I recommend Tim McGrew, a Christian apologist and philosopher. There are many YouTube videos about the the gospels and Acts of topics such as: who wrote them, internal and external evidence of their reliability, alleged contradictions and historic errors.
The gospel of John was written by the apostle John before he wrote the book of Revelation. He lived in Ephesus in Asia at the time and wrote this gospel to refute the Docetists, the Ebionites, and the early Gnostics which included the Nicolaitans. He added details about the life of Christ not mentioned in the other gospels and he did not repeat details which were already present in the other gospels.
John emphasizes the following topics to the extreme which makes for weird reading if not mingled with the other gospels...
John borrows a philosophical term, logos, giving it a new meaning. The Jewish philosopher Philo used the term to refer to concepts similar to the Christian view of Christ the Son of God as mediator between God and man. Even Philo's view was a modification from earlier philosophers.
The significance of using the word "word" to refer to God is that God's utterances and activities in the physical and spiritual realms are expressions of his nature; all aspects of God are God himself. Thus in meditating on God's activities and in obeying his commands, his moral law, we worship God's person; we interact with God through his activities and manifestations. The Eastern Orthodox Churches refers to this as God's Divine Energies, that aspect of God which we can interact with, distinct from God's Essence which we cannot.
The logos was "in the beginning". The beginning of what? The spiritual realm of angels existed before the universe was created, perhaps this was created or perhaps it always existed as part of God's nature as Spirit, as the Holy Spirit.
This verse is Trinitarian. The second person of the Trinity, the Son of God, is both "with" God while at the same time "is" God. This all gets very confusing and tricky. The main thing in all this is, I think, that Jesus is worthy of our praise, worship, awe, admiration, respect, and any other kind of expression we can have toward that ultimate Creator God who created us for His plan and purpose, and for our benefit. We need not worry about whether worshipping Jesus, a man, is idolatry. It is not, this because he took on human nature in the incarnation and made it part of God's nature. We will finally enjoy the benefits of all this in the new heavens and new earth.
In using the word "things" I wonder if John means physical things, the universe. In any case, all created things were created by God, the Trinity. Certainly all living creatures, physical and spiritual, are in this category of created things.
The Trinity is the source of life, is life itself. All living creatures are connected to the source of life as branches on a tree.
A comparison of some views...
Notice that light comes from life. God is the source of everything; he is life and light. I think the reference to light is not just a metaphorfor truth or knowledge or something like that. The essence of the spiritual realm is life and light. The mental powers of our soul are composed of aspects of the spiritual realm. Even in darkness there is light because our minds are reflecting, thinking, reasoning, and our consciousness is alert and active.
The concept of darkness is not just a metaphorfor evil. In rejecting connectedness with God, the wicked spirits are banished to a realm outside of God's protective grace, a world of death, decay, pain, suffering, anguish, and darkness. The souls of us humans are tangled-up in this and are thus plagued by original sin. God shines his light, his very essence, into the soul of each person hoping they will discern the infinite goodness of the light and reject darkness. Ultimately, at death, each person must choose.Darkness is incapable of perceiving light, thus, the doctrine of total depravityis simply wrong; we were created "very good"and retain this God-given innate goodness even in our current fallen condition. The soul is capable of recognizing the infinite superiority of the light over darkness because it was created in the image of God.It did not lose this image of God during the fall of Adam.
A few facts about John the Baptist...
Jesus shines the light of truth, the light of God's very essence, upon every person. This happens during life as he illumines each soul with the sense of moral outrage at sin and evil. But finally it happens at death when Jesus reveals himself in his true glory and each person must choose to accept or reject him.
Jesus came into the world as a human, taking on human nature and joining human nature into the Godhead. How could God, in the person of the second person of the Trinity, inhabit a human body just as the soul of each human does, unless humanity became part of God's nature? Thus, God redeemed human nature as a prerequisite of redeeming humans.
Jesus as Messiah was rejected by the Jewish religious leaders. Certainly some believed, but the formal institution of the Jewish religion rejected him. Of course, as Jesus noted on many occasions,this leadership of God's chosen nation of Israel had forsaken God's call and purpose for this nation and people long before.
This raises the question of whether the Church is also to be a formal institution having recognizable leaders who can go bad?The Catholic Church claims to be this Church. I reject this notion as I discuss elsewhere;Jesus did not intend in the new covenant to replicate the same kinds of problems of old covenant Israel.
Redemption is a family matter, we become children of God in relationship with his person.
Being born againis a birth of the spirit, of the soul,into God's glorious kingdom. We abandon Satan's kingdom of darkness and enter into God's kingdom of light. Of course, only in the new heavens and new earthare we 100% free from the bad effects; once our soul was dragged through the influences of the powers of darkness it became contaminated, unclean. It takes a process, purgatory,to clean it off to be suitable for life in the new heavens and new earth.
Notice the significant role of John the Baptist in this story. It is he who turns it from a mere philosophical discussion to flesh and blood reality in the person of Jesus. As Christians we do not need to be forever trapped in the realm of philosophical ideas, rather, we can meditate on the life of Jesus, and his words and sayings, and his promises. In doing so we experience true worship of God.
(John 1:33) And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
Jesus is at the Jordan River near John the Baptist. Is is not certain where Jesus lived, whether renting a room or perhaps in a field. In any case, he is not in Galilee. Presumably, Andrew and Peter were away from home to hear John the Baptist and perhaps to be baptized. They appear to be on a spiritual quest, interrupting their work fishing. Thus, at least some of the apostles were introduced to Jesus by John the Baptist.
One of these two was Andrew. The other was somebody else, but not Peter.
It is not certain whether Peter was also at the Jordan River or whether Andrew went back to Capernaum to fetch Peter. It was about 25 miles to Capernaum so it would have taken a couple of days to make this round-trip journey.
Perhaps Jesus went to Peter's house at his invitation.
Cana was about 15 miles to the west and south of Capernaum so this trip would have taken a day or more.
It doesn't say who invited Jesus and his disciples to the wedding. Perhaps Mary invited them and that's why they ran out of wine, because there were so many extra guests. I suspect that far more than the 12 disciples were invited; perhaps there were hundreds of surprise guests. Perhaps that's part of the lesson here, that God can accommodate any number of people into his kingdom; no one need be turned away.
If Mary were the one who invited all the extra unplanned-for guests she would feel a sense of responsibility when the wine ran out. She felt very comfortable asking Jesus to solve the problem; perhaps this kind of miraculous intervention was common in that household with Jesus often performing miracles for Mary to take care of her. He did the same kind of thing for Peter so he could pay their taxes.
Notice the use of wine, and lot's of it, at the wedding. I am not promoting the use of alcohol but it is drunkenness that is the sin.Some people have trouble with gluttonyand some have trouble with alcoholism. For these it is better to abstain from alcohol and to be moderate with diet. We should not corrupt these poor souls by tempting themin their area of weakness. People who drink alcohol are often completely oblivious and insensitive to the struggles of those around them.
The implication is that once Jesus' hour does come, he will have some special interaction with his mother Mary, who he here calls woman. Perhaps the idea is that just as Jesus united himself to humanity in taking on human flesh from Mary in her womb, so also he takes upon himself the sins of the world and brings redemption. For Mary this has special significance since his sacrificial death provided the means for her to be conceived sinless and to remain free from original sin. (I accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception;that Mary was conceived sinless to be a fitting vessel for Jesus to take human flesh from and to be born from.)
What does Jesus have to do with the woman, Mary, his mother? He took his human nature from her. At his resurrection he would deify human nature forever.At that time he would fill the lack that each of us has, the lack of unity with God, of fellowship with God. Until then, all he could do was miraculously cure people's physical, emotional, psychological needs; miraculously provide people's food and drink; and even forgive their sins. What did he have to do with the woman? The truly important thing would have to wait until his time had come.
These stone waterpots probably were not moved but water was drawn from them into smaller containers to be used for washing the hands and feet. Perhaps people also drank the water from these waterpots; this makes sense since the wine would fill the pots. I doubt if anyone would use the wine to wash their hands and feet. The jars were partially empty since they had been used already.
This was a huge wedding requiring at least 120 gallons of water. We might wonder why the wine ran out. Perhaps all the extra uninvited guests that Mary brought.
It probably took quite a while to fill the waterpots with long trips to the water source, a river or well, using smaller containers.
(John 2:9) When the ruler [steward] of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence [from where] it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor [steward] of the feast called the bridegroom,
Notice the bridegroom plans the wedding and provides the food and drink. The story ends without hearing his comments. Perhaps he is at fault for not having enough wine; maybe he had obligations to invite more people than he could pay for. If so, perhaps Mary was doing him a favor in inviting extra guests knowing Jesus would then feel compelled to perform this miracle; if there was nearly enough perhaps rationing serving sizes near the end would have been sufficient.
They had just been in Capernaum so they returned back there, presumably to Peter's house.
Most Christians think of heaven as the location of eternal life, but this is not the case; rather, it is the new heavens and new earth.In fact, the New Testament never once mentions that we go to heaven at all!
The human condition is that we are all perishing under the rule of sin and death caused by original sin. Of course, this rule is in actuality the influence of wicked spirits who have become entangled with our souls in the spiritual realm.In creating the physical universe and all the creatures in it, God allowed Satan to influence all this. Only by God's grace can we escape this.
Because of God's love for us poor hapless humans who must endure this predicament, he provided a way that we can be free from the influences of evil. Since God judges evil, he must judge us also. Without the redemption God provided through the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ, there is no hope. There is still no hope for those who reject this opportunity of escape.
It is my opinion that everyone without exception will encounter Christ at their death and will at that time choose him or reject him. In this life, some have never encountered him yet the New Testament states many times that only through faith in him can we be saved. Many Christians have interpreted this to imply that all who have not heard the gospel are unredeemed. But Romans 1:19-20states that everyone who is damned for eternity to hell has no excuse except their own rejection of God,and, therefore, their rejection of Christ.
In this verse we learn that Christ is begotten of the Father. We may not think much about this today but for the first few hundred years of church history,the significance of this was argued and contested by the bishops.Finally, we ended up with the Nicene Creedand the doctrine of the Trinity. Some Christians are oblivious to all these foundational aspects of the Christian faith.
It is not God's plan and purpose to judge the wicked, including the wicked spirits in the spiritual realm,this is a side-effect of God's holiness. Sin and wickedness are repulsed by God so when God attempts to come near to those who are entangled with this, they are repulsed into eternal hell. Of course, God is aware of all this and has provided redemption for those who will believe and receive it. God intervened in the world of humans by sending his Son, Jesus Christ, into this world in the form of a human to provide for redemption. This occurred in two ways...
In listening to many Christians talk, you would think that Jesus came into the world to condemn it. But us humans were condemned from the beginning, from the fall of Adam and Eve.
(John 3:29) He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
Apparently, converts to Judaism joined via baptism. The Pharisees counted how many people were baptized into John's and Jesus' movements to determine their relative popularity. Perhaps this is why Jesus baptized at all before the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost — to provide a way for people to acknowledge their allegiance to him.
John the baptist did all the baptizing himself; Jesus left this for the disciples and apostles. We should wonder why Jesus baptized at all since the Church was not founded until the day of Pentecost.
The 4 kinds of baptism...
I can imagine Jesus one day taught his disciples to baptize after they inquired about John's baptism and whether followers of Jesus should be baptized. I wonder whether the apostles were baptized at all? perhaps Jesus baptized them or perhaps they baptized each other? But there is no mention of this in the Bible at all.
(John 4:10) Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
(John 5:4) For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
(John 5:19) Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
(John 5:24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
(John 6:22) The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;
(John 6:51) I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
(John 8:9) And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
It's all about truth, about infallibility.Jesus tells those Jews who believed in him that they are in bondage but will be free if they continue in the faith. It seems odd that he expresses this in terms of their continuing in his word; this implies that we are not actually set free until death when judgment occurs based on how well we continued in his word.This is not a message that most Protestants want to hear.
(John 8:44) Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
How was Satan a murderer from the beginning? Who did he kill? In tempting Eve he brought death into the world.
Jesus is referring to spiritual fatherhood just as he refers to God being his father and just as they refer to Abraham being their father.
Notice that in choosing to be loyal to Satan's kingdom of darkness, his lusts become their lusts. He influences them because their souls are tangled-up with the spirits of wickedness residing in the spiritual realm. Yet these Jewish leaders think they are the spiritual leaders of Israel. In exploiting the innocent and weak, they prove whose kingdom they really belong to. In studying church history we should look to how the church leaders treated the people to determine whether they were really representatives of God's true Church.
While Jesus was physically present in the world as a human he did the work of God the Father. Once he left earth, no one could do these same works. Some ultra-charismatics claim to do the same miraculous works as Jesus but this verse refutes the practice — only Jesus can do the works of Jesus.
When Jesus died at the hands of unbelievers this ushered in an era of darkness, of night, of rejection of Jesus which still continues to this day.
Day is followed by night. In the day, Jesus can do his work; at night, he cannot. There was not to be a soon-appearing utopian kingdom of God ushered in by the Messiah as some thought. This utopia exists only in the new heavens and earth.Certainly the gospel shines light into the world and casts away darkness but the final fulfillment of the kingdom of God awaits the second coming of Christ.
God is good and God is light. When confronted with the pain, suffering, evil, and sin of the world, God merely sees it as an opportunity to heal and bless — and to judge to wicked.
The people of the day apparently had the mistaken idea that if someone has misfortune in their lives it is caused by the sin of their parents or by their own sin. This is similar to the word-faith health-wealth idea that we are to use the power of our faith to attract blessings from God and that misfortune is caused by our own lack of faith by letting the powers of wickedness in the spiritual realm tromp all over us.
(John 9:16) Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them.
(John 10:12) But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Jesus is claiming that the Old Testament is the infallibleword of God.At this time the Jews had already packaged the Old Testament scriptures into a book. The Septuagint contains the extra books that Catholics include in their version of the Bible.
(John 11:31) The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
Lazarus became an instant celebrity once he had been raised from the dead. Suddenly the people were coming to see Lazarus instead of Jesus. This reminds me of some devotions in which Mary or a Saint or a devotional becomes the focus instead Jesus and our hearing his teaching and our worshipping him.
(John 12:16) These things understood not his disciples at the first: but when Jesus was glorified, then remembered they that these things were written of him, and that they had done these things unto him.
The goal of the Pharisees was to get rid of Jesus, not in discovering the truth. Jesus made claims from the Old Testament which they could have used to verify his claims. But they didn't even bother to learn that he was born in Bethlehem.
This is another of the verses in which the word "all" or something like it is used to refer to something other than "every last one". This is so common I'm surprised that some people pretend the world "all" always means every last one when it is convenient to prove some pet theory.
(John 12:35) Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth.
(John 13:1) Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
This is the last supper in which Jesus instituted the Eucharist. I'm not convinced he intended to institute ceremonial foot washing; if he did we should do it every Sunday along with the Eucharist. The Eucharist was instituted in the context of the Jewish passover meal which is ceremonial and is practiced yearly. We should ask why the Eucharist was to be weekly rather than yearly but the church practiced it weekly, even daily, from the very beginning.
Likely their feet needed washing since they walked on dusty roads in sandals.
I doubt if Jesus intended to establish a foot washing ceremony in which local church leaders wash one foot of twelve members of the congregation or in which the pope washes the feet of men and women Muslim prisoners. I'm not saying that it is wrong to do this, merely that this was not established by Jesus as a ceremony to be practiced.
Only their feet needed washing. The word clean is used to mean physical cleanliness and ceremonial cleanliness. Jesus switches meanings mid-sentence.
The disciples are to wash each others' feet when they become dusty. It is too hard to wash your own feet, easier if people wash each others'. Also, there was class pride involved since the servants often performed this role. Jesus wants them to serve each other with real service, not phony, made-up ceremonial service. I suppose this example applies to all Christians who should serve one another in love, doing things that truly help one another, not just showy things of no substance.
Jesus often teaches by example: he does something which they are to model.
Jesus is careful to clarify that he is not doing away with social roles and class structures; the master is greater than the servant.
Jesus considers God the Father to be greater than himself, to be greater than God the incarnate Son. Certainly in his role as Messiah in human flesh he was humbled. As second person of the Trinity he was equal to the Father, but the members of the Trinity have eternal relationships and roles among each other: Jesus is the Son of the Father; the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. In this sense, the Father is greater because his role is "highest." In fact, the Eastern Churches consider the Fatherhood of God the Father as the source of unity among the Trinity rather than the Western idea of the members of the Trinity having the same "substance" (I don't think they meant a material substance but, rather, a spiritual substance. I reject this Western view, but I also reject the Eastern view. The three members of the Trinity are in Unity because they are all equally deity, that's all there is to it.)
The ceremonial supper has been over for a while; Jesus washed their feet; and they are back around the table chatting and snacking.
Apparently they are not sitting in chairs modern-style but are lying on their sides and eating mostly with one hand while propping themselves up with the other forearm. John happens to be next to Jesus with his back to him and he leans back to speak to him. Probably John was much younger than the others and this kind of affection was accepted.
People usually assume they are all clustered around a low table. But it would be easier to eat if the food were at the same level as their hands and bodies. And they would be more comfortable if they were lying on mats with the food sitting on a hard surface so it would not spill. And it would be much easier if they were several feet off the ground with an open area shaped like the letter "U" where their heads were having a lower shelf to place things on. A servant would bring things to them placing dishes or cups on the hard surface near their hands and storing pitchers and bowls having food on the shelf below. This raised dining platform was likely a permanent feature constructed of stone.
Probably the servants usually passed food to them so this was unusual for Jesus to pass a piece of bread. Perhaps Judas was next to Jesus or perhaps Jesus got up and handed him the bread.
The rest of Jesus' speeches were given to the 11 apostles only; maybe other disciples were also present.
The train of events initiated by Judas' betrayal would lead to Jesus being glorified.
It is noteworthy that Peter did not ask Jesus about God being glorified by all this from verse 32.His is concerned only with Jesus' person and activities; the philosophical and theological musings appear lost on him.
Some day we will each one of us follow Jesus into the realm of death. Peter seems to clearly understand that Jesus is referring to some soon-future events that will result in his death. Jesus confirms that the 11 would follow him into this but it wasn't clear to them how Jesus could be the Messiah who freed the nation of Israel from the yoke of the Romans and yet die. Earlier the apostles hoped to rule with Jesus in this kingdom.They thought Jesus' glory consisted in his ruling in this world. I suspect they are very bewildered at this point and all they can think and say is to follow Jesus into they know not what at a soon-future time they know not when having an outcome they can't imagine. But in devotion to Jesus they want to be a part of it all and bravely will give up their life for it.
Ultimately, Peter was martyred for Jesus in 66 A.D. in Rome by the madman Nero.
The mansions referred to are in the spiritual realm. We have a spiritual body in the spiritual realmcorresponding to our physical body and associated with our soul which also resides in the spiritual realm. When we arrive there after death, Jesus will have prepared a place for us. But our ultimate destination is the new heavens and new earth.
Notice that Jesus comes again. This is not the rapture (there is no such event) nor the second coming.
They should have by now known were Jesus was going and how they would follow him there.Jesus is teaching about salvation from the effects of sin which is eternal separation from God. The role of the apostles would be to faithfully transmit this message of salvation, the gospel, and to establish Churches teaching this. Jesus had already modelled this for them in sending them out 2 by 2.
I think Thomas was asking the questions everyone else wanted to know; he verbalized what they were afraid to ask. Basically he contradicted Jesus' statement in the previous verse. Jesus said they knew these things, Thomas said they don't know.
Thomas was always willing to say the unsaid, to blurt out what he was thinking no matter how crazy it might sound and no matter how scrambled his thinking might be.I think a better title for him than "doubting Thomas" is "Thomas the impulsive". I wonder who was more impulsive, Peter or Thomas?
Our final destination is to be in the presence of God the Father. This implies we are currently not in his presence. We should, therefore, someday expect a radical transformation in our experience, from darkness to light. We will be introduced to the changes gradually: at death we will meet Jesus; in purgatoryas we slowly shed the impediments keeping us from perfection; finally a new resurrection body and our glorious eternal home in the new heavens and new earth.
Jesus is our guide; he leads us to God the Father. Jesus, as deity, as the second person of the Trinity, is all powerful to perform such things. The spiritual realm is livingand imbued with God's living presence. God is life and truth and goodness and beauty. Jesus will lead us into this utopian paradise where God's nature can be expressed free from contamination by wicked spirit beings.
Jesus spends a lot of time explaining the various roles of the persons of the Trinity. He seems to think this is important and so should we. I would say Jesus is obsessed with his relationship with God the Father and its distinctive characteristics; what the Father does and commands, how Jesus obeys and pleases him, etc.
The apostles and subsequent generations of Christians would do more miracles than Jesus. Jesus empowers this by going to the Father and sending the Holy Spirit. But even before Jesus was crucified he gave the apostles the ability to perform miracles, but they weren't always so good at it.
The works of Jesus encompass more than his miracles; his entire life of sinless perfection is included. Christians can share in this conquering of sin through repentance and faith. A key component of Christianity is living out the virtues.
In a few verses Jesus begins talking about the Comforter who will come to them.He recognizes they will be saddened and troubled by Jesus' departing to be with the Father, but this will not last long once the Holy Spirit comes upon them to enliven their spirits and their faith life.
God will do whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. We should ask often for all the good things pleasing to God. Asking in Jesus' name means asking for things he desires for us. Often we ask for an excess of material goods or for our home team to win the game. And God is constrained by the predicament of this world: we all die, we all suffer in various ways, we all get psychologically damaged by others, our culture exploits and abuses us, crazy people harm us, and etc. We can minimize all this through sincere prayer honoring to Jesus and God. Ultimately, we will enjoy eternal paradise in the new heavens and new earth;we must endure until then.
The commandments of Jesus includes the 10 commandments of the Old Testament.Some claim the only commandment of Jesus is that we love each other. This claim is absurd to the N-th degree; Jesus many demands on Christians. To find them, merely look through the gospels for every command of Jesus; there are hundreds.
Two other common incorrect claims I should mention...
I discuss these elsewhere.
We are not just comforted to relieve sorrow and distress; being satisfied and mentally at peace is a basic human need. It is, in fact, a need of all creatures. We will only finally achieve this in the new heavens and new earth.
Some say this "Spirit of Truth" is not a person. This is based on not understanding that everything in the spiritual realm is living:truth is living; wisdom is living; each soul is living; ideas are living; symbols are living — everything. The spiritual realm is the realm of the living; the physical realm is non-living, inert.
In researching this verse I came across websites denying the Trinity and denying that Jesus is deity, and those articles all were based on scriptural interpretation. This illustrates why Sola Scriptura (Bible only)is wrong and why we need to embrace apostolic Christianity, the teachings of the apostles as witnessed in the New Testament, the early Church Councils,the practice and beliefs of the early Church,and the Early Church Fathers.
In this verse Jesus appears to refer to himself as the Comforter after referring to another Comforterjust two verses before. Such are the mysteries of the Trinity; each person of the Godhead (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is independent while at the same time in total unity. Every work of God is done by all three; each have their role.
Jesus appears to be referring to his death and subsequent appearances after his resurrection. Therefore, it appears to refer only to those who would see him after his resurrection although, certainly, it applies to all of the redeemed.
Jesus appears to be referring to his resurrection. This statement would have no use to anybody if it referred to the time after a person's death. Perhaps it refers to the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost since this event triggered latent knowledge and understanding about things Jesus had previously taught them.
You must keep the commandments of Jesus in order to be saved. This verse does not bode well for those claiming you are saved by faith only.Notice the train of events starts with obeying the many commandments of Jesus.
Jesus appears to us as a consequence of our works, in the context of our works, of our actions and activities. We see Christ in doing things. Thus, to have a relationship with Jesusrequires devotional practices, prayer, Bible study, fellowship with others, acts of charity.
Someone who doesn't love Jesus is certainly not among the redeemed. Notice what is required in loving Jesus; you must keep his words. Keeping Jesus' words requires action — it is a work. Therefore, being saved requires works.This is one of the very many New Testament verses saying this; I can't imagine why people would try so hard to deny it.
(John 14:26) But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
Everything living resides in the spiritual realm. All the various philosophical constructs, psychological structures, psychic energies, social forces, etc. reside in the spiritual realm and are living. All symbols reside in the spiritual realm and have a tangible existence. Humans have a spiritual body in addition to a physical body. There is a spiritual earth corresponding to the physical earth. The political powers of the world all have corresponding spiritual powers controlling them.
In Revelation 5:6 we read that Jesus is the Lamb of God — a literal lamb.And in Jesus' post-resurrection appearances he seemed to appear in various forms (because people couldn't recognize him). In like manner, Jesus is literally a vine; and this is more than merely a symbol. Jesus is not merely like his names, he is his names. And in the loving relationship between God the Father and Jesus, the Father literally is the husbandman.
God prunes even those who are faithful to him. Therefore, we should expect life to have difficulties and trials.
Notice that a requirement for salvation is good works: we must bear fruit.
We start out unclean but become clean through faith and obedience to the word of God.
The Old Testament concept of clean vs. unclean has to do with the spiritual condition of being in good standing with God by obeying his decrees. There is also a physical uncleanness, for example, lepers who are unclean.
We draw our spiritual strength and effectiveness from Jesus. In being part of the vine which is Christ, we have an organic unity with him, and him with us. In taking on human nature, Jesus "deified" human nature.God will eternally possess human nature as a part of his nature. We are not like God, but we are created in his image and he has adopted our human nature as part of his nature.
Many claim that abiding in Christ refers to being saved. But as we see in other verses of this passage, it seems that not all Christians are abiding in Christ. Those who don't abide in Christ are burned in the fire — perhaps this refers to purgatory.
This promise of Jesus answering our every request is conditional upon our abiding in Jesus. If abiding in Jesus referred to merely being saved, than we should expect our every prayer to be answered. It seems that abiding in Christ refers to a deeper level of commitment and unity; perhaps many Christians don't abide in Christ. The word-faith teachers seem to think that every Christian can get whatever they want through the power of faith, but this is clearly wrong. Some charismatics think if you abide in Christ that you will only ask for what it is already God's will for you so you will, of course, receive everything you ask for. This usually has the consequence of asking for everything conditionally by saying "if it is your will," but this seems wrong because Jesus seems to be offering real power to those who abide in him. I think the answer is that in the new heavens and new earthwe really will receive whatever our heart desires, just as we really will be able to cast the mountain into the sea. But in this current world our soul is weakened by sin and by the influence of the other residents of the spiritual realm, which is our true home, with the result that our requests are often thwarted just as Daniel's prayers were thwarted by spiritual warfare in the spiritual realm.
(John 15:15) Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
(John 15:16) Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
Jesus is speaking to his disciples, to those who are loyal to him and who obey him. He has chosen all of these. This does not mean that he has not chosen everyone. In fact, Jesus chooses everyone but some reject his calling. In choosing to die on the cross, Jesus choose everyone. But we each have our part to play in completing the salvation process. God does not choose that some will refuse to repent and turn to Christ but, sadly, that is the case. Jesus calls everyone, but not all respond.
Asking something in the name of Jesus implies that you ask for something that Jesus would approve of. It also implies that you ask for something that Jesus is capable of giving. The Father can only give something that doesn't contradict his nature.
Jesus cares about fruit that lasts forever. The only human thing that lasts forever is salvation. Certainly God wishes to bless us in many ways and he doesn't desire that we suffer, but he has placed us in this world of pain and suffering for his purposes. The apostle Paul wanted God to remove the thorn in the fleshbut God wouldn't do it. We should not expect that God will grant everything we ask for. The only thing we can always expect God to do is to ensure that our fruit endures forever. Certainly it will survive into the new heavens and new earthand we will enjoy the benefits there for things we did here.
(John 15:20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
People have speculated that the Holy Spirit is a divine energy, not a living person. This is because of their wrong understanding founded on philosophy. The truth is that everything in the spiritual realm is living.In using philosophy to try to explain everything you inadvertently turn living things (such as the Holy Spirit) into non-living forces or principles.
The Holy Spirit appeared on the earth in a real, tangible manner, similar to the way in which Jesus appeared in a real, tangible manner (in Jesus' case it was as a human with a physical human body; in the Holy Spirit's case it was as the Church, the body of Christ.)
The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father. Jesus sends the Holy Spirit. The original Nicene-Constantinopolitan creed states the first. Later, the Catholics added that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son (the filioque clause), but this is incorrect.
The Holy Spirit is the Comforter. Thus, the Church is the Comforter. However, there have been plenty of times in church history in which the Church did not comfort at all but, rather, burdened and exploited people. In my view, this was not the Church doing this but an imposter church pretending to be the Church.
The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to testify of Jesus. Whenever the Church fails to do this it is no longer the true, Holy Spirit-inspired Church.
(John 16:13) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
(John 16:17) Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
(John 16:19) Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
(John 16:21) A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
(John 17:11) And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
(John 17:12) While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
(John 17:24) Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
(John 18:28) Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
(John 18:36) Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
This verse highlights an important facet of church history.Very early, the bishops and popes attempted to make the institutional church a visible manifestation of Christ's kingdom. I believe they did this to solve their problems with heresy and in a misguided effort to provide leadership to the largely uneducated masses of Christians. But the result has been nothing short of disaster. Some praise the virtues of Christendom. While I agree that God has always worked in human affairs and human history to bless us humans as best he can, having strong-armed bishops who think of themselves as infallibleand above God's law has for the most part destroyed the spiritual lifeof the Church. They often thought that if they were providing weekly mass for people, that had done their job. Popes thought that having a legacy of great art was worth the price of exploiting the poor Christians who had to pay the cost.
At the time of Jesus, many Jews were hoping for a political kingdom which would expel the Romans. Some even thought that the Messiah would do this. There were various Jewish revolutionaries with various agendas fighting a low-key guerilla war but this intensified over time until it finally provoked the invasion of Israel and Jerusalem by the Romans, resulting in the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. Jesus may have been referring to these when he spoke of false Messiahs. Anyway, Jesus in this verse is stating that his kingdom is not the one these Jews were expecting.
Jesus' kingdom is not from these political hopes and dreams of the Jewish people, rather, it is from God's will to create a spiritual nation, the Church.Certainly any group of people will have an institutional, sociological, and political aspect, and the question is whether a strong hierarchical Church having division between laity and clergy is what Jesus intended, or whether the Church was to be abstract, gauzy, and ephemeral; the mere body of Christand nothing more. Based on the way the very early church structured itself under the guidance of the apostles, it is hard to justify the direction the Church soon took under the bishops as anything other than man's corruption of the Church. Of course, these same bishopswho were making all these changes were also defining true doctrineand defending against heretics (who were often also bishops.)
(John 18:37) Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
(John 19:12) And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
(John 19:23) Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
(John 19:24) They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.
There is a tradition that Mary lived in a small room attached to the same building as the upper room.Perhaps Jesus and Mary both stayed there often. After Joseph died, Jesus probably worked and financially supported Mary. She may have also worked or perhaps she lived like a nun in close proximity to the temple as she likely had done before becoming too old and being married-off to Joseph.
(John 19:31) The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
(John 19:38) And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
(John 20:2) Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the LORD out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
(John 20:15) Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
(John 20:17) Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
(John 20:19) Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
(John 20:25) The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
Apparently, they've gone back home to Galilee; what else can they do? There's no reason to hang around Jerusalem.
7 people, presumably all men, all fishermen.
Peter suggests they go fishing. This implies they have access to a boat, more evidence they've gone back home. Did all 7 of them get into the same boat or were there several boats? Later in the story it seems only one boat.
Notice the use of the word "immediately". It doesn't mean miraculously nor does it mean very fast. It merely means that's the next thing they did of significance in the story narrative.
They don't recognize Jesus. Not surprising they didn't recognize him since they were 300 or more feet out in the lake; perhaps there was mist.
They were close enough to shore to communicate, probably by shouting. This implies there were no waves or wind. Two things odd about this: (1) Jesus calls them children and they don't object, and (2) a supposed stranger asks them if they have any food, presumably to give to him, a form of begging I suppose. Again, they don't object.
If you've spent all night fishing and not caught anything I suppose they would try anything. They couldn't haul-in the net into the boat so they left it in the water and dragged it to shore.
(John 21:7) Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt [wrapped] his fisher's coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea [water].
John was the first to recognize it was Jesus from the seemingly miraculous catch of fish. Once Peter learned it was Jesus he impulsively jumped in the water to swim to shore. Perhaps this served another purpose, to lighten the load on the boat; perhaps there were not 7 paddles anyway. Perhaps John told Peter privately so the other 5 didn't know why Peter jumped in the water. There is no mention of Peter abandoning the others so they would have to do all the work of bringing in the fish to shore.
Peter wasn't stark naked but merely stripped-down to undergarments, probably bare-chested and bare-legged. This implies it was not very cold. Yet in Jerusalem it was so cold they had to warm themselves by the fire. This implies Jesus on the cross also had to endure extreme cold without adequate clothing which is never fun. Maybe Galilee is warmer since it is a lower elevation, 700 feet below sea level. Jerusalem is about 2,500 feet elevation.
They were about 300 feet from shore. It appears there was only one boat having all 7 of them.
Perhaps this fire had been there the whole time but they only just saw it when they came into shore. It probably took them 15 minutes to row to shore. I wonder if the coals referred to is from charcoal? It's a compact heat source and burns very hot.
Apparently, when the 6 came into shore they left the net in the water. Probably the others helped Peter pull the net from the water to the beach. Apparently it was common practice for fishermen to count their catch and they notice this catch having many more fish then usual. Probably the number 153 of fish would mean something to the other fisherman of the day who knew how many were in a usual catch; and 153 was far greater. I doubt there is any other meaning to the number 153 than this but some make much of details such as this.
Why would they need to ask who he was since they knew? Each of the 7 had an "aha" moment in which they recognized it was Jesus. I think the significance of this is that each discerned it was Jesus without anyone having to ask. This implies that he looked different so there was always a lingering uncertainty about who he was. In looking at photos of well-known celebrities as they age it is sometimes hard to detect whether they are the same person. Just as with the disciples on the road to Emmausthe resurrected Jesus looked different. Perhaps there was some sort of cultural taboo about asking someone you should know who they were.
It appears that they gutted and cooked some of the fish just caught.
Notice the resurrected body is physical, not merely a phantasm.
(John 21:15) So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Jesus uses the word agapao for love while Peter uses the word phileo. People often claim the meanings of these two words are quite different, that agapao refers to sacrificial love while philio refers to brotherly love. Thus, Peter's love of Jesus was defective. But the use of the term in the book of Judedemonstrates this distinction in the terms to be incorrect as does verse 17 below.
Peter mentions that Jesus knows Peter loves him.
(John 21:16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [agapao] thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Jesus changes from referring to Christians as lambs and now refers to them as sheep.
(John 21:17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest [phileo] thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest [phileo] thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love [phileo] thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Jesus provides the opportunity for Peter to undo his three-time denial of Jesusby allowing him to confess his love for him three times. Notice that all three times Jesus commands Peter to "feed my sheep". This provides a good way to assure Peter that his denial is truly forgiven since Jesus associates Peter's love for him with his ministering to the people of God.
Notice that Jesus says for the third time, "do you love me?" yet the other word for love is used. If these two words for love were different as often claimed, this sentence should not refer to Jesus asking the question for the third time but, rather, to asking a new and different question altogether. Jesus here accepts Peter's answer using the word phileo; apparently that word is satisfactory after all. Perhaps the difference in the usage of the two words is due to regional dialects.
This time Peter mentions that Jesus knows all things. Notice that this three-time question by Jesus distresses him.
(John 21:18) Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
Peter would die when he was old with arms outstretched, by crucifixion. As a Jew, he was crucified; Romans were beheaded. Peter appears to have already been nearly middle-aged when he first followed Jesus. The others treat him with respect due to an elder. He was martyred about 35 years later in 66 A.D. by Nero.
Peter's death glorifies God. Anytime a martyr gives their life defending the gospel and their devotion to Jesus, God is glorified. I suppose God is also glorified anytime we live in a way pleasing to God, with every small act of devotion and obedience and love.
Even though it would result in martyrdom, Peter is to follow Jesus.
Peter, after learning he would be martyred, asks about John's fate. It's hard not to chuckle.
(John 21:23) Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
Preteristsuse this verse as evidence that Jesus' second coming (parousia) occurred in 70 A.D. with the destruction of the temple by the Romans. But there is another explanation: Jesus revealed his second coming to John in vision which he wrote down in the book of Revelation. John died only after writing down this vision. Because time in the spiritual realmhas magical properties from our perspective in the physical world, Jesus' second coming actually occurred for John to witness before he died. Of course, for us others still living in the physical realm, the second coming is a yet-future event.
John identifies himself as the author of this gospel. But there are some others involved in the writing of this gospel; they identify themselves with the word "we". These are probably scribes or fellow disciples who helped John with the book. Perhaps they wrote it down while he spoke, or perhaps he wrote up a bunch of notes and they organized it into its current form with his input and assistance. Both John and they testify that all these things are true, that these things are infallible.
(John 21:25) And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
We should wonder whether there is any important essential information in these volumes of books which were never written. Some like to find all kinds of doctrines within this unwritten knowledge base. This is why I emphasize that Christianity is apostolic; it consists of the teachings of the apostles, not of the hidden teachings of Jesus. The Catholic Church makes the same error in claiming the apostles passed-down teaching which they never actually taught.
King James Version