John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead. NIV
What caught my attention in this last chapter were these three verses. I recognized in them both the devotion of these disciples and their humanity. Even when they had trouble recognizing Jesus out of context, not looking their “Sunday” best and not daring to admit they might have any questions, Jesus was waiting to provide His nourishment for their devotion AND their humanity.
John 20:30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe [or may continue to believe] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
“Jesus comes to us and gives us his peace with God. Then he gives us power to do the kinds of things that mere humans can’t do — like defeating our own selfishness, and loving other people, and treasuring Christ above all. And then with that peace and that power he gives us our central purpose for existence” John Piper
John 19:10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin. 12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free.”
…19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.” NIV
Some power is real and some is illusion. Mostly human nature seems to respond more to the power of illusion because it makes us think we are able to control life and circumstances. The illusion of power was clearly behind Pilate’s question: “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
Jesus answers Pilate in two sentences that tell him his power is only an illusion, that he has no real power at all, AND at the same time offers him something that seems designed to ease his guilty conscience. Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
And look at Pilate’s response to Jesus! “From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free”…and finally his response to the chief priests and Jews when they complained about his notice posted to the cross – “Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews.”
Something real happened in that interchange with Jesus that affected Pilate. Isn’t that just like Jesus to clearly remind where the source of real power lies AND then to create a small grace space in a reprimand so that truth would be revealed even without faith when “Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
John 18:1 When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley. On the other side there was a garden, and he and his disciples went into it. 2 Now Judas, who betrayed him, knew the place, because Jesus had often met there with his disciples. 3 So Judas came to the garden, guiding a detachment of soldiers and some officials from the chief priests and the Pharisees. They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.
It is not an enemy who taunts me —
then I could bear it;
it is not an adversary who deals insolently with me —
then I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man, my equal,
my companion, my familiar friend.
Psalm 55:12–13 RSV
What do you think about Judas? This is one of the saddest passages of Scripture because of Judas’s betrayal of Jesus.
Did Jesus mistakenly choose a betrayer to be one of His disciples?
Did He purposely set Judas up for this awful betrayal?
Was Judas’s mind lost in a battle with “the” enemy?
Did Jesus grieve these words of Psalm 55 over Judas?
What about Peter and his three denials?
Did Jesus grieve these same words of Psalm 55 over Peter?
……………………………WHAT ABOUT YOU?…………………………………
In John 17:6
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7 Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8 For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.“ NIV
Can you believe this? Jesus saw past the limitations of time and the human imperfections of those whom God gave him “out of the world.” He could see the days yet to come of every person who “knew with certainty” that Jesus did come from God “and they believed.” Long before your days even began, in ages past, Jesus recognized the glory that would come to Him through…
Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 NIV
John 16:7 But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment: 9 about sin, because people do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; 11 and about judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. NIV
“…the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NIV
John 14:25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Advocate: one who pleads the cause of another, defends and maintains a proposal and supports the interests of the cause.
The Word is so much more than just words. It is the place God captures our hearts through our mind. There is only one condition: you must accept that the Lord has placed His Advocate in your heart to begin the process of training your mind to first go to “He will” before it goes to that other place, “I should” which has a very different manager.
2 Peter 1:12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.
“We let our mind descend into our heart and
there stand in the presence of God.”
Henri Nouwen in Spiritual Direction
John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” NLT
1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. 24 Those who obey God’s commandments remain in fellowship with him, and he with them. And we know he lives in us because the Spirit he gave us lives in us. NLT
1. Simulation: a model used to teach something
2. Imitation: clearly and accurately duplicating something
3. Participation: physically expressing your agreement with something
John 12:47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.” ESV
These Words are the last thing Jesus says before separating himself from his public ministry to begin this very personal “Passover” preparation. Jesus speaks these Words as a commandment from His father. They are the judge, not Jesus. God’s commandment is eternal life and He has given Jesus the power to Pass Over His judgment to liberate those who will hear and keep His Word.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise,
as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.
He does not want anyone to be destroyed,
but wants everyone to repent. NLT