Appearance to the Disciples

John 20:19-23 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 said unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father had sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive you the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained. 

‘Then the same day at evening’ after having gone to heaven and back (20:17). ‘First day of the week’ this and John 20:26; Acts 20:7 and 1Corinthians 16:2 disprove the theory that no Christian gathering ever took place on Sunday or the first day of the week. From John 20:19 and 20:26 it is clear that Christ honoured this day twice to meet with His disciples. Then, too, Pentecost fell on the first day of the week and they had gathered at least one other first day during the ten days of waiting for the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:1-8; 2:1). Christians did gathering on the first day or Sunday (Acts 20:7; 1Cor. 16:1-2) but no specific day is given because neither Christ nor any apostle commanded us to keep the old Jewish sabbath, or any other day, but did command all people not to be bound by any particular day (Rom. 14:5-6; Gal. 5:9-11; Col. 2:14-17).

‘Doors were shut’ proving that resurrected bodies do not need openings to get into houses. They are called “spiritual” bodies in 1Corinthians 15:42-44. They evidently are like spirit beings that can appear and disappear or be visible and invisible at will.

‘Where the disciples were assembled’ perhaps the upper room in the friend’s house where the passover was eaten (Mark 14:15; Luke 22:12; Acts 1:13).

‘Peace be unto you’ this was the common salutation of Hebrews (Matt. 10:12-13). Salutations became meaningless to the average person, but Jesus informed the disciples that when He used the word “peace” it meant something (14:27; 16:33).

‘He showed unto them his hands and his side’ proof of His physical resurrection (Luke 24:39).

‘As my Father has sent me, even so send I you’ the Son sends His disciples with the same impartation of power and the fullness of the Spirit that the Father gave to Him (7:37-39; 14:12; 17:18; 20:21; Luke 24:49; Acts1:4-8).

‘Whose soever sins you remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins you retain, they are retained.’ This is simply another form of expressing power to bind and to lose and to do the works of Christ. Binding and losing means more than declaring something lawful or unlawful. It also means to confirm the truth by power as Christ and the apostles did (Matt. 16:19; 18:18).

Be Made Free

John 8:31-36 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how say thou, You shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abides not in the house for ever: but the Son abides ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

‘If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed’ there are 1,595 ‘if’s’ in the Bible and all of them express a condition if one of them does. The condition to be met if these new believers were to remain as true disciples and have freedom from sin was: “continue in My Word;” for if any man “committeth sin” he “is the servant of sin.”

‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ this is the secret of freedom from sin, sickness, and all the curses of this life that Christ – who is the Truth – died to set men free from (Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6; Jas. 1:5-8).

‘We be Abraham’s seed, and were never in bondage to any man’ this is one of the many false statements of the Jews, for their history in Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, as well as many servitudes to other smaller nations round about for 1,800 years to 70 A.D., prove this false.

‘Whosoever committed sin is the servant of sin’ – No man can commit sin and not be a servant of sin. No man can sin and not have to pay the penalty for sin (Eze. 18:4; Rom. 8:12-13; 1Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; 6:7-8). The servant of sin does not abide in the house of the Lord forever, but if we become free from sin we will abide with the Son of God in God’s house forever (Rom. 6:16-23; John 14:1-3; 15:1-6; 1Thes. 4:16).

‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed’ If one is made free from sin by the Son, he is free indeed and is no longer a servant of sin (Rom. 8:1-13; Gal. 5:16-26; Heb. 12:14; 1Jn. 2:29; 3:6-10; 5:1-4, 18). Greeks permitted a son and heir to adopt brothers and Romans permitted him to free all slaves that were born in the house during the father’s lifetime.

Be Known Openly

John 7:1-8 After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou does. For there is no man that does any thing in secret, and he himself seeks to be known openly. If thou do these things, show thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go you up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. 

After the things that happened in chapter 6, Jesus stayed in Galilee, for He could not walk in Jewry – the land of the Jews – because they wanted to kill Him. The Jews’ feast of tabernacles was held on the 15th to 22nd of September (Lev. 23:34-44; Deut. 16:13-16; 2Chr. 8:13; Zec. 14:16-21). This feast was about 7 months before the crucifixion (15th of April).

Christ’s brethren told Him to do to the feast so that His disciples (followers) in Judea may see His miracles. They knew His miracles and no doubt accepted Him as a prophet, but not as the Messiah, for they had found Him declining the kingship (John 6:15) which was one of the Messiah’s chief offices. They could not believe that He would do this if He was really the Messiah.

Jesus Christ was no ordinary man. Another would have taken every opportunity of exhibiting himself before the public that he might become famous, but not so with Christ. Their appeal was to leave the country – the small villages and the ignorant people – and go to the city – the capital, among the learned people and rulers – to make Himself a name.

‘My time is not yet come’ He referred to the time of His sufferings and said to them (His brothers) that the world cannot hate them because they still have its interests at heart and they expected a worldly Messiah. But the world (the inhabitants) hated Christ because He condemned its injustice, pride, ambitions, way of life, and doctrines.

Jesus did not say that He was not going to the feast, but “I go not up yet.” It could have been that He wanted to go alone with His disciples, so as not to bring criticism from His enemies that He was exciting sedition; and also to prevent any popular commotion from a renewed effort to make Him king (John 6:15).

Will You Also Go Away?

John 6:64, 66-71 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will you also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.

Jesus knew from the beginning of His ministry who they were that did not believe in Him not, and who was to betray Him. Jesus knew two things from the beginning of His ministry. Many disciples went back – left Christ and did not follow Him anymore – but not the twelve for He asked: “Will you twelve also abandon Me?”

Peter answered that they had no one else to go to, that Christ alone had the words of eternal life, that Jesus was the Christ and that Christ was the Son of the living God. This kind of confession brings the new birth (1Jn. 5:1)

Christ chose the twelve when they were eager to follow Him and they were seeking to hear God’s will. ‘One of you is a devil’ – Here it reveals Judas as an adversary of Christ and under the influence of a devil (demon) and not as some say that he was satan.

Judas Iscariot was an ordinary man, the son of Simon (John 12:4; 13:2, 26); a genuine chosen and empowered apostle (Matt. 10:1-20; Mark 3:14-19; Luke 6:12-16; 9:1-10; Acts 1:17); the one carrying the purse of the disciples (John 12:4-6; 13:29); and a successful teacher and healer (Mark 6:7-13; Luke 9:10). He was named “Iscariot,” meaning “man of Kerioth,” a place in Judah (Jos. 15:25). He became a “thief” and an “adversary” of Christ late in His ministry (John 6:70; 12:4-6). He betrayed Jesus (Matt. 26:14-16, 47-50; Mark 14:10-11, 43-45; Luke 22:3-6, 47-49; John 13:2; 18:2-5; Acts 1:16-25), returned the money to the chief priests (Matt. 27:3-10), committed suicide and is lost (Matt. 26:24; 27:5; Mark 14:21; Luke 22:22; John 17:12; Acts 1:16-25). There are prophecies concerning him (Matt. 26:21-25; Mark 14:18-21; Luke 22:21-23; John 13:18-26; 17:12; Acts 1:16, 20; Psa. 41:9; 69:25; 109:8; Zech. 11:12-13).

The Words of Eternal Life

John 6:60-63, 65 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Does this offend you? What and if you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. 

‘This is an hard saying; who can hear it?’ The Jews found Jesus’ message hard and they found it intolerable and impractical for they could not digest such a doctrine as this. People just want to hear of God’s grace and love and not of their role in the relationship. He must keep on giving and doing and they only want to receive (see 1Cor. 15:19).

Jesus knew by the gift of discernment and knowledge (Isa. 11:2; 1Cor. 12:4-11) that this time it was some disciples that were offended and that they murmured against Him.

He asked them that if the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood offends them, what if He told them an even harder doctrine? Suppose you saw the Son of Man ascend up to heaven where He was before? This is the 18th New Testament prophecy that was fulfilled with the ascension (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:11; Eph. 4:8-10).

‘It is the spirit that quicken; the flesh profit nothing’ – Quickeneth must be understood figuratively of the benefits of His sacrifice. He will give this bread, which symbolizes His body given in death to save the world (1Pet. 2:24; Col. 1:20; 2:14-17). If they could literally eat His flesh and drink His blood, it would not save their souls. The words He spoke unto them were spirit, and are life – He spoke of spiritual and eternal life, not fleshly life (2Cor. 3:6; Heb. 4:12).

Everlasting Life

John 6:26-27 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek me, not because you saw the miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 

The next day, the crowd from the previous day saw that there was no other boat there, except the one His disciples entered with, and that Jesus did not go with His disciples in the boat, but that His disciples left alone. When they, therefore, saw that Jesus was not there, neither His disciples, they also went to Capernaum by ship, seeking Jesus.

When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they asked Him when He came over. Jesus answered them that they seek Him not because they saw miracles, but because He gave them food and they ate; not as being convinced by visible miracles, which should lead godly men to acknowledge Him as Messiah, but as by appetite, which leads sensual men like beasts through the impulse of want and supply.

We get eternal life now and keep it forever if we meet the following conditions: Come to Christ (John 6:37, 44, 45, 65); know God and Christ (John 17:2-3); cause no offense (Matt. 18:8-9); forsake all (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30); overcome sin (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21); live free from sin (Rom. 5:21; 6:16-23; 8:1-13; Tit. 2:11-14); fight the good fight of faith; lay hold on it (1Tim. 6:12, 19); be sober and hope to the end for it (Tit. 1:2; 3:7; 1Pet. 1:5, 9, 13); endure temptations (Jas. 1:12); love everybody (1Jn. 3:14-15); keep yourself in the love of God, looking for eternal life (Jude 1:20-24); be faithful unto death (Rev. 2:10; Heb. 12:14-15); believe and obey the gospel (John 3:15-19, 36; 4:14; 5:24; 6:40, 47, 54; 2Cor. 5:17; Rom. 1:5); be born again, hear Christ, and follow Him (John 3:1-36; 10:27-29).

BUT eternal life does not become an unforfeitable eternal possession until we enter into it (Matt. 7:13; 18:8-9; 19:17; Rom. 6:22); receive it (Rom. 6:23; Jas. 1:12; 1Pet. 1:13; Rev. 2:10); reap it (Gal. 6:7-8); and inherit it in the world to come (Matt. 19:27-29; Mark 10:28-30; Luke 18:28-30), and at the end of this life (Rom. 6:22).

‘Him has God the Father sealed’ – confirmed by giving Him the Holy Spirit without measure (John 3:33-34).

Jesus Walks on Water

John 6:16-21 And when even was now come, his disciples went down unto the sea, And entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.

The disciples went over the sea toward Capernaum when it was getting dark, and Jesus was not with them. The sea became choppy and full of waves because of a great wind that was blowing.

When they rowed about 6 kilometres or halfway across, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. They perhaps thought Jesus would follow in a ship, but instead, He walked nearly 6 km on the water to help them in their new danger. He identified Himself to them by saying: ‘It is I; be not afraid.’

‘Immediately the ship was at the land’ – this is one of the greatest miracles of all – a whole ship taken from a storm in the middle of the sea was suddenly at the shore. It was no doubt carried by God’s power like Philip was carried physically through the air (Acts 8:39-40) about 40 kilometres to Azotus.

His Meat

John 4:27-34 And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seek thou? or, Why talk thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and say to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came unto him. In the meanwhile his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have meat to eat that you know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus says unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work. 

The disciples marvelled, not only because there were no dealings between Jews and Samaritans, but because Jewish etiquette and the Talmud forbade Rabbis to converse with women in public or instruct them in the law. No Rabbi could even converse with his wife, sister, or daughter in public and in the street.

The woman then left her waterpot, and went into the city, and said to the men there” “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” It may be that Christ did tell her all about her life, so her report was no exaggeration.

‘I have meat to eat that you know not of’ Jesus referred to refreshment or soul satisfaction that they have not learned. He delighted in converting the Samaritans (John 4:34).

‘My meat is to do the will of him that sent me’ – Jesus did the will of His Father and that is the true sustenance of life for us, to do God’s will (Rom. 12:1-2; 1Jn. 2:17) and to accomplish what we were created for – no matter what we choose as a profession or where to life or whom to marry – to represent Christ on earth so that others can by our walk in life, be turned to a godly life (1Pet. 2:21-22).

Calling of Philip and Nathanael

John 1:43-48  The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and find Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip find Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see. Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence know thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou was under the fig tree, I saw thee. 

Philip was one of the twelve apostles (Matt. 10:3; Mar. 3:18; Lk. 6:14; Acts 1:13), a brother of Nathanael, who brings him also to Jesus. Nathanael (means gift of God) is Bartholomew, which is a patronymic of Nathaniel, also one of the twelve.

The question he asked “can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?” was because they were expecting the Messiah from Bethlehem, and not Nazareth. Never a better person came from any place on earth than Jesus Christ!

Jesus knew Nathanael’s heart through the Holy Spirit’s gift of knowledge (John 3:34; 1Cor. 12:4-11) and said that he was an Israelite in whom is no guile – he was without deceit.

Christ’s statement of seeing him by the Spirit before He could see him with His eyes convinced Nathaniel of Christ’s Sonship.

Calling of the First Disciples

John 1:35-42  Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek you? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwell thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour. One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first finds his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone. 

Two of John the Baptist’s disciples, the one was Andrew (Peter’s brother), the other probably John the Apostle, as he never mentions himself in this book. They looked upon (Jesus) the Greek word emblepo, which means to look with fixed eyes upon or look intently as they heard John the Baptist say: “Behold the Lamb of God!” A symbol of Christ used thirty-two times in the Bible.

Andrew and John asked Jesus “Rabbi, (which means Master) where dwell thou?” Jesus told them, “Come and see.” So, they came and saw where He stayed and stayed with Him for that day because it was already the tenth hour – 4 pm.

‘found the Messias’ Finding Jesus changes one’s life (2Cor. 5:17-18). Messias is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Mashiyach, meaning anointed (John 4:25; 1Sam. 2:10, 35; Psa. 2:2; Dan. 9:25-26). The equivalent of mashiyach in the Greek is Christos, used of Jesus 569 times in the New Testament.

‘Cephas’ is the Aramaic word for stone (1Cor. 1:12; 3:22; 9:5; 15:5; Gal. 2:9). And ‘stone’ is the Greek word petros which means little stone, rock and 161 other places translated “Peter”. This shows how Jesus could judge a man at the first look. He knew Peter to be firm and strong in soul, and hard and unyielding in purpose.