BSF Study Questions John Lesson 25, Day 2: John 18:28-32

Summary of passage:  Jesus was taken to Pontius Pilate’s house and addressed outside so his Jewish captors could remain clean.  They took him there to be tried under Roman law because Roman law allowed executions.

Questions:

3)  They would become unclean if they entered Pilate’s palace and they wanted to eat the Passover meal.  More concerned about food than the life of a man.  Hypocrites.

4)  Jewish law does not allow executions but Roman law does.  Pilate tried to have the Jews try him.  He will be crucified and flogged.

5)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m not one for excuses and I try to do what is right.

Conclusions:  We’re marching along with Jesus to his death and are seeing everything people will do to kill him–doing things they normally wouldn’t do probably.  The sad thing is man hasn’t changed.

End Notes:  John leaves out how Jesus was first presented before the council recorded in Matthew 26:57-68 and the official, daylight meeting of the Sanhedrin in Luke 22:66.  Thus, the Jews have condemned Jesus to death and now need the Romans to carry it out.

The palace or praetorium was likely at the Roman Fortress Antonia, where Pilate held court and conducted public business.  It was the commander’s headquarters.  The word is better translated judgment hall.  Palace is a misnomer.

We see the hypocrisy here as the Jews refused to break relatively small commands regarding ceremonial defilement, but broke much greater commands in rejecting God’s Messiah and condemning an innocent man to death.  The law stated they couldn’t come into contact with unclean Gentiles or enter an unclean home with leaven.

“Eat the Passover”:  This statement introduces a controversy, namely this – was the Last Supper a Passover meal, and was Jesus crucified on the Passover or the day following? This statement in John 18:28 seems to indicate that Passover was the coming day, the day Jesus would be crucified and that the Last Supper was the day before Passover. Yet several passages seem to indicate that the Last Supper was a Passover meal (Matthew 26:18, Mark 14:12, 14:16, Luke 22:15). The best solution to this difficult chronological problem seems to be that Jesus was crucified on the Passover, and the meal they had the night before was as Passover meal, held after sunset (the start of the day in Jewish reckoning). We can speculate that Passover lambs were sacrificed on both days, a necessity due to the massive number of lambs sacrificed in Jerusalem at the temple on Passover (later described by Josephus as being more than 200,000).–Taken from enduringword.com

It was early, perhaps before 6 am and we see Pilate’s irritation.  The religious leaders did not expect objections from Pilate.  He was a ruthless man, known for his corruption, his acts of insolence, his rapine, his habit of insulting people, his cruelty, his continual murders of people untried and uncondemned, and his never-ending gratuitous and most grievous inhumanity.  The Jews are evasive cause they know the charges are trumped up and false.  Luke 23:2 does have a more specific answer.

Josephus tells us, that it was not lawful to hold a court of judgment in capital cases, without the consent of the Procurator.  Besides, Jewish law allowed for death by stoning.  Only the Romans could crucify.

The Jews were the ones who wanted Jesus dead.  He wasn’t really on the radar as an enemy of Rome.  The Jews were the ones who made him so.  Tragic.

Who was Pontius Pilate?  Pilate was the Roman procurator or regional ruler for Judea at the time of Jesus’ death from 26-36 AD.  His early life is unknown and most of what we know before Jesus is speculation like how he came to be governor.  Some say it was punishment.  Others say it was political connections.  Governors were mainly in charge of tax and financial matters but because Judea was so difficult and troublesome a province the governor there answered directly to the emperor and had authority over judicial matters as well.

Most governors hated being posted to so distant a post but Pilate seems to enjoy it.  He was cruel to them as he tried to force Rome upon them.  Pilate was in Jeruasalem to keep the peace during Passover.  He was staying at Herod’s Palace near the temple.  He didn’t want to offend the Jews nor condemn an innocent man so he kept trying to get Jesus set free.  Eventually, he succumbed to politics and sentenced Jesus to death.

Judea was a source of turmoil as the Jews hated Rome.  He didn’t want to deal with Jesus and tried sending him to Herod instead.  He asked, “What is truth?” and didn’t see truth right in front of him.

He condemned Jesus to be rid of him and keep the peace between Rome and the Jews.  Pilate would be out of power a few years later for massacring Samaritans and after that he disappears from history with only unsubstantiated claims he killed himself.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 5: John 18:13-27

Summary of passage: Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law. Peter and John followed Jesus. John went with Jesus while Peter waited outside. When asked by a little girl if he was one of the disciples, Peter denies Jesus for the first time.

Annas questions Jesus who is struck by a soldier. He’s shipped off to Caiaphas. Meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a second and third time. A rooster crows.

Questions:

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Fear.  Shame.  In what I accomplish.  I don’t say things are God things when I should and I know they are in front of others.  God does arrange everything. Nothing is coincidence but I omit saying it and am guilty of giving God the credit for it.  A strong faith helps us avoid being like Peter.  Reading the Word more.  Praying. Drawing closer to Jesus.  Like Jesus, pray for my protection more from the devil and his ways and for God’s light more in my life.

12)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m alone in my work as a believer.  I try to impart words of wisdom and fate to my colleagues.

13)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Well, they are happening at the same time so it follows chronologically.  We see Jesus’ trials alongside Peter’s.  We see Jesus strong and Peter weak.  We see Jesus’ faith in God and Peter’s lack of faith in God.  We see Jesus’ love and Peter’s lack of love.  We see Jesus’ sacrifice and Peter’s self-preservation.  By contrasting both, we see how you are supposed to act and what happens when you don’t act like Jesus.

Conclusions:  Good questions.  Convicting on how we need to stand up for Christ and give him the glory and how fear holds us back from doing so.  We must pray for protection in this world for the devil is sneaky and cause us to do things we normally wouldn’t because fear grasps our hearts.

End Notes:  Annas was the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been High Priest from AD 6 to 15. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and Caiaphas was his son-in-law. His name meant “Yahweh is gracious”. He is still called the high priest in Acts 4:6 when Peter and John are arrested.

One reason John reminds us of what Caiaphas said in John 11:49-52 is to show that the judgment against Jesus was already decided. It would not be a fair trial. He would die for the people.

John who had the connections is the reason they had access to the high priest’s house and the reason we know what went on there.

A mere girl scares Peter enough to deny Christ and then he tries to blend into the crowd and shrink himself by standing around a fire with others. How tragic!

Annas means merciful. Ironic.

Jesus was not going to throw his disciples under the bus. He never mentions them. He asks for evidence in asking for others to testify to his words. This should have been the first step Annas should have taken for one accused of crimes. But there would be no fairness here for Jesus. He was a threat that had to be annihilated.

The first blow is laid upon Jesus be an unnamed official. Jesus calls the man out and having no answer, Annas sends Jesus on, still bound.

Luke 22:61 indicates that Peter could see Jesus and see him being slapped. No doubt his fear increased and he lied twice more. John is also present and Peter lied in front of John. The same question is asked in the same way, using the negative. The questioners expected the answer “No”, not expecting a follower of Jesus amongst them. The questioner is identified differently in all Gospels (Matthew 26:71; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:58).

John would know Malchus’ relative and a relative would be eager to know if this was the man who cut off his relative’s ear. Matthew 26:74 tells us Peter cursed this denial. He was adamant and he was a coward.

The rooster crowing fulfilled what Jesus said in John 13:38, and would have immediately reminded Peter of the prediction Jesus made in the upper room. And I would imagine shame would have flooded Peter.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 4: John 18:13-27

Summary of passage:  Jesus was arrested and taken to Annas, Caiaphas’ father-in-law. Peter and John followed Jesus. John went with Jesus while Peter waited outside. When asked by a little girl if he was one of the disciples, Peter denies Jesus for the first time.

Annas questions Jesus who is struck by a soldier. He’s shipped off to Caiaphas. Meanwhile, Peter denies Jesus a second and third time. A rooster crows.

Questions:

9)  He just starts questioning Jesus, blatantly disregarding Jewish law and trying to get Jesus to incriminate himself.  He feels he is above the law.  He allows Jesus to be struck.  He doesn’t care about human dignity or abuse. He ships him off to Caiaphas when he’s done with him with not a care in the world about what will happen to Jesus.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  He always maintains his composure.  He throws the law into both Caiaphas’ face and the unknown official who struck him.  He protects his disciples by refusing to mention them.  He doesn’t panic.  He submits but always letting his captors know they are in the wrong.

Conclusions:  We all know this trial won’t be fair and it starts here from the beginning.  Jewish law states witnesses must be called forth first, beginning with the defense.  The Talmud states, “Criminal processes can neither commence nor terminate, but during the course of the day. If the person be acquitted, the sentence may be pronounced during that day; but, if he be condemned, the sentence cannot be pronounced till the next day. But no kind of judgment is to be executed, either on the eve of the Sabbath, or the eve of any festival.”  It’s the dead of night here.  People corrupted by power known no bounds and care not for law and order.

End Notes:  Annas was the power behind the throne in Jerusalem. He himself had been High Priest from AD 6 to 15. Four of his sons had also held the high priesthood and Caiaphas was his son-in-law. His name meant “Yahweh is gracious”. He is still called the high priest in Acts 4:6 when Peter and John are arrested.

One reason John reminds us of what Caiaphas said in John 11:49-52 is to show that the judgment against Jesus was already decided. It would not be a fair trial. He would die for the people.

John who had the connections is the reason they had access to the high priest’s house and the reason we know what went on there.

A mere girl scares Peter enough to deny Christ and then he tries to blend into the crowd and shrink himself by standing around a fire with others. How tragic!

Annas means merciful. Ironic.

Jesus was not going to throw his disciples under the bus. He never mentions them. He asks for evidence in asking for others to testify to his words. This should have been the first step Annas should have taken for one accused of crimes. But there would be no fairness here for Jesus. He was a threat that had to be annihilated.

The first blow is laid upon Jesus be an unnamed official. Jesus calls the man out and having no answer, Annas sends Jesus on, still bound.

Luke 22:61 indicates that Peter could see Jesus and see him being slapped. No doubt his fear increased and he lied twice more. John is also present and Peter lied in front of John. The same question is asked in the same way, using the negative. The questioners expected the answer “No”, not expecting a follower of Jesus amongst them. The questioner is identified differently in all Gospels (Matthew 26:71; Mark 14:69; Luke 22:58).

John would know Malchus’ relative and a relative would be eager to know if this was the man who cut off his relative’s ear. Matthew 26:74 tells us Peter cursed this denial. He was adamant and he was a coward.

The rooster crowing fulfilled what Jesus said in John 13:38, and would have immediately reminded Peter of the prediction Jesus made in the upper room. And I would imagine shame would have flooded Peter.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 3: John 18:1-12

Summary of passage: Jesus and his disciples left the upper room, crossed the Kidron Valley, and stopped in an olive grove. Judas shows up with officials and soldiers armed with weapons. They ask for Jesus who declares himself. Peter drew his sword to defend Jesus and cut off the ear of a servant named Malchus. Jesus chastises Peter, telling him this is his destiny.

Jesus was arrested and bound.

Questions:

6)  He does everything he can to protect his disciples.  He calls attention to himself.  He stuns everyone with his declarative power.  He asks for his disciples to go free.  He stops Peter from defending him so he can fulfill God’s plan for us.  He reminds us this is the cup/plan the Father has given him.  He submits to the soldiers, not fighting or escaping.

7)  John leaves out the entire saga of Jesus asking God for the cup to be taken from him and the disciples falling asleep in the Garden.  He leaves out Judas’ betrayal with a kiss.  He leaves out some of Jesus’ words and how the disciples fled.  He leaves out the healing of the ear.  John keeps it very simple and focuses on Jesus protecting the disciples and fulfilling God’s plan for his life and humanity.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus loves us so much to suffer and die for us and I need to love him as much–or at least as much as is humanly possible here on earth.  Seeing God’s plan being fulfilled helps me to know God will fulfill His plans for my life as well.

Conclusions:  Good to read the other accounts and see the differences.  I love how all taken together gives us the whole picture of that night.  It would have been amazing to have been there!

End Notes:  The Kidron was a small stream that was the drainage from the temple, and would be reddish from the blood of thousands of Passover lambs. This would have been a vivid reminder to Jesus of His soon sacrifice.  Info on Kidron Valley HERE  Cool maps of Jesus’ last 24 hours HERE and HERE

John did not name this as the Garden of Gethsemane, but the other Gospel writers did (Matthew 26:36 and Mark 14:32). Jesus often met there with His disciples, perhaps to sleep for the night under the shelter of the olive trees or in a nearby cave. Hence, why Judas knew Jesus would be there that night and why Jesus went–so Judas could easily find him knowing he was searching for him.

John does not go into detail in the Garden, leaving that to the other apostles to do so.

Judas came with many soldiers, expecting a struggle. How he didn’t know our Lord! Jesus could have wiped them out with a word. This harkens to the Garden of Eden. Man lost that round. He would win this round!

Jesus speaks first for 2 reasons: 1) He wanted any potential violence to be directed to Him and not to His disciples. 2) Jesus wanted Judas and the detachment of troops to announce their evil intention.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I am: Jesus answered them with two words in both English and in the Greek (ego eimi). He did not say, “I am he”–that was added by translators and not in the original text. Jesus was consciously proclaiming himself God, just like he did throughout his testimony on earth (John 8:58; 6:48, 8:12, 9:5, 10:9, 10:11-14, 10:36, 11:25, 14:6).

This explains why all fell back. When Jesus proclaims himself “I am” the power and presence of God overwhelms the soldiers and they are afraid. We’re talking probably upwards of 500 soldiers sent to arrest Jesus and all were petrified. Jesus could have escaped then, but he didn’t. For our sakes.

Jesus asks them again who he is in order to shock them back to reality. He repeats I am but with less force. He willingly gives himself up and asks for his disciples to go free. Sacrificial love. The show of power was to protect them as well. This was a command to let them go. He promised the Father he would protect them (John 17:12). There would be no harm to his disciples as long as Jesus was there! This was also the signal for the disciples to slip away, which they did all except Peter and John.

John is the only writer to identify Peter as the one with the sword. Peter was fulfilling his promise to protect Jesus (Matthew 26:35).

Cutting off the right ear is significant. Scholars say this meant Peter, holding the sword in his right hand, must have attacked the high priest’s servant from behind, because it would be near impossible to cut off his right ear if he was facing the servant Malchus. It is entirely possible that Peter deliberately chose a non-solider, and attacked him from behind. This was not a shining display of courage. And given the fact we know Peter is about to deny Jesus 3 times, this was probably an impulsive display that was safe for him.

Why is the servant mentioned by name here? Scholars speculate that Malchus may have eventually become a Christian and would have been known to the early Christian community at the time of this writing. This is a pattern we see throughout the rest of the Gospels and Acts.

Peter’s thoughtless action may have erupted into violence and the disciples getting hurt. Jesus stops Peter for his own good and for the disciples. And so he could die on the cross. John leaves out how Jesus healed the man’s ear (Luke 22:51).

The cup signifies suffering and the wrath of God. It came from the Father. God is in control.

The captain was a Roman and the others were Jews. Both were complicit in Jesus’ death. Jesus consented to be bound. He could break those easily.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 23, Day 5: John 17:20-26

Summary of passage:  Jesus prays for all believers, prays for our unity and our glory so that the world may believe God sent Jesus.  He prays for all believers to be where he is and to see his glory for him to be in them and for God’s love to be in us.

Questions:

11)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  We are to be united in our mission to let the world know Jesus as the Son of God and believe in him and come to him.  We can’t be divided in our church.  The underlying mission must be the same.

12)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus saves us completely as our High Priest in heaven and died for our sins.  It encourages me when I sin and offers a peace that I am still sanctified with God.

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  That as believers we are unified in our purpose to shine Jesus’ light to the world and we don’t let Satan tear us apart over petty things.  I want to see Jesus’ glory and be where he is, that God’s love would be in me as would Jesus.

Conclusions:  Important passage on unity.  We as Christians are in this fight together.  We can’t let little things cause big rifts.  Jesus is everything.  We must remember that.

End Notes:  Jesus knew the disciples would prevail in his work.  Scholars believe Jesus envisioned the great multitude before the throne of God here (Revelation 7:9-10) of all races and walks of life. The unity is based upon equality just like the equality of God and Jesus. We are to share in the life God has for us.

Jesus essentially gave the world permission to judge the validity of His ministry based on the unity of His people. Unity among God’s people helps the world to believe that the Father sent the Son.

Jesus gives glory to his people.  Scripturally speaking, when God gives or displays His glory to His people, it is some type of manifestation of God’s presence. God’s glory is, in some way, the radiance or shining of His presence, His essential nature.

Jesus’ glory was his work on the cross.  It was humble, weak, and sacrificial.

Jesus repeats the idea that God sent Him.  This is crucial to salvation.

It’s as if Jesus gave the world permission to doubt both His mission and His love if the world does not see unity and love among believers.  This is difficult because despite what we do, some will still not believe for various reason.  Christians have a great responsibility to display Jesus to the world through their love and unity, but often Christians are too quick to blame one another for an unbelieving world.  Remember God chooses who will be saved and ultimately it’s Free Will.

Jesus wants all of us to be with him.  He desires the Second Coming and for the consummation of all things.  Before creation, there was love and God loved.  Love has always been.  Cool!

Jesus ends his prayer by declaring God to the world–his whole mission in this world!  He prays for God’s love to be in them and for him to be in them.  The two essentials we need in this world!

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 23, Day 3: John 17:6-10

Summary of passage:  Jesus says he has revealed God to the disciples.  They have obeyed him and accepted Jesus as God.  Glory comes to Jesus through them.  God has given the disciples and us to Jesus. We are His.  We will bring glory to God.

Questions:

6)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Because we are God’s gift to him (Jesus).  We have believed in Jesus. We will bring glory to Jesus.  It’s hard to internalize that I bring joy to Jesus especially when my life is wrought with sin.  It helps to know I’m on his path and doing his work.

7a)  Because they obeyed God, accepted the teaching, knew Jesus’ origin, and believed in Jesus as God’s Son.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  By following Jesus everyday in all the little things in life that add up to the big things in life.  By having faith in him.  By showing the world our faith to bring Jesus glory.

Conclusions:  Thought we could have dug a little deeper into these questions instead of focusing so much on the personal.  See End Notes for more.

End Notes: This prayer is to the disciples initially but is extended to all believers as well.  Here, Jesus is giving the disciples over to God.  Only as people see the Father at work in Jesus do they have a proper concept of God.

Manifest is a better translation that revealed in the NIV.  Jesus manifested God to his disciples in all that he did:  miracles, the way he lived, the love, the compassion, the holiness of God.  So we are to manifest God as well in all we do.

God gave the disciples to Jesus (Luke 6:12-16).  Yet they had faith in Jesus as the Savior.  Both must occur for eternal salvation.

This prayer is for the disciples.  It is the disciples who will bring the rest of us to faith.

Spurgeon says, “There is an old proverb; it is, ‘Love me, love my dog.’ It is as if the Lord Jesus so loved the Father that even such poor dogs as we are get loved by him for his Father’s sake. To the eyes of Jesus we are radiant with beauty because God hath loved us.”  Because God loves us, Jesus loves us.  And thank God for that!  He loved us enough to pay our penalty for sin.  Amazing!

Believers belong to both God and Jesus.  Everything we have belongs to God, but not everything He has belongs to us.  Anyone can say to God the Father “all mine are Yours“; but only Jesus could say “and Yours are Mine.”

Jesus is glorified in us.  Think on that a moment.  Think of our actions every day.  We must be mindful that Jesus is in us and must be glorified.  How would your actions change if you remembered that?

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 22, Day 4: John 16:16-24

Summary of passage:  Jesus says he is leaving, but they disciples will see him again after the Resurrection and he appears before them..  The grief will turn to joy once they realize all Jesus’ death means.  When they see him again, they will know all.  If you ask for things in Jesus name, God will give them whatever they ask and they will have complete joy.

Questions:

8 )  When Jesus dies, they won’t see him.  When they die and ascend to heaven, they will see him.  More specifically, this is referring to the Resurrection and Jesus reveals himself to them.

9)  He tells them they will “weep and mourn…but their grief will turn to joy.”  He tells them they will have complete joy.

10)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I keep asking and keep listening.  They keep searching and asking and Jesus keeps answering until they get it.  The same goes for us.  Jesus will keep responding as long as we keep seeking until we do get it.

Conclusions:  Perhaps the greatest example in history of pain and grief bringing joy.  Great lesson for us in the throes of life.

End Notes:  The disciples didn’t know like we do that he is about to be arrested and crucified.  Jesus is telling them he will rise from the dead.  This obviously would confuse anyone.

The disciples are talking among themselves, asking if anyone knows what Jesus is saying here.  Jesus interrupts them to give them more clarity.  He says their grief will turn to joy once all is revealed.  This is true.  We see no writings of regret from the apostles.  They got it after all!

The disciples will have access to God through Jesus by speaking in Jesus’ name.