Year of the Bible – John 11:1-17:26

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“There is a judge for the one who | rejects me and does not accept | my words; that very word which | I spoke will condemn him at | the last day.” –  John 12:47

John 11:1-17:26 (17:1-19)

The hatred that arose against Jesus is hard for us to reason out. Why would He who raised Lazarus from the dead be so hated by the leaders of the Jewish people? Why would one who rode humbly upon a donkey cause mighty kings to tremble? Why would one who washed the feet of His disciples and urged them to have the same attitude towards each other be betrayed and denied? All causes of hatred can be found in man, not in Jesus.

The Pharisees and leaders of the Sanhedrin hated Jesus because people were putting their faith in Him. Rejecting the belief that Jesus was the Messiah, they considered Him a political figure capable of leading insurrection and revolt—which, they reasoned, would place them and their own lives at risk. Men hated Christ because He had come to drive out the “prince of this world.” The devil, who holds men captive through fear, uses the fear of God and His judgment to drive men into hating God even more.

When Christ showed mercy and kindness towards sinners, the hatred of men was stirred against him by the prince of the world. Satan did not want the world to know that God is merciful and that He would mercifully save even the greatest of sinners. He did not want men to realize that God had willed salvation for all, that it was a free gift, not based upon human worthiness but upon God’s mercy. Because of this, men hated Jesus because He made all human righteousness invalid before God and His judgment. The sinner can only find mercy before God through Christ’s promise—that is, HIS NAME.

If Jesus, the Son of God, was treated in this way, then His disciples should expect the same. By remaining in Him as branches are within a vine (15), though the world will hate us, the Holy Spirit will preserve us. God will uphold and keep us in this faith through every trial and tribulation of life. In fact, such tribulations on account of Christ are to be taken as a sign of God’s approval and a mark of faithfulness to the Gospel. Like Daniel, who prayed for his church, Jesus also prayed for His disciples, for them and for us, that we would not be taken from the world, but, being left in the world, that we would be spared the wrath and power of the “evil one” by means of faith in the Gospel, spared to confess His name to the entire world.

Questions – John 11

  1. Give three reasons why people hate Jesus.
  2. What treatment should we expect for being disciples of Christ in an anti-Christ world?
  3. What promise does God make to all who would suffer for the Name of Christ?
  4. What (Who) sustains and keeps us in the faith through tribulations?
  5. Why did Jesus pray for His disciples and for us?
© John W. Fiene | Artwork by Brian McFarland