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Thursday, May 2, 2024

Gospel of John - Chapters 16-21 Notes

Chapter 16


[Scripture and Tradition go hand in hand and agree with one another saying the same thing]

The Church will be persecuted. The Rabbinical Jews will throw the Early Christians out of the synagogues. Around 108 AD, all of the Great Sanhedrin agreed to kick the Messianic Jews out (Christians). These people (Pharisees) even think they are doing right for God. St. Paul, when Saul, will do this until he converts. The Early Christians believed they were the true Jewish religion. Christ fulfills not destroys Torah. People like Paul will think they are serving God by murdering the Christians. 


None of you understand where I (Jesus) am going. Continues talking about when He departs, it will be better because they will have the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in Him. It is better because God will be with us; more connected with us. When the Spirit comes; the Advocate, He will convict the world of sin and righteousness, and of judgment of sin. They will get the same judgment for rejecting God as Satan does.

Jesus has more to teach them and tell them but they are not ready, so He says when the Spirit comes, He will guide them to truth. He, the Spirit, will glorify the Son who glorifies the Father. He will ascend and govern the world in righteousness. He will establish justice and judgment at the Ascension. Satan has lost at the Cross and the 2nd Coming is when he will face His sentence. 


Jesus predicts His death, Resurrection, and the Ascension. Jesus also says that He has talked to them figuratively a LOT but won't for long. Jesus says they will scatter and abandon Him but He will still have His Father. They will be of good cheer though later for He has overcome the world and its evil rulers. 

Chapter 17


The Hour has come. He prays for His disciples and for those who are taught by the apostles and their disciples; apostolic succession. 

He gives this prayer like a High Priest would before making a sacrifice. He will send the apostles out to save the world after His Resurrection and Ascension.


Prayer for the Apostles. 


Prays for the Church.


A step forward, not just for the Church but all people in eschatologically that will be.

Chapter 18


Jesus is in control the entire time. When Jesus finishes speaking they go over to the Brook Kidron where there is a garden that they enter. The Garden of Gethsemane. It was essentially like being at a national park for the modern context. Judas comes and betrays Jesus. They have guards to take Him. Jesus asks who they are looking for and they say "Jesus of Nazareth"? Jesus answers, "I AM". When He says it, they all draw back and fall on the ground. Jesus is arrested. Peter tries to hack the high priest's servant and cuts off Malchus' right ear. Jesus also protects the Disciples. Peter tried to kill Malchus here.


Jesus is led to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the High Priest that year. Peter and John followed Jesus. Caiaphas knew St. John too it says. John had some connections to get him and Peter in the courtyard of the Great Sanhedrin. The girl who holds the door talks to Peter. She is not threatening. She knows St. John and knows he is Jesus' disciple. Peter warms up with the guards. The High Priest asks what Jesus is teaching. Jesus answers. They already know this stuff. 

One of the officers decides Jesus is disrespectful so he hits Jesus. Someone striking someone is against the Torah and he does this against Jesus. 

Annas sends him to Caiaphas. Peter denies Jesus again when the guards ask if he is a disciple and again when Malchus' relative points him out too. The guards saw him and knew him. Machus' cousin also saw Peter. 


They lead Him next to the Praetorium. They are willing to murder a man on Pascha but not step foot into the Praetorium, a place where the Roman military stayed and sacrificed idols there too. They do this so they can eat Passover. Pilate is peeved at this and goes out confused asking what is going on. 

They tell him Jesus is a criminal and Pilate tells them to go away. Then they say that they "can't execute Jesus". 

Pilate enters the Praetorium again and asks "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answers, "Do you think so or did someone ask you this?"

Pilate: "Am I a Jew? Your own people hate you. What have you done man?"

Jesus tells Pilate His Kingdom is not from here because if it were, His servants would fight. This is in large contrast to Rome with the large amounts of violence it commits. 

Pilate asks then: "Are you a King then?"

Jesus responds: "You say (rightly) I am a King". He tells Pilate He is here to bear the Truth. This is His purpose He was born for, came, and incarnated. Pilate responds with "What is Truth?" Pilate is bewildered and frustrated and walks back to the Jews saying, "he is innocent". Pilate only "cares" because his wife had a dream about Jesus earlier so Pilate is looking for a way out of this and tries to make a deal so he can let Jesus go. So he says Jesus or the robber Barabbas can be released and then the Jews choose Barabbas. 

Chapter 19


So Pilate takes Jesus and has Him scourged. The soldiers twist a crown of thorns around Jesus' head and put a purple robe on Him. They mock Him and all but executes Jesus here. This would almost kill someone and often did kill people/ because it was a whip with glass and shards that ripe your flesh off. Pilate trries again to release Jesus and says "he is innocent". Isn't this enough I beat an innocent man you hate?


Pilate says: "Behold the Man!" - he is disgusted with the Jews here. Behold humanity! He already thinks they are dirty non-person Jews and thinks they are worse than animals and this just confirms it for him, to the point he looks at them like they are rabid dogs - an insult to all humanity.

Pilate gives them a chance and the Jews say to "Crucify (torture) Him!" The Jews then tell him that Jesus claims that He is the Son of God (a Roman title). This forces Pilate to act and so he tries to use his authority to get Jesus to answer who He is. Jesus responds "You have no power". 

Pilate tries to release Him and tries to get a way out but then the Jews try to yell that he is no friend of Tiberius Ceasar, who has killed a lot of Romans. Pilate now has to act. It is the Day of Preparation now. 

The chief priests declare, "we have no king but Ceasar". It should be Yahweh. They have here rejected God for the kingdom of this world (Satan). 


Christ bears the Cross and is crucified at Golgotha, Place of the Skull, with two others. Jesus is in the center. Pilate wrote a title on the Cross that read in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin: Jesus of Nazareth: King of the Jews.

The chief priests protest at this but Pilate dismisses them. 

In Latin, it is called Calvary Hill. It was called this because in 2nd Temple literature, they believed Jerusalem was Eden and Adam's grave was there at Golgotha. Inside the hill is supposed to be where Adam had died and been buried. The 2nd Adam died here like Adam. 


Mary, Mother of Christ, Mary, wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdelene are there. Mary, Jesus' mother has her step-children. She has St. James who even Josephus claims was a righteous and good holy man. 

Mary, Jesus' mother, is always referred to as the mother of Jesus and Jesus in John's Gospel is always calling her WOMAN. Until this place in Scripture he calls her MOTHER. This is to hearken back to Genesis where Eve was not called Mother of all who live until she gave birth to Cain. She is not now just St. John's "Mother" of all who live now, bnt is to ALL PEOPLE. She is the New Eve, and Mother of the Church. They are all family now. The New Eve theology comes from St. John to Polycarp, to Ignatius, Clement, and St. Irenaeus. 


All is fulfilled and Jesus then says "It is finished" (finished/fulfilled). He then dies and gives up His spirit.


[Ephesus was the hub of Christendom in the 1st CE after 70 AD] John doesn't take care of Mary solely. It is that Jesus' mother is now the mother of all the Church. It is now the Day of Preparation and the Jews ask Pilate to break their knees so they all die faster and quicker. Jesus had already died so they didn't bother to break His legs. Typically, the bodies weren't taken down and put in a tomb. Usually, criminals would be put into a mass grave. One soldier pierces Jesus to make sure He is dead and more scripture is then fulfilled by this action. Jesus' side being opened up is reminiscent of Adam's side getting pulled out while he's "asleep" to create Eve. When His side is pierced, his wife, the Church, and He are one. He has now created the Church. The Church is now created by "water and blood", baptism, and the Eucharist. 


Joseph of Arimathea, a secret disciple of Jesus, for fear of the Jews, asks Pilate for His body so that they can bury Him, and Pilate allows it. Nicodemus also comes and brings 100 lbs of myrrh, aloe, etc. They wrapped His body in linen, took His body there to a garden, and placed Him in a new tomb so they laid Him there. 

Chapter 20


It is Sunday now. John doesn't talk about Saturay because He said earlier, "it is finished", the same work in Greek is used in Genesis 2 when the Lord completes Creation. As God rested, Christ now rests in the Tomb on the 7th Day. This is how Jesus fulfills the Sabbath. 

Mary Magdalene, on the Sabbath, can't do anything then but she goes the first thing in the morning to the tomb only to find the stone has been rolled away. She and the other women with her run to Simon Peter and John to tell them because she thinks someone has stolen His body. Peter and John race there; John says he ran and won the race. John doesn't go into the tomb but sees the linen cloths there while Peter goes in and sees it and the handkerchief that was on His head. They still didn't get that Christ had been raised from the grave. They go back home because they have seen a miracle but they don't know what to do with it. Thieves would not have folded the clothes and handkerchief, more proof that someone came out.


Mary, outside the tomb, looks down; she has stayed behind. She still thinks thieves or the priests have done something. She then sees two angelic beings. John and Peter didn't see them. She's still committed because she calls Jesus LORD. She turns and Jesus shows up but at first she didn't recognize Him. She thought He was the gardener and asks Him where He put the body. Jesus, the Gardener, says "Mary" and she goes, "Rabbi!" Jesus tells her, "Do not touch Me as I have yet to Ascend to My Father". He does not want her to cling to Him because He must go to the Father. He will still be present with them but in a different manner, through the Holy Spirit. If she clings to Him now, and can't let go of Him, she may never receive the Holy Spirit. So he tells her to go tell the disciples and she does as told. 

"I am alive and things are changing!" This is done so we accept that His life isn't merely continuing in the same state as it was before. He is moving forward to Ascend. The apostles do not believe her.


The 10 meet and are scared that the Jews were about to get them. Jesus appeared then and stood in their midst saying, "Peace be with you". They were shocked and overjoyed and He shows them His hands, feet, and side. 

There is an anticipation of Pentecost shown here where Jesus breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit". Just as God breathed on Adam, here Jesus does this too giving them the anticipation of New Life. Soon He will give them the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Forgiveness happens within the Church and God absolves, not the priest. 

Thomas wasn't with them when Jesus came. They tell him and he doesn't believe. He says he has to touch Jesus to accept this as true. 8 days later, Jesus shows up again and Thomas believes, saying "My Lord and my God". Jesus is God Incarnate. 


John says Jesus did way more than He listed but he wrote this so you will believe that Jesus is God, Christ, Son of God. We should recall that there has been an entire generation since the apostles, 60 years later probably or more. 

Chapter 21 

John writes an Epilogue here. 


After all this, Jesus showed up again. Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, the sons of Zebedee, and two others (John included) go fishing. They did not catch anything. Jesus was on the shore and they did not realize it was Him. Jesus asks if they have any food. They say no so Jesus tells them to cast the net and they will find some. They do and so much so that they can't pull the net up. John realizes it is Jesus. Peter puts his shirt back on and then jumps in the sea to swim after Jesus. The disciples follow after and when they get to the shore, they eat with Jesus. The net did not break even though they caught 153 fish in all. 153 fish symbolizes all the nations of humanity that they will reach out to. 

Jesus says "Come and eat breakfast". They didn't dare to ask Jesus who He was because they knew He was Him. So Jesus took the bread they had and the fish and they all ate. This is the 3rd time that He showed up, post-Resurrection.


Jesus asks Simon Peter, Son of Jonah, do you love Me more than the other disciples? Peter denied Jesus 3x and had claimed he loved Jesus this way earlier. "Are you still claiming this?" Peter says Yes. Jesus says "Feed my lambs". He asks it again and says tend My sheep. The 3rd time Jesus asks it, Peter gets upset and says, "feed my sheep.". He does it 3x because Peter denied Jesus 3x. He says to Peter that he will eventually get martyred. When you are old you will die by crucifixion. Peter was indeed crucified as an old man by Emperor Nero around 67 AD. It has been 30 years at least since he was martyred. 

Peter asks about St. John and Jesus doesn't say John won't die but he does say it doesn't matter how he will; it'll be when He wills it to be. John likely wrote this to clarify that yes, he will die, and that no, he is not immortal. He will die before Jesus' 2nd Coming takes place. He ends his testimony here and dies under the reign of Trajan in 100 AD. 

Gospel of John - Chapters 8-15 Notes

Chapter 8


Jesus went to the Mt. of Olives. They sleep under the stars every time they go to Jerusalem. They stay in houses sometimes but in Jerusalem, this has been the common thing He has been doing. 

The Pharisees and scribes bring a woman in adultery to Jesus, and they tell Him she was caught in the very act. Where is the man if she was caught in the act? They aren't being honest and they are exploiting a woman here. They say that Moses commands her to be stoned. They are trying to get Jesus to publicly oppose Moses. This is a trap. If you read the Torah, two willing people committing adultery are to be punished. Also. if she was raped, she is protected under Torah.

Jesus says if any of you are without sin, feel free to stone her. All of them walk away because they aren't sinless and publicly they'd show someone wasn't a sinner. They all leave and leave the woman there. Jesus asks where all her accusers are and she says "No one". Jesus is actually sinless and could condemn this woman but He is here to show mercy so He tells her to get up and "go and sin no more". 


Jesus speaks to the Pharisees again and says, "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but have the Light of Life". The Pharisees respond that Jesus is bearing false witness. 

[God called Israel to live differently to light the way to bring the Gentiles to Yahweh and they failed. He is replacing Himself with Israel here for Jesus is the True Israel].

Jesus says that even if He did bear witness alone it would be true because He knows who He is, what He is doing is the Father's will, and He knows God because He is God. They are spiritually sick and He is not. 

Jesus also shows here that He is the Judge, and isn't judging now, because He wants to save them. You can't accept the Father and reject Jesus. The Pharisees know He is God and willingly reject Him for darkness and evil. They will die in their sins chasing after Jesus when He ascends and not be able to get Him so they will go after His followers (reference to Revelation is found here too). He tells them He is God; I AM, the Name of God. They will die in their sin if they don't believe. 

The present age is under dark spiritual powers. The world will be changed much like the Flood changed the world. Those who didn't; change for God stay in the world and perish while believers get the New World and coming age. 

Jesus keeps saying "I AM". He is God and the Pharisees will know who He is when they crucify Him. 


The ones who decide to follow Him Jesus talks to and says "If you are truly His disciples you'll love Me and follow and truly abide and know. You'll be set free from bondage from the enemy (Pharisees, Rome, demons, etc). He is also not telling them to break the Law. They answer: They've never been slaves. They don't know the Torah. They are more like Egypt, Babylon, etc. They don't know God.  


Jesus responds that He knows they are Abraham's biological descendants but they seek to kill Jesus so the reality is that they are not special because they act just like the pagans and are thus sons of Satan following Satan's will versus following God's will. God doesn't care about biology. He cares about their faith. When Abraham met God He didn't try to kill God and they are. The Jews are aware of His birth since they accuse Him of being a bastard - they say he was born from fornication. They are basically accusing Him of that and Mary of being a whore or a liar about Jesus' birth - the Virgin Birth. 

If they knew God He says they would love Him but they are not willing to receive Him and His words. They are not children of God. They could be but won't accept Jesus' words. They then accuse Him of being a demon-possessed Samaritan. 


The Jews continue with the accusation that He is demon-possessed. They say this because Jesus is talking about how He knows Abraham even though He is not even 50 years old. He would have to be ancient or be God to know Abraham. They try to stone Jesus when He tells them He is God and was there even before Abraham existed. He is I AM. Yahweh Incarnate. Jesus escapes the Temple. It is not His time and so they cannot kill Him. 

Chapter 9


Jesus walks by a man who has been blind from birth. The disciples ask Him whether the man was born blind due to him sinning or the man's parents having sinned. Jesus answers "Neither". but says that man is blind so that the works of God should be revealed in him. He heals the man. The man is not cursed. If He knows Christ he is really seeing. Jesus spits in the clay and heals the man by putting it in his eyes. When God creates Adam He creates him from clay. What is implied here is that He is creating new eyes for this blind man and this man very well might have had no eyes. Jesus has him wash in the Pool of Siloam and he can then see. The neighbors ask what is happening and he tells them about a man named Jesus. 


They bring the former blind man to the Pharisee now. This is a sign and a miracle. He must be the Messiah. It had been the Sabbath when Jesus did this. The Pharisees get angry because He did this on the Sabbath, a day you're not supposed to do any work. They do not understand the purpose of the Sabbath. People start questioning the Pharisees "How can a sinner do such miracles?" This causes divisions. The Pharisees ask the blind man what He thinks about Jesus and he tells them He is a Prophet. The Jews don't believe he was born blind now until his parents come and say so. They say "i don't know ask him" because they will get kicked out of the synagogue for professing Jesus is the Messiah. The ex-blind man says "I don't know if he is a sinner but I now see". They keep questioning him and he goes "You don't listen. Why do you ask again? Want to be His disciple?" 

The Pharisees answer "we don't know Jesus. We know Moses". So the ex-blind guy says: This is fascinating. You don't know Him but He has healed me". He lectures the Pharisees here with a proper understanding. He says God would not help a sinner do a miracle. He would be a good and righteous man though because He is from God. The Pharisees get angry and cast the ex-blind man out. 

The man meets up with Jesus again after learning he was cast out and accepts Jesus as Lord and Messiah. Jesus makes the blind see and the blind. You cannot be healed if you won't admit you are blind/sick - the Pharisees could be saved. 

Chapter 10

Jesus' conversation continues with the Pharisees. 


He gives an illustration with a sheepfold gate. The one who enters the proper door knows the sheep and has raised them so he opens and they follow. The robber comes in the wrong way. A stranger would leave and flee (the sheep). 


Jesus is the Door of the Sheep. The robbers and thieves are the Pharisees who tried and failed to lead the sheep (people). The sheepfold is where the sheep are safe. Christ says He is the Good Shepherd. The robber will destroy the sheepfold, kill the sheep, or try and steal one away from the Shepherd (God). The Pharisees are like Satan due to this and do, in fact, work with him. When a wolf comes, the good shepherd will fight for them versus this predator. The wolf is Satan through the Pharisees. The Pharisees abuse the people and let the people be preyed upon. They do not care about the people. 

There is division among the people/ again and some claim Jesus is demon-possessed while others say that he healed a blind man and that demons don't do that. Jesus talks about these sheep (Jews) and other sheep (Gentiles) and that they will be onefold under the One Shepherd (Jesus). 


It is winter and the Feast of Dedication now. A break. Jesus walks into the Temple and onto Solomon's Porch. They try to surround and force Him to tell them whether He is the Messiah publicly. This is also on the Feast of Dedication so everyone is thinking about Judas Maccabees and the Maccabeean Revolt right now. 


Jesus says "I've told you before but you don't listen". They are not His sheep. Jesus calls them out and says that they are far from God and tells them why they are unwilling to follow. He then says "I and my Father are One". 

They hear this and then try to stone Him again for blasphemy for declaring He is God. Jesus responds with Scripture (the OT) and the 81st Psalm that says "You are gods" (Ps 81 or 82 in the LXX). The Divine Council should be kept in mind here as it is in Ps 81/82. Yahweh is High King there while the kings claiming they are gods will fall. 

The Scripture Jesus says "Can't be broken!" These people are referred to as gods. He declares He is God the Son and so they try to stone Him yet again. 

If these fallen kings can be called gods why can't Jesus who was sent by God be called a god? More so! He is God and God Incarnate! 

Jesus leaves and goes to the place where John was baptizing at first and He stays there for a time. Many come and find Jesus and believe in Him. John the Baptist did no miracles and people believed in him. Jesus meanwhile does miracles and they disbelieve. 

Chapter 11

There is a shift here and we are now at the last week before Jesus dies and is raised. Everyone gets excited after this event because this is where Jesus raises Lazarus of Bethany. In Matthew and Mark's Gospel, the Patristics say they were structured around St. John's Gospel. Papias confirms this along with others. John gives us the big picture while the other three have a focus more on what point they are sharing. By 180 AD we eventually know we have the 4 Gospels altogether as a unit. 


Jesus is another town. Lazarus, his friend has died after getting sick. He stays two days in the place He was at instead of going to see Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. He treks for four days to Judaea, six days since they told Jesus Lazarus was sick. The disciples ask why Jesus will go back since Jews are trying to kill Him there. Jesus responds with "it is time to go do this" (heal and revive Lazarus). Jesus says Lazarus is "asleep" and He will go to "wake" him up. No one has yet told Jesus that Lazarus has died. Jesus allowed Lazarus to pass away to glorify God and show His works. The disciples don't get that Jesus is saying Lazarus died until He says it plainly to them. Jesus is going to do this to show the people the glory of God. Thomas knows if they go to Bethany, they are probably going to die with Jesus. At the moment he is ready to die with Him. 


They have already had Lazarus in the tomb for 4 days. John is in Ephesus so he explains where Bethany is in Judaea for that reason. The Greeks would not know where this is, especially considering that Jerusalem has been ruined since 70 AD and only began rebuilding somewhat in 80 AD. When Jesus shows up, Martha comes up to Jesus a bit upset but with faith and says "If you had been here, my brother would be alive". She believes Jesus is special and maybe at the very least believes He is a prophet. Jesus tells her that he will "get up/rise again" - someone who is physically dead becoming physically alive. The same body that goes into the tomb comes out of the tomb. 

[Job 19] Jesus weeps for Lazarus and says "I Am the Resurrection". He "groaned" in the Spirit - a laborious pain, kind of groaning here, shaking. Jesus is almost a bit troubled. The horrors of death are before Him ruining His Creation. Jesus calls out Lazarus from the grave. Lazarus revives and comes walking out.


Many come to believe but some go to the Sanhedrin/Pharisees and tell them about all this and this triggers a showdown. The Pharisees become concerned because the commoners they hate think Jesus is the Messiah/King and they fear that the Romans will get upset and ruin Jerusalem and their gig here making money. 

Caiaphas the high priest that year gets involved and says that one man should die rather than all the people - a utilitarian argument here. Caiaphas doesn't realize it but he spoke prophetically in v. 49-52. They commit to killing Jesus. Jesus travels to Ephraim for a time. The Passover draws near and many people from all around are arriving. 

Chapter 12


The Pharisees put a WANTED list out on Jesus. Jesus and the Apostles all eat at Lazarus' home with Martha and Mary, his sisters. Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus and Mary anoints His feet. This oil is quite expensive and Judas gets pissed off, not because he cares for the poor but because he has been stealing from their money box that was for the whole group to share. 

Many of the Judeans come to see Jesus and Lazarus. The chief priests plot to murder Lazarus too also because of his rising from death, many Jews believe in Jesus. 


Triumph of Palm Sunday

Jesus is received here in a parallel way to the Roman Emperor. This peasant looks like a challenge to Ceasar. Zechariah 9:9 is quoted. God will return to His people and rescue them, bringing them out of the Exile. Clearly, John is saying that Jesus is God here. The people praise Jesus with "Hosanna! Praise Him!" and only when Jesus was glorified did John say they understood what had happened here and what had been fulfilled. This is also fulfilling a judgment on Israel. 


The people who saw Lazarus be raised bear witness about Jesus. The Pharisees tell the Chief Priest he has accomplished nothing with the bounty. There are some Greeks who have come to Jerusalem and go to see Phillip of Bethsaida because he is a Jew who could speak Greek. These Greeks were likely part of the fad where they were intrigued with Jerusalem (those they call God-fearing Gentiles). Phillip tells Andrew and they tell Jesus.

Jesus answers them with "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified". He then talks about a grain of wheat falling and dying, to produce much grain. He is telling them He has come to die to bring salvation to all people. If anyone serves the Son they honor and serve the Father. 

Jesus is troubled but this is His purpose and His will. Christ has two wills: the Divine and human will. God did not create us to die. Death is foreign to Him. It is foreign to God and humanity; we all have an abhorrence to Death. Jesus then says to the Father, "Glorify Your Name!" Then a voice from heaven; a response from the Father that is audible says, "I have... and will glorify it again". 


Some claim to have heard thunder. Those closer claim it was an angel and Jesus tells the crowd that they have heard the Father's voice.


"Now is the judgment on this world". Satan is about to lose His power. When He is raised, He will draw ALL PEOPLE(s) to Himself. ALL PEOPLE will be able to be saved. Choose this day your god to serve. The people see He is saying He will die so they wonder how He will raise back up if He dies. They think Messiah is to remain around forever. 


Jesus responds: For a while longer, the light (Him) is with you. Walk while you have the light (Jesus), lest darkness (the world) overtake you... because if you're in the dark you'll stumble because you can't see. These words were hidden from the people. They didn't accept them. They don't understand because to them the Messiah is supposed to establish a kingdom forever. So if He dies how can He do that? Not in the way the Jews expected obviously - through His death and His Resurrection. 

A major change is taking place soon through the Cross. People will be judged and cut off and there will be a remnant. It is happening NOW. St. John the Baptist said earlier the axe was already at the tree. 


Although Jesus did and showed them so many signs and miracles, they did not believe, thus it fulfills Isaiah's prophecy in Isa 53 and 6:10. Still... some did believe even some of the "rulers" (Pharisees) but they would not confess because they would be kicked out of the synagogue. They cared more about the world than God. 

Isaiah 53 is John doing some apologetics here to explain why the people who were waiting for a Messiah rejected Him. Isaiah 53 is the Servant's Songs. It talks of the Messiah's woes and sufferings. The next is Isaiah 6 about Israel's judgment by the Assyrians. Here it is about Jesus bringing judgment through the Cross, later 70 and 132-136 AD, and so on. They will face the consequences of their actions. He will judge but also deliver His People. It is a pattern where God intervenes against evil. 


He has not come to condemn the world. The world condemns itself. He has come to save it. They judge themselves on the Last Day. They will be held accountable for their actions. 

Chapter 13


Before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew it was His hour to be killed and depart from here to the Father. John mentions that Jesus loved them all. After supper, Judas let the devil consume him and was planning to betray Jesus. Jesus already knew what was going to happen and began washing all the disciples' feet. Peter objects to this at first but Jesus then explains that he is preparing them for greater and so Peter then asks Jesus to wash all of him. He tries to show them and they get this all later, but Jesus is exercising authority and teaching them to be like Him here. 


He says before it happens that He knows Judas will betray Him and it was prophesied. He tells them one of them is a traitor and so all of them are asking, "Is it me?" They all had their doubts and didn't understand. Their loyalty is lost but they will redeem themselves. 


When Judas leaves, Jesus says, "NOW the Son of Man is GLORIFIED and God is glorified in Him". He is glorified through His sufferings, death, and the Cross. Christ is glorified so the Father too is glorified and tells them a new command to follow: To love another like He loved them. 

Chapter 14


Jesus tells them not to be troubled; "you believe in God, believe also in Me". Trust and worship and be loyal to Me like you are with God. 

"My Father's house" - the age to come, the Kingdom, the world to come is being prepared. He is going to the Cross to begin a New Heaven and a New Earth through the Resurrection. Things will all begin to be made New through the Resurrection. 

The New Creation will be resurrected and transfigured. All of the universe will be changed. Jesus talks of the 2nd Coming but also talks of enduring martyrdom here. Thomas and Phillip both get confused and have been with Him for three years and still don't get what Jesus says here until later. 


The HELPER here is the Holy Spirit. He is to come. Christ does not abandon the Apostles or us. The world doesn't get or receive God the Spirit because they don't see or know Him/Christ/the Father.


I will not leave you orphans. I will come to you. He describes the Ascension here. He is not going to leave them. If we have the Spirit, we also have the Father and the Son. The three are one Triune God. 

Judas (not Iscariot here) doesn't grasp this. Eternal life begins now and continues in the age to come.


Their "peace" is a whole concept of peace in personhood. A state where everything is in proper order. He is leaving them this PEACE. The ruler of this world (Satan) is coming and has nothing on ME (Christ). 

Chapter 15


Continues to speak and says "I am the True Vine. The Father is the Vinedresser. He uses an analogy here. Every branch that grows fruit is properly connected to the Vine. If they are not, they get cut off completely. If you are faithful you will produce fruit but be "pruned" so it ends up flourishing. It is painful at the time for the plant but ultimately a good thing for it. 

[The Early Christians believed Jupiter/Zeus existed and were demons/Satan].


Jesus prepares them for the Ascension and Pentecost. They will be persecuted by the kingdom of Satan/evil. The people of this world are ruled by Satan and they hate the Kingdom of God and God's people. 

The Spirit PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER - No Filioque in the Creed. This is the Scripture that shares this scriptural truth that is also found in the Creed. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Gospel of John - Introduction - Chapters 1-7 Notes


John's Gospel seems to assume there is some familiarity with the other gospels as it does not narrate the Baptism of Christ, His temptation in the desert, His Transfiguration, the events of the Last Supper, and much of the time narrates in a fashion where it assumes that the reader knows the basic events. In 3.24 for example, John assumes people know John the Baptist was in prison. In 7.42 he assumes people know Christ was born in Bethlehem. In many places, John presupposes that his audience knows the basic Gospel narrative. In 20.30-31, John shows he has written this Gospel to confirm Christ's divinity. At least a generation of 20-40 years or more after the three gospels have already been written because his gospel is more of an argumentation than the others. 

St. Irenaeus confirms this St. John is St. John of Zebedee in Against Heresies and he clearly states that John wrote it at Ephesus (A.H. 3.1.1). Eusebius also records this was learned by St. Ireneus through St. Polycarp, who learned from St. John himself. 

St. John here is the bishop of Ephesus and is the same writer who wrote 1, 2, 3 John and the Revelation where he had authority over all these 7 Churches (Rev 1:7). This Gospel was likely written in 85 AD or later. Some believe it may have even been written after the Revelation during the reign of Domitian but this is speculative. John is also likely older because he consistently uses the term "Jew" far more to distinguish who the unbelievers are versus believing Christians. The Tradition says the Greek is written the way it is in the Gospel of John versus the Revelation's sloppier version of Greek because the Gospel is scribed by St. Prochorus. John is said to have written Revelation without the help of St. Prochorus and this is why their Greek is so differently written. In the Gospel of John, Jesus is not merely the Savior of Israel but also the world and cosmos itself.

John actually comes first in a lot of the earliest canons. This may be because as Genesis is the first book of the Pentateuch, John does similar (which I will explain later).

The gospel is a list/telling of all Christ has done until He returns. It is told so you, the reader can prepare. John, likely, when he wrote his gospel filled in gaps the other three missed or overlooked. John also likely had access to the other three gospels. If there were more gospels written we do not have them today but the surviving gospels we have access to, and what the Holy Spirit apparently wanted for us, are Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I say this because Luke says there were many people who recorded what Jesus did and said. John probably wrote his gospel in Ephesus as this became the base of the Early Church and Christianity after 70 AD. Pieces like Mary Magdalene and Christ's mother are mentioned here because St. John was there with them in Ephesus.

St. John's in-depth writing shows he had some time and luxuries for himself to be able to write it. 

120 AD is the earliest copy we have of St. John's. It is a copy from Egypt. John died in 100 AD in the reign of Trajan. Tradition is constantly proving to be true about all this.

St. Papias records through Eusebius relating it to us that the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are not written in purely chronological order whereas St. John does write chronologically. 

Chapter 1


John starts the Gospel by being poetic with Who Jesus is like Genesis 1:1-2 is (a poem). Genesis: In the beginning (v.1)

"was" - imperfect - something continuous. In the Beginning, the Word WAS, and already existed. 

"Word" - Logos - Christ is the Reason for Creation. The Logos is God and a Person. 

"The Word of the Lord came to [insert OT prophet]"

The Word and God are distinct here and the Word was God. 

Both in Greek and Latin, there is no "a" or "the" God. They just say "this" or "some" God. 

It just means "the Word was God" (v.2). It says "He!" He, the Logos, is a Person. This "He" was with God in the beginning and is God also. 

V. 3 - He was not created because everything was created by Him with the Father and Spirit.

V. 4 - "In Him was this Life". God is the living God.

v. 5 - "The Light came and the Darkness did not comprehend it". The evil forces in the dark did not understand because of their sinfulness. 


John the Baptist is the man sent by God. He was a witness to testify Who Jesus is. He is unique to the Prophets. He was sent to show the Messiah is God and came in a special way that John is pointing out. John was baptizing and preparing a New People for the Messiah. Andrew, Peter, Phillip, and others were John's disciples first. 

God came, Incarnate, and people did not recognize Him. God gave some who received Him power and authority to become sons of God. 

"Sons of God" - heirs. Everyone (Male and Female) becomes heirs. Who you believe is who you worship. Choose this day your God. 


Continues in this poetic introduction. The Word Incarnated and "dwelt" / "Tabernacled" with us. "We beheld His glory"...

God's tent is being referenced here from the OT. The people of Israel camped around the tent. Jesus is God, Messiah, and the Temple. God has returned to His people. He is Jesus Christ. 

Note: When the Temple was rededicated, the Light never returned. God did not return. Even in Herod's time, it had not so the Jews believed they were still in Exile until God returned, and until that time, there would be no Restoration of Israel. They were all expecting God to return and set things straight but the Jews like the Pharisees end up losing focus and missing when God (Jesus) really does return. They believe they have to follow the Torah and do it perfectly. Even Orthodox Jews today say that if all Jews for one day followed the Torah perfectly, the Messiah and God they expect would return. 

Jesus has a physical body with flesh but kept His Glory. He is fully Man. He is unique (only begotten). We become sons of God by adoption. Jesus is not adopted. John also does not want us to think Jesus is a created being from the Father. 

"Only-begotten" is a term to show us that Christ is Unique. That is a better word to use. 

"Filled with Grace and Truth" - Grace is the activity of God working on Creation. 

Doxa and Shekinah are terms for Glory and the Presence/Radiance of God.

v. 15 - John the Baptist bore witness of Jesus and He is the One you should follow because He was here before John. John the Baptist testifies to the fact that Jesus pre-existed and is God. He is not just the Messiah.

v. 18 - "No one has seen God at any time" - We have and can only see the essence of God, not God's nature. God the Holy Spirit has shown up like a dove before and at Pentecost as fire. 


John says that he is not the Messiah and not Elijah. He does say he is the fulfillment of Isaiah 40... (remember when you read this here that there were no chapters or verses. You gave one line for shorthand and you would read the whole passage - on the scroll usually). With the whole chapter in mind, John is saying that he is the beginning of the Exile from Babylon being over. It is finally coming to an end and John is the Forerunner of it who announces it. This Messiah God won't just get us out of Exile from Babylon, but also bring us a New Eden. 


The Pharisees ask "if you are not these people, why are you baptizing?" John responds that the Messiah is born already and is here. 


The purpose of John's baptism was to present Christ to the world, the Lamb of God Who takes sin away. He testifies of the Spirit descending upon Him (Jesus) and this would be a sign that Jesus is the Christ. John the Baptist gives a baptism of water while Jesus gives a baptism of fire. This Jesus will baptize with the Holy Spirit - immersed in the Holy Spirit - filled. 

As you are immersed in water, you are to be immersed in the Holy Spirit. 


Elijah when he left, passed the torch to Elisha who would go on to be even greater. In a similar fashion, John and Jesus are the typologies on a deeper level. As Jesus walks, John says: "Behold! The Lamb of God!" John tells his two disciples to follow Jesus. 

Jesus asks, "What are you looking for?" "What do you seek?" They answer with, "Teacher, where are you staying?" St. John explains, that "rabbi" means "teacher", obviously because he is in Ephesus because not everyone is a Jew. This also lends credence to this gospel being written after 70 AD.

The Disciples don't answer His question. Jesus says however to "Come and see" and they come and saw where He was and remained with Him that Day on. 

10th Hour - 10th hour after sunrise. 

[From the beginning, Christianity saw itself as the continuation of the OT religion. In Orthodox Judaism, there is a procession with the Torah. In our Christian Liturgy, we do the Gospel because the Torah has been fulfilled in Christ and we don't celebrate the Old Pascha. We celebrate the New Pascha]

St. Andrew is 1st called. Brother of Simon Peter, Jesus renames him Cephas or the Rock or Petros which means stone, much like the nickname, Rocky. He gives a new name to Simon like Abram becomes Abraham because He is God. It is also a way to be intimate. Being the Rock shows us Peter is a tough guy. Jesus gives them a new name and new meaning to their lives. 

Jesus found Philip and said to Follow Him. Phillip finds Nathaniel. Nathaniel and Phillip are in the city of Bethsaida. He finds Jesus is from Nazareth (a small town) and asks rhetorically "Can anything come from here that is good?" Philip says "Come and see!" He asks this because Nazareth essentially is a small pop-up town basically. 

Jesus tells Nathaniel that before he was called, He knew Nathaniel. Nathaniel is now sold and declares Jesus is the Son of God, King of Israel. Jesus tells them they will see "heaven open, and angels ascend and descend" - a reference to Jacob's Ladder - saying that they will see heaven and earth will be connected through Him, the "Son of Man". 

Chapter 2


Cana is a small town in Galilee. Jesus' mother Mary attends it. Mary asks Jesus to help this couple who have run out of wine. His response is that "it is of minor concern and it is not yet time for me to reveal Myself". 

Mary is just called "woman" here and this is done on purpose to show Mary is the New Eve by St. John. Eve was not first called Eve. She was called "woman". After the Fall and giving birth to Cain, she is called Eve, the mother of all living.

There are waterpots there that are used for Jews to wash their hands before they eat so Jesus has them fill these back up. When they give it out, it is wine. They all say this is the best wine they have ever drank. 


At Passover, Jesus finds money changers selling animals for sacrifice. They were exchanging Roman money for Jewish money, like a cryptocurrency. Jesus drives them out and calls out the Jews and tells them to "Destroy this Temple and in three days I will raise it up" talking about Himself while the Jews misunderstand but the disciples remember Jesus telling them this. The Jews are confused by this and ask Him for a sign when Jesus says this. The sign will be His death and His resurrection. 

The Temple was unfinished. The Jews had been working on it for 46 years so this to them was seen as a threat (they think in earthly terms still instead of the heavenly). 

Chapter 3


A Pharisee named Nicodemus comes to see Jesus at night and tells Jesus that the Jews know He is from God and God is with Him. Jesus' active ministry was only 3 years. Nicodemus is part of the Sanhedrin so he comes at night to stay secretive and be in hiding. He calls Jesus a teacher and acknowledges Him. Jesus answers, "Truly unless one is born again, he cannot see God's Kingdom". Jesus doesn't answer direct questions here. 

The Pharisees want to see a literal kingdom that rises up and overthrows the Roman Empire. Nicodemus is an old man so he asks, "do I need to go back to my mother's womb to be born again?" Jesus then says you must be born of water and the Spirit to enter God's Kingdom. 

He is referring to Baptism and Chrismation. The Kingdom already exists. The question is though, will Nicodemus do what he needs to do to enter it? 

"Spirit" and "spiritual" in the Bible is ALWAYS CONNECTED and LINKED INTIMATELY with the Spirit of God. 

-born of the Spirit - means you will have properties of the Holy Spirit like a wind. It has direction but you cannot see it and find where it has a beginning or an end. Nicodemus needs to be born again to know who Jesus is. Nicodemus here is as of now confused. 

Jesus refers to Numbers when Moses lifts up the serpent in the wilderness to be saved from snake bites. Why did Moses get told by God to build a snake statue? They even had to destroy it later because people began to idolize it. Jesus predicts like the snake He will be put on a Cross. The bronze snake was there and crafted to let Israel see what was afflicting them. The Snake was seen as repulsive. Likewise, the Cross was repulsive to everyone but through it, Christ will cure the people of their sin which is like a poison to them. 

God so loved the world that He offered the Son to save everyone. The Son and Father desire this (as well as the Spirit). The word for "world" here is not just His people but ALL people. Adam was not a Jew. He is the ancestor of ALL humanity and no human is really our enemy, that human has just fallen to the enemy. 


St. John the Baptist is baptizing as is Jesus. There is a debate going on about purification so people come to John and tell him that Jesus is also baptizing. John responds that Jesus has been called to do it and He is Messiah and I (John) am the Forerunner. So be it". Jesus is the Bridegroom and John is the Best Man in this marriage analogy. John rejoices and is happy about this. The Bride is the New People of God. He is happy because they are "marrying" Jesus. John says "I come from the earth like Adam. Jesus is from above and God". When John speaks about God it is secondhand because he is a prophet. Jesus is primary because He has been with God and is God Incarnate. 


To reject Jesus is to not believe God. When God sends someone, the Spirit sends them. 


You're truly alive when connected with the Son who is God. Cutting yourself from God is not life even if you are biologically alive now. 

Chapter 4


The Jews see Jesus and His disciples baptizing more than John does. All apostles were baptized including Judas Iscariot. Jesus left Judaea and on His way to Galilee, He passed through Samaria and in a town called Sychar. Jacob's Well is there. Jesus was tired from His journey and so He sat at the well. It was six hours since sunrise. The well is where Jacob put 12 stones that became one stone, that sunk into the ground and drew water for 7 days (The Targum tells this legend). A Samarian woman comes to this well Jesus is at. He said to her "Give me a drink". Disciples were away. The woman asks, "You're a Jew. Why would you want a drink from me?" She is alienated because she is coming to the well for water at a time when it is hot. You would normally draw water in the morning. 

v. 11-14 - She references Jacob's Well legend here. Jesus says He would give her running fresh water; not stagnant water like this that is in the well. 

v. 15-20 - Give me this water she says! Jesus tells her to call her husband and I will give it to you. She says she has no husband. True. You have had five in the past and are not married to the 6th one that you have been living with. She was sent away 5x and this 6th one will not even marry her to give her dignity and is just using her. She says "I see you are a Prophet" and says "Our ancestors worshipped here while you Jews say otherwise. Which is true?"

v. 21-26 - An hour is coming when this question will be irrelevant. The Jews are right that they are worshipping in the right spot but they will worship in Spirit and Truth for God is Spirit. She says, "I know Messiah is coming" and Jesus tells her He is the Messiah. She says he will "tell them all things". The Samaritan Torah and Messiah weren't based on King David but on Prophet Moses instead, so Jesus shows her "I AM He". This woman will become known as St. Photini. 


The disciples show up and marvel that He is talking to a half-breed Samaritan woman. To top that off, he is talking to an unmarried woman in a public area. They say nothing. Photini tells others in her village to come and see this man who could be the Messiah. They come. The disciples tell Jesus to eat and call Him Rabbi, not Messiah like this Samaritan has. Jesus tells them He has food they don't have. He gives them another lesson like He did with the woman. He is saying, what is their concern? Eating? It should be to do the will of His Father who will and does nourish Him. He also says that He is finishing His Father's work. 

He is talking to the disciples about a harvest. They are being called to go and participate with Him to reap the reward and rejoice. 

The Samaritans believe Christ is the Messiah and He and the disciples stay in Samaria for two days. They call Him "Savior of the World" - a title for Ceasar, but specifically the title Augustus took. 

Jesus goes to Galilee and they accept because they have heard signs that He has done. These three regions are all filled with people who consider themselves all to be of Jewish descent. Many are half-breed or are even just Gentiles. Andrew and Phillip for example are Jews with Greek names, not Hebrew ones. 


Jesus is in Cana again (Galilean town) and heals a man's son who was sick in Capernaum. He says to everyone: Unless you all see Me do things you won't accept Me. This John says was the 2nd sign that Jesus did when He came out of Judaea into Galilee. This man does not need a sign and just asks Jesus for help and trusts that He will. 

Chapter 5


Another feast in Jerusalem happens. Sheep Gate - in Jerusalem is mentioned. There was a pool here called Bethesda which meant "sheep house". The pool was originally for sheep but is used now for other things and is now a hub for healing. An angel apparently had touched it and so the first person who would get in would be healed. A man who had been with an infirmity for 38 years is there.

Jesus asks this paralytic man if he would like to be made well. If Jesus heals him, this will be a new life for him. Can he handle it? Does he really want to transform his life? It will require sacrifices that he has never done before and require work. Jesus did this miracle on the Sabbath and it freaks the Pharisees out because they consider it to be a "work". At the Temple, Jesus also says, "sin no more". 


The Jews begin to persecute Jesus and seek to kill Him after this because He did this on the Sabbath. The Jews get mad for stupid and hypocritical reasons. The ex-paralytic went to the Temple to give thanks to God. He told the Jews Jesus had healed him. The Pharisees thought this man may have been healed by a demon. They think this because of their distorted reasoning on the Torah. They think Jesus is a false prophet. Jesus approaches them and says "My Father has been working until now". He has not just been resting, And I, the Son, am working.

These Jews do not understand the Sabbath. They have turned it into a rule and missed the point of why it is there. The Jews want to kill Him because He made Himself equal with God by saying God was His Father. Now it is them calling Him a false prophet and a blasphemer. They would be right if Jesus was not God Incarnate but He is God Incarnate. 

Jesus answers them back, despite their slander, calling them to repentance and trying to reason with them: The Son does what the Father does. 

[Through Jesus, we can know who God is because One is the Image of the other. They work continuously. They are not separate gods. There is no separation. The Father raises the dead (He will raise the Son) and in doing this, the Son will give Life. 

We all have sinned, so the wages of sin is death. The one who hears Me will live. God will return as Christ and raise all the dead. Some will have Life. Others will face condemnation (5:24-29). Jesus says He will be the one to judge. 

"The hour is coming and now is". Jesus is saying it is the Hour NOW.


Resurrection of the just and the unjust.


He is going back to the Torah here. It is not just Him as a witness. John has testified and witnessed. Also, the Father is having him finish His work.

For a while, he's saying, you, the Jews, liked St John the Baptist. Now He brings even greater. He calls God Himself as His witness. The Pharisees haven't heard from God on Mount Sinai. He has because He is God the Son. They spend all of their time reading and studying Scripture (OT) but they do not live like they are told to do because if they did, they would recognize Who Jesus is: God Incarnate. They are also unwilling. 

If they do not believe Jesus, they do not believe Moses. They will believe anyone else versus believing Jesus sadly, and this will be made in great display unfortunately in 70 AD and the Bar Kochba Rebellion. 

Chapter 6


Jesus goes through the Sea of Galilee/Tiberius. He heals and people follow Him. He goes to a hill/mountain and sits there with the Disciples. It is almost Passover and Jesus sees people coming and asks St. Phillip where they will buy bread to feed all these people. Phillip says they would not have enough even with 200 denari of bread. They don't have any money. Andrew says a man has 5 loaves and 2 small fish but that won't be enough. 5000 men (plus families) which could mean 10-12,000 people. Jesus gave thanks (eucharisto) and then had the Disciples distribute. Everyone gets fed and filled. Jesus then has them gather the leftovers and there are 12 bread baskets now, more than they had before. 


They try to make Him King so He departs from them. The disciples try to get where they need to be and Jesus is now seen by them to be walking on water. It was dark at this time. Water was seen as being awful and large quantities of it in particular often freaked Jewish people out. Boats and sailing were still largely in their infancy, so the Apostles obviously saw Jesus out here in the sea and freaked out over it. Jesus says to them, "It is I; do not fear".  


The people start following Him to go to Capernaum. When they found Him, they asked, "When did you come here?" Jesus responds, "You did not understand why I fed you but you're here for more food now. Labor for God instead of bread". They ask what they should do and Jesus says believe in Him and that He was sent by God. 


They ask what sign and work He will do. They just saw Him feed 5000 people. They say their ancestors fed them manna from heaven. Jesus responds that the Father gives the bread, not Moses. He says He is the Bread of Life; He is offering Himself and they're choosing worldly matters. The same applies to us as believers. He is talking about Himself as the Bread. He will nourish His believers. The people who have trusted in God, He will not be cast out because when they encounter God they recognize Him (Jesus). All believers He promises will be raised "up at the last day" (v. 39). Everyone who believes in Christ will have eternal life and He will raise him up at the last day (v. 40). 

Then they complain about Him because they don't like what he's said (not a free meal ticket). They ask "Is this not Jesus, son of Joseph, whose mom and dad we know?" They go how come is Jesus saying He is from heaven. They don't believe and don't recognize that Jesus is God Incarnate. 


The reason you don't recognize Me is you have no connection to God. If you were really listening to the Prophets, you'd know Me. Your ancestors are dead and got bread every day (that generation all died in the wilderness due to rebellion). Rejecting Christ has consequences. Accepting Christ brings us eternal life. Christ predicts His own death here (He will give His flesh for them and His blood; be a sin offering). 

v. 55-56 - Eucharist here. Whoever eats and drinks His Body and Blood will have eternal life and be raised on the Last Day. The Jews think "cannibalism"? They don't understand. 

It is His real Body and Blood. The Early Church accepts that and John would have also specified if this was supposed to be a metaphor or etc. to Christians of the 2nd CE. John wants us to think it is literal here. Jesus also taught this in the synagogue in Capernaum. 


Even the disciples find this to be tough to grasp. This sacrificial image bothers them. Jesus shows: if you have problems with this, you'll really have issues when I die, resurrect, and Ascend. After this, some wanted to betray Him and some of His disciples actually did leave (not the 12). Simon Peter tells Jesus he is in this for the long haul and John refers to Judas here as a devil. 

Chapter 7


Jesus was in Galilee, for the Jews wanted him dead, Judeans. The Feast of Tabernacles was taking place. His step-brothers (family) want Him to just go to Jerusalem and show He is really the Messiah. They aren't sure either about this. He tells them His time has not come yet. He has more to do. Their time to accept it is and can be NOW. He tells His own brothers they aren't hated by the world like He is because He testifies against the world while they are still yet like the world. He tells them to go ahead to the feast and He stays behind for a bit. He goes but goes undercover. The Pharisees are looking for him there based on a rumor. Some say Jesus is good and some say He is a deceiver but they didn't say it openly to the Jews. They are not ready. Even those who think He is good are not willing to publicly say it yet.


Jesus in the middle of the feast teaches at the Temple. They ask how this peasant is literate and can teach. Jesus says, "I am not making it up. I know God". There is a big difference between knowing God and knowing about God. Jesus says He is bringing glory to God, not Himself doing it out of pride. 

He calls them out. Did Moses who you respect and say knows God not give you the Torah? Why are you breaking the Torah? Calls them out for trying to kill him. They accuse him of having a demon and then ask "Who is trying to kill you?" It is a fact that they believe in angels and demons. Jesus says He did one thing (healed the paralytic) and you freak out (on the Sabbath). You circumcise on the 8th Day and if it falls on Sabbath and you still do it, is that not work? But now you're angry because I healed a whole person! You're being superficial! Think about what you're saying. he says to the Jews. He says don't judge based on appearance alone. 

The onlookers see this and see and think Jesus is winning instead of them and that maybe the Pharisees actually do believe what He says and simply just don't want to admit it. They begin asking why this guy is a homeless peasant from Nazareth. Shouldn't He be like a King? 

They wanted to get and kill Him but they can't because Jesus is in control of the situation and has the authority. They cannot kill Jesus. If He dies, it is because He will willingly lay down His life. Some believe. The Pharisees send the Temple Guards to try to seize Jesus and He says to them (a reference to Ascension). They won't find Him because of where He's going back to. John refers to this in Revelation with the Dragon and warrior-child. The crowd takes Jesus real literally here, asking, "Is He going to hide?" They also talk about the Diaspora. Will He preach to Greek Jews too? They completely misunderstand. 


On the last day of the feast, Jesus cries out, prophesying of the Holy Spirit, who will show up at Pentecost. Jesus was not yet glorified at this time. Those with the Spirit will have a heart that flows rivers of living water, a way of saying with the Holy Spirit they will exhibit a life-giving life and it will affect people and even Creation. 

Glorified - Ascension. 

When Christ departs He leaves the Spirit who is in the Church. Christ is present with us now through the Spirit. 


Reaction is first, the crowd saying He is definitely THE prophet. Others say that He is THE Messiah. Some try to ask where Jesus was born. The Pharisees ask the guards why they haven't snatched Jesus and they answer that "no man ever spoke like this Man". The Pharisees then ask if they are deceived. Then ask if any of them believe in Jesus. Nicodemus responds and asks: "Does our Torah judge a man before it hears him and knows what he's doing?" 

According to the Law in Exodus 23 and Deuteronomy 1:15-17, you were to be given a hearing before you can be judged. 

They answer Nicodemus and ask if he is (Nicodemus) from Galilee also and then tell him to go look at Scripture (OT) and wrongly claim that no prophet has ever come from Galilee. Prophet Jonah came from Galilee, 3 miles from Nazareth (4 Kings 14:25). Then everyone left and went home. 

Note: The Temple Guards are commoners and recognize Jesus is special while the rulers and Pharisees don't. The Pharisees say the crowd believes Jesus is cursed but the truth is that they are just cursing themselves and putting themselves under God's condemnation. 



Sunday, April 28, 2024

Gospel of Luke - Chapters 17-24 Notes

Chapter 17


He says to the Apostles that they are going to sin. He realizes and accepts that they will sin against Him. It is not an excuse for sin but it is the reality. "Offend" here in Greek is scandalina (scandal), committing a stumbling block. Someone who causes little ones to fall and sin by sinning. Warning his disciples that they need to behave so they can lead and help these people. This is done to warn them so they do not become like, the current leaders - the Pharisees. 

Tells them that if their brother sins, rebuke them and if they repent, forgive them. Keep forgiving no matter what and no matter how much they sin and repent. This leads to a path of repentance and spiritual growth. 

The Apostles say to Jesus "Increase our faith". Jesus responds that even if you have a little faith you could do a lot like plant a tree in the ocean (something impossible without God). He tells them to be humble as a servant/slave when they do the impossible. Servant mentality.


A break. The new section begins. In the middle of Samaria and Galilee, in a village, there were ten leper men who were standing far off. They all ask for mercy from Jesus so He cleanses them. Jesus tells them to go see the priests to show that they are clean. This took faith. They are just asking for Him to cure them. They will have to go see the priest and as they go, they become cleansed. This takes faith because the priest could have them killed on sight if they are found unclean. They must go to the priest to be brought back into the community and out of exile. 

The only one that returns to thank Him is the Samaritan, a half-breed Jew. The only one to give thanks was a faithful Samaritan. The 9 Jews were healed too but they did not come back and say thank you. The Samaritan is someone who is supposed to worship God wrongly but even he realizes what God has given him and thanks Him whereas the other 9 Jews who supposedly worship rightly, do not. Illustrates to us yet again Israel's unbelief that will ultimately bring about salvation for the Gentile world and all mankind.


Jesus is asked by the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God will come. This is the hope of the Pharisees that an earthly Messiah and God will come to set things straight. They want the Messiah to set up rule as king and face Rome. They are again trying to set a trap here because they hate Jesus. 

Jesus responds "The Kingdom of God comes not with observation". The Kingdom (noun) of God is among/amidst you. Christ Himself is the Kingdom. 

We often think of this imagery as a literal castle or something of that sort but it is the uncreated, invisible kingdom that will one day unite heaven and earth. Christ is installing it right now in fact (in their time). He will do so through the Resurrection and begin to rule on earth and take it back from Satan, sin, and death. What Jesus gives is much bigger and better than what they want (an earthly king who defeats Rome). 

The days will come when I am gone and you will wish I was back. Things will get bad in their lifetime. You know better when someone claims they are the Messiah. In the 40s AD, Emperor Caligula, who declared he was god and had spoken to Thor, was killed by the Royal Gaurd. His entire family and his illegitimate children as well. He had given orders for the Jews to worship him as a god by ordering his statue be placed in the Holy of Holies. This planted the seeds for the Jewish Revolt but during Nero's reign, a new revolt began. Nero sent General Titus to Jerusalem and he destroyed the Temple eventually under the new Emperor Vespasian, his father, in 70 AD. The Christians then fled to Pella before this event happened. 73 AD Vespasian ordered Leontopolis' Jewish temple also destroyed in Egypt to halt a revolt then as well. 


When there's a lightning storm you don't have to guess; you know. When the 2nd Coming happens, you will know. 


Before this happens, I will be rejected by this genea (people). Preterism is obviously false here as genea is not to be taken this woodenly literal as they desire. 


He will depart and return and at the period of time that He does come, it will be like the days of Noah and Lot. Flood and Sodom and Gomorrah get referenced here. When He returns, people won't know but will do whatever they want and desire and it will be a time of great evil. Noah and Lot got out of evil like this, because they were both faithful to God. Righteous among His people. 


"In that day" (shifts back here). This is not the 2nd Coming here that is being referenced. This is not the Day I am returning (2nd Coming) because He has already said it isn't. Just flee. Here Jesus does reference 70 AD. 


That night, the whole family will be sleeping and one will be taken and the other left. This is not a secret rapture. There is no secret and there is no rapture. 

Where are they taken? Jesus says, where the body is, the corpse is and the vultures devour them. 70 AD and 115-125 AD are the context here. When these events happen, if you are alive then, flee. They will all be killed in these revolts. 

Chapter 18


Jesus tells the Disciples a parable. Men should always pray and not lose heart. There was a judge in a city who didn't fear God or men. A lady (widow) demanded justice for her adversary causing her injustice and he decides to avenge her so she will leave him alone. Then the Lord (Jesus) said: shall not the elect be avenged? They cry out day and night to God. He will take vengeance for His People. He was just talking about not being part of these Jewish insurretions with Rome because God will take care of Caligula, Nero, Vespasian, Titus, Domitian, Hadrian, Trajan, and so on. Why does He wait? God wants them to have a chance at repentance. When He returns will He find any faith? It is not just for Rome He does this. It is for all of us. Do we forgive? Do we right wrongs? Do we repent? 


He spoke this to some who trust only themselves (Pharisees). Remember, the Pharisees are still here this whole time. Jesus talks of a Pharisee and a tax collector. The tax collector is justified because he repented and humbled himself. The Pharisee is prideful and acts like he is exalted and perfect. The Pharisee will be the one who is judged versus the repentant tax collector who has worked with Rome. The Pharisee is unrepentant and thinks he is the elect of God but isn't. The tax collector is.


The disciples rebuke people bringing their babies to Jesus. Children were not seen as people back then. Jesus calls them to Him and accepts the children as people and tells the disciples not to forbid them and to be low and humble themselves like a child (low-status person). 


Self explanatory.


After this, the rich ruler leaves sorrowful. Peter says, see, we left and are in poverty following You. Jesus responds: Sacrificing for God's Kingdom will be rewarding.


Takes the Twelve aside to talk to them and tell them they will go to Jerusalem and He will be killed and raised from the dead. This is the road we are heading down. The disciples still don't get it until later. 


Then, they are in Jericho and there is a blind man begging on the road. The disciples tell him to be quiet but he refuses. They told him then that Jesus was coming by and so he cried out: "Son of David! Have mercy on me!". Jesus heals the man because of his faithfulness. Everyone sees this and begins praising God. 

Chapter 19


Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. There is a rich tax collector named Zaccheus. There is a large crowd and he is short so to see better he climbs atop a sycamore tree. This is noticed by Jesus and He tells him to come down and that they will be staying at his home. Zaccheus joyfully receives Jesus and people complain because Jesus is with a sinner. Zaccheus gives half of his goods to the poor and gives 4-fold to those that he has cheated in an act of repentance. He has repented and Jesus forgives Zaccheus, the CHIEF tax collector, a man who was formerly extorting fellow Jews through Rome for money. A modern example would be that a mob boss repents. 


As they heard this, Jesus said a parable because they thought the Kingdom was coming now. He gives a parable about a nobleman who leaves money and goes off to be a king. They reject him but he becomes the king anyway and comes back to see who has invested the money he left. 2 out of 3 of them did invest and one did not. The one who didn't give an excuse. He could have put it in a bank. The king gives 10 Midas to one of them and has people slain. They are expecting an earthly Messiah but instead, the Messiah will depart and return with a Kingdom. He will be rejected too and face judgment. When He goes, He will leave something behind and expect an investment from His servants when He returns. This is the Holy Spirit being referenced. What will we do now with this gift from God where He gives Himself? 


Jesus sends two disciples to borrow a colt for Him to ride into Jerusalem. He comes in and rides triumphantly. The disciples near Mt Olivet praise God and proclaim Him as King. The Pharisees freak out over this and tell Jesus to rebuke them. He responds in metaphor: Even if they were, the stones would cry.

The Pharisees freak out over this because the Romans could kill them over this. Plus, this is true anyways. He is the Messiah. 


Lament is given over Jerusalem's destruction. Jesus weeps. In 70 AD and the bar Kochba Rebellion, the Temple was destroyed and many Jewish rebels were killed while in bar Kochba Revolt, the entire city of Jerusalem was leveled and there would no longer be any chance for the Jews to come into the city for centuries after this except for one day where they are allowed to come in and mourn the Temple's falling date. 


Jesus drives out people who are buying and selling in the Temple. 


Jesus teaches daily and the chief priests and Pharisees, etc. want Him dead and destroyed. They can't make a move however because of the large amount of people. 

Chapter 20


A confrontation between Jesus and the Chief of the Pharisees/Pharisees begins. They ask who He thinks He is and by what and Who's authority He says what He says. Jesus responds by asking them a question about John the Baptist's baptism. Is it from heaven (God) or man? They answer back that they don't know because they can't really answer that so Jesus responds by telling them that He will then not answer them. As St. John the Baptist/Forerunner stood up to Herod, Jesus stood up to the Chief Priest. Jesus' authority is God. The chief priest's authority is Satan. 


God owns the land, not the chief priest. 

Jesus tells a parable about a man and his vineyard. The vinedressers (Pharisees) kill his messengers and then kill his son so he comes and destroys them and gives the land to the others. Jesus is the stone they reject. 


Pharisees then send spies to try and trick Jesus. They ask Him if they pay taxes to Ceasar or not and if it is lawful. It is Ceasar's coin so Jesus says to give to him what is his and give to God what is God's (which is not just the land they unlawfully possess but also everything in creation). They marvel at this because he also asks whose image Ceasar is made in? Ceasar is a man so he is made in the image of God. Ceasar belongs also to God. Everything and everyone does because He created all. We should be offering everything back to God and giving thanks.


Sadducees then try to trap Jesus. They deny the resurrection and Jesus skillfully uses only the Pentateuch to win His argument and owns them. The scribes even admit this loss.

The purpose of the Temple was destroyed by Christ at the Cross and 70 AD was for the rejection for that because the Jews still rejected the New Covenant. 


Christ asks "How can they say the Messiah is the Son of David? Quotes Psalm 109:1. David calls Him "Lord" so how is he also David's son? The answer is David calls Him Lord because the Messiah is God- incarnate, divine, and a man. 


Scribes are present so Christ says to beware of the scribes. 

Chapter 21


Continues. He sees the rich putting stuff in the treasury and sees a poor widow give two mites. The rich are showboating their wealth while this poor widow gives all she has to God without a show. Corruption is evident here.


Some speak of how nice the Temple is and looks so Jesus prophesies that the Temple will be destroyed. They ask when and what sign will there be? Jesus tells them people will claim to be the Messiah (60s and bar Kochba again) and not follow them. If you hear about war etc. don't fear this for the end will not come immediately. He makes a point of this so we must keep this in mind and distinguish between the events of 70 AD, bar Kochba, and the 2nd Coming. 

A break here. THEN. 

Many things will take place before the 2nd Coming so stay faithful for your patience and faithfulness will save your souls. These forces have no power/control over you. 


When Jerusalem is surrounded (by Rome), know that its destruction is near. God will use the Romans to enact His judgment, vengeance, and justice. He warns everyone to flee from this event. The only authority Rome has is what God gives them for this. 

"And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the time of the Gentiles is filled". Jerusalem will be leveled by Rome in bar Kochba Revolt. Rome and Gentile's cup of iniquity will also be filled one day. Jerusalem's time is coming THEN, but the Romans, as all Gentiles will, also be held accountable and judged one day. 


There is going to be a time when it will end and He will return and then it will be a transition from this age to the next. 


They asked for a sign and this will be it. They will know He is the Messiah when His words come true in 70 AD and during the Bar Kochba Rebellion. This will be a confirmation of their faith. St. Luke uses genos; genea here as people and not 40 years. His people the Jews will not be destroyed by either of these events. His words will come to pass, however. 


Application here. Practically, you need to watch yourself and keep focus on God versus focus on the world. 

Day- He taught. Night - He stayed on Mount Olivet.

Chapter 22


The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover/Pascha). They were scared of the people so the Pharisees plot how to get away with killing Jesus. Satan possesses and enters Judas and he went to betray Jesus for money. 


The Day of Unleavened Bread came when the Passover must be killed. Jesus sends Peter and John to prepare Passover so they can eat it. The 10th Plague; the celebration of it. The people became a part of it. He is about to transform that event and that Passover meal into something New. Himself He shall offer as the Paschal Lamb. 

Where will we eat? Jesus tells them and they listen and prepare it in a guy's home. Jesus knows exactly what is unfolding. Exactly as He knew and said it would. 


This is the last time I will eat the Passover meal. [Jesus fulfills the Sabbath and Pascha through His death and resurrection]. The Eucharist is instituted here. Jesus broke bread, gave thanks, and said, "Do this in remembrance of Me". He is here setting this up as part of worship; taking the place of the Passover meal and sacrifices [Numbers 10:10 of sacrifices]. 

The Eucharist is the fulfillment of the OT rituals. The Eucharist is our central act of worship. It fulfills all of the sacrificial systems. Without the Eucharist, Christians who refuse to do the Eucharist are in apostasy and unbiblical. 


Jesus does not deny Judas communion. "This cup is the New Covenant in my blood, which is shed for you. Behold! The hand of My Betrayer is with Me"... 

The disciples question among themselves and each other who is going to betray Him. 


They dispute next over who is the greatest. They are not in any better place than Judas really because they will abandon Him too. Despite where they are currently, Jesus corrects them. Be servants like I (Jesus) am currently serving you. 


Tells them they will be His apostles and leaders. Even the authority of the apostles is centered around the Eucharist. Jesus is the King of the Kingdom. They will be the judges of the 12 Tribes of Israel. 


Jesus tells Simon Peter that Satan wants him and has asked for him but Jesus has prayed and interceded. So when Peter betrays Jesus and is tested and returns, Jesus tells him to strengthen his brothers. 


He reminds them of when He sent them with nothing and now says this is different. There are still things to prepare for. There is a goal and a purpose here in all this but they still don't understand. 


They go to Mount of Olives to sleep. He goes to pray and an angel strengthens Him. He knows He will die. He is God-Incarnate. St. Luke emphasises that Jesus is God but also Jesus is human and shares the same nature with us. Our nature is to live. Death was not originally part of the plan. Death is an enemy. Jesus does not dear it but it is foreign to Him. Death has no claim on Jesus because He is sinless. One human will hypostatically united with the Divine Will which takes precedence over the human will. So He is willingly making the sacrifice. 

"Sweat drops of blood" shows up in later versions of Luke 22:44 and is not found in the older texts. 


Judas betrays Jesus. He is arrested. The disciples try to fight and a servant of the Pharisees gets his ear cut off in the process but Jesus heals the man. Jesus tells the chief priests and elders that they are out here at night like demons. Here we have the leaders and they are out here ready to kill Him. He calls them to repentance even here. 


Peter follows and denies Jesus is His Lord 3x as Jesus predicted. Jesus is mocked and beaten. They blindfold Jesus and beat Him telling Him mockingly to prophesy and say who is hitting Him. They continue blaspheming.


It is day now and they hold a Sanhedrin mock council. Jesus answers them that yes, He is the Messiah. I am God the Son. And says I will ascend (v. 69) as well. The Ascension is referenced in verse 69.

Chapter 23


They take Jesus to Pilate, Governor of Judaea. They tell him that Jesus is claiming to be Messiah and King. Pilate asks him "Are you King of the Jews?" Jesus answers "You say so". The Pharisees begin lying about Jesus here too. Pilate says he finds no fault in this man. This seems odd but in the other gospels we know Pilate's wife warned him about a premonitious dream she'd had and he didn't take this seriously. These non-persona Jews have brought him a homeless peasant Galilean Jew who has declared He is the Messiah. The Pharisees begin getting even more fierce and say that He will stir up the people. 


Pilate found out Jesus was a Galilean so he sent Jesus to Herod, the ethnarch, who governs for him. Herod gets excited and questions Jesus who says nothing to Herod. Herod then beats Jesus too and sends him back to Pilate. That day Pilate and Herod became friends after Herod sent Jesus back. 


Herod and Pilate both find Jesus innocent. He decides because it is the feast that he will release prisoners and flog them (which could kill a person because the instrument used does tear pieces of your body off). They demand Barabbas to be freed instead of Jesus. Barabbas had actually revolted and murdered a Roman possibly. The Pharisees demand an unrighteous person go free while a righteous man is condemned. They demand Jesus be crucified. The mob is relentless enough that Pilate relents and lets Jesus be condemned and innocently executed. Everyone here is complicit in killing Jesus and working for Satan.


As they led Him away, Simon the Cyrenian was made to help carry Jesus' crucifix after they had just flogged Him. The people follow and some weep for Him but Jesus tells them to weep for themselves and their children because there will be a judgment on Jerusalem (70 and bar Kochba). 


Jesus is crucified on "the Skull" Calvary with two criminals. Jesus prays and forgives His murderers. They divide His garments and cast lots. The rulers sneer, soldiers mocked Him, and they put an inscription in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew saying: This is the King of the Jews - a titulus. 

Pilate is making a point to mock the Jews' messiah and make sure everyone knows not to cause trouble here by doing this. 


One criminal on the cross mocks Jesus while the other says to stop because we (them two) deserve this. This Jesus is innocent and he asks Jesus to forgive Him and seems to recognize Jesus is God and the Christ who is dying beside him. The criminal (Didisymus) entrusts his salvation in Christ and Jesus says "Truly, You will be with Me in Paradise". 


It is pitch black and still daytime. The sun was darkened and the veil was torn. God is leaving the Temple and this people. The veil being torn exposes that there is nothing there. God is not there. Jesus dies, breathing His last. The centurion then says, "He was a righteous man" -St. Longinus-

Some saw it - followers from a distance heard it said. 


Joseph of Arimathea, a member of the Sanhedrin asks for the body of Jesus to bury Him. Pilate allows it. This is risky because Pilate could have had Him killed. Jesus is buried in the tomb. It is Friday and Passover begins before sunset Saturday. The women observed did Sabbath and on Sunday. Luke gives us good history and eyewitnesses here.

Chapter 24


The women come to the tomb. The stone is rolled away. There is not Jesus' body in there but they meet two men in shining garments (angels). They are afraid but are told He is Risen. They remind the women what Jesus said to them so they recall it and go tell the 11 disciples and the rest. The women listed are Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary mother of James, and the other women with them. The Apostles don't believe them but Peter runs to the tomb and sees He is gone. 


Two disciples were in a village called Emmaus that is 7 miles from Jerusalem [this place is mentioned only here and in 1 Maccabees and is for a reason]. St. Luke mentions this place because the Jews' picture of the messiah was Judas Maccabeaus as the prime example and representation of that. They were talking about all of this that had happened and as they are, these two guys see Jesus but don't recognize Him after His resurrection. 

If they were making this up, why would they include this detail? They wouldn't because it is too odd and that makes it more legitimate actually for a true eyewitness and testimony. Jesus talks to them and asks them a question about what they are talking about. St. Cleopas answers Him about Jesus. They tell Jesus that Jesus must have been a prophet and was unjustly killed. They say they were hoping He was the Messiah and did what Judas Maccabeaus did but he was executed. They also tell Jesus that they don't know where His body is and about angels. Jesus calls them foolish.

David suffered and entered his glory as King. David is the example in the OT. OT is full of examples and points to Jesus being the Messiah obviously. They get to Emmaus and Jesus says He'd like to go further. THey all eat together and Jesus breaks bread and gives it to them. Then it clicks that this is Him and He vanishes from their sight. They walk all day (7 miles) and it is dark so they get up to go back to Jerusalem and find and tell the 11 what happened. The Lord has appeared to Simon and the rest of the 11. Jesus reappears.


Jesus reappears and says "Peace to you". They freak out thinking that He is a ghost or a spirit. There are a lot of Greek ghost stories so it makes sense that they thought He was a spirit at first. Jesus shows that He is really human and has risen. He lets them touch Him and see His flesh and bones. Jesus also eats fish and honeycomb.


He enlightens them. All those things I told you happened were fulfilled. This was the plan. Now repentance and forgiveness of sins is to all nations (Gentiles too). He promises God the Holy Spirit to them who will grant them power. 


Ascension here. He leads them and blesses them and then is carried to Heaven. They worship Him, return to Jerusalem with joy, and praise Him in the Temple. The Temple is symbolically rededicated by the Apostles like the Jews did when Judas Maccabeaus retook Jerusalem. 

Even though God has left the Temple and predicts it will fall and be destroyed one day this does not mean that the religion of the Old Testament is gone and dead. Rather, the New Covenant is the fulfillment of it and now the Pharisees and etc. who reject Christ and don't repent will be cut off. 

Gospel of Luke - Chapters 11-16 Notes

Chapter 11


A transition takes place here in St. Luke. Jesus is praying and when He stops, the apostles ask to teach them to pray so He does and recites the Lord's Prayer. God as our Father is identified in "Our Father in heaven". "Thy/Your Kingdom come" shows us God's Kingdom is coming. The earthly-minded want it to be established. God's Kingdom however already exists in heaven and we pray it into existence on earth. Heaven and earth are promised one day to be united as one just as man and woman and God and mankind through the Incarnation become One. 

"Lead us not into temptation". Asking God to intercede for us. 

"Deliver us from the evil one" - from Satan. 


Even if this guy isn't your friend, your persistence will work. The context is that if you're persistent enough, people will often help so how much more so will God eventually answer and help you if you are persistent in your prayer to Him. He will give you what you need, not what you always want however. Jesus reminds the disciples here that they need Him.


Jesus casts out a demon and then some accuse Him of being possessed by Beezelbub, who is related to Baal, storm god of Canaan, a ruler of demons. They accuse Jesus of being possessed by a higher level demon who can tell other lower ranked demons to leave. They are also by calling Jesus Beezelbub, calling Jesus a piece of [expletive for poop] as Beezelbub is a made up name for Baal and means Lord of Dung-Flies. Just like Dagon means little fish. 


Other people sought Jesus and seek more signs from Him from heaven. They ask Him to show that He is from God. Jesus shows He is not a demoniac because their logic makes no sense. A devil could not drive out other demons out. Their own exorcists get it from God to cast out demons so Jesus asks if they are also demon-possessed. Obviously they aren't if they cast demons out. There's only one logical conclusion then. God casts out demons. Jesus is showing again that He is God Incarnate. 

If Jesus is stronger than Satan, then He overcomes Satan, sin, and death. Only God could do this. Jesus shows here He is about to strip Satan of His rule since Genesis 3 of humanity and earth. 

Jesus then continues His argument that if this man He just exorcised doesn't make changes toward God, he will be possessed again. We cannot be neutral. Then it happens that a woman yells, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You". Jesus responds to this blessing of Him and His Mother and says "More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!"


Crowds gather and Jesus continues preaching. "This is an evil genos - a people group. He is talking about Israel and references Jonah and Ninevah. The sign of Jonah is the only sign that they'll see. Jesus compares Israel to the Assyrians/Ninevah. The Queen of Sheba is referenced here as well. She is referenced because they are not sure and she went thousands of miles to come and get information from King Solomon. Christ then shares a condemnation. Ninevah is better off than them because they repented while these apostate Israelites won't. 

 [take note: monolatrists - monolatry is what we would call Judaism and Christianity's belief in Yahweh being above the fallen angels who are worshipped as deities]. 


An example is used with a light and a lamp. Be the light, not the darkness. Bring light into your body, not darkness. Hear and do the Word.


A Pharisee asks Him to come to dinner with Him. Jesus doesn't wash His hands. The Pharisee freaks out over this so Jesus, knowing his thoughts, talks to him about how the Pharisees are so worried about the external and not the internal. IF you're clean on the outside but disgusting on the inside, you're in a bad spot. You need to be clean inside, then you wouldn't have to worry so much about the outside. He condemns the Pharisees with woes/curses. 

You Pharisees tithe and then pass by justice and the love of God. They focus on Torah but forget to be just and then forget God entirely in the process, missing the whole point of the Torah/Law. 

Jesus continues to blast them for their self righteousness. They are dead and they don't even realize it. Keep in mind that Jesus is in this Pharisees' home and is cursing them. The Pharisees' cronies are offended and tell Him so. Jesus curses the lawyers/experts too. They put rules on them and enforce them and then don't help anyone. They build little shrines to look great when their fathers are the ones who murdered the prophets and He says that they act just like them. 

Abel to Zechariah, genos - people again is used here. Zechariah is St. John the Baptist's father. St. John the Forerunner's father, who died when Herod murdered the children. The tradition the Pharisees follow here is actually that of Satan's. They have spent so long reading Torah and still do not get it. They attack Jesus and try to fight Him then afterwards. 

If it isn't obvious, this accusation of Jesus being Beezelbub's servant is mentioned and then here is contrasted by the Pharisees who are actually serving Satan. 

Chapter 12


While this happened, a mob showed up so Jesus tells the disciples about leavened bread. The uncleanliness of the Pharisees' yeast expands just like their hypocrisy. The Pharisees are fake. He talks then about judgment by God here too and says to fear God, not the people who might hurt, kill, or persecute you. Follow God. He won't forget the animals and won't forget you. He knows all. Even the number of hairs of your head. Someone might not confess Christ so Jesus says do not fear for I will reward your faithfulness and I won't reject or forget you, oh faithful servent. 

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is what the Pharisees did when they said the spirit in Jesus was a demon, when in reality, it is the Holy Spirit and they are blaspheming God the Holy Spirit by calling God/Him Satan. 


Someone in the crowd tries to tell Jesus to get their brother to divide the inheritance with him. Jesus responds with "Why is this your concern? You just care about getting money that you didn't work for". Greed.

Jesus then tells a parable about a rich man who looks smart and successful and tries to tear down his grainyard and build a bigger one. God tells him that he is a fool because he is going to die tonight. The purpose of this parable is that we should focus on heavenly things, not earthly. You can be poor and blessed if you enter the Kingdom of God versus being earthly but rich and powerful and not enter because you focused on the earthly things. 

God feeds His creation and He will feed you. God will take care of you ultimately and you can trust Him. God wants to give us all His Kingdom. 


Continues with this discourse. He says not to be lazy and to be on guard and awaiting on the Master/Him. This wedding analogy is for a rich person. There is a weekly celebration and it is a family and friend and community event in context here. With that comes marriage, a party, and honeymoon essentially. 

While this rich man is gone, the servents must keep his estate going. If he gets back and they have been lazy he will be angry. The goal is to be busy and working. The servent that doesn't do so will find himself cursed. The Son of Man is coming at an hour that won't be expected. This is the 2nd Coming being referenced here. The 2nd Coming is also part of His plan - in the far future - not a determinate period of time. 

The "Son of Man is coming" is a phrase from Daniel. The Day of the Lord is in view here. A judgment and a visit from God where things will be sorted out. It is not going to be at the time that you expect it to be. The disciples do not get it and specifically fail to see that they are not going to be part of some earthly kingdom conquering Rome and Jerusalem. Peter even asks if it is him, them, or everyone who is the steward servant, the one servant in charge over servants. 

90% of the privately owned farmland was owned by the Pharisees and the Temple. The authorities did this, the ones who were supposed to be shepherding the people, and abused the people. They must have a sick confidence that Yahweh really is fake and isn't coming. This also applies to them and also the disciples because Jesus also doesn't want Peter and the disciples to be like these Jewish authorities obsessed with power. 


Jesus continues and says this isn't going to go like they all think. It will involve judgment. The "baptism" He refers to is His death. After His death and Resurrection, this will divide the Jewish people. It will be one side or the other, like a civil war basically for Judaism. Luke writing to Gentile converts is important here. They would have all experienced this hate and persecution and by following Christ also had to repudiate their former ways of life and would be and were persecuted for it. 

Jesus then says to the multitude of people that they are hypocrites because they cannot discern what time that they are in and what is going on. They are bringing judgment on themselves. 

When Christ visits, all the sin and injustice will be sorted out. Shouldn't you settle it before you ultimately have to face the judge? 

12:56 "this time" - the 1st Coming - Incarnation. 

Chapter 13


A story is told to Jesus about Pilate mingling blood with their sacrifices. Earlier Paschas there had been other "messiahs" and to keep order, as Governor of the Judaea Province, he had quashed these rebellions and crucified many to make a point to any wannabe rebels. These Galileans had been killed so Jesus asks them a philosophical question and asks: Do you suppose these guys were worse than any other Galilean? He answers them with a "no" and unless you repent, you will all likewise perish like they did. 

Christ mentions another event when the tower of Siloam fell and killed 18 people. Were they worse? No. He tells them to repent pointing to the Final Judgment that we all will go through. 


He then tells a parable about a man who plants a fig tree in his vineyard which grew no fruit. The man orders his keeper to chop it all down for it hasn't produced for 3 years. The keeper answers back to him to please let it be so he can try and fertilize it. If it doesn't produce fruit after this, then he agrees to cut it all down. This parable is about us but also the people of Israel. God planted them there to produce fruit. For years they have not produced fruit. The keeper is Christ. He gives everything, even His life for this tree/nation. If it produces no fruit after this, it can't be helped and must be chopped down (judgment). The fruit is not good deeds and rewards or merit; it is repentance that is the fruit. 

[Note: On the correct view of Scripture: The Holy Spirit is active and we know He dwells in the Orthodox Church. Christ says He has two witnesses: The Holy Spirit and the Apostles. The NT is the memories of the Apostles. Two witnesses will give identical testimonies. You cannot separate Scripture from Tradition because they are two witnesses. You cannot truly understand Scripture in its fullness without the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is with the Church. The OT is about Christ ultimately.]


A break is done here. New section. A woman comes to Jesus on the Sabbath when He is teaching at a Synagogue. She has lived with a hunchback for 18 years so He heals her. The ruler of the synagogue gets mad and tells the crowd not to get healed on a Sabbath, meaning he believes it is a "work" being done. You have to have the heart of the Torah, not the letter. Christ brings this up that they are allowed to un-loose an animal to get water so why should He not loose woman and fellow Jew for that matter, from Satan and help her? They become ashamed and the multitude then rejoice. 


Jesus raises a question. What is the Kingdom of God like? It is like a mustard seed (tiny). It must "die" in the soil to be buried and life comes out of it, it then grows and if done correctly, it becomes a big tree (kingdom). Faith works this way. If cultivated, it becomes strong and has roots and produces offspring - more life. 


Transition. Someone asks "Is there an elite group? Are the saved few?" Jesus responds to: try and do it. Many will try and fail. Is the reason they fail because they didn't try long enough? No. They can't enter the door because it is closed but while it is open, go in now! These people make excuses, "we ate and drank with you!" - a communion and preaching reference is made here. 

The saints from all over the world will be in the Kingdom of God. Do not let it be you that is found outside like the Pharisees who claim they are saved and fine will be if they don't repent. 


The Pharisees try and scare Jesus off by telling Him that Herod wants to kill Him. Jesus tells them to go to Herod and tell him he's a fox and about all He has done. He references His death and resurrection. "Every prophet dies in Jerusalem". It is not Herod that will kill Me. It will be them, the Pharisees. God keeps sending messengers and now He sends Himself, out of love, and they will still murder Him like they did them. 

"How often I wanted to gather your children (the Jews). They weren't willing". The people chose Herod, Pharisees, and chief priests instead of God, just like in 1 and 2 Samuel when they demanded a king instead of God. 


This is about the events of 70 AD. They will have nothing after the Temple is destroyed. It is also about the bar Kochba Revolt in 115-132 AD when Herod lost Jerusalem and his kingdom. It is also about the Final Judgment as well here. 

Chapter 14


The Pharisees invite Jesus to eat bread on Sabbath and watch Him. A man there had dropsy, a skin disease, so Jesus asks them "is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath"? They keep silent and Jesus heals the man. Then He speaks more and asks "would you not help your animal out of a pit if it fell into it?" They could not and do not respond. This is a transition because they are silent. Jesus is pressing them and calling them here to repent and change and really try to understand the Torah. This is also an example of tough love from Christ for the Pharisees because He really does love them. He condemns them to try and bring them to repentance. He doesn't want them shut out of the Kingdom of God.

[Casual indifference is worse often than hate is because at least hate means that you care]

"He who knows good and doesn't do it, has sinned" - Apostle John. 


He tells a parable and notes how everyone is trying to find the best spot. Jesus says "When invited to a wedding do not sit right next to the groom because someone better may be (the best man) needing to be there. He is saying here to be humble and not exalt yourself. For whoever humbles themself will not be on their high horse and fall. If you go low, you will always rise. Be humble. Do not think so highly of yourself. 


Continues and say to the host, do not invite rich people in hopes that they will invite you and make you rich and exalt you. Instead, invite the outcasts that can't repay you. You will be blessed for it because God rewards those who won't be blessed in this life. "You shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just and the unjust" (Acts 24:15, 25; 1 Cor 15). 


Someone sits at the table with Jesus after Jesus says, "Blessed is he who will eat bread in God's Kingdom". This guy sort of gets it and wants to be one. Jesus responds continuing the parable talking about how a man gave a great supper, inviting many, and gathered everyone except people who make excuses. The servant brings the people who would want to eat this amazing meal. He first invites Jews and they reject it. Gentiles are invited and accept. They are ahead of the Pharisees and they are closed off when the gates are shut. 


Travels again to Jerusalem. A large group follows so He talks to them. To be His disciple, you will be hated. Your allegiance must be to Christ and not others. It costs a lot of sacrifices to be His follower. This group is large but will all run when Jesus is crucified. He says to count the cost and consider "are you really committed"? Christ makes many more examples like building a tower, one about a king and war, and salt staying salty. Be true and stay committed. 

If you are unwilling to be crucified (torture and a curse; also seen like we in modern day would see a noose on a hanging tree) you should turn back. 

Chapter 15


All the outcasts and sinners come to Jesus. The Pharisees and Scribes want the Messiah to drive out impurity and those they deem unworthy and evil so Jesus gives a lesson through parable about a lost sheep. You would go find your lost sheep and be happy if you found it. This is how we should treat anyone who has wandered off and found repentance. If the Pharisees were really good, godly, and righteous, they would have been overjoyed that a sinner repents, but they are not. 

Jesus makes the same point next with a lost coin example. The Pharisees think that they are valuable and Jesus shows them that He thinks everyone is, even sinners. 

15:11-31 [The Prodigal Son - The Lost Son]

This parable is next told. A man asks for his inheritance and gets it and leaves his father. The other son gets it too (inheritance). 

The son runs out of money and is in a famine and now works herding swine (in a Jewish community that is bad and unclean). He is working with Gentiles and is outside shepherding pigs and living with them. He is low status and has gone from rich to poor. 

The son believes he should just eat pig slop in his current condition. These illustrations Jesus uses are for the sinners and the tax collectors. 

The prodigal son goes back to his father to become a lowly servant because they are treated better than how he is being treated right now in his current state. Note that Jesus' problem with the Pharisees isn't that they hate sin. Sin makes humanity less than animals. It's the state of their heart towards sinners that makes them the problem. They are in sin too and in a lowly state.

The lost son comes to his senses; an illustration for repentance. The son had it all with his father and blew it all. He doesn't deserve anything but maybe by repenting and begging for mercy, he might be able to be a slave to his father. 

The father sees him and immediately takes him back. Christ did not wait to give mercy and is willing and would now for the Pharisees. The Pharisees thought that they would be the ones that could bring God here and the Messiah if they could just make Jerusalem pure for even one day. However, they were wrong. God meets us where we are at, and where they are at. The son is totally repentant and shows it. 

Instead of getting slave status or scolded, the Father has his servants get him the best robes and a ring and sandals for his feet. He gives him a ring as well which is a symbol of authority. They have a feast and he has a fat calf slaughtered and given for a feast. 

"My son was dead but is alive again" - we see echoes of Jacob and Joseph here. 

The son who was here the whole time shows up and learns what has gone on and learns his brother is back. Nothing the lost son does hurts his brother at all but harmed his father. The son is upset with the lost son and how the father is treating the lost son's return. 

[The son who stayed is like the Pharisees are acting when Jesus forgives sinners]

The son says "where's my party?" since he has been here this whole time while his brother left and squandered his inheritance on earthly pleasures, etc. 

The father replies with "you've been here with me this whole time". He got his full share of the inheritance as well and can use it any way he desires. His brother found repentance through dark times. 

God has gifted you, Pharisees, with gifts after gifts, and you hate that these worldy sinners repent and get back to the Father. They don't understand what they've received and so, are unhappy and jealous and envious for what the others have received. He tells this parable to the Pharisees.

Chapter 16


Continues but focuses on His disciples now. He tells them a story about a steward who was accused of cheating the rich man he worked for. The accusation turns out to be true. The steward hatches a plan and calls all his masters' debtors. He halves everyone's debt and takes off debts. This unbelieving man is shrewd. The disciples aren't. The Master finds out he has done this and commends him; is impressed. Jesus is not saying to be unjust here. The money doesn't belong to the steward. It is the Master's. This steward was a non-believer and was interested only in saving his own skin. 

The things we have belong to God so what are we going to do with it? Use it to our advantage and do good with it, even giving it up if need be.


No servant can serve two masters. This is St. Luke's passage on what to do if you are rich and a Christian. Use it and your influence to do good and spread the Kingdom and help people. Even the wicked don't squander their opportunities to do evil so you shouldn't either when it's to use it to do good. It is not wealth that is evil. It is serving the wealth and wasting your life when you could use it to serve God. 


When the Pharisees heard this, they get pissed because they like money. Jesus has called them out for serving money and worldly things instead of God. God knows in the end who we all are. The one with a bad reputation may be a saint and the one with a good one, the sinner. The law and prophets were until John. Since then, the Kingdom has been preached. It is easier for heaven and earth to pass before the Torah will fail. It is a qualification here being given. Jesus is not criticizing the Torah. He is critiquing those who interpret the Torah the way they are doing. 

We don't toss out the Torah. The Old Covenant is still here. St. Luke is doing a lot of shorthand in this passage and this is why it does not flow great in Greek nor in English here.

God doesn't care for divorce. 


Next is a parable about a rich man and Lazarus, a beggar. This is not a true story, it is a parable. Luke 10 does something similar as it starts out the same way. A rich guy is clothed in purple (expensive lifestyle) and fine linen. He is very wealthy and has plenty to spare. He feasts every day. There is a beggar meanwhile outside his home named Lazarus who has nothing. He is homeless and sick. The dogs lick his sores (this was medical back then as dog saliva was seen as a disinfectent). The rich man is not giving even crumbs while the wild animals have more compassion on Lazarus and lick him. Both men in the parable die. There is no direct communication but clearly the rich man did not care. An angel takes Lazarus to where Abraham and the righteous went to. The rich man is buried in the ground like an animal. The man is in Hades, the ground, and is in torment. These people in the parable are spirits in the story. 

The rich man sees Abraham and Lazarus and recognizes who they both are and that they are both in a good place and cries asking Fr. Abraham to have mercy on him and send Lazarus to come give him some water to cool his tongue for he is tormented in a flame. Their lives both we find continue in the trajectories they both lived in back then. 

[Recall that Jesus is still talking to the Pharisees about their love of money here]

In this next life, this rich man is begging for mercy and still is unrepentant. He doesn't ask Lazarus for help. He asks Abraham, someone he sees of value, to send Lazarus who he sees as lesser than. He does not see Lazarus as his peer or his equal but he does Abraham. This is still who he is, a moron and spiritually dead. Abraham responds, "you got what you wanted. You got riches on earth while Lazarus gets treasures in heaven now". 

The Pharisees will get rich now but they will sacrifice getting to be in the Kingdom of God. Abraham tells them they can't get there. The rich man had his chance to repent and have compassion and squandered all of it on his wealth and stupid stuff.

The rich man then begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his father's house to help spare his five brothers. "I didn't know!" Abraham responds with "God told you through Moses and the Torah. You chose your path and knew". There is no excuse. The rich man protests. They will know if someone raises from the dead surely! 

Abraham responds that they still won't listen. 

The Pharisees are the same way. They will not repent even if/when Jesus raises from the grave and they will face judgment for it. Here Jesus is giving a clear call for repentance because He does not want them to end up like the rich man. 

Gospel of John - Chapters 16-21 Notes

Chapter 16 16:1-4 [Scripture and Tradition go hand in hand and agree with one another saying the same thing] The Church will be persecuted. ...