John part 2: Jesus says “My time has not yet fully come.”

Good morning. As I write this greeting I can’t help remember the time that my son woke me up in the middle of the night. Sometimes he has a hard time sleeping and frequently wants one of us to stay up with him. Usually it’s me. He’s also learning greeting a person as part of his therapy. His therapists are constantly getting him to say “Hi” and “Bye”. So when he woke me up at 3 in the morning, the first thing he said to me was, “Say Hi!” and I sleepy and groggy as I was, did! I was sleepy but I was excited that what his therapists are working on at his center, seem to be staying with him when he comes home 🙂 So Good Morning!

It’s been a long time since I wrote a Bible post and I decided to go back to it to restart my blogging after my summer break. We’ll continue with the Gospel of John, the first part you can find here. Here’s the next part.

The gospel of John was written by the disciple John (the brother of James and one of the three of Jesus’ inner circle, Peter, James and John). In other gospels we learn that he is the son of Zebedee. He and his brother James were most likely business partners with Peter and Andrew. Those four are often mentioned together. His mother asked Jesus to let one of her sons sit on His right hand and the other on His left, to which Jesus replied that those positions were for His Father to fill. This request angered the rest of the disciples, causing Jesus to talk to them of humility. John and James were nicknamed ‘Sons of Thunder” for their temperaments and for wanting to call down fire on a Samaritan town that refused to believe in Jesus. At Jesus’ death on the cross, He gave charge of His mother, Mary, to John to care for and to provide for her for the rest of her life.

In this gospel, John refers to himself as “The disciple that God loved” and not by his name. “This title occurs in five passages:

  1. John 13:23: “One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.”
  2. John 19:26: “When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, ‘Woman, here is your son.’”
  3. John 20:2: “So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, ‘They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!’”
  4. John 21:7: “Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’”
  5. John 21:20: “Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them.” These five verses were taken from Zondervan Academic, Who wrote the gospel of John?

It is believed that John was the only disciple who died of old age, all other disciples were killed and died as martyrs. When he was older, he was the leader of the church in Ephesus and was called the Elder. It is also believed that he wrote the letters of First, Second and Third John as well as the book of Revelation.

As I wrote earlier, the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke are called synoptic gospels, because they follow a similar timeline of events. At least ninety percent of John is different from the other gospels and was written much later than the other three. For John, Jesus’s miracles are not simply wonders to astonish onlookers, but signs pointing to his glory that come from the presence of God within him.” (The Gospel of John Summary from Spark Notes).

RELATED POST: John Part 1: Jesus is the Giver of grace upon grace.

In chapter 5: Jesus heals a man who had been lame for thirty eight years by the pool of Bethesda. As had happened many times before, the healing takes place on a Sabbath. The Jewish leaders adhering to the letter of the law and not the spirit of it, forbid the healed man from carrying his mat. He replies that the man who healed him and whose name he doesn’t know asked him to do so. Jesus finds him later at the Temple and tells him to stop sinning. Promptly the man tells the Jewish leaders about Jesus. Jesus’ authority is questioned by the Jewish leaders and when Jesus tells them that He does what He does because of the Father’s instructions and example, He is persecuted. Jesus replies with remarkable insight in John 5: 17-30. Jesus also tells them that The Father testifies on His behalf as did John the Baptist. While Jesus does not need human testimony, He mentions it to them so that they will accept it and believe in Him. He warns them to seek only the glory that comes from God. He also warns them that their accuser before The Father will be Moses if they continue to disbelieve.

 

In chapter 6: Jesus feeds the 5000 (if you open the link you will see this miracle compared in all four gospels). Each gospel account mentions this miracle. Each author focused on something different. In John, he focuses on Jesus’ divinity and so he presents this miracle as one of the signs that Jesus is truly God. He mentions that Jesus wanted to test Philip and so asked him where they would find food for all the people, ( I’ve mentioned before that the 5000 were men counted, there were women and children present as well so that final count would be closer to 20,000 people). John also mentions that it was Andrew who found the boy who had the five loaves of bread and two fish. {1} That evening His disciples get into a boat and set off across the lake for Capernaum. Jesus walks on the water to them. They are terrified at first but when He says “It is I, don’t be afraid.” they are willing to take him into the boat and immediately the boat reaches the other shore.

Then Jesus proclaims Himself to be the  Bread of life. This is the first of the “I AM” statements that John records that Jesus said. Jesus tells the people to believe in the One whom (The Father) has sent. Jesus further tells them :

  • That no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them.
  • Whoever comes to Jesus will be raised up on the last day.
  • Whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
  • Whoever receives Him will never be hungry or thirsty again.
  • That He will never lose anyone who comes to Him.
  • Whoever eats (of Him) will live for ever.
  • His flesh is the Bread which He gives for the life of the world.

This is such a hard thing for many disciples to hear and understand that they turn back and stop following Jesus. Jesus then asked His twelve disciples if they want to leave as well and Simon Peter answers,  ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.’ After this Jesus warns them that one of the chosen twelve disciples will betray Him.

 

In chapter 7: Jesus chooses to go to Galilee and teach since He is being persecuted in Judea. Jesus’ brothers mock him(as they had not yet believed in Him) when He doesn’t want to be known publicly. Jesus mentions His time has not yet fully come (for Him to be revealed), for the world any time will do. The brothers go to Judea for the Festival of the Tabernacles and Jesus goes up privately. Not until halfway through the Festival does Jesus teach in the Temple courts. The crowds are amazed at His learning even without Him receiving formal education. Jesus replies that His teaching is not His own. It comes from the Father who’s ent Him. Anyone who does the will of God will know that the teaching comes from God. He reiterates again that healing a whole man on the Sabbath is lawful and does not break any commandments.

The people are divided over Jesus, some people believe He is the Messiah, others don’t because they believe they know His origins. Jesus says He is not here on earth by His own authority but he has come because the One who sent Him is true. Some people tried to seize Jesus because of His blasphemy but no one could lay a hand on Him because His time had not yet come. Jesus hints that when He leaves the people, they will not be able to follow Him. On the last day of the Festival, Jesus reminds the people that Whoever believes in [Him], as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.’(John 7:38) by which He meant that the Spirit would indwell in them when He comes. The guards sent by the Jewish leaders to apprehend Jesus return to them empty handed because they are won over by the way that Jesus teaches. The leaders do not believe in Jesus and are furious but here we see Nicodemus, one of their own number, trying to mediate between them and Jesus.

 

In chapter 8: The teachers of the law bring a woman caught in a adultery to Jesus, in order to trick Him with the dictates of the law. {2}Jesus instead writes something on the ground, no one mentions what, but it is enough to convict the people of their own sin first over the woman’s and so they leave, the older ones before the others, until they is no one left to stone the woman. Jesus straightened up and then tells the woman to go and leave her life of sin.

Jesus then utters the second “I AM” statement and here calls Himself The light of the world. He further says that those who follow Him will never walk in darkness. He is questioned about being His own witness, but Jesus replies that He testifies for Himself as does the Father. His testimony on His behalf is valid because He knows where He comes from and where He will go. While what He said angered the leaders, no one seized Him because His hour had not yet come. Jesus furthers tells them that they will die in their sins if they don’t believe in Him. Where He is going they cannot follow unless they believe in Him. Jesus also says that He is never alone for The one who sent [Him] is with [Him]; he has not left [Him] alone, for [He] always does what pleases him.’ (John 8:29)

Jesus and the Jewish leaders dispute over their parentage. When Jesus tells them He only does what the Father tells Him to do and those that hold to His teachings will know the truth and the truth will set them free, they are incensed. They believe that they have always been free and never slaves to anyone{3} They reiterate that their only father is God and that they are Abraham’s descendants. Jesus tells them that if God was their Father they would love Him, believe in Him and do what He tells them. Since they aren’t, they are doing the works of their father, the devil, who is a liar and was a murderer from the beginning. Jesus further tells them that Abraham saw the day of Jesus(life and ministry on earth) and seeing that , rejoiced. They scoff because of Jesus’ young age. Jesus says, before Abraham ever was, He existed. At which the people try to stone Him, but he slips away.

{1} This is the second time that Andrew has brought someone to Jesus. The first time was when he brought his brother Simon who was later renamed Peter to Jesus and Peter is given authority to build the Church of God. Here Andrew brings an unnamed little boy and his lunch to Jesus, and Jesus performs a miracle with the little the boy had. We will see later that Andrew brings other people to Jesus as well.

{2} In the old testament, the law requires that both partners caught in an act of adultery to be stoned to death. Not only do the leaders not bring in the man , but they are trying to trick Jesus. They know Jesus has infinite compassion towards the downtrodden classes and has ‘violated’ several commandments (to them at least), so here they want to see if He’ll adhere to the law(stoning the woman) or set her free.

{3} In the old testament, during various periods (see the book of Judges especially) of disobedience and rebellion towards God, God allowed several nations to conquer Israel and Jerusalem. During which time the Israelites were not free and definitely were slaves to the conquering nation. At the time of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, Jerusalem was conquered by Rome.

RELATED POST: My hour has not yet come, but it will.

Several times in these four chapters, something did not happen and John records it as being “not Jesus’ time”. Jesus was God the Son ,and as such, knew the time that the Father had decreed for Him. The time to heal and teach and interact with people was during His lifetime. The time to save would be at His death and resurrection. The time to worship Him would be at His ascension. The time for Jesus to be righteously angry would be in the week leading up to His death. So we see Jesus holding back from blistering the Jewish leaders and we see God holding back the people from killing Him before His time.

Until next time,

Vanessa.

 

 

 

 

 

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