Sunday, September 25, 2016

John Session 16

The Church of Divine Guidance Sunday morning Adult Bible Study is embarking on an exhaustive study of the book of John.  Of the four gospels, John’s gospel presents Jesus as God most forcefully. John explicitly declared Jesus to be God who brought all things into existence. John’s gospel confirmed that Jesus was YHVH of the Jews . He is light and life .   These are the notes of that study along with the recorded audio of the session. 

Last Week

Jesus said that He was the true vine.

When we believe in Jesus, we are like the branches of a vine in a spiritual sense.
The good work that we do on his behalf is the fruit. God the Father is like the gardener who looks after the vine. Like a gardener God wants the branches, us,  to produce much fruit. In order for a tree to produce more fruit a gardner often prunes the tree.  Sometimes, he must cut off parts of the branch. If he just leaves a branch to grow it may produce leaves instead of fruit but add nothing to its usefulness.

John 15:5-85  “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.6  Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.7  But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!8  When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Jesus' command in John 15:12 is, "Love each other as I have loved you." In what specific ways did Jesus demonstrate his love?
Jesus again told them that they should love each other.  

John 15:12-13  12  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.13  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Jesus loves us so much that he died to save us. He said that, like him, we too should love other people. So, we should do whatever we can in order to help other people.

Jesus warned that the Jewish leaders would persecute them.   He didn’t want this to come as a surprise to them. They would continue to worship God in the synagogue because they were Jews. Jesus knew that the Jewish leaders would not allow this, because of the Him.  The Jewish leaders had rejected Jesus. They did not believe that he was God’s Son. They thought that Jesus was insulting God. So they would think that God wanted Jesus’ followers to die. And these leaders believed that to kill Jesus’ followers pleased God.

John 16:1-4 (NLT)1  “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2  For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God.3  This is because they have never known the Father or me.4  Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.

Secrets of the Spirit
Jesus knows that he will die in less than twenty-four hours. When his disciples are faced with that reality, they become troubled, afraid and filled with grief. Jesus responds to each of their concerns by talking about the coming Holy Spirit.
What would you want to tell your family or closest friends if you knew that you had only a short time to live?

John 16:5-15 (NLT)5  “But now I am going away to the One who sent me, and not one of you is asking where I am going.6  Instead, you grieve because of what I’ve told you.

For Christ the going meant a return to the One who had sent him. The disciples really still don’t get it.

Peter had asked Jesus where He was going

John 13:36-37 (NLT)36  Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”37  “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

His concern was not so much for Jesus but about what would happen to himself and the other disciples.  They were afraid.

7  But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you.

Jesus said that it was for the disciples' good that he go away and that the Counselor come. Why was the Spirit's presence more profitable to the disciples than Jesus' presence?
Because the Spirit would explain things to them that they could not understand. These things would bring them peace.

John 14:26 (NLT)26  But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.

John 15:26-27 (NLT)26  “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me.27  And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.

He would give them the power to understand and process the things that they learned while Jesus was with them.

He had to return to his Father in heaven, so that the Holy Spirit could come to us. Then everybody who believed in him could know him personally, by means of the Holy Spirit.

8  And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.9  The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.10  Righteousness is available because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more.11  Judgment will come because the ruler of this world has already been judged.

What did Jesus say the Spirit's ministry would be toward the world
Conviction of Guilt of Sin - The Spirit was to come first to the disciples, and through them he would undertake his mission of convicting men.  The Spirit, working through the apostles, produced conviction of sin right there in Jerusalem the city where Jesus had been crucified

On the Day of Pentecost

Acts 2:1-4 (NLT)1  On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place.2  Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting.3  Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them.4  And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.

Then Peter preached Acts 2:14-36 at the end of his sermon people in the audience were convicted.  

Acts 2:36-37 (NLT)36  “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!”37  Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

The sin of the world is its failure to believe and to reject Jesus when there should have been acceptance of him, the Spirit makes this the important issue. In their blindness men were calling Jesus a sinner at the very time their own sin was leading them to put him to death.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Of Righteousness - The very fact that Christ could solve the sin problem of mankind by his redeeming death revealed his perfect righteousness. Otherwise he would have required a Savior for himself. The Father is the true judge of righteousness. His readiness to receive the Son back into glory is the proof that he found in him no deficiency - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

No one but the Holy Spirit can reveal to a person that a righteous status before God does not depend on good works but on Christ’s death on the cross.  His ascension shows that God approved of Jesus sacrifice.  

Of Judgement - Jesus was talking about the defeat of Satan, which was a form of judgement, not just a victory.   When those who crucified Jesus saw that God did not interfere, they imagined that the judgment of God was being pronounced on him. Actually, another was being judged there, even Satan, the prince of this world. Satan rules by means of sin and death. Christ's triumph over sin at the cross and over death at the Resurrection heralded the fact that Satan had been judged. The execution of final judgment is only a matter of time.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
12  “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now.13  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.14  He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me.

What can we infer from about our part in evangelism?
We are to work with the Holy Spirit in His mission we are the ones to speak as Peter and words spoken that have been directed by the Holy Spirit will be what convicts.  

Luke 12:11-12 (NLT)11  “And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say,12  for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.”

The Spirit's ministry is one of communication. What specific things did Jesus say the Spirit would communicate to the disciples?
They were too immature. These truths would become more real to them as their experience grew, especially because the Holy Spirit had not come yet.  When He came then they would be able to understand more.  

The Holy Spirit will teach and guide in the things of God spiritual things.  These wouldn’t be new things but like Jesus He would pass on to men what was given to him from God the Father.

15  All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Ultimately believers are taught of God

The things to come were probably the death and resurrection of Jesus and their effects, the very things over which the disciples had stumbled when Jesus had talked about them.  There may also be a reference to His return.

Even as Christ was glorifying the Father by his obedience unto death, so the Spirit would glorify Christ by making clear the significance of his person and work. The Spirit’s ministry would magnify Jesus.  The things about Christ include the truth about the Father.

This did not mean that the Holy Spirit would give to them the power to know everything about the future. But they would know what God wanted them to do. They would know that people would oppose them. But God’s message about salvation would spread across the world.

In what ways does the Spirit guide us into all truth and bring glory to Jesus Christ today?
Those who believe in Christ are not shielded from life's deepest problems. We must still face sorrow, rejection and heartache. We see our loved ones die. We sometimes feel alone and unloved. We see our marriages fail or our children go their own way rather than God's way. Jesus gives us some very practical help in these verses for facing life's crises. He doesn't answer all our questions, but he gives us what we need to survive.
How do you tend to react in the midst of a personal crisis?
John 16:17-19 (NLT)17  Some of the disciples asked each other, “What does he mean when he says, ‘In a little while you won’t see me, but then you will see me,’ and ‘I am going to the Father’?18  And what does he mean by ‘a little while’? We don’t understand.”19  Jesus realized they wanted to ask him about it, so he said, “Are you asking yourselves what I meant? I said in a little while you won’t see me, but a little while after that you will see me again.

It is obvious that the disciples are confused and concerned about Jesus' statements.. Why do you think they are confused?
The phrase, in a little while, occurs seven times in four verses. This refers to the short interval that remained before his burial, when the disciples would no longer see him with the eyes of physical sight. The second little while designates the interval between his burial and his resurrection, after which they would see him again.

The words of Jesus were beyond the grasp of the disciples. Individuals among them had asked questions before this. - The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Thomas asked;

John 14:5 (NLT)5  “No, we don’t know, Lord,” Thomas said. “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Philip asked

John 14:8 (NLT)8  Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.”

Peter asked

John 13:36-37 (NLT)36  Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”37  “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

This fact of his departure is the all-absorbing concern.

John 16:20-22 (NLT)20  I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me, but the world will rejoice. You will grieve, but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.21  It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor. When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.22  So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy.

Jesus answers their questions, not by giving them an explanation but by making them a promise What was the promise?
The promise was that they would see Him again, and that when they did they would rejoice.

Recognizing their burning desire to have an answer to the problem of the little while in its twofold application, Jesus offered to supply an answer, yet not the precise answer they were hoping for. But he did indicate what the little while would mean for them in each instance. In the former, they would weep while the world rejoiced, for the death of the Saviour would bring utterly different reactions from believers than from the people of the world.  But the very thing that would bring sorrow would be turned into an occasion of joy when the disciples were able to see the cross in the light of the Resurrection, when the second "little while" would break upon them.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Jesus drew an analogy from human life for the supplanting of sorrow with joy. A woman's travail pains bring sorrow, but she forgets her pain in the joy of the birth.

He compared the situation with the events during and after a birth. The woman has much pain during the birth. But after the baby is born, she is very happy. She is happy because a new life has begun. Jesus used this idea of a birth on purpose. We can have life that was not possible before, because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Jesus suffered. But his pain produced new life for the whole world.

Nobody would be able to take away their happiness. This promise is true for us, too. When we know Jesus personally, he gives us joy inside our hearts. This happiness does not depend on our circumstances, or on what other people do. It depends on Jesus, who will never leave us. So nobody can take this happiness away from us.

John 16:23-24 (NLT)23  At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name.24  You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

What new promise regarding prayer does Jesus give his disciples?
How would this promise make their joy complete?

The door of prayer would be open. If they would but ask, the Father would give the answers to their perplexities and would meet their needs.  Due to the presence of Jesus in their midst, asking in his name had been unnecessary. But in the new day that was coming, their joy at seeing Jesus again would be maintained by this intercourse of prayer. -The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.

Before Jesus’ resurrection, people could approach God only by means of the priests. Only the priests could offer sacrifices. But after Jesus’ resurrection, this situation changed completely. Jesus became both the priest and the sacrifice for all who believe in him. All Christians can approach God personally and he will accept us. This is not because of anything good that we have done. It is because of what Jesus has done. We can use Jesus’ name when we pray.

John 14:13-1413  You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.14  Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!

Jesus promised to do anything that Christians ask. But he would do it only if it was in his name, meaning we can’t do anything absent of that name.  We need to understand what ‘in his name’ really means. It means to know what Jesus wants us to do in a situation. So then we can ask for what Jesus would want to happen in that situation. Then we are asking with Jesus’ authority, as if we were Jesus himself. God will not grant our selfish requests. Jesus never made selfish requests. He asked only for what his Father wanted.

When we ask for things in Jesus’ name we need to know what His will is.  If we know that then when we as in Jesus’ name God will grant our requests.  I’ve talked and preached about knowing God’s will or finding God’s will for us.  If we ask in Jesus name and it’s in His will  He will grant our requests even if they seem to be difficult or impossible! But he wants us to ask him.

And God will answer our prayers. Then we will be happier than we can imagine.

John 16:25-30 (NLT)25  “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father.26  Then you will ask in my name. I’m not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf,27  for the Father himself loves you dearly because you love me and believe that I came from God.28  Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.”29  Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively.30  Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.”
How would Jesus' assurance of the Father's love help the disciples in the days just ahead of them?
Jesus had used many symbols when he was talking to his disciples. At the time when he was speaking, they did not understand the meaning. But after his resurrection, and when the Holy Spirit came, they understood. Already, at this time, they were beginning to understand. They believed that Jesus knew everything. He knew what people were thinking. And he knew what they were like inside their hearts. They had seen that Jesus had God’s power in him. So they believed that he had come from God. But when the Holy Spirit came, their faith would really increase much, much more.

John 16:31-33 (NLT)31  Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe?32  But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me.33  I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”
Jesus predicts that his disciples will abandon him. How do you think that failure affected their feelings of self-worth?

Jesus had warned them that he had to die. He had told them that they would be very sad. Also he had told them that, after a short period of time, they would see him again. Then they would be very happy. He knew that, in just a few hours, people would arrest him. His disciples would run away because they were afraid. They would leave him and they would hide themselves.

Mark 14:50-52 (NLT)50  Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away.51  One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him,52  he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked.

It would seem that he would have to suffer alone. But actually, he was not alone because the Father was still with him.

For their protection he provided his peace , which they would need as they faced the tribulation in store for them in the world. This is not only peace amid conflict, but peace which rests in the assurance of a victory now won by their champion over the world. Christ's victory is the objective reality which makes valid the inward gift of his peace.
The Wycliffe Bible Commentary.
That night, Jesus had talked to the disciples about many things. He had warned them, but mostly he had encouraged them. He had made some wonderful promises. They would have trouble, but they would only be alone for a short time. Then Jesus would return to them. Afterwards he would return to the Father, so that the Holy Spirit would live in them. The Holy Spirit would be with them always, wherever they went.

These wonderful promises are for all Christians. We will have troubles in this world, too. But Jesus has defeated the devil. And Jesus has defeated everything that is evil. He has defeated even death. We do not need to be afraid about anything. We can have this peace in our hearts always, whatever happens to us.

Bible Study Audio