John 6-11

John 6-11

Week 1: John 6-11

Thank you for all your comments last week. Do keep them coming. Do click REPLY next to other comments to further their thoughts with your own.

What has God being saying to you today? What jumped out at you?

Scroll to the bottom of this page to post a reflection, to see what others are saying and to reply to other posts. Do include the chapter and verse(s) you’re referring to when commenting. If you get behind, please still contribute – it’s about committing to read God’s word rather than feeling under the cosh to ‘get it done’. Most importantly, please be encouraging and respectful in all you write (Rom 15; 1 Thess 5:11).

Below is an online copy of John’s gospel for your quick reference or if you haven’t got access to a Bible. You can change which version of the Bible is displayed by clicking on the words ‘The New International Version’. You can increase the size of text by clicking on the blue book and moving the slider.

There is also an audio version of the New Living Translation available. This link takes you straight to John’s gospel: https://www.biblestudytools.com/audio-bible/nlt/john/

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John 1-5
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John 12-17

25 Comments

  1. John Garrett

    Having attended two virtual funerals in the last month and having a third one to play the organ for on the 4th of January, the beginning of John 14 is very much in my mind.

    I don’t know if our volunteer at guide dogs for the Christian, but certainly those two ladies for whom the second and third funerals are definitely a celebration of personal Christian faith. All the more curious then, that what Jesus is referring to is the bridegroom going ahead to prepare the place where he will live with his bride as man and wife.

    1 “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. 2 There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? 3 When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.

    It also fascinates me that the very word, apocalupsus, from which we get apocalypse actually means an unveiling, as of the bride. The difference here though, is that we get to be hold the face of a bridegroom in eternity, and not the bridegroom beholding the face of his bride for a few precious fleeting moments on her wedding day.

    Lord Jesus thank you for being concealed in the old Testament and revealed in the new. Thank you for using the opening to this chapter to give us an internal perspective on the end towards which, our trouble Zara means.

    Holy spirit, thank you for helping us understand supernaturally that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that our place and destiny is to be with him in eternity, as his bride, the church.

    Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son to be born as a baby, die on the cross, the buried in a tomb, rise again from the dead, ascended to heaven and be seated for all eternity in his right place at your right hand, as King of kings and Lord of lords, Amen!

  2. John Garrett

    I still find this servant king incident in John 13 absolutely astounding!

    3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.

    Lord Jesus, oh how awesome it is that you, who flung stars into space, would give up those beautiful, strong, tender hands to the cruelty of nails mercilessly hammered in by those who You created in your own image and came to save, in the power of the holy spirit and to the praise and glory of the father, Amen!

  3. John Garrett

    47 I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.

    I find it amazing that these words from the Sun of the only wise righteous God countries so much in the words of his father to do the judging when number leavers get to heaven, focusing on his mission of saving them in the here and now.

    Thank you Lord Jesus for being so focused on seeking and saving the last, including me!

    Holy spirit, thank you for honouring the son and the father, by convicting the world of sin, that it might know its need of a Saviour!

    heavenly Father, thank you for being immortal, invisible, God only wise, righteous, just and perfect in and we always, so that we can trust you to judge justly in eternity, in Jesus name, amen!

  4. Margaret

    My internet connection this week was iffy so I didn’t add a comment.
    Generally I love to listen to David Suchet’s reading of the chapters.
    I just love being read to!

  5. John Garrett

    John 11 has to be one of the most curious and mysterious chapters in ‘the whole of Scripture.

    Like many of you, I must have read or heard it read numerous times over the years. However, it only struck me today, that the faith miracle could not have happened until the human effort of moving the stone had been completed. Only then could Jesus call forth His resurrection life out of the place of Death.

    Therefore, from what place of death do you need The Holy Spirit to call out the resurrection life ofThe Saviour and what stone do we need to move in prayer to make way for that miracle, however small or large?

    Lord Jesus, thank You for dying to reveal Yourself to us as sovereign resurrection and sovereign life! Holy Spirit, thank You for encouraging us with the faith to believe Your saving life can be called out of the places of death in our own.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for accepting us all, with our very different personalities and responses to lifeS challenges. Please help us to see our neighbours as You do and to lift them up in the power of your Holy Spirit and In Jesus Saving name, to Your eternal Kingdom advancing praise and glory, Amen!

  6. Kevin Johnson Author

    Two things jump out at me when reading chapter 11: first, how Thomas (v11) were already so committed to following Jesus even unto death. Quite an extraordinary statement for one known as the ‘doubter’.

    The other is how Jesus responds differently to Mary and Martha’s encounter with him (v21, 32) — for Martha he draws out her additional statement of faith and helps her to understand her belief in his power in the here and now but when the moment of truth arrives (rolling the stone away) she hesitates and needs more encouragement; Mary stops short of her sister’s declaration and Jesus grieves with her going to stand at the grave and weep. He knows the power within him and knows the action he will take and yet allows himself to experience her pain and that leads to ‘deep anger’ within him—this is not how the world was meant to be.

    Lord, help me sit with those who mourn and to be with them in their pain; guide me to help those who seek to understand your ways more deeply, so that we all might grow in our faith in you and that God’s glory may shine out for all around to see. Come, Holy Spirit, and minister in every situation into which you lead us. May I have Thomas’ confidence to follow where you lead, whatever the consequences. Amen.

  7. Tom Prendergast

    Hi Kevin,

    9:33 the Jews say they are going to stone him because of his blasphemy – he a mere man claiming to be God.
    I don’t understand the first part of Jesus’ reply verses 34 to 35.
    Can you please help me with this.

    • Kevin Johnson Author

      Hi Tom, thanks for asking – at first this does seem like an obscure response. Let me tell you how I approach something like this and then also what I conclude. So first I consider:

      1. What is the context of our confusing passage? What is happening around my verses, even in the wider chapter? Jesus is trying to convince them that he really is God and that they need not stone him for his works show this as such! He goes back to the security of their Scriptures (his too) citing language they trust whilst they stand their ready to stone him. Such grace in both situations…

      2. Consider what passage Jesus is quoting from? Where does it say ‘I say, “you are gods!”‘ elsewhere in the Bible? We are often helped here by a cross-reference or footnote in our Bibles (if yours doesn’t, for these kind of moments go to https://biblegateway.com , search the passage under NIV and you’ll find comprehensive footnotes) For us, it’s Psalm 82.

      3. Consider the wider context of Psalm 82. Just like we quote things and expect others to know what we mean (e.g., “Don’t go all Romeo on me” evokes all that it means to be that character in Shakespeare’s play. If we don’t know the character the allusion will be lost on the listener and also it’s wider meaning), this is also an age-old convention used by all the biblical writers (Revelation has over 400 Old Testament ‘allusions’ in it, some scholars have found up to 1000!)

      Here we find our reference (which is also a bit obscure!) highlighting that although God had given them a special status (as ‘gods’) they weren’t living up to it. This could be understood as people in power (v6) because they acted in God’s place dispensing his justice, or anyone who had received the Law. Sadly, it also condemns them for not faithfully carrying out their responsibilities (v2). They were called to live differently, in response to their covenant with God, but failed to do so.

      4. Take what you’ve learnt and think about the original passage again. What does this mean to our current passage in John?

      5. Read some scholars, ask others, to help unveil some of the things that are lost in the English translation or are beyond your current understanding (I do this often!) Again, some online sites have free access to commentaries but do some work to understand where they’re coming from (conservative, evangelical, liberal, catholic…)

      6. Weigh up what you’ve read and return to the original text and prayerfully consider what you agree with and what you don’t. Let the Holy Spirit guide you – if you’re uncomfortable about what you’re reading, wrestle with God and don’t let him go until he helps you to understand or gives you peace over the passage!

      So for me, with help, I understand it this way:

      v35: Jesus points out that ‘people who received God’s message were called ‘gods’ — this could imply the Jewish leaders or the judges of their day (or both) but the implication of Psalm 82 is they have failed to live up to their duty. So whoever Jesus is meaning, (and as he’s talking to the Jewish leaders it would make sense to assume he at least means them), then the implication is not good. He then emphasises this by comparing them with himself — he is set apart and sent into the world by the Father (v36), not as one receiving God’s message (‘gods’) but as one with the Father (v38) (God); as one who is living out all that God had commanded…that it IS possible. The evidence to support this is found if he carries out the miraculous works and attitudes that reflect those of God’s (v37-38).

      The implication is staggeringly huge — Jesus is proving (and not just claiming) that he is God by doing the things only God can do. A ‘man’ has arrived on the scene fulfilling the Law which the people never could…could he be the Son of God? The dilemma is then, can they accept what they are seeing and hearing? Will they allow Jesus to be the ‘Son of God’ as they witness him live in the perfect way that they have always failed to live? For those Jewish leaders the answer is no (v39) but for the people beyond the Jordan River the answer for ‘many’ is yes (v42) – perhaps because they had nothing to lose?

      This also says to me that if we’re to be like Jesus we should never give up sharing Jesus with anyone. These were ‘the sheep’ who didn’t know the shepherd’s voice and yet he till continued to engage with them, even when ready to kill him, to try and help them to believe. WOW!

      Tom – I hope this is helpful. It is a confusing passage so don’t give up on it; keep returning and chewing it over, slowly and prayerfully.

  8. John Garrett

    The other night I watched a YouTube video describing the suffering of Jesus In full biological detail and from a medical point of view, from The Garden of Gethsemane until He breathed His last breath. The presenter” stressed that Jesus was a fit and healthy young man, so should not have died so quickly. He quoted John 10:17-18, reminding me that Jesus gave up His life voluntarily, because The Father gave Him the authority to do so,.

    Lord Jesus, Even in the act of breathing Your last breath, You were still in control. Thank You that we can trust in Your sovereign power and grace, even when we do not feel in control ourselves.

    Holy Spirit, thank You for leading us to encounter our saviour at the foot of the cross and for making known to us only what You hear from The Father andThe Son.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your son into The World to be the Good Shepherd, laying down His life, that there may be one flock united in Him, to Your eternal praise and glo’ry, In Jesus Name, Amen!

  9. Maureen Smith

    Thinking about this week’s chapters and the teaching Jesus was giving the people around him and following him, I am so thankful to God that He put me in this generation and time. If I had been there listening to this teaching, I wonder how I would have received these mysterious things that Jesus was saying? I think I might have been persuaded by actually encountering Jesus and his wonderful presence, but I’m not sure about understanding what he said.
    We, today, have the benefit of generations of Christian witness, as confirmation of the faith. But, at that time it was all so raw and believing was so dangerous.
    Thank you Lord that you put me in the world in this generation and in this country. Please continue to be with those in countries where being Your follower is as dangerous and raw as it was when Jesus was here on earth. May you receive all the glory. Amen.

  10. John Garrett

    John nine is a very personal checked it to me. Nevertheless, I find Jesus words inverses 39 and 40 and insufficient preparation for his conviction of the Pharisees that follows.

    39 Then Jesus told him, “I entered this world to render judgment—to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” 40

    Jesus tells the Pharisees they are guilty because they are blind and mislead the people, which reminds me of hey CS prophecy that gods people die through lack of knowledge.

    Lord Jesus, thank you for reminding me that guilt can make us blind and that blindness does not make us guilty.

    Holy spirit, thank you for teaching us about spiritual blindness through physical blindness and that the only way we can walk in the dark is to follow the light of the world.

    Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your son into the world to teach us how to walk by faith and not by sight, in Jesus name, amen!

  11. Kathy

    In John 9 v3 Jesus says “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins, This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” (NLT). Jesus teaches us to look at situations, sometimes adverse ones as opportunities for God’s power and glory to be revealed. In Ch8 he says “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” His light ilumines all situations so that we CAN see the power of God at work and not be overcome by the darkest of situations.

  12. John Garrett

    I think this chapter demonstrates really well, just how little The Pharisees understood of Jesus spiritual origin and nowhere do you see this more starkly than with reference to Abraham.

    56 Your father Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad.” 57 The people said, “You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham? ” 58 Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM! ” 59 At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.

    Lord Jesus, how dull of hearing, blind of spirit and hard of heart would we be without the teaching and council of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You for suffering the most horiffic torture and death, that You might be qlorified by The Father and us receive The Holy Spirit.

    Holy Spirit, thank You for revealing to us the truth of who Jesus is and His vivrtal and central role in The Father’s plan of salvation.

    Heavenly Father, thank You for not leaving us to languish under Your righteous judgement and wrath, but for sending Your one and only Son to be our assurance and Way back to eternity with You in Heaven, In Jesus Saving Name, Amen!

  13. Sarah Smith

    Chapter 8 verses 12 and 20. Jesus is in the Temple treasury. I remember a commentary saying there were candles burning in this area to symbolise the pillar of fire that guided the Israelites. This is where Jesus said “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me … will have the light of life.”

  14. Kevin Johnson Author

    8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free” – what a glorious promise! I’m also struck by the “meek and mild” Jesus not being so meek and mild anymore as he’s grown into a man. His robust conversation with all who hear in this very public place reminds me of the command from 1 Peter 3:15-16: to ‘always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you…’ Challenging but important. How have I grown since last year in being able to represent him?

  15. Sarah Smith

    Chapter 6 verse 12. Jesus is interested in not wasting any food.

    Also, I wonder who ended up eating it.

    And another point is, this shows how enthusiastically God wants to bless us.

    • Kevin Johnson Author

      I love this observation! ‘Read all about it – big feast at Big J’s latest digs. Lots of fish and bread going spare…’ What amazing grace. I love the abundance of his love in this image. Thanks Sarah.

  16. John Garrett

    Inverse 49, we hear, “This foolish crowd follows him, but they are ignorant of the law. God’s curse is on them!”

    Isn’t Johns irony startlingly true? The scribes and Pharisees are foolish and cursed because they don’t really know and understand the law and therefore follow Jesus?

    Lord Jesus, thank you for in God incarnate as a man, to die on a criminals cross, rise and descend to the right hand of the father, that we might follow you where are you are. Holy spirit, thank you for revealing all truth to us as and when we need to know, understand and act on it. Heavenly Father, thank you for having a plan for our lives, both physical and eternal and for giving them meaning over and above what we think they amount to ourselves, in Jesus name, Amen!

  17. Margaret

    chapter 7 “” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them.””
    I wonder if the disciples remembered these words as they shared in the last Supper?

  18. Margaret

    1.As I make our bread every few days I will call to mind the words “I am the bread of life”.
    2.We are these days just as judgemental —–
    6 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

  19. Kevin Johnson Author

    6:30 There is this constant wrestling between faith and miracles. This challenge is offered by the crowd who were just part of the multitude who were fed yet they want another sign…and they have no problem believing they could perform a sign themselves but belief in Jesus is another matter (v28).

    Lord, may I continue to be amazed and convicted by the sign of your birth being the fulfilment of all you had pronounced so long before.

  20. Maureen Smith

    Chapter 6 New Living Translation
    I’m struggling with this chapter. I have read, ‘ I am the bread of life.’ words of Jesus all my years. Reading and noticing the references in Jesus’ other words about election I find hard to hear. The way Jesus says that we can only believe if God has already decided we are one of those He has given to Jesus. (verse 65)
    In verse 47 Jesus says, ‘ Anyone who believes has eternal life.’ But other verses seem to be saying you have to be chosen.
    What about those who are not given to Jesus by God? They don’t seem to have a chance.
    Are we praying for some people to believe who are a lost cause?
    I have always been uncomfortable with Peter’s declaration that we are a chosen people. But in this chapter Jesus seems to be saying the same.
    I know it’s the Holy Spirit working in us that brings us to see the truth. And when I pray for people to be saved I pray for the Holy Spirit to work in their heart. If they are not chosen , what then?
    Sorry if this all sounds very negative.

    • Kevin Johnson Author

      Thanks for being so honest, Maureen. It’s one of those tough area of Jesus’ teachings to wrestle with. Let me have a think about this and come back to you in due course. Others may already have helpful comments/reflections coming to mind and are welcome to post their thoughts.

    • Margaret

      Yes Maureen, very hard to understand. There are also so many who give their lives to Him and then turn away, have they not been “chosen?”

    • Sarah Smith

      The NLT Life Application Study Bible notes on John 15.16 say “Jesus made the first choice – to love and to die for us, to invite us to live with him forever. We make the next choice – to accept or reject his offer. Without his choice, we would have no choice to make.”

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