What We Learned Together Sunday April 16, 2023
INTRODUCTION We return to John Chapter Fourteen seeing Jesus teaching His Disciples. These words by Jesus are unique to the Gospel of John in this Upper Room discourse. Here is the teaching by Jesus for His disciples. Through Chapter fourteen Jesus teaches us about The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The words from Jesus for His disciples because of His departure in this section of the Upper Room discourse in John 13:31-14:31. Jesus speaks departing words of comfort and care. Jesus gives His words of instruction and direction. Let us remember John 13:19 and see John 14:29 and know John 20:30-31. We are to be believers in Jesus hearing His words. In this chapter Jesus teaches three important truths for His disciples: 1) A Place Where He Goes & Prepares for Them To Be With Him, 2) The Promise Which He Gives & Proclaims to Them To Be About Him, and 3) The Person Who He Sends & Describes To Them To Be From Him. In this Scripture passage this morning we hear truths given to His disciples by Jesus Himself in four main areas: Knowing Him, Believing Him, Praying to Him, and Loving Him.
First, Have Completely in Jesus The Personal Knowledge of God [14:7-9] In verses seven to nine these words emphasize knowing the truth about Jesus. In verse seven we see In Jesus Knowing and Understanding The Father [14:7] “ . . . now you know Him and have seen Him.” [John 1:18; 14:1] Who He Is in His Identity as the Son of God! To know Jesus means you know the Father! At the beginning of the Gospel of John we read, “No one has seen God at any time; God the only Son, who is in the arms of the Father, He has explained Him.” [John 1:18] Here is teaching for His disciples as learners and followers. In verse eight we see From Jesus Having and Showing the Father [14:8]. As Philipp requests of Jesus “Lord, show us the Father . . .” In verse nine we see With Jesus Revealing and Seeing The Father [14:9] In another place in the Gospel John, Jesus also stated His relationship with the Father directly. In John 12:45 He says, “The one who believes in Me, does not believe only in Me, but also in Him who sent Me. And the one who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.” And in John 13:20 Jesus said, Truly, truly I say to you, the one who receives anyone I send, receives Me; and the one who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” As one commentator wrote, “In Jesus God has made Himself known.” This means Jesus is the revelation of God. He is teaching that He Himself is the perfect revelation of God. Knowing Him means personal knowledge of God. Therefore, someone who claims to know God must know Jesus. And if one does not know Jesus then they do not know God for Jesus is God! Such knowledge of God in Jesus is the basis for what Jesus says in this passage of Scripture filled with promises!
Second, Believe Fully in Jesus The Personal Work of God [14:10-11]. In verses ten to twelve these words emphasize believing the truth about Jesus [cf. 3:32; 7:16; 8:28; 10:25, 38; 12:49]. In ten we see In Jesus Believing & Hearing the Words of God [14:10]. In His own words Jesus in the Father and The Father in Jesus. Jesus’ words demonstrate that the Father spoke through Him and that is the basis for believing His claim to be in the Father and the Father in Him. A divine relationship between the Father and the Son. With Jesus claiming the proclamation of God in His words. In verse eleven we see In Jesus Believing & Understanding the Works of God [14:11]. Here The Father abiding and working in Jesus. Jesus commands again, “Believe Me . . . believe because of the works themselves.” [cf. John 5:16-20 and John 10:24-33]. In verse twelve we see In Jesus Believing & Doing the Works of God [14:12]. Again the words of Jesus, “Truly, truly, I say to you . . .” Here John places attention on the words of Jesus as Jesus teaches His disciples. The important place His words have in our believing Him and understanding Who He is according to His words. The present active participle describes the present character of “he who believes in Me . . .” The repeated emphasis on believing in the words of Jesus. And His promise “ . . . he will do also . . . these he will do . . .” The words of Jesus in this context speaking to His disciples about the future plans because of His work. Does this promise cause you to do greater things for Jesus? This is going to happen “ . . . because I go to the Father.” His crucifixion, His resurrection, and His ascension causes a new ministry for His disciples. Greater ministry not in power nor in kind but extent. For no disciples would do or could miracles greater than Jesus! The sign gifts of miracles were also only for authenticating the ministries of the apostles and the prophets. Consider all that would be accomplished in the Name of Jesus because He is resurrected from the dead and that the Holy Spirit has been sent.
Third, Live Faithfully in Jesus The Personal Relationship With God [14:13-15]. In verses thirteen to fifteen these words emphasize praying the truth about Jesus. In verses thirteen and fourteen In Jesus Asking and Praying [14:13-14] “And whatever you ask in My name this will I do.” What a promise by Jesus! Asking in His name means that Which Is Done for & Because of Jesus. In these verses what He does and His ability as the Son of God being taught to His disciples. With the purpose of praying in Jesus’ name “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” As in the Old Testament the Name of God on display in His guidance, His deliverance, and His power. So, praying thinking Is the Father glorified in this? How are you pursuing the glory of the Father in the Son in your praying? What are you asking to be done in the name of Jesus? In prayer Jesus promises to answer with His personal guarantee! And then in verse fourteen says, “If anything you ask Me in My name, I Myself will do it.” [cf. 10:25; 14;26; 15:16; 16:23-24] Some points to make with these words of Jesus. Being Such Ones Who these words of Jesus Direct Us As His Disciples. See His words “And whatever anything you ask in My name that will I do.” Believing these words of Jesus means you will be a person of prayer. And holding these words of Jesus means you will pray to Him as God. In verse fifteen we see With Jesus Loving and Obeying [14:15]. Here Jesus gives a third-class conditional sentence which examines the truth of this matter for each of us. This is true for some and not true for others. So, these words of Jesus cause us to look at our lives in light of His words seeing if these things are true about us. In these chapters we have seen commands by Jesus for His disciples [13:14-15, 34-35; 14:1, 11]. Different aspects of our personal relationship with Jesus and therefore our personal relationship with God. Moreover, these words by Jesus describing more works to be done with His testimony of believe and do. Also, a real relationship continues as we pray and Jesus will do. And present love remains with our love and obedience because of Him and what is His requirements for us as His disciples. The great commission summarized in these words of Jesus asking and praying, believing and doing, loving and obeying.
In even fuller measure with ministry of the Spirit in John 14:16-24 our study for next week. Here are some thoughts for remembering these truths about Jesus. The truth about Jesus is our dependence upon Jesus for having personal knowledge of God and believing the personal work of God. Being such a one who is asking and praying with understanding according to the words of Jesus as His disciples because of changes coming. May we go to Jesus asking in His name to accomplish His work. May each of us in knowing and believing also be praying that the greater things promised by Jesus for “the one who believes in Me” be accomplished in and through New Life Fellowship. May we seek to be His disciples by seeing the Gospel going forth through our teaching and proclaiming of His words and His works. These great truths from our Savior encourage our hearts as His disciples in these days as we seek to serve Him through the ministry, He has called us in these days of our lives and as His people here at New Life Fellowship.
What We learned Together Sunday April 9, 2023 Resurrection Sunday
INTRODUCTION “He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed” We are here today because Jesus is risen from the dead. A great statement of Christian truth is “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” [Romans 10:9-10]. It is our Christian testimony based on the authority of the Word of God. The Apostle Paul wrote, “that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures [1 Corinthians 15:3-4]. This morning for our special Resurrection Sunday we are teaching from the Gospel of John again. This morning John chapter 20 where we are seeing the message of the Apostle John as the eyewitness of these events. This morning believing Jesus has risen from the dead as we study John chapter 20 together. Different Perspectives of the Empty Tomb [Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24] John has already clearly stated the burial confirms the reality of His death [Cf. 19:35, 38-42]. In this Gospel narrative “John writes with exceptional detail and great vividness throughout.” What he saw and believed & wants us to see and believe throughout the narrative. Three different Greek words used in this chapter for the English word saw: observing 20:2, 5 [1:14, 29, 38; 11:45], seeing 20:6 [1:34], and understanding 20:8, 18-29 [John 1:39, 46, 50-51; 4:29, 45; 19:35]. Four sections to this chapter: Seeing The Stone Taken Away from the Tomb of Jesus, Seeing The Burial Clothes Lying in The Tomb of Jesus, Seeing The Lord Jesus Physically Resurrected from the Dead, and Seeing The Lord Jesus Personally Alive Before Them All. There is hope for today and hope for tomorrow believing Jesus has risen from the dead.First, Seeing The Stone Taken Away from the Tomb of Jesus [20:1-2]. Arriving at the Tomb Where Jesus’ Body Was Buried [20:1a]. John details the first day of the week . . . It Is Sunday! And as Mary Magdalene arrives she “saw the stone taken away from the tomb.” cf. 19:41-42 Throughout John gives repetition of the phrase “the tomb” [cf. John 19:41; 20:1,2,3,4,6,8]. Here is the history of the empty tomb. Then Announcing to the Disciples that Jesus’ Body Was Gone [20:2]. What was Mary Magdalene’s conclusion? Cf. 20:11-13 She was thinking only what man had done not what God truly did. The same word taken away used in both verse one and verse two. The great number of emotions on that day for her with sadness and loss compounded by unexpected circumstances seeming more intense and dark with his body now gone. She wanted to remember Him and go to where His body had been placed but now even that desire is obstructed. This is where the skeptics stops with someone took His body and that explains the empty tomb but there is so much more to the truth of these matters. What she didn’t know and couldn’t understand apart from Jesus revealing Himself to her.
Second, Seeing The Burial Clothes Lying in The Tomb of Jesus [20:3-10]. From the history of this event to their testimony about these events. What they saw there in the empty tomb is placed before the reader by the eyewitness testimony of the Apostle John. Arriving at the Tomb Where Jesus’ Body Was Supposed To Be [20:3-5]. John gives us the details showing the real situation and real action by both Peter and John. Why such details included here not found in the other Gospel accounts? John understands that the readers have these other accounts so his emphasis here is on how they acted and reacted. They were not planning but running. They were not strategizing but reacting. Then Approaching the Tomb Where Jesus’ Body Was No Longer [20:6-10]. The presence of linen wrappings but the absence of the body. Peter sees the burial clothes with the emphasis on “the body, he saw plainly, was gone. But there was something in the whole appearance of things which he could not understand.” Notice the emphasis upon Peter saw what was left in the tomb. The narrative connects these verses with the repeated conjunction “and . . . and . . . and . . .” The face cloth rolled up all by itself is significant. Remembering the same clothes used on Lazarus in John chapter 11 and those burial clothes needed to be removed by others. Here the burial clothes are left behind by Jesus in the tomb contradicting the theory of grave robbers stealing the body. As one commentator said the burials clothes lying in the empty tomb, “by the one who no longer had any use for them.” These same burial clothes mentioned in John 19:40 when the body of Jesus was buried. Then notice the statements by John in verse eight, “he saw and believed.” Without actually seeing Jesus resurrected John here states that he believed by the evidence presented to him at the empty tomb. And therefore he presents to the reader calling upon each one to see and believe. Here again is brought into focus believing Jesus has risen from the dead. Jesus conquered death is the plain statement of the narrative. Also verse nine and ten remind us that the authority of Scripture is the basis for belief in the resurrection of Jesus. This was in the proclaiming of Jesus’ Words in the Gospel of John [Cf. John 2:22; 10:17-18; 11:25].
Third, Seeing The Lord Jesus Physically Resurrected from the Dead [20:11-18]. Now Mary returns to the tomb of Jesus. And John continues the narrative “ . . . the tomb . . . where the body of Jesus had been lying . . .” Here Mary is weeping and sees the angels. Her words about Jesus “ . . . my Lord . . . the Lord . . .” What a special relationship Mary had with Jesus because of His grace, His forgiveness, and His salvation in her life. [Cf. John 20:20, 25, 28] Jesus reveals himself to her in the deep state of despair while weeping. It calls upon us to recognize and see the great comfort and care the resurrected Lord provides for His own disciples who He loves, and they love him. Jesus is not detached from the sorrow and grief of His disciples. How different she left the tomb after seeing Jesus from when she arrived at the tomb according to verse one. “[She] came announcing to the disciples, I have seen the Lord . . .” A message from the Lord Jesus in obedience to His words. Here the emphasis is Jesus is Lord. Not only Jesus conquered death but also Jesus is Lord. This is what we believe and teach in the resurrection of Jesus. He is Lord! By her own testimony “I have seen the Lord!” It is one of the great declarations as His disciples that Jesus is risen from the dead and therefore Jesus is Lord. Proclaiming who He is and what He has done testifying this believing Jesus has risen from the dead. The one who had been weeping is now witnessing! Having shown us the history by providing us the testimony, John here now shows His authority as the resurrected Lord.
Fourth, Seeing The Lord Jesus Personally Alive Before Them All [20:19-29]. Jesus presented Himself alive to His disciples. Here the emphasis is Jesus Is Alive. Read verse 19 “Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them . . .” Peace Jesus gives to His disciples. His very presence with them. Read verse 20 “disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.” Read verse 25 “we have seen the Lord!” And yet Thomas was unwilling and unbelieving as if there was a lack of evidence and eyewitness accounts. Such a great reminder that there might be one like Thomas here today. May the evidence, testimony, and words of Jesus minister to you this day so that you would understand and believe. There is plenty of evidence and by the authority of the Word of God believing Jesus has risen from the dead. So that we can trust Him wholeheartedly. The devil wants to play with your emotions and your heart in these matters. And again eight days later Jesus appears to His disciples. Read verse 29 “because you have seen me, have you believed?” Read verse 29 “Blessed are they who did not see, and yet believed.” Jesus mentioned this back in His High Priestly prayer. John recorded His words, “I am not asking on behalf of these alone, but also for those who believe in Me through their word” [John 17:20]. Is that you Jesus is speaking about in these words to Thomas? Is Jesus talking about you as a believer? And finally John concludes this chapter and this section of the Gospel narrative with his theme of believing. That is what is means to be a believer. I believe Jesus has risen from the dead. Maybe you are here today and the words for Thomas are Jesus’ words for you dear friend, “do not be unbelieving, but believing.” [20:27] And Thomas said to Jesus, “My Lord and My God!” One of the highest confessions and professions of any man of Jesus on the earth! This is what the resurrection of Jesus does in the rising of our thoughts about Him that we would also declare My Lord and My God. Not only Jesus conquered death and Jesus is Lord, and therefore Jesus is alive. So I therefore ought to obey Him, serve Him, love Him, and worship Him. The reality of His resurrection. To believe that Jesus has risen from the dead is to believe the words of Jesus! To believe that Jesus has risen from the dead is to believe the testimony of the Word of God! See and believe that Jesus would be your Lord and your God. This needs to be our testimony that we say Jesus is “My Lord and My God!” In these final verses of this chapter John writes, “So then, many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that by believing you may have life in His name.” [John 20:30-31]
“He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!” Seeing and believing! Believing Jesus has risen from the dead. What we have seen in this chapter: Seeing The Stone Taken Away from the Tomb of Jesus, Seeing The Burial Clothes Lying in The Tomb of Jesus, Seeing The Lord Jesus Physically Resurrected from the Dead, and Seeing The Lord Jesus Personally Alive Before Them All. There is hope for today and hope for tomorrow believing Jesus has risen from the dead. Here John gives his readers evidences, testimonies, and appearances so that we would also believe! Do you believe? Jesus conquered death. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Alive. There are several points of application for us believing Jesus has risen from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead means He lives and therefore intercedes on our behalf [cf. Romans 5:10;6:4;Ephesians 1:19-20;Hebrews 7:25]. The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact & biblical truth which intersects in the lives of real people in real situations—His Help, Our Hope, The Home. The resurrection of Jesus means each of us should live as those believing Jesus has risen from the dead with our testimony being “my Lord and My God.” The resurrection of Jesus means that we announce to others the Gospel message believing Jesus has risen from the dead. Are you believing Jesus has risen from the dead?
"Man of Sorrows" what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Bearing shame and scoffing rude
In my place condemned He stood
Sealed my pardon with His blood
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Guilty vile and helpless we
Spotless Lamb of God was He
Full atonement can it be
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Lifted up was He to die
"It is finished!" was His cry
Now in heaven exalted high
Hallelujah, what a Savior
When He comes, our glorious King
All His ransomed home to bring
Then anew this song we'll sing
Hallelujah, what a Savior
Christ Suffered and Died . . . To Show His Own Love for Us 
The Passion of Jesus Christ, John Piper pp. 30-31
Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Ephesians 5:25
[He] loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The death of Christ is not only the demonstration of God’s love (John 3:16), it is also the supreme expression of Christ’s own love for all who receive it as their treasure. The early witnesses who suffered most for being Christians were captured by this fact: Christ “loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). They took the self-giving act of Christ’s sacrifice very personally.
They said, “He loved me. He gave himself for me.”
Surely this is the way we should understand the sufferings and death of Christ. They have to do with me. They are about Christ’s love for me personally. It is my sin that cuts me off from God, not sin in general. It is my hard-heartedness and spiritual numbness that demean the worth of Christ. I am lost and perishing. When it comes to salvation, I have forfeited all claim on justice. All I can do is plead for mercy.
Then I see Christ suffering and dying. For whom? It says, Christ Suffered and Died . . . 30 6 “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
And I ask, Am I among the “many”? Can I be one of his “friends”? May I belong to the “church”? And I hear the answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). “Everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43). “To all who did receive him,
who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12).
“Whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
My heart is swayed, and I embrace the beauty and bounty of Christ as my treasure. And there flows into my heart this great reality—the love of Christ for me.
So I say with those early witnesses, “He loved me and gave himself for me.”
And what do I mean? I mean that he paid the highest price possible to give me the greatest gift possible. And what is that? It is the gift he prayed for at the end of his life: “Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory” (John 17:24). In his suffering and death “we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). We have seen enough to capture us for his cause. But the best is yet to come. He died to secure this for us.
That is the love of Christ.
Pastor Timothy J. Atkins
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Pastor, Teacher, Discipler, and Follower of Jesus.