New Testament Week 16: John 4:43–12:50

1) Introduction. a) Last week we introduced the Gospel of John and discussed some of the themes in the book: Jesus as God’s incarnate, divine Word, and the God of Israel (“I AM”), light versus darkness, etc.1 b) We also discussed how, in John’s gospel, Jesus performs seven miracles. i) John even goes out of his way to begin counting them so that we don’t miss them (2:11; 4:54). ii) The miracles are: (1) Turning water into wine (2:1–11). (2) Healing the nobleman’s son (4:46–54). (3) Healing the paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda (5:1–15). (4) Feeding the five thousand (6:1–15). (5) Walking on the sea (6:16–24). (6) Healing a man born blind (9:1–12). (7) Raising Lazarus from the dead (11:38–44). iii) Why seven miracles? The number seven was significant in Jewish culture, where it represented fulfillment and completion.2 It’s possible that, for John, Jesus’ seven miracles indicated the fulfillment and completion of his public ministry. 2) 4:46–54. Jesus’ second miracle: Healing the nobleman’s son. a) Most of Jesus’ healings were performed on people who were in his presence. This is one of only two examples in the gospels where Jesus performed the healing at the distance.3 3) 5:1–40. Jesus in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Pentecost.4 a) 5:1–15. Jesus’ third miracle: Healing a paralyzed man at the pool of Bethesda.
See lesson 15, page 3; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT15n The number seven appears in the Old Testament in too many contexts to list here. A few examples: There are seven days in the week, with the Sabbath being the seventh and final day; the creation took place over seven days; Noah was commanded to bring seven of each clean animal on the ark (Genesis 7:2–3); there are seven righteous generations from Adam to Enoch (Moses 6:10–22) and seven wicked generations from Cain to Lamech (Moses 5:42–55); Jacob served Laban seven years for Leah and another seven for Rachel (Genesis 29:15–30); there were seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine in Egypt (Genesis 41:29–57); the Lord commanded Joshua and his soldiers to circle Jericho seven times (Joshua 6:1–5); there are seven behaviors that the Lord hates (Proverbs 6:16–19); Amos declares destructions against seven foreign nations (and then surprises his audience by throwing in an eighth!— Amos 1:3–2:16). The number seven also appears frequently in the New Testament, and plays an especially significant role in the Book of Revelation. 3 The other healing was of a Roman centurion’s son (Matthew 8:5–13; Luke 7:1–10). Because of the similarities between the John’s account and the one in the Synoptic Gospels (involving a government official in Capernaum), it’s possible that they are actually two different versions of the same healing story. 4 As the footnote for John 5:1 in the LDS edition of the New Testament points out, the later manuscripts of the Byzantine tradition read “the feast,” with the definite article indicating that the Feast of the Passover is view, while many earlier manuscripts lack the article and so would be translated “a feast,” which could indicate any of three annual observances which Jews were obligated to attend (Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles). Passover seems unlikely because Jesus just returned from Jerusalem to Galilee after observing the Passover (2:13; 4:3), and Tabernacles forms the background for 7:1–10:21, so it seems most likely that the feast referred to in 5:1 is Pentecost, fifty days after Jesus cleansed the temple at the end of chapter 2.
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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 2

i) This is another well-known story from John, with the interesting addition of a pool with supposedly miraculous powers of healing. ii) 5:3b–4. This passage is not in the earliest Greek manuscripts, and doesn’t match John’s vocabulary and syntax.5 It’s certainly a later addition, probably added by scribes who were attempting to explain the mysterious comment in verse 7a. Modern Bibles either bracket this passage or move it to the footnotes. iii) 5:8. KJV “bed” refers to a cot or mat, not a modern “bed” that includes a mattress, box spring, headboard, etc. b) 5:16–47. Jesus’ teaching on his relationship with the Father. i) 5:16. After the paralyzed man at Bethesda has been healed, the Jewish authorities6 begin persecuting Jesus for healing (working) on the Sabbath. ii) 5:17–18. Jesus’ response is to claim that this kind of work is divinely sanctioned: “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” This enflames the Jewish leaders, “because he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his own father, thereby making himself equal to God” (NRSV). iii) 5:19–30. Jesus explains the relationship between himself and the Father. (1) 5:19–20. Jesus begins by emphasizing the unity of the Father and the Son. The action verbs in these verses are in the present tense, indicating that the work the Father is now carrying out is also the same work Jesus is carrying out:7 KJV John 5:19–20
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
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NRSV John 5:19–20
Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father8 does, the Son does likewise.
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The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.”
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(2) 5:21. What work is the Father carrying out? The Father raises up the dead and makes them alive (KJV “quickeneth”), and so therefore also does the Son make alive (heal) those whom he chooses. (3) 5:22–24. Furthermore, the Father has given the power of divine judgment into the hands of his Son, and so anyone who wishes to honor the Father must honor the Son. (4) 5:25–30. Just as the Father has life in himself, so has he granted the Son to have life in himself, and so the Son will resurrect all mankind—the just to a resurrection of life, and the unjust to a resurrection of condemnation.
In several of the earliest manuscripts that do include this passage, it is marked by the scribes as spurious. As we discussed last week, John uses the general term “Jews” to refer, not to the common people, but to the leadership of the Temple that opposed Jesus. Clearly all of Jesus’ disciples and followers were Jews, and yet they didn’t oppose Jesus. 7 Based on the KJV usage, Joseph Smith understood “what he seeth the Father do” in the past tense, and this became one of his key prooftexts in his teaching at Nauvoo that God the Father once had a physical body that he himself laid down as a sacrifice in a prior eon. See Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 312, 346 fn., 347. 8 The original Greek reads “that one” here. The King James translators rendered this “he,” while many modern translations (including the NRSV, NET, and NIV) clarify who is being referred to here, “the Father.”
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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 3

(5) This relationship of total unity between the Father and the Son is something Christians—including Latter-day Saints—take for granted. But this is why John’s gospel is so important: This is one of the only places in the New Testament where it’s described so clearly and unequivocally. iv) 5:31–40. Jesus condemns the Jewish leaders for rejecting both John and Jesus’ testimony. 4) 6:1–71. Jesus performs miracles and teaches in Galilee. a) 6:1–15. Jesus’ fourth miracle: Feeding the five thousand. i) We’ve previously discussed this miracle as it was recounted in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 14:13–21; Mark 6:30–44; Luke 9:10–17).9 This story is also in John’s Gospel, where he adds a few details: (1) John indicates that Jesus’ question to the disciples, “[Where] shall we buy bread, that these [people] may eat?” was done to test (KJV “prove”) them; he already knew what he was going to do (6:5b–6).10 (2) The crowd is interested in Jesus’ signs, and sees them as proof that he is “that prophet that should come into the world” (6:2, 14). b) 6:16–24. Jesus’ fifth miracle: Walking on the sea. i) This famous miracle also appears in two of the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 14:22– 33; Mark 6:45–52), and John’s version is very similar to them.11 ii) John’s version adds a couple of unique details: (1) John indicates the disciples had rowed just over 3 miles out from shore (6:19),12 which would put them in the middle of Sea of Galilee. (2) Instead of calming the storm and getting into the boat as he does in Matthew (14:32) and Mark (6:51), Jesus approaches the disciples and they suddenly find themselves miraculously at the opposite shore. c) 6:25–71. Jesus is the bread of life. i) 6:24–27. Jesus has fed the multitude and then gone overnight to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Some of the people who were fed follow him in boats, wanting more bread.13 ii) 6:28–35. Jesus replies by telling them that he is the bread of life and manna from heaven:

See lesson 4, pages 1–2; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT04n This is part of John’s overall theme that Jesus—being the divine, preexistent Son of God—knows all things and has already worked out exactly what’s going to take place. Luke follows that theme to some degree, while Matthew and (especially) Mark show Jesus as more uncertain about the future. 11 The most unique of the three accounts is Matthew’s, which is the only one to include the story of Peter getting out of the boat and walking to Jesus (Matthew 14:28–31). 12 KJV: “five and twenty [i.e. twenty-five] or thirty furlongs.” Greek: “twenty-five or thirty stades.” A stade was 607 feet, which would put the disciples’ boat between 2.9 and 3.4 miles from shore. 13 This is implied by Jesus’ statement in 6:26.
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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 4

KJV John 6:27–35
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. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. 30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
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NRSV John 6:27–35
“Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
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Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. 32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. 34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. 35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
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(1) Notice this similarities between this dialogue and the one Jesus had with the Samaritan woman at the well: (a) The hearers are told that physical food and drink will perish, but eternal food and drink will bring eternal life (4:13–14; 6:27). (b) There is discussion of prophets who died and the teachings and miracles they performed (4:20; 6:30–31). (c) Jesus redirects his audience from old beliefs to a belief in the living God who can save them (4:21–24; 6:32–33). (d) The audience, not understanding that Jesus is speaking of metaphorical food and drink that never runs out, asks him to give it to them, after which he explains that he is the food and drink he was talking about (4:15, 26; 6:34– 35). (2) Also note that the “work” the Father expects of us is to believe in the Son (6:29; cf. 6:40). As we discussed last week, this is not a passive belief, but an active trust in Jesus to save us and a willingness to follow his commandments. iii) 6:52–58. Jesus continues the metaphor by telling those who were hostile to him that “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (6:53).
© 2011, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 5

iv) 6:59–71. These are hard sayings, and many of Jesus’ disciples who are unable to understand them stop following him at this point (6:60, 66). KJV John 6:67–69
Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? 68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
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NRSV John 6:67–69
So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”14
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(1) This passage resonates very strongly with me, and I have referred to it often when I’ve struggled with personal problems or disagreements I’ve had in the modern Church. Ultimately, regardless of how I feel about specific Church policies or positions, this is the Church of Jesus Christ: His saving ordinances are found here, and the brethren who lead the Church hold the keys that unlock those ordinances. Where else can I go? The Lord’s apostles have the words of eternal life. 5) 7:1–10:21. Jesus in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Tabernacles.15 a) 7:1–13. Jesus has avoided returning to Judea because the Jewish authorities want to kill him. His (half-) brothers—who don’t believe he’s the Messiah and assume that he only wants to build a reputation for himself—encourage him to go to Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles so that his disciples there can see the miracles he’s performing. He tells them he’s not going because “[his] time is not yet come,”16 but goes in secret. i) This is his final trip to Judea in John’s Gospel; he remains there until his crucifixion. b) 7:14–52. Questions about Jesus’ identity. i) 7:14–24. He begins teaching the Temple, telling the amazed listeners: “My doctrine [teaching] is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his [God’s] will, he shall know the doctrine [teaching], whether it be of God, of whether I speak of myself.” (7:16b–17.) ii) 7:25–39. The crowd doesn’t believe that Jesus can be the Messiah, because they know who he is and where he comes from (7:27).17 He teaches, “I will be with you a little while longer, and then I am going to him who sent me” (NRSV 7:33). He then returns to the metaphor of living water (see 4:10–15), and promises that anyone who believes in him, “out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” (7:38), meaning they would receive the Spirit.18
14 The Greek New Testament manuscripts have a bewildering array of readings for 6:69b, including “the Christ,” “the Son of God,” and “the Christ, the Son of God.” The KJV’s rendering (“Christ, the Son of the living God”) is a late reading from the Byzantine tradition. Most modern Bibles follow the earliest manuscripts, which read, simply, “the Holy One of God.” 15 The feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, “booths”) takes place in late September or early October. The next feast mentioned in John is the feast of the Dedication (10:22), or Hanukkah, which is in December. After that is the Passover when Jesus was crucified (11:55), which falls in late March or early April. From this we can deduce that John 7 takes place about six months before Jesus’ Atonement. 16 See discussion of this phrase in last week’s lesson, page 11; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT15n 17 Jewish tradition held that the origin of the Messiah would be a mystery. The Babylonian Talmud records Rabbi Zera teaching that “Three come unawares: Messiah, a found article and a scorpion.” Sanhedrin 97a; http://www.come-and-

hear.com/sanhedrin/sanhedrin_97.html

18 John 7:39 has one of the most interesting and difficult passages in the New Testament: “(But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)” (emphasis added). The word “given” is supplied by the translators, but it’s not in the original Greek, which simply reads “for the Spirit was not yet.” Yet what? The plain reading is that the Holy Spirit did not yet exist, but this is contrary to every other

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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 6

iii) 7:40–52. This results in a division among the people: Some believe he is the great prophet who would be like Moses (John 7:40; cf. Deuteronomy 18:15), and others believe he is the Messiah. But others claim he can’t be the Messiah because he comes from Galilee, and not the house of David in Bethlehem.19 Even the Sanhedrin argue among themselves about who he is. c) 7:53–8:11. The woman taken in adultery. i) This passage is known by the Latin title pericope adulterae (“passage on the adulteress”). It is one of the most famous stories of Jesus, a brilliant account of a tragic woman and Jesus’ use of a clever twist to turn the tables on her accusers. It was also not originally in the Gospel of John. (1) This story is not found in the earliest and best Greek manuscripts of John, its writing style and word choice is very different than the rest of John, and the passage clearly interrupts an otherwise clear train of thought between John 7:52 and 8:12. (2) Modern Bibles put this section in brackets or smaller type to indicate that its authenticity is highly doubted.20 (3) It does appear to be an early story of Jesus, however. It appears in some New Testament manuscripts in various places, including in John’s Gospel after Jesus has been resurrected, and even in the book of Luke.21 (4) So even if it’s not written by John, the story itself could still be an actual account that was part of the early oral tradition about Jesus, floated around as an independent text, and then eventually became attached to John’s Gospel. ii) Questions about the account itself: (1) If the woman was taken “in the very act” of adultery, why did the scribes bring only her to Jesus? The Law of Moses dictated that both the man and the woman were to be put to death (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), and yet the accusers misrepresented the Law by claiming that “such women” should be stoned (NSRV, NET, NIV 8:5).22 (2) What did Jesus write on the ground with his finger (8:6b)? (a) Some New Testament manuscripts attempt to answer this question by adding “the sins of each one of them” to the end of the verse; this may not be the original ending, but it certainly represents an early tradition.

teaching of the Old and New Testament. Some early Greek manuscripts add the word δεδομένον (dedomenon, “given”), which seems to be one way early scribes attempted to deal with the obvious problem; this seems to be the only reasonable way to read the passage. The LDS Bible Dictionary affirms, “For some reason not fully explained in the scriptures, the Holy Ghost did not operate in the fulness among the Jews during the years of Jesus' mortal sojourn” (704). 19 Unlike Matthew and Luke, John doesn’t say anything about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem or family history connected to the house of David. It’s not clear from 7:42 if John knows about these things, although it is a reasonable conclusion that he does. 20 We’ve seen this before with the longer ending of Mark (16:9–20). See lesson 5, pages 9–11 (http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT05n) and the handout to lesson 5 (http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT05h). 21 It’s been attached to various manuscripts after John 7:36; John 8:12; John 21:25; Luke 21:38; and Luke 24:53. For more on this and the problem of the pericope adulterae in general, see the footnote to the NET Bible (http://classic.net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Joh&chapter=7&verse=53) and this summary of the scholarly consensus (http://www.bible-researcher.com/adult.html). 22 The Greek word τοιαυτας (toiantas, “such [as these]”) is feminine plural, a meaning missed in the KJV’s rendering “such.” © 2011, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 7

(3) Why does Jesus not command the woman to repent? He simply tells her that, in the absence of any accusers, neither does he condemn her, only “from now on do not sin again” (NRSV 8:11b). d) 8:12–19. Jesus is the Light of the World. i) In the previous section (7:14–52) Jesus had claimed that he was sent by the Father, causing the crowd to argue about his qualifications to be the Messiah. ii) Jesus now tells them that he is the light of the world (8:12). When the Pharisees accuse him of testifying on his own behalf (8:13), he replies that he doesn’t just testify of himself, but the Father also testifies of him; this fulfills the Jewish law that requires the testimony of two individuals (8:17–18; cf. Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15). e) 8:20–30. He speaks of where he came from and where he is going, and that those who are listening won’t understand who he is until he is crucified (8:28). At this point, John records, “many believed on him” (8:30). f) 8:31–59. Children of Abraham and children of the devil. i) 8:31–32. Jesus tells those who believe in him, “If ye continue in my word [i.e., continue to follow his teaching], then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (8:31b–32). ii) 8:33–40. They misunderstand him, and claim they’re freeborn descendants of Abraham, and not slaves (8:33). He tells them that they’re in bondage to sin (8:34– 36), and if they were truly the descendants of Abraham, they would be doing what Abraham did (8:37–40). iii) 8:41–47. They then claim that God is their father (8:41b), but Jesus tells them that the devil is their father, because he tells them the truth and they don’t believe him (8:44–45). iv) 8:48–51. They then insult him by calling him a Samaritan and claim that he is possessed by a demon (8:48). Jesus tells them they he honors the Father (8:49), and that whoever keeps his word will never see death (8:51; cf. 5:24). v) 8:52–59. With that last remark, they think they have him: If Abraham was a follower of Jesus’ Father, as he claims, why is he dead, and all the prophets who followed him, too (8:52)? KJV John 8:56–59
Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. 57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? 58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. 59 Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.23
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NRSV John 8:56–59
“Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” 57 Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
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23 KJV John 8:59b reads “going through the midst of them, and so passed by.” This statement is not found in the earliest and best Greek manuscripts, and so is omitted from most modern Bibles. It appears to be a scribal addition, based on Luke 4:30, that explains how Jesus managed to avoid the violence the crowd intended to do to him.

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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 8

(1) This last statement of Jesus—“before Abraham was, I am”—is phrased the same way as Jehovah’s statement in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) version of Exodus 3:14. Jesus is claiming to be the “I AM,” the God of the Jews, so their natural reaction is to stone him for blasphemy. g) 9:1–41. Jesus’ sixth miracle: Healing a man born blind. i) 9:1–12. The healing. (1) 9:1–2. It begins with a question from Jesus’ disciples: “Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?” This is interesting for a couple reasons: (a) It is one of the most unambiguous examples of belief in a premortal existence in the New Testament. If the man has been born blind, and if physical disability is caused by sin (as the disciples assume24), then it follows that the disciples must have believed that there was a premortal life in which the man made a wrong choice.25 (2) 9:3–4. Jesus doesn’t deny a premortal existence, but he does deny that the man’s affliction is because of sin; instead, he says, it’s an opportunity for God to act. (3) 9:5–7. He restates that he is the light of the world, and then gives light to the blind man’s eyes by healing him.26 ii) 9:13–34. Once again, the Pharisees object to Jesus healing on the Sabbath.27 They open an inquiry into the matter, questioning the man and his parents. The man says he doesn’t know about Jesus’ character, but “one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see,” and “if this man were not from God, he could do nothing” (NRSV 9:25b, 33). iii) 9:35–41. Jesus then seeks out the healed man, and tells him he is the Son of God (9:35).28 The man believes and worships Jesus (9:38). iv) 10:1–21. “I am the good shepherd.” KJV John 10:1–5
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.
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NRSV John 10:1–5
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
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24 It illustrates a common belief then and now—that suffering must be the result of sin. You can read Job or Ecclesiastes if you want refutations of that idea. This isn't to say, of course, that sin doesn't have consequences, but they are typically of the “cause and effect” variety. 25 The footnote to this passage in The NIV Study Bible, a conservative evangelical Christian production, acknowledges ancient rabbinic discussion of both sins in the womb and sins in a preexistent state (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1995, p. 1611). 26 We’ve previously discussed the use of spit as a physical medium in Jesus’ healings. See notes on Mark 7:31–37; 8:22–26 in lesson 4, pages 4–6; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT04n 27 Their objection may be to Jesus’ use of a mixture of mud and spit in the healing. Such an act would be considered creating medicine, which was expressly forbidden by the Pharisees’ oral tradition they used as a “hedge” around the Law. 28 The oldest and best Greek manuscripts read “Son of Man” in 9:35, a reading followed by modern Bible translations.

© 2011, Mike Parker

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For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class
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New Testament: John 4:43–12:50
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Week 16, Page 9

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. 5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.

When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”

(1) It helps to understand the shepherding practices of the time here. Sheep were generally taken out to pasture during the day, and then locked up in an enclosure at night. There was only one entrance, and multiple flocks might be placed in the same sheepfold. One shepherd would serve as the gatekeeper (KJV “porter”) and would guard the door while the others would go home to sleep. When they returned, the each sheep knew the voice of its shepherd, and so would come out of the sheepfold to be taken back out to pasture. (a) Obviously, anyone trying to sneak into the sheepfold at night is very suspicious—just like anyone who jumps a barbed-wire fence into a factory at 2 AM is likely up to no good. (2) The audience of Pharisees doesn’t understand the metaphor (10:6), so Jesus interprets it for them: KJV John 10:7–10
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.29 9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. 10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
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NRSV John 10:7–10
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.
7

All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. 9 I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
8

(a) Notice that Jesus doesn’t start of by identifying himself as the shepherd in the metaphor, but rather as the door or gate of the sheepfold. It is through him that every sheep and every shepherd must go; without him, there is no entry into places of safety and green pastures. (3) 10:11–13. Jesus continues by identifying himself as the good shepherd, who cares so much for his sheep that he lays down his life for them. He is not a hired hand who runs when a wolf approaches.

29 The difficulty with this verse is obvious: Does “all” include the prophets of Old Testament period? Certainly not; Jesus has in mind here false prophets and false messiahs. The Joseph Smith Translation amends this verse by adding “all that ever came before me who testified not of me are thieves and robbers” (JST John 10:8).

© 2011, Mike Parker

http://bit.ly/ldsarc

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 10

(4) 10:14–18. Jesus says he will lay down his life the sheep, and he will take it up again. No one will take his life from him, but he will do so of his own free will (KJV “accord”). (a) 10:16. He also says he has “other sheep…which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.” This has traditionally been interpreted to refer to the Gentiles, but Jesus himself told the Nephites that he was referring to them and other scattered people of Israel (3 Nephi 15:12–16:3). 6) 10:22–42. Jesus in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Dedication.30 a) 10:22–30. The Jewish authorities confront Jesus and demand he tell them if he is the Messiah.31 KJV John 10:25–30
Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one.
25

NRSV John 10:25–30
Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; 26 but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. 27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
25

i) Jesus’ response is that he has told them who he is, but they don’t believe him because they are not of his sheep, and therefore don’t hear his voice. (This remains a problem today among people who know about Jesus but who don’t know him, and therefore don’t accept him as the Christ.) ii) His final statement, “I and my Father are one,” is often used by traditional Christians as a prooftext for the doctrine of the Trinity; this, however, removes the passage from context. Jesus is not making an ontological claim,32 but rather is speaking of his unity with the Father—the Father has given Jesus his sheep and no one can snatch them out of Jesus’ hand nor the Father’s hand because they are perfectly united.33

This is Hanukah, the “Feast of Lights.” It is called the Feast of the Dedication because it commemorates the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple under the Maccabees, following its desecration by the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes IV. See Old Testament lesson 28, pages 4–5; http://scr.bi/LDSARCOT28n 31 This passage is an excellent example of the challenge of Biblical translation. The Jewish leaders’ first question to Jesus is, literally translated, “Until when the soul of us will you lift up?” This is a Greek idiom that refers to preventing someone from coming to a conclusion about something. The King James translators capture the thought pretty well: “How long dost thou make us to doubt?” Modern translations typically go for something like “How long will you keep us in suspense?” (NRSV, NET, NIV, NASB, ESV). 32 Ontology (from the Greek ontos, “of being”) is the branch of theology that deals with the nature of God’s being. The classical Trinitarian explanation (“three persons in one being”) is an ontological claim, as is the Latter-day Saint belief (“three physically separate persons in perfect unity of purpose and will”). 33 “Are one” is translated from the Greek εν εσμεν (hen esmen). εν is neuter, not masculine; the Father and the Son are not one person, but “one thing.” (Traditional Christians argue that there are three persons [hypostases] in the Trinity, so the Greek, in and of itself, does not deny an ontological Trinity; for that we have to appeal to the context.) © 2011, Mike Parker http://bit.ly/ldsarc For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

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Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 11

b) 10:31–42. Once again the Jewish authorities try to stone him (cf. 8:59). Jesus asks them which of the good works he’s done has caused them to stone him. They respond that it’s not his works; rather he has committed blasphemy34 by claiming to be divine.35 i) Jesus turns the tables on them by quoting from their own scripture: KJV John 10:34–38
Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? 37 If I do not the works of my Father, believe me not. 38 But if I do, though ye believe not me, believe the works: that ye may know, and believe, that the Father is in me, and I in him.
34

NRSV John 10:34–38
Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? 35 If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’—and the scripture cannot be annulled— 36 can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, “I am God’s Son”? 37 If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
34

(1) The scripture Jesus is quoting in verse 34 is Psalm 82:6: “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”36 Jesus argues that scripture itself calls the Jewish leaders “gods,” so how can they accuse him of blasphemy for claiming to be the Son of God? (2) He concludes by testifying that the works he performs witness that he is one with the Father, as he just said. 7) 11:1–54. Jesus’ seventh miracle: Raising Lazarus from the dead. a) Background. i) There are three accounts in the gospels of Jesus raising people from the dead: (1) The daughter of Jarius, who had just died (Matthew 9:18–19, 23–26; Mark 5:21– 24, 35–43; Luke 8:40–42, 49–56). (2) The son of a widow of Nain, who had died earlier in the day37 and was on his way to be buried (Luke 7:11–17). (3) Lazarus, who had been in the tomb four days (John 11:1–44). (a) This is often considered Jesus’ greatest miracle because of the long passage of time: Third-century Jewish rabbinic belief was that a spirit hovered near a body for three days, hoping to return; by the fourth day decomposition had started (10:39b), and the spirit then departed.38
Capital punishment was required for blasphemers under the Law of Moses; see Leviticus 24:16. The Jewish authorities’ claim in 10:33 (“you, though only a human being, are making yourself God”—NRSV) is similar in syntax to John 1:1c—it lacks the definite article. Jesus is not claiming to be “the God” (the Father), but like God. 36 For an important examination of Psalm 82:6 and Jesus’ use of it in John 10:34, see Daniel C. Peterson, “Ye Are Gods: Psalm 82 and John 10 as Witnesses to the Divine Nature of Humankind,” The Disciple as Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, ed. by Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges (FARMS, 2000), 471–594; http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=46&chapid=258 37 The passage in Luke doesn’t specifically say when the man had died, but the custom of the Jews was to bury the dead the same day they died. 38 See http://www.patheos.com/Library/Judaism/Beliefs/Afterlife-and-Salvation.html
35 34

© 2011, Mike Parker

http://bit.ly/ldsarc

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 12

ii) We’ve already met some of the characters in this story: Mary and her sister, Martha, lived in the town of Bethany, only two miles east of Jerusalem (11:18) on the other side of the Mount of Olives. Mary was the disciple who sat and listened while Martha worked (Luke 10:38–42), and Mary was apparently a repentant sinner whom Jesus had forgiven.39 Lazarus is their brother. b) Scenes from the story. i) 11:3–4, 14–15. Jesus loved Lazarus, but he purposely allowed him to die so that he would be glorified and the faith of his disciples would be strengthened. (1) But, lest we think he was cold or callous, willing to allow another to suffer for his own ends, we also see Jesus moved to some of the deepest emotion described anywhere in the gospels.40 When he arrived at the tomb of Lazarus, he wept (11:33–36, 38). (2) Sometimes we wait for the Lord in the midst of a terrible situation and wonder why he doesn’t respond more quickly (or at all). God often allows our personal situation to go from bad to worse because he’s planning to do something powerful and wonderful, or is granting us a “teaching moment.” ii) 11:21–27. Martha gives one of the most powerful testimonies of the Lord found anywhere in the gospels. Jesus tells her, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (11:25–26a), and she responds, “I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world” (11:27b). (1) Only Peter is recorded giving a similar affirmation (Matthew 16:16; Mark 8:29; John 6:69). iii) 11:41–42. This is one of the few times in the Gospels that a public prayer of the Lord is recorded.41 In his prayer he publicly thanks the Father for hearing him so that the people standing around will know that Jesus has been sent by him. iv) 11:43. Then, in one of the great dramatic moments in the gospels, Jesus shouts loudly, “Lazarus, come forth!”42 c) Aftermath.

See notes to lesson 10, pages 3–4; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT10n The KJV translation “he groaned” (11:33, 38) is translated from the Greek word ενεβριμηςατο (enebrimesato), a word which appears in some form five times in the gospels. It usually refers to anger, resulting in a stern warning (Matthew 9:30; Mark 1:43) or in murmuring (Mark 14:5). Some scholars have argued that it should be translated that way here—Jesus was angry at the lack of faith displayed by the mourners in John 11:32–33. Most, however, see the word as indicating strong, deep emotions of any sort, and so most modern Bibles follow this by rendering the phrase “deeply moved in spirit” (NIV, NASB), “intensely moved in spirit” (NET), or “greatly disturbed in spirit” (NRSV). 41 The others are the Lord’s prayer (Matthew 6:9–13; Luke 11:2–4), Jesus’ prayer of gratitude because God has revealed himself to the childlike (Matthew 11:25–26; Luke 10:21), his petition that God’s name be glorified (John 12:27–28), the Great Intercessory Prayer (John 17:1–26), his prayers in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–44; Mark 14:32–39; Luke 22:46), and his final prayers before dying on the cross (Matthew 27:46, Mark 15:34, Luke 23:34, 46). 42 The KJV and NASB’s rendering (“Lazarus, come forth!”) retains a unique majesty that modern translations don’t quite capture (“Lazarus, come out!”—NRSV, NET, NIV, ESV). One of the most unintentionally funny renderings is the New World Translation of Jehovah’s Witnesses (“Lazarus, come on out!”), which has something of a TV game-show vibe.
40

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© 2011, Mike Parker

http://bit.ly/ldsarc

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 13

i) 11:47–53. In response to this miracle, the chief priests and the Pharisees convene a meeting to decide what to do about Jesus. They fear that everyone will believe in him, and that the Romans will come and destroy the Temple and their nation. (1) Caiaphas, the high priest, says “it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed” (NRSV 11:50). John points out the unintentional irony of his words: Jesus will die so that the dispersed children of God will be joined together (11:51–52). 8) 11:55–12:50. Jesus comes to Jerusalem for his final Passover. a) 12:1–11. Mary anoints Jesus. i) This story also appears in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew 26:6–13; Mark 14:3–9; Luke 7:36–50).43 ii) John identifies the woman as Mary, sister of Martha and Lazarus (12:3). He also identifies the disciple who complained about the cost of the ointment44 as Judas—not because he cared about the poor, but because he was the one who held the money box (KJV “bag”) and was stealing from it (12:4–7). b) 12:12–19. Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. i) We’ve covered this story before, too.45 c) 12:20–50. Jesus’ final public testimony. i) 12:23. He declares that “the house is come, that the son of Man should be glorified.” ii) 12:27–28. Then something really unique happens: Jesus is praying publicly and says…. KJV John 12:27–28
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
27

NRSV John 12:27–28
“Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour.46 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”
27

Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
28

(1) The Synoptic Gospels record that the Father’s voice was heard at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22) and at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35). This is a third account of the Father’s voice being heard publicly during Jesus’ ministry (and the only one in John). Just like the other two, the Father here testifies of the Son, promising to glorify his own name through his Son’s coming atonement.
See notes to lesson 10, pages 3–4; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT10n The cost of the ointment is identified in John 12:5 and Mark 14:5 as 300 denarii (KJV “pence”). A denarius was a Roman silver coin equivalent to one day’s wage for a common laborer, so 300 denarii would be one year’s wage. At today’s federal minimum wage in the United States ($7.25 an hour), that would be the equivalent of $14,700. 45 See notes to lesson 5, pages 1–2; http://scr.bi/LDSARCNT05n. Note that many of the details in the Synoptic Gospels— such as the sending of the disciples to find the donkey, the crowd casting their garments before him, and the casting of the palm-fronds —are omitted by John. 46 This is an odd statement in light of Jesus’ Gethsemane prayer in the Synoptic Gospels in which he asks the Father for exactly that—to allow “the hour” (his suffering) to pass from him, if possible. See Mark 14:35; cf. Matthew 26:39, 42; Luke 22:42. However, the statement in John fits with his overall theme that Jesus knows all things that are to happen to him (see 18:4; cf. 16:30).
44 43

© 2011, Mike Parker

http://bit.ly/ldsarc

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

Hurricane West Stake Adult Religion Class

New Testament: John 4:43–12:50

Week 16, Page 14

iii) Jesus concludes his public ministry with a prediction of his suffering and glory (12:31–33), a reiteration of the metaphor of light versus darkness (12:35–36, 46), and his testimony that he is sent from God: KJV John 12:44–50
Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. 45 And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
44

NRSV John 12:44–50
Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47 I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49 for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”
44

He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. 49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
48

d) This ends Jesus’ public testimony, where he has been met, largely, with misunderstanding and hostility. In the next lesson we’ll turn to John’s intimate record of Jesus’ private teachings to the disciples at the Last Supper. 9) Our next class will be in two weeks (2 March 2011). a) Reading: John 13:1–17:26.

© 2011, Mike Parker

http://bit.ly/ldsarc

For personal use only. Not a Church publication.

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