September 19, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for John 19-21
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Context: Pilate could find no fault with Jesus, yet he still sent Him to be flogged and then executed. Pilate was concerned with one thing: maintaining and gaining political power. If the Jews revolted, especially during a holiday where the number of Jews in the city had greatly increased, Pilate would be dismissed from his position. John carefully points out many prophecies that were fulfilled by the death of Jesus Christ. Only the Messiah, the Savior, could have fulfilled all the prophecies. Unlike the other Gospels, John does not devote much time to Jesus on the cross. Instead he focuses on what happens after. Jesus’ body is cared for by two of his followers, who, until now, had not been very public about their support of Jesus. Jesus appeared to several people after His resurrection. John records several of those appearances in chapter 20 and 21. We should not think that these are all of His appearances. Rather John chose these for a reason. How would you have reacted to the news? Jesus and the disciples spent some time together before He returned to Heaven, which is not recorded by John. On one of these occasions, Jesus talks to Peter, who had denied Him after His arrest. Peter is given the confidence he needs to continue on with Jesus’ work after Jesus is gone. Jesus gives Peter three final instructions. Peter never forgets this conversation with Jesus, as evidence by Peter’s epistles. It is also revealed to Peter what will happen to him. Peter wants to know if the same fate is in store for another disciple. Peter is reminded to focus on his work for the Lord and not concern himself about the work the Lord has for others, a lesson we still need to this day.