can see that you are a prophet! Now our ancestors worshipped on this hill-side, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship -“
4:21-24 – “Believe me,” returned Jesus, “the time is coming when worshipping the Father will not be a matter of ‘on this hill-side’ or ‘in Jerusalem’. Nowadays you are worshipping with your eyes shut. We Jews are worshipping with our eyes open, for the salvation of mankind is to come from our race. Yet the time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship him like that. God is spirit, and those who worship him can only worship in spirit and in reality.”
4:25 – “Of course I know that Messiah is coming,” returned the woman, “you know, the one who is called Christ. When he comes he will make everything plain to us.”
4:26 – “I am Christ speaking to you now,” said Jesus.
4:27-30 – At this point his disciples arrived, and were surprised to find him talking to a woman, but none of them asked, “What do you want?” or “What are you talking to her about?” So the woman left her water-pot behind and went into the town and began to say to the people, “Come out and see the man who told me everything I’ve ever done! Can this be ‘Christ’?” So they left the town and started to come to Jesus.
4:31 – Meanwhile the disciples were begging him, “Master, do eat something.”
4:32 – To which Jesus replied, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
4:33 – This, of course, made the disciples ask each other, “Do you think anyone has brought him any food?”
4:34-38 – Jesus said to them, “My food is doing the will of him who sent me and finishing the work he has given me. Don’t you say, ‘Four months more and then comes the harvest’? But I tell you to open your eyes and look to the field – they are gleaming white, all ready for the harvest! The reaper is already being rewarded and getting in a harvest for eternal life, so that both sower and reaper may be glad together. For in this harvest the old saying comes true, ‘One man sows and another reaps.’ I have sent you to reap a harvest for which you never laboured; other men have worked hard and you have reaped the results of their labours.”
4:39-42 – Many of the Samaritans who came out of that town believed in him through the woman’s testimony – “He told me everything I’ve ever done.” And when they arrived they begged him to stay with them. He did stay there two days and far more believed in him because of what he himself said. As they told the woman, “We don’t believe any longer now because of what you said. We have heard him with our own ears. We know now that this must be the man who will save the world!”
Jesus, in Cana again, heals in response to faith
4:43-47 – After the two days were over, Jesus left and went away to Galilee. (For Jesus himself testified that a prophet enjoys no honour in his own country.) And on his arrival the people received him with open arms. For they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem during the festival, since they had themselves been present. So Jesus came again to Cana in Galilee, the place where he had made the water into wine. At Capernaum there was an official whose son was very ill. When he heard that Jesus had left Judea and had arrived in Galilee, he went off to see him and begged him to come down and heal his son, who was by this time at the point of death.
4:48 – Jesus said to him, “I suppose you will never believe unless you see signs and wonders!”
4:49 – “Sir,” returned the official, “please come down before my boy dies!”
4:50 – “You can go home,” returned Jesus, “your son is alive and well.” And the man believed what Jesus had said to him and went on his way.
4:51-54 – On the journey back his servants met him with the report, “Your son is alive and well.” So he asked them at what time he had begun to recover, and they replied: “The fever left him yesterday at one o’clock in the afternoon”. Then the father knew that this must have happened at the very moment when Jesus had said to him, “Your son is alive and well.” And he and his whole household believed in Jesus. This, then, was the second sign that Jesus gave on his return from Judea to Galilee.
Jesus heals in Jerusalem
5:1-6 – Some time later came one of the Jewish feast-days and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. There is in Jerusalem near the sheep-gate a pool surrounded by five arches, which has the Hebrew name of Bethzatha (the Pool of Bethesda). Under these arches a great many sick people were in the habit of lying; some of them were blind, some lame, and some had withered limbs. (They used to wait there for the “moving of the water”, for at certain times an angel used to come down into the pool and disturb the water, and then the first person who stepped into the water after the disturbance would be healed of whatever he was suffering from.) One particular man had been there ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there on his back – knowing that he had been like that for a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to get well again?”
5:7 – “Sir,” replied the sick man, “I just haven’t got anybody to put me into the pool when the water is all stirred up. While I’m trying to get there somebody else gets down into it first.”
5:8 – “Get up,” said Jesus, “pick up your bed and walk!”
5:9 – At once the man recovered, picked up his bed and walked.
5:10 – This happened on a Sabbath day, which made the Jews keep on telling the man who had been healed, “It’s the Sabbath, you know; it’s not right for you to carry your bed.”
5:11 – “The man who made me well,” he replied, “was the one who told me, ‘Pick up your bed and walk.'”
5:12 – Then they asked him, “And who is the man who told you to do that?”
5:13-14 – But the one who had been healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away in the dense crowd. Later Jesus found him in the Temple and said to him, “Look: you are a fit man now. Do not sin again or something worse might happen to you!”
5:15 – Then the man went off and informed the Jews that the one who had made him well was Jesus.
5:16-17 – It was because Jesus did such things on the Sabbath day that the Jews persecuted him. But Jesus’ answer to them was this, “My Father is still at work and therefore I work as well.”
5:18 – This remark made the Jews all the more determined to kill him, because not only did he break the Sabbath but he referred to God as his own Father, so putting himself on equal terms with God.
Jesus makes his tremendous claim
5:19-29 – Jesus said to them, “I assure you that the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. What the Son does is always modelled on what the Father does, for the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he does himself, Yes, and he will show him even greater things than these to fill you with wonder. For just as the Father raises the dead and makes them live, so does the Son give life to any man he chooses. The Father is no man’s judge: he has put judgment entirely into the Son’s hands, so that all men may honour the Son equally with the Father. The man who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him. I solemnly assure you that the man who hears what I have to say and believes in the one who has sent me has eternal life. He does not have to face judgment; he has already passed from death into life. Yes, I assure you that a time is coming, in fact has already come, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and when they have heard it they will live! For just as the Father has life in himself, so by the Father’s gift, the Son also has life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is Son of Man. No, do not be surprised – the time is coming when all those who are dead and buried will hear his voice and out they will come – those who have done right will rise again to life, but those who have done wrong will rise to face judgment!
5:30-37a – “By myself I can do nothing. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is true because I do not live to please myself but to do the will of the Father who sent me. You may say that I am bearing witness about myself, that therefore what I say about myself has no value, but I would remind you that there is one who witnesses about me and I know that his witness about me is absolutely true. You sent to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that it is man’s testimony that I accept – I only tell you this to help you to be saved. John certainly was a lamp that burned and shone, and for a time you were willing to enjoy the light that he gave. But I have a higher testimony than John’s. The work that the Father gave me to complete, yes, these very actions which I do are my witness that the Father has sent me. This is how the Father who has sent me has given his own personal testimony to me.
5:37b-47 – “Now you have never at any time heard what he says or seen what he is like. Nor do you really believe his word in your hearts, for you refuse to believe the man who he has sent. You pore over the scriptures for you imagine that you will find eternal life in them. And all the time they give their testimony to me! But you are not willing to come to me to have real life! Men’s approval or disapproval means nothing to me, but I can tell that you have none of the love of God in your hearts. I have come in the name of my Father and you will not accept me. Yet if another man comes simply in his own name, you will accept him. How on earth can you believe while you are for ever looking for each other’s approval and not for the glory that comes from the one God? There is no need for you to think that I have come to accuse you before the Father. You already have an accuser – Moses, in whom you put all your confidence! For if you really believed Moses, you would be bound to believe me; for is was about me that he wrote. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say”?
Jesus shows his power over material things
6:1-6 – After this Jesus crossed the Lake of Galilee (or Lake Tiberias), and a great crowd followed him because they had seen signs which he gave in his dealings with the sick. But Jesus went up the hillside and sat down there with his disciples. The Passover, the Jewish festival, was near. So Jesus, raising his eyes and seeing a great crowd on the way towards him, said to Philip, “Where can we buy food for these people to eat?” (He said this to test Philip, for he himself knew what he was going to do.)
6:7 – “Ten pounds’ worth of bread would not be enough for them,” Philip replied, “even if they had only a little each.”
6:8-9 – Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, another disciple, put in, “There is a boy here who has five small barley loaves and a couple of fish, but what’s the good of that for such a crowd?”
6:10a – Then Jesus said, “Get the people to sit down.”
6:10b-12 – There was plenty of grass there, and the men, some five thousand of them, sat down. Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks for them and distributed them to the people sitting on the grass, and he distributed the fish in the same way, giving them as much as they wanted. When they had eaten enough, Jesus said to his disciples, “Collect the pieces that are left over so that nothing is wasted.”
6:13-14 – So they did as he suggested and filled twelve baskets with the broken pieces of the five barley loaves, which were left over after the people had eaten! When the men saw this sign of Jesus’ power, they kept saying, “This certainly is the Prophet who was to come into the world!”
6:15 – Then Jesus, realising that they were going to carry him off and make him their king, retired once more to the hill-side quite alone.
6:16-20 – In the evening, his disciples went down to the lake, embarked on the boat and made their way across the lake to Capernaum. Darkness had already fallen and Jesus had not returned to them. A strong wind sprang up and the water grew very rough. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the water, and coming towards the boat, and they were terrified. But he spoke to them, “Don’t be afraid: it is I myself.”
6:21 – So they gladly took him aboard, and at once the boat reached the shore they were making for.
Jesus teaches about the true bread
6:22-25 – The following day, the crowd, who had remained on the other side of the lake, noticed that only the one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not embarked on it with the disciples, but that they had in fact gone off by themselves. Some other small boats from Tiberias had landed quite near the place where they had eaten the food and the Lord had given thanks. When the crowd realised that neither Jesus nor the disciples were there any longer, they themselves got into the boats and went off to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they had found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Master, when did you come here?”
6:26-27 – “Believe me,” replied Jesus, “you are looking for me now not because you saw my signs but because you ate that food and had all you wanted. You should not work for the food which does not last but for the food which lasts on into eternal life. This is the food the Son of Man will give you, and he is the one who bears the stamp of God the Father.”
6:28 – This made them ask him, “What must we do to carry out the work of God?”
6:29 – “The work of God for you,” replied Jesus, “is to believe in the one whom he has sent to you.”
6:30-31 – Then they asked him, “Then what sign can you give us that will make us believe in you? What work are you doing? Our forefathers ate manna in the desert just as the scripture says, ‘He gave them bread out of Heaven to eat.'”
6:32-33 – To which Jesus replied, “Yes, but what matters is not that Moses gave you bread from Heaven, but that my Father is giving you the true bread from Heaven. For the bread of God which comes down from Heaven gives life to the world.”
6:34 – This made them say to him, “Lord, please give us this bread, always!”
6:35-40 – Then Jesus said to them, “I myself am the bread of life. The man who comes to me will never be hungry and the man who believes in me will never again be thirsty. Yet I have told you that you have seen me and do not believe. Everything that my Father gives me will come to me and I will never refuse anyone who comes to me. For I have come down from Heaven, not to do what I want, but to do the will of him who sent me. The will of him who sent me is that I should not lose anything of what he has given me, but should raise it up when the last day comes. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and trusts in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up when the last day comes.”
6:41-42 – At this, the Jews began grumbling at him because he said, “I am the bread which came down from Heaven”, remarking “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose parents we know? How can he say that ‘I have come down from Heaven’?”
6:43-51 – So Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. Nobody comes to me unless he is drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up when the last day comes. In the prophets it is written -‘And they shall all be taught by God,’ and this means that everybody who has heard the Father’s voice and learned from him will come to me. Not that anyone has ever seen the Father except the one who comes from God – he has seen the Father. I assure you that the man who trusts in him has eternal life already. I myself am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate manna in the desert, and they died. This is bread that comes down from Heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die. I myself am the living bread which came down from Heaven, and if anyone eats this bread he will live for ever. The bread which I will give is my body and I shall give it for the life of the world.”
6:52 – This led to a fierce argument among the Jews, some of them saying, “How can this man give us his body to eat?”
6:53-58 – So Jesus said to them, “Unless you do eat the body of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you are not really living at all. The man who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up when the last day comes. For my body is real food and my blood is real drink. The man who eats my body and drinks my blood shares my life and I share his. Just as the living Father sent me and I am alive because of the Father, so the man who lives on me will live because of me. This is the bread which came down from Heaven! It is not like the manna which your forefathers used to eat, and died. The man who eats this bread will live for ever.”
6:59-60 – Jesus said all these things while teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum. Many of his disciples heard him say these things, and commented, “This is hard teaching indeed; who could accept that?”
6:61-64a – Then Jesus, knowing intuitively that his disciples were complaining about what he had just said, went on, “Is this too much for you? Then what would happen if you were to see the Son of Man going up to the place where he was before? It is the Spirit which gives life. The flesh will not help you. The things which I have told you are spiritual and are life. But some of you will not believe me.”
6:64b-65 – For Jesus knew from the beginning which of his followers did not trust him and who was the man who would betray him. Then he added, “This is why I said to you, ‘No one can come to me unless my Father puts it into his heart to come.'”
6:66-67 – As a consequence of this, many of his disciples withdrew and no longer followed him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “And are you too wanting to go away?”
6:68-69 – “Lord,” answered Simon Peter, “who else should we go to? Your words have the ring of eternal life! And we believe and are convinced that you are the holy one of God.”
6:70 – Jesus replied, “Did I not choose you twelve – and one of you has the devil in his heart?”
6:71 – He was speaking of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, one of the twelve, who was planning to betray him.
Jesus delays his arrrival at the festival
7:1-9 – After this, Jesus moved about in Galilee but decided not to do so in Judea since the Jews were planning to take his life. A Jewish festival, “The feast of the tabernacles”, was approaching and his brothers said to him, “You ought to leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see what you are doing, for nobody works in secret if he wants to be known publicly. If you are going to do things like this, let the world see what you are doing.” For not even his brothers had any faith in him. Jesus replied by saying, “It is not yet the right time for me, but any time is right for you. You see, it is impossible for you to arouse the world’s hatred, but I provoke hatred because I show the world how evil its deeds really are. No, you go up to the festival; I shall not go up now, for it is not yet time for me to go.” And after these remarks he remained where he was in Galilee.
7:10-13 – Later, after his brothers had gone up to the festival, he went up himself, not openly but as though he did not want to be seen. Consequently, the Jews kept looking for him at the festival and asking “Where is that man?” And there was an undercurrent of discussion about him among the crowds. Some would say, “He is a good man”, others maintained that he was not, but that he was “misleading the people”. Nobody, however, spoke openly about him for fear of the Jews.
Jesus openly declares his authoriity
7:14-15 – But at the very height of the festival, Jesus went up to the Temple and began teaching. The Jews were amazed and remarked, “How does this man know all this – he has never been taught?”
7:16-18 – Jesus replied to them, “My teaching is not really mine but comes from the one who sent me. If anyone wants to do God’s will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I merely speak on my own authority. A man who speaks on his own authority has an eye for his own reputation. But the man who is considering the glory of God who sent him is a true man. There can be no dishonesty about him.
7:19 – “Did not Moses give you the Law? Yet not a single one of you obeys the Law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
7:20 – The crowd answered, “You must be mad! Who is trying to kill you?”
7:21-24 – Jesus answered them, “I have done one thing and you are all amazed at it. Moses gave you circumcision (not that it came from Moses originally but from your forefathers), and you will circumcise a man even on the Sabbath. If a man receives the cutting of circumcision on the Sabbath to avoid breaking the Law of Moses, why should you be angry with me because I have made a man’s body perfectly whole on the Sabbath? You must not judge by the appearance of things but by the reality!”
7:25-27 – Some of the people of Jerusalem, hearing him talk like this, were saying, “Isn’t this the man whom they are trying to kill? It’s amazing – he talks quite openly and they haven’t a word to say to him. Surely our rulers haven’t decided that this really is Christ! But then, we know this man and where he comes from – when Christ comes, no one will know where he comes from.”
Jesus makes more unique claims
7:28-29 – Then Jesus, in the middle of his teaching, called out in the Temple, “So you know me and know where I have come from? But I have not come of my own accord; I am sent by one who is true and you do not know him! I do know him, because I come from him and he has sent me here.”
7:30-31 – Then they attempted to arrest him, but actually no one laid a finger on him because the right moment had not yet come. Many of the crowd believed in him and kept on saying, “When Christ comes, is he going to show greater signs than this man?”
7:32-34 – The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering these things about him, and they and the chief priests (of the Temple) sent officers to arrest him. Then Jesus said, “I shall be with you only a little while longer and then I am going to him who sent me. You will look for me then but you will never find me. You cannot come where I shall be.”
7:35-36 – This made the Jews say to each other, “Where is he going to hide himself so that we cannot find him? Surely he’s not going to our refugees among the Greeks to teach Greeks? What does he mean when he says, ‘You will look for me and you will never find me’ and ‘You cannot come where I shall be’?”
7:37-42 – Then, on the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If any man is thirsty, he can come to me and drink! The man who believes in me, as the scripture says, will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (Here he was speaking about the Spirit which those who believe in him would receive. The Holy Spirit had not yet been given because Jesus had not yet been glorified.) When they heard these words, some of the people were saying, “This really is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is Christ!” But some said, “And does Christ come from Galilee? Don’t the scriptures say that Christ will be descended from David, and will come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
7:43-44 – So the people were in two minds about him – some of them wanted to arrest him, but so far no one laid hands on him.
7:45 – Then the officers returned to the Pharisees and chief priests, who said to them, “Why haven’t you brought him?”
7:46 – “No man ever spoke like that!” they replied.
7:47-49 – “Has he pulled the wool over your eyes, too?” retorted the Pharisees. “Have any of the authorities or any of the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd, who know nothing about the Law, is damned anyway!”
7:50-51 – One of their number, Nicodemus (the one who had previously been to see Jesus), remarked to them, “But surely our Law does not condemn the accused without hearing what he has to say, and finding out what he has done?”
7:52 – “Are you a Galilean, too?” they answered him. “Look where you will – you won’t find any prophet comes out of Galilee!”
7:53 – So they broke up their meeting and went home, …..
Jesus deflates the rigorists
8:1 – ….. while Jesus went off to the Mount of Olives
8:2-5 – Early next morning he returned to the Temple and the entire crowd came to him. So he sat down and began to teach them. But the scribes and Pharisees brought in to him a woman who had been caught in adultery. They made her stand in front, and then said to him, “Now, master, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. According to the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women to death. Now, what do you say about her?”
8:6-9a – They said this to test him, so that they might have some good grounds for an accusation. But Jesus stooped down and began to write with his finger in the dust on the ground. But as they persisted in their questioning, he straightened himself up and said to them, “Let the one among you who has never sinned throw the first stone at her.” Then he stooped down again and continued writing with his finger on the ground. And when they heard what he said, they were convicted by their own consciences and went out, one by one, beginning with the eldest until they had all gone.
8:9b-10 – Jesus was left alone, with the woman still standing where they had put her. So he stood up and said to her, “Where are they all – did no one condemn you?”
8:11 – And she said, “No one, sir.”
“Neither do I condemn you,” said Jesus to her. “Go home and do not sin again.”
Jesus’ bold claims – about himself – and his Father
8:12 – Later, Jesus spoke to the people again and said, “I am the light of the world. The man who follows me will never walk in the dark but will live his life in the light.”
8:13 – This made the Pharisees say to him, “You are testifying to yourself – your evidence is not valid.”
8:14-18 – Jesus answered, “Even if I am testifying to myself, my evidence is valid, for I know where I have come from and I know where I am going. But as for you, you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. You are judging by human standards, but I am not judging anyone. Yet if I should judge, my decision would be just, for I am not alone – the Father who sent me is with me. In your Law, it is stated that the witness of two persons is valid. I am one testifying to myself and the second witness to me is the Father who sent me.”
8:19 – “And where is this father of yours?” they replied. “You do not know my Father,” returned Jesus, “any more than you know me: if you had known me, you would have known him.”
8:20 – Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the Temple treasury. Yet no one arrested him, for his time had not yet come.
8:21 – Later, Jesus spoke to them again and said, “I am going away and you will try to find me, but you will die in your sins. You cannot come where I am going.”
8:22 – This made the Jews say, “Is he going to kill himself, then? Is that why he says, “You cannot come where I am going’?”
8:23-24 – “The difference between us,” Jesus said to them, “is that you come from below and I am from above. You belong to this world but I do not. That is why I told you will die in your sins. For unless you believe that I am who I am, you will die in your sins.”
8:25-26 – Then they said, “Who are you?” “I am what I have told you I was from the beginning,” replied Jesus. “There is much in you that I could speak about and condemn. But he who sent me is true and I am only speaking to this world what I myself have heard from him.”
8:27-30 – They did not realise that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus resumed, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I am who I say I am, and that I do nothing on my own authority but speak simply as my Father has taught me. The one who sent me is with me now: the Father has never left me alone for I always do what pleases him.” And even while he said these words, many people believed in him.
Jesus speaks of personal freedom
8:31-32 – So Jesus said to the Jews who believed in him, “If you are faithful to what I have said, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free!”
8:33 – “But we are descendants of Abraham,” they replied, “and we have never in our lives been any man’s slaves. How can you say to us, ‘You will be set free’?”
8:34-38 – Jesus returned, “Believe me when I tell you that every man who commits sin is a slave. For a slave is no permanent part of a household, but a son is. If the Son, then, sets you free, you are really free! I know that you are descended from Abraham, but some of you are looking for a way to kill me because you can’t bear my words. I am telling you what I have seen in the presence of my Father, and you are doing what you have seen in the presence of your father.”
8:39-41 – “Our father is Abraham!” they retorted. “If you were the children of Abraham, you would do the sort of things Abraham did. But in fact, at this moment, you are looking for a way to kill me, simply because I am a man who has told you the truth that I have heard from God. Abraham would never have done that. No, you are doing your father’s work.” “We are not illegitimate!” they retorted. “We have one Father – God.”
8:42-47 – “If God were really your Father,” replied Jesus, “you would have loved me. For I came from God, and I am here. I did not come of my own accord – he sent me, and I am here. Why do you not understand my words? It is because you cannot hear what I am really saying. Your father is the devil, and what you are wanting to do is what your father longs to do. He always was a murderer, and has never dealt with the truth, since the truth will have nothing to do with him. Whenever he tells a lie, he speaks in character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. And it is because I speak the truth that you will not believe me. Which of you can prove me guilty of sin? If I am speaking the truth, why is it that you do not believe me? The man who is born of God can hear these words of God and the reason why you cannot hear the words of God is simply this, that you are not the sons of God.”
8:48 – “How right we are,” retorted the Jews, “in calling you a Samaritan, and mad at that!”
8:49-51 – “No,” replied Jesus, “I am not mad. I am honouring my Father and you are trying to dishonour me. But I am not concerned with my own glory: there is one whose concern it is, and he is the true judge. Believe me when I tell you that if anybody accepts my words, he will never see death at all.”
8:52-53 – “Now we know that you’re mad,” replied the Jews. “Why, Abraham died and the prophets, too, and yet you say, ‘If a man accepts my words, he will never experience death!’ Are you greater than our father, Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets – who are you making yourself out to be?”
8:54-56 – “If I were trying to glorify myself,” returned Jesus, “such glory would be worthless. But it is my Father who glorifies me, the very one whom you say is your God – though you have never known him. But I know him, and if I said I did not know him, I should be as much a liar as you are! But I do know him and I am faithful to what he says. As for your father, Abraham, his great joy was that he would see my coming. Now he has seen it and he is overjoyed.”
8:57 – “Look,” said the Jews to him, “you are not fifty yet, and has Abraham seen you?”
8:58 – “I tell you in solemn truth,” returned Jesus, “before there was an Abraham, I AM!”
8:59 – At this, they picked up stones to hurl at him, but Jesus disappeared and made his way out of the Temple.
Jesus and blindness, physical and spiritual
9:1 – Later, as Jesus walked along he saw a man who had been blind from birth.
9:2 – “Master, whose sin caused this man’s blindness,” asked the disciples, “his own or his parents’?”
9:3-5 – “He was not born blind because of his own sin or that of his parents,” returned Jesus, “but to show the power of God at work in him. We must carry on the work of him who sent me while the daylight lasts. Night is coming, when no one can work. I am the world’s light as long as I am in it.”
9:6-7 – Having said this, he spat on the ground and made a sort of clay with the saliva. This he applied to the man’s eyes and said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” (Siloam means “one who has been sent”.) So the man went off and washed and came home with his sight restored.
9:8 – His neighbours and the people who had often seen him before as a beggar remarked, “Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?”
9:9 – “Yes, that’s the one,” said some. Others said, “No, but he’s very like him.” But he himself said, “I’m the man all right!”
9:10 – “Then how was your blindness cured?” they asked.
9:11 – “The man called Jesus made some clay and smeared it on my eyes,” he replied, “and then he said, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So off I went and washed – and that’s how I got my sight!”
9:12 – “Where is he now?” they asked. “I don’t know,” he returned.
9:13-15 – So they brought the man who had once been blind before the Pharisees. (It should be noted that Jesus made the clay and restored his sight on a Sabbath day.) The Pharisees asked the question all over again as to how he had become able to see. “He put clay on my eyes; I washed it off; now I can see – that’s all,” he replied.
9:16-17 – Some of the Pharisees commented, “This man cannot be from God since he does not observe the Sabbath.” “But how can a sinner give such wonderful signs as these?” others demurred. And they were in two minds about him. Finally, they asked the blind man again, “And what do you say about him? You’re the one whose sight was restored.” “I believe he is a prophet,” he replied.
9:18-19 – The Jews did not really believe that the man had been blind and then had become able to see, until they had summoned his parents and asked them, “Is this your son who you say was born blind? How does it happen that he can now see?”
9:20-21 – “We know that this is our son, and we know that he was born blind,” returned his parents, “but how he can see now, or who made him able to see, we have no idea. Why don’t you ask him? He is a grown-up man; he can speak for himself.”
9:22-23 – His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews who had already agreed that anybody who admitted that Christ had done this thing should be excommunicated. It was this fear which made his parents say, “Ask him, he is a grown-up man.”
9:24 – So, once again they summoned the man who had been born blind and said to him, “You should ‘give God the glory’ for what has happened to you. We know that this man is a sinner.”
9:25 – “Whether he is a sinner or not, I couldn’t tell, but one thing I am sure of,” the man replied, “I used to be blind, now I can see!”
9:26 – “But what did he do to you – how did he make you see?” they continued.
9:27 – “I’ve told you before,” he replied. “Weren’t you listening? Why do you want to hear it all over again? Are you wanting to be his disciples too?”
9:28-29 – At this, they turned on him furiously. “You’re the one who is his disciple! We are disciples of Moses. We know that God spoke to Moses, but as for this man, we don’t even know where he came from.”
9:30-33 – “Now here’s the extraordinary thing,” he retorted, “you don’t know where he came from and yet he gave me the gift of sight. Everybody knows that God does not listen to sinners. It is the man who has a proper respect for God and does what God wants him to do – he’s the one God listens to. Why, since the world began, nobody’s ever heard of a man who was born blind being given his sight. If this man did not come from God, he couldn’t do such a thing!”
9:34 – “You misbegotten wretch!” they flung back at him. “Are you trying to teach us?” And they threw him out.
9:35 – Jesus heard that they had expelled him and when he had found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”
9:36 – “And who is he, sir?” the man replied. “Tell me, so that I can believe in him.”
9:37 – “You have seen him,” replied Jesus. “It is the one who is talking to you now.”
9:38 – “Lord, I do believe,” he said, and worshipped him.
9:39 – Then Jesus said, “My coming into this world is itself a judgment – those who cannot see have their eyes opened and those who think they can see become blind.”
9:40 – Some of the Pharisees near him overheard this and said, “So we’re blind, too, are we?”
9:41 – “If you were blind,” returned Jesus, “nobody could blame you, but, as you insist ‘We can see’, your guilt remains.”
Jesus declares himself the true shepherd of men
10:1-5 – Then Jesus said, “Believe me when I tell you that anyone who does not enter the sheepfold though the door, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a rogue. It is the shepherd of the flock who goes in by the door. It is to him the door-keeper opens the door and it is his voice that the sheep recognise. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out of the fold, and when he has driven all his own flock outside, he goes in front of them himself, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger – indeed, they will run away from him, for they do not recognise strange voices.”
10:6-15 – Jesus gave them this illustration but they did not grasp the point of what he was saying to them. So Jesus said to them once more, “I do assure you that I myself am the door for the sheep. All who have gone before me are like thieves and rogues, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door. If a man goes in through me, he will be safe and sound; he can come in and out and find his food. The thief comes with the sole intention of stealing and killing and destroying, but I came to bring them life, and far more life than before. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd will give his life for the sake of his sheep. But the hired man, who is not the shepherd, and does not own the sheep, will see the wolf coming, desert the sheep and run away. And the wolf will attack the flock and send them flying. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and has no interest in the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know those that are mine and my sheep know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I am giving my life for the sake of the sheep.
10:16-18 – “And I have other sheep who do not belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they will hear my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd. This is the reason why the Father loves me – that I lay down my life, and I lay it down to take it up again! No one is taking it from me, but I lay it down of my own free will. I have the power to lay it down and I have the power to take it up again. This is an order that I have received from my Father.”
Jesus plainly declares who he is
10:19-20 – Once again, the Jews were in two minds about him because of these words, many of them remarking, “The devil’s in him and he’s insane. Why do you listen to him?”
10:21 – But others were saying, “This is not the sort of thing a devil-possessed man would say! Can a devil make a blind man see?”
10:22-24 – Then came the dedication festival at Jerusalem. It was winter-time and Jesus was walking about inside the Temple in Solomon’s cloisters. So the Jews closed in on him and said, “How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you really are Christ, tell us so straight out!”
10:25-30 – “I have told you,” replied Jesus, “and you do not believe it. What I have done in my Father’s name is sufficient to prove my claim, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep recognise my voice and I know who they are. They follow me and I give them eternal life. They will never die and no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all. And no one can tear anything out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are One.”
10:31-32 – Again the Jews reached for stones to stone him to death, but Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good things from the Father – for which of these do you intend to stone me?”
10:33 – “We’re not going to stone you for any good things,” replied the Jews, “but for blasphemy: because you, who are only a man, are making yourself out to be God.”
10:34-38 – “Is it not written in your own Law,” replied Jesus, “‘I have said you are gods’? And if he called these men ‘gods’ to whom the word of God came (and the scripture cannot be broken), can you say to the one whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? If I fail to do what my Father does, then do not believe me. But if I do, even though you have no faith in me personally, then believe in the things that I do. Then you may come to know and realise that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
10:39 – And again they tried to arrest him, but he moved out of their reach.
10:40-41 – Then Jesus went off again across the Jordan to the place where John had first baptised and there he stayed. A great many people came to him, and said, “John never gave us any sign but all that he said about this man was true.”
10:42 – And in that place many believed in him.
Jesus shows his power over death
11:1-3 – Now there was a man by the name of Lazarus who became seriously ill. He lived in Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived. (Lazarus was the brother of the Mary who poured perfume upon the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus: “Lord, your friend is ill.”
11:4 – When Jesus received the message, he said, “This illness is not meant to end in death; it is going to bring glory to God – for it will show the glory of the Son of God.”
11:5-7 – Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard of Lazarus’ illness he stayed where he was two days longer. Only then did he say to the disciples, “Let us go back into Judea.”
11:8 – “Master!” returned the disciples, “only a few days ago, the Jews were trying to stone you to death – are you going there again?”
11:9-10 – “There are twelve hours of daylight every day, are there not?” replied Jesus. “If a man walks in the daytime, he does not stumble, for he has the daylight to see by. But if he walks at night he stumbles, because he cannot see where he is going.”
11:11 – Jesus spoke these words; then after a pause he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going to wake him up.”
11:12 – At this, his disciples said, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.”
11:13-15 – Actually Jesus had spoken about his death, but they thought that he was speaking about falling into natural sleep. This made Jesus tell them quite plainly, “Lazarus has died, and I am glad that I was not there – for your sakes, that you may learn to believe. And now, let us go to him.”
11:16 – Thomas (known as the twin) then said to his fellow-disciples, “Come on, then, let us all go and die with him!”
11:17-20 – When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the grave four days. Now Bethany is quite near Jerusalem, rather less than two miles away, and a good many of the Jews had come out to see Martha and Mary to offer them sympathy over their brother’s death. When Martha heard that Jesus was on his way, she went out and met him, while Mary stayed in the house.
11:21-22 – “If only you had been here, Lord,” said Martha, “my brother would never have died. And I know that, even now, God will give you whatever you ask from him.”
11:23 – “Your brother will rise again,” Jesus replied to her.
11:24 – “I know,” said Martha, “that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
11:25-26 – “I myself am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus told her. “The man who believes in me will live even though he dies, and anyone who is alive and believes in me will never die at all. Can you believe that?”
11:27-31 – “Yes, Lord,” replied Martha. “I do believe that you are Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world.” Saying this she went away and called Mary her sister, whispering, “The master’s here and is asking for you.” When Mary heard this she sprang to her feet and went to him. Now Jesus had not yet arrived at the village itself, but was still where Martha had met him. So when the Jews who had been condoling with Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and go out, they followed her, imagining that she was going to the grave to weep there.
11:32 – When Mary met Jesus, she looked at him, and then fell down at his feet. “If only you had been here, Lord,” she said, “my brother would never have died.”
11:33 – When Jesus saw Mary weep and noticed the tears of the Jews who came with her, he was deeply moved and visibly distressed.
11:34 – “Where have you put him?” he asked.
11:35 – “Lord, come and see,” they replied, and at this Jesus himself wept.
11:36-37 – “Look how much he loved him!” remarked the Jews, though some of them asked, “Could he not have kept this man from dying if he could open that blind man’s eyes?”
11:38 – Jesus was again deeply moved at these words, and went on to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay in front of it.
11:39 – “Take away the stone,” said Jesus. “But Lord,” said Martha, the dead man’s sister, “he has been dead four days. By this time he will be decaying ….”
11:40 – “Did I not tell you,” replied Jesus, “that if you believed, you would see the wonder of what God can do?”
11:41-42 – Then they took the stone away and Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I know that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of these people standing here so that they may believe that you have sent me.”
11:43 – And when he had said this, he called out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
11:44 – And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with grave-clothes and his face muffled with a handkerchief. “Now unbind him,” Jesus told them, “and let him go home.”
Jesus’ miracle leads to deadly hostility
11:45-48 – After this many of the Jews who had accompanied Mary and observed what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went off to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. Consequently, the Pharisees and chief priests summoned the council and said, “What can we do? This man obviously shows many remarkable signs. If we let him go on doing this sort of thing we shall have everybody believing in him. Then we shall have the Romans coming and that will be the end of our holy place and our very existence as a nation.”
11:49-56 – But one of them, Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year, addressed the meeting: “You plainly don’t understand what is involved here. You do not realise that it would be a good thing for us if one man should die for the sake of the people – instead of the whole nation being destroyed.” (He did not make this remark on his own initiative but, since he was High Priest that year, he was in fact inspired to say that Jesus was going to die for the nation’s sake – and in fact not for that nation only, but to bring together into one family all the children of God scattered throughout the world.) From that day then, they planned to kill him. As a consequence Jesus made no further public appearance among the Jews but went away to the countryside on the edge of the desert, and stayed with his disciples in a town called Ephraim. The Jewish Passover was approaching and many people went up from the country to Jerusalem before the actual Passover, to go through a ceremonial cleansing. They were looking for Jesus there and kept saying to one another as they stood in the Temple, “What do you think? Surely he won’t come to the festival?”
11:57 – It should be understood that the chief priests and the Pharisees had issued an order that anyone who knew of Jesus’ whereabouts should tell them, so they could arrest him.
An act of love as the end approaches
12:1-5 – Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, the village of Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a supper for him there, and Martha waited on the party while Lazarus took his place at table with Jesus. Then Mary took a whole pound of very expensive perfume and anointed Jesus’ feet and then wiped them with her hair. The entire house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot (the man who was going to betray Jesus), burst out, “Why on earth wasn’t this perfume sold? It’s worth thirty pounds, which could have been given to the poor!”
12:6 – He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was dishonest, and when he was in charge of the purse used to help himself to the contents.
12:7-8 – But Jesus replied to this outburst, “Let her alone, let her keep this for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always – you will not always have me!”
12:9-11 – The large crowd of Jews discovered that he was there and came to the scene – not only because of Jesus but to catch sight of Lazarus, the man whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus as well, because he was the reason for many of the Jews’ going away and putting their faith in Jesus.
Jesus experiences a temporary triumph
12:12-13 – The next day, the great crowd who had come to the festival heard that Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, and went to meet him with palm branches in their hands, shouting, “God save him! ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’, God bless the king of Israel!”
12:14-15 – For Jesus had found a young ass and was seated upon it, just as the scripture foretold – ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion: behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt’ .
12:16 – (The disciples did not realise the significance of what was happening at the time, but when Jesus was glorified, then they recollected that these things had been written about him and that they had carried them out for him.)
12:17-19 – The people who had been with him, when he had summoned Lazarus from the grave and raised him from the dead, were continually talking about him. This accounts for the crowd who went out to meet him, for they had heard that he had given this sign. Seeing all this, the Pharisees remarked to one another, “You see? – There’s nothing one can do! The whole world is running after him.”
12:20-21 – Among those who had come up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They approached Philip with the request, “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
12:22 – Philip went and told Andrew, and Andrew went with Philip and told Jesus.
12:23-26 – Jesus told them, “The time has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you truly that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains a single grain of wheat; but if it does, it brings a good harvest. The man who loves his own life will destroy it, and the man who hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. If a man wants to enter my service, he must follow my way; and where I am, my servant will also be. And my Father will honour every man who enters my service.
12:27-28 – “Now comes my hour of heart-break, and what can I say, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very purpose that I came to this hour. ‘Father, honour your own name!'” At this there came a voice from Heaven, “I have honoured it and I will honour it again!”
12:29 – When the crowd of bystanders heard this, they said it thundered, but some of them said, “An angel spoke to him.”
12:30-33 – Then Jesus said, “That voice came for your sake, not for mine. Now is the time for the judgment of this world to begin, and now will the spirit that rules this world be driven out. As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men to myself.” (He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.)
12:34 – Then the crowd said, “We have heard from the Law that Christ lives for ever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be ‘lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
12:35-36a – At this, Jesus said to them, “You have the light with you only a little while longer. Go on while the light is good, before the darkness come down upon you. For the man who walks in the dark has no idea where he is going. You must believe in the light while you have the light, that you may become the sons of light.”
12:36b-38 – Jesus said all these things, and then went away, out of their sight. But though he had given so many signs, yet they did not believe in him, so that the prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, when he said, ‘Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’
12:39-40 – Thus, they could not believe, and he hardened their heart: ‘He has blinded their eyes and hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes and understand with their heart, lest they should turn, so that I should heal them’.
12:41-43 – Isaiah said these things because he saw the glory of Christ, and spoke about him. Nevertheless, many even of the authorities did believe in him. But they would not admit it for fear of the Pharisees, in case they should be excommunicated. They were more concerned to have the approval of men than to have the approval of God.
12:44-50 – But later, Jesus cried aloud, “Every man who believes in me, is believing in the one who sent me; and every man who sees me is seeing the one who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that no one who believes in me need remain in the dark. Yet, if anyone hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him – for I did not come to judge the world but to save it. Every man who rejects me and will not accept my sayings has a judge – at the last day, the very words that I have spoken will be his judge. For I have not spoken on my own authority: the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and what to speak. And I know that what he commands means eternal life. All that I say I speak only in accordance with what the Father has told me.”
Jesus teaches his disciples humility
13:1-5 – Before the festival of the Passover began, Jesus realised that the time had come for him to leave this world and return to the Father. He had loved those who were his own in this world and he loved them to the end. By supper-time, the devil had already put the thought of betraying Jesus in the mind of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son. Jesus, with the full knowledge that the Father had put everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from the supper-table, took off his outer clothes, picked up a towel and fastened it round his waist. Then he poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel around his waist.
13:6 – So he came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
13:7 – “You do not realise now what I am doing,” replied Jesus, “but later on you will understand.”
13:8 – Then Peter said to him, “You must never wash my feet!”
“Unless you let me wash you, Peter,” replied Jesus, “you cannot share my lot.”
13:9 – “Then,” returned Simon Peter, “please – not just my feet but my hands and my face as well!”
13:10 – “The man who has bathed,” returned Jesus, “only needs to wash his feet to be clean all over. And you are clean – though not all of you.”
13:11 – (For Jesus knew his betrayer and that is why he said, “though not all of you”.)
13:12-17 – When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his clothes, he sat down and spoke to them, “Do you realise what I have just done to you? You call me ‘teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and you are quite right, for I am your teacher and your Lord. But if I, your teacher and Lord, have washed your feet, you must be ready to wash one another’s feet. I have given you this as an example so that you may do as I have done. Believe me, the servant is not greater than his master and the messenger is not greater than the man who sent him. Once you have realised these things, you will find your happiness in doing them.
Jesus foretells his betrayal
13:18 – “I am not speaking about all of you – I know the men I have chosen. But let this scripture be fulfilled – ‘He who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me’.
13:19-20 – From now onwards, I shall tell you about things before they happen, so that when they do happen, you may believe that I am the one I claim to be. I tell you truly that anyone who accepts my messenger will be accepting me, and anyone who accepts me will be accepting the one who sent me.”
13:21 – After Jesus had said this, he was clearly in anguish of soul, and he added solemnly, “I tell you plainly, one of you is going to betray me.”
13:22-24 – At this the disciples stared at each other, completely mystified as to whom he could mean. And it happened that one of them who Jesus loved, was sitting very close to him. So Simon Peter nodded to this man and said, “Tell us who he means.”
13:25 – He simply leaned forward on Jesus’ shoulder, and asked, “Lord, who is it?”
13:26-27 – And Jesus answered, “It is the one I am going to give this piece of bread to, after I have dipped it in the dish.” Then he took a piece of bread, dipped it in the dish and gave it to Simon’s son, Judas Iscariot. After he had taken the piece of bread, Satan entered his heart. Then Jesus said to him, “Be quick about your business!”
13:28-30 – No one else at table knew what he meant in telling him this. Indeed, some of them thought that, since Judas had charge of the purse, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the festival, or that he should give something to the poor. So Judas took the piece of bread and went out quickly – into the night.
13:31-35 – When he had gone, Jesus spoke, “Now comes the glory of the Son of Man, and the glory of God in him! If God is glorified through him then God will glorify the Son of Man – and that without delay. Oh, my children, I am with you such a short time! You will look for me and I have to tell you as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot follow.’ Now I am giving you a new command – love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you must love one another. This is how all men will know that you are my disciples, because you have such love for one another.”
13:36 – Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?”
“I am going,” replied Jesus, “where you cannot follow now, though you will follow me later.”
13:37 – “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? said Peter. “I would lay down my life for you!”
13:38 – “Would you lay down your life for me?” replied Jesus. “Believe me, you will disown me three times before the cock crows!”
Jesus reveals spiritual truths
14:1-4 – “You must not let yourselves be distressed – you must hold on to your faith in God and to your faith in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s House. If there were not, should I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? It is true that I am going away to prepare a place for you, but it is just as true that I am coming again to welcome you into my own home, so that you may be where I am. You know where I am going and you know the road I am going to take.”
14:5 – “Lord,” Thomas remonstrated, “we do not know where you’re going, and how can we know what road you’re going to take?”
14:6-7 – “I myself am the road,” replied Jesus, “and the truth and the life. No one approaches the Father except through me. If you had known who I am, you would have known my Father. From now on, you do know him and you have seen him.”
Jesus explains his relationship with the Father
14:8 – Then Philip said to him, “Show us the Father, Lord, and we shall be satisfied.”
14:9-14 – “Have I been such a long time with you,” returned Jesus, “without your really knowing me, Philip? The man who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The very words I say to you are not my own. It is the Father who lives in me who carries out his work through me. Do you believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? But if you cannot, then believe me because of what you see me do. I assure you that the man who believes in me will do the same things that I have done, yes, and he will do even greater things than these, for I am going away to the Father. Whatever you ask the Father in my name, I will do – that the Son may bring glory to the Father. And if you ask me anything in my name, I will grant it.
Jesus promises the Spirit
14:15-20 – “If you really love me, you will keep the commandments I have given you and I shall ask the Father to give you someone else to stand by you, to be with you always. I mean the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept, for it can neither see nor recognise that Spirit. But you recognise him, for he is with you now and will be in your hearts. I am not going to leave you alone in the world – I am coming to you. In a very little while, the world will see me no more but you will see me, because I am really alive and you will be alive too. When that day come, you will realise that I am in my Father, that you are in me, and I am in you.
14:21 – “Every man who knows my commandments and obeys them is the man who really loves me, and every man who really loves me will himself be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and make myself known to him.”
14:22 – Then Judas (not Iscariot), said, “Lord, how is it that you are going to make yourself known to us but not to the world?”
14:23-24 – And to this Jesus replied, “When a man loves me, he follows my teaching. Then my Father will love him, and we will come to that man and make our home within him. The man who does not really love me will not follow my teaching. Indeed, what you are hearing from me now is not really my saying, but comes from the Father who sent me.
14:24-26 – “I have said all this while I am still with you. But the one who is coming to stand by you, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in my name, will be your teacher and will bring to your minds all that I have said to you.
14:27-31 – “I leave behind with you – peace; I give you my own peace and my gift is nothing like the peace of this world. You must not be distressed and you must not be daunted. You have heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you really loved me, you would be glad because I am going to my Father, for my Father is greater than I. And I have told you of it now, before it happens, so that when it does happen, your faith in me will not be shaken. I shall not be able to talk much longer to you for the spirit that rules this world is coming very close. He has no hold over me, but I go on my way to show the world that I love the Father and do what he sent me to do … Get up now! Let us leave this place.
Jesus teaches union with himself
15:1-8 – “I am the real vine, my Father is the vine-dresser. He removes any of my branches which are not bearing fruit and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit to increase its yield. Now, you have already been pruned by my words. You must go on growing in me and I will grow in you. For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares the life of the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. I am the vine itself, you are the branches. It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For the plain fact is that apart from me you can do nothing at all. The man who does not share my life is like a branch that is broken off and withers away. He becomes just like the dry sticks that men pick up and use for the firewood. But if you live your life in me, and my words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like and it will come true for you. This is how my Father will be glorified – in your becoming fruitful and being my disciples.
15:9-15 – “I have loved you just as the Father has loved me. You must go on living in my love. If you keep my commandments you will live in my love just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and live in his love. I have told you this so that you can share my joy, and that your happiness may be complete. This is my commandment: that you love each other as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this – that a man should lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I tell you to do. I shall not call you servants any longer, for a servant does not share his master’s confidence. No, I call you friends, now, because I have told you everything that I have heard from the Father.
15:16 – “It is not that you have chosen me; but it is I who have chosen you. I have appointed you to go and bear fruit that will be lasting; so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.
Jesus speaks of the world’s hatred
15:17-25 – “This I command you, love one another! If the world hates you, you know that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own. But because you do not belong to the world and I have chosen you out of it, the world will hate you. Do you remember what I said to you, ‘The servant is not greater than his master’? If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you as well, but if they have followed my teaching, they will also follow yours. They will do all these things to you as my disciples because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. The man who hates me, hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them things that no other man has ever done, they would not have been guilty of sin, but as it is they have seen and they have hated both me and my Father. Yet this only fulfils what is written in their Law – ‘They hated me without a cause’.
15:26-27 – But when the helper comes, that is, the Spirit of truth, who comes from the Father and whom I myself will send to you from the Father, he will speak plainly about me. And you yourselves will also speak plainly about me for you have been with me from the first.
Jesus speaks of the future without his bodily presence
16:1-4 – “I am telling you this now so that your faith in me may not be shaken. They will excommunicate you from their synagogues. Yes, the time is coming when a man who kills you will think he is thereby serving God! They will act like this because they have never had any true knowledge of the Father or of me, but I have told you all this so that when the time comes for it to happen you may remember that I told you about it. I have not spoken like this to you before, because I have been with you ……”
16:5-11 – “…. but now the time has come for me to go away to the one who sent me. None of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ That is because you are so distressed at what I have told you. Yet I am telling you the simple truth when I assure you that it is a good thing for you that I should go away. For if I did not go away, the divine helper would not come to you. But if I go, then I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convince the world of the meaning of sin, of true goodness and of judgment. He will expose their sin because they do not believe in me; he will reveal true goodness for I am going away to the Father and you will see me no longer; and he will show them the meaning of judgment, for the spirit which rules this world will have been judged.
16:12-15 – “I have much more to tell you but you cannot bear it now. Yet when that one I have spoken to you about comes – the Spirit of truth – he will guide you into everything that is true. For he will not be speaking of his own accord but exactly as he hears, and he will inform you about what is to come. He will bring glory to me for he will draw on my truth and reveal it to you. Whatever the Father possesses is also mine; that is why I tell you that he will draw on my truth and will show it to you.
The disciples are puzzled: Jesus explains
16:16 – “In a little while you will not see me any longer, and again, in a little while you will see me.”
16:17-18 – At this some of his disciples remarked to each other, “What is this that he tells us now, ‘A little while and you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me’ and ‘for I am going away to the Father’? What is the ‘little while’ that he talks about?” they were saying. “We simply do not know what he means!”
16:19-23a – Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him what he meant, so he said to them, “Are you trying to find out from each other what I meant when I said, ‘In a little while you will not see me, and again, in a little while you will see me’? I tell you truly that you are going to be both sad and sorry while the world is glad. Yes, you will be deeply distressed, but your pain will turn into joy. When a woman gives birth to a child, she certainly knows pain when her time comes. Yet as soon as she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers her agony for joy that a man has been born into the world. Now you are going through pain, but I shall see you again and your hearts will thrill with joy – the joy that no one can take away from you – and on that day you will not ask me any questions.
16:23b-24 – “I assure you that whatever you ask the Father he will give you in my name. Up to now you have asked nothing in my name; ask now, and you will receive, that your joy may be overflowing.
Jesus speaks further of the future
16:25-28 – “I have been speaking to you in parables – but the time is coming to give up parables and tell you plainly about the Father. When that time comes, you will make your requests to him in my own name, for I need make no promise to plead to the Father for you, for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. Yes, I did come from the Father and I came into the world. Now I leave the world behind and return to the Father.”
16:29-30 – “Now you are speaking plainly,” cried the disciples, “and are not using parables. Now we know that everything is known to you – no more questions are needed. This makes us sure that you did come from God.”
16:31-33 – “So you believe in me now?” replied Jesus. “The time is coming, indeed, it has already come, when you will be scattered, every one of you going home and leaving me alone. Yet I am not really alone for the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may find your peace in me. You will find trouble in the world – but, never lose heart, I have conquered the world!”
Jesus’ prayer for his disciples – present and future
17:1-3 – When Jesus had said these words, he raised his eyes to Heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son now so that he may bring glory to you, for you have given him authority over all men to give eternal life for all that you have given to him. And this is eternal life, to know you, the only true God, and him whom you have sent – Jesus Christ.
17:4-8 – “I have brought you honour upon earth, I have completed the task which you gave me to do. Now, Father, honour me in your own presence with the glory that I knew with you before the world was made. I have shown your self to the men whom you gave me from the world. They were your men and you gave them to me, and they have accepted your word. Now they realise that all that you have given me comes from you – and that every message that you gave me I have given them. They have accepted it all and have come to know in their hearts that I did come from you – they are convinced that you sent me.
17:9-12 – “I am praying to you for them: I am not praying for the world but for the men whom you gave me, for they are yours – everything that is mine is yours and yours mine – and they have done me honour. Now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world and I am returning to you. Holy Father, keep the men you gave me by your power that they may be one, as we are one. As long as I was with them I kept them by the power that you gave me; I guarded them, and not one of them was destroyed, except the son of destruction – that the scripture might come true.
17:13-19 – “And now I come to you and I say these things in the world that these men may find my joy completed in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them, for they are no more sons of the world than I am. I am not praying that you will take them out of the world but that you will keep them from the evil one. They are no more the sons of the world than I am – make them holy by the truth; for your word is the truth. I have sent them to the world just as you sent me to the world and I consecrate myself for their sakes that they may be made holy by the truth.
17:20-26 – “I am not praying only for these men but for all those who will believe in me through their message, that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, live in me and I live in you, I am asking that they may live in us, that the world may believe that you did send me. I have given them the honour that you gave me, that they may be one, as we are one – I in them and you in me, that they may grow complete into one, so that the world may realise that you sent me and have loved them as you loved me. Father, I want those whom you have given me to be with me where I am; I want them to see that glory which you have made mine – for you loved me before the world began. Father of goodness and truth, the world has not known you, but I have known you and these men now know that you have sent me. I have made your self known to them and I will continue to do so that the love which you have had for me may be in their hearts – and that I may be there also.
Jesus is arrested in the garden
18:1-2 – When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the Cedron valley to a place where there was a garden, and they went into it together. Judas who betrayed him knew the place, for Jesus often met his disciples there.
18:3-4 – So Judas fetched the guard and the officers which the chief priests and Pharisees had provided for him, and came to the place with torches and lanterns and weapons. Jesus, fully realising all that was going to happen to him, went forward and said to them, “Who are you looking for?”
18:5 – “Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered.
“I am the man,” said Jesus. (Judas who was betraying him was standing there with the others.)
18:6-7 – When he said to them, “I am the man”, they retreated and fell to the ground. So Jesus asked them again, “Who are you looking for?” And again they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”
18:8-9 – “I have told you that I am the man,” replied Jesus. “If I am the man you are looking for, let these others go.” (Thus fulfilling his previous words, “I have not lost one of those whom you gave me.”)
18:10-11 – At this, Simon Peter, who had a sword, drew it and slashed at the High Priest’s servant, cutting off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath. Am I not to drink the cup the Father has given me?”
Peter follows Jesus, only to deny him
18:12 – Then the guard, with their captain and the Jewish officers, took hold of Jesus and tied his hands together …..
18:13-17 – ….and led him off to Annas first, for he was the father-in-law to Caiaphas, who was High Priest that year. Caiaphas was the man who advised the Jews, “that it would be a good thing that one man should die for the sake of the people.” Behind Jesus followed Simon Peter, and one other disciple who was known personally to the High Priest. He went in with Jesus into the High Priest’s courtyard, but Peter was left standing at the door outside. So this other disciple, who was acquainted with the High Priest, went out and spoke to the doorkeeper, and brought Peter inside. The young woman at the door remarked to Peter, “Are you one of this man’s disciples, too?” “No, I am not,” retorted Peter.
18:18 – In the courtyard, the servants and officers stood around a charcoal fire which they had made, for it was cold. They were warming themselves, and Peter stood there with them, keeping himself warm.
18:19 – Meanwhile the High Priest interrogated Jesus about his disciples and about his own teaching.
18:20-21 – “I have always spoken quite openly to the world,” replied Jesus. “I have always taught in the synagogue or in the Temple where all the Jews meet together, and I have said nothing in secret. Why do you question me? Why not question those who have heard me about what I said to them? Obviously they are the ones who know what I actually said.”
18:22 – As he said this, one of those present, an officer, slapped Jesus with his open hand, remarking, “Is that the way for you to answer the High Priest?”
18:23 – “If I have said anything wrong,” Jesus said to him, “you must give evidence about it, but if what I said was true, why do you strike me?
18:24 – Then Annas sent him, with his hands still tied, to the High Priest Caiaphas.
18:25 – In the meantime Simon Peter was still standing, keeping himself warm. Some of them said to him, “Surely you too are one of his disciples, aren’t you?” And he denied it and said, “No, I am not.”
18:26 – Then one of the High Priest’s servants, a relation of the man (Malchus) whose ear Peter had cut off, remarked, “Didn’t I see you in the garden with him?”
18:27 – And again Peter denied it. And immediately the cock crew.
Jesus is taken before the Roman authority
18:28 – Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas’ presence into the palace. It was now early morning and the Jews themselves did not go into the palace, for fear that they would be contaminated and would not be able to eat the Passover.
18:29 – So Pilate walked out to them and said, “What is the charge that you are bringing against this man?”
18:30 – “If he were not an evil-doer, we should not have handed him over to you,” they replied.
18:31-32 – To which Pilate retorted, “Then take him yourselves and judge him according to your law.” “We are not allowed to put a man to death,” replied the Jews (thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy of the method of his own death).
18:33 – So Pilate went back into the Palace and called Jesus to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked.
18:34 – “Are you asking this of your own accord,” replied Jesus, “or have other people spoken to you about me?”
18:35 – “Do you think I am a Jew?” replied Pilate. “It’s your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What have you done, anyway?”
18:36 – “My kingdom is not founded in this world – if it were, my servants would have fought to prevent my being handed over to the Jews. But in fact my kingdom is not founded on all this!”
18:37 – “So you are a king, are you?” returned Pilate. “Indeed I am a king,” Jesus replied; “the reason for my birth and the reason for my coming into the world is to witness to the truth. Every man who loves truth recognises my voice.”
18:38-39 – To which Pilate retorted, “What is ‘truth’?” and went straight out again to the Jews and said: “I find nothing criminal about him at all. But I have an arrangement with you to set one prisoner free at Passover time. Do you wish me then to set free for you the ‘king of the Jews’?”
18:40 – At this, they shouted out again, “No, not this man, but Barabbas!” Barabbas was a bandit.
Pilate’s vain efforts to save Jesus
19:1-3 – Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged, and the soldiers twisted thorn-twigs into a crown and put it on his head, threw a purple robe around him and kept coming into his presence, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And then they slapped him with their open hands.
19:4 – Then Pilate went outside again and said to them, “Look, I bring him out before you here, to show that I find nothing criminal about him at all.”
19:5 – And at this Jesus came outside too, wearing the thorn crown and the purple robe. “Look,” said Pilate, “here’s the man!”
19:6 – The sight of him made the chief priests and Jewish officials shout at the top of their voices, “Crucify! Crucify!” “You take him and crucify him,” retorted Pilate. “He’s no criminal as far as I can see!”
19:7 – The Jews answered him, “We have a Law, and according to that Law, he must die, for he made himself out to be Son of God!”
19:8-9 – When Pilate heard them say this, he became much more uneasy, and returned to the palace again and spoke to Jesus, “Where do you come from?”
19:10 – But Jesus gave him no reply. So Pilate said to him, “Won’t you speak to me? Don’t you realise that I have the power to set you free, and I have the power to have you crucified?”
19:11 – “You have no power at all against me,” replied Jesus, “except what was given to you from above. And for that reason the one who handed me over to you is even more guilty than you are.”
19:12 – From that moment, Pilate tried hard to set him free but the Jews were shouting, “If you set this man free, you are no friend of Caesar! Anyone who makes himself out to be a king is anti-Caesar!”
19:13-14 – When Pilate heard this, he led Jesus outside and sat down upon the Judgment-seat in the place called the Pavement (in Hebrew, Gabbatha). It was preparation day of the Passover and it was now getting on towards midday. Pilate said to the Jews, “Look, here’s your king!”
19:15 – At which they yelled, “Take him away, take him away, crucify him!”
“Am I to crucify your king?” Pilate asked them. “Caesar is our king and no one else,” replied the chief priests.
19:16a – And at this Pilate handed Jesus over to them for crucifixion.
19:16b-21 – So they took Jesus and he went out carrying the cross himself, to a place called Skull Hill (in Hebrew, Golgotha). There they crucified him, and two others, one on either side of him with Jesus in the middle. Pilate had a placard written out and put on the cross, reading, JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This placard was read by many of the Jews because the place where Jesus was crucified was quite near Jerusalem, and it was written in Hebrew as well as in Latin and Greek. So the chief priests said to Pilate, “You should not write ‘The King of the Jews’, but ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.'”
19:22 – To which Pilate retorted, “Indeed? What I have written, I have written.”
19:23-24 – When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided his clothes between them, taking a quarter-share each. There remained his shirt, which was seamless – woven in one piece from the top to the bottom. So they said to each other, “Don’t let us tear it; let’s draw lots and see who gets it.” This happened to fulfil the scripture which says – ‘They divided my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots’.
Jesus provides for his mother from the cross
19:25-27 – While the soldiers were doing this, Jesus’ mother was standing near the cross with her sister, and with them Mary, the wife of Clopas and Mary of Magdala. Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing by her side, and said to her, “Look, there is your son!” And then he said to the disciple, “And there is your mother!” And from that time the disciple took Mary into his own home.
19:28 – After this, Jesus realising that everything was now completed said (fulfilling the saying of scripture), “I am thirsty.”
19:29-30 – There was a bowl of sour wine standing there. So they soaked a sponge in the wine, put it on a spear, and pushed it up towards his mouth. When Jesus had taken it, he cried, “It is finished!” His head fell forward, and he died.
The body of Jesus is removed
19:31-36 – As it was the day of preparation for the Passover, the Jews wanted to avoid the bodies being left on the crosses over the Sabbath (for that was a particularly important Sabbath), and they requested Pilate to have the men’s legs broken and the bodies removed. So the soldiers went and broke the legs of the first man and of the other who was crucified with Jesus. But when they came to him, they saw that he was already dead and they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there was an outrush of blood and water. And the man who saw this is our witness: his evidence is true. (He is certain that he is speaking the truth, so that you may believe as well.) For this happened to fulfil the scripture, ‘Not one of his bones shall be broken.’
19:37 – And again another scripture says – ‘They shall look on him whom they pierced.’
19:38-42 – After it was all over, Joseph (who came from Arimathaea and was a disciple of Jesus, though secretly for fear of the Jews) requested Pilate that he might take away Jesus’ body, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took his body down. Nicodemus also, the man who had come to him at the beginning by night, arrived bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, weighing about a hundred pounds. So they took his body and wound it round with linen strips with the spices, according to the Jewish custom of preparing a body for burial. In the place where he was crucified, there was a garden containing a new tomb in which nobody had yet been laid. Because it was the preparation day and because the tomb was conveniently near, they laid Jesus in this tomb.
The first day of the week: the risen Lord
20:1-2 – But on the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala arrived at the tomb, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, and noticed that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. At this she ran, found Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb and we don’t know where they have put him.”
20:3-10 – Peter and the other disciple set off at once for the tomb, the two of them running together. The other disciple ran faster than Peter and was the first to arrive at the tomb. He stooped and looked inside and noticed the linen cloths lying there but did not go in himself. Hard on his heels came Simon Peter and went straight into the tomb. He noticed that the linen cloths were lying there, and that the handkerchief, which had been round Jesus’s head, was not lying with the linen cloths but was rolled up by itself, a little way apart. Then the other disciple, who was the first to arrive at the tomb, came inside as well, saw what had happened and believed. (They did not yet understand the scripture which said that he must rise from the dead.) So the disciples went back again to their homes.
20:11-12 – But Mary stood just outside the tomb, and she was crying. And as she cried, she looked into the tomb and saw two angels in white who sat, one at the head and the other at the foot of the place where the body of Jesus had lain.
20:13 – The angels spoke to her, “Why are you crying?” they asked. “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they have put him!” she said.
20:14 – Then she turned and noticed Jesus standing there, without realising that it was Jesus.
20:15 – “Why are you crying?” said Jesus to her. “Who are you looking for?” She, supposing that he was the gardener, said, “Oh, sir, if you have carried him away, please tell me where you have put him and I will take him away.”
20:16 – Jesus said to her, “Mary!” At this she turned right round and said to him, in Hebrew, “Master!”
20:17 – “No!” said Jesus, “do not hold me now. I have not yet gone up to the Father. Go and tell my brothers that I am going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”
20:18 – And Mary of Magdala went off to the disciples, with the news, “I have seen the Lord!”, and she told them what he had said to her.
20:19 – In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples had met together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood right in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20:20 – Then he showed them his hands and his side, and when they saw the Lord the disciples were overjoyed.
20:21 – Jesus said to them again, “Yes, peace be with you! Just as the Father sent me, so I am now going to send you.”
20:22-23 – And then he breathed upon them and said, “Receive holy spirit. If you forgive any men’s sins, they are forgiven, and if you hold them unforgiven, they are unforgiven.”
The risen Jesus and Thomas
20:24-25 – But one of the twelve, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples kept on telling him, “We have seen the Lord”, but he replied, “Unless I see in his own hands the mark of the nails, and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe!”
20:26 – Just over a week later, the disciples were indoors again and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood in the middle of them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20:27 – Then he said to Thomas, “Put your fingers here – look, here are my hands. Take my hand and put it in my side. You must not doubt, but believe.”
20:28 – “My Lord and my God!” cried Thomas.
20:29 – “Is it because you have seen me that you believe?” Jesus said to him. “Happy are those who have never seen me and yet have believed!”
20:30-31 – Jesus gave a great many other signs in the presence of his disciples which are not recorded in this book. But these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is Christ, the Son of God, and that in that faith you may have life as his disciples.
The risen Jesus and Peter
21:1-4 – Later on, Jesus showed himself again to his disciples on the shore of Lake Tiberias, and he did it in this way. Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee and two other disciples were together, when Simon Peter said, “I’m going fishing.” “All right,” they replied, “we’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat and during the night caught nothing at all. But just as dawn began to break, Jesus stood there on the beach, although the disciples had no idea that it was Jesus.
21:5 – “Have you caught anything, lads?” Jesus called out to them. “No,” they replied.
21:6-7a – “Throw the net on the right side of the boat,” said Jesus, “and you’ll have a catch.” So they threw out the net and found that they were now not strong enough to pull it in because it was so full of fish! At this, the disciple that Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!”
21:7b-11 – Hearing this, Peter slipped on his clothes, for he had been naked, and plunged into the sea. The other disciples followed in the boat, for they were only about a hundred yards from the shore, dragging in the net full of fish. When they had landed, they saw that a charcoal fire was burning, with a fish placed on it, and some bread. Jesus said to them, “Bring me some of the fish you’ve just caught.” So Simon Peter got into the boat and hauled the net ashore full of large fish, one hundred and fifty-three altogether. But in spite of the large number the net was not torn.
21:12 – Then Jesus said to them, “Come and have your breakfast.” None of the disciples dared to ask him who he was; they knew it was the Lord.
21:13-14 – Jesus went and took the bread and gave it to them and gave them all fish as well. This is already the third time that Jesus showed himself to his disciples after his resurrection from the dead.
21:15 – When they had finished breakfast Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these others?” “Yes, Lord,” he replied, “you know that I am your friend.”
21:16 – “Then feed my lambs,” returned Jesus. Then he said for the second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” “Yes, Lord,” returned Peter. “You know that I am your friend.”
21:17 – “Then care for my sheep,” replied Jesus. Then for the third time, Jesus spoke to him and said, “Simon, son of John, are you my friend?” Peter was deeply hurt because Jesus’ third question to him was “Are you my friend?”, and he said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I am your friend!”
21:18 – “Then feed my sheep,” Jesus said to him. “I tell you truly, Peter, that when you were younger, you used to dress yourself and go where you liked, but when you are an old man, you are going to stretch out your hands and someone else will dress you and take you where you do not want to go.”
21:19 – (He said this to show the kind of death – by crucifixion – by which Peter was going to honour God.) Then Jesus said to him, “You must follow me.”
21:20-21 – Then Peter turned round and noticed the disciple whom Jesus loved following behind them. (He was the one who had his head on Jesus’ shoulder at supper and had asked, “Lord, who is the one who is going to betray you?”) So he said, “Yes, Lord, but what about him?”
21:22 – “If it is my wish,” returned Jesus, “for him to stay until I come, is that your business, Peter? You must follow me.”
21:23 – This gave rise to the saying among the brothers that this disciple would not die. Yet, of course, Jesus did not say, “He will not die,”, but simply, “If it is my wish for him to stay until I come, is that your business?”
All the above was written by an eye-witness
21:24-25 – Now it is this same disciple who is hereby giving his testimony to these things and has written them down. We know that his witness is reliable. Of course, there are many other things which Jesus did, and I suppose that if each one were written down in detail, there would not be room in the whole world for all the books that would have to be written.