JOHN 14:27-31

v27 Jesus is talking about leaving His peace with the disciples as He leaves them and goes to the Father.   But this is given as part of the context of Him speaking about believers who love Him and keep His Word, so He’s speaking to all faithful believers.  This is hugely encouraging and it’s taken me until my later years to really believe it.  I didn’t consider myself a fearful person in my younger years, but now looking back I see that I’ve been fearful during many times.  I sure don’t think that, now, “I’ve arrived,” but by necessity I’ve learned to rely more on God and less on myself and, gee, guess what?… peace has increased greatly.

The power of God’s peace comes from the fact that He’s infinite and can do anything He wants and, thankfully, He wants what’s best for us.  Even if our immediate circumstances look less than best, God sees the bigger picture and we can trust Him with what we don’t see or haven’t even considered.

v30 I wonder if the angel Gabriel was keeping Satan at bay until God decided it was time to let him kill Jesus’ body?

John 14: 13-17


v13-14 Many people end their prayers in “in Jesus name I pray, Amen,” and it’s because of verses 13 & 14. This practice has the appearance of passing a magic wand over our prayers to make sure Jesus will do what we want.  However, asking: “Make me a lottery winner, in Jesus name I pray, Amen.” likely won’t make us lottery winners, so there’s something wrong with this thinking.

Instead, these two verses are placed in the context of Jesus telling us to love one another in the church and telling us to keep Jesus’ commands.  So our asking Jesus to do something in His name refers to asking Him to empower us to do something that He already commanded us to do.  He has given us His “power of attorney” in these areas.

For example, He commands husbands to love our wives.  So if we honestly ask Jesus to give us love for our wife, He has promised us to do it – no ifs or buts – it’s a guarantee.  And we are commanded to control our tongue.  Paul says that is the most difficult thing in the world to do, but if we ask Jesus to empower us to do it, He guaranteed us He will!  How cool is that?

v15  This is a helpful verse showing that love is an action not a feeling.

v16-17 Looking ahead to v26, we see that the Helper is the Holy Spirit; meaning we also get help from the Holy Spirit, too!  What an amazing verse.  I tend to think about the love it took for Jesus to leave His throne to come to earth as a man and to suffer and die – all for us.  But I don’t give enough thought to the fact that the Holy Spirit is just as much God as Jesus – and He, too, sacrificed by coming to dwell in each believer.  His main location is described as seven flames before the heavenly throne.  Now for all eternity, He will also dwell in church-age believers.  Now that’s sacrificial love from a God who didn’t even have to create us, but did so and also sacrifices Himself in these ways for us.

John 14: 1-12

cal staggers Preach-Bible-John

v1 is a continuation of 13:38 (which is obscured by the later-inserted, man-made chapter break), so after Jesus tells Peter that he’s going to deny Him, he doesn’t berate Peter – instead He encourages Him!  I was about to type that some of the denominational churches I’ve visited would tell Jesus He’s wrong for that, but then I would be just as judgemental as they were (hmmm… I still managed to work that in).

v2 We’re only in heaven for a snap, and then the 1000-year reign of Christ will wrap up the Old Testament era that got put on hold when the Jewish nation didn’t believe – so I think we should take this verse as a reference to the New Heaven and Earth when all believers will be in the New Jerusalem.  The city will be a 1,500-mile cube and that’s where our dwelling place will be (that’s a really quick draw from Revelation).

v3 Jesus is pulling out the stops on encouraging Peter and us.  And when you have an eternal perspective, you can describe Rapture through the New Jerusalem in one sentence.

v5  You’d think that Thomas would see that our Father’s house is in heaven – however now that I type that, I realize that, eternally speaking, it isn’t in heaven – it’s in the New Jerusalem.  So maybe Thomas is more honest than most of us in saying that he doesn’t get it.  The Father’s House is in a different time not in a different place, since Thomas is standing in the right place (after creation is remade) just not in the right time.

v6 I love straight-forward statements like this that let other “ways” know that they’re not the way at all.

v9 One benefit to Philip and the other disciples asking questions like this is that it gives Jesus opportunities to explain things to them that we all need to hear.

v11 Again we see that the purpose of Jesus’ miracles is to lead people to believe that He’s the Father’s son and to believe His promise of eternal life.

v12 Now this is a cool verse: “…the works that I do shall he do also” – it doesn’t say that our physical works will be as good as His, but just that we shall have physical works. “And greater works than these shall he do” – What we can do is even greater than the miracles that Jesus did, which means that the love we have one for one another (as He just explained in 13:35) is greater than His miracles.  That’s hard to imagine!

JOHN 13 18-38

cal staggers peter6

v18-19 & 21 are talking about Judas.  v20 seems out of place.  Is it an indirect way of saying that whoever receives Judas, sent by Satan, receives Satan?  Perhaps not eternally, but in a given situation when someone like Judas is being influenced by Satan?

v23-25 John is the youngest of the disciples and he’s hanging on Jesus like a kid – great picture of how intimate we can be with Him – and Peter, who’s older, is saying “pssst, get Jesus to tell us who it is” instead of asking himself.

v26-29  Jesus tells them He’s going to show them who it is, then He shows them – and nobody gets it. I know we get the benefit of reading this a jillion times so we do get it, but the disciples are really coming across as doofuses here.  I guess what it shows is how much respect they had for Judas, seemingly a really good guy (the most trusted person is assigned to keep the money), so it went over their head.  Maybe it also warns us how bad people can be wolves in sheep’s clothing.

v30 I love the double poetic meanings that John gives:  just a blunt, “and it was night” – both in time of day and spiritually.

v34-35  The old commandment was to love your neighbor as yourself.  Now Jesus increases the threshold greatly:  we’re to love with a perfect love just as Jesus loves perfectly.  We cannot do that in our own strength, which is why I guess God waited to “up the ante” until He gave us the Holy Spirit.

And THIS is how He says men will know we belong to Him, NOT by doing miracles.  Later we’re told that loving one another is a bigger work than miracle.  That’s counter-intuitive since it seems that miracles would be a better sign; but I suppose loving some of the people we know IS a true miracle!

v36-38  Just before going up the mountain for Jesus’ transfiguration, He told the disciples that Peter is a rock on which the church will be built – but now He foretells Peter’s denials.  That should encourage us that we can fail and still be used by God to accomplish great things.

John Ch. 7 & 8 Bible Study

cal staggers john8Chapter 7

When: sometime after the previous Passover.  I noted that particular Passover was either the  2nd or the 3rd one in Jesus’ 3-year ministry because when reading all of John, it’s not clear to me which one it is – His 4th/last Passover begins in Chapter 12

Where:  He’s back in Galilee based out of his hometown.

v. 2 I’m beginning to think the Jews are part cajun – they party and feast all the time.

3 – 5 it’s hard to believe that Jesus’ own brothers didn’t believe and even wanted Him to go into Jerusalem where they indicate that they knew He would be killed.

v. 6 & 8  His time is not yet at hand / has not yet fully come – means the time to be killed.

Chapter 7: Verse 53 The Pharisees each went to his home, supposedly to search the Scriptures/God’s Word to find a way to condemn Jesus.

Chapter 8

8:1  While the Pharisees did that, Jesus, Who is God and Who wrote the very scriptures they are searching, went to the Mount of Olives to talk to God Himself.  What a great contrast.

4-5:  The Pharisees caught the woman in the very act of adultery, so they must have set it up themselves as a way to do what follows to Jesus (did they devise this plan during their search mentioned in 7:53?).  Also indicates that they did not bring the man, with whom they must have arranged this ploy, since the Law would’ve also condemned him.

6:  John 18:31 shows that the Roman law did not allow Jews to put anyone to death.  So the Jews think they’ve arranged the perfect trap, making Jesus disobey either God’s law or Roman law.

So cool: It was Jesus’ finger that wrote the 10 Commandments into the stone tablets (Deut 10:2) , which is the basis of all the law.  Here they’re trying to use the law against Him and he’s writing on the ground with His finger, seemingly creating a picture of them trying to use the Law against the very Man/God who wrote it.

11: The woman must’ve been a believer.

15:  Continuation of adulteress story:  Jesus’ first coming was not for the purpose of judgement, He’ll do that later (at the Great White Throne Judgement).

18:  Jesus’ signs are what His Father gave Him to do, so the signs are the Father’s witness (John 5:36)

v. 24 & v. 28  The translators of your NKJV Bible and of my NASB version insert “He” after “I am.”  If it is left out, having just “I am” as it is in the original version presents the name God gave Himself early in the Old Testament.  Doing it that way seems more powerful.

v. 30-31  These are great verses to point out the difference between being a believer and a disciple.

v. 33 “They” is referring back to the unbelieving Pharisees of v. 13 & v. 22.

v. 41 Jesus was born out of wedlock, but He was not born out of fornication – which they did not understand.

As an aside, it’s interesting that Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, is absolutely not mentioned anywhere after the story of Jesus staying behind in the temple at age 12 when his parents looked for him for a couple of days. Joseph must not be around at all since he is in none of the subsequent stories — and because from the cross, Jesus told John to take care of Mary.  Did he die?  The Scriptures don’t say.

v. 58  There’s His name again:  “I Am”.

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