The power, authority, mercy, and love of Jesus is seen in these passages in breathtaking images. Meanwhile, John records the claims and teachings of Jesus that began to raise questions even among his followers.
Comng: "Why did they beg Jesus to leave? Why didn't they want him to stay?"
Jesus heals, forgives,
proclaims, and warns
Jesus forgives a paralyzed man and is accused of blasphemy. He then physically heals the man as well, to show his authority to forgive. Following this miracle, he raises a girl from the dead, heals the blind and mute, and warns his followers of coming violence. In these passages, we also see a growing conflict: Who is Jesus? The crowds become aware that the religious elite want to kill him.
Coming: "What were the Jewish peoples' blasphemy laws? What are they referring to?"
John is beheaded,
Jesus tries to mourn,
Peter is renamed
Jesus had once said that of those born to women, there was none greater than John. But now, in an effort to silence his message, he has been beheaded. Jesus goes to mourn his death, but crowds follow him. The passages that come next are poignant and striking.
Coming: "This is like the Youtube video I saw...Peter was chosen to teach about Jesus, not Paul. Paul corrupted the Injeel. He changed its message."
Jesus raises lazarus &
a plot is conceived
Jesus announces that he is the Resurrection and the Life. Lazarus, who has been dead for four days, is raised. The religious leaders began to plot to take Jesus's life. (Notice that they also planned to kill Lazarus, newly raised from the dead, because so many people were believing in Jesus because of this miracle!) Jesus is anointed for his coming burial and rides into Jerusalem, fulfilling Scripture of the King and Messiah, knowing that Jerusalem is where he will die. Note that in the end of John 12, Jesus explains why the people need to be blinded and hardened...so that the coming crucifixion can happen. This chapter also describes the state of the Pharisees who did believe: they wouldn't acknowledge Christ, because they "loved human praise more than praise from God."
Coming: "Why did Jesus delay? Why did he let him die instead of healing him?"
The Last supper
Jesus eats his final meal with his disciples...the Passover lamb. As they eat, he tells them what's about to happen. Jesus tells Peter that he'll disown him, and that Satan has asked to sift him like wheat...but that he has prayed for him. He tells Peter, "When you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." They leave for the garden. Judas is not with them.
Coming: Ashura, the Passover, the Last Supper, and Communion
Jesus in Gethsemane
The sheer pain and honesty of Jesus's prayer in Gethsemane is poured out on these pages. Then Judas arrives. Peter tries to defend Jesus with the sword. Jesus heals the man whose ear was cut off. Peter, seeing that Jesus is not only not fighting, but healing the injured, runs. He follows Jesus at a distance, watching the night trial of Jesus begin. When asked if he knows Jesus, he disowns him three times. The rooster crows. Peter weeps.
Coming: "Did Jesus change his mind? He said he was going to be crucified and now he's asking not to die?"
the trial and condemnation of Jesus
The witnesses God chose for the trial of Jesus provide us different details about the accusations of the religious authorities and the Roman government. Together, a single harrowing image emerges. The religious leaders, charging Jesus with blasphemy, want the Roman government to publicly execute him. The Roman government, not involved with Jewish law or disputes of religion, finds no basis to execute him. The religious elite change their charge, saying that failure to execute him is the same as treason. Pilate hands him over to be crucified.
Coming: "Why did they say Jesus would destroy the temple? Why didn't he answer?"