RESOURCES FOR THIS STUDY AND YOUR FUTURE STUDIES:
Anderson, Paul. N. The Riddles of the Fourth Gospel: An Introduction to John. (Fortress Press, Minneapolis, 2011).
Brown, Raymond E. The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times. (Paulist Press, New York, 1979).
________________. The Gospel According to John I – XII. Volume 29 of the Anchor Bible Series, Series edited by W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman. (Doubleday, Garden City NY, 1966).
________________. The Gospel According to John XIII – XXI. Volume 29A of the Anchor Bible Series, Series edited by W.F. Allbright and David Noel Freedman. (Doubleday, Garden City NY, 1970).
Elowsky, Joel C. editor. John 1 – 10. Volume IVa of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series edited by Thomas C. Oden. (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2006).
__________________. John 11 – 21. Volume IVb of the Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture series edited by Thomas C. Oden. (InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove IL, 2007).
Keener, Craig S. The Gospel of John: A Commentary Volume One. (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA, 2003).
_______________ The Gospel of John: A Commentary Volume Two. (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody MA, 2003).
Lewis, Scott M. The Gospel According to John and the Johannine Letters. Part of the New Collegeville Bible Commentary series edited by Daniel Durkin O.S.B. (Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, 2005).
Maloney S.D.B., Francis J. The Gospel of John. Volume 4 of the Sacra Pagina series edited by Daniel J. Harrington S.J. (Liturgical Press, Collegeville MN, 1998).
Martyn, J. Louis. History and Theology in the Fourth Gospel. One of the Classics in the New Testament Library series whose editorial board is C. Clifton Black, John T. Carroll, and Beverly Roberts Gaventa. Third Edition. (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, 2003).
O’Day, Gail R. The Gospel of John: Introduction, Commentary, and Reflections. In Volume IX of the New Interpreter’s Bible whose editorial board is convened by Leander Kick. (Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1995).
Sloyan, Gerard. John. Part of the Interpretation series edited by Mays, Miller, Achtemeier.
(John Knox Press, Atlanta GA, 1988).
TEXT FOR LESSON NINE: CHAPTERS 14:15 THROUGH 17
John Chapter 14:15
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows it.
But you know it, because it remains with you, and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans;
I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me,
because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me. And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
Judas, not the Iscariot, said to him,
“Master, (then) what happened that you will reveal yourself to us and not to the
Jesus answered and said to him,
“Whoever loves me will keep my word,
and my Father will love him,
and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.
Whoever does not love me does not keep my words;
yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.
“I have told you this while I am with you.
The Advocate, the holy Spirit that the Father will send in my name—
he will teach you everything and remind you of all that (I) told you.
Peace I leave with you;
my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.
You heard me tell you,
‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’
If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father;
for the Father is greater than I.
And now I have told you this before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe.
I will no longer speak much with you,
for the ruler of the world is coming.
He has no power over me,
but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.
Get up, let us go.
John Chapter 15
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves,
because a slave does not know what his master is doing.
I have called you friends,
because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me,
but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain,
so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own;
but because you do not belong to the world,
and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you,
‘No slave is greater than his master.’
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
And they will do all these things to you on account of my name,
because they do not know the one who sent me.
If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin;
but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.
Whoever hates me also hates my Father.
If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did,
they would not have sin;
but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.
But in order that the word written in their law might be fulfilled,
‘They hated me without cause.’
“When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me. And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.
John Chapter 16
“I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues; in fact,
the hour is coming when everyone who kills you will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.
I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you.
“I did not tell you this from the beginning, because I was with you.
But now I am going to the one who sent me,
and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’
But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.
But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.
For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.
But if I go, I will send him to you.
And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation:
sin, because they do not believe in me;
righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see
condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.
“I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
“A little while and you will no longer see me,
and again a little while later and you will see me.”
So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What does this mean that he is saying to us,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me,’ and
‘Because I am going to the Father’?”
So they said,
“What is this ‘little while’ (of which he speaks)?
We do not know what he means.”
Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Are you discussing with one another what I said,
‘A little while and you will not see me,
and again a little while and you will see me’?
Amen, amen, I say to you,
you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices;
you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.
When a woman is in labor,
she is in anguish because her hour has arrived;
but when she has given birth to a child,
she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.
So you also are now in anguish.
But I will see you again,
and your hearts will rejoice,
and no one will take your joy away from you.
On that day you will not question me about anything.
Amen, amen, I say to you,
whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you.
Until now you have not asked anything in my name;
ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete.
“I have told you this in figures of speech.
The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures but I will tell you clearly about the Father.
On that day you will ask in my name,
and I do not tell you that I will ask the Father for you.
For the Father himself loves you,
because you have loved me and have come to believe that I came from God.
I came from the Father and have come into the world.
Now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”
His disciples said,
“Now you are talking plainly, and not in any figure of speech.
Now we realize that you know everything and that you do not need to have anyone question you.
Because of this we believe that you came from God.”
esus answered them,
“Do you believe now?
Behold, the hour is coming and has arrived
when each of you will be scattered to his own home and
you will leave me alone.
But I am not alone, because the Father is with me.
I have told you this so that you might have peace in me.
In the world you will have trouble, but take courage,
I have conquered the world.”
John Chapter 17
When Jesus had said this, he raised his eyes to heaven and said,
“Father, the hour has come.
Give glory to your son,
so that your son may glorify you,
just as you gave him authority over all people,
so that he may give eternal life to all you gave him.
Now this is eternal life,
that they should know you,
the only true God,
and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ.
I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do.
Now glorify me, Father, with you,
with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world.
They belonged to you, and you gave them to me,
and they have kept your word.
Now they know that everything you gave me is from you,
because the words you gave to me I have given to them,
and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you,
and they have believed that you sent me.
I pray for them.
I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me,
because they are yours,
and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine,
and I have been glorified in them.
And now I will no longer be in the world,
but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.
Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me,
so that they may be one just as we are.
When I was with them I protected them in your name that you gave me,
and I guarded them,
and none of them was lost except the son of destruction,
in order that the scripture might be fulfilled.
But now I am coming to you.
I speak this in the world so that they may share my joy completely.
I gave them your word,
and the world hated them,
because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
I do not ask that you take them out of the world
but that you keep them from the evil one.
They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.
Consecrate them in the truth.
Your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
so I sent them into the world.
And I consecrate myself for them,
so that they also may be consecrated in truth.
“I pray not only for them,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one, as you, Father,
are in me and I in you,
that they also may be in us,
that the world may believe that you sent me.
And I have given them the glory you gave me,
so that they may be one, as we are one,
I in them and you in me,
that they may be brought to perfection as one,
that the world may know that you sent me,
and that you loved them even as you loved me.
Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me,
that they may see my glory that you gave me,
because you loved me before the foundation of the world.
Righteous Father, the world also does not know you,
but I know you, and they know that you sent me.
I made known to them your name and I will make it known,
that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in them.”
VIDEO NOTES FOR LESSON NINE
Story of little boy / girl, accident, gives blood.
Jesus is leaving the disciples but NOT abandoning them. He wants to prepare them to carry on.
World’s peace – lack of conflict. Ends easily.
Jesus’s peace – enduring.
“Take care of this vine, and protect what your right hand has planted.” Psalm 80:15
Jesus as the true vine, that bears fruit. All that God intended humanity to be.
We are included in Jesus’ intimacy with the Father.
Friendship with the LORD has a price – hostility from the world.
The world hates the Son, and therefore will hate anyone who follows the Son.
In Jesus’ last discourse, the world is not lovable and represents all that is inimical to God.
Following Jesus cannot be a “private” thing. If you were accused of being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?
In John the “world” is:
- all that is set against God and Jesus
- the opposite of divine holiness
- the residence of evil
- a place of persecution
John’s audience knew the sting of Roman persecution as well as exclusion from the synagogues
Here in the U.S. we take our faith for granted. Church-going can actually inoculate us from real faith. We can separate our world into two realms – the everyday and the religious. Our challenge: to realize that faith and religion must affect the entirety of our life.
You will no longer see me – death and return to His Father.
Later, and you WILL see me – second coming in glory
The “already” and the “not yet”.
The disciples are not there for the crucifixion.
Chapter 17 – Jesus’ prayer for the disciples. He is sending them into a hostile world.
Creation and other things are imperfect reflections of the Creator / Father, Jesus is the perfect reflection of the Father. We are called to be reflections of Jesus.
Main point of these chapters: “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
From this point on – the events of the end of Jesus’ life come quickly
ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR LESSON NINE – CHAPTERS 14:14 THROUGH 17
Ending John Chapter 14
Lewis p. 75: God’s peace is shalom. “wholeness … Given through the Spirit to abolish fear and the sense of distance or separation from God.”
O’Day p. 749: the union of the believer with Jesus and the Father is not private and mystical. “Jesus’ words in verses 12-24 consistently point to the communal nature of union and relationship with him after the end of his earthly ministry. The promises of divine presence are promises made to the community, not to the individual. All of the personal pronouns in these verses are second-person plural, not singular.”
O’Day p. 752 and following – “Rise, let us go” a faulty editorial seam? Do they indicate that chapters 15-17 which follow are late insertions? Can be read as a theological command – let us go, together, on the journey to the Father. (I find this a stretch.)
John Chapter 15
Sloyan – pruning is much more than trimming.
Keener, p. 1001: “The purpose of the vine is to bear fruit, and fruitless plants are useless. The cutting and burning of unfruitful branches repeats the Johannine warning against falling away.”
Moloney – vs. 1-11 are centered on the word “abide” and what that means, the following verses by “love”, and then the remainder of the chapter “being hated”.
Vineyard image for Israel can be found in a number of places:
- Isaiah 5:1-7
- Psalm 80
- Jeremiah 2:21
- Ezekiel 17:5-6
- Micah, Zephaniah
(Note – almost all are prophetic texts!)
Isaiah Chapter 5:1-7
Let me now sing of my friend, my friend’s song concerning his vineyard.
My friend had a vineyard on a fertile hillside;
He spaded it, cleared it of stones, and planted the choicest vines;
Within it he built a watchtower, and hewed out a wine press.
Then he looked for the crop of grapes, but what it yielded was wild grapes.
Now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
judge between me and my vineyard:
What more was there to do for my vineyard that I had not done?
Why, when I looked for the crop of grapes, did it bring forth wild grapes?
Now, I will let you know what I mean to do to my vineyard:
Take away its hedge, give it to grazing, break through its wall, let it be trampled!
Yes, I will make it a ruin:
it shall not be pruned or hoed, but overgrown with thorns and briers;
I will command the clouds not to send rain upon it.
The vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah are his cherished plant;
He looked for judgment, but see, bloodshed!
for justice, but hark, the outcry!
So, is John suggesting that the Christian community, being kicked out of the synagogues, is the true Israel?
O’Day p. 760: “The communal life envisioned in the vine metaphor raises a strong challenge to contemporary Western models of individual autonomy and privatism. At the heart of the Johannine model is social interrelationship and corporate accountability. The vine and branches metaphor exhorts the community to steadfastness in its relationship to Jesus, a steadfastness that is measured by the community’s fruits. To bear fruit – that is, to act in love – is a decidedly corporate act.”
Johannine irony noted by Keener – right now Christians are on trial, but eventually the Christians will be witnesses, along with the Holy Spirit against the world / the persecutors.
John Chapter 16
O’Day p. 767: “John 15:18-16:4a challenges the contemporary church to reject the way the world does business and to present the world with an alternative, an alternative grounded in the love of God revealed in Jesus.”
The disciples STILL don’t get where Jesus is going. Not simply to death but returning to the Father.
Keener p. 1045: “The biblical prophets employed birth pangs as an image of extreme anguish. In Jewish literature, the birth pangs came to illustrate the period of intense suffering immediately preceding the end, as the final sufferings give birth to a new world.”
Moloney p. 444: “…neither Jesus nor the disciples can avoid the experience of the cross, the unavoidable loss and pain of a departure by death. The author is not about to rewrite the events of history but is telling a story that attempts to give these events new meaning.”
The time of joy is not the post-resurrection appearances but the end of time as we know it. The disciples of John (and we) live in the in-between times, the times when the world will / should hate us and persecute us.
O’Day p. 775: “Jesus’ death and departure thus presented the disciples, and the church, with a crisis far greater than simply the loss of their teacher and friend. Jesus’ death and return to God marked the end of the incarnation. If the revelation of God is lodged in the incarnation, what happens when Jesus is gone?” And thus, the Paraclete will continue Jesus’ work through the community.
John Chapter 17
Lewis p. 81: This chapter is often called “a prayer of ascent” or “priestly prayer of Jesus”
Sloyan p. 197: “The prayer of chapter 17 calls on God to make a holy people of believers in God through Jesus. They are to be spared the world’s corruptions, even while not withdrawing from the world in any Gnostic way. Jesus expects the world to be a better place for his having been there, and his disciples’ too.”
O’Day p. 785: “The Farewell Discourse does not paint a picture of the Christian life devoid of present hardship and trial, in which all of God’s promises are fully actualized in the present moment. The prediction of the disciples’ abandonment of Jesus at his hour underscores this. Just as Jesus’ victory over the world could not be effected without his death, so also the believers’ share in Jesus victory will be accompanied by suffering, sorrow, and pain.”
O’Day p. 785: “Jesus’ victory over the world is neither partial nor only anticipated, no matter what present struggles, suffering, and sorrow suggest. Because of that decisive and absolute victory, both the present and the future are now the locus for the enactment of the promises of God. John 16:16-33 invites the faith community to enter the eschatological domain of its life, to embrace God’s future that has been opened up for them even in the present moment because of Jesus’ death and departure.”
FOR NEXT WEEK:
- Read and pray over John chapters 18:1 to 19:37.
- Read the commentary pages 85-97.
- Ponder and pray over the questions in the workbook for this unit. Which questions are most important to you?