Friday, March 25, 2011

Studies in John 14-16 - The Beginning

John chapters 14, 15, & 16 might be thought of as the advanced degree section of Jesus teaching of His disciples. These are His last words to the Apostles before the betrayal.

Sometimes the chapter divisions, which it is important to remember, were not in the original Greek and Hebrew writings, but were added well more than a 1000 years after Christ, don't seem to make much sense in their placement.

In this case, chapter 13 ends with Jesus speaking to Peter:

John 13:36-38
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. (37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. (38) Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

I don't see any editorial indication of pause or change of location or time or audience. It seems to me that Jesus is continuing to talk to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, in the start of chapter 14:

John 14:1-4
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. (2) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (4) And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

The chapter division, seems to split a contiguous thought of Jesus right into 2.

Chapter 13 has just seen the last supper, Judas leaving to betray Him, and the foot washing. Jesus has told them that He is going away.

How heavy everyone's heart must have been at this time. Jesus has been with them for 3+ years. They have grown mightily in His discipleship of them, but still. . .they now face the prospect of being left alone, without their Messiah. . .without their Savior. . .without God manifest in the flesh with them. . .What a heavy, significant time this was for them. . .

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