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Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Listen
Luke 22:31-38; John 13:36-14:31
In this passage, we see the following in Jesus' ministry:
|31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.
|27 And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.
28 But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee.
29 But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I.
30 And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice.
31 But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
|31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death.
34 And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
|36 Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.
37 Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
38 Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
This is a very sobering passage of scripture, all taking place the night leading up to the crucifixion. Matthew and Mark point out that Jesus' words regarding denial were directed toward all the disciples, but Luke and John just mention Peter's anticipated denial. Jesus quotes the prophet Zechariah (Zechariah 13:7, see notes) to indicate that even the denial of the Messiah by his own followers was a fact of Old Testament prophecy. However, Peter is very adamant that, though all the other disciples may deny Jesus, he absolutely, positively would not - to the death. Jesus assures Peter that even he will deny him. However, in Luke 22:32 Jesus expresses confidence in Peter after the denial when he says, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." The word "converted" there is a translation of the Greek word "epistrepho," which means "to return to a point or area where one has been before." In other words, while Peter will deny Jesus, he will return to his place among the disciples where he will strengthen and feed them.
It should be noted that ultimately all Jesus' disciples would deny him. As it happens, Peter's denial is more prominently displayed in the Gospel accounts, but actually, no one stood with Jesus at his trial. Mark 14:50 (see notes) says, "And they all forsook him, and fled."
What about the swords? (Luke 22:35-38)
|35 And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.
36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
37 For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
38 And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough.
Jesus refers to the sending of the seventy disciples to preach the Kingdom message back in Luke 10 (see notes). The purse and scrip here are obvious references to Luke 10:4, "Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way." It would appear that Jesus is teaching a lesson about the change discipleship was about to undergo, but they took him literally. I think the lesson intended by Jesus to be understood by his disciples was one of contrast: The seventy returned with their mission complete without notable resistance; from this time forward, the resistance will be intense right down to the crucifixion. Peter obviously missed the object lesson here and strapped on one of those swords which he used at the capture of Jesus in John 18:10 (see notes), "Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priests servant, and cut off his right ear. The servants name was Malchus." Isaiah 53 (see notes) prophesies the crucifixion of the Messiah. Jesus quotes from Isaiah 53:12 in verse 37, "And he was reckoned among the transgressors:" Jesus is clearly preparing his disciples for his capture and crucifixion.
With that being said, it is still, admittedly, difficult to account for every aspect of this conversation between Jesus and his disciples, especially the "It is enough" of verse 38. Some have suggested that these words were intended by Jesus to put a stop to a conversation which the disciples did not seem to be properly comprehending. Others have suggested that the phrase was intended to indicate that two swords are sufficient. "Sufficient for what?" you might ask. It is felt by some that the "reckoned among the transgressors" of Isaiah 53:12 was fulfilled in that two swords were on hand in the garden at the capture of Jesus, thus making them transgressors. Conjecture is simply all we have on this one.
Jesus prepares his disciples for the crucifixion (John 14)
Jesus has talked a great deal about the Kingdom on earth through his ministry. That Kingdom is the one prophesied by the Old Testament prophets foretelling the reign of the Messiah over the entire earth. Jesus is that Messiah, but in accordance with the prophets, the Messiah must suffer and be crucified first. The discourse of Jesus in chapters 14-16 takes place after the Passover supper the night before Jesus is crucified. Jesus goes into great detail giving perspective to the disciples on what to expect.
|1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Fathers house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
It's obvious at the beginning of John 14 that the disciples are on a different thinking track than Jesus. Their questions and comments indicate that they are thinking about an earthly kingdom while Jesus is NOW talking about a spiritual kingdom. As Jesus had preached to the Jewish masses for the three-plus years previous to this time, he had talked frequently about the earthly Messianic kingdom, but not here. The emphasis here has changed so as to equip them for the immediate future.
Jesus begins by talking about the house prepared for them in Heaven in verses 1-4. Verse 5 demonstrates that this talk of Heaven rather than an earthly rule was confusing to Thomas; he indicates that he does not quite understand when he says, "Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" Verse 6 is your apologetics verse for proclaiming your position in Christ, "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." There's no need to argue or explain; just quote John 14:6. Someone may reply to you, "Don't you think that all religions are about the same if you're sincere?" Don't argue; just, once again, quote John 14:6. It explains itself, and these are the very words of Jesus. Someone may come back to you with a question like this, "Do you mean to tell me that everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is going to Hell?" Don't argue; just quote, once again, John 14:6. That verse says it all.
Incidentally, the Greek word for "mansion" in verse 2 is "mone." It's only used twice in the New Testament - here and verse 23 where it is translated "abode." Quite literally, it simply means "a place to stay." So, will our "place to stay" in Heaven be mansion-style nice? Need you ask?
You will also notice that in verse 3 Jesus indicates that he, at first, must go and prepare a place for his disciples after which he will come and receive them. This is undoubtedly a reference to the rapture of the church discussed by Paul in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (see notes) and I Corinthians 15:51-58 (see notes). The second coming of Jesus Christ takes place later when Jesus actually comes back to earth to establish the earthly rule about which Jesus had been speaking in earlier discourses (see notes on Matthew 24-25)
|7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
I find Philip's request of verse 8 indicative of the state of mind of the disciples at the time. Keep in mind; they have been thinking in terms of an earthly kingdom to be established right away. Now they're being told that, instead, they will be introduced to the Father (God). Jesus mildly rebukes Philip for not already understanding the mission at hand and for not recognizing that when you see Jesus, you see God the Father. He then clearly explains that he is God.
Verses 12-14 have often been abused by well-meaning Believers who want to get things moving. Let's not beat around the bush on this one. They had seen Jesus perform some awesome miracles during the previous three-plus years of ministry. So...when Jesus says in verse 12, "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father," what do you think Jesus intends to convey? I don't think we need to try to explain away this statement; we simply need to add the formula found in verses 13-14 - the "in my name" formula.
It is common to append the words "in my name" to the end of our prayers. That appendage doesn't make it so. "In my name" absolutely means "under the authorization of." Here's an example: When I was in college, I worked full-time in a bank and eventually became a lending officer/assistant branch manager. As such, I was authorized by the bank under very strict circumstances to sign cashier's checks - sometimes very large. I had NO authority whatsoever to indiscriminately write checks - ONLY when the bank's criteria for doing so was met, and I was authorized by the bank to do so. THAT'S WHAT "IN MY NAME" MEANS!
I am convinced that God still performs miracles today through Believers who are in tune with what God is authorizing IN HIS NAME. Here's the problem today: Many have been taught that there is something magical about the words "in Jesus' name." Armed with that misunderstanding, they claim frivolous things "in Jesus' name" only to be disappointed at their success track record...or lack thereof.
I John 5:14-15 (see notes) provides valuable insight into this issue of prayer where John writes, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." Praying "in Jesus' name" literally means praying "according to his will." When we pray "according to his will," he will always answer that prayer. Of course the key here is to pray "according to his will." How does one know he is doing that? The key to praying "according to his will" is found in James 1:5 (see notes), "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." You can pray with absolute assurance that you are praying "according to his will" when you first pray for wisdom. "Wisdom" in this context is knowing the will of God. After I have prayed for wisdom, I will be impressed by the Holy Spirit with a knowledge of the will of God; that's what wisdom is. Then, I can pray specifically and with confidence in exactly the way God has shown me to pray. Only then can I legitimately pray "in Jesus' name."
|15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Fathers which sent me.
25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.
Jesus then begins to introduce life after he is gone. By the power of the Holy Spirit they (and we) will be empowered by praying in his name. Jesus calls the Holy Spirit the "Comforter" in verse 16. The Greek word for "comforter" is "parakletos" - used only by Jesus in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7 and once by John himself in I John 2:1 (see notes) where it is translated "advocate" in the KJV. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Believers introduced by Jesus here is a foundational principle of life in Christ for all those who trust Jesus as their personal Savior. That's where the power for the Christian to live a separated life comes from; without the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, salvation would be an empty proposition. However, with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we have an ever-abiding partner who serves as our counselor and advocate...and he's always on the clock.
To demonstrate that the disciples are still attempting to comprehend what seems like a change of plans, Judas (the good one - not Iscariot) asks a pointed question in verse 22. He obviously has been thinking in terms of the establishment of an earthly kingdom up to this point as well. He then asks, "Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?" That's in response to Jesus' guarantee of individual manifestation in verse 21. Judas obviously was thinking, "If Jesus is the Messiah over a world-wide kingdom, how is it that he will only be selectively manifested to certain individuals?" However, Jesus is now talking about the very process of individual salvation and not an earthly kingdom. Moreover, Jesus introduces to them the clear understanding that the "prince of this world" (Satan) is coming.
Who's going to put this whole thing into perspective? Jesus answers that question as well in verse 26, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." The ministry of the Holy Spirit is to provide the direction of Jesus in every Believer. Life after salvation is differentiated and defined by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus makes a reference to Satan himself in verse 30 when he says, "for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me." Paul puts this "prince" reference into perspective in Ephesians 2:2 (see notes), "Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." In both passages, the Greek word "archon" is translated as "prince." Paul also identifies Satan in II Corinthians 4:4 (see notes) when he says, "...the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not..." Satan hoped the crucifixion would solve his problems, but the resurrection three days later had to be very disappointing to him. While Satan is not omniscient, he should have known what was up by Jesus' own words in John 12:31-33 (see notes), "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. This he said, signifying what death he should die."