The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
This is Part 4 and the final dissertation of the Gospel of John. In the first 11 chapters of John, we witnessed the many miracles Jesus did- changing water into wine, feeding the multitudes, healing the sick, lame, and blind, and then raising dead Lazarus. Then from chapters 12 to 17, we learned of Jesus’ passion- his triumphant return to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday; the Last Supper, Foot Washing, the Promise of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus’ Special Prayer Requests to the Father for his disciples before his crucifixion and death on the feast of the Passover.
In the next two chapters 18 and 19, we will learn of Jesus’ betrayal, trial, humiliation, suffering, and death. We will see the ugly side of humanity, the killing of an innocent man, and the reason why God sent Jesus to earth- to save us from our sins; to suffer and die for us. And by believing in Him, we will have everlasting life Jn3:16. The final two chapters 20 and 21, speak of the drama and excitement of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, His appearances to His disciples, and His commissioning them to go into the world to continue the work that the Father had sent Him to do Jn20:21; to preach, teach, and nurture the people with the Gospel of Salvation Mk16:15, Mt28:19,20, Lk24:47, Jn21:15,16,17.
John Chapter 18- Jesus Betrayal and Trial Before the High Priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Pilate
Chapter 18 speaks of the betrayal, the arrest, and the trial of Jesus Christ, before the high priests Annas and Caiaphas, and then to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea. After Jesus prayed to the Father, he went with his disciples to a garden over the brook Cedron where Judas knew Jesus would resort. Earlier Judas left the last supper scene at night supposedly to buy something for the Passover feast Jn13:29. Judas returned with a band of men of the chief priests and Pharisees, with lanterns, torches and weapons v3. Jesus challenged them asking ‘whom seek ye?’ v4. They answered ‘Jesus of Nazareth’. When Jesus said ‘I AM HE’, all the men including Judas fell backward to the ground’ v6.
Here Jesus manifested his supernatural powers over the mob. Impulsive Peter ready to fight, drew his sword and smote the high priest’s servant, Malchus’ right ear, cutting it off v10. Jesus rebuked Peter telling him that this was already ordained by the Father, that he should drink this cup of suffering v11. Then Jesus performed an instant surgical miracle, healing and reattaching Malchus’ ear Lk22:51. Jesus was bound and taken first to Annas, the father-in-law of Caiaphas v13 then later to Caiaphas v24 for questioning – all this happening illegally late at night, contrary to Jewish laws. In this chapter, we see the fulfillment of what Jesus foretold Jn13:38- that Peter would deny Jesus three times. And immediately the cock crew v27. Peter wept bitterly Mt26:75.
The next morning the Jews took Jesus to the hall of judgment before Pilate. They themselves did not enter in, lest they should be defiled; but they might eat the Passover v28. At first Pilate refused to judge Jesus. But the Jews said to Pilate ‘It is not lawful for us to put any man to death’ v31. Ordinarily, the Jews conducted execution by stoning; only the Romans practiced ‘death by crucifixion’ v32. In the judgment hall, Pilate asked Jesus if he was the King of the Jews. Jesus answered him, ‘Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?’ v34. Jesus told Pilate ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence’ v36.
Jesus admitted that He was a King, and came to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate asked Jesus ‘What is truth?’ . At this point Pilate went out again to the Jews and said ‘I find in him no fault at all’ v38, and was about to release Jesus. It was a custom in those days that one convict would be released by the Romans at Passover. Pilate said ‘Will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews’ v39. The Jews clamored for another; ‘Not this man, but Barabbas.. a robber’ v40.
Here Jesus did no wrong to be executed, but the Jews delivered Jesus to the Romans to be killed! This is a fulfillment of Jn3:16, that God loved us so much that He gave Jesus to die and to save us from our sins! Lk 24:7 states ‘The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again’.
John Chapter 19- The Humiliation of Jesus: His Crucifixion, Death and Burial
The day of the Passover had arrived. Pilate had Jesus scourged; the soldiers plaited a crown of thorns and put it on his head, and also put a purple robe on him. They mocked Jesus ‘Hail, King of Jews! and they smote him with their hands’ v3. Three times Pilate told the Jews ‘I find no fault in him’ Jn18:38,19:4,6, but the Jews insisted that Jesus be crucified, ‘because he made himself the Son of God’ v7. It was about noon when Pilate brought Jesus to the Pavement, and said unto the Jews ‘Behold your king!’ v14. The Jews said ‘Away with him, crucify him.. The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar’ v15. Then Jesus was delivered to be crucified between two thieves v18. Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross ‘JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS’ v19, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
The soldiers stripped Jesus naked of his garment and made four parts to it, but the purple robe was seamless and not parted and lots were cast for who should get it v24. Jesus was then nailed to the cross, given vinegar and died about 3 pm. Three Marys were there: Mary, his mother, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene v25. From that time on, John took Jesus’ mother unto his own home to care v27. This is somewhat interesting because Jesus had 4 half-brothers and at least 2 half-sisters that were still living Mt13:55.
Joseph of Armathaea, a secret disciple of Jesus petitioned Pilate for Jesus’ body. Then he and Nicodemus, with a hundred pound mixture of myrrh and aloes, wound Jesus’ body with linen clothes to bury him in a nearby new garden tomb belonging to Joseph who was a rich man v38; a fulfillment of Is53:9 that Jesus would be buried among the rich.
John Chapter 20- RESURRECTION SUNDAY
Chapter 20 begins with great excitement. Early Sunday morning while still dark, Mary Magdelene went to the tomb to pay her respects for Jesus v1. She noticed the stone was removed from the tomb. She then ran to Peter and John, who were also walking toward the tomb, telling them someone took the body. They both began to run. John being younger, got there first, but did not enter the tomb v4,5. Peter went into the tomb and saw only the linen clothes, and the head napkin by itself. John then entered the tomb, saw and believed v8.. ‘For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead’ v9.
Peter and John then went away unto their own home v10, but Mary remained and wept before the tomb. She peered in and saw two angels in white sitting where the body should have laid v12. When asked, she told them why she was crying, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him’ v13. Then Mary saw a man standing and thought he was the gardener, but it was Jesus v14,15. (Jesus could change his looks and often was unrecogniz- able. See Jn21:4 and Mk16:12: ‘he appeared in another form’).
But when Jesus spoke, Mary recognized his voice and said ‘Rabboni’, meaning Master. Then Jesus said ‘TOUCH ME NOT; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God’ v17. Jesus told Mary not to touch him because He had not yet presented His resurrected body to the Father.
Later that Sunday evening when the disciples assembled together behind locked doors for fear of the Jews, Jesus miraculously appeared before them in their midst saying, ‘Peace be unto you’ v19. Jesus with His glorified body was able to pass through the walls. He then showed the disciples his wounds. ‘Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord’ v20. Jesus then said again ‘Peace be unto you: AS MY FATHER HATH SENT ME, EVEN SO SEND I YOU’ v22. This is the Great Commission also found in the other Gospels Mt28:19,20, Mk16:15,16, Lk24:47.
Thomas, not being present with them, was skeptical when the disciples said they saw Jesus. He said ‘Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe’ v25. Eight days later, though the door was locked, Jesus again appeared in the midst of the disciples and told doubting Thomas ‘REACH HITHER THY FINGER, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing’ v27. Thomas exclaimed ‘My Lord and my God’ v28. JESUS IS GOD!
Jesus then said to Thomas ‘because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed’ v29. Blessed are all of us who have not seen Him, and yet believe! Here we see that first Jesus told Mary not to touch Him v17, but then later told Thomas to do so v27, meaning He had ascended into heaven and had returned, and now could be touched!
Jesus Ascension Into Heaven
The Bible states that Jesus ascended bodily into heaven not just once, but twice. The 2nd incident is found in Ac1:9-11. It states ‘And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven’. Thus, Jesus ascended into heaven the 2nd time, and will one day likewise return back to earth. (One day with glorified bodies like Jesus 1Co15:49-53, we will do the same; go to heaven in the Rapture Jn14:3, and come back to earth with Jesus Jude14.)
John Chapter 21- The 2nd Part of the Great Commission. Jesus to Peter… ‘Feed My Sheep’
After all the related events in Jerusalem, Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, and John, and two other disciples returned to their fishing livelihood about 50 miles away in the Sea of Tiberias in Galilee. They fished all night but caught nothing v3. By morning as they were returning, they saw a man standing on shore, ‘but.. knew not it was Jesus’ v4. ‘This is now the 3rd time Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead’ v14. Also Jn20:19,24.
When Jesus asked if they had caught anything they answered him ‘No’! He then said ‘Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find.. they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes’ v5,6. The net was full with 153 great fishes, but did not break v11. This is the 2nd account of Jesus blessing his disciples with a ‘great multitude of fishes’ Lk5:5,6. This is also the last time recorded that the disciples went back fishing, for they then became ‘fishers of men’ Mt4:19.
In this chapter, though Jesus asked the disciples if they had any food v5, He had already prepared breakfast for them on shore with fish laid on a open fire, and bread v9. While they were still somewhat unsure that it was Jesus, He invited them to dine v12,13. After they had eaten, Jesus asked Simon Peter three times ‘lovest thou me more than these’. Peter being grieved responded three times ‘Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee’ v15. This is related to Peter earlier denying Jesus three times then the cock crew Jn18:27. Each time Jesus told Peter to ‘Feed My Sheep’ v15,16,17.
(In the Greek language, there are different kinds of love.. eros/sensual love, phileo/brotherly love, and agape/godly love.) Peter was asked if he loved Jesus with an agape love- above friendship. Each time Peter answered phileo love. Then Jesus told Peter ‘Follow Me’ v19. Peter’s phileo love for Jesus would later change into agape love when he received the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost Ac2:4. Peter later died serving Jesus v19. (We also receive God’s agape love and power when we are baptized with the Holy Ghost Ac1:5,8. The apostle Paul wrote ‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but (the Spirit) of Power, and of (agape) Love, and of a sound mind’ 2Ti1:7.)
John Chapter 21 ends with John making a hyperbolic remark regarding many other things that Jesus did but were not possible to write them all down stating, ‘I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen’ v25.
The Gospel of John- When Divinity Became Humanity, When God Became Man
We have concluded all 21 chapters of the Gospel of John. Most importantly is that we learned that JESUS IS GOD; how God revealed Himself through the life of Jesus Christ, unveiling His plan for our lives by becoming like one of us in order to save us. Through Adam’s sin in the Garden of Eden, his sinful nature passed on to all of us and all mankind fell under sin. Ro5:8 states ‘..God commendeth his (agape) love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us’. Ro5:12 also states ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. Everyone today is under a death penalty and will perish in hell forever separated from God, except they be BORN AGAIN Jn3:3,5, by believing and receiving Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour Jn3:16.
God revealed Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when He came down to earth and paid the price for our sins by dying on the cross for us. Jesus revealed Himself as God by what He said and by the many miracles He did– changing water into wine, feeding the multitudes by multiplying the food, healing the sick, the lame, and the blind, walking on water and transporting Himself supernaturally, forgiving sins Jn8:11, raising dead Lazarus Jn11:43, and then paramountly, raising Himself from the dead Jn21:14, a feat no man has ever been able to do!
Over 20 times in the Gospel of John, it was said that we need to believe in or on Jesus Christ to be saved, and over 40 times Jesus said He was sent by God or spoke on behalf of God e.g. Jn3:17, Jn4:34, Jn12:49, Jn16:25. Jesus said ‘Before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; ‘making himself equal with God’ Jn5:18. Jesus said ‘I and my Father are one’ Jn10:30. In Jn14:1, Jesus said ‘Ye believe in God, believe also in Me’. Jesus said ‘If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also..’ Jn14:7, and ‘he that hath seen Me hath seen the Father’ Jn14:9. JESUS IS GOD!
The Gospel of John reveals that Jesus is ‘THE GREAT I AM’ . In John’s Gospel, 10 times Jesus declared that He was the ‘I AM’ Jn8:58, which refers to God Himself. When God spoke to Moses from the burning bush He said ‘I AM THAT I AM’ Ex3:14! Jesus said ‘I AM the Bread of Life’ Jn6:35; ‘I AM the Light of the World’ Jn8:12; ‘before Abraham was, I AM’ Jn8:58; ‘I AM the Door’ Jn10:9, ‘I AM the Good Shepherd’ Jn10:11, Ps23:1; ‘I AM the Son of God’ Jn10:36; ‘I AM the Resurrection and the Life’ Jn11:25; ‘I AM the Way, and the Truth, and the Life’ Jn14:6; ‘I AM in the Father, and the Father in Me’ Jn14:11; and ‘I AM the True Vine’ Jn15:1. JESUS IS GOD, ‘THE GREAT I AM’.
In John’s Gospel, John progressively revealed and declared Jesus’ divinity, that JESUS IS GOD. John began with ‘In the beginning was the Word (Jesus), and the Word (Jesus) was with God, and the Word (Jesus) was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him (Jesus); and without him (Jesus) was not any thing made that was made. In him (Jesus) was life; and the life was the light of men’ Jn1:1-4, ‘And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us’ Jn1:14. While Jesus said worship belonged only to God Mt4:10,Jn4:23, Jesus allowed the blind man whom He had healed, and others to worship Him Jn9:38, Mt28:9, Mt14:33! Jesus said to know Him is to know the Father. To see Jesus is to see the Father Jn14:7. Jesus said ‘Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake’ Jn14:11.
In conclusion, God came to earth in the person Jesus. This is ‘WHEN DIVINITY BECAME HUMANITY, WHEN GOD BECAME MAN’. After His death and resurrection, before He returned to heaven, Jesus said to his disciples ‘ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH’ Mt28:18. Thus, JESUS IS GOD ALMIGHTY, and now we know who God is. THANK YOU JESUS FOR COMING TO SAVE US! PRAISE GOD! AMEN!