John 17:10-12 – What’s Mine Is Thine



It is as true of us as it was of the Hebrew kingdom saints of whom the Lord said to the Father, “all mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine” (v. 10).  But is He glorified in you as He was “glorified in them” (v. 10)?  To answer must ask…

…how could He be glorified in the likes of the 11?  Well, He was worthy to receive glory in them because He died for them (Rev. 5:11, 12), as a fireman is glorified in a child he rescues.  And He is glorified in you if you are saved—although you could glorify Him more by serving Him!

Of course, if you don’t let Him be glorified in you, He will be glorified in you when He has to judge you (cf. Ezek. 28:21, 22), just as it glorifies a judge when he judges a criminal guilty and gives him the death penalty, and shames him when he doesn’t give it to a man worthy of death.

How could the Lord say, “I am no more in the world,” when He was still here (v. 11)?  He calls things which be not as though they were (Rom. 4:17).  That’s also how He can say you are glorified (Rom. 8:30) and seated in heaven (Eph. 2:6).  And since God has promised these things, He considers them as good as done.  Since the Lord was sure He’d die for us, He considered Himself as good as gone!

The disciples were still “in the world” (Jo. 17:11) but not of the world (15:19).  That’s what God wants of us as well!

The Lord asked the Father to “keep” the 11 (17:11), i.e., keep them saved (Ju. 1:24).  He called Him “Holy ” because when God swears an oath, He swears by His holiness (Ps. 89:35), and He swore an oath that Christ is an anchor to the believer’s soul (Heb. 6:17-20). The Lord was reminding the Father of His holiness in asking Him to keep them.

He added pressure by saying, “keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me” (Jo. 17:11).  God promised to keep believers safe, and He’d get a bad name if He didn’t (cf. Ezek. 20:13, 14; Jer. 14:7, 20, 21).  It’s the only reason Israel will someday get their kingdom after sinfully crucifying God’s Son (Ezek. 36:22-25).  In teaching them to pray “hallowed be Thy name,” the Lord was teaching them to pray as He prayed, reminding God of how He always protects “the honor of his name” (Ps. 66:2).  No wonder saints are told to flee for safety to His name (Pr. 18:10).

But if the 11 were eternally secure (Jo. 10:28, 29), why’d the Lord have to ask the Father to “keep” them?  Here we have an example of praying in accord with the revealed will of God, as when God told Israel He’d curse them with no rain if they were bad and Elijah prayed for a drought (Ja. 5:17).

The Lord and His Father were “one” (Jo. 10:30), and He prayed that the 11 would be as one as they were (Jo. 17:11), a prayer God answered (Acts 4:32).  This too was praying in accord with God’s revealed will (Jer. 32:39; Ezk. 11:19, 20).

The Lord kept the apostles safe when He was here, but He was leaving (Jo. 17:12), so He asked the Father to keep them safe.  But if “none of them is lost, but the son of perdition,” does that mean they weren’t secure?  Well, when Paul said, “there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship” (Acts 27:22), the ship wasn’t part of the lives that couldn’t be lost, and Judas wasn’t part of the apostles that couldn’t be lost.  If you are wondering why, the Lord said it was the Father’s will “that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing” (Jo. 6:39), but He added that “this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth… may have everlasting life” (v. 40), and Judas didn’t believe.

That’s why he was called “the son of perdition” (Jo. 17:12), not the son of God.  Perdition is a name for hell, where the antichrist is going (Rev. 17:11), so being a son of perdition was opposite of being “children of the kingdom” (Mt. 13:38).  Antichrist is also called the son of perdition, and will be Judas raised from the dead (Rev. 17:8).  John was told the beast “was” on the earth, wasn’t at that time, but would rise from the pit of hell.  The two are often connected (Ps. 55:12-14 cf. 55:20, 21).  Judas (Ps. 109:8 cf. Acts 1:20) is said to persecute the poor (Ps. 109:16) as Antichrist will.

John 17:5-10 – Kids Pray the Darndest Things



“Before the world was” (v.5) the Father vowed that if the Son would become a man and die for us that the Father would glorify Him by raising Him from the dead, so in praying this prayer right before He died the Lord was holding Him to it. We should never ask God for things that He hasn’t promised us, like health and wealth!

If the president sends someone to speak at your graduation, you are honored “by” him, but if he himself comes you are honored “with” him, which is far more glorious. The Lord wasn’t asking to be glorified “by” God’s glory but “with” it (John 17:5). That much glory was something that God said He’d never give to another (Isa.42:8). So how could the Father give it to the Son? He was not another, they were “one” (John 10:30).

What glory did the Lord have with the Father before the world was? Equality with God (Phil.2:5,6). He didn’t think it robbed God of any glory to be equal with God because He was equal with God, He was His “fellow” (Zech.13:7). While here on earth, the Lord was still His “equal” (John 5:18), but He wasn’t glorified as His equal. So the Lord was praying and asking for that glory back. We know that the Father granted this request because later in a vision of heaven John saw the Father in the midst of the four beasts and the 24 elders (Rev.4:1-11) and then saw the Lord in the middle of the fours beasts and the 24 elders (Rev.5:5,6), sharing God’s glory in heaven (Rev.3:21).

Up till now the Lord’s been praying for Himself (John 17: 1-5). There’s nothing wrong with that! Paul did, and asked others to pray for him. It’s wrong to pray only for yourself!

The men that God gave the Lord out of the world were the 11 apostles. He manifested the Father’s name to them by ascribing His miracles to Him (John 14:10). Most men would do miracles to make a name for themselves. But what did the Lord mean in saying to God of the 11, “Thine they were, and Thou gavest them Me”? Calvinists say He meant they were God’s elect and He gave them to the Lord when they believed. Actually, they were God’s because they were Jews (Isa.63:18,19). When the Lord came, the Father gave them to Him (John 6:37), but only the ones that learned the Scriptures (John 6:45). Once they came to the Lord, it was God’s will that they believe and be saved (Jo. 6:39). That didn’t mean they all would believe, of course, but it was God’s will (cf. ITim.2:4). But all had to believe to be saved, even under Israel’s program (John 3:35,36).

Remember when the Father gave the Levites “out of the children of Israel” to Aaron to be priests in Israel (Num.3: 5-9)? That’s a picture of when God gave the 11 to the Lord “out of the world” to be a kingdom of priests (Ex.19:6).

The 11 kept God’s word (John 17:5), essential under the kingdom program (8:31; Rev.3:8), so they knew that the things given to Christ were of the Father (v.7), “for” His words were the Father’s words (v.8). In speaking to the 11, the Lord was always rebuking them (Mt.14:31; 16:8,23; Mark 4:40; 8:17,18). How’d you like to be on the receiv-ing end of those words? You are when you read the Word that reproves and corrects you (IITim.3:16). But in speak-ing to God about the 11, He spoke well of their faith (John 17:8), and when the Lord speaks to the Father about you, He does the same (Ro.8:34) for you too believe (cf.Jo.17:8)

The Lord didn’t pray for the world (v.9)—not because they weren’t elect, as our Calvinist friends say. He prayed for the unsaved elsewhere (Lu.23:34). This looks like He didn’t care for the unsaved, but compare this to Matthew 10:5, where it looks like He didn’t care for the Gentiles. But as dispensationalists we know He had a plan to reach the Gentiles through Israel (Isa.49:3-6), and that’s why He didn’t pray for the unsaved here. He had a plan to reach them through the 11 (Lu.24:47). Paul prayed for the unsaved (Ro.10:1), and so should you.

Christ is no longer praying for the world. He prays for believers (Heb.7:25), but in saying He didn’t pray for the world here, He was stating things that would be true after He died, just as He did in John 17:4 (cf. 19:30). This means that if you don’t pray for the unsaved, no one will.

John 17:1-4 – The Lord’s Prayer



This entire chapter is a record of the true Lord’s Prayer, the “Our Father” prayer being more of the disciples’ prayer. The Lord was a man of prayer, praying when He was baptized, when he started His ministry, before selecting the apostles, when He was transfigured, and with his dying breath. This prayer was prayed in the shadow of the cross, so we are walking on holy ground, as it were.

This chapter shows that the Lord believed in public prayer. He wanted the apostles to know that He was praying for them, and what He was praying for them. He’d taught them three years, and now prays for them. This teachus us that it’s good to pray for those with whom we have shared truth.

“These words” (17:1) refer to the words He’d just finished speaking (16:33). After hearing they would have tribulation, imagine how good it felt to know the Lord was praying for them! Well, you can have the same good feel-ing. Paul says we’ll have tribulation (Acts 14:34), but tells us the Lord is praying for us (Rom.8:34) to realize that “in” these tribulations we are “more than conquerors” (8:37).

The Lord “lifted up His eyes” to pray (John 17:1), perhaps following the lead of Psalm 123:1. If you are wondering if we should follow this lead, remember there are more examples of people bowing in prayer (Gen.24:26,48; Ex.4:31; 12:27; 34:8; IChr.29:20; IIChr.7:3; 29:29,30; Neh.8:6). You can pray lifting your eyes if you want to, as long as you lift your soul as David did (Ps.25:1).

“The hour” (John 17:1) is the hour when His enemies could finally lay hands on Him (John 7:30 cf. Mark 14:41; Lu.22:53). This shows that the Lord knew where He stood in God’s program when He prayed. Do you? Elijah did. Knowing God told Israel He’d cut off the rain if they were bad, he prayed the prayer of James 5:17. The apostles didn’t know where they stood in God’s program when they suggesting praying for vengeance during the Lord’s first coming (Lu.9:51-56), vengeance that can’t come till His second coming (IITh.1:7,8).

The Lord asked the Father to glorify Him in that hour (17:1). The cross glorified Christ because God sent Him to be a propitiation for us (IJo.4:10) and he was “obedient” to Him (Phil.2:8). The Father glorified Him by raising Him from the dead (John 12:23,24 cf. Acts 3:13). This explains how you have already been “glorified” (Rom.8:30)—you’ve already been raised with Christ! (Col.2:12)! Of course, the Lord asked God to glorify Him so He could in turn glorify the Father (17:1). Are you glorifying God with your resurrection life? You should be! (Col.3:1,2).

When the Father glorified the Son by raising Him, the Son in turn glorified the Father by saving sinners, and the Father gave Him the power to do this (John 17:2). When it says He gave Him power “over all flesh,” this explains Matthew 28:18. In giving Him power to give eternal life, He gave Him all lesser power, just as giving man the power to take life gives him power to write parking tickets, etc. (Gen.9:6). Of course to receive eternal life under the kingdom program they had to be baptized (Mt.28:19; Mark 16:16). Of course, we are saved by the washing of regeneration, not the washing of water baptism (Tit.3:5).

“The true God” is a phrase that is always used to speak of God as opposed to idols (IIChr.15:3; Jer.10:9,10; ITh.1:9). The Lord knew the 11 were heading into the Tribulation (Mt.24:21) when idolatry will make a comeback (Rev.13: 14,15). No wonder John told His readers that Christ was the “true” God, and to keep from idols (I John 5:20,21).

The “work” the Father gave the Lord to do (John 17:4) included more than dying for sinners, it included His miracles (John 5:36). They bore witness that He was Jehovah (Ps.89:9; 107:29 cf. Mt.8:26,27). The Lord’s goal in life was “to finish His work” (John 4:34), and here in John 17 He could say He finished it.

How about you? Paul’s goal in life was to testify the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24) and he did (IITim.4:7). He did it “with joy” (Acts 20:24), with no regrets, despite a turbulent life (ICor.4:11). If your goal in life is the same, your results can be the same!

John 16:23-33 – The Good Old Days



Since the Lord had been talking about the coming of the Comforter (16:7-14), the “day” of which He speaks (v.23) is “the Day of Pentecost” (Acts 2:1). That’s when they wouldn’t need to ask the Lord any questions, as they had been wanting to do (16:19). They wanted to ask questions because they didn’t understand what He had said, but at Pentecost the Spirit taught them all things (John 14:26; IJo.2:20) and they needed to ask Him “nothing” (John 16:23). I’d find that comforting, how about you?

Since the Spirit also controlled them (Ezek. 36:27) the Lord could promise the apostles all they asked for in prayer if they asked in His name (John 16:23) something they’d nev-er done before (v.24). We too pray in His name (Eph.5:20) but before Pentecost men prayed in Abraham’s name (Gen.32:9; IKi.18:36) because God made promises to him and his seed, so his seed prayed in his name to remind You.

The Lord had promised “ask, and ye shall receive” (Jo.16: 24) before (Mt.7:7-11), but only concerning “good things” connected with the Spirit (Lu.11:13). Good things like the “daily bread” (11:1-9) they’d need when the beast issues his mark and they can’t buy bread. God met their need of bread thru the saints at Pentecost and will meet it with manna in the Tribulation. They could also ask for “good things” like grace and glory (Ps.84:11) and truth and right-eousness (85:11,12), which they’ll get in the kingdom, along with a fruitful “land.” Since our land is not the land He meant, we can’t claim that promise, nor the the “good thing” of dwelling “safely” in the kingdom (Jer.33:14-16). They could also ask for and receive “wisdom” (James 1:5)

They were never promised to be given anything they asked for, which is never good for men (Ps.106:15) and won’t be until men are filled with the Spirit as they were at Pente-cost. Since we don’t know what to pray for (Ro.8:26) the worse judgment God could give us is to give us anything we ask for (cf. Pr.1:30,31). The world thinks that things like houses, cars and possessions bring joy, so that’s what they pray for, but the Lord said that these “good things” of the kingdom will bring joy (Jo.16:24), so that’s what Paul prayed for us. Things like wisdom & the knowledge of the truth (Eph.1:15-17) & righteousness (IICo.13:7; Ph.1:9-11).

A “proverb” (John 16:25) is “a short sentence often re-peated, as in Proverbs 4:5,7;16:16. But that can’t be what the Lord meant here, for He said the day would come when He would speak “plainly” and not in proverbs. What’s un-plain about a short sentence often repeated? Well, the Greek and English word “proverb” can mean parable, and the words are used interchangeably in Habakkuk 2:6. Numbers 23:7 is more of a proverb than a parable. Unplain speech is parabolic, whereas plain speech is not (John 11: 11-14). “A little while and ye shall not see Me” (16:16) is parabolic, so He had been speaking in proverbs and para-bles (16:21,22), but that would end at Pentecost when He would “shew” (i.e., tell, cf. ICor.15:51) the apostles things plainly through the Spirit, who taught them all things.

The Lord said He wouldn’t pray for things for them (John 16:26)—not because He didn’t want to, but rather because He didn’t have to. They didn’t need Him to since the Father loved them because they believed in Him (v.27). God loves all men (John 3:16) but believers are His “beloved”, whom He loves more (cf. Deut.21:15 cf. Gen. 29:30,31).

The apostles interrupted Him (v.28) to say He was speaking plainly (v.29) because now they were “sure” He was the Christ (v.30), and because He knew what they were think-ing (16:19 cf. I Ki.8:9). The Lord knew their hearts though (Jo.16:31) and knew they were about to forsake Him, and that would leave Him alone (v.32). But the Father was with Him (cf. Gen.22:8), the Father who justified Him (Isa. 50:6-9), just as He is with us justified ones (Ro.8:33,34).

The apostles were heading into the great tribulation (John 16:33), but the Lord promised to be their peace (v.33 cf. Micah 5:5). If they could have peace in the worst tribulation the world has ever known, surely you can have peace in yours—if you have Him. If you have Him, you can be more than just comforted in your tribulation, you can cheerful, you can “be of good cheer” (John 16:33).

John 16:16-22 – Going To The Father



The Lord wasn’t talking about seeing them again after He rose from the dead (16:16). You’ll notice He said He’d see them again “because I go to the Father.” He was talking about seeing them again in the Spirit (John 14:16-19). When the Spirit healed the sick it was the Lord healing the sick. They could see His power in the Spirit.

You can’t see the Lord’s power in the Spirit’s power to work miracles today, however, for He isn’t working any. If you want to see the Lord’s power today, you have to see it in His Body, not in His Spirit. When you forgive someone who sins against you, that’s the Lord forgiving them. If you think the Lord’s power was demonstrated more powerfully in the healings He did, you’ve probably never been greatly wronged and somehow had to summon up the power to forgive.

Saying that He had to go away led to quite a discussion among the 11 (16:17,18). If this sounds familiar, it is what we do every Sunday and Thursday—discuss things that the Lord said that we don’t understand! This is why the Lord didn’t make the Bible easier to understand. He likes it when we talk about His Word!

This isn’t the first time He said He’d have to leave in “a little while” (7:33; 12:35; 13:33), so why are they acting like it is the first time they’ve heard it? Well, as any teacher will tell you, you sometimes have to teach something often before people get it!

It seems they struggled mostly with the “little while” part (John 16:18). When it comes to believing things you don’t like hearing, it is easy to believe it, but believe it is far off (Ezek.12:27). Maybe you believe you’ll have to stand before the Lord and be judged (IICor.5:10), but it may not be as far off as you think! So remember, it is in this context that Paul tells us to live for the Lord (v.15).

The disciples close Verse 18 by saying that even after a discussion they still couldn’t figure out what the Lord meant. When I don’t understand the Word as I prepare a message, I discuss it with commentaries and with Dave Stewart. If that doesn’t work, I pray the prayer of Psalm 119:18. That’s another reason why the Bible is not easy, God wants us talking to Him about it!

So you’d think once the 11 decided they didn’t understand what the Lord meant that they’d ask Him! I mean, He was standing right there! But before you wonder what was wrong with them, do you always ask the Lord to help you understand His Word?

So why were they afraid to ask about His future if they weren’t afraid to ask about the future of the temple (Mt.24:1-3)? People like to study prophecy because it doesn’t demand anything of them, but the Lord’s leaving would mean they’d have to learn to live without Him.

Did you notice the Lord answered before they asked (John 16:19)? That’s because this is a picture of the kingdom (Isaiah 65:24-25) when the Lord will be available to answer any and all questions and prayers.

The apostles wept when He died (John 16:20 cf. Luke 24:17) but the religious world rejoiced. But the Lord promised that their sorrow would be “turned into joy” when they saw Him in the Spirit, and it was (Acts 2;46).

Notice He didn’t say their sorrow would be replaced by joy, He promised it would be “turned into” joy (John 16:20). When your pet goldfish dies you sorrow, but you can replace your sorrow with joy if you get another one. But if your pet caterpillar dies by spinning into a cocoon, your sorrow is turned into joy when the butterfly appears! Or, as the Lord put it, a woman in labor sorrows but the sorrow caused by the baby inside her is turned into joy when it is born (John 16:21).

This joy could not be taken from them (v.22) because it was the joy that comes in knowing that the Spirit rested on them (I Peter 4:14) and that they could not lose their salvation.

John 16:7-15 – Sometimes The Truth Hurts



Since “expedient” means advantageous, the Lord was saying it was to their advantage if He left, for that meant the Spirit would come (v.7). He said this to console them since they were sorrowing that He was leaving (v.6).

But how would losing Him and gaining the Spirit be an advantage? It was because the Spirit was “the Spirit of truth” (14:17), and Christ was “the truth” (14:6 cf. I Pe.1:11). So the Spirit dwelt “with” them in Christ, but would be in them at Pentecost (John 14:17). This is an advantage, despite how Christians who have the Spirit in them wish they could have been there with Him. It may not feel like an advantage, but trust the Lord’s words over your feelings! And if you want to hear His words, pick up a Bible. If you want to hug Him, hug a member of His Body!

The Lord’s coming would not be expedient for the world, whom He would reprove for three things (John 16:8). Reprove means to blame someone or charge them with a fault, and that’s how the Greek word for reprove is translated in Matthew 18:15.

The Spirit reproved the world of sin (16:9) because Christ came to take away their sin, but rather than accepting Him they killed Him. So at Pentecost the Spirit blamed them for this through a man filled with the Spirit (Acts 2:22; 3:13-15). Christ came to give righteousness to the world (Dan.9: 24), so when the world rejected Him and His offer of righteousness the Spirit reproved them for this (John 16:10)

Christ came to set up a kingdom in which He would judge the world (Jer.33:15), even the poor (Isa. 11:1-6). He would “judge” the poor in the I Corinthians 6:3 sense of reigning over them. Sin will be judged with death in the kingdom (Isa.65:20), but if you say a property is yours and your neighbor says it is his, this matter needs a judgment. When the world rejected the Lord’s judgment, the Spirit came to reprove them “of judgment” (John 16:11), especially since “the prince of this world is judged.” He’s the current ruler of this world. When Adam sinned, Satan claimed the property of the world was his, and God agreed. But Christ paid for the right to rule the earth with His blood and received the deed to the earth in when God agreed the property was His (Rv.5:1-10). They deserved to be reproved for rejecting Christ as their ruler once Satan was judged and stripped of his right to rule the world (Col.2:15)

The 12 couldn’t bear the things the Lord wanted to tell them (John 16:12) because they were babes (cf. ICor.3:1,2), so He was always careful what He told them (Mark 4:33). But right before the kingdom they were to become sons (Hosea 1:10,11), and this began at Pentecost (IJo.3:2). What made the difference? They went from babes to men because the Spirit indwelt them (Acts 2:4). That’s why the Lord told them that they couldn’t bear the things at that time, but could when the Spirit came (John 16:13).

The Lord said the Spirit would guide them into all truth (16:13) and He did (I John 2:20,27). When the Lord said He would “not speak of Himself,” that didn’t mean He wouldn’t talk about Himself, it meant He wouldn’t speak His own words (cf. John 12:49), but the Lord’s words. That’s why the Lord went on to say that He would speak “whatsoever He shall hear” (John 16:13 cf. 14:26). That’s what the Spirit always does, remind you of God’s Word.

But the Spirit would have to do more than just remind them of what they heard from Christ, for He had just said there were things He couldn’t tell them because they couldn’t bear them. So the Lord went on to say that the Spirit would “shew you things to come” (John 16:13), and He did (Acts 2:18 cf. Heb.9:11; 10:1; 13:14). But if the things to come were good, why couldn’t the 12 bear them at that time? Not all the things to come were good! The book of Revela-tion is a “prophecy” of terrible things to come (Rev.1:1-3). The 12, who all ran when the Lord was arrested, could not have borne to hear about those things at that time.

So the Lord said the Spirit would receive His words and give them to the 12 (John 16:14,15 cf. Mt.11:25-27). This would glorify the Lord (16:14). It always glorifies the Lord when we take His words and give them to others!

John 15:26-16:6 – The Testimony



The Lord brings up the Comforter again because He’s been telling the apostles they’d be hated as He was (15:18-20). He went about healing Israel’s sick and raising their dead, but they hated Him “without a cause” (v.25). When the Comforter indwelt the apostles and did these same miracles through them, they’d be hated without a cause as well.

How would the Comforter comfort them? The Lord said He would “testify of Me” (15:26), the miraculous testimony that the Spirit gave at Pentecost through them. I’d find it comforting if I could work miracles!

There are two kinds of testimony in court, evidentiary testimony, like the Spirit gave, but a murder weapon without a witness tying it to the crime is not enough. So the Lord went on to tell them that they too would have to testify of Him (15:27). A healed lame man wasn’t as good without Peter telling people who healed him (Acts 4:8-10).

The apostles had to be with the Lord from the beginning (15:27 cf. Acts 1:21,22) because they were witnesses of His resurrection (Acts 4:33). If you testify a man has risen from the dead, you will be asked how long you knew him before he died. If you only knew him briefly, you can’t be sure it is the same man risen from the dead.

Next the Lord told them how much they’d be hated (16:1). “Offended” means to be shocked. When the apostles healed the sick and did other good things at Pentecost they might have been shocked when they were hated if the Lord hadn’t told them ahead of time.

It was important they not be offended because those shocked by such hatred might not endure to the end to be saved (Mt.13:21), and might turn on one another (Mt.24:10) and turn them in to the Antichrist in the coming Tribulation. Doesn’t it help you ahead of time to know that you’ll be persecuted (IITim.3:12)? Paul knew that “to be forewarned is to be fore-armed” so always warned the saints of what was to come (IThes.3:3,4).

Being put out of the synagogue (John 16:2) meant more than just not having a place to go to church, it made a person a social pariah.

The men killing the saints in the Tribulation will be reli-gious zealots, but zealots without a good knowledge of God’s Word (Rom. 10:2). Saul of Tarsus epitomized this (Acts 22:3,4). If you think no one would kill people in the name of God, talk to those who lost loved ones on 9/11. If you think no one would kill people in the name of the God of the Bible, when you get to heaven talk to those that died in the inquisitions. Those that don’t know the Father or Christ will be involved in this in the Tribulation (John 16:3)

How would it help to tell the apostles ahead of time that they’d be hated (16:4)? Well, if He promised them an easy time, they might be offended when they were persecuted. Just like those that believe health and wealth preachers today are shocked when they are not healthy and wealthy.

Why didn’t He tell them they’d be hated from the beginning? Because He was with them (16:4) calming the sea and raising the dead and looking invincible! If He’d have told them then that they’d be hated and killed they wouldn’t have believed Him. Shucks, they didn’t believe Him when He said He’d have to die! You know they weren’t ready to hear they’d be killed at the beginning of His ministry because now that He was telling them that He would have to go away, all they could think of was themselves, when they should have been asking Him where He was going and if He was going to be okay (v.5,6). If they still weren’t ready to hear about His death at the end of His ministry, they would not have been ready to hear about their own deaths at the beginning of His ministry.

Their sorrow explains their sleepiness in Gethsemene. (Luke 22:45). That makes more sense than what some think, that they had too much wine at the last supper!

But why did the Lord rebuke them for sleeping if they slept for sorrow (Mt.26:40)? Because He’d been telling them they should be rejoicing He was going to God (John 14:28).

John 15:18-25 – Why the World Hates Us



People hate Christians because they hate Christ (John 15:18). Why do they hate Christ? Because their deed are evil and His weren’t (John 3:19,20). I was bad at math, and didn’t like people who were good at it, for it made me look bad by comparison, and the Lord made sinners look bad by comparison!

Of course, I hated smart people in the Biblical sense of loving them less (Gen.29:30,31), but if one of them had called me dumb, I’d have hated them in the more traditional sense! And that’s what happened to the Lord, for in addition to making men look bad, He told them they were evil (John 7:7).

Telling men they are evil will always cause men to hate you (IKi.22:7,8). If you tell men that abortion or same-sex marriage is wrong, they will hate you. But even if you say nothing about things like that, they will hate you when you tell them that they are so evil they need a Savior.

Of course, if you never tell them that, the world will love you (John 15:19), especially if you join them in their evil. There’s nothing sinners like more than other sinners (John 7:7). If you’re covetous, you like covetous people (Ps.10:3). Misery loves company, and so do sinners!

And in God’s eyes, that is their worst sin. In describing a bunch of men’s sins, Paul saved the worst for last when he spoke of men who “not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Rom. 1:32). Of course, God has chosen you out of this world (John 15:19). So remember, God chose you to be an “out of this world Christian”!

What did the Lord mean “the servant is not greater than his lord” (John 15:20)? Well, notice He asked them to “remember” when He first said this. In John 13:14-16, His point was that since they weren’t greater than Him, they should wash one another’s feet. Here the thought was, since they weren’t greater than Him, they’d have to be hated and persecuted as He was. Its like how you’ll hear the same objection to grace that Paul did (Rom.6:1) unless you figure out how to preach grace better than he did. The Lord was saying they’d be hated and persecuted unless they figured out how to tell men they are evil better than He did.

If you are wondering why the Lord told them that the world would hate them “for My name’s sake,” it is because that’s what happened to Him! He was hated for His Father’s name’s sake (Ps. 69:7). Now the Lord was about to go away, so He was telling them that the world would now hate them (I Jo. 3:13).

A “cloak” (John 15:22) is a sleeveless outer garment that is so loose you can hide things under it, so when used as a verb it means to hide something. This helps us understand this verse. The Lord didn’t say, “If I had not come, they had not had sin, but now they have sin.” They had sin whether He came or not! He rather said, “If I had not come, they had not sin, but now they can’t hide their sin!”

What sin had they been cloaking? Hatred of the Father, as the Lord went on to say in the next verse (John 15:23). When the Lord came and they hated Him, it showed they had been cloaking their hatred of the Father with their reli-gion. But when the Lord spoke to them (v.22), it uncloaked their hatred of the Father. How so? His words were the Father’s words (John 3:34; 8:26; 12:49)! When they hated Him for His words, it uncloaked their hatred of the Father. His works also uncloaked their hatred of the Father (John 15:24), for His works were the Father’s works (John 14:10). When they hated Him for His works (Mt.9:24), it uncloaked their hatred for the Father.

The genius of God is seen when the Lord applies Psalm 69: 4 to Himself (John 15:25). David wrote that about Saul and his followers, who hated him without a cause. David won battles for Saul and soothed him with his harp, but Saul hated him because he was jealous of his popularity (ISam. 19:5). The Lord won battles for Israel when He cast devils out of her citizens, and soothed them by healing their sick and raising their dead and cleansing their lepers, but the rulers hated him because they were jealous of Him.

John 15:12-17 – Love One Another!



The Lord told His hearers they had to love one another (15:12) enough to die for them (v.13). But since He was speaking to Hebrews (Mt.15:24) and not to us, do we have to love others enough to die for them? Well, that’s what our apostle Paul said (Eph.5:2). Of course, in our country there is little call for us to die for one another. But if you can be a living sacrifice for the Lord (Rom.12:1), why not for the Lord’s people? There are many ways that you can give of yourself to your brethren, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

The Lord talked about dying for His friends (15:13), and He made it clear that His friends were those that did what He commanded (v.14). He had to say this because the Jews thought that they were all God’s friends since they were the seed of the only man in the Bible said to be His friend (IIChron.20:7). Actually, we know they weren’t wrong, for if the Lord was wounded “in the house of His friends” (Zech.13:6), then His friends must have included unsaved Jews as well as saved Jews.

If you are wondering in what sense all Jews were God’s friends, remember God told Adam to replenish the earth (Gen.1:28), but man rebelled in Genesis 11:1-9. That’s when the Gentiles became God’s enemies and He singled out Abraham to be His friend in Chapter 12. Even Judas was a friend (Ps.41:9; John 13:18) that the Lord recognized as His “friend” (Mt.26:47-50). He knew he was a traitor, but He also knew that as a Jew he was His friend.

But to be saved you had to be a Jew “inwardly” (Rom.2: 28), and the same was true for being a friend of God. If you wanted to be a friend to God spiritually you had to do what Abraham did. Abraham was called God’s friend after offer-ing his son (James 2:21-23), showing that if a Jew wanted to be God’s friend he had to do what God commanded. And isn’t that what the Lord is saying here in Verse 14?

And the thing He told them to do was love one another enough to die for them by feeding them when they can’t buy food without the mark of the beast (IJo.3:16-18). That’s why the word “friend” appears so much in Luke 11:5-8. Antichrist will have spies everywhere so they will have to beware their “friends” (Micah 7:5,6). The Lord quoted this (Mt.10:21,35,36) as if to say, “I was wounded in the house of my friends, and you may be too!”

The disciples used to be servants (15:15 cf. Isa.41:8; John 12:26) because He hadn’t finished training them and so they didn’t know what their Lord was doing yet. Abraham did (Gen. 18:17,18) and so was God’s friend. That was important because someday his seed would possess the nations (Gen. 26:4) and rule them in the kingdom. God insists that the nation He uses to rule the world know what their master is doing, so He taught them what He was doing throughout the Old Testament.

As the Lord spoke these words it was time for his seed to rule the nations, and armed with His training and their Old Testament Scriptures their training was complete and so were now His friends.

In the context, the Lord was speaking about dying for His friends, and this fits the prophecies that predicted He’d die for the Jews (Isa.53:8; Mt.1:21; Mt.20:28). Not until Paul do we read that He died for His enemies (ITim.2:6; Rom.5:10).

The Lord chose them to bring forth fruit (15:16). Even Judas was chosen to bring forth fruit (John 6:70,71)—and he did. He worked miracles, and when he preached the gospel, men were saved. But the apostles had to choose to be saved. Judas didn’t, but Jeremiah did (Jer.1:4,5).

What did the Lord mean when He spoke about having their fruit “remain”? The Greek word for “remain” (15:16) is translated “abide” (15:7). If the people they led to the Lord would abide in Christ, the kingdom would come, and they’d get whatever they asked for in prayer (15:16). That’s one of the many things that will make the kingdom heaven on earth, along with no sickness (Luke 10:9) and no demons (Mt.12:28).