The Apostle of Love

We know from the apostle Paul that more and more, Jesus’ claim to be God was rejected by the people of their native land and faith, even as more and more from surrounding cultures and religions had their eyes opened and came to faith.

For you and me today, the question is the same as it was in John’s day:

Who is Jesus and what is His significance to me?

John wrote his gospel to answer that question in such a convincing way, those who read it would put their faith in Jesus as Messiah.

From the blog

Gospel of John: Feast With Me

The difference between failure and success is Jesus himself. You never know how close you are to a breakthrough. The disciples had only to throw their nets on the other side of the boat, just this one last time, when Jesus gave them the word. And their nets were more full than if they had been catching fish the whole night.

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Gospel of John: Mary of Magdala

All four Gospel accounts describe Mary’s faithfulness and courage, a major financial supporter and patron of Jesus’s ministry, one who remained with Jesus at the foot of his cross until his death, and the first to arrive at his tomb the morning of his resurrection.

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Gospel of John: Resurrection Timeline

Though the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) all synchronize with each other, and John seems to stand alone in what it recounts, all four gospels agree on the main events concerning Jesus’s trials, crucifixion, death, and resurrection. Many have sought to create a timeline of events, poring through these four eyewitness accounts, as I will also do, today.

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Gospel of John: Witness to Death

Swoon theories are like urban myths. When examined, the actual facts disprove the myth, but the myth keeps getting repeated. So, the writers of the gospels—and especially John—were careful to document the reality of Jesus’ physical death and his physical resurrection.

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Gospel of John: The Cyrenian and the Daughters of Jerusalem

John briefly references the story of Simon from Cyrene (Found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke), and omits the story of the daughters of Jerusalem (found only in Luke). For John, the significance of Jesus’s journey from the Gabbatha to Golgatha is found in his continuing intentional drinking of the Father’s cup. He had a mission, and he would complete it, as any brave and mighty king would do.

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Gospel of John: Hail Caesar

The chiasm outlined by Jo-Ann A. Brant has a classic seven-point structure. A Exterior: John 18:29-32, Jesus is brought to Pilate with a demand for execution; Pilate refuses      B Interior: John 18:33-38, Pilate asks about Jesus’s royal claim           C Exterior: John 18:38-40, Pilate finds Jesus innocent, but the temple elite choose Barabbas               …

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Gospel of John: Bar Abbas

Pilate stood and shouted over the fray, Which of the two do you all want me to pardon and set free to you? Bar Abbas? Pilate bit out his name with a look of contempt, or Jesus who is called Christ? The comparison was obvious: Did they still want to free a villainous murderer, or would they take the nobler option of freeing this gentle holy man who had been falsely accused?

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Gospel of John: He is a Galilean

Caiaphas waited expectantly. He had been forceful in his insistence that Jesus was an agitator, inciting trouble all over Judea, having started his insurgency in the northernmost reaches of Jewish territory and bringing subversion all the way down to Jerusalem.

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Gospel of John: Pilate’s Palace

God had prepared a day of reckoning that Pilate had no idea was coming. For him it was just another Friday. But he was instead going to experience the greatest crisis of his life, coerced into making a life-or-death decision of incalculable proportion and consequence.

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Gospel of John: Sanctification

Jesus was praying that you and I will be protected by the supernatural power of God as we intentionally engage the people around us, whoever they may be, with the goodness of God’s love, the gentleness of God’s goodness, and the good news of God’s gospel.

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Gospel of John: Sanctuary

Jesus prayed that God would now sanctify every believer, and believers all together, setting apart God’s people, literally making the people of God the Lord’s sacred place in which God’s glory dwells and where God is worshiped.

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Gospel of John: Schlomo

It is well-being. It is health of the body, health of the mind, it is safety and security, it is prosperity, it is wholeness and completeness. For prosperity is knowing you are rich in blessing, that the Lord shall supply all your needs. For wholeness is being made complete in Christ.”

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Gospel of John: Practical Agape

Jesus had shared with them everything the Father had given him, the secrets of the Father’s nature, of God’s plan for the world. He had shared his own pain, his feelings, his joy, the very humanness of himself with those in whom he had entrusted himself.

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Gospel of John: Agape

Emotional connection with God provides us with distinctive insights into God which cannot be gained any other way. But in order to anchor that truth into our real lives, we need to live it out. Something goes seriously wrong with our capacity to absorb or even understand Scripture if we do not live it, but just study it.

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Gospel of John: Authentic Agape

How do you describe a being Who is like an Eternal Community of three fully connected persons, more fully connected than you and I could ever imagine, because though they are three, they are also one? Yet, by design, you and I are to connect with God and with other people, to be in community, as Jesus had explained, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

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Gospel of John: The Holy Spirit

So we asked our class to rewrite doctrine. We gave them a short list of scriptures to work with, encouraged them to go wherever else in the scriptures they felt prompted (or inspired) to pursue, and to come up with a doctrinal statement. Here is what our class came up with:

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Gospel of John: Peter’s Distress

There is no question that every person has been both a victim of others’ wrongdoing and an agent of wrongdoing in our own right. There is much each one of us has to ask forgiveness for. And there is much that was done to us, that only the Savior can redeem, at this point.

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Gospel of John: Background Stories

Before entering into the events of Passion Week, it seemed good to gather the backstories that were in play during those fateful seven days. I promised to give four stories that would provide foundational understanding for what happened.

Yesterday was the first story, Story #1, A Lamb. Today are two more stories, and tomorrow will come the last story.

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Gospel of John: Spikenard

She was held in his gaze, paused, at peace, at rest, then Jesus closed his eyes, and an audible groan rose up from voice after voice, as she rose to up on her knees, lifted the jar with both hands, and poured a golden green brooklet of ambrosial oil onto Jesus’ head. Narrow rills streamed through his hair, and over his beard, the perfume so potent it overwhelmed even the incense burners.

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Gospel of John: Emergency Council Meeting

Faced with the same evidence, some were moved to belief, and some were hardened in unbelief. And yet God’s purpose for Messiah still advanced. Even with free will, no person can alter God’s divine plan. As one commentator put it, Nothing people can do will thwart or alter the sovereign will of God, and nothing God does ever sets aside the free choice of people.

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Gospel of John: Belief on the Line

Faith involves doing hard things. And obedience to God reflects belief in God and God’s word. Martha would have to put her belief on the line in front of her sister, in front of all those religious dignitaries, in front of all their extended family and people who had come down from Jerusalem.

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Gospel of John: Martha’s Faith

[In the Greek] Though Martha’s voice had leaned more heavily on the final catastrophe of death itself, Mary spoke from the devastation of personal betrayal, her voice leaning on the connection of her brother, the unspoken meaning clear: you said you loved me, and he was my brother.

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About Me

My passion for the Bible began when I was eight or nine years old, somewhere in there, when on occasion my dad would take me to synagogue, where he sang. I remember watching the men in synagogue pray the words of scripture, murmuring and weeping, lovingly touching and kissing the Torah, and I wished I could read what they were reading.

Imagine, then, my wonder when I was given a Bible of my own! Read more

Let’s hang out


INTRODUCTION

The Gospel of John

Gospel of John: What Is It?

Gospel of John: Who Wrote It?

Gospel of John: Why Study It?


OVERVIEW

Gospel of John: 7 Witnesses, 7 Claims

Gospel of John: 7 Signs

Gospel of John: Jesus is God

Gospel of John: Two Responses


PROLOGUE

Gospel of John: The Eternal Word

Gospel of John: The Witnessed Word

Gospel of John: The Incarnate Word


CHAPTER 1

Gospel of John: John the Baptist

Gospel of John: John Rattles His Questioners

Gospel of John: John’s Mic Drop

Gospel of John: A Gospel Sidebar

Gospel of John: What Is Your Quest?

Gospel of John Stairway to Heaven


CHAPTER 2

Gospel of John: A Wedding

Gospel of John: Faith on the Line

Gospel of John: A Deep Cleanse

Gospel of John: Gauntlet Dropped


CHAPTER 3

Gospel of John: Startling Mystery

Gospel of John: Paradigm Shift

Gospel of John: Sign of the Serpent

Gospel of John: Lifted Up

Gospel of John: Heal, Not Hurt

Gospel of John: Choose Life


CHAPTER 4

Gospel of John: Culture Shock

Gospel of John: Thirsty

Gospel of John: Living Water

Gospel of John: Truth

Gospel of John: I AM

Gospel of John: “Τί ζητεῖτε;”

Gospel of John: You Matter

Gospel of John: Food

Gospel of John: A Nobleman’s Son

Gospel of John: From Faith to Faith


Chapter 5

Gospel of John: Pool of Bethesda

Gospel of John: Sabbath Collision

Gospel of John: Plucking Grain

Gospel of John: The Big Reveal

Gospel of John: Jesus Invokes Witnesses

Gospel of John: Final Proof


Chapter 6

Gospel of John: John Beheaded

Gospel of John: Loaves and Fish

Gospel of John: Refusing the Crown

Gospel of John: Walk on Water

Gospel of John: Manna From Heaven

Gospel of John: Bread of Life

Gospel of John Flesh and Blood

Gospel of John: Life-Giving Feast

Gospel of John: Belief or Abandonment


Chapter 7

Gospel of John: Personal Pressure

Gospel of John: Moses’ Law

Gospel of John: Circumcision

Gospel of John: Pressure of Public Opinion

Gospel of John: Pressure of Persecution

Gospel of John: Water from the Rock

Gospel of John: A Better Covenant

Gospel of John: Protectors Pressured

Chapter 8

Gospel of John: Woman Caught in Adultery

Gospel of John: Adulterous Woman Reprise

Gospel of John: Light of the Cosmos

Gospel of John: Where is Your Father

Gospel of John: Not From This World

Gospel of John: Be Made Free

Gospel of John: Father of Lies

Gospel of John: Who Has the Demon

Gospel of John: Stone Him!

Chapter 9

Gospel of John: Born Blind

Gospel of John: Pool of Siloam

Gospel of John: What Do You See?

Gospel of John: Blind Beggar, Brazen Believer

Gospel of John: The Ban

Gospel of John: Ejected | Embraced

Gospel of John: Grace, Grace, God’s Grace

Gospel of John: Shine the Light

Chapter 10

Gospel of John: The True Shepherd

Gospel of John The Good Shepherd

Gospel of John: I Know My Own

Gospel of John: Are You the Messiah?

Gospel of John: Election

Gospel of John: I and the Father are One

Chapter 11

Gospel of John: Grave Illness

Gospel of John: Let Us All Go

Gospel of John: Delays Are Not Denials

Gospel of John: Revelation to Martha

Gospel of John: Martha’s Faith

Gospel of John: Jesus Wept

Gospel of John: Belief on the Line

Gospel of John: Lazarus! Here! Outside!

Gospel of John: Emergency Council Meeting

Chapter 12

Gospel of John: A Tale of Two Sisters

Gospel of John: A Leper’s Thanksgiving

Gospel of John: Spikenard

Gospel of John: Judas Speaks

Gospel of John: Passion Week

Gospel of John: Background Stories

Gospel of John: Why Palm Branches?

Gospel of John: Three Prophecies Fulfilled

Gospel of John: A Brief Pause

Gospel of John: The Hour Has Come

Gospel of John: Voice From Heaven

Gospel of John: Inured to the Light

Chapter 13

Gospel of John: Setting the Scene

Gospel of John: Footwashing

Gospel of John: Peter’s Distress

Gospel of John: Rank and File

Gospel of John: Battling Beliefs

Gospel of John: Mutuality and Equality

Gospel of John: Is it I

Gospel of John: Father of Lies

Gospel of John: Love One Another

Chapter 14

Gospel of John: Many Mansions

Gospel of John: The Way, The Truth, The Life

Gospel of John: Greater Works

Gospel of John: Sweet Breath of God

Gospel of John: The Holy Spirit

Gospel of John: Authentic Agape

Gospel of John: Shalom

Gospel of John: To Go, or to Stay?

Chapter 15

Gospel of John: Bear Much Fruit

Gospel of John: Means of Grace

Gospel of John: Agape

Gospel of John: Quality of Love

Gospel of John: Practical Agape

Gospel of John: Aroma of Christ

Chapter 16

Gospel of John: Rumpelstiltskin

Gospel of John: Three Concerns

Gospel of John: The Ruler of this World

Gospel of John: Penalty, Power, Presence

Gospel of John: Promise of Joy

Gospel of John: Metaphor to Reality

Gospel of John: Inner Peace

Gospel of John: Behold!

Gospel of John: Schlomo

Chapter 17

Gospel of John: Jesus Prays

Gospel of John: Made One

Gospel of John: Be One

Gospel of John: Jesus Glorified

Gospel of John: Intercession

Gospel of John: Sanctuary

Gospel of John: Sanctification

Gospel of John: Consecration

Gospel of John: A Vision of Glory

Chapter 18

Gospel of John: Handed Over

Gospel of John: Passion Narrative

Gospel of John: Prayer in Gethsemane

Gospel of John: Peter’s Sifting

Gospel of John: The Arrest

Gospel of John: Denied Three Times

Gospel of John: Pretrial

Gospel of John: Annas and Caiaphas

Gospel of John: Blasphemy!

Gospel of John: Private Agony

Gospel of John: Lamb of God Judged

Gospel of John: Pilate’s Palace

Gospel of John: What is Truth?

Gospel of John: He is Galilean

Gospel of John: Herod’s Court

Gospel of John: Bar Abbas

Gospel of John: Crucify!

Chapter 19

Gospel of John: Scourge and Scorn

Gospel of John: Son of God

Gospel of John: Where Are You From?

Gospel of John: Hail Caesar

Gospel of John: We Have No King

Gospel of John: A Street Called Straight

Gospel of John: First Sight

Gospel of John: The Cyrenian and the Daughters of Jerusalem

Gospel of John: King of the Judeans

Gospel of John: The Sayings of Christ

Gospel of John: His Last Breath

Gospel of John: Witness to Death

Gospel of John: A Race Against Sunset

Chapter 20

Gospel of John: He Is Risen!

Gospel of John: Weighing the Evidence

Gospel of John: Resurrection Timeline

Gospel of John: Mary of Magdala

Gospel of John: Garden to Garden

Gospel of John: Peace in the Upper Room

Gospel of John: Thomas Has Doubts

Chapter 21

Gospel of John: In Between

Gospel of John: Feast With Me

Gospel of John: Graze My Lambs

Gospel of John: Rumor Put To Rest