Good Morning, Siblings!
Today’s readings are John 16-18
Diving right on in, chapter 16 reminds us that we will be rejected for following Messiah. But pay attention to how the rejection is going to look. In this account, Messiah says that people will be put out of synagogues. We’ve got more on that coming up (hopefully this week) but for now we need to realize that “church” is very much the modern descendant of synagogue. Neither system was established by the Father although both are rooted in a sincere desire to honor the Father in absence of the temple. We can see that Messiah participated in the synagogue and I do believe that He would participate in the church today as well.
But we need to do a gut check and every time we see synagogue, considering it to be a twin to our modern mindset of “church”. I want to point this out because we have been taught that passages like these are just condemnation of the Jews, but that is a deep rooted anti-Semitism that is not in line with YHWH’s word. In fact, this line of thinking not only contradicts His Word but blasphemes it as well. Also, the condemnations coming to the synagogue can just as easily be applied to much of the church and I don’t want us to separate ourselves from that. The word of YHWH should ALWAYS be taken personally for a Believer. He gave us this information for a reason. For those who seek to follow Him, often that reason is so that we can see what is lacking in ourselves and take heed of His wisdom in how to correct that.
So, for the sake of seeing ourselves in the scripture in an honest and repentant manner, when we see synagogue, think “church” as that is what we know in relation to it.
John 16:12 Is a loving reminder of how well the Father knows us and that He has a plan of revealing Himself to us as a process, giving us wisdom upon wisdom as we are ready for it.
How can we ensure we are always evolving and learning and growing in the Father? By reading His Word and committing ourselves to do what it says, even if it means we ourselves will be rejected by our own synagogues (churches). Who is to say that by your example those who reject you may just mull it over, continue to watch your life, and decide to pick up the Word and begin reading with eyes willing to see and ears willing to hear, setting their heart to understand because they saw how much it had meant to you and what you were willing to give up in exchange for that precious closeness with the Father?
John 16:33 is something we should all have on our bathroom mirrors a’la post it note:
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Folks, It ain’t over until He comes back and when it IS over, we had best know His Word and be found doing things His way rather than our own.
John 17:1 reminds us, yet again, that Messiah defers credit to the Father in all things and in all His work.
John 17:5 is amazing. I mean, I know we read this in John 1:1 but I always like these little golden reminders that Messiah was there, in the beginning of all things. Please do not miss this opportunity to look up both of these verses and read them again.
John 17:6 and John 17:11 Remember that Messiah’s birth name is Yeshua, which means “YHWH Saves”, so the first part of Messiah’s name is actually part of YHWH’s name. These two verses have layers of meaning and you need to read them slowly, considering the meaning of His name as you do in order to understand them on a deeper level.
17:17 SANCTIFY THEM IN THE TRUTH: YOUR WORD IS TRUTH.
Something To Think About: When Messiah refers to the Word of YHWH, keep in mind that the New Testament did not exist until about 300 years after the burial and resurrection of Messiah. So when He is talking about YHWH’s Word being truth, what part of the Bible is He referring to? Yup. The one modern Believers neglect the most.
John 18:14 tells us that Caiaphas suggested that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. A couple of things to consider here. First of all, Caiaphas was not a Torah sanctioned priest as we would consider the High Priest in the temple era. His position was appointed and governed over by the Roman government. Further, this man was a high priest for over 19 years, longer than anyone else under Roman rule, which was a time of cutthroat politics so that tells us that he was quite a politician himself. Recall that Luke 19:46 tells us that the temple had become a “den of robbers” and this is a prime example. So the thing is, relations between Roman authorities and Jews were hanging in there, but not too great. The Romans tolerated the Jews and allowed them this high priest to placate them a bit.
However, Messiah’s influence is spreading and causing His followers (the Jews) to rock the boat. Caiaphas worries that if He is allowed to continue, the Jews will lose what little ground they have with the Romans and possibly suffer a fate similar to what they had gone through in past generations.
And now for today’s episode of “WHY DID HE DO THAT?”
In John 18:23 Messiah answers the men interrogating Him with
Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?”
So here is the thing, Messiah just called them out on a whole plethora of violations of law according to YHWH:
- A judge must not commit unrighteousness – Lev 19:15
- A judge must not favor or be partial to one side Lev 19:15
- A judge must not avoid justice because of being in fear of a wicked person Deut 1:17
- A judge must not hear one person’s side in absence of the other Ex 23:1
- A judge must not take vengeance or bear a grudge Lev 19:18
And it keeps going on from there. We could go back through the first five books and find even more violations that are taking place in this passage and about to take place going forward from this point.
John 18:28 The Jews believed that if they entered into the home of a Gentile they would be unclean. This is not YHWH’s law but part of their manmade doctrine.
Note: If you did not know that and weren’t reading it in my notes, you would still be expected to know it because you have YHWH’s law within your hands and as a Believer, we each have the responsibility to test everything according to the Words of YHWH Himself. We must take seriously our responsibility to study and know the instruction that YHWH has given to each of us. We’re getting there – together. I’m thankful to the Father for the support of other believers as we seek to know and do His word.
36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over …” John 18:36
His kingdom is still not of this world and we are still not fighting for His causes but our own, oftentimes after we dress them up as his. Then, we put our energy into fighting these battles that mean so much in our world and nothing in the spiritual realm that we have little energy left to study, know, and live out His word, much less to spend building our relationship with Him.
At the end of this chapter today, remember that the name of the man who was convicted with Messiah was named Yeshua Barabbas, which translates to Yeshua son of Man. I think it is important to know the background of this name confusion so if you missed my notes you can see them here.
I’m excited to be in the Word with you!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!
May YHWH bless the reading of His Word!