I am pleased to offer my complete notes on John’s Gospel in pdf form, which can now be downloaded here.
I’ve added other commentaries under the download menu (hover cursor over menu then click on file, don’t click directly on the download menu). Thank you for reading. Father, thank You for speaking to us through thy word. Help us to prepare to meet your Son, that we may be ready when You send Him to fetch us home. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye 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 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.
Greetings in Christ!
In our last post, Jesus appeared to the disciples after rising from the dead. One of the things I found interesting in Israel was how they know where everyone is buried. The tombs of the patriarchs are in Hebron. Rachel’s tomb is in Bethlehem. Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi are buried on the Mount of Olives. The tombs of David and Absalom are in Jerusalem, as is the tomb of Mary the mother of Jesus. There is no consensus on the location of Jesus’ tomb, however, because it is empty. Praise be to God. After appearing to the disciples, Jesus then sent them to serve even as He was sent by his Father. (John 20:21) However, He was not just speaking to the apostles. The disciples who met Him on the road to Emmaus were there as well. (Cf Luke 24:33ff) All of us who believe are sent. We are part of the New Testament priesthood of believers. (1 Pet 2:5, 9) We have been given authority. (John 1:12; Mark 13:34; Rev 1:6) We have been sent. (John 20:21)
Speaking of Hebron, I found the Muslim marketplace there to be almost as interesting as the tombs of the patriarchs. I met a Palestinian lady who wanted to talk so I asked her how she felt about Jesus. When I told her He is coming back soon, she agreed. She said as a Muslim it is her belief that there will be an impostor who will preceed Him. She said she believes that those who are deceived by the impostor will be damned, and then Jesus will return. Of course, I told her that is what the Bible says too.
In this post, we come to the last chapter in John’s epic account of the life and times of Jesus Christ, THE KING OF THE JEWS … King of nations … KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, King of me. I hope He is your King too. Father, thank You for this glorious journey through John’s Gospel. I pray You will help us unpack this final chapter, that we may finish strong, hearing and receiving all that You wish to share with us for your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself.
2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples.
3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing.
People often find fault with Peter for going back to fishing. Maybe Peter did indeed go back to fishing when he ought to have been preaching. I tend to think that is so, but maybe he was just hungry? In any case, I believe the fish in our narrative represent souls. If you are going to go evangelizing, you need to keep Jesus at the center of all you do. (John 15:5) They toiled all night and caught nothing, but when Jesus shows up, suddenly the situation changes.
4 But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore: but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus.
5 Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? They answered him, No.
As always, Jesus knew the answer before He asked.
6 And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.
If you are feeling some déjà vu that would be because this same thing happened when Jesus called Peter the second time. (Luke 5:4ff) Could this mean this is the third time Jesus is calling Peter?
7 Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved [John] saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
Fishing naked? And they say this guy was the first pope?? Peter was certainly not anything like a pope. (1 Pet 5:2f)
8 And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes.
9 As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread.
10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
Why did the net not break as it did in Luke 5? Simple: they left the net in the water. Without the strain of lifting the net up out of the water, the net stayed intact. However, there is a fundamental spiritual truth here. New Christians need the word. If you catch a fish, you need to keep him in the water by the word (John 15:3; Eph 5:26) if you do not want him to get away. That is your responsibility as the one who caught him. I believe that is the significance behind the number of fish that they caught. Why would Jesus have them count the fish? Simple: The fish represent Christian souls. When you lead people to Christ you need to keep track of each and every one of them and be sure none are neglected.
12 Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord.
13 Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
Just as the bread and the fish represented the word of God and Christian souls when Jesus fed the multitude in Chapter 6, so do they here in Chapter 21. (This is what is known as the law of expositional constancy.)
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 ¶ So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Who are these? Some are of the opinion that Jesus was asking Simon if he loved Him more than the other disciples did. Peter made that claim and then failed. (Mark 14:29) Maybe Jesus was exhorting Peter not to be cocky. If so, Peter not only learned his lesson but preached it as well. (1 Pet 5:5f) Others say the these Jesus was referring to were the fish. Since Peter was fishing again, Jesus was asking him if he loved fishing more than Him. Either view seems to fit; something to meditate on.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
According to the Bible, love is not an emotion, but an action. (1 John 5:2f) Jesus is in effect saying Peter, if you love me, show it. I once heard of a church that had ‘Feed My Sheep’ painted on the side of their food van that distributed food to the poor. I thought they were being witty, as Jesus was speaking figuratively, telling Peter He wants him to teach the word. (Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4) But later I learned that John used two different Greek words for feed to describe what Jesus told Peter in Aramaic. I think that church may have been spot-on in their interpretation of what Jesus meant. Ie, feed them both physically and spiritually.
Jesus also used two different words for sheep and two different words for love; something else to meditate on:
boskó + poimainó = feed them his word and tend to them in other practical ways as well?
lambs + sheep = feed both the children and the adults?
agapeó + phileó = Because these two words seem to be used interchangeably in many cases in the New Testament, some feel it is splitting hairs to consider why the two different words are used. Notwithstanding, on a technical level agapeó signifies a deeper love; this is the word Paul used in 1 Corinthians 13. The word phileó is more of a brotherly love or affection. The first two times Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, He used agapeó, while Peter responded using phileó. Maybe Peter did not feel worthy to use agapeó; considering his failure on the night of the crucifixion, that would be understandable. The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him, Jesus used phileó. Peter responded again, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I philó thee. I will leave it to you to decide whether I am splitting hairs by bringing this up.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Peter denied Jesus three times, and three times Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. This grieved Peter, but he needed to hear it or else Jesus would not have repeated Himself three times. Three times Jesus reminds Peter, Feed my sheep.
18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Jesus tells Peter that although he failed Him before, when the time comes Peter will give his life for Him and will not fail. Peter will be crucified. Jesus then repeats the same thing He said the first time He called Peter (Matt 4:19): Follow me. The first time, Jesus said Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. I think Peter remembered that as Jesus said once more, Follow me.
20 Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
I thank God for Peter. He reminds me that maybe I’m not so bad after all. Jesus just got done telling him to feed his sheep and to follow Him … to the cross. Immediately, Peter puts his foot in his mouth and says “But what about John??”
22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.
Again, Jesus needs to remind Peter to follow Him and mind his own business. Peter may not look like much now, but he gets better. Before too long, in the Book of Acts, Peter will start leading people to Christ by the thousands. (Ie after Pentecost, when the church was empowered by the Holy Spirit.) In fact, Peter will become so spiritual that just passing by someone and touching them with his shadow will heal them. (Acts 15:15f)
23 Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?
24 This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.
25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
Jesus is everything. He is Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. Jesus is Prophet, Priest, and King. He is our Provider, our Righteousness, our Healer, our Saviour. If we do as He commands, He is our Brother and our Friend. (Mark 3:35; John 15:14) His commandment is that we love one another, as He has loved us. (John 13:34; 15:12, 17) John started by telling us Jesus is the Word made flesh. He ends with Jesus risen from the dead. I do not believe John was speaking figuratively when he made the statement about the world not being able to contain all the books that could be written about what Jesus did. Einstein said there are two ways of looking at things, either nothing is a miracle or everything is a miracle. I choose the latter. And if everything is a miracle that means a lot of books could be written about the things Jesus has done. And He’s just getting started. If the 7000-year timetable corresponding to the seven days of creation is correct — a model that goes all the way back to several of the church fathers — then soon and very soon this earth will experience a millennium of peace with Christ as King. (Acts 13:41) Father, thank You for all You have done through your Son, and thank You for all You have in store for us in the future. All creation groans in travail and earnest expectation over the Revelation of your Son. Please send Him quickly, Father. Please account us worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before Him. I pray this in his holy and precious name. The name above all names. Amen.
CODA: As I begin drafting this post, I am finishing up my one-month trip to the holy land. One of the many places I enjoyed visiting was the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum. There is a plaque in the shrine inscribed with Ezekiel 37:14: And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD. We are indeed living in the times of the signs. There in the Shrine of the Book they have a scroll of Isaiah, discovered at Qumran, that predates the time of Christ. It matches the Book of Isaiah in the Aleppo Codex word for word. Also housed in the Shrine of the Book, the Aleppo Codex was written in the 10th Century AD. Edited by Ben Asher, the last of the Masoretes, the Aleppo Codex was the oldest manuscript available until the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. (The King James translators used the Mikraot Gedolot of Ben Hayyim, which follows the Ben Asher text of the Aleppo Codex.) The discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran proves (yet again) that we have God’s word preserved for us today. When a scroll is found that predates the oldest manuscript we had by 1000 years and matches it exactly, that should settle the issue. The word of God is living. (Heb 4:12) The word of God cannot be broken. (John 10:35) Jesus said Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
Greetings in Christ! When we left off in our last post, Jesus appeared to Mary and told her to go tell the disciples that He was ascending to his Father and her Father, to his God and her God. As we pick up in Chapter 20, Mary goes to tell the disciples as Jesus instructed. But before we continue, let us consider the implications of the miracles that accompanied the crucifixion. These phenomena show not only how the God who attends the funeral of every sparrow (Matt 10:29) was grieving over the death of his Son, but what his death and resurrection mean in terms of the new covenant:
• As there was a ‘thick darkness’ at the giving of the law (Ex 20:21), so was there at the fulfillment of it. (1)
• As there was an earthquake at the giving of the law (Ex 19:18), so was there at the fulfillment of it. (2)
• As the law required a veil to separate man from God (Ex 26:33), the fulfillment of the law rent the veil in two. (3)
• As the giving of the law brought death (Ex 32:28), the fulfillment of the law brought life from death. (4)
These phenomena demonstrated that the time of the new covenant had arrived. (Jer 31:31; Heb 8:8) Together with the miracles of Jesus and the miracles of the apostles, there was abundant evidence for the new and living faith of Christianity — freedom from dead works; a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe through faith alone in Christ alone; the fulfillment of the promise of the coming Messiah. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
Give us understanding, Father, as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.
19 ¶ Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Just as Jesus did not need the stone to be rolled away to leave the tomb (the angel rolled the stone away for the disciples, not for Jesus), He did not need an open door to enter where the disciples were assembled. We will likewise receive bodies with extra-dimensional capabilities after the pattern of Jesus. Always patient and understanding, Jesus does not ask them why they are not on their way to Galilee as He instructed. (Matt 28:7; Mark 16:7) He simply blesses them.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
Here we have yet another demonstration of Jesus’ divinity. Just as God (the Son, I believe) breathed the breath of life into Adam (Gen 2:7), Jesus breathed the life-giving Holy Ghost into the apostles. Receiving the Holy Spirit is what brings us from death to life. (Rom 8:11; 1 Cor 12:13) It is the Holy Spirit that empowers the Christian. I ask to be filled with the Spirit every day.
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 ¶ But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
Verse 26 shows how they began meeting on Sunday immediately following the resurrection. In verse 19, it says they were meeting on the same day Jesus rose — the first day of the week. Here they are after eight days, meeting again on Sunday. The practice of meeting on Sunday continues in the Book of Acts and the epistles. (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor 16:2) I would never be legalistic about which day is the right one to meet on (Rom 14:5), but these verses show that the early church did indeed meet on Sunday.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
Jesus freely received this confession from Thomas, showing Jesus truly is God. (Isa 9:6; John 1:1; 8:58; Phil 2:6; 1 Tim 3:16; Heb 1:8; 1 John 5:7; Rev 1:8, 11, 17, 18; et al.) The apostles did not permit men to bow to them. When we see angels in Scripture, they likewise refuse worship. But Jesus freely accepts Thomas’ confession that He is God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.
30 ¶ And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.
John concludes Chapter 20 with his reason for writing his Gospel: that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name. This is the reason John is a great book to give a nonChristian. Isaiah 55:10, 11 says For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. If God had John write his Gospel so people will believe, they will. 1 John is another good choice to use for evangelizing, for the same reason. (1 John 5:13)
Our key verses in this section are 19, 21, and 26. The disciples had their peace stolen from them when Christ was crucified, but now He comforts and assures them by saying Peace be unto you. I believe He is saying the same thing to us. The fact that Jesus conquered the grave gives me great peace, but to have this peace, one must believe. Why was Thomas not with the others when Jesus appeared unto them? It does not say, but if I were to make an educated guess, I would say it was because of his unbelief. I suspect that even before they saw Jesus, the others had a measure of faith, and that is why they were together. Because of Thomas’ unbelief, he missed the blessing of seeing Jesus. He also missed the blessing of receiving the Holy Ghost when Jesus breathed on the disciples (v 22). Yet once Thomas saw the risen Lord, he confessed Jesus as My Lord and my God. He finally believed.
That, my friend, is the key to peace: Believing that God loves us enough to become a man, then suffer and die for us. Believing that He rose again from the dead. Believing that He freely forgave the ones who forsook Him and fled, denied Him, and doubted Him. Believing that He now lives in our hearts through faith (Eph 3:17) and all we have to do to receive his Spirit is ask. (Luke 11:13) Jesus said unbelief will weaken our ability to overcome the enemy. (Matt 17:20) The writer to the Hebrews puts it even more plainly:
…..Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
When I read the headlines of our day, it seems apparent why the world has no peace; why they are turning to opioids and committing suicide; I can see why their hearts are going to fail them for fear. (Luke 21:26) Yet in Christ, we have great peace — peace that passes understanding. In closing, if you are having trouble finding peace, especially if it is because of a trial you are going through, remember that the peace of God does not come from understanding. God’s peace passes understanding. (Phil 4:7) Father, thank You for giving us your Son. Increase our faith, Father, that we may sojourn here in peace, that we may boldly come before your throne of grace, and that we may have the confidence to follow wherever You may lead. That we may patiently occupy as we wait for your Son to return and fetch us home. We pray this in Jesus’ holy and precious name. Amen.
Prophecy Update: On several occasions, I have posted that the events of the last three years are leading to a worldwide digital ID, a precursor to the mark of the beast. (Rev 13:16-18) It is now being reported that the United Nations (UN) is planning to do just that, create a digital ID that will be linked to all bank accounts. Their plan is similar to a plan by the World Economic Forum (WEF) for digital IDs. Since its inception in 1945, the UN has been working toward the goal of world governance. While the UN functions as the administrative body, the more recent WEF raises funds from corporations and recruits world leaders to implement the UN plans. Incidentally, the WEF also has plans for Artificial Intelligence (AI) to write a new Bible that is “correct.” I have previously posted about how I believe AI will be an integral part of the new world order. Maybe even more so than I thought. These things are not to be ignored. Along with all the signs that Jesus gave us to look for, these events are converging with the apocalyptic pattern composed by the prophets. They are clarion calls telling us to get ready. It gives me great peace, knowing that Jesus knew what would happen and He told us in advance. The disciples seemed to often be worried and troubled but Jesus would then remind them not to fear and not to worry. Even when He was crucified, what looked like the greatest tragedy in the history of the world turned out to be history’s greatest victory. Yes, judgment is coming, but in the Bible, judgment is always paired with deliverance. Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
(1) Luke 23:44. The darkness during the last three hours of the crucifixion was observed as far away as Rome. According to Spurgeon, historical records show it was said at the time, “God is suffering, or the world is perishing.”
(2) Matthew 27:51. A modern geological study found evidence an earthquake took place at this time.
(3) Mark 15:38. The veil was torn from top to bottom, showing it was God who did it. Ancient Jewish writings testify the veil in the temple was a handbreadth thick, 60’ tall, and 30’ wide. It took 300 priests to move it. This description matches the description of the veil given by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem. Only God could have rent such a veil, just as He rent the rocks (Matt 27:51). Other similar rendings of statures and buildings at that time were noted by Seneca. By rending the veil in the temple, God demonstrated how the true Holy of Holies in heaven is now open to all who believe. (Heb 8-10) We no longer need a priesthood to mediate our approach to God as we now have access through Jesus, our High Priest. (1 Tim 2:5; Heb 4:14-16)
(4) Matt 27:52, 53. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
Greetings in Christ! In our last post, Jesus was still on the cross. Having paid for our sins, Jesus commended his spirit to his Father and gave up the ghost. (Luke 23:46) This brings us to the resurrection, one of the many things that distinguishes Christianity from all other religions. Father, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
34 But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. [Ps 34:20]
37 And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. [Zec 12:10]
38 ¶ And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. 
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews’ preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Chapter 19 ends with Jesus in the grave. Three days and three nights will pass before Chapter 20 opens on Sunday morning just before sunrise. (Matt 12:40; cf Jonah 1:17)
1 The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
In Mark’s Gospel, an angel tells Mary to go tell the disciples “and Peter” that Jesus is risen and He will meet them in Galilee. I’m sure Peter needed to hear that. He most likely thought Jesus was through with him.
2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved [John], and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him.
It does not say Mary was alone in verse 1, which is important to note in order to reconcile John’s account with those of the other Gospel writers. In fact, Mary’s use of the pronoun we in verse 2 indicates she was with the other women noted in the other Gospel accounts.
3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre.
4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre.
5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in.
6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie,
7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. [This verse seems to indicate that the Shroud of Turin is a fake.]
8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed.
In his own subtle way, John tells us he was the first to believe Jesus is risen.
9 For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.
10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 ¶ But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre,
12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.
13 And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.
14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
Interesting choice Jesus made, appearing to Mary first before anyone else. Not only were women given very little respect in the ancient world, but Mary was also known as a woman of ill repute. In other words, if not for Jesus, Mary would have been shown nothing but contempt. Yet the Bible says in Christ there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus and again, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. (Gal 3:28; 2 Cor 5:17) Despite the world’s attempts to paint Christianity as an oppressive system that holds women down, the fact remains that Jesus is the greatest liberator of women in the history of the world. If that were not true, Jesus would not have appeared first to Mary. If that were not true, Paul would not have entrusted his magnum opus, the Book of Romans, to a woman named Phebe. (2) Christianity elevated women to where they are today. In the areas of the world where the gospel has had no influence, women are still treated very poorly.
But why did Jesus tell Mary not to touch Him? One of the key chapters for unlocking the Bible is Leviticus 23. Leviticus 23:10, 11 says that following the Passover, a sheaf of the firstfruits was to be presented to the LORD on the morning after the Sabbath (Sunday). In other words, the Feast of Firstfruits points to Jesus as the firstfruits of the first resurrection. (1 Cor 15:20, 23) Jesus fulfilled the Feast of Firstfruits by presenting Himself to his Father after He rose from the dead. That is why Jesus told Mary not to touch Him. Yet He said it in a very gentle way: Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father:
Certain new versions have Jesus saying, “Stop clinging to me.” Many years ago, Dave Hunt wrote a book called The Seduction of Christianity (Harvest House, 1985) that revealed the damaging effects psychology was having on the church. This happened at a time when new versions were gaining popularity and displacing the KJV. When one carefully considers the subtle changes made to the text it is not hard to see why Christians started turning to psychology. (Eg “Stop clinging to me.”) If you read the KJV, God is going to nurture … admonish … and … humble you. (Eph 6:4; 2 Cor 12:21) If you read certain of the new versions, the same verses say God will “discipline … instruct … and … humiliate” you. I do not think there is any question that these and many other subtle changes left Christians seeking help from psychology, then led to movements like the emerging church and other forms of apostate Christianity where Christians no longer bother to bring their Bibles to church. None of the people we read about in the gospels needed psychology. What they needed was the pure bread of life. For a closer look at the bread that came down from heaven and how to keep from being deceived by counterfeits, see here. This is one link I highly recommend you click on and read. I do not usually say that but this topic gets to the heart of the matter concerning the deception that Jesus warned us about (Matt 24:4). Christianity is not a game and if there was ever a time when you need to Study to shew thyself approved unto God, that time is now. Father, thank You that your Son has conquered the grave. Thank You that He is coming back again for us. Thank You for keeping your promise to preserve your word for us. Draw us closer to You and direct our paths, for your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
PS: Earlier this week I had the privilege of visiting the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. After spending some time in the Small Chapel where I prayed and read Zechariah chapters 4-14, I happened upon some Americans holding a communion service in the Large Chapel. Receiving holy communion in the garden was an added blessing. There is a beautiful wine press in the garden and a perfect view of Golgotha, but I saved the best for last when I viewed the empty tomb. (More here.) Other sites I have visited so far include the old city of Nazareth, Capernaum and other sites around the Sea of Galilee, the pool of Siloam, the Mount of Olives, Bethlehem, Bethphage, and Bethany.
Praying in the Small Chapel.
The Large Chapel.
View of Golgotha from the Garden Tomb.
Exterior view of the tomb.
Interior view of the tomb.
PPS: (6/18/23) I was recently told by a learned guide here in Jerusalem that the Third Wall of the Second Temple period (near the Garden Tomb) did not exist at the time of the crucifixion. Agrippa I began construction on this wall circa 44 AD. Therefore, the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was without the gate at the time of the crucifixion, ie beyond the Second Wall. This site was chosen by Helena, the mother of Constantine. I still take this location with a grain of salt. Helena also chose the Sinai Peninsula as the location of Mt Sinai, while the Bible clearly says it is in Arabia. (Gal 4:25)
Prophecy Update: I recently reviewed the video from Dana Coverstone that I posted in July of 2020. I have often thought about whether Coverstone’s dream was truly prophetic. We have not seen anything like the ‘explosion’ when the fist hit the calendar in Coverstone’s dream. There has been no invasion by foreign troops. In the dream, the hand that tapped November on the calendar seemed to be significant because of the stolen election in 2020. As I said in my review of 2021, I am not going to vote for Trump again, but that does not change the fact that we had a stolen election. That does not change the fact that the coup is continuing into our next election cycle. I had almost made up my mind that Coverstone’s dream was not truly prophetic. In fact, I was planning on saying so in this post, but then Trump was indicted, again. In light of this and other recent developments, I have decided to once again reserve judgment on the dream until later. The peaceful transfer of power has been one of the features that has distinguished America as the land of the free ever since the end of the Civil War. With the Biden DOJ prosecuting Biden’s number-one challenger in 2024, things are not looking good, to say the least. Thankfully we have a blessed hope. (Hab 1:5; Luke 21:36; John 14:3; Acts 13:41; 1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16-18; Tit 2:13) In other words, knowing that Jesus was faithful to suffer and die for us, knowing that God was faithful to deliver his Son from the grave, and knowing He is coming back, we have nothing to worry about. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
(1) The pound John refers to here is the Roman libra, which was 11 oz or .725 lbs. Therefore, the myrrh and aloes that Nicodemus used to prepare Jesus’ body for burial weighed 72.5 lbs.
(2) See postscript following Romans 16, KJV.
Although John’s Gospel is not classified as prophecy, we have encountered several prophecies along the way, both made and fulfilled. For example, Jesus fulfilled several prophecies in our last post, like this one from the prophet Isaiah circa 700 BC: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Isa 53:7) As Prophet, Priest, and King, Jesus made several prophecies as well. In the section before us, Jesus will fulfill his many prophetic references to his hour. His hour has arrived, just as the coming night He spoke of is sure to arrive as well. (John 9:4; Matt 24:33) It’s inevitable, as sure as the rising of the sun, and the sands of time are running low.
When we last left off, Pilate had just handed Jesus over to be crucified. Since the beginning of Chapter 18, Jesus had to deal with Judas who betrayed Him; others sent to arrest Him with swords, staves, and torches; then the kangaroo courts of Annas and Caiaphas, then Pilate and Herod, then Pilate again. He had to face the fickle mob that turned against Him; then the Roman dogs who scourged Him, beat Him, mocked Him, and spit on him. (Not to mention the disciples who forsook Him and fled and the one who denied Him.) As Chapter 19 continues, Jesus is carrying his own cross to Calvary. At any time during this bloody nightmare, Jesus could have called 12 legions of angels to deliver Him (Matt 26:53), but his love for us constrained Him. Dehydrated and thirsty, He refused the vinegar they offered Him. (Matt 27:34) He drank the full cup of God’s wrath. He only accepted a drink of vinegar after our sins were paid for in full (John 19:28), fulfilling Psalm 69:21.
Here are a few more prophecies Jesus fulfilled, relating to his death and resurrection:
Enter Jerusalem on donkey Zechariah 9:8
Betrayed for 30 pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12, 13
Passover Lamb Genesis 22:8; Exodus 12:3-7
No bones broken Exodus 12:46; Psalm 34:20
Despised and rejected Isaiah 53:3
Forsaken by friends Psalm 31:11
Forsaken by his Father Psalm 22:1
Set captives free Isaiah 61:1
Gambled for his clothes Psalm 22:18
Beaten Isaiah 50:6 et al.
Shed blood for our sins Exodus 12:13 et al.
Conspired against Psalm 31:13
Scorned Psalm 22:8
Mocked Psalm 22:7
Thirsted Psalm 22:15
Pierced through hands and feet Psalm 22:16
Lifted up Numbers 21:9; John 3:14
Committed his Spirit to his Father Psalm 31:5
Interred in rich man’s grave Isaiah 53:9
Three days in the heart of the earth Jonah 1:17; Matthew 12:40
Raised in glory Psalm 16:10 et al.
Father, thank You for your Son and for his unspeakable gift. Give us understanding now as we read your word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
17 And he bearing his cross  went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha:
18 Where they crucified him, and two others with him [Isa 53:12], on either side one, and Jesus in the midst.
19 ¶ And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS.
The title (Gk titlos) was an inscription giving the accusation or crime for which a criminal suffered. (John 19:12)
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
This initiated the fulfillment of Matthew 24:14; Luke 24:47; etc. And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
Jesus is guilty as charged, which Pilate seems to understand.
23 ¶ Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
24 They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. [Ps 22:18] These things therefore the soldiers did.
25 ¶ Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved [John], he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Still thinking of others and not Himself, Jesus entrusted Mary to John. As Mary’s other sons were not yet believers, Mary would need someone to take care of her. She would be shunned now by the Jewish community.
28 ¶ After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
Jesus gave his life so we would never thirst. (John 4) But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: (John 7)
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Nailed to the cross, Jesus suffered the most excruciating form of execution ever devised. He was emaciated from fasting. (Ps 22:17) The irregular angle of his arms placed an unbearable strain on his shoulders, pulling them out of joint. (Ps 22:14) The pressure on the diaphragm made it impossible for Him to breathe without supporting Himself against the nail in his feet as his lungs slowly filled with fluid. He was completely dehydrated. The agonizing pain of the spikes driven through the median nerve in his wrists shot down into his spine, jerking his body erect and forcing the torn flesh on his back against the cross. They continued to mock Him saying, [I]f thou be the son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. All this was nothing compared to the agony Jesus suffered when He took on the sin of the world. God the Father, who will never allow sin in his presence, turned his back on his beloved Son while He bore the sin of all mankind. Jesus then quoted Psalm 22 and said, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? It wasn’t the spikes in his hands and feet that killed Him; He died of a broken heart—my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. (Ps 22:14)
Before Jesus died, He not only forgave his accusers (Luke 23:34), He forgave one of his fellow prisoners who repented, telling him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. … And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: (Luke 23:43ff) Luke used Jewish timekeeping, which started at 6:00 AM. Therefore, Jesus died at 3:00 PM, just as the other Passover lamb was sacrificed at the temple. Jesus is the true Passover Lamb; the lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. (John 1:29) During those three hours Jesus suffered as no man has ever suffered. His precious blood flowed from his back where he was scourged; it flowed from his face where they beat him with the reed and hit him with their fists. His blood flowed from his brow where He wore the crown of thorns; it flowed from his cheeks where they plucked off his beard. His precious blood flowed from his hands and his feet where they nailed him to the cross. That perfect sinless blood was shed for you and for me, and if you come to Him it will wash away your sins.
I wonder what some of the others were thinking at this point? The woman caught in adultery, for example? Or Zacchaeus? Or Blind Bartimaeus? What about the young people Jesus raised from the dead? Or their parents? Was the centurion whose servant Jesus healed there? Or the lepers Jesus healed? Or the woman who washed his feet with her tears? Or Malchus? Or Mary of Bethany? Or her brother Lazarus? What about the woman who poured ointment on Jesus’ head for his burial? As Jesus hung on the cross, He was paying for their sins. And ours.
Before Jesus yielded up the ghost He said, It is finished (Gk: tetelestai). Before his last breath, He assured us that his finished work on the cross is all that is necessary to remove our sins. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. His blood is fully sufficient to make you clean; nothing else is required. When the Lord forgives your sin, He remembers it no more. He removes it as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12); it’s gone.
After Jesus committed his Spirit into his Father’s hands, a Roman soldier pierced his side through with a spear [Zech 12:10] that found his heart as blood and water flowed out. The veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom. There was an earthquake, and great fear came upon those who watched. A centurion who stood by was cut to the heart. He confessed and said, Certainly this was a righteous man . . . Truly this was the Son of God.
In closing, consider these words from Paul’s epistle to the Hebrews: He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:28f) We have been given an unspeakable gift. Let us treasure and cherish Him accordingly. Amen.
Finally, we began this post with a reminder that the night is coming. The rest of the post was about what one has to do to escape it. The good news is it has already been done, by the only one who could do it. All that is left for us to do is to believe it. Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, the thief He was crucified next to, or Peter for denying Him. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom 8:1) It is finished. If you believe that, pray this: Father, I am a sinner. I receive your Son as my personal Saviour. Please take control of my life and direct my path, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Father, we know and believe that You will send your Son back soon. Please account us worthy through faith in his precious blood to be received up to be with You. Have mercy on us Lord. Create clean believing hearts within us. Renew our spirits and transform our minds. Thank You for your Son, Father. We love You now and always above all others. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prophecy Update: As the laws of the old republic give way to the edicts of one-world governance, Habakkuk 1:5 and Acts 13:41 are looking more and more imminent each day. I made it about halfway through the 316-page Durham Report before I could not take anymore. The Report begins with a pathetic attempt to justify the fact that no criminal charges were made. It then goes on to confirm what many observers, myself included, knew all along: The FBI investigation, code name Crossfire Hurricane, that took place from 2016 to 2017, and the subsequent Russia Investigation that took place from 2017 to 2019 were both hatched using elaborate forms of synthesized parallel construction. The result was a Kafkaesque coup attempt/ PSYOP directed against the American people. Clinton crimes were covered up while Trump crimes were made out of whole cloth. The media played their part, obediently parroting whatever they were fed and flooding the American mind with Soviet–style Izvestiia. However, these revelations are old news now and far from being the most significant news items concerning the emerging new world order. Let’s recap:
1. In 2020, the COVID pageant, funded by Trump, kicked off the depopulation program of the Great Reset. As a result, we now have the precedent and psychological conditioning necessary for a medical tyranny to be imposed by the new world order via mRNA shot mandates, digital IDs, and lockdowns (or Revelation 9:21).
2. In 2021, the longest war in American history (Afghanistan) ended, highlighting America’s inability (or unwillingness) to defeat one of the world’s poorest nations. As America is the nation that upholds the unipolar world order, a weakened American opens the door for a new world order (or Revelation 13:1ff).
3. The subsequent war in Ukraine is likewise weakening America, as support for the war in Europe is waning. Yet key objectives were met that will lead to WWIII, the next stage of the depopulation program (or Revelation 6:4):
a. Nordstream 2 Pipeline destroyed.
b. German-Russian business relationship terminated.
c. NATO expanded.
4. The departure from the dollar as the world reserve currency is accelerating because of blowback from sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. This will inevitably lead to economic collapse and the end of American hegemony, opening the door for a new-world-order currency (or Revelation 13:16-18).
Conclusion: As stated in the opening remarks, the sands of time are running low. These political developments only serve as markers on the prophetic timeline. Our citizenship is in heaven. In the words of the apostle Paul, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
(1) The Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witness) claims that Jesus was not crucified on a cross but an ‘upright’, ie a single beam. They often cite a medieval book called De Cruce Liber Primus which has an illustration of an upright beam used to crucify. What they don’t tell you, however, is that just a few pages later, the same book shows an illustration of a classic Roman cross.
In our last post, the people cried for the release of Barabbas, who was in custody for a murder he committed in an insurrection against Rome. (Mark 15:7) Maybe that was what the chief priests used to move the people against Jesus (Mark 15:11), as Jesus was not willing to help them fight the Romans like Barabbas was. After Barabbas was released, Jesus literally died in his place. Jesus was not the Messiah the world wanted, but He is the Messiah we needed. He died in my place too — and yours if you will receive Him.
Pilate was still in a bind. He knew that Jesus was innocent and the chief priests had delivered Him for envy. (Mark 15:10) Even his wife warned him not to convict Jesus because of a dream she had. (Matt 27:19) Yet Pilate also knew he had to find a way to pacify the angry mob. He had already been reprimanded by Caesar Tiberius for public disturbances. (1) Now the crowd that was singing Hosanna a few days ago was crying Crucify Him. Pilate tried to pass the buck to Herod only to have Herod send Jesus back again. He was running out of options. He was in danger of losing his position. In a last-ditch effort to appease the Jews, Pilate tried corporal punishment.
Father, thank You for your precious Son. We are not worthy to receive Him. Thank You that He has paid our debts in full and we are saved by grace through faith. Thank You that our salvation is not of ourselves. Thank You that it is a gift from You, not of works lest any man should boast. Give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
Unlike Jewish law, Roman law had no limit on the number of stripes administered. The prisoner was stripped naked and his back was exposed, either by being bent over a low pillar and shackled or being suspended by his wrists. The Romans used whips that had small pieces of bone or metal at the tips. After soft welts swelled up, subsequent blows tore off the skin and sliced into the muscles. The torn flesh exposed the nerves, while the loss of blood led to tachycardia and shock. Before his arrest, Jesus had already lost great drops of blood falling down to the ground through his sweat. (Luke 22:44) His body was dehydrated. The physical, mental, and spiritual strain He suffered is beyond comprehension. It was not uncommon for prisoners to die from the scourging before they were even crucified, but Jesus is not ready to call it quits yet. He is still in control.
2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
Thorns were part of the curse that sin brought into the world. (Gen 3:18) It fits, then, typologically that Jesus would be crowned with thorns. He redeemed the world from the curse (Col 1:20) as well as redeeming us from the curse of the law and paying for our sin. (Gal 3:13) Matthew tells us they placed a reed (or rod, cf Rev 11:1) in his right hand for a scepter to go with his crown and his robe. They bowed the knee to mock Him (Matt 27:29), then used the reed to beat Him as they spit on Him. (Mark 15:19) They then pulled out his beard, ripping the skin from off his face. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting.
3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands
Luke tells us Jesus was blindfolded before they hit Him, making the blows even worse since He did not see them coming. His visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men. They then taunted Him by asking Him to prophesy and tell them who hit Him. (Luke 22:64) I find it typical (typological) that Jesus was crowned and worshiped by Gentiles to mock Him as He was suffering for our sin. Christ is Lord of all. He is not only King of the Jews and the Gentile nations (Jer 10:7), He is the King of sorrow and pain as well.
4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
5 Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man!
A free translation might be, Look at the man, don’t you think that’s enough?
6 When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him.
7 The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.
8 ¶ When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid;
I should think he was afraid, afraid to kill the Son of God. Pilate had examined many men and he had never seen one who did not try to defend himself or beg for his life. Now he is starting to understand what made Jesus so different.
9 And went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer.
Jesus did not answer because He was not there for his own crimes. He was there for ours, and we have not defence.
10 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee?
11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Jesus could have condemned Pilate but instead He chose to minister to him. Again, let me offer a free translation: Your power was given to you by my Father. Yes Pilate, you are sinning, but no, it’s not unforgivable.
12 And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar’s friend: whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar.
13 ¶ When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha.
14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour : and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
15 But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar.
16 Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.
Matthew tells us that before Pilate handed Jesus over to be crucified, he washed his hands before the people and said I am innocent of the blood of this just person, to which the people replied His blood be on us, and on our children. Although Pilate was a Roman holding a Roman trial, he would have done well to consider Jewish law. Exodus 23:2 says Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil; neither shalt thou speak in a cause to decline after many to wrest judgment: Pilate was not known to vacillate when pressured, nor was he known for showing mercy. Ask the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. (Luke 13:1) Curious that such a man would try to get Jesus acquitted, but he clearly did. Curious still that he would fold under pressure. I believe Pilate knew deep down in his soul he was committing a horrible crime unlike anything he had ever done before. According to Eusebius, the church historian, there were two different accounts of what later happened to Pilate: He either committed suicide or was sent back to Rome and executed (or rather, forced to take his own life) because of a slaughter he perpetrated against the Jews. Regardless, when we look at how Pilate failed we see a sharp contrast to how Jesus prevailed — how despite the pressure He was under, despite the betrayal, torture, and shame, He never wavered. Jesus, always faithful, set his face like a flint and bore the sin of the world. My sin. Your sin if you will receive Him. Jesus never fails.
In closing, in our day and age, a brutal dictatorship is on the rise, much like the one that ruled in Jesus’ day. Our zealots are not as violent as Barabbas, but they still don’t have the solution to our problems. (3) Jesus is still not the Messiah the world wants, but He is still, now an always, the Messiah we need. For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; The blood that Jesus shed when He suffered for us is sufficient to pay for all our sins, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness; if we will only believe and repent, which just means to change your mind. The time is coming soon when Jesus will crush the tyrants, but for now we need to trust Him and be patient. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
Finally, there are some obscure church traditions that Pilate became a Christian. It’s a nice thought. Jesus died for us all whoever we are, no matter what we have done. The invitation is open to everyone. Father, thank You for the precious blood your Son shed for us that washes away all our sin. We pray that You will transform and renew our minds, that we may be conformed to his will and formed into his image, that the world may see Him living in us, that You may be glorified, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
1 Yonge, Charles Duke (1855). The Works of Philo Judaeus, The contemporary of Josephus, translated from the Greek. Vol. 4. London: H. G. Bohn. pp. 165–166.
2 John is using Roman time here, which started counting at midnight. Therefore it was 6 AM.
3 So far, 600 people have been convicted in connection with the events of January 6, 2021. Last week, four members of the Proud Boys (who were unarmed on Jan 6) were convicted of seditions conspiracy. A fifth member was not found guilty of sedition but all of them were convicted of multiple felonies. They now potentially face decades in prison. On Friday, DOJ prosecutors asked a federal judge to sentence Oath Keeper’s founder, Steward Rhodes to 25 years in federal prison. Please pray for them. IMO the only thing they are guilty of is loving our country and our Constitution.
Greetings in Christ.
Having stood trial before Annas and Caiaphas, Jesus will now be tried by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate. John skips over Jesus’ appearance before Herod Antipas while each of the Synoptic Gospels include it. Herod was an Edomite, ie a descendant of Esau. (Gen 36:8) Thus the contention between Jacob and Esau that began in Genesis 25:22 ends with Jesus standing before Herod. Despite how the situation may have appeared to Herod, the Herod family faded from history shortly thereafter, along with the rest of the Edomites. Yet the descendants of Jacob and the followers of Jesus live on.
Fast forward to 2023. By all accounts, it would appear that the new world order is winning. However, Just as Herod thought he was secure in his position only to lose it a short time later, the kingdoms of this world will soon be smashed to pieces by the Rock cut without hands. (Dan 2:35) The Bible says God is going to make a full end of all the nations whereunto Israel has been scattered. (Jer 30:11; 46:28) That includes the US. Wherever you reside — and whether you are a Jew or a Gentile — if you have not received Christ as your personal Saviour your house is built on a fragile foundation. Quicksand. Thin ice. But if you put your trust in Christ, your house will be supported by a solid Rock who will never fail you. (Matt 7:24ff) The invitation is open to everyone. (Rom 10:13)
Father, we see many troubling things transpiring in the world today. Help us to keep in mind that we need not be careful concerning these things, for we believe and we know that You are able to deliver us. But if not, strengthen us to endure any persecution the world may throw at us. Give us the strength to stand in the evil day, having done all to stand. Give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
29 Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man?
30 They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.
31 Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:
Technically, the Jews lost the right to administer capital punishment in 30 AD, right on time according to Jacob’s prophecy. Ie, the scepter did not depart from Judah until Shiloh [Jesus] came. (Gen 49:10) Yet in practice, they still executed people when they felt like it and Rome looked the other way. (Acts 7:58) However, Jesus’ adversaries did not want to see Him stoned, the method of capital punishment prescribed in the Torah; they wanted Jesus crucified. For that, they need the help of the Romans.
32 That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled, which he spake, signifying what death he should die.
33 Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
34 Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
In our postmodern age, truth is considered to be passé, an outdated concept from a bygone age. This paradigm shift has prepared the world for the Antichrist. The only way to protect yourself from this deceiver is to receive the truth. (John 14:6)
38 Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.
Although Jesus did not answer him directly, the answer to Pilate’s question is found in John 14:6. Jesus is the truth. If you continue in Jesus’ word then you are his disciple indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. (John 8:31f)
39 But ye have a custom, that I should release unto you one at the passover: will ye therefore that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
40 Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but Barabbas. Now Barabbas was a robber.
Solomon wrote that there is no new thing under the sun. Beginning in the Garden of Eden, man has consistently chosen the bad over the good. Adam and Eve chose to follow the serpent by eating the fruit of the tree of wisdom. Their firstborn son likewise rebelled against God’s divine order. When his sacrifice was rejected he killed his brother out of jealousy. The rebellion in the heart of man continued until God ended it with a flood. Soon after, man rebelled once more and built a tower in defiance of God’s order to replenish the earth. They were on course to succeed for as God observed, now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. So God thwarted their plans by destroying their tower and confusing their language when He scattered them abroad across from thence upon the face all of the earth. This all happened within the first eleven chapters of the Bible. The rest of history continued in like manner, ie man rebelling against God and choosing evil over good. When the Deliverer that God promised to Adam and Eve arrived (Gen 3:15), instead of rendering Him the honor and worship He deserved, we rejected Him and cried, ‘Give us Barabbas’.
Nevertheless, God was faithful to forgive us and continue his program of reconciliation. Over the course of many centuries, countries that received the gospel gained rights and protections for their citizens. Laws based on Christian principles brought freedom. Christian education eventually became available to everyone. The standard of living in Christian countries reached unprecedented levels. In countries that rejected the gospel, the rights of women and the poor remained in the dark ages. But even in the West where freedom and justice flourished, these things did not come easily. They had to be fought for and paid for with blood. Abraham Lincoln believed that the blood spilled in the Civil War was a judgment from God for the sin of slavery.
Moving forward, in countries where people read their Bibles and sought to obey them, generation upon generation built a society that had protections built into the system in key areas like law, finance, and medicine. Yet we now face a watershed moment when all these hard-won achievements are being stripped away virtually overnight. One such example would be the safeguards built into the system for the approval of new drugs. New vaccines normally took upward of a decade to finish trials and testing for safety. Yet Trump set a new precedent that has become the new normal with Operation Warp Speed, when he rammed the new shots through without regard to the normal safety procedures. In another unprecedented manner, Trump locked down the entire nation, bypassing the safeguards of the Constitution, while telling us we were “non-essential.” This led to the biggest transfer of wealth in the history of the United States, as the big box stores continued to operate without competition while small businesses went out of business. Yet many are still crying for this man to lead us.
Almost a year ago, I mentioned the efforts at the WHO to establish a treaty that would effectively end national sovereignty, making the UN director general all-powerful under the guise of medical safety. Those efforts were tabled shortly afterward but another attempt has surfaced now, scheduled to be put before the World Health Assembly in May of next year. If they are successful, it will effectively end freedom in America, destroying everything we have built, struggled for, and died for, dating back to the Revolutionary War. Yet many still trust the UN to lead the world. The founding fathers saw this coming:
“Unless we put medical freedom into the Constitution, the time will come when medicine will organize into an undercover dictatorship and force people, who wish doctors and treatments of their own choice, to submit to only what the dictating outfit offers.”
— Dr. Benjamin Rush
There are so many other things we could talk about. First Amendment freedoms are hanging by a thread. (See here and here.) I just picked Trump and the WHO treaty because for many people, one or the other represents a Barabbas of sorts. Regardless, even if we set aside Trump and the WHO, the message is coming through loud and clear for anyone who has eyes to see: Prepare to bow down to the image of the beast and take his mark in your right hand or forehead. Yet instead of turning back to Jesus, the world is conceding to the godless new technocracy, in many cases even welcoming and embracing them, just as they will embrace the beast and the false prophet when they come. (Rev 13:4) In other words, the world is crying, Give us Barabbas.
In closing, Pilate gave in to a mob mentality. Afraid he would lose his position if he did not capitulate to the crowd, he handed over Barabbas and had Jesus crucified. Likewise, we can either stand in the evil day or we can give in to a mob mentality. We can choose the way of the world (and much of the ‘church’), or we can choose Christ. We can choose to worship Him in Spirit and in truth. Remember his words to Pilate: To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
…..Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
…..Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
…..Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
…..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.
…..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.
…..And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
….The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre.
….And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus.
John 20:1, 14
Greetings in Christ!
Christianity is unique in that it is built on the resurrection of its founder. While the founders of other religions are still in their graves (1) Jesus’ tomb is empty! Christianity is also unique in the vast amount of archeological evidence supporting the claims of Scripture. For example, in 1881, Major-General Charles Gordon found a garden at the west foot of Golgotha. After excavating and removing five feet of rubbish, Gordon found a Roman-era tomb, cut in a wall of solid rock, with a trench in front for a stone to be rolled to the door…
“The Tomb is a room 14 feet wide, 10 feet deep, 7 1/2 feet high. As you enter, there are, at the right, two graves, one next to the front wall, and one next to the back wall. … They are slightly lower than the front of the room, with a low diving wall between. The front grave seems never to have been completed. Indications were that only the rear grave had ever been occupied, and that with no marks of mortal corruption. The tomb is sufficiently large for a company of women and two angels to stand inside, with room at the head and the feet where an angel could sit (Mark 16:5; John 20:12). A window where, at dawn, the sunlight would fall on the occupied grave. … Every item fits the Scripture account.
“Further, according to Eusebius, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, in his persecution of the Christians, A.D. 135, built a temple of Venus over the tomb where Jesus had been buried. Constantine, the first Christian Emperor, A.D. 330, destroyed this temple of Venus. General Gordon, in the debris which he cleared away from the tomb, found a shrine-stone of Venus. He found traces of a building that had been erected over the tomb. Above the tomb entrance, two recesses characteristic of Venus temples.
“Further, in a vault adjoining the tomb, a tombstone was found inscribed, ‘Buried near his Lord.’
“So, all in all, there seems to be a very good basis for the opinion that this ‘Garden Tomb’ was the actual spot where Jesus was buried, and from which He came forth ALIVE.” (2)
Today, the Garden Tomb is a popular tourist attraction in Jerusalem. It stands as a testimony for all the world to see that Jesus’ grave is empty. Jesus has conquered the grave not only for Himself, but for all who believe in and receive Him. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
The evidence for the resurrection has been thoroughly examined, more so than any other historical event, convincing some of the greatest legal and historical authorities of all time of its veracity. (3) He is risen!
….I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.
Father, thank You for the resurrection of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in his holy and precious name, the name above all names. Amen.
PS: (6/18/23) I was recently told by a learned guide in Jerusalem that the Third Wall of the Second Temple period (near the Garden Tomb) did not exist at the time of the crucifixion. Agrippa I began construction on this wall circa 44 AD. Therefore, the location of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was without the gate at the time of the crucifixion, ie beyond the Second Wall. This site was chosen by Helena, the mother of Constantine. I still take this location with a grain of salt. Helena also chose the Sinai Peninsula as the location of Mt Sinai, while the Bible clearly says it is in Arabia. (Gal 4:25)
Prophecy Update: In ancient Israel, a ram’s horn was blown by a groom to alert his bride he was on his way, coming to snatch her away for their wedding. For a Christian in the twenty-first century, the headlines of our day are like blasts from rams’ horns heralding the Lord’s soon return.
While it’s true that our situation looks bad, it looked bad for the disciples as well after Jesus was crucified. It appeared all was lost. Then just as He promised, three days later, there He was saying, Peace be unto you. In our time, all the hard-fought-for gains made over the last several hundred years in creating a civil and egalitarian society are going up in flames. Things we have taken for granted like free and fair elections, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion are being reduced to ashes. Yet the new world order continues to control the narrative. Like a stage magician who uses misdirection, their media arm carefully steers the attention of the populace in a specific direction, intentionally pitting us against each other. The powers that be are executing a classic divide-and-conquer strategy using the left-vs-right template. For example, the drama surrounding Trump is pure political theater. Trump should be prosecuted for crimes against humanity for his role in Operation Warp Speed (which has already led to the deaths of millions) but instead, we get Stormygate. Instead of focusing on real issues that have real consequences, people pick their team, left or right, and adopt an us-vs-them mentality. If we are busy fighting each other, we will never be able to focus on the real enemy.
I have been watching how this game is played long enough to see a pattern here. In the nineties, the Clinton
impeachment show trial distracted from Clinton’s version of Chinagate and focused on Lewinskygate (Clinton’s affair with an intern). Fast forward to 2023 and instead of focusing on pertinent issues like Biden’s Chinagate or the vindication of the January 6 political prisoners (Not to mention catastrophes like Palestine, OH, or Sy Hersh’s bombshell about the US sabotage of the Nordstream Pipeline) we are given the Trump distraction. We are given the recent admissions that those crazy conspiracy theorists who said the COVID virus came out of a Wuhan lab were right after all; this is just another distraction to keep people from focusing on the real bioweapon — the mRNA shots. Yet the mRNA shots are just one component of the neo-feudal system they are busy constructing where everyone will supposedly ‘own nothing and be happy‘.
A Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) looks inevitable unless people resist by creating alternatives. Not likely, as we have been much too slow to respond to the threats posed by CBDCs, not to mention the crackpot sanctions that backfired and accelerated the passing of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The Silicon Valley Bank debacle and the ensuing bank runs were in all likelihood engineered to help the new world order bolster their case for CBDCs. Many of the smaller banks affected by the runs were involved with cryptocurrencies, competitors to the inevitable CBDCs which therefore need to be stifled. (This is the same reason for the FTX Sam Bankman-Fried debacle, ie to create the perception that cryptocurrencies are bad and must not be allowed to exist.) The bigger banks that follow the rules of the new world order are hoping they will be rewarded with some sort of role in the new economy once the CBDCs are implemented, as CBDCs are designed to cut out the need for banks altogether. Ethereum users call this bankless system Decentralized Finance or DeFi. A similar model will be utilized for CBDCs. Eliminating banks may sound good in theory, but in practice CBDCs will be programmed to work in tandem with social-credit scores and digital medical IDs, ultimately leading to the mark of the beast John wrote of in Revelation 13. The snowballing national debt has the US Debt to GDP Ratio at over 120%. What that means is we are at the point where the charade is almost over and the bubble is about to burst. (Perhaps triggered by an engineered cyberattack.) This will set the stage for the implementation of CBDCs.
One development that I find particularly interesting is the phasing-in of artificial intelligence (AI) and Chat GTP. The ability of Chat GPT to answer philosophical questions and write things like articles, reports, poetry, and even advanced computer code is truly amazing. Of course, Chat GPT not only has built-in restraints and collars but it is surely nowhere near as sophisticated as the AI that the government keeps classified for its own use. One leading expert in the field has said that if AI technology is not completely shut down “everyone will die.” Regardless, I do not expect much to come from the recent call for a six-month moratorium on AI. Bill Gates, for example, scoffs at the idea. AI technology has been around for a long time so one has to ask, why is it dominating headlines now? I think this story about Romania announcing it now has an official government AI advisor may provide a clue. The PM of Romania is encouraging citizens to interact with the new AI advisor, so it can better advise the PM. Klaus Schwab of the WEF has stated that whoever masters AI technologies “will rule the world.” (Cue the antichrist.)
The US continues to
send launder billions through the war in Ukraine, with a plethora of headlines screaming WWIII is just around the corner. Yet, things are changing. Just as I predicted in March of 2020, the global chessboard has been reset. China recently brokered a historic peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. US protection from Iran was the carrot that kept the Saudis onboard with the US petrodollar. Now China has taken that role in what looks like the last nail in the coffin of the petrodollar. The petrodollar’s monopoly on the worldwide oil market is effectively finished — and with it, the ability of the US to maintain global hegemony. The list of countries already moving away from the dollar includes Russia, China, Iran, Brazil, Argentina, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Pakistan, Malaysia, and India. The effects on a US economy that is already floundering will be devastating. China is working on a peace deal for Ukraine and Russia as well, as unlikely as that may seem. Nevertheless, the US has gone from being the undisputed world leader in international affairs to a corrupt plutocracy attempting to spread the LGBTQ+ agenda to the rest of the world. China, of course, will also fail miserably as a world leader. The disorder; the disintegration of the rule of law; the loss of faith in our institutions; it is all part of the plan of the new world order — preparation to bring in one-world government. The world is looking for a savior, but he who now letteth [hinders] will let, until he be taken out of the way. (2 Thess 2:7) “He who letteth,” or hinders the antichrist from assuming power, is the Holy Spirit working through the church. Once the church is taken out of the way, Satan can cue the antichrist. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: (2 Thess 2:8) In other words, we do not know when the rapture comes but we know it happens before the antichrist is revealed. This is a key detail to remember. The great tribulation period cannot begin until we are taken out of the way.
In conclusion, I do not expect that we will have to wait much longer but if the Lord tarries we will have to exercise longsuffering accordingly (Gal 6:22). That means preparing now. The time to repair your armor is before the battle, not when you are engaged in it.
Finally, we merely painted some broad strokes here. I did not even mention the food supply issues compounded by soaring costs for farmers and a poor planting season, the fentanyl epidemic, natural disasters like the earthquake in Turkey, or the perverse sexualization of America’s children. Indeed, many believe we are on the verge of a global ‘everything collapse‘, or in other words, exactly what the Bible predicts. One thing remains certain: When we are caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, none of today’s headlines will matter. As a dream when one awaketh, they will be nothing more than a memory; even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. The Groom is preparing to blow his shofar. (1 Cor 15:52) Be ready.
For a biblical primer on where we are on the prophetic calendar, I recommend Where Did All the People GO? by yours truly.
(1) For example, Buddha’s ashes are buried beneath the Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, India. Muhammad is buried beneath the Green Dome in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
(2) Halley’s Bible Handbook, p 552.
(3) Consider the case of Simon Greenleaf. Greenleaf held the chairs of both the Isaac Royall Professorship and the Nathan Dane Professorship at Harvard University. He is considered one of the greatest legal minds the United States has ever produced. Greenleaf was an agnostic who believed the resurrection of Christ to be a hoax, yet he accepted a challenge from one of his students at Harvard University to consider the evidence for the resurrection. Greenleaf set out to disprove the gospel but instead ended up concluding that any fair and reasonable court of law would rule that the resurrection is indeed a fact, based on the evidentiary rules of law. Greenleaf ended up converting from agnosticism to Christianity and wrote the classic book, Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice.
Greetings in Christ!
In our last post, Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of the chief priests and the Pharisees, who then turned Jesus over to Annas and Caiaphas — the Sadducees who ran the temple (Luke 3:2). The Pharisees (the conservatives) and the Sadducees (the liberals) were willing to set aside their differences because of their mutual hatred of Jesus. A similar situation transpired between Herod Antipas and Pilate. (Luke 23:12) This phenomenon is still alive and well in the ecumenical movement. As world religions partner with one another to ‘coexist’ (as can be seen, for example in the recently opened Abrahamic Family House in the UAE) what we are seeing is the formation of the One World Religion of the beast and the false prophet. (Rev 13) The one thing these religions all agree on is Jesus is not the only way to the Father in heaven, as He clearly stated in John 14:6.
Father, give us understanding as we read thy word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.
Caiaphas made this statement in John 11. John tells us he spake this not of himself, but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation. (John 11:51)
15 ¶ And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple: that disciple was known unto the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest.
The other disciple is John.
16 But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter.
17 Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man’s disciples? He saith, I am not.
18 And the servants and officers stood there, who had made a fire of coals; for it was cold: and they warmed themselves: and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself.
19 ¶ The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine.
20 Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing.
This statement by Jesus is important to keep in mind when a cult tells you they have secret knowledge of Jesus. God’s ‘secrets’ are all recorded in the Bible. (Amos 3:7) There is no ‘secret book’ or ‘secret plan’ or ‘secret place’ where Jesus is being kept. When He returns it will be for all to see. (Matt 24:27) Anyone who says otherwise is a deceiver.
21 Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: behold, they know what I said.
22 And when he had thus spoken, one of the officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest so?
Being the patriarch, Annas was still considered the high priest by the Jews. Although the Romans had deposed him, Annas managed to secure the position for Caiaphas, his son-in-law (as well as five of his own sons at other times). Little did the officer know he was striking the true High Priest.
23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me?
In verse 21 Jesus pointed out that it was illegal according to their own extrabiblical laws to ask Him to testify against Himself. They were supposed to call witnesses, as Jesus suggested. After they struck Him, Jesus again points out that they were acting outside the law (cf Acts 23:3). All in all, 18 Jewish laws were broken during Jesus’ trial. (See here.) For example, the high priest rent his clothes (Mark 14:63) which was illegal according to the Torah. (Lev 21:10)
24 Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest.
Now Annas sends Jesus to his son-in-law. Only John records the details above when Jesus appeared before Annas. His appearance before Caiaphas is narrated in the Synoptic Gospels.
25 And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art not thou also one of his disciples? He denied it, and said, I am not.
26 One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him?
27 Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.
In Luke’s Gospel, we read that after Peter denied Jesus the third time the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. (Luke 22:61) And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. Although John poked fun at his friend Peter in other places, he downplayed the rooster incident. Out of respect for his friend, I believe, as well as a deep understanding of God’s grace.
When we sin, Jesus waits patiently for us to repent. The Bible says if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Not rebuke such a one, or worse yet gossip about such a one.) Peter went on to do great things for Jesus because Jesus is a God of second chances, third chances, and 490 chances. (Matt 18:22)
28 ¶ Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.
As our section ends, we see the Jewish leaders straining at gnats swallowing camels. They are conspiring to kill the Son of God, yet they are careful not to enter a Gentile building so they can eat the Passover. This shows the striking contrast between religion and the Christian faith. Religion is man’s attempt to reach God. Christianity is God’s plan to reach man. It is a simple relationship with God through faith in his Son — faith in what He did for us when He suffered and died for us on a bloody cross on Calvary. We believe that He died in our place, paying the price for our sins. Then we take up our own cross and follow Him wherever He leads. If we sin — like Peter — Jesus forgives us when we confess our sins to Him and repent, which means to change your mind. When Jesus rose from the dead, the women were instructed to tell Peter that Jesus wanted to see him. (Mark 16:7) Jesus then told Peter He still wanted him to minister the gospel for Him. (John 21:15ff) If you have sinned, Jesus will forgive you too, just as He forgave Peter. It was Spurgeon who said ‘You could no sooner exhaust the grace of God than you could drink the Atlantic ocean’. His mercy endureth for ever.
Father, thank You for being a forgiving, merciful, God who welcomes us back home when we sin and stray away, just as You did Peter. We are only dust Father, jars of clay, leaky vessels. Fill us with your Holy Spirit day by day and draw us close to your Son, that we may love Him as He deserves and serve Him in the power of the Holy Spirit as the Spirit leads, that we may be transformed from jars of clay into vessels of honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prophecy Update: [T]hrough much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. We continue to see the effects of the so-called Great Reset, which as you have probably noticed is all about giving us less for more. The fact that you are taking time to read a prophecy update means you probably already have a pretty good idea of what we are facing. Rather than giving a laundry list of the latest dreary headlines, I thought it might be more prudent to discuss what our perspective should be, in light of these events.
Although the specters of war, financial collapse, and dystopian tyranny may look scary, all things considered, I do not think we have it any worse than the Christians we read about in the Bible had it. In any event, ease and comfort should not be our focus. That is not what being a Christian is about. Being a Christian is about taking up your cross and being filled with the Spirit, which comes through meditating each day on the word of God. Jesus suffered more than anyone. Paul suffered far more than any of us, yet he said he learned to be content. We all have to learn to be content. Instead of focusing on what I do not have, I give thanks for what I do have. I count my blessings. We all have things to be thankful for if we think about it. If you are depressed or fearful about the future, consider a study out of Ohio State University which found that the best cure for depression and anxiety is acts of kindness. This fits with what our Lord said, how it is more blessed to give than to receive. He asks that we be patient. Yes, hard times are upon us. Maybe that is not such a bad thing. A wise man once said that little by little, God takes away all the things that tie us to this earth. We may not be rich in mammon but in Christ we possess the true riches. We are living stones, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, made to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that we should show forth the praises of him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvelous light: This world will soon perish but in Christ we have everlasting life.
Father, help us to be content and to find our peace in You. Help us to find our joy in You. Help us to look to You for our satisfaction and contentment and not to this world or worldly things like possessions or advancement. Increase our faith. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
…..Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
…..But godliness with contentment is great gain.
1 Timothy 6:1
…..And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
1 Timothy 6:8
…..Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
In the final analysis, and I believe this with all my heart, all the turmoil we see in the world today is evidence pointing to the soon return of our Lord. The events taking place in our day are like trumpet blasts from ram’s horns, sounding the alarm, telling us to prepare to meet our King. He is coming. Get your affairs in order. Make restitution where necessary. Trim your lamp and make sure it is filled with oil.
…..Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
…..Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20, 21