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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. 

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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. ...