Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 37: Saturday
Jesus spoke these things; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.”
Saturday’s Bible reading is John 16–18. Chapter 16 finishes what is known as the Last Supper Discourse of Jesus Christ. Chapter 17 is called the High Priestly Prayer (reading it will help you understand the name). Chapter 18 is His trial.
In my post on the first two chapters of John I gave you an introduction to the book and below is a table of things to look for as you read. Other than that, in light of John’s purpose for writing, if you’ve never read John’s Gospel about Jesus Christ, I want you to discover it on your own.
“Therefore 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 believing you may have life in His name.”
|“Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.” John 8:58|
|The Signs and ‘I Am’ Statements of Jesus
|John 2:1–11||Jesus changes water into wine|
|John 4:46–54||Jesus heals the royal official’s son|
|John 5:1–15||Jesus heals the paralytic|
|John 6:5–14||Jesus feeds the crowd of 5,000|
|John 6:16–21||Jesus walks on water|
|John 6:35ff||“I am the Bread of Life”|
|John 8:12ff||“I am the Light of the World”|
|John 9||Jesus heals the man born blind|
|John 10:7ff||“I am the Door”|
||“I am the Good Shepherd”|
|John 11:1–46||Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.|
|John 11:25||“I am the Resurrection and the Life”|
|John 14:6||“I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life”|
|John 15:1ff||“I am the Vine”|
UPDATE: When I first published the post I mistakenly marked the reading as John 16–19, when it actually ended in chapter 18. I’ve corrected it at the top.
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Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter
3 thoughts on “John 16–18: The Only True God & Jesus Christ”
I have a special story to tell you about these chapters in John.
During the time my brother was dying of AIDS, in all of his struggling and desire to be close to God, he still refused to agree with God regarding his sin. I was not trying to act as judge, but I knew that what God calls sin, we cannot deem otherwise. I earnestly desired him to turn to the Lord Jesus and be saved.
We are saved, not on the basis of deeds which we have done, but solely by God’s grace as we come to Him in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ as Lord—that through His death—“God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” What God calls sin, we must agree with Him is sin, or we have not truly come to repentance.
My husband and I discussed it and he suggested the gentlest way he knew to speak concerning repentance one last time. We lived many miles away, and in our last phone conversation I asked my brother if he loved Jesus, and he replied, yes. I then said to him, then you must tell Him that He’s right and you’ve been wrong. He never said a word, but handed the phone over to someone else.
That was the last time I ever spoke with him. We sent messages of love to him, but he did not want to talk. That was hard, as you can imagine, and in tears I had already prayed and given my brother into God’s hands, asking for His mercy, and acknowledging that God was sovereign and good in all His ways, whatever the outcome.
I had sent my brother tapes of my reading of the entire the gospel of John and portions of Isaiah, because I knew and believed Isaiah’s words in 55:11 that God’s Word will not return to Him empty without accomplishing what He desires. I also knew and believed Paul’s words in Romans 10:17, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” I prayed God would use His Word to change my brother’s heart towards Him.
My brother had said goodbye to everyone but me, and so the decision was made by someone who with him to play a tape of my voice—not in order, but in God’s providence, starting with the tape beginning in John 17. He stayed alive for a few minutes more, listening to my voice and finally dying during my reading of the crucifixion of Jesus in John 19.
The next afternoon I was praying, and it was not a demanding prayer, but a wistful one. I said to God that it would be nice to know what happened in my brother’s mind and heart those last few moments. I remember saying to Him it would be nice to have a dream about Christ being the good shepherd and my brother being one of His little lambs.
I lay down on the living room sofa to take a nap, but never went to sleep. Ten or fifteen minutes later, my five-year-old son came in and wanted his bicycle helmet. I got up and helped him put it on. We were standing in the living room, by a stand holding various family pictures. There were also on it some little animal patches he had earned in a Bible club, I’d placed them there until I could find the time to iron them onto his uniform vest.
He picked up one of the patches, and I thought he was going to be upset that I hadn’t yet ironed it on his vest. Instead, my son noticed a picture of my brother with his dogs, and he took the patch, covered up his uncle’s face with it, and said, “Look, Mommy, at Uncle….”
The patch he choose was a little lamb patch. I looked and there, over my brother’s face, was the picture of a little lamb. Without mentioning my prayer to anyone, not fifteen minutes later God answered it, not through a dream, which would have been subjective to my own wishful thinking, but by the independent action of my son.
I was stunned and didn’t say anything at the time. I was in such a state of shock I didn’t say anything at all to anyone until dinner that night and then I told my family. The kids were immediately relieved, and my husband thought it was an answer to prayer.
Over the next two weeks as we traveled for the services, we had many, many answers to prayer in which God demonstrated His love and comfort for me. I also had an extraordinary sense of the closeness of God and of His sustaining power and care—stronger than I have ever known.
Paul wrote in Romans 10:9–13 (NIV):
I believe in the final moments of his life, my brother acknowledged that Jesus is Lord. After decades of heartache, conversations and prayer, I believe that God in His mercy and grace reached my brother through His Word and took him home to be with Him.
A long time ago I read an article that said the thief on the cross was the only deathbed conversion in the Bible; there was only one so that we would always have hope, and only one so that we would not presume upon God. We cannot delude ourselves that a confession of faith followed by years of rebellion was a true conversion, but we can always hope, pray and witness until the end. God’s Word is more powerful than a two-edged sword and can pierce hearts of stone and bring prodigals home.
When I wrote my comments above I thought today’s ending went through chapter 19, when it actually ended at chapter 18. I would have saved the story of my brother until next week, but I’ll leave it up because my reading on the tape began in chapter 17..