Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

Jesus fed the 5,000 and walked on water. What does this mean for students of this Teacher?

Must a student attempt to duplicate these mighty works? If so, there have been no successful students of Jesus, because nobody has ever produced the scope and magnitude of the miracles He so easily performed.

Instead, Jesus says the work of a student is to believe in Him. Trust in His power to change everything.

Naturally, students of Jesus want to follow the teacher in compassionately serving others. The life of a student is an active one. A life filled with good works.

But according to the Teacher, the primary work of His students is to believe in Him.

This is the lesson all the miracles of Jesus teach.

What if this singular truth is missed?

Doesn’t religion become an endless series of human efforts to change things, ourselves and those around us? Christianity becomes puny and powerless, because it becomes our efforts, even if we attach His name to it.

For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

This is the very work of God. For God seeks to change the world through His Son. This then is the student’s work too – to believe in Jesus who opens for us a new life only He can create.



When they had rowed three or three and a half miles, they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on the water…

Walking on water? Another powerful demonstration of ability to dominate even the elements!

Should this be surprising? Isn’t this the very One who said, Let there be light…and there was light? The one who created life in the beginning out of the formless mass that was the earth?

What are students to learn from this sign?

Surely the Teacher doesn’t walk on water to impress with His skill. Instead He does so to create in us a vibrant faith in His power. That we might come to place our trust in Him to rule in every situation and circumstance of our lives!

Sadly, there is a tendency today to believe that Jesus has power, but is no longer using it on our behalf.

Students of Jesus believe He created the world. And all His miracles demonstrate His supremacy. They certainly believe He will return someday with power to change everything. And this is the problem…

We believe He has power, but we do not believe He is using it – or is willing to use it – for our benefit right now.

If students of the Teacher only believe He has authority but is not actively engaged in our lives by using His power to help us, what kind of faith is this?

What kind of faith is it that does not believe He is powerfully working now to change our hearts and lives? Does not believe He is able to change our circumstances. Indeed, does not trust Him to change every aspect of our life we allow Him to touch.

Students of Jesus see walking on water for what it truly is. A sign the One who brought order out of chaos in the beginning of the world, and changed everything He touched while on earth, is creating all things new in and around us even now.



Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat? He asked this only to test him...

Confronted with a multitude of hungry people, Jesus asks one of His students this question.

It’s very interesting because John tells us Jesus - already had in mind what he was going to do. Jesus knows He will feed these 5,000 men with only five loaves and two fishes. He isn’t seeking advice from Philip!

So why the question?

Jesus is giving Philip a test. A test of faith!

And Philip’s answer shows he does not yet fully appreciate the power of His Teacher. Philip answered Him, "Eight months' wage would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!"

Philip sees the problem as insurmountable. His faith in Jesus is weak at this point, but the Teacher gave him a passing grade on this test anyway. At least he is still in the classroom with the Teacher, doing his best to pay attention.

As students of this Teacher, we also experience the same kind of test every time we confront a sizeable problem in our life. A circumstance that seems overwhelming! A temptation that won’t go away!

It’s test time for us!

At such times we find out how much we really trust this Teacher. How much we believe in His power to change our circumstances! Change us!

Jesus feeds the 5,000 and provides a sign to all His students. We can have faith in His willingness to use His power to come to our aid in even the most difficult situations.



I have come in my Father's name, and you do not accept me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

Religious politics? Sure, and Jesus says it prevents some from accepting Him.

Jesus is not a part of the in-crowd. Isn’t a part of the established religious intelligentsia ensconced in the city of Jerusalem. He’s an outsider from the small, remote village of Nazareth.

And He begins His teaching in areas far from Jerusalem. This is reason enough for the religious leaders not to take Him seriously. In fact, they reject His claims.

If He had come up in their ranks and made a name for Himself, they might have listened to Him. That’s politics and Jesus calls them out on it.

Religious politics is a very dangerous thing. Religion, like anything else, can become very self-serving and self-promoting. But what about God?

How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

Is this still a problem in religious circles today? Are there enclaves of people that pat each other on the back and promote each other without due regard for what God’s Word reveals?

Jesus is never a part of this and will have no part in it.

I do not accept praise from men, but I know you. I know that you do not have the love of God in your hearts.

Amazing isn’t it? How does it happen? The self-proclaimed custodians of God’s Word reject the Word of God living in their presence?

That’s Politics!



If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid.

A person can claim to be the smartest person in the world, and it may be true. But it isn’t true just because she/he says so.

In fact, if one is the most intelligent in the world there will be facts to substantiate the claim. Without such verification, it isn’t logical to naively accept whatever a person says.

Here Jesus isn’t saying His testimony about Himself is not true. He is saying the legitimacy of His claims and teachings can not and do not rest on his personal testimony alone.

He doesn’t expect anyone to believe in Him just because He said so. He introduces corroborating evidence for His claims - confirmation in addition to His own testimony –Exhibits A,B,C,& D!

Exhibit A - You have sent to John and he has testified to the truth.

Exhibit B - I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me.

Exhibit C - And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me.

Exhibit D - You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me…

Faith is not based on Jesus’ testimony alone. John the Baptizer, the work of teaching and miracles, the Father, and the prophecy of Scripture all testify to the truthfulness of who He claims to be.

And there’s actually an indictment for those who refuse to follow Jesus - yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

The question is not the validity of Jesus. Rather upon what basis can one legitimately refuse Him in the face of the evidence?



And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

What gives Jesus the authority to judge our lives in the final day? The fact that He is God is qualification enough. He created us and informed us, so He has the right to judge us.

But there is more. There is a matter of fairness. True justice requires a jury of our peers or at least a judge who understands us.

Here, the reason given for Jesus’ authority to judge is the fact He is the Son of Man. He will not judge us until He actually walks in our shoes. Our Judge became a human being!

Now there can be no question of fairness.

And He took our place on the cross. Giving His life as just payment for the penalty of our sins!

Now there can be no excuse either. What defense could one offer in the courtroom of heaven if they turn away from this Teacher.

Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

In the Judgement Day those who are saved will only be saved because they believed and listened to the one who walked in their shoes when He took their sins upon Himself on the cross.

And those who are condemned will find no cause for appeal. For the Judge personally understands what it is like to live as a human being. He walked in their shoes too.

By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.



I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

The Teacher does not ask us to do anything He Himself has not done. So when Jesus invites every person in the world to become His student, He does so from the perspective of One who Himself was first a student.

Jesus is a Student-Teacher. Our Teacher knows what it means to be a student too.

Before He offered to become our Teacher, He came to earth as a human being, voluntarily placing Himself in the position of student to His Heavenly Father.

As students of Jesus, we look to our Teacher to learn what it means to live a life pleasing to God. Every day in the classroom of life He is present to lead us. We learn from Him and become more like Him in heart and life – doing what He does.

But Jesus has already done all of this as a student of the Father. Jesus earned – in the classroom of His own life - the right to have the authority of Teacher.

Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

From Student to Teacher and now elevated to the coming Judge of the world! This is why becoming Jesus’ student in life is so important. Only in this way do our lives honor the Son and ultimately honor the Father.

For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.



One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

Here Jesus asks an invalid what seems to be an odd question.

What sick person in their right mind wouldn’t want to get well? Who that is unable to walk would not welcome the use of his legs?

However, on closer examination perhaps the question isn’t strange at all.

After all God doesn’t force Himself on anyone. Maybe this fact is more intriguing for it suggests that the most powerful Being in the Universe isn’t in the business of imposing His Will on anyone – even if it benefits them.

Here Jesus respects the sovereignty of the individual. As God on earth in human form, Jesus will not force his blessings into any life unwilling to receive them.

This explains a lot of what we observe in the human condition. The world is full of individuals who exercise their freedom to neglect the possibilities of the Teacher. His blessings are not for them.

So Jesus asks the cripple man if He wants to be well.

Perhaps Jesus realizes how drastically this man’s life will change if he is healed. Before he was the object of pity and charity, but a healthy man will have to go to work. Habits of long-standing will have to change and change is often painful too.

No, the man must be given the choice.

And so it is with every person. The Teacher teaches and it is up to each person to decide to become a student or not. And like this man who said ‘Yes,” the decision to follow this Teacher changes everything.



The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live."

Upon returning to Galilee, Jesus is approached by a desperate father whose son is near death. He’s heard about the miracles and traveled to find Jesus. He begs Him to come and heal his son.

Jesus simply tells him to go home because his son is healed.

Imagine the relief and amazement when the man returning home is met by his servants with the good news. His son is well.

Curious, the father inquires at what time the boy recovered. The servants inform him it was about one in the afternoon.

Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live."

This joyful father learned what every student of Jesus comes to understand. Whatever He says is completely reliable. You can take His word for it.

So he and all his household believed.

This believer had a very dramatic story to tell about the reliability of the Teacher. And though less striking, every student of Jesus has similar testimony from their own experience.

One day in heaven we may hear this father repeat the scenario he no doubt recounted many times to his friends and neighbors. And we may share our stories with him.

For students of Jesus know, when the Teacher speaks you can rely on it!



They said to the woman, "We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world."

At first many of the Samaritans from the nearby town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony about Jesus.

Now they urge Jesus to stay in their town for a few days. They overcome their prejudice against the Jews to listen to the Rabbi.

The result?

And because of His words many more became believers – this man really is the Savior of the world!

This is what invariably happens when people take time to listen to the Teacher – really listen – and consider what He says.

They believed because of His words.

Most people who say they don’t believe in Jesus have never taken the time to actually investigate. In fact, they haven’t read His Word at all. They don’t know His teaching.

This is the definition of prejudice isn’t it? “I don’t believe in Jesus. Oh, and incidentally, I don’t even know what He says.”

Here a village of Samaritans overcome their prejudice and they are rewarded with knowledge of the truth.

They get to know Jesus personally.

This is the life of a student of Jesus.



Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?"

The woman had an encounter with Jesus. She is so excited about the possibility of this Teacher; she forgot why she came to the well in the first place. She hurries off to town without her water jar.

Here comes a woman who had five husbands in her lifetime and was living with a man without the sanction of marriage. Yet, in spite of her reputation in town, the people actually listen to her.

They came out of the town and made their way toward Him.

She must have been very convincing. That these townspeople who knew her would listen to her concerning spiritual things is nothing short of astounding.

What was it? Her exuberance? Or was it her testimony that this Rabbi knew all about her even though He was a stranger?

Perhaps seeing the people coming from a distance, shimmering in the noonday sun like waves of harvest grain, Jesus says to His students:

Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.

One woman and now a whole town coming to hear what the Teacher has to say. This is why Jesus has come to earth. To gather those who are prepared to receive Him.

It is now God’s harvest time.



The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us." Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."

When Jesus promised to give this Samaritan woman water that would quench her thirst forever, she seeks an explanation. But she asks the wrong question.

Like most people in the world today, she is so focused on the physical thing that she almost misses the spiritual opportunity in front of her.

Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.

It is natural to get caught up in the day to day work of survival and necessity. We need something to jar us, bring us to our senses, and cause us to focus on our spiritual condition as well.

Jesus brings this woman into reality by asking her to go get her husband. He did this because he knew she had five previous husbands and was living with a man who was not her husband.

When the woman realized Jesus knew all about her, she knew He must be a prophet and so the conversation turns at last the way Jesus planned all along.

Finally, the woman at the well begins to seek explanations to some of her long-standing spiritual questions.

This is the work of the Teacher. And this Teacher not only gives explanations but is a living explanation of how to live a life that pleases God.

This is what Jesus was aiming at in His conversation with this woman at Jacob’s Well. And this is what He hopes for every person in the world.

Students of Jesus come to understand, for He is The Explanation.



Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.”

Here Jesus does some unusual things. Violates several customs!

First, He is travelling through Samaria, a country avoided by most Jews because of long-standing hostility between the peoples. And He is talking to a Samaritan woman.

But isn’t this the inclusiveness we expect from God who created all people. Shouldn't He love everyone?

Tired and thirsty as He is, Jesus has something more in mind than His own comfort as He sits down near Jacob’s Well at noontime.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?

Here we see how the Teacher turns even the simplest encounter into an opportunity to bring spiritual understanding. But the woman is surprised by the request - You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?

Jesus now turns the conversation in the direction He planned all along.

Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

Like most of us when first encountering Jesus, the woman is confused - Sir, you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water?

Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

Woman, meet the Thirst Quencher! The only one who can satisfy the thirst for God in every parched soul.



He must become greater; I must become less.

John baptized many people. Now John’s disciples inform him that Jesus is actually having more success than they - the one you testified about—well, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.

John gives what seems to be at first a strange answer - That joy is mine, and it is now complete. Why is John happy about taking second place?

It is because of who Jesus is and what He can accomplish for mankind that brings John joy. He realizes Jesus is able to do what he cannot.

The one who comes from above is above all…The one who comes from heaven is above all.

For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.

The Father loves the Son and has placed everything in his hands.

Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him.

John gives at least four good reasons why he is happy people are leaving him for Jesus. Jesus is from heaven. Jesus has the Holy Spirit without limit. He is the Son of God. And faith in Jesus is brings eternal life.

Now we understand why John is willing to diminish that Jesus may increase.

Isn’t this the very attitude of a true student of Jesus? We desire for the life of Jesus to increase in our spirit and our will to diminish.

To be a successful student of this Teacher – to become more like Him – as John says, He must become greater, I must become less.



For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What is Jesus doing in the world? Here is the one-word answer. It is the Good News in a nutshell.

God so loves the world – everyone in the world – that Jesus comes.

And why does He come?

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

God’s love intends to save mankind from the penalty of sin. A sentence so horrible there is only one word for it.

Though man constantly rebels against God’s laws, Jesus does not come from heaven to punish, but to rescue. He gets personally involved – comes as a human - to suffer and die in our place.

Not only does the Son of God’s love save mankind from hell in the future, but this Teacher intends to save us from ourselves in this life. He keeps His students from becoming the persons they would naturally become without Him.

This is the essence of a Teacher-student relationship with Jesus – to become more like Him in character and life.

The question of all questions becomes, why then do not all people come to this love?

This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

And perhaps for some, a love like this simply seems too good to be true. Am I of such worth?



No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.

Jesus is not another teacher is a long line of philosophers, gurus and teachers. The message this Teacher brings to our lives is from the streets of the Heavenly City. His Words are the echoes of heaven to earth.

Jesus tells God’s Truth for this life!

Here the Teacher was talking about a truth God desires everyone on earth to know about - the necessity of the new birth of water and the Spirit.

Jesus isn’t talking about wonderful and unseen things in heaven, but very practical things for life here on earth. How to enter into a spiritual life with God now!

Now as then, people are incredulous. So Jesus says - I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

Of course the day will come for His students when they will not only understand heavenly things, but actually live in heaven. But how can this be, if we neglect the things the Teacher tells us to do in this life?

Students of Jesus are in school now. Preparing for graduation from earthly things to heavenly things! Staying close to the only Teacher who can lead them there!

This Teacher brings everlasting life.

…the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.



Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

Birthdays are special.

Here the Teacher speaks of a spiritual birthday. A new birth of water and the Spirit - I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

In fact, He says - You must be born again.

As the date of our birth ushers us into this world, the day of our baptism marks the entrance into a new spiritual life.

This is true because when by faith we are baptized in water, Jesus brings us into a new life by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

What a birthday present!!!

Jesus gives the very presence of God as our first gift. A present of the Holy Spirit to guide us and produce His fruit in our new life!

Jesus is the Savior and the Teacher. The Holy Spirit is the Tutor to help us become more like Jesus.

Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Students of Jesus are born again to the life in the Spirit.



His disciples remembered that it is written: "Zeal for your house will consume me."

Jesus visits Jerusalem for the Passover. He didn’t like what He saw in the temple. Some people were selling animals for sacrifice and others were exchanging money in the temple courts.

So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple area, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

You can tell a lot about people by what excites them. Here we see Jesus is enthusiastic about the Will of His Heavenly Father.

To those who sold doves he said, "Get these out of here! How dare you turn my Father's house into a market!"

Students of Jesus take notice. They seek to emulate His zeal for God and the things of God.

Following this Teacher, becoming more like Him, means standing up for God’s Word. At times taking action when things done in God’s House – in God’s Name – do not reflect the will and purposes of God!

This is especially true as we observe things in our own lives that are opposed to God’s desire for us.

It is interesting that John places this event at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, while the others have it near the end of His earthly life.

Did Jesus cleanse the temple two times, once early on and then again later? What we know about human nature tells us it’s likely. When Jesus left town the merchants came back in and set up shop in the temple once more.

What we know for sure is that Jesus wants God’s House to be honored. He wants us to be zealous about what’s going on in our house. What would he drive out of our house if He came for a visit one day?



…and his disciples put their faith in him.

Here Jesus demonstrates He is more than just another religious teacher. He reveals His glory by turning water into wine.

No wonder His students are impressed and began to trust Him.

John calls the miracle of water into wine - the first of his miraculous signs.

Signs are key to understanding the message of the Book of John. In fact, the first few chapters are organized around several miraculous signs.

Each sign is followed by specific teachings.

Signs provide Divine Credentials for the Teacher. What He teaches is not only true because they are themselves credible truths. They are to be received because the trustworthiness of the Teacher is confirmed by the signs God empowers Him to do.

No wonder Jesus’ students put their trust in Him when they see the water turned to wine. They are not merely focused on the miracle, but on the Teacher who had power to do it.

Today, students of Jesus put their trust in Him for the same reasons. The signs of Jesus point us to His power and willingness to change our lives and alter our circumstances.
Who else but our Teacher has the power to change everything He touches?



Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel."

Jesus was frequently called Rabbi, which means a teacher. But as Nathanael comes to realize, Jesus is not just another religious instructor. He is the Son of God.

John was one of the first to recognize this fact when he saw the Holy Spirit come upon Jesus at His baptism. Naturally, John spreads the word about who Jesus really is.

At that point, some of John’s followers begin to follow Jesus. Andrew was one of them. Andrew promptly found his brother Peter and told him – “We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.

The Rabbi is quickly gaining new students.

Soon Phillip is added and he recruits his friend Nathanael - We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

This is how it goes. Students of the Teacher tell others about Him and one by one they too enroll in the University of Jesus.

The classroom is every moment of every day, because the Teacher is always personally present with every student.

The course of study? Jesus.

It isn’t just information about Jesus students seek, but transformation of life to become more like Him.



I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.

John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. He said - I am not the Christ… I am the voice of one calling in the desert, “Make straight the way for the Lord.”

Some of the religious leaders questioned why he was baptizing people if he wasn’t the Christ. John answers: I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.

When Jesus came to John to be baptized by him, he knew He was the One.

I would not have known him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, “The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.”

Then John gave this testimony: "I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

John the Baptizer is the forerunner for Jesus the Baptizer. Man can only baptize in water, but Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit.

The word baptize means to immerse, submerge, overwhelm. A Christian is one who is not only immersed in water but one who is immersed in the life of the Spirit – the life God provides.

Jesus brings the gift of God Himself to those who follow Him.



The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

In the beginning, God made man in His own image. With the coming of Jesus to the earth, He does something even more remarkable. God puts on the image of man.

The Word, existing as God from the beginning, becomes flesh.

The Word suggests the idea of communication. Jesus is God’s living message to humanity. Amazing as it sounds, God becomes a human being to be the living, breathing Message of God.

We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father's side, has made him known.

This is why Jesus is the best Teacher for life. He is the One and Only One, who perfectly reveals God.

When we look at the life of Jesus, we are seeing the character of God revealed insofar as it is possible in human form. When we listen to this Teacher, we are listening to the very Word of God for our lives.

Because He is God, becoming a student of Jesus is a privilege greater than any other. To learn from this Teacher is the opportunity of a lifetime.

From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Grace, truth and one blessing after another is what being a student of The Word is all about.



The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.

Light is a motif John uses to explain the coming of Jesus. The entrance of Jesus into the world is the dawning of a new day. The long night of darkness is receding at last.

Jesus is gradually breaking out over the earth to reveal the true shape and color of things. To bring warmth and light and life to mankind!

All the prophets and teachers who came before were faint starlight. Dim reminders of hope in earth’s dark night that the full Sunlight of God would rise in His time!

And so it is Jesus who reveals for the first time what it looks like to live a life in the full light of God. In His Person and in His Teaching, students of Jesus bask in the noonday brightness of God.

Paradoxically, some are like blind men who cannot see a sunrise - He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him.

But for those who will see Jesus for whom He is, John announces a new birth. A spiritual rebirth by the will of God!

Yet to all who received him - To those who believed in his name - he gave the right to become children of God - children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John doesn’t begin his good news account with the birth of Jesus. Instead, he goes all the way back to the beginning of the world and proclaims Jesus was there even then.

John’s starting point is not the story of Jesus’ humanity, because he wants his readers to know Jesus was present from the very beginning.

John says Jesus is the Creator of all things - Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

This Jesus is God. He is the One who said - Let there be light. And there was light.

And even more - In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

John is clear. When God said, Let there be light, the first ray of sunlight that illuminated the dark world contained a hint of what was to come. One day the Source of light - the Light of the World - would shine in person.

He comes as a Savior - dispelling the darkness of sin by forgiveness through His death. And He comes as a Teacher - enlightening the heart with the truths of God in His life.

Students of this Teacher come to His light and walk together with Him in a path that grows ever brighter. Ultimately journeying to the light of God’s very presence!

Without this Teacher, people stumble in darkness.



Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

The Teacher is going away from His students, at least in physical form. But He’s teaching them right up to the last moment.

He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Jesus wants them to grasp the awesome significance of His death and resurrection. His sacrifice on the cross and His life in heaven will bring forgiveness of sins and new life.

As His closest students, they have a special task to perform - You are witnesses of these things.

They will tell about forgiveness of sins to every nation, and this process will begin in a few days in the city of Jerusalem. There, Peter and the others will stand up boldly tell this good news for the first time.

How will they do it without the presence of the Teacher?

I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.

They won’t be without their Teacher. Though not present physically, Jesus will come to them representatively through the promised Holy Spirit.

That’s what every student still knows. The Teacher isn’t gone. He’s here with us every day. We have what He promised.

The Teacher is ever-present.



"It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Funny how the Teacher always shows up when people are thinking about Him! Here the eleven remaining apostles and other followers are together discussing the resurrection. And Jesus shows up.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

He’s still showing up this way. After all, He promised to be present anytime two or three gather in His name.

And it is interesting how Jesus was recognized when he broke the bread with them, because He’s still showing up this way every Lord’s Day. He assured His presence every time students gather to remember Him in the sacrament of bread and fruit of the vine.

These students were confused and uncertain, but their focus was still on the Teacher. That’s why Jesus showed up.

The Teacher always shows up when students are paying attention.

Otherwise, what’s the point?



Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?

Now we know why the Teacher seeks out these two men. They get excited when Jesus talks. They have a burning desire for the understanding He brings.

Not everyone in the world is excited about the Teachings of Jesus. Some hearts are as cold as stone when confronted with what the Teacher has to say.

And here we see how even the most ardent students are sometimes slow to understand the Scriptures.

How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! …And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

It’s still true! Some very eager students of the Teacher know His teachings yet don’t know them. They know the Teacher and yet don’t know Him.

Some students can quote the verses, but practically don’t know how to apply the teaching in a way that gives understanding and guidance in real life.

Here the Teacher explains to them what they missed in the verses they already knew.

This is the work of the Teacher and the occupation of a lifetime for every student.

The Teacher/student relationship still begins with those whose hearts burn with desire for His Word. And continues in ever-growing wisdom for life!



As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them…

Where’s Jesus? That’s the question on the hearts of two downcast and confused men as they leave the city of Jerusalem.

Their hopes are dashed. They expected Jesus – this miracle worker and Teacher - to liberate them. Instead the authorities crucified Him.

And now there are confusing reports about a resurrection. The tomb is empty. But where’s Jesus?

This turns out to be such a beautiful story because Jesus is right there with them. He’s actually walking and talking with them, although they are prevented from recognizing Him.

Why them? Why Cleopas and another relatively unknown person?

Notice what is on the mind of these two men. It is Jesus they are thinking and talking about. And anywhere and everywhere someone is showing up for class, the teacher is not late!
This is what the Teacher always does!

In the most distressing times of life - in confusion, frustration and even despair – sometimes students are tempted to ask, “Where’s the Teacher?”

Where’s Jesus?

He’s everywhere He’s wanted. Every time He’s sought after.

He comes alongside to enlighten, comfort and lead.



Remember how He told you…

Here the women come to the tomb of Jesus. They are surprised to find the stone rolled away from the opening. Even more taken back by the angels and their message:

Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!

They should have expected the empty tomb. In fact, Jesus told them in advance He would rise from the dead and even informed them of the day it would happen. The heavenly messengers remind them of something they already know.

The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.

Only when the angels repeat the teaching of Jesus do they get it - Then they remembered his words.

Peter doesn’t seem to remember any better – Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb... and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

The very best students are forgetful at times. And sometimes fail to remember very important things, like the resurrection for instance!

Even serious students – students who follow Jesus every day – need reminding from time to time. This is the weakness of human nature and the power of distractions.

That’s why successful students of the Teacher find time to listen to His voice in every day. Set aside time to read His words and pray for understanding and guidance.

In this story, the most devoted followers of Jesus are forgetful students. Here’s the encouraging thing: The Teacher always sends a reminder.



Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action.

Sometimes in an unthinking mob there is one who doesn’t go along to get along. Someone who doesn’t hide his personal responsibility behind the cloak of a crowd! Someone who is willing to stand alone!

Meet such a man!

Jesus – now deserted by His followers – stands alone. And He finds a kindred spirit in Joseph of Arimathea who stands apart from his peers on the council. He refuses to cast his vote with the majority who condemn Jesus to death.

Joseph stood up for justice and for Jesus and so today still stands high above the crowd of history!

Why? Is it a coincidence this man of integrity is said to be one who - was waiting for the kingdom of God.

Without a doubt, his focus on the promised coming kingdom of God opened his eyes to the prospect of Jesus. He saw what others could not or would not.

Here is a student of Jesus. His eyes are open and so is his heart. Open to the voice and possibility of the Teacher.

He stands alone in the council. Not an easy thing to do. And he will do another courageous and lonely thing before this day is done…

Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus' body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

Jesus. Joseph. The power of one becomes two and gradually millions stand up. This is the Power of One.



Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

With His dying words, Jesus teaches His students where following Him will ultimately lead. To the true source of life – the Father.

Jesus dies as He lived. With extreme dedication to His Heavenly Father! His daily commitment to the Father was unquestioned. It will be no less in death.

Jesus’ life was lived in devotion to His Father. His life was directed by the Will of the Father. The desires of the Father informed His every thought and action.

Into the everlasting loving Hands of God! This is where the Teacher directs His own life at the end of the day.

And this is where He leads us.

This is what being a student of Jesus is all about. This is what we learn from Him.

For only Jesus reveals God to us. It is He who teaches us how to live a life given over into the Father’s Hand.

As we listen to the Teacher, day by day, we are learning more about what it means to please God. We are also being gradually changed to become more like the Teacher in heart and life.

At the end of our days, the question will be, “Into whose hands did we commit our spirit?”