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.

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BSF Study Questions John Lesson 24, Day 2: John 18:1-27

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 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:

3)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  Jesus does not hide.  He admits who he is.  He answers truthfully questions put to him.  He does not lie to save his skin.  He goes to the garden knowing he will be arrested when he could have ran and hid.  It’s inspiring to do the work God has for me like Jesus did God’s work for him.

4)  He knew he would be arrested that night and he still went anyways.  He admits who he is.  He dies so not one of us will be lost.  He tells Peter not to fight for him.  He denies nothing to Annas about who he is or what he said.  He willingly takes the hits and the punches and eventually his death for us.

5)  Part personal Question.  My answer:  He never shrinks from any of this.  He accepts his fate and goes out with dignity and self-respect.  He never denies who he is.  He willingly takes all of our sin on him and suffers.  My sufferings pale in comparison.  I remember what Jesus did for me and live for him every day.

Conclusions:  Major focus today on Jesus’ demeanor during his arrest and how that strengthens us.  We are spending all week on this passage so we’ll probably break it down further.  No fear in the face of God’s plan.  Perfect!

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 Valley HERE  Cool Maps of Jesus’ last 24 hours and his movements 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.

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!

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 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 4: John 17:11-19

Summary of passage:  Jesus is continuing his prayer for the disciples, asking God to protect them except for Judas who betrayed Jesus.  He asks God to protect them from the evil one and to sanctify them.

Questions:

8a)  He prayed for God to protect them from the evil one and to sanctify them.

b)  God sent the Holy Spirit to protect the disciples and set them apart for His work.  I have my purpose for God as well.

9)  As believers in Jesus as Savior, we are awaiting our home in heaven, we are forgiven, and we are sanctified.  We are in the world, but not of the world, indulging in sin and the things of the devil.  We do not have the mind-set of the world, which is hostility to God.

10)  The definition of sanctify according to Webster’s Dictionary is “to set apart as or declare holy; consecrate; to free from sin, purify.”  We are set apart as holy as God’s chosen people, made righteous by Jesus’ sacrifice, and justified before God.  We are to lead holy and godly lives, full of joy and mercy.

Sanctify means to be set apart for God’s special pleasure and use. It implies holiness, being set apart from the corruption of the world and for God’s use.

Conclusions: Well, we focused on the idea of holiness here instead of the passage, which we haven’t really focused on in this study as of yet.  Reasonable enough.  Dissection of the passage below.

End Notes:  Jesus is praying for the disciples because their lives are about to dramatically change.  They won’t have Jesus to go to for questions and answers.  They will be on their own, still in this world but not of it.  They will begin to face persecution and will have to rely upon the Holy Spirit.  A major life-changing even for sure!

Christ’s power is adequate for every need.

Most disciples of the time found a new rabbi to follow once the old one died.  Jesus prays for God to keep the disciples true to him.  We need to be kept true to Jesus as well with God’s power for we’d never survive the temptations of this world without Him.  He wants our joy as well–why else would Jesus pray for it?

Jesus prayed to keep them together and unified so they wouldn’t scatter upon his death.  The meaning is they stay unified as the church was meant to be.  He prayed for their joy–Jesus’ joy.

Judas was lost as he was meant to be lost according to Scripture (Psalm 41:9 and Psalm 109:8, Acts 1:20).

Jesus was a messenger as well and always spoke God’s words.  We are to be in this world and not cloister ourselves in monasteries.  For without us, there would be no light, no service, no witness, no grace, no mercy, no compassion from God to others.  We are God’s witnesses and we can’t do that isolated.  We must do His work He has given us to do.

Sanctification is by truth–the word of God read, heard, understood, and applied.  The more truth you believe, the more sanctified you are.  The disciples are sent into the world to continue Jesus’ work.

Jesus sanctifies himself, unparalleled in the Bible.  The same verb is used of priests in the Old Testament.  Jesus sets himself apart to do God’s will, which is death.  Jesus’ death saved us and consecrated us to God’s service.

Fun Fact:  “Holy Father” is a form of address found only here in the New Testament.  It suggests both remoteness and nearness, awe and love.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 23, Day 2: John 17:1-5

Summary of passage:  Beautiful prayer of Jesus to his Father, saying the time has come to glorify Him through himself, defining eternal life as knowing God and himself, Jesus Christ.  Tearful!

Questions:

3)  The definition of glorify according to Webster’s Dictionary is:  “to make glorious by bestowing honor, praise, or admiration; to elevate to celestial glory; to light up brilliantly; to represent as glorious : extol; to cause to be or seem to be better than the actual condition; to give glory to (as in worship)”

Jesus asks God to glorify him so that He Himself would be glorified.

Glory according to Webster’s Dictionary is:  ” praise, honor, or distinction extended by common consent : renown; worshipful praise, honor, and thanksgiving; giving glory to God”.

It is time to give glory to God by bringing His plan to fruition and saving mankind for Himself.

4a)  Knowing about Jesus doesn’t mean you believe in Him.  Most people in the developed world know about Jesus.  Only those saved know who Jesus is and what he has done for them as sinners and be saved.  I know about Communism.  That doesn’t make me a communist.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  There have been signs recently in my life that time is of the essence and I need to get back to His path and quit dinkering around and being diverted by frivolous desires of my heart.  It is all about Him and I need to get on it!

5)  Before Jesus’ death, he had existed, taking a background to God.  After he was sent to die for mankind, God the Father elevated him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above all names.  All will bow in heaven and on earth before him and confess him as Lord and Savior.  He sits at God’s right hand in heaven.  God created the universe through Jesus.  He is heir to all things.  Jesus represents God’s being and radiates God’s glory.  His role in this world was amplified for humans.  Jesus was always there and important.  God just chose not to reveal this to mankind.

Conclusions:  I had missed that God made the universe through his Son!  Awesome how there are always new revelations to discover in His word.  Beautiful prayer to God.  Great questions about completing God’s work for us.

End Notes:  Commentators call this the greatest recorded prayer in the Bible.

Fun Fact:   This is the only long, continuous prayer of Jesus recorded in the Gospels.  It is sometimes called his High Priestly Prayer.

We see the nature and heart of Jesus.  This echoes the Lord’s prayer and we see what it’s like to have equals revere one another.  Amazing!

We see the customs of the time:  Jesus prayed with his eyes open towards heaven, very different from us bowing our heads today.

Jesus’ work being done on earth except to die, he prays.  Great lesson for us!  He will never again perform miracles or instruct his disciples.  He prays.  This is a victory prayer.

Note the words: Father . . . Your Son . . . Your Son . . . You. This is a prayer deep and rich with relationship. Jesus prayed with a full and deep sense of the familial relationship and the natural hierarchy or order that exists between God the Father and God the Son.  There is no Lord mentioned here.

This is often translated as “the hour has come”, which in my mind is better.  To Jesus, it is but one hour to suffer to him.  Great lesson for us who are stuck in the trenches of life’s tribulations.  It is but an hour before we will be glorified or our trials will appease.  Remember that!

Jesus is concerned for God’s glory only here.  It is the cross that brings glory to God and to Jesus.  If this doesn’t happen, then all if for naught.  God is glorified in His wisdom and power over evil.

All of our prayers need to have the desire to glorify God in them.  Are we looking for promotion so we can do God’s work?  Is it His desire or yours?

Verses 2-3:  Jesus has authority over all people (another claim to deity).  This is comforting to us as we evangelize cause Jesus is in control, not us.  With this authority, comes the authority to grant eternal life.  Jesus is God’s gift to us.  However, we are God’s gift to Jesus.  God gave Jesus US!  Powerful!

Everything Jesus did glorified the Father.  Jesus saw his work on the cross as finished.  Similarly, God sees the work in us as finished.  We just have to do it.

Jesus asks for the same glory God has.  Jesus relinquished some of this glory to accomplish his task. He asks for its return, confirming his preexistence and equality with the Father as One being.  This happens at Christ’s resurrection and exaltation at God’s right hand.

Fun Fact:  “World” occurs 18 times in this one prayer.

BSF Study Questions Lesson 21, Day 3: 1 John 2:3-29

Summary of passage:  We are in Christ if we walk as Jesus did.  If we obey him, we will know him and have God’s complete love.  You must love your brother to be in the light; otherwise, you are not.  If you love the world, then you are not in God.  If you do the will of God, you will live forever. Antichrists will come in the last hour.  They will deny the Father and the Son.  Being anointed with the Holy Spirit, it will teach you.  If you remain in the Father and the Son, then you will have eternal life.  Those who do what is right has been born of Jesus.

Questions:

6)  If you obey His word, God’s love is complete in you.  As long as you remain in the Father and the Son, you will have eternal life.  If you love your brother and shun the world, then you are in Christ.  If you obey God, walk with Jesus, and be righteous, you are in Jesus.

7)  The cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has and does.  All of these are negative.  A sinful man craves sinful things: sex outside of marriage, affairs, covets other people’s things, steals, cheats, lies, etc.  He boasts of his material possessions instead of his spiritual spirit.  The positive twist would be to strive for God’s will in your life, for God’s goodness in others’ lives, and to use your gifts and senses to do so.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  False teachers are those who deny Christ is the Son of God.  They could be those in the Christian community but do not abide in Jesus.  If you have the Holy Spirit, then you will know the truth when spoken and the lies when spoken.  Abiding in Christ protects us as well as the anointing.  If whoever is speaking says things directly against the Bible and God’s teachings, then they are false. Period. Pray. God will tell you. He will not let you be blinded.

Conclusions: We talked a ton about the Antichrist and false teachers last year in Revelation.  It was more prevalent in ancient society and with so many different religions floating around it would be hard to know what to believe in–especially as a new convert to Christ.  Still, we must be aware of cults and society’s tendency to follow charismatic leaders and smooth talkers.  The Antichrist could come at any time and the little antichrists preceding him as well.

End Notes:  Following God’s commandments is evidence of knowing God.  There is a difference between knowing about someone and knowing them.  God and you know which is truth.  God’s love is perfect or mature in those who obey and by this we know we are in Jesus.  We will walk at Jesus did.

What does that mean?  Walk as Jesus did?  It means that sin is distasteful to us and every day we lead more of a righteous life of obedience to God.

Loving one another is not new.  What’s new is the depth of love that Jesus spoke of in John 13:34.  Jesus’ love is what we are to grasp–loving everyone.   Our relationship with God can be measured by our love for other Christians.

We have to keep His commandments, walk as Jesus did, and love other Christians.  If one is missing, then we fail.  You can do all the right things, believe all the right truths, but if you do not love other Christians, then all is lost.

Hatred and love in the bible are more than emotions; they are attitudes expressed in actions.

Stages in Spiritual Life:  We all begin as little children in our spiritual walk with God.  It is enough to know God forgives our sins.  Fathers are people who have known God for years and are mature in their spiritual walk with God.  Young men are those in the middle of their spiritual walk who have fought with Satan.

The repetition is intentional.  The key is knowing God.  God’s word is our source of spiritual strength, which is tested in the youth phase, and which lives in our hearts.

The world here is sin, the world’s system, it’s way of doing things, and material objects.  It’s controlled by Satan and organized against God and righteousness.  It’s easy to fall in love with the things of this world that make us better off but not better.  The world and what we gain in the world or strive for pass away when we do.  Heaven and God are eternal.  We are to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:14-18).  Monks took this to the extreme in the Middle Ages.

This goes all the way back to Eve who looked upon the fruit, thought how it would satisfy her and how it would make her appear before Adam.  Our thinking is usually of the world.  You must arrest your thoughts, capture them, and then work to change them towards God.  Lot is another example who was of the world.

In this world, we have three eternal things: the Holy Spirit, the people around you, and God’s word.   Time, attention, and expense put into these three things pay eternal rewards.

The last hour is Jesus’ return. John considered the last days to be everything after Christ.  The Antichrist is instead of Jesus.  He will appear and do wonderful things to appeal to us.  There will be only one “Antichrist” at the End Times.  However, there will be smaller versions preceding him.  The antichrists in John’s day were the Gnostics.  “Anti” means against in Latin.

John assumes his readers will know someone will oppose God before the Second Coming.  Also known as the man of lawlessness or the beast from Revelation.

Fun Fact:  The word ‘antichrist’ occurs in the Bible only in the letters of John and only five times in four verses (1 John 2:18, 22, 4:3; 2 John 7).

Essentially, the Antichrist is a world dictator who leads humanity in what seems to be a golden age, until he shows his true colors – and the judgment of God is poured out on him and his empire immediately before the return of Jesus.  This could happen at any time.  Think of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.  Many of these antichrists will identify as Christians but never were since they left.

Other characteristics of the antichrists John lists:  1) They deny the incarnation 2)  They deny Jesus is divine.  3)  They deny the Father  4)  They don’t have the Father  5)  They are liars and deceivers  6) there are many.

Anointing has the idea of being filled with and blessed by the Holy Spirit, enabling discernment and knowing the Truth.

This idea of anointing – literally, to be blessed with oil – was said to be the reason behind one of the punishments given to John in persecution. The Roman emperor Domitian cast John in a boiling vat of oil, as if to say, “Here is a real anointing.” John emerged from the vat of boiling oil unharmed, because he had a different anointing.

In verse 20, John used a different word for know than he mostly used before. Previously John used the word meaning knowledge by experience; here he used the word meaning knowledge by intuition. We know some things intuitively by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

We must believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, as the Bible defines Christ – the Messiah, who is fully God and fully man; who perfectly revealed the Father to us.  We don’t worship the same God unless your God is the God who was revealed in Jesus Christ.  If not, then your God is not the God of the Bible.  If you reject Jesus, you reject God.

Fun Fact:  John uses the word “love” 35 times in this letter alone.

What you have heard from the beginning is the message of the apostles (the New Testament).  We must abide or live in Jesus Christ.  We do this by knowing His word and living in His word.

Fun Fact:  John uses “abide” 6 times in these few verses and idea is strewn about the New Testament.

When God lives in us, we have eternal life in heaven.  This anointing of the Holy Spirit allows us to know the Truth and discern the falsehoods and guide us closer to Jesus.  Because you are abiding in Jesus, when he comes again you won’t be ashamed or fearful.  We’ve seen this before (John 14:23). We practice righteousness since we are born of God who is righteous.

Summary of 1 John 2:  Christians: 1) know Him (1 John 2:4), 2) abide in Him (1 John 2:6), and 3) are in the light (1 John 2:9).  If this is true for you, it will show in the life you lead and the love you hold for fellow Christians.

BSF Study Questions John Lesson 20, Day 4: John 15:9-17

Summary of passage: Jesus loves us and tells us to obey his commands to remain in his love. If we do, we will have joy. We are to love others as Jesus has loved us. He has chosen us to bear fruit that will last and God will give us whatever we ask in Jesus’ name. Love each other as friends.

Questions:

9)  God’s love is immeasurable.  If we remain in His love by obeying Him, we will have complete joy and whatever we ask for.

10)  Part personal Question.  My answer: Because Christ loved us so much we are to love each other.  We were sent into this world and made for this purpose.  It is a pattern for a way of life.  If we love others, we build them up and strengthen them for Christ.  You can try to fake it until you make it.  If you choose to fake it, often it will not come.  If you choose not to fake it, blessings will come.  Pray and ask God for help to love those unloveables in our lives.  We all have them.  Exercise the fruits of the Spirit here: patience, love, kindness, and compassion.  God will help us.

11)  To bear fruit.  We are to remain in Christ and bear much fruit because of it.  If we obey His commands, discover God’s purpose for our lives, we will bear much fruit.  We pray.  We read His Word.  We grow closer to Jesus and God.  We become more Christ-like, loving others. We share the gospel.  Then His will will be done.

Conclusions: Another great lesson especially on loving others whom we cannot love.  Remember: All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me.  Find your purpose.  Love others, including the unloveable.  You will then have great joy, peace, and prosperity through Him.  Love is the answer to all.  Think of the opposite:  evil and hate.  Where does that lead?  The opposite of joy and peace and eternal life and satisfaction.

End Notes:  Jesus compares his love for others with that of the love God has for Jesus.  It’s protecting, sacrificing, serving, guiding, and blessing.  It’s never-ending, personal and unchanging.

Obey God’s commands and you will remain and stay connected in God’s love.  Then and only then will your joy be complete.  Joy is not happiness or excitement or pleasure in life.  It’s walking in God’s love and care.  The picture is a pitcher of water filled to the brim.

Jesus uses repetition to emphasis love.  Giving up your life is giving up everything you have.  You have nothing else to give.  It is complete.

In ancient times, the rabbi was not friends with his disciples and definitely not servants.  You are friends if you actively obey.  There are no secrets between friends.

Normally, the disciples chose the rabbi they wanted to learn from.  Jesus chose us.  He holds us, not us him.  We are to go and bear fruit which Jesus enables us to do as his chosen disciples.  Then our prayers will be answered.