September 12, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for John 16-18
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Context: In the beginning of chapter 16, Jesus foretells of what is to come. His followers will be rejected and persecuted. Jesus offers hope. We will not be alone. The Holy Spirit will come to help guide and teach us, however, it can only come once Jesus has returned to His Father. Unsurprisingly, the disciples were confused and did not understand. Even today, this is a chapter that many Christians struggle to understand. Pray for wisdom. Chapter 17 is a prayer of Jesus. Through the prayer, we see His relationship with His Father. Jesus also prayers for His disciples, not just those that were with Him, but for all who stand for Him. Jesus prayed for you! He prayed for your protection and that all believers would unite and stand together. The author of this book, John, skips over the garden narrative, as he is focused on showing us what Jesus said, as opposed to recording a life history of events. Jesus is arrested and taken to Annas, who once served as high priest and has remained the “power behind the (priestly) throne.” John was likely the disciple with Peter in the courtyard, as John had the priestly connections to gain entrance. Jesus’ trial before the High Priest was not in accordance with many Jewish laws. The priests expected Jesus to incriminate Himself (which was against Jewish Law), and failed to call on witnesses to testify against Him (which was in accordance with Jewish Law). The religious leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate because they wanted Him executed. Pilate recognizes that Jesus did not deserve to be executed but instead of releasing Him, attempts to convince the people to ask for Him to be released.