Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

John says that more proof of Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God could be offered. Even more evidence He is our Savior and the greatest Teacher for life!

But it is enough!

Here is more than enough to create faith in the hearts of those who seriously examine the facts so graciously provided.

The way Jesus lived is clearly set forth to the world. What He thought, how He treated people and even why He did what He did can be known to us. It is enough!

The teaching of Jesus is well-documented. We don’t have to guess about what the Teacher said. It is enough to illuminate and guide us to the blessings of a godly life.

The miraculous signs He demonstrated more than confirm all His claims. It is enough!

Above all, His death proves His love for us. If this isn’t enough, nothing could be!

And finally His resurrection reveals a plan for our futures when this life is done. Heaven will be more than enough!

This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.
How appropriately John closes his gospel account - IT IS ENOUGH!!!



So much was happening that last day in the city of Jerusalem. Maybe they missed it! The constant refrain of Jesus’ teaching the last night they were together!

Time and again, He steered their lengthy discussions back to the subject on His mind. Love!

Beginning from the Last Supper in John 13, until He was taken by the mob to be crucified, love was the focus of His last words to them. It is love, above all other things, the Teacher wants to emphasize to His students.

Read John 13 through 17 again. Notice how many times Jesus initiates a conversation about love. Observe how easily the students are sidetracked and ask questions that go in a different direction.

See how tolerantly their Teacher allows them to get off topic. He patiently answers all their questions. But above all, note His persistence in returning to the thing He wants them to understand as He is about to leave them!


And here again, the Teacher returns to that most important lesson for His students.

Three times He asks Peter:

Do you truly love me more than these?
Simon son of John, do you truly love me?
Simon son of John, do you love me?

Today, this is still the question on the heart of the Teacher for every student!

Love sent Jesus into the world. In love for us, Jesus lived and died. And it is His love in our hearts that validates our relationship with Him.

We may ask other questions. Become distracted by numerous ideas. But always the Teacher calls us back to the question: Do you love me?

Then he said to him, "Follow me!"



This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

This is a period of transition for the students of Jesus. They understand their Teacher has risen from the dead. Yet, something is different.

The Teacher is not with them twenty-four hours a day as before. For three years He has been their constant companion. All during the forty days between His resurrection and His ascension, Jesus comes and goes.

Perhaps He is preparing them for the new kind of relationship they will have with Him in the very near future. He will no longer be with them physically as before. For after Jesus returns to the Father, He will be with them representatively through the presence of the Holy Spirit, soon to sent from heaven!

Before Jesus leaves for heaven, He will send them on a lifetime mission to preach and teach the good news of His death and resurrection to the whole world. But for now it seems they are not fully aware of the Teacher's plan for their futures.

Some of them even decide to go fishing!

There, beside the lake, the Teacher comes to them. Builds a fire and cooks some fish of His own and invites them to bring some of the 153 fish He enabled them catch.

They have breakfast together.

All these appearances are highly significant, both for them and for us. What they are experiencing is not a collective illusion. At different times, in diverse settings and when His students are in various states of mind, the Teacher appears to them.

If they are to be credible eyewitnesses of the greatest event in human history, there must be no doubt. Only if Jesus shows Himself alive by many indisputable proofs, will they carry the good news to the world with conviction. Jesus’ power over death will be irrefutable!



Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.

Here the Teacher pronounced a special blessing on those who believe in Him and yet never saw Him.

When Jesus appeared – The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

But Thomas was not with them when Jesus first appeared. As the other students excitedly told Him about seeing the Lord, he expressed strong reluctance to believe.

Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.

Doubting Thomas!

One week later Jesus again appeared to them. Thomas was present this time and Jesus invited him to touch the nail marks in His hands and the place where the spear punctured His side.

Only when Thomas actually saw Jesus did He express faith – My Lord and My God!

It was at this point Jesus blessed those who have not seen and yet believe.

Doesn’t this describe every student of Jesus today?

None today have actually seen the Teacher. Our faith is based on the eyewitness testimony of those who did. The fact they were willing to die for the truth of it adds great weight to their witness. And our own personal experience in following Jesus confirms our faith.

Yet it is still only faith, not sight. And apparently that kind of belief is especially impressive to our Teacher.

Even Blessed Faith!



Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father…”

Jesus arose from the dead and appeared to Mary Magdalene. His request – Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father - seems contradictory in light of the subsequent event when Jesus actually invites Thomas to touch Him.

Did Jesus ascend to the Father immediately after His resurrection and then return to earth for forty days? If so, there were two ascensions!

Perhaps so, although we cannot be sure, but what was going on in the temple may hold some significance. It was the day of the offering of First Fruits.

The priest waved the offering to heaven, offering the first fruits to God. A thankful offering to God in anticipation of more harvest to come!

Did Jesus ascend to heaven after His meeting with Mary to present Himself as a wave offering to the Father? The First Fruit of the Resurrection, signifying many others to come in the future.

Certainly, the resurrected Jesus would welcome an immediate re-unification with His Father. No doubt, long hoped for!

On the other hand, perhaps Jesus says to Mary – Don’t hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father – meaning simply, I’m not going anywhere right now. You will have plenty of time to visit with me before I ascend.

This makes sense in light of the special assignment He was anxious for her to complete:

Go instead to my brothers and tell them, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

Maybe, the Teacher was simply helping her get used to a new situation, where she would not see and touch Him as formerly. What do you think?



Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews.
Joseph of Arimathea was a careful student of Jesus!

There is no such thing as a secret follower of Jesus. The Teacher made this clear when He said students must be willing to openly confess their faith in Him. Otherwise, He said that He would also deny them before the Father in heaven.

But who can blame Joseph for being cautious? The fury of mob psychology surrounding the last hours of Jesus’ life was horrifying.

It may be said that Joseph was even following one of the Teacher’s earlier counsels – Be wise as serpents but harmless as doves.

Wise to avoid conflict with a city filled with people out for blood! Completely harmless to seek a decent burial for his Teacher!

With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night.

As we know from other writers, the tomb was Joseph’s. Nicodemus supplied no insignificant contribution to the burial - a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds.

Notably missing are the students closest to Jesus. Where are they? They are afraid also.

But their fear immobilized them. They are mere spectators! While Joseph’s fear prompts cautious, although loving action on Jesus’ behalf!

Eventually, the missing students of Jesus will die for their faith.

But for now, it is only two relatively unknown men who gain a kind of immortality because they are not so secret disciples.

By Sunday the tomb was empty once again! Here is the real reason why there are no secret students today. No longer any fear of death…He arose!!!



Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother…When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, "Dear woman, here is your son," and to the disciple, "Here is your mother." From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty."

A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus' lips.

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, "It is finished."

With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next d
ay was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.

The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other.

But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.

Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.

The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.

These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled:

Not one of his bones will be broken," and, as another scripture says, "They will look on the one they have pierced."



Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (Golgotha)…here they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.

Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read:


The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews."

Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining.

This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

"Let's not tear it," they said to one another. "Let's decide by lot who will get it."

This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled which said,

They divided my garments among them
and cast lots for my clothing.

So this is what the soldiers did.



Here is your King!

Pilate says it, but he will crucify Him anyway.

The Soldiers say it – “Hail, king of the Jews!" And they struck him in the face.

The people shouted – If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.

The chief priests say - We have no king but Caesar.

How terrible to be on the wrong side of history. All these people rejected King Jesus and participated in His death.

Pilate tried one stratagem to save Jesus. He crowned Jesus with thorns and presented Him to the mob, not as a king, but as a mere man.

When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, Here is the man!

This didn’t satisfy the crowd. They shouted – crucify Him, crucify Him!

Jesus was a man, but His dramatic claims never allow those who take him seriously – whether friend or foe – to let Him pass by as a mere man. His life and teaching lay claim to the title – King.

It is easy to explain the desire of the religious leaders to be rid of Jesus. As Jesus’ popularity increased, their power diminished.

Even Pilate’s motives are clear. Above all – even more than justice – he wants peace in the province Rome has commissioned him to rule.

But the people? Can anyone fully explain the dramatic reversal in their thinking about Jesus? Just a few days earlier they met Him at the entrance of Jerusalem with shouts of adoration. The King had arrived.

Finally Pilate yields to the capricious will of the mob. He hands Him over to them to be crucified.



Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

Is there anything quite as satisfying as being right? The desire to be right - and the pleasing feeling that comes over us when we are -should tell us how deeply we must all want to know the truth.

Yet, here Jesus indicates some may not realize how intensely they need and want the truth. And as we know, not everyone makes the conscious choice to come to the side of truth.

Like Pilate who questioned Jesus, many have other things they want more than truth.

Power, fame, money, acceptance, even peace are traded for what is true and good. Pilate will give up The Truth to a Roman cross for some or all of these things!

And how does Pilate brush off what must necessarily be an uncomfortable, close encounter with the truth?

With the question of a skeptic, much too preoccupied to listen to his own heart’s yearning for truth. Mindlessly, Pilate mouths, What is Truth?

Amazing! The Truth is standing in front of Pilate and he doesn’t come to His side – doesn’t question further - even when Jesus plainly tells Him who He is.

You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.

Students of Jesus have taken the side of truth. They pay closer attention to the Teacher every day. They experience the deep satisfaction of knowing and living in the truth.

Unlike Pilate, they listen. They worship and follow the King of Truth!



I have spoken openly to the world…I said nothing in secret!

Isn’t it refreshing?

Our Teacher has no hidden agenda. No secret society. What He says He says to all!

The religious leaders couldn’t understand this, because it wasn’t how they conducted themselves.

Sure, they appeared in public, even taught the people. But their secret deliberations would have revealed thoughts and plans they didn’t want the people to know.

That’s why they question Jesus about His followers and about His teaching. They are sure Jesus is hiding something. Some secret plan and they want to know what it is!

Jesus simply tells them His life-giving message is for everyone in the world. There are no special requirements to be His student. Only a willingness to listen and follow Him!

One of the officials strikes Him on the face. They don’t like His answers.

"If I said something wrong," Jesus replied, "testify as to what is wrong. But if I spoke the truth, why did you strike me?".

Exactly! They hit Him because they couldn’t find anything wrong with His teaching. They don’t trust the people, and they don’t believe that an intelligent person like Jesus does either. He can’t be as open as He appears to be.

That’s because they are not who they appear to be. They mistakenly think Jesus is as conniving and secretive as they. He who looks for someone hiding behind a door must have stood there once himself!

But the Teacher is an open book. The Word became flesh. He came to die for sin and call us to be His students. It’s No Secret.



"You are not one of his disciples, are you?" the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, "I am not."

Only a few hours before, the Teacher warned His followers they would suffer persecution because of their relationship with Him. Then Peter professed his willingness to endure, even die, for Jesus.

It’s different now. Peter denies the Lord when he is questioned about his allegiance to Him.

Every student of Jesus sympathizes with Peter. For every follower of Jesus has been in similar situations. Maybe it was not a matter of life and death – as Peter faced – but a moment of fear nonetheless.

Fear of rejection. Afraid of being the object of ridicule! Not willing to be different, stand out and risk not being accepted by the group.

Fear is such a powerful emotion. And shame always lurks nearby.

How to overcome fear?

Perhaps if Peter had listened more carefully to Jesus’ warning about rejection and persecution… If he had taken time to consider and visualize how he might feel and react in a situation where fear would enter his heart…

Isn’t this how Jesus must have resolved to face the cross with such courage? How He steeled Himself against the temptation to flee, to avoid the pain and shame of crucifixion?

Jesus faced His fears in advance. He determined to be faithful to the trust of His Heavenly Father. And more, He trusted in God to ultimately deliver Him, vindicate Him!

Only faith can vanquish fear.

Like Peter, students of Jesus learn this lesson the hard way. But they learn it! No matter how great the fear, faith is more powerful.



Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go.”

It must have been a terrifying moment. Soldiers coming in the night - They were carrying torches, lanterns and weapons.

Our Hero stands unafraid. He actually goes forward to meet the danger. He questions them – Who is it you want?

He knows the answer. He also knows His followers are no match for the trained men who accompany His enemies.

So Our Hero stands between His students and the danger - Jesus answered. "If you are looking for me, then let these men go."

This is the courage of love that is willing to die for those who are loved.

But there is something more here than a confrontation in the night. More important than protecting His followers from the soldiers!

Our Hero has His eye on the cross. He will go forward to that place also. Carrying His cross to die! And His blood will reach to heaven with the plea – let these people go!

Let humanity go free from the guilt of their sins. Free from a guilty conscience. Free from the final penalty of hell.

Jesus stands between us and the enemy who seeks to destroy us and asks, Who do you want?

His cross answers – Now let these go free! I have sacrificed by life for those I love.

They bound him and brought him first to Annas, who was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, the high priest that year. Caiaphas was the one who had advised the Jews that it would be good if one man died for the people.

Here is Our Hero!



I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us…

This is the real Lord’s Prayer. Here is the deepest desire of His heart.


Unity among all of His students for all time! And a hopeful invitation to unity with God forever!

What is He talking about?

Some have mistakenly limited the idea of unity to harmony of belief and doctrine among followers. Of course, that idea is included, but it is not the main thing.

Jesus is saying much more than God and I believe the same things and we hope everyone else will believe as we do.

His prayer is for a commonality of character to grow from the truth He brings. That His students will be filled with the unifying love of God!

I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.

Here is a prayer for unity based upon the shared character of the Father and the Son. A possibility now opened to the world through the Teacher’s life-revelation of the heart of God.

In a few hours Jesus will go to the cross to make forgiveness of sin a reality for all those who follow Him. Then everyone who becomes His serious student will gradually become more like Him.

And why? So they can become like their Teacher in love, peace, joy, mercy, patience, kindness, faithfulness and goodness; for by sharing the character of God, students become one with Him.

This is the unity Jesus earnestly asks for. It is the Lord’s Prayer!



Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Here the Teacher emphasizes how different is the life of His students from others in the world. Their life is sanctified. Separated for the purposes of God!

He uses such phrases as: out of the world, and they are not of the world any more than I am of the world, and again, they are not of the world for I am not of the world.

Students of Jesus are in the world, yet out of it!

The Teacher reveals the source of the separated/sanctified life. It is a way of living created through knowledge of the Truth of God. The very teaching Jesus brought into the world.

In, yet out! He’s sending His students into the world, yet their lives will reflect the principles of God’s Truth, not the values of the world.

As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.

Just as God sent Jesus, today Jesus sends His students. Separated to live as He lived.

This is what being a student of Jesus is all about. Becoming more like the Teacher! Living by out of this world principles.

Being a sanctified follower of Jesus naturally leads to a growing sense of disconnection and release from the standards by which the rest of the world lives.

Detachment from the values of the world is what happens as a student learns and applies the truth of Jesus’ life in greater measure.

Sanctification is preparation for the inevitable departure from this world. For living in heaven! A place where living according to God’s Truth is no longer the best way; it will be the only way!

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you.



Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

Jesus invites us to join God’s eternal life!

It is eternal, not only because it obviously lasts forever. It is also eternal because of the quality of that kind of life.

It is a life that only comes through knowing God and His Son. A life filled with the enduring qualities of God – love, joy, peace, and all the many other wonderful characteristics of His own life!

This is the greatest opportunity that could ever be presented to a human being. And for this purpose Jesus came into the world. So now He prays - Father, the time has come.

Jesus knows the cross is immediately in front of Him. But He also knows about the resurrection. How strong is His own longing to return to the fullness of the glorious life He shared with the Father from before the beginning of time!

But He does not plan to return to heaven empty handed. The purpose and mission of the Teacher has always been to open the possibility of eternal life for others to share.

Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

Jesus not only provides the way to this life, he invites and shows the way to a quality of living that can only be described as the life God has always lived -Eternal Life!

Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.

Becoming a student of Jesus opens the way to the very life of God. In this process we fulfill what it means to be made in the image of God, become more like Him and ultimately live with Him. This is eternal life.



I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

The fact that anyone living in this fallen and sinful world would encounter trouble seems obvious.

Yet some erroneously teach and many mistakenly believe that becoming a student of Jesus removes all of life’s troubles. In fact, people sometimes become discouraged and stop following Jesus when they continue to experience troubles.

But the Teacher says - In this world you will have trouble.

Yet, Jesus is sure that our troubles will not be able to disturb our peace – Take heart! I have overcome the world!

What does this mean? Why should we take heart in the midst of trouble?

Hasn’t Jesus been talking about His continual presence through the Holy Spirit? Isn’t this a source of unfailing comfort, even in the middle of problems, suffering and danger?

Our Teacher has overcome the world!

Jesus’ troubles in the world did not defeat Him. He overcame every difficulty life threw at Him. He surmounted enemy opposition. Died victoriously and even vanquished death, emerging from the tomb!

Our Teacher overcame all troubles by remaining in the Father’s love! And now He says every student enjoys the same position and power with God.

No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

Troubles? Yes, but take heart! God loves you…

Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.



Some of his disciples said to one another, "What does he mean by saying, 'In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me,’ and 'because I am going to the Father'?"

Here the Teacher alludes to two separate visitations.

First, He knows His death on the cross will create a separation from His students. But He also knows – and wants them to understand – this will be a temporary interruption in their relationship. He will appear to them after the resurrection!

You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy… Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

And this is exactly what happened isn’t it? After three days, Jesus arose from the dead and visited with them for forty days.

But Jesus also knows He will ascend into heaven. That’s why He tells them - because I am going to the Father…

Jesus also wants them to know – and every student today as well – His return to heaven will not result in the permanent loss of His presence. He will permanently establish His relationship with His followers through the sending of the Holy Spirit.

A short ten days after His ascension into heaven the Holy Spirit came upon His followers. It is this second visitation – more than the brief physical reappearance to them – that creates a lasting, life-changing relationship with His students.

Jesus’ temporary disappearance at death yielded to re-emergence in resurrection. And His transport to heaven resulted in His return in the form of the Holy Spirit.

This is the enduring visitation of Jesus every student enjoys today - In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name…Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.



Now I am going to him who sent me…But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away.

Jesus says it will actually be good for His students when He is goes back to the Father. Not only good for Him, but for their benefit also!

Is it true?

How is it possible that Jesus’ physical absence could be a good thing, even a better circumstance for them?

Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

The internal presence of Jesus through the Holy Spirit will be better for them than what they experienced before:

He will convict the world of sin…righteousness and judgment.

The Spirit of truth…will guide you into all truth.

He will tell you what is yet to come.

The Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

The Teacher going to heaven is good because He will return to them with greater power and force through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It is true!

These first students of Jesus didn’t really become very much like their Teacher during the three years they followed Him. It was only after the coming of the Holy Spirit that we begin to see marked changes in their hearts and lives.

This is the work of the Teacher on the inside of His students through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit. For through the Holy Spirit the Teacher produces the fruit of His character in the life of every student.



If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

The Teacher knows in a few days He will ascend to the Father. There is something He wants His students to understand and to prepare for in advance.

The rejection they will soon suffer!

Certainly they have already experienced some of this. Not everyone loved Jesus. At times, His students must have seen the scorn and hatred of His enemies up close and personal.

But in fact, the vast majority of people listened to Jesus eagerly and great throngs of people followed and adored Him. And when attacks did come, Jesus alone was the focus of hatred.

Now it will be their time to suffer persecution.

It’s still the same today, not everyone follows Jesus. And some take it one step further. They make it as difficult as possible on those who do.

Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name…

Being a friend of Jesus isn’t always an easy or popular thing to do. Students of Jesus must make a choice when they decide to follow Him. They must make peace with the fact they too will be opposed.

Living Jesus’ way is not the way of the world. To be in the world and live differently from the world creates friction. It is the point at which a student of Jesus differs from the lifestyles and beliefs of the culture that rejection comes.

If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.



You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.

Life soon teaches what it means not to be chosen. Everyone has experienced how it feels not to be included. Left out!

Here Jesus changes all that. The Teacher from heaven has made a choice. He chooses us!

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

God makes no mistakes in His selection. He knows the purpose for which He has chosen us will be accomplished – to bear fruit, fruit that will last!

And the principle fruit the Teacher produces in our lives is love - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

We are able to produce the fruit of love in our lives because we have received His love. Jesus’ love is received and internalized so powerfully that it becomes who we are also.

Being chosen and loved leads to a life of loving God and becoming empowered to choose to love others also!

This is the fruit that will last, because God is love. And His love expressed is Jesus, coming to save us and to guide us.

In love, Jesus chooses us. We joyfully receive it, and like His love ours to finds outward expression. Love flows from our hearts to our fellow human beings.

From the Father’s heart to Jesus. From Jesus’ heart to ours. From ours to others.

This is why we are chosen.

This is my command: Love each other.



Remain in me, and I will remain in you.

The Teacher could not give a more assuring promise than this. To be with His students forever!

The comfort of this pledge is the power of the One who made it. It is the Person who calmed the storm, walked on water, healed the sick and rose from the dead!

What would you give to have such a commanding friend like this with you at all times?

Wouldn’t you face life every day with a sense of empowerment? Circumstances beyond your control are not beyond His. In fact, nothing can happen in your life that He cannot handle.

This is what being a student of Jesus means in the real world. A great and powerful friend who promises to remain in you! Never leave you!

Being a close student of Jesus every day claims the promise of His continual presence and assistance.

That’s why it’s so important to keep this relationship current and fresh by living in the presence of Jesus every day.

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

A student who daily is found paying attention to the words of the Teacher will soon learn the truth of this promise.

Just imagine. A life with God at your side! On your side!

How life changes when God is working in us and for us.

This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.



Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.

Peace as a gift! This is what the Teacher gives His students.

My peace – He says.

Not the kind of peace the world can give, but His peace.

The very peace Jesus had in His life.

The world offers a kind of peace, but it is always circumstance dependent. Peace if everything is going well. Peace if there is no trouble.

But this kind of peace vanishes with the wind when there isn’t enough money, when enemies surround or sickness comes.

The peace of Jesus allowed Him to be content in heart and restful in every circumstance, both good and bad.

He could sleep in the boat in the middle of a storm. Keep His head when violently opposed. Radiate peace even as He was beaten and crucified!

The peace Jesus gives is not dependent on what is going on around us, but what is going on inside of us. It is the very real and felt presence of a powerful and loving God.
If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

At home with God! That’s unshakable peace. Undisturbed by even the severest of life’s trials! This is the presence of the Holy Spirit!
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.



I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

The thought of Jesus leaving them must have created a sense of abandonment in the hearts of His followers. That’s why Jesus quickly informs them of His plan to continue to be with them.

With them representatively, through the presence of the Holy Spirit whom the Father would send - And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.

Jesus will no longer be with them physically as before. Yet He will be with them through the presence of the Holy Spirit.

For He lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Here the Teacher promises to return. Not His great Second Coming at the end of the world, but His coming into their hearts through the Holy Spirit!

Amazingly, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the presence of Jesus will do more for His students than His physical presence accomplished. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, their hearts will be changed. They will begin to actually become more like their Teacher.

Referring to this greater work, Jesus said - I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

What could possibly be greater than the many wonderful miracles Jesus did while with them?

How about changed hearts and lives by the power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit working in them?

Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.



Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.

Where is Jesus going? Returning to the Father!

The Teacher knows the cross is waiting. Then a resurrection and a glorious ascension back to heaven!

He wants to prepare His students for His coming departure. And He wants them to know heaven will also be their ultimate destination – you will follow later.

He knows this hope will be of inestimable comfort to them in the days ahead. That’s why He assures them of a future reunion with Him.

Peter’s response? Lord, why can't I follow you now?

Who can blame Peter? For nearly three years he and the other students have followed Jesus everywhere. It must have been inconceivable to Peter that the close bond would be broken.

Peter is a thinking man. The Teacher had been talking about dying. Maybe that’s why we can’t follow Him.

So Peter expresses a willingness to follow Jesus even in death - I will lay down my life for you.

Peter, it is a noble thought and your intentions are great! But the Teacher knows you will not die with Him now, rather you will deny Him three times first.

And that’s ok too. For when Jesus’ work on earth is done, Peter and the others will have more work to do. They will carry the message of Jesus to the world. And some will die for Him!

But for them and for every student of Jesus there will be a time to follow the Teacher beyond this life into the next. Later…

I am going there to prepare a place for you and….I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.



By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

Here Jesus gives a surprising litmus test. A way to determine if one is truly a student of this Teacher.

It catches us off guard because the usual measure of a student’s attention to the teacher is knowledge. How much of what the teacher taught is remembered? And how did the student perform on the test?

Shouldn’t Jesus have said we know we are his students because we believe and teach exactly what He taught? This may be true, but it isn’t what Jesus singled out to distinguish His followers.

That’s because the truth of what Jesus taught is deeper than the words and concepts themselves. In fact, didn’t He say that He was truth?

There the Teacher stands. And what He teaches is the wonderful truth of God, how to come to God and live with God. But above and beyond the teaching is the Teacher Himself.

Why is He here? Why is He saying what He is saying, doing what we see Him doing? Why did He die?

Love is who He is, who God is. Love is the real thing, the ultimate reality that never fails. Neither in this life or the next!

Love is what happens in the heart of every student who receives this Teacher. Not just getting the teaching, but getting Him. Allowing God’s love in Jesus to transform the heart!

This love exhibited to one another is the only advertisement the world will trust. This is the Teacher’s plan to bring more students to His University.

Where the curriculum is spelled out in one word – Jesus! And all the courses lead to the development of one eternal ability – to live in love as He does.



Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, "I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me."

Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Matthew and Nathaniel! Names we know very well. Though almost 2,000 years have passed, parents are still naming their children after these apostles.

And we know the name of Judas too. Although we don’t know anyone with that name today! That’s because Judas betrayed his friend.

The name Judas evokes thoughts of deception, guile and fraud. His name is synonymous with traitor.

For three years Judas followed Jesus. He was one of the twelve in Jesus’ inner circle. Jesus even trusted him with the group’s money.

How could Judas hear all the wonderful words of Jesus, see all Jesus’ miracles and turn against Him in the end?

Many ideas have been advanced over the years to explain Judas’ treachery. Perhaps he became disillusioned when it became clear Jesus was not going to establish an earthly kingdom. Maybe Judas had faith in the beginning but lost it somewhere along the way.

It is possible Judas never really came to personal faith in Jesus at all.

Maybe what really scares us about Judas is that one so close to Jesus could turn from Him. How is that possible? And if it happened to him, could it possibly happen to us?

Could we lose our faith in Jesus?

However it happened, Judas drifted. Allowed his mind to turn from Jesus and in his distraction finally did what earlier might have seemed unthinkable to him.

All the more reason for students of Jesus not only to pay close attention to the Teacher, but also to guard their own hearts!



You call me 'Teacher' and 'Lord,' and rightly so, for that is what I am.

The word, ‘Lord,’ seems archaic and out of step with modern democratic standards. Do people really have to submit to Jesus as Lord? Can He rightfully claim to have authority over people?

Of course, if He is God. The One who created everything!

This fact alone naturally confers on Jesus the right to all power over the life of every human being on the earth.

What’s exceptional here is the kind of Lord Jesus is. A lord so gentle as to be described as a Teacher! Just how mild is understood when this Lord gets down on His knees and washes the dirty feet of His students.

It’s a pleasant thought. The one who is our Lord is also a meek and kind Teacher.

How misguided are those who think of God as a kind of cosmic policeman, watching to catch someone doing something wrong. On the contrary, our Lord comes to tenderly guide us in the path of goodness, mercy and love.

By the life He lived and the truths He shared, our Lord shows us how to live. This is what being a student of the Teacher is all about. Coming to know the wonderful character of our Lord!

And in this process, students of Jesus become more like Him!

Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Everyone who acknowledges Jesus as Lord should also take Him as their every day Teacher. In His patient leading we find freedom to make mistakes and grow at our own pace.

And we find in Him power to change our lives.



…for they loved praise from men more than praise from God.

Most people enjoy receiving praise when they feel it is deserved. And Jesus says it’s ok to love praise.

But from whom?

Here some people didn’t follow Jesus because they were afraid of what people would say about them and do to them. They loved the praise of people. God’s approval was not as important to them.

Many even among the leaders believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they would not confess their faith for fear they would be put out of the synagogue.

Is their fear understandable? How many of us even think about whether God is praising our lives or not? After all, it is people, not God, who are visible to us every day.

Not true. God is ever present with us. As certainly as the people we see with our own eyes every day. Jesus wants His students to understand that following Him daily brings the presence of God.

Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me.

When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me.

The Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it…So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

Knowing and sensing the Teacher’s presence in life brings a commensurate desire to please Him. Becoming more like our Teacher brings the praise of heaven.

And we learn to love the praise of God more than praise of man.



“But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.

When the Teacher talks about being lifted up on a cross, it is natural that people would be confused. How could His death further any plan? Cause more people to follow Him?

We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain forever, so how can you say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'?

This is completely counter-intuitive. Isn’t death the end?

Jesus says the cross is not the end, rather the beginning of something.

Not only for Jesus who will rise from the dead to become Lord of all, but the cross will also become the focal point of attraction for all people.

The cross! An unlikely triumph after all.

In fact, more people will become students of Jesus because of His death on the cross than ever followed Him during His earthly life.

What is the attraction of the cross?

Certainly not the cruelty of the nails that pierced His hands or even the rough wooden cross that suspended His body between earth and heaven!

Jesus knew people would look past the cruelty of the cross to see the love there. God's love in sending His Son to die for the sins of the world. The heart of Jesus so filled with the same love for all people!

The cross demonstrates God’s estimation of man’s worth and the extent to which He will go to bring us into fellowship with Him.

And the cross always reminds us of the open grave of Jesus. Not the end, but a new beginning.



The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

What is the Teacher saying? Why will hanging onto life result in its loss? And how does relinquishing life result in gaining everlasting life?

The Teacher provides an illustration:

I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
A single seed is dormant and remains so until it undergoes a type of death. It is placed in the ground and changes; it grows into a plant which produces multiples of itself, many seeds.

Jesus will provide a living illustration of what this means. He will give up His life on the cross. This will lead to a resurrection for Him and create that possibility for many others.

If, however, He selfishly hangs on to His life, He will ultimately lose it anyway and remain alone.

The Teacher is talking about dying to live. And it is a principle He is willing to follow to the death and life to follow.

The Teacher puts His teaching to the test. He doesn’t seek to preserve His life. And so in dying He will find an everlasting resurrected life.

He says this principle isn’t just for Him. This is the way to eternal life for every student of Jesus. Also dying to self to live for God!

It isn’t one way for the Teacher and different way for His students.

He calls on all who believe to follow Him in this death to life journey. Giving up our own selfish and ultimately dead-end desires in order to serve God forever instead!

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.



Look how the whole world has gone after him!

Here Jesus’ popularity reaches its apex. The people who were present when He raised Lazarus from the dead are spreading the news of this wonderful miracle.
He’s the One!

As Jesus approaches Jerusalem, there is a spontaneous eruption of enthusiasm, awe and affection for Him. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him.

They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the King of Israel!"

Meanwhile, not everyone is happy. The religious leaders see the threat. As Jesus popularity with the people increases, they know their power and influence is waning.

And they’re correct, because this is exactly what happens when people start listening to Jesus. The voice of the Teacher becomes the sole source of all authority. Every other competing voice fades into the background.

Why pay attention to any other when Jesus has all the answers about how to live a life that pleases God?

This is what every student of the Teacher understands. He has the best information on every subject! He is a complete and final authority for living the good life.

He alone knows the way to God.

Listening to Jesus, excitedly following Him, is what being a student of Jesus is all about.



…a dinner was given in Jesus' honor.

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It’s only natural his family would want to do something to express their thanks. But what to give?

What do you give to someone who is so powerful He doesn’t need anything? Someone who even has the power over death? Someone who already has everything He needs?

What do you give to such a person when He brings your dear brother back to life?

Lazarus’ family chose to give the simple gift of a celebratory dinner in Jesus’ honor.

They invited guests. Martha served the meal and Mary poured expensive perfume on Jesus’ feet and wiped them with her hair.

They gave the very best any person can give or receive – the gift of hospitality!

So what should we give to repay Jesus for giving His life for us? Dying for our sins? For His promise of a future resurrection?

Students of Jesus give the gift of hospitality also. Grateful students present the very same devoted attention to Jesus that was exemplified by Martha’s serving and Mary’s anointing.

This is the every day life of a student of Jesus. They open their hearts and lives to Jesus. Welcome Him and honor Him by paying special attention to Him.

A living celebration in His honor!

This is the greatest gift a human being can give to another. And of this gift we can almost hear Jesus say – Oh, this is just what I always wanted!



You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.

Jesus is gaining students and the religious leaders don’t like it. They voice their concern over His growing popularity - If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him.

They are wrong in thinking this would be a bad outcome. They are actually opposing God’s Will. For God sent Jesus into the world for that everyone might believe in Him and be saved.

And they make another misjudgment. They think if Jesus replaces their authority with His own, the nation of Israel will perish. They fail to see God is the one who protects the nation and not them.

Based on these two false premises, they make a calculated decision. They plot to take Jesus’ life

In this terrible moment, Caiaphas, the high priest, gives a fateful prophecy.

You know nothing at all! You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.

In this Caiaphas is both right and wrong!

He is wrong in thinking that killing Jesus will save the nation. It won’t. In only a few years after Jesus’ death, Rome will burn Jerusalem to the ground.

But unknowingly, and for reasons he doesn’t understand, his prophecy is absolutely right. For Jesus has been sent by God to do exactly what he said – One man, Jesus, will die for the sins of all the people!

He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one.



It isn’t easy to die. At least a person only has to face it once, right?

Not Lazarus!

Jesus will call him back from the tomb. Incredibly, he will live again.

But this also means he will die again.

Lazarus died twice!

When we first read of Jesus bringing Lazarus back, the natural thought is, “What a blessing!”

Then we realize what seems like a second chance at life also means he was removed from a state where all his troubles were over. Brought back to a world where suffering is again possible for him.

Apparently Jesus knows he won’t mind.

Maybe Jesus knew his sisters Martha and Mary would need him in the future. In which case, Lazarus would gladly return.

We don’t know. What we do know is Jesus demonstrated His power over death by calling him from the grave to live again. What better assignment could any student of Jesus desire?

Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"

In this story we see the result for every student who follows Jesus. Who trusts Him!

There is a resurrection when life is over! The glory of God!

The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, "Take off the grave clothes and let him go."



Jesus wept.

Jesus is surrounded with grieving people. All friends of Lazarus who has died! The deceased is His friend too!

The Teacher is not aloof from the mourners. He does not stand above them. Instead, He weeps with them - He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.

He did not hide His emotions. Everyone saw His grief.

Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him!"

Here is a poignant picture of the compassion of Jesus.

His is a love expressed in real emotion. A love moved when sorrow comes to those who are the object of it.

Our Teacher is not a dispassionate observer of the lives of His students. He cares. Deeply!
Jesus wept.

How comforting to know His heart is moved by our sorrows. For every life has its share of them.

What a support this is to all who struggle to follow Him. For it isn’t easy to become like Jesus. What an encouragement to know of His genuine and heartfelt concern for us when we fail!

The tears of Jesus at the grave of Lazarus speak to us of a personal relationship the Teacher has with His students.

This is a Teacher students can trust with their hearts!

And as He raises Lazarus from the dead, we understand He is a Teacher we can trust with our lives!



On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.

There is finality about death. Life is over!

Or is it?

Here the Teacher asks His students to believe what is beyond the possibility of human achievement. To trust He is able to offer continued life after death. He even claims to be the source of life.

I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.

Lazarus is very dead, at least four days dead. Jesus plans to bring him out of the tomb. Give his life back to him.

But before He does this He asks the students standing there a question:

Do you believe this?

This is a question all who seek to follow Him must answer. And here He probes their faith in Him knowing full well He will prove His ability to keep the promise.

By the very nature of the case, this is what He must do with each of His students. For it is a question we must answer while we are alive, before we die, and have opportunity to personally experience the truth of His claim.

Martha, Lazarus’s grieving sister, answers for herself - "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."

There are many teachers in the world. But only one Teacher who is able to give resurrection and life after death? This is The Difference!



“But Teacher," they said, "a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?"

Here Jesus’ students question His decision to return to Judea. Why would He go back to a place where only a few days ago His enemies attempted to kill Him?
Surely this is a mistake!

No Mistake!

Jesus answered, “A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world's light. It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light."

The Teacher knows what He is doing. Unlike His enemies, Jesus is purposeful because He is walking in the light of His Father’s Will for His life.

His students don’t understand it yet, but Jesus is going back into the teeth of the opposition to fulfill His destiny.

Soon, Jesus will give Himself over to His enemies. That’s why He isn’t afraid of their stumbling efforts to destroy Him. In fact, at the right time their very hatred of Him will play into the plan of God.

And the Teacher has another purpose for returning to the Jerusalem area. He shares the news of the death of His friend Lazarus - Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.

Then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”

Contrary to His student’s assessment, Jesus makes no mistake in returning. Nor are His actions – as they appear on the surface – either random or reactionary. He always clearly sees where the Father is leading Him because He is living in the light.

No mistake. It is the sure-footed walk possible for every one who comes to the Light. Those who walk in darkness stumble and fall.



Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.

Isn’t it strange? John didn’t perform any miracles. This is the man who prepared the people to receive Jesus. He preached to thousands, baptized thousands!
Yet…no miracles! Not even one.

But Jesus does many wonderful things and the people understand John’s testimony about Him was absolutely true - And in that place many believed in Jesus.

John’s life was the work of a student of Jesus. The crowning achievement of John’s life was when those who knew him and listened to him came to believe in Jesus too. Without miracles, John’s life was a complete success.

And which is greater? To perform a supernatural feat, the effects of which are locked in a moment of time? Or to point people to Jesus who can change their lives for time and eternity?

After all there is something greater than a miracle and that is the purpose for which a miracle is given. Jesus performed miracles so people would believe in Him. John did what was in his power to further the same end.

Here is the result that leads to a triumph superseding all miracles.

For trusting and following Jesus leads to a changed life and a changed destiny!

This is what John had in mind for himself and for others when He devoted his life to testifying about what Jesus could do.

No miracles for John, but without them he did very well what every student of Jesus desires to do.



We are not stoning you for any of these…but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.

Here Jesus asks His enemies why they want to kill Him. He points to His great miracles. After all, what was wrong with helping people?

But the good things Jesus did for people weren’t the problem. It was His claim to be God they couldn’t accept.

Jesus doesn’t recoil from the charge. He embraces it. Affirms it!

I am God's Son!

He will escape this assassination attempt. His time had not yet come. But eventually this will be the very indictment that leads to His death.

His enemies were wrong, but at some level we understand their inability to believe what must have seemed impossible. That God would come to earth as a man!

Jesus says He’s - the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world.

It is incredible when you think about it. It is inexplicable apart from one equally incredible thought. The extent of God’s love for humanity!

A love that would come on a daring rescue mission and seem to fail, dying in the attempt! But a love that provides a resurrection for the Rescuer and all who follow Him.

We believe Jesus did many miracles. And unlike His enemies that day, we have come to realize He’s God. We’re not picking up stones, but…

We still struggle to believe His promises that, as God, He is willing and able to use His power in our lives. Our inability to trust His promises to do so mirrors His enemy’s rejection of His claim to be God.

What is a faith that believes Jesus is the Son of God that does not also trust His power to do everything He promised to do for us in this life when we follow Him?



My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Here the Teacher gives a practical daily discipline for His students.

What is necessary and natural for helpless sheep – following their shepherd’s voice – must become a more conscious choice for those who follow the Good Shepherd!

Any shepherd knows his sheep. It is the sheep who must come to know and trust his voice. Learn to discern the one voice that can lead them out of harm’s way into green pastures and contentment.

And our Shepherd says He already knows us. It is we who must come to know and trust Him if we are to avoid the pitfalls of life and live the abundant life into which He seeks to lead us.

But listening to the voice of the Teacher is not a one-time choice but a practiced daily discipline. This is because of all the competing voices that call out to distract us. Voices from the outside and even our own often misguided thoughts and impulses!

Serious discipline is necessary if we are to be trained to recognize His voice in the daily noise of our lives.

Part of this training is reading His words. Communication – prayer – is also a vital regimen.

And one thing more – practicing the presence of the Shepherd!

The Teacher has promised to be with us always. Recognition of His constant presence is the key difference between one who merely believes in Jesus and one who is being led by Him moment by moment.

Anyone who has attempted to have such a personal relationship with this Teacher knows the ability to pay attention to Him and listen to His constant leading requires dedicated focus and training.

But growing in this discipline is the only way one actually follows Jesus every day.



I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me…

Is it possible to get to know Jesus? After all, hasn’t it been nearly 2,000 years since Jesus lived on the earth?
How is it possible now – as He says – to know Him?
The key is to listen to Him.
Here using the comparison of a shepherd to his flock, Jesus speaks of others who in the future will join Him.
I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
What brings someone into this Shepherd’s flock is the desire and ability to listen to His voice.Deciding to become a student of this Teacher is how one gets to know Him. Enters into a personal daily relationship with Him!
Then by degrees Jesus reveals Himself more fully. Shepherding our lives in the positive direction of becoming more like Him in heart and life.
In fact, a student’s relationship with this Teacher can become such an intimate friendship that Jesus compares it to His own knowledge of His Heavenly Father.
I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father…
Knowing Jesus! This is what being a student of Jesus is all about.



I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Here Jesus claims the life He offers is quite different from a life apart from Him.
So, what is life without Him?

On the surface, a life without Jesus appears to work fairly well for some people. But living apart from Jesus always leads to the cultivation of a personality based on our own human nature.

At the worst we become terribly enslaved to the destructive habits of sin and are destroyed. At the best, we manage by human effort to keep the worst of our nature suppressed and live a socially acceptable life.

In either case, we must come to the end of our days only to die without hope.

So what does the Teacher mean when he talks about the full life – the abundant life?

Jesus is talking about a real and lasting life – the very life of God shared with those who follow Him.

It is a life that is eternal, one that lasts forever. If this is so, then the life Jesus offers must be of benefit in both the present and the future.

In the present, students follow Jesus and with the aid of the Holy Spirit actually overcome the negative tendencies of human nature by becoming more like the Teacher. Developing a character more like Jesus is the real and present difference between the full life with Jesus and a life without Him.

And when the time comes to die there is the future resurrection to life. Living forever in the world He is preparing for those who follow Him!

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.



He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The Shepherd and His flock. What an attractive description of the relationship between the Teacher and His students.

The Teacher is on a first name basis with His students. He has a personal relationship with each one.

When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

In Jesus’ time it was common practice for the shepherds to bring their sheep in from the fields at the end of the day. The sheep were placed in a guarded enclosure at night.

There all the flocks were mixed up together. But in the morning the shepherds would come and call their sheep. Knowing the voice of their own shepherd, each flock was easily re-grouped for the day.

Today, Jesus is assembling His flock.

His voice, His teaching is calling out. And all who belong to Him hear His voice and follow Him. And He leads them.

What an appropriate description of the Teacher-student relationship. Students of Jesus have learned to listen to His voice every day. They seek to go where He leads.

Listening, paying attention to the voice of Jesus is what identifies and separates His flock from those who are listening to someone or something else.

Do we begin each new day listening for the Shepherd’s voice?



Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."

What does Jesus do when He hears how the religious leaders have shunned the man whom He had healed?

Jesus goes looking for Him. He healed his blind eyes and now He will bring healing and life to his broken spirit.

Finding him, Jesus asks - Do you believe in the Son of Man?

The man wants to know more and Jesus reveals Himself to him.

Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him.

This is such a beautiful story. For it contains elements of every person’s need and Jesus’ compassion and power to respond.

Jesus opens the man’s eyes. And for the first time in his life he is able to see the beauty of the earth. To look at the face of his parents!

Here is a look into the very heart of Jesus as He seeks out one lonely person and establishes a relationship with him. This is a drama re-enacted in the life of every student of Jesus.

He comes to us with power to open our eyes. And we see for the first time the beauty of God’s eternal kingdom. We look into the face of Jesus and see our Heavenly Father.

We follow Jesus – believe in Him and worship Him - because He loves us and cares about what is going on in our lives too.

We come to understand His power. To open our eyes, change us, and lead us to become more like Him.

We each have our part to play in Heaven’s Drama. Jesus, the Teacher and we, His daily students.



Nobody has ever heard of opening the eyes of a man born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.

The religious leaders were skeptical when word reached them. Surely there must be some mistake here. No one can open the eyes of a man blind from birth.

So they called the formerly blind man to their counsel and asked him if it was true. They didn’t believe the man even when he affirmed Jesus had healed him. So they called his parents.

One can only imagine the parent’s fear at being summoned in such a way. They were afraid to answer, except to confirm this was their son and he was indeed born blind and to suggest they talk to him about it.

His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.

How sad when religion is held together by control and fear tactics. How different the respect and freedom in the true teaching from God!

Calling the man in for a second time, the leaders attempt to coerce him to agree with them that Jesus is a sinner and to deny Jesus’ part in the miracle.

The man’s reply - Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!

Their reaction? An attempt to ridicule that, as it turns out, is the highest compliment that can be given - You are this fellow's disciple! And they threw him out!

Students of the Teacher identify with this man, for their eyes too have been opened to His power to transform their lives.

Our challenge before a disbelieving world? To also be guilty of the charge – You are this fellow’s disciple!



As long as it is day, we must do the work of Him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

The Teacher gives the priority of a student’s life. To display by actions the work God is doing in the world.

Doesn’t this perfectly describe the life of our Teacher? His days were filled with serving others. His life’s work: Ministering to the sick, reaching out to the poor and teaching God’s Word.

This is the life work for every student of this Teacher. This is what it means to follow Him.

The Teacher said that He must work while it is day for the night is coming when no one can work.

Day represents our lifetime and night signals the end of life when it is too late to do God’s Will.

Here Jesus heals a man blind from birth. As He provides the tremendous gift of sight to this man, he explains the reason - so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.

This is the life work of every student of Jesus. To display in their own changed life and by service to others the work of God in this world.

Some mistakenly think that God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh day and has been distant and aloof from the earth since that time.

But Jesus explains God is still working. Working through Him and working in and through His students.

Students of Jesus have various occupations in life to earn a living, but they all have one constant employment every day. To follow the Teacher’s example by doing the work of God in their lives!



I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.

Here the Teacher makes an astounding promise. It certainly confused his enemies - Are you greater than our father Abraham? He died, and so did the prophets. Who do you think you are?

They accused Jesus of being demon-possessed to make such an obviously outrageous claim. But Jesus didn’t say faith in Him would prevent the natural process of physical death.

The key to understanding what Jesus meant is in the condition He gives – if anyone keeps my word…

Jesus is claiming the power to give everlasting life when this life is over. For those who follow Jesus, death is not the end. Even physical death is but a door that opens to a never ending new life.

Jesus is actually claiming to be the source of all life. To have the power to give eternal life! To make such a promise is to make the claim to be God Himself!

“I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!”

I AM is the name God gave to Moses at the burning bush when He sent him to Pharaoh to deliver the Israelites from Egyptian slavery. When Moses inquired of God, whom shall I say sent me? God said…tell the children of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.

When Jesus says, I AM, He is claiming to be God. I AM – the One who has life in Himself.

Jesus’ power over death is not impossible if He is God. For He would then be the One who created life in the first place! He could as easily then re-create life out of death.

Life in place of death! A promise well worth keeping the words of this Teacher! Because becoming a student of Jesus is the difference between life and death.