TBU: The Bible Unpacked: In-Depth Edition

I.  God’s Enablement of Jesus Christ

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Chapter 12  Part I

God’s Enablement of Jesus Christ

God enabled Jesus Christ to carry out his mission, empowering and directing him. Consequently what Jesus did and said showed that he had been sent and empowered by God. For without God no one could possibly have the extraordinary authority, power and knowledge that Jesus had.

Jesus Christ’s Authority from God

See also:

God granted Jesus sovereign authority

See also:

Matt 11:27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ▤ 

Jesus is saying that all things had been “handed over” to him by God. In effect God had given him “authority over everything” (NLT).

Matt 28:18-20  And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inj the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ▤ 

j Or into

As Jesus made this statement after his resurrection, there is some discussion as to what extent he had this authority beforehand. Matthew 11:27 above, John 17:2, 3:35 and 13:3 below suggest that he did have such authority beforehand. Possibly this was an extension of the realm of his authority.

John 17:2  … since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. ▤ 

This is either speaking of: authority over all people, by which Jesus could give eternal life as well as do other things; or more particularly authority to give eternal life, i.e. the second part of the verse may be qualifying the first part. Arguably at least, the first alternative is more likely.

John 3:35  The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. ▤ 

John 13:3  Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, … ▤ 

John 5:27  And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. ▤ 

Here Jesus is speaking of the authority God has given him as “the Son of Man”. This title – particularly in this context – is probably a reference to the “one like a son of man” in Daniel 7:13-14 below, who was given dominion over all peoples.

John 10:17-18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ▤ 

This indicates that Jesus had authority over death. The final statement may refer to God granting him this authority, in light of the preceding statement. For further comment see Jesus obeyed God.

John 16:23  In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. ▤ 

In Jewish thought, a person’s name represented or embodied their whole person – including their authority, along with their nature and purpose. To make requests “in Jesus’ name” therefore involves a claim on his authority. So with the promise that “whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you”, this verse points to the sovereignty of Jesus’ authority.

Matt 12:6  I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. ▤ 

Here Jesus is speaking of himself or possibly the kingdom of God – the two are interrelated in any case. Jesus may well have meant that he had authority higher than that of the temple and the regulations associated with it and the Sabbath (cf. vv. 1-8). Another possible implication was that as the center and focus for worship of God, the temple had been superseded by the coming of God’s kingdom with its King, Jesus himself (cf. John 2:19-22 ), and what he would accomplish in allowing people to approach God directly. Both possibilities point to Jesus’ supreme authority.

John 2:13-22  The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken. ▤ 

Jesus’ authority to clear the temple of those using it to make money is illustrative of his sovereign authority. The Jews questioned Jesus’ authority to take such imposing action in the temple – “prove your authority to do all this” (v. 18, NIV). Some commentators consider that they also had in view his reference to the temple as “my Father’s house” (v. 16) as being a messianic allusion and were essentially questioning what appeared to them at least to be a claim to be the Messiah. Jesus Christ gave his death and resurrection (vv. 19, 21) as proof that he had the authority to take such action and – if his Messiah-ship was in question – that he was the Messiah. Thus when he died and rose again his disciples believed him (v. 22).

  • The sovereign authority given by God to “one like a son of man”:

Dan 7:13-14  I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. 14And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. ▤ 

This is understood to be messianic and thus to be speaking of Jesus Christ. Its complete fulfillment, with all people worshiping him, will come at the end of the age.

Jesus had the authority to forgive sins

Matt 9:2-8  And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” 3And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” 4But Jesus, knowingk their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? 5For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7And he rose and went home. 8When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. ▤ 

k Some manuscripts perceiving

Jesus’ question in v. 5 makes the point that forgiving sins is, like healing a paralytic, humanly impossible. So although his claim to be able to forgive sins could not be directly verified, by proving he could do the latter (vv. 7-8) Jesus gave his claim credence. Note that the parallel passage in Mark adds to the remark of the teachers of the law: “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” (Mark 2:7b) This correctly indicates that forgiveness of sins could only be done with God’s authority.

Luke 7:47-49  Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 48And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49Then those who were at table with him began to say amongl themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” ▤ 

l Or to

Col 3:13  … bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. ▤ 

This is probably speaking generally of Jesus Christ forgiving sins rather than in particular to him doing so during his mission. It has been included here as it further illustrates that he has such authority.

  • Jesus had the authority to state what could and could not be forgiven:

Matt 12:31  Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. ▤ 

For comment, see the comment on Matt 12:24, 31-32 – under Do not blaspheme God.

Jesus’ teaching had great authority

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Mark 1:21-27  And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching. 22And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes. 23And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24“What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 25But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” 26And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him. 27And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” ▤ 

In v. 27 the people appear to be saying that Jesus’ teaching had great authority and that this authority was confirmed and demonstrated by Jesus’ power to authoritatively give orders to evil spirits.

Matt 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-35, 38-39, 43-44  You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brotherm will be liable to judgment; whoever insultsn his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hello of fire. ▤ 27“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. ▤ 31“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.’ 34But I say to you, Do not take an oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. ▤ 38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. ▤ 43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, … ▤ 

m Some manuscripts insert without cause

n Greek says Raca to (a term of abuse)

o Greek Gehenna; also verses 29, 30

Six times Jesus quotes the OT law. Each time he interprets the law and even develops it. He does so in a manner that does not undermine the law (cf. vv. 18-20), but nevertheless is indicative of his authority being comparable with or even greater than that of the law itself. Note that regarding “hate your enemy” (v. 43), the OT law never says to do this. This suggests that with his use of “you have heard” (vv. 21, 27, 33, 38, 43), Jesus is addressing not simply the OT law itself, but misinterpretations and misapplications of it.

Matt 24:35  Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. ▤ 

The great authority of Jesus’ teaching is reflected by its permanence, verifiable by its standing nearly two thousand years later.

Luke 4:18-21  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” ▤ 

In v. 21 Jesus lays claim to being the one anointed by God to preach and proclaim the messianic messages (vv. 18-19), indicative of the divine authority of his teaching.

John 6:47  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. ▤ 

Jesus used the clause “Truly, truly, I say to you” numerous times in his teaching (cf. John 5:24 ; Mark 10:29 ). By it Jesus asserts his authority – or at least his capacity – to state truth.

Mark 7:14  And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: … ▤ 

This exemplifies the authoritative tone or nature of Jesus’ teaching, with him asserting the necessity for everyone to listen to him (cf. Mark 9:7 ) and understand his teaching.

Mark 9:7  And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son;p listen to him.” ▤ 

p Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

The fact that God commanded people to listen to Jesus emphatically underlines Jesus’ great authority in his teaching.

  • Jesus’ silencing of the leaders who queried his authority:

Matt 21:23-27  And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. ▤ 

The phrase “these things” (vv. 23, 27) quite possibly encompasses his teaching in the temple (v. 23), but also his past clearing of the temple of buyers and sellers and his performing miracles there (cf. vv. 12-15; John 2:14-18). Jesus’ reply (v. 25a) implies that both John’s and his authority came from heaven; it also foiled his opponents.

Jesus had the authority to state what was required for eternal life

Note that Jesus is the speaker in each of the verses listed in this and the following subsection.

John 3:16, 36  For God so loved the world,q that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. ▤ 36Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him. ▤ 

q Or For this is how God loved the world

John 5:24  Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. ▤ 

John 12:25  Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. ▤ 

Jesus states that those who live for the benefit of themselves and their own lives will ultimately lose it, whereas those who are prepared to forsake living for themselves and their own lives (for the sake of God’s kingdom) will be granted eternal life. Similarly in Mark 8:35 Jesus says, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

  • Jesus’ stated that those who give up much for him and the gospel, will receive eternal life:

Mark 10:29-30  Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. ▤ 

Jesus had the authority to state what was required to enter God’s kingdom

Matt 5:20  For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ▤ 

The “righteousness” of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law was a self-righteousness, rather than godly righteousness.

Matt 7:21  Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. ▤ 

Matt 18:3  … and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. ▤ 

Here Jesus speaks of the humility, trust and receptiveness of little children, which are required to believe Jesus’ message and enter God’s kingdom.

John 3:3, 5  Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born againr he cannot see the kingdom of God.” ▤ 5Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. ▤ 

r Or from above; the Greek is purposely ambiguous and can mean both again and from above; also verse 7

For comment, see the comment on John 3:3-8 – under . . . They are born again of the Holy Spirit and through God’s word.

Matt 21:28-32  “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him. ▤ 

Here Jesus is teaching that to enter God’s kingdom one must do what God wants (vv. 28-29, 31; Matt 7:21 ), rather than merely profess an intention to do so (v. 30). Doing what God wants involves believing his message (v. 32), as a number of the tax collectors and the prostitutes had done (vv. 31-32) in contrast to the chief priests and elders.

  • Jesus had the authority to make statements about who would enter God’s kingdom:

Matt 8:11-12  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. ▤ 

Here Jesus asserts that many of the Gentiles would enter God’s kingdom, while many of the Jews would be thrown out. Note that in 21:31 above, Jesus similarly makes a statement about who were entering God’s kingdom, declaring that the believing tax collectors and prostitutes were entering the kingdom as opposed to the chief priests and elders.

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ’s Power from God

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God bestowed the Holy Spirit on Jesus, for his mission

See also:

The descending of the Holy Spirit onto Jesus Christ at his baptism (cf. Matt 3:16-17 ; John 1:32-33 ) is generally understood to be God’s anointing of Jesus Christ for his mission (cf. Luke 4:18 ) – mirroring the bestowal of the Holy Spirit upon some OT leaders at the commencement of their ministries (cf. The Holy Spirit empowers God’s people to do God’s work). As such, through the Holy Spirit God empowered Jesus in his mission and Jesus performed many miraculous deeds with God’s power.

Matt 3:16-17  And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,s and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,t with whom I am well pleased.” ▤ 

s Some manuscripts omit to him

t Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

Verse 17 points to the fact that God sent the Holy Spirit, bestowing the Spirit on Jesus. Note that “like a dove” (v. 16b; cf. John 1:32 ) may simply be referring to how the Holy Spirit descended, but it is understood by many to refer to the Spirit’s form or appearance. A dove symbolized purity and gentleness, and this may be the connotation here.

John 1:32-34  And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” ▤ 

Note that John points out two significant implications of the Holy Spirit coming down and remaining on Jesus: he is the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit (v. 33); and he “is the Son of God” (v. 34). With the latter, John may also have had in mind God’s declaration at Jesus’ baptism (cf. Matt 3:17 ).

Matt 12:18  Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. ▤ 

Matthew speaks of this messianic prophecy as having been fulfilled in Jesus. Being anointed with the Spirit, the Messiah would proclaim justice to the nations. Note that Jesus did this in announcing God’s gospel of righteousness and the “judgment” (GNT) for those who do not respond. The justice Christ implements on his return may well also be in view.

Luke 4:17-19, 21  And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, 18“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” ▤ 21And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” ▤ 

As noted earlier in this chapter, Jesus claimed that the prophecy of one who would be anointed by God with the Holy Spirit to carry out God’s messianic work (vv. 18-19) was fulfilled in himself.

Isa 11:2  And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. ▤ 

The Messiah is in view as the one upon whom the Holy Spirit would rest. The verse implies that the listed traits of the Spirit would characterize – i.e. be given to (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NIrV) – the Messiah in his anointment with the Spirit. Such traits would be critical for his ministry.

Isa 48:16b  And now the Lord God has sent me, and his Spirit. ▤ 

A number of commentators consider this to be speaking of the Messiah being sent, although it could simply be referring to Isaiah himself. The rendering and the context suggest that God sent his Spirit with the one in question to aid him in his work.

The Holy Spirit empowered Jesus in what he said and did

See also:

Matt 12:28  But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. ▤ 

Luke 4:1-2, 14  And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness 2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. ▤ 14And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. ▤ 

In saying that Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” (v. 1a) and “led by the Spirit” (v. 1b), Luke appears to point to the Spirit’s empowerment (cf. v. 14) and guidance of Jesus in facing his time of testing in the desert (v. 2).

John 3:34  For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. ▤ 

Note that the last clause probably means that God gave to Jesus Christ the Spirit without any limit (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV, NLT), rather than meaning that God gives the Holy Spirit without limit whenever he gives the Spirit to someone.

Acts 1:2  … until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. ▤ 

Acts 10:38  … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. ▤ 

Presumably the power spoken of was due to the Holy Spirit, the power being given in conjunction with the Holy Spirit. This verse also appears to correlate Jesus having the Holy Spirit with God’s presence being with him.

1Tim 3:16  Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: Heu was manifested in the flesh, vindicatedv by the Spirit,w seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. ▤ 

u Greek Who; some manuscripts God; others Which

v Or justified

w Or vindicated in spirit

The Holy Spirit vindicated Jesus’ claims about himself by enabling him to perform miracles and by his resurrection (cf. Rom 1:4). Note that there is some doubt as to whether “Spirit” is here referring to the Holy Spirit. As indicated in the alternative rendering given in the text note, it possibly should be translated “spirit” (NCV™, NRSV), thus appearing to refer to Jesus’ own spirit.

Heb 9:14  … how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify ourx conscience from dead works to serve the living God. ▤ 

x Some manuscripts your

The verse appears to be speaking of either: the Holy Spirit indwelling and strengthening Christ, empowering him to make the offering of himself (cf. NLT); or Christ offering himself through the Holy Spirit to God, the Holy Spirit being in some sense the “means” through which Christ offered himself to God.

  • Jesus “rejoiced in the Holy Spirit”:

Luke 10:21  In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.y ▤ 

y Or for so it pleased you well

The clause in view may be meaning that Jesus rejoiced by the Holy Spirit (cf. GNT text note). The clause points to the Holy Spirit invigorating and strengthening Jesus in his mission.

Jesus did many miraculous deeds with God’s power . . .

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Luke 5:17  On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal.z ▤ 

z Some manuscripts was present to heal them

Luke 11:20  But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. ▤ 

The phrase “the finger of God” is a reference to God’s power – and possibly the Holy Spirit (cf. Matt 12:28 ).

John 10:25  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, … ▤ 

Jesus performed his miracles in the name of his Father (v. 25) – i.e. by the “power” (AMP) or “authority” (CEV, GNT) of God.

Luke 9:42-43  While he was coming, the demon threw him to the ground and convulsed him. But Jesus rebuked the unclean spirit and healed the boy, and gave him back to his father. 43And all were astonished at the majesty of God. But while they were all marveling at everything he was doing, Jesusa said to his disciples, … ▤ 

a Greek he

Verse 43a shows that the people understood that Jesus’ miraculous deeds were done with God’s power.

John 3:2  This man came to Jesusb by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” ▤ 

b Greek him

John 9:31-33  We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing. ▤ 

Particularly in light of v. 31, v. 33 points to God’s power enabling Jesus to do unheard-of miracles (v. 32).

John 20:30  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; … ▤ 

God and his power are not mentioned in this and the following verses (21:25). These verses have been included here as they attest to Jesus doing a great number of miraculous deeds.

John 21:25  Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. ▤ 

. . . God would do for Jesus whatever he asked

Matt 26:53  Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? ▤ 

John 11:21-22, 41-44  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.” ▤ 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” ▤ 

The phrase “always hear me” (v. 42) implies that God always answered Jesus’ requests (cf. CEV), as Martha stated (v. 22) and as exemplified in the raising of Lazarus (vv. 43-44).

Ps 2:8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. ▤ 

This promise of God is understood to be messianic – both applicable to Jesus in his first coming and to be consummately fulfilled on his return.

Jesus’ deeds led people to glorify God

The fact that the people praised God for all the miracles that they saw Jesus perform, suggests that they understood his power to perform the miracles ultimately came from God.

Matt 15:30-31  And great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at his feet, and he healed them, 31so that the crowd wondered, when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled healthy, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they glorified the God of Israel. ▤ 

Luke 5:24-26  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.” ▤ 

Luke 7:14-16  Then he came up and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” 15And the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesusc gave him to his mother. 16Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” ▤ 

c Greek he

Note that the final statement (v. 16b), like the people’s praise of God (v. 16a), also points to God being the source of Jesus power.

Luke 13:12-13  When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. ▤ 

Luke 17:11-15  On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Samaria and Galilee. 12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers,d who stood at a distance 13and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” 14When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; … ▤ 

d Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13

Luke 18:42-43  And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” 43And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God. ▤ 

Luke 19:37  As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, … ▤ 

  • Jesus’ deeds led people to rejoice:

Luke 13:17  As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. ▤ 

Jesus’ deeds validated his claims about himself and God

See also:

John 5:36  But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. ▤ 

Jesus’ “work” appears to refer primarily to his miracles.

John 9:13-16, 32-33  They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. ▤ 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” ▤ 

The question in v. 16b implies that the speakers did consider that Jesus was “from God” (v. 16a).

John 10:36-38  … do you say of him whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. ▤ 

In vv. 37-38, Jesus claimed that the miracles validated his claim of being the Christ (v. 36a; cf. vv. 24-25a), God’s Son (v. 36b) – and showed that God was in him and he in God (v. 38b).

John 14:11  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. ▤ 

John 20:30-31  Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. ▤ 

The phrase “these are written” (v. 31) refers to the miraculous signs that John did record.

Acts 2:22  Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know ▤ 

In saying that Jesus was attested to by God, Peter most likely had primary in view Jesus’ claims about himself – most of which related to God.

John 6:26-27  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” ▤ 

God’s “seal” (v. 27) is thought by a number of commentators to refer to God’s authentication of Jesus as the one who can give spiritual “food that endures to eternal life” (v. 27) by enabling him to perform miraculous signs (v. 26). These signs included providing physical food for thousands of people (cf. vv. 10-14), paralleling the fact that he can give spiritual food for eternal life.

Jesus’ deeds led many people to believe in him

Matt 14:25-33  And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. 26But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 28And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” 29He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind,e he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” 31Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” ▤ 

e Some manuscripts strong wind

Verse 32 may well be implying that Jesus also caused the wind to die down. Verse 33 indicates that the preceding events (vv. 25-32) reinforced the disciples’ belief in Jesus.

John 2:6-11  Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.f 7Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. ▤ 

f Greek two or three measures (metrētas); a metrētēs was about 10 gallons or 35 liters

John 2:23  Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. ▤ 

Note that the subsequent verses (cf. vv. 24-25) indicate that the belief of many of these people (v. 23) was somewhat superficial (cf. John 4:48 ).

John 4:48-53  So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51As he was going down, his servantsg met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hourh the fever left him.” 53The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. ▤ 

g Greek bondservants

h That is, at 1 P. M.

Note that in v. 48 Jesus is criticizing the attitude of refusing to believe in him unless one saw miracles.

John 6:14-15  When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. ▤ 

The “Prophet” is quite possibly a reference to Deuteronomy 18:15-19, where Moses speaks of God raising up a prophet like him – which many understand to be a messianic prophecy. This and the people’s associated intention to make Jesus king (v. 15) suggests strongly that they did have in mind that Jesus was the Messiah. Their belief was due largely to his miraculous sign of feeding thousands of people with only five small barley loaves and two small fish (cf. vv. 9-13).

John 7:31  Yet many of the people believed in him. They said, “When the Christ appears, will he do more signs than this man has done?” ▤ 

John 9:30-38  The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”i 36He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. ▤ 

i Some manuscripts the Son of God

John 11:14-15, 41-45  Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” ▤ 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” 45Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and had seen what he did, believed in him, … ▤ 

In v. 41 Jesus thanks God prior to God performing through him the miracle of raising Lazarus from the dead (vv. 43-44). He does this publicly so that the miracle would be recognized as demonstrating that God had sent him (v. 42), leading people to believe in him (vv. 14-15, 45; cf. John 12:9-11 ).

John 12:9-11  When the large crowd of the Jews learned that Jesusj was there, they came, not only on account of him but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests made plans to put Lazarus to death as well, 11because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. ▤ 

j Greek he

  • Despite the evidence of Jesus’ miracles, some did not believe in him:

John 15:24  If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. ▤ 

Despite seeing the evidence of Jesus’ deeds, many of the leaders of the Jews persisted in hating him (cf. John 12:9-11 ) – and by implication hating his Father whom he represented. Thus they refused to believe in Jesus. Such hardness of heart in the face of the privilege of witnessing such deeds rendered them most guilty of sin.

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ’s Knowledge from God

See also:

Jesus Christ’s surpassing knowledge and his related trait of profound wisdom were key aspects of his teaching ministry. As can be seen in some of the verses in this section, these capabilities were also important in other areas of his life and mission.

Jesus saw and heard things from God

God showed and told many – even countless – things exclusively to Jesus. As such Jesus was taught by God (cf. John 8:28 ; Isa 50:4 ).

John 3:31b-34  He who comes from heaven is above all. 32He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. ▤ 

Jesus testified to what he had “seen and heard” (v. 32) from God (v. 33; cf. vv. 26, 28, 38, 40a ). As such Jesus spoke “the words of God” (v. 34).

John 5:19-20  So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Fatherk does, that the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. ▤ 

k Greek he

God shows and in effect teaches Jesus all he does. One of the implications of this passage may be that Jesus did only the things that he had been shown by God. For further comment see Jesus only did works of God, and God worked through him.

John 8:26, 28, 38, 40a  I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” ▤ 28So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ▤ 38I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” ▤ 40but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. ▤ 

By “what I have seen with my Father” (v. 38) Jesus may have been speaking of what God had “shown” him (cf. CEV, GNT, NCV) when he was with God, but it may more specifically be referring to what he had seen of the Father himself. Both possibilities reflect that God taught Jesus, as stated in v. 28 and quite apparent in vv. 26, 40a.

John 15:15  No longer do I call you servants,l for the servantm does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. ▤ 

l Greek bondservants

m Greek bondservant; also verse 20

As with other instances in this subsection, In referring to what he had “heard” from God, Jesus appears to be speaking of what he had “learned” (AMP, NIV) from God.

John 17:6-8  I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. 8For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. ▤ 

In v. 7 Jesus may be meaning that that everything he has comes from God. His statement may well primarily have in view the subsequently mentioned “words” that God gave him to speak (v. 8a) and so probably also the associated knowledge. As such this illustrates that Jesus uniquely heard things from God. Alternatively, Jesus statement in v. 7 could primarily have in view those whom God had given him (v. 6).

Isa 50:4  The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ▤ 

The words of this prophecy are attributed to the Messiah. As such it speaks of God teaching the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

  • Jesus had great knowledge without having studied:

John 7:15  The Jews therefore marveled, saying, “How is it that this man has learning,n when he has never studied?” ▤ 

n Or this man knows his letters

That Jesus had great knowledge without having studied reflects the fact that his knowledge was inherent, from God.

Jesus knew everything

Jesus’ complete knowledge would appear to have been due to both: God’s teaching of him (as per the previous subsection); and, perhaps debatably, God enabling him to know or perceive all things about people and everything else (capabilities that are seen in the following subsections).

John 16:30  Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God. ▤ 

Note that the second part of the verse arguably suggests that Jesus’ knowledge of all things was due to God and/or his relationship with him.

John 21:17b  “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. ▤ 

John 4:25-26  The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.” ▤ 

One implication of Jesus’ reply was that as the Messiah he could tell or teach all things, which is indicative of the fact that he knew all things.

Matt 21:1-2  Now when they drew near to Jerusalem and came to Bethphage, to the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, 2saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. ▤ 

This appears to illustrate Jesus Christ’s knowledge of everything, although there is the possibility that he may have known of the animals being there by some other means.

John 21:6  He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. ▤ 

This shows either Jesus’ complete knowledge or his power over nature, depending on whether he simply knew that the fish were there or had caused them to be there.

Jesus knew everything about all people . . .

John 2:24-25  But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man. ▤ 

John 5:42  [Jesus:] But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. ▤ 

Mark 10:21-22  And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions. ▤ 

Jesus knew that the man’s great wealth was hindering his commitment to God, as v. 22 affirms.

John 1:47-48  Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” ▤ 

Jesus knew Nathanael (v. 47) and had seen him while he was a long way away, far out of sight (v. 48). Nathanael possibly had been even in another town, his hometown being Bethsaida (cf. v. 44).

John 4:17-18, 29  The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” ▤ 29[The woman, telling others of Jesus:] “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” ▤ 

John 13:10  Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,o but is completely clean. And youp are clean, but not every one of you.” ▤ 

o Some manuscripts omit except for his feet

p The Greek words for you in this verse are plural

In v. 10b “clean” is used in a spiritual sense, paralleling the physical sense in which it is used earlier in the verse. The verse illustrates that Jesus knew people’s spiritual state – which in turn illustrates that Jesus knew everything about all people.

. . . Jesus even knew people’s thoughts and intentions

See also:

Matt 12:25  Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. ▤ 

Luke 5:22  When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? ▤ 

Luke 9:46-47  An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. 47But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side … ▤ 

Matt 22:18  But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? ▤ 

John 6:15  Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. ▤ 

Most likely Jesus was aware of the plan through his supernatural knowledge, although he simply may have heard about it. The same can be said of his knowledge of the plot to kill him in Matthew 12:14-15 below.

Matt 12:14-15a  But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. 15Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. ▤ 

Jesus knew about future events

Matt 20:18-19  “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.” ▤ 

Mark 13:2-8, 14, 18-27  And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.” 3And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, 4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” 5And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. 6Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. 7And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. 8For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains. ▤ 14“But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. ▤ 18Pray that it may not happen in winter. 19For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. 20And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. 21And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. 22For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. 23But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand. 24“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, 25and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven. ▤ 

Here Jesus foretells the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in A.D. 70 and events of the end times, leading up to his return. Note that the “the abomination that causes desolation” (v. 14) is an expression taken from Daniel’s prophecies (cf. Dan 9:27; 11:31; 12:11). It had had an earlier fulfillment in Antiochus Ephiphanes’ pagan sacrifice on the temple’s altar in 167 B.C. Many think that here Mark may have in view the desecration and destruction of the temple by the Romans in A.D. 70, with possibly a final fulfillment being perpetrated by the antichrist of the end times.

Mark 14:27-30  And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 29Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.” 30And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” ▤ 

John 13:11, 18-19  For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” ▤ 18I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,q ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. ▤ 

q Greek But in order that the Scripture may be fulfilled

Note that in regard to his full knowledge of his betrayal, 6:64b says, “For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.”

John 14:28-29  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. ▤ 

For comment on what Jesus is speaking of here, see John 14:28-29 – under Jesus Christ’s words and knowledge [give reason to believe in him].

John 16:2, 4a  They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. ▤ 4But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you. ▤ 

John 18:4  Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” ▤ 

John 18:31-32  Pilate said to them, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.” The Jews said to him, “It is not lawful for us to put anyone to death.” 32This was to fulfill the word that Jesus had spoken to show by what kind of death he was going to die. ▤ 

Verse 32 most likely has in view Jesus earlier speaking of being “lifted up” in his death (cf. John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-33). The Jews maneuvered Pilate into executing Jesus, which involved the Roman form of execution (crucifixion) rather than the Jewish form (stoning). Thus Jesus’ words were fulfilled and so showed that he knew about the circumstances of his death ahead of time.

John 21:18  Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go. ▤ 

Here Jesus tells of the kind of death that Peter would suffer.

  • However, apparently Jesus did not know the day of his second coming:

Matt 24:36  But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,r but the Father only. ▤ 

r Some manuscripts omit nor the Son

Bear in mind that the text note casts some doubt on the assertion that Jesus did not know the day of his second coming.

Jesus was also filled with wisdom . . .

Luke 2:40, 46-47, 52  And the child [Jesus] grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. ▤ 46After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. ▤ 52And Jesus increased in wisdom and in statures and in favor with God and man. ▤ 

s Or years

Matt 12:42  The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. ▤ 

The “something” is either Jesus himself – “someone” (cf. AMP, NCV, NIV, NLT) – or possibly the kingdom of God – the two are interrelated in any case. As such, one implication of this is that Jesus’ wisdom was greater even than that of Solomon.

Matt 13:54  … and coming to his hometown he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works? ▤ 

Isa 11:1-2  There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. 2And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord. ▤ 

In having the Holy Spirit, the Messiah would have or have access to the Spirit’s wisdom, understanding, counsel and knowledge (as well as the Spirit’s might).

Isa 52:13  Behold, my servant shall act wisely;t he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. ▤ 

t Or shall prosper

As with 11:1-2 above, this is a messianic prophecy, fulfilled in Jesus.

. . . Nobody could match Jesus’ wisdom

Matt 21:23-27  And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things. ▤ 

Profoundly, Jesus in effect answers his opponents’ questions while foiling their attempt to trap him. His reply (vv. 24-25) implies that his authority, like John’s, was from heaven – rather than from men or of his own making.

Matt 22:23-46  The same day Sadducees came to him, who say that there is no resurrection, and they asked him a question, 24saying, “Teacher, Moses said, ‘If a man dies having no children, his brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother.’ 25Now there were seven brothers among us. The first married and died, and having no children left his wife to his brother. 26So too the second and third, down to the seventh. 27After them all, the woman died. 28In the resurrection, therefore, of the seven, whose wife will she be? For they all had her.” 29But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. 31And as for the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was said to you by God: 32‘I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living.” 33And when the crowd heard it, they were astonished at his teaching. 34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” 41Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, 42saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” 43He said to them, “How is it then that David, in the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, 44“‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet’? 45If then David calls him Lord, how is he his son?” 46And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions. ▤ 

Jesus’ reply in vv. 37-40 soundly answered the Pharisee’s question (v. 36), as shown not only by its content but by their lack of response. Jesus’ counter questions (v. 42) appear to have been designed to show that he was more than capable of matching their best efforts, as well as teaching that the Messiah was more than just a descendant of David.

Luke 14:1-6  One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully. 2And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy. 3And Jesus responded to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?” 4But they remained silent. Then he took him and healed him and sent him away. 5And he said to them, “Which of you, having a sonu or an ox that has fallen into a well on a Sabbath day, will not immediately pull him out?” 6And they could not reply to these things. ▤ 

u Some manuscripts a donkey

Jesus was being carefully watched by the religious leaders (v. 1) largely so as to catch him out (cf. Luke 20:20 ). But again, although Jesus’ action presented them with the kind of opportunity they were looking for, they could not counter his wisdom (vv. 4a, 6).

Luke 20:19-26  The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people. 20So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor. 21So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality,v but truly teach the way of God. 22Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?” 23But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them, 24“Show me a denarius.w Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.” 25He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” 26And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. ▤ 

v Greek and do not receive a face

w A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer

The spies’ question (v. 22) was a trap. If Jesus answered in the affirmative he would lose credibility in the eyes of the people, as it would have been seen as being compliant and subservient to their hated Roman rulers. Whereas if he answered in the negative he would have probably earned the wrath of the Romans, to whom the Jewish leaders would have reported him (v. 20). His renowned reply silenced and daunted his adversaries.

John 8:3-9  The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. 5Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” 6This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. 7And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. 9But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. ▤ 

  • Jesus’ capacity to judge rightly:

John 8:16  Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Fatherx who sent me. ▤ 

x Some manuscripts he

Jesus Christ states that his evaluations are right – reflective of his great wisdom – because God stands with him in making any such judgments.

Note: Jesus knew God

See also:

Matt 11:27  All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. ▤ 

Jesus actually knew God as – unlike others – Jesus had prime, firsthand knowledge of and interaction with God.

John 7:28-29  So Jesus proclaimed, as he taught in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I come from? But I have not come of my own accord. He who sent me is true, and him you do not know. 29I know him, for I come from him, and he sent me.” ▤ 

John 8:55  But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. ▤ 

John 10:14-15  I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. ▤ 

John 17:25  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. ▤ 

  • Jesus had seen God:

John 6:46  … not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. ▤ 

Pray for persecuted Christians

Jesus Christ’s Direction from God

See also:

God was with Jesus

See also:

Acts 10:38  … how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. ▤ 

John 3:2  This man came to Jesusy by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” ▤ 

y Greek him

John 8:29  And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him. ▤ 

John 16:32  Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. ▤ 

Isa 42:6  I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, … ▤ 

This points to God being with his messianic servant – strengthening and upholding him.

Jesus only did works of God, and God worked through him

See also:

These verses indicate that (as shown in the previous subsection) God was with or in Jesus (John 10:38; 14:10) and that being in Jesus, God worked through Jesus (John 5:17; 9:1-3, 6-7; 10:32a; 14:10; Acts 2:22; Heb 1:1-2). In accordance with this, the verses further indicate that Jesus did nothing on his own (John 5:19, 30; 8:16, 28) but only works of God (John 5:19-21, 30; 8:28; 10:37). As such, these things show that: Jesus acted in accordance with God; Jesus acted on God’s authority; and Jesus did not act independently of God and even acted in dependence on him. See also the comments on the extracts from John 10 and John 5 below.

John 5:16-21, 30  And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” 18This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God. 19So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Fatherz does, that the Son does likewise. 20For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel. 21For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. ▤ 30“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. ▤ 

z Greek he

In the light of the three assertions in v. 19 (cf. v. 30), v. 17 suggests that the Father was at his work in Jesus’ work. Moreover, v. 20 arguably implies that God does all things through him – even the greater things of the Father’s work such as giving life (v. 21). In saying that he “can do nothing of his own accord” (v. 19; cf. v. 30; John 8:28 ), Jesus may be acknowledging his dependency on and empowerment by the Father – and/or that such is his exceedingly close relationship with the Father, he cannot act independently. Either way the passage reflects that Jesus’ activity is directed or at least initiated by the Father (cf. BKC).

John 8:16, 28  Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is true, for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Fathera who sent me. ▤ 28So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ▤ 

a Some manuscripts he

In v. 16, Jesus Christ states that his evaluations are right because God stands with him in making any such judgments. “I do nothing on my own authority” (v. 28) implies that Jesus only did works of God. And “speak just as the Father taught me” (cf. John 14:10 ; Heb 1:1-2 ) illustrates that God worked through him.

John 9:1-3, 6-7  As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. ▤ 6Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. ▤ 

Jesus’ healing of the blind man (vv. 6-7) was an instance of “the works of God” (v. 3) – illustrative of God working through Jesus.

John 10:32, 37-38  Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you going to stone me?” ▤ 37If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; 38but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” ▤ 

Jesus’ oneness with God was such that God was in him, and he in God (v. 38). In this relationship Jesus did many great miracles from God (v. 32a), with God working through him. As such, Jesus could say that he did “the works of my Father” (v. 37).

John 14:10  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. ▤ 

What Jesus spoke came from the Father, who dwelt in Jesus and worked through him.

Acts 2:22  Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know— ▤ 

Heb 1:1-2  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ▤ 

As reflected in John 8:28 and 14:10 above, a key aspect of the work God did through Jesus was speaking his word.

Jesus obeyed God

John 14:31  … but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. ▤ 

John 15:10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. ▤ 

Rom 5:19  For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. ▤ 

As with the other verses in this subsection, this is speaking of Jesus Christ’s obedience to God.

Phil 2:8  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ▤ 

Heb 5:8  Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. ▤ 

In saying that Jesus “learned obedience”, the author was not indicating that at any time Jesus was disobedient. The author may have had in view that before Jesus had experienced suffering he was still to learn consummate obedience, involving obedience to the most demanding commands and in the most trying circumstances. This of course Jesus did do.

John 10:17-18  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father. ▤ 

The last sentence is generally understood to indicate that Jesus had been commanded to lay down his life by God – which obediently he was willing to do (vv. 17-18a). It may also allude to the fact that God had given him the authority to do this, as stated in the preceding sentence.

John 8:29, 55  And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” ▤ 55But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. ▤ 

Jesus’ claim to always do what pleases God (v. 29) is affirmed elsewhere by God saying of him: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” God said this of Jesus both at his baptism (cf. Matt 3:17) and later at his transfiguration (cf. Matt 17:5).

Heb 3:1b-2  Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’sd house. ▤ 

d Greek his; also verses 5, 6

Isa 50:5-6  The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward. 6I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting. ▤ 

This OT prophecy of the messianic servant reflects Jesus’ obedience to God in that he was responsive to God’s word (v. 5), to the point of being prepared to endure great suffering (v. 6).

Jesus carried out God’s will, doing the work God had given him . . .

John 4:34  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. ▤ 

In speaking of doing God’s will as his “food”, Jesus indicated that it was his prime source of “nourishment” (AMP, NLT). Doing God’s work was in a sense what sustained him in his mission and was his highest priority.

John 5:36b  For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me. ▤ 

John 17:4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. ▤ 

John 18:11  So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?” ▤ 

Jesus was determined to take the path which would lead to the cross, which he knew was part of the work that God had given him to do.

John 19:30  When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. ▤ 

“It is finished” signifies that Jesus had successfully completed the work he had come to do – he had fully carried out God’s will.

Gal 1:3-4  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, … ▤ 

Heb 10:7  Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’ ▤ 

In quoting from Psalm 40, the writer sees the fulfillment of these words in Jesus Christ’s mission and work.

Matt 3:13-17  Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him,b and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; 17and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,c with whom I am well pleased.” ▤ 

b Some manuscripts omit to him

c Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

The expression “to fulfill all righteousness” (v. 15) means to “do everything that is right” (NLT), in effect to “do all that God requires” (GNT, cf. CEV, NCV). In saying this, Jesus implied that it was God’s will that he should undergo baptism, with which he was determined to comply. The fact that it was God’s will is reflected in vv. 16-17.

. . . Jesus sought to do God’s will as opposed to his own will

John 6:38  For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. ▤ 

Matt 26:39  And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” ▤ 

John 5:30  I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. ▤ 

John 12:27  Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. ▤ 

Jesus put God’s will for his coming to the world ahead of his own wellbeing (cf. Matt 26:39 ).

Rom 15:3  For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” ▤ 

Commentators generally agree that the quotation is used to illustrate that Christ sought to please God rather than himself, but they offer a variety of interpretations as to precisely what Paul is implying by it.

Jesus spoke what God wanted him to say

See also:

John 12:49-50  For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me. ▤ 

John 14:10  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. ▤ 

John 8:28  So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. ▤ 

In the latter part of the sentence Jesus appears to indicate that he would speak only what God had instructed him to say (GNT).

Heb 1:1-2  Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. ▤ 

In saying that God spoke to us by Jesus, the writer points to the fact that Jesus spoke what God wanted him to say. Note that the phrase “spoken to us by his Son” probably refers not just to what Jesus said but to the revelation of his mission as a whole.

Deut 18:18  I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. ▤ 

This is generally understood to be a messianic prophecy (cf. Acts 3:22-23).

  • God enabled Jesus to know what to say:

Isa 50:4  The Lord God has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. ▤ 

Note: In doing God’s will, Jesus brought glory to God . . .

See also:

Jesus brought honor and glory to God by doing God’s work and carrying out his will, making God’s glorious will and awesome power obvious to all. Jesus accomplished God’s will largely through his teaching, deeds and willing sacrifice. (Note the further references to Jesus bringing glory to God in the following subsection, cross-referenced above.)

John 7:16, 18  So Jesus answered them, “My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. ▤ 18The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. ▤ 

Jesus taught and spoke what God had sent him to, bringing glory to God by faithfully delivering his wonderful and profound words – which furthered God’s glorious plan and purposes – and by acknowledging these words to be God’s words (v. 16).

John 8:49-50  Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. ▤ 

In saying, “I honor my Father,” (v. 49) Jesus may primarily have in view his claims or teachings about himself (cf. vv. 12-47), as the one sent from God (cf. vv. 26, 29, 42). With such claims, as with his deeds, he was not seeking glory for himself (v. 50a) but rather he honored and glorified God – in line with God’s desire (v. 50b) – for in enlightening people about his own identity and purpose he was revealing God’s glorious will.

John 11:38-44  Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” 40Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” 41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” 43When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” 44The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” ▤ 

Jesus’ raising of Lazarus was for God’s glory (v. 4 ) – displaying God’s glory (v. 40). In vv. 41-42 Jesus publicly acknowledged that it would be God’s power at work in what he was about to do (vv. 43-44), thus ensuring that God would receive glory through it.

John 12:27-28  “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” ▤ 

In v. 28b God indicates that he had glorified his name through Jesus – notably through Jesus’ ministry of speaking God’s words and performing wonderful deeds with God’s power. God then says that he would glorify his name again – as Jesus had asked (v. 28a). God would do so through Jesus, in his forthcoming death, resurrection and exaltation.

Matt 9:5-8  For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 6But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 7And he rose and went home. 8When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men. ▤ 

Isa 49:3  And he said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”e ▤ 

e Or I will display my beauty

“Israel” is used here to refer to the Messiah. God would be glorified in the Messiah, by what God would accomplish through the Messiah as he carried out God’s will.

. . . and Jesus was glorified by God

In doing God’s glorious will, Jesus not only glorified God but he himself was glorified by God, with God implementing his glorious will through him. In particular, God glorified Jesus by: providing him with his amazing teaching; enabling him to perform powerful deeds; raising him from the dead; and exalting him.

John 8:54  Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’f ▤ 

f Some manuscripts your God

John 11:4  But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” ▤ 

Jesus’ raising of Lazarus from death would display God’s glory (cf. vv. 38-44 ) and also result in Jesus being glorified, as the means of God’s resurrection power. One important reason for this was so that Jesus’ claims about himself – in regard to being sent by God – would be further validated.

John 13:31-32  When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. ▤ 

Here Jesus’ death, resurrection and exaltation appear to be in view. God would be glorified in these events as they would show his wonderful plan, righteousness and love in providing salvation. In conjunction with this, Jesus would also be glorified in these events as: they would show him to be the Son of God; by them he would be renowned as the means of God’s glorious salvation; and in his exaltation God would grant him great glory and authority.

John 17:1-5  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, 2since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 3And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. ▤ 

“Glorify your Son” (v. 1b) is most likely a request that God would enable Jesus to endure the cross, raise him to life and exalt him to his former glory (cf. v. 5). By God doing all of this for him, God would glorify Jesus. Also, by doing such great things for Jesus and providing eternal life through him (v. 2), God’s greatness would be apparent and thus he would be glorified by or through Jesus (v. 1b). Note that in v. 4 Jesus appears to have his imminent death in view, as well as all that he had already accomplished.

  • Jesus received honor and glory from God, when God spoke of him from heaven:

2Pet 1:17  For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son,g with whom I am well pleased,” … ▤ 

g Or my Son, my (or the) Beloved

The reference appears to be to what God spoke at Jesus’ transfiguration (Matt 17:5; Mark 9:7; Luke 9:35), for which Peter was present. God’s identical words at Jesus’ baptism (Matt 3:17; Luke 3:22) could also be in view. Note that John 12:28 in the previous subsection contains another instance of God speaking audibly from heaven, in authenticating Jesus as being of God (cf. John 12:29-30).

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