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|This is the New King James text of the passages.|
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:
Denial foretold (Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-34; John 13:36-38)
|31 ¶ Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
32 But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
33 ¶ Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”
34 ¶ Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that this night, before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”
35 ¶ Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” ¶ And so said all the disciples.
|27 ¶ Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written:
‘I will strike the Shepherd,
And the sheep will be scattered.’
28 ¶ “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
29 ¶ Peter said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble, yet I will not be.”
30 ¶ Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
31 ¶ But he spoke more vehemently, “If I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” ¶ And they all said likewise.
|31 ¶ And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.
32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”
33 ¶ But he said to Him, “Lord, I am ready to go with You, both to prison and to death.”
34 ¶ Then He said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster shall not crow this day before you will deny three times that you know Me.”
|36 ¶ Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” ¶ Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.”
37 ¶ Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.”
38 ¶ Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.
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 you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren." The word "converted" there in the KJV ("and when thou art converted") 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, "Then they all forsook Him and fled."
What about the swords? (Luke 22:35-38)
|35 ¶ And He said to them, “When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?” ¶ So they said, “Nothing.”
36 ¶ Then He said to them, “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one.
37 For I say to you that this which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors.’ For the things concerning Me have an end.”
38 ¶ So they said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” ¶ And He said to 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 money bag, knapsack, and sandals here are obvious references to Luke 10:4, "Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road." 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 struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s 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 numbered with 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 "numbered with 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.
The way, the truth and the life (John 14:1-6)
|1 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.
2 In My Father’s 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 to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.
4 And where I go you know, and the way you know.”
5 ¶ Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?”
6 ¶ Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through 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 do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?" Verse 6 is your apologetics verse for proclaiming your position in Christ, "Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through 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 "home." 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)
Jesus talks of a revelation of God, the Father (John 14:7-14)
|7 ¶ “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
8 ¶ Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”
9 ¶ Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.
11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
12 ¶ “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If you ask anything 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, "I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to 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, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked 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 lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to 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."
Help's on the way! (John 14:15-31)
|15 ¶ “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.
18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
19 ¶ “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.
20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
22 ¶ Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?”
23 ¶ Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.
25 ¶ “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
27 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
28 You have heard Me say to you, “I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
29 ¶ “And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe.
30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.
31 But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
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 "Helper" in verse 16. The Greek word for "Helper" 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/NKJV. 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 You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to 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 Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to 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 ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me." Paul puts this "prince" reference into perspective in Ephesians 2:2 (see notes), "in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience." In both passages, the Greek word "archon" is translated as "prince" in the KJV and as "ruler/prince" in the NKJV. Paul also identifies Satan in II Corinthians 4:4 (see notes) when he says, "...whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe..." 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 the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.' This He said, signifying by what death He would die"