The Lamb of God

(According to John, this is how the first disciples were called.)

John was standing with his disciples the next day. He said to them “Behold the Lamb of God!” when he saw Jesus pass by. The two disciples went to follow Jesus after they heard this.

Jesus turned to look at them and asked “What do you seek?” They said “Teacher, where are you staying?”

He replied “Come and see.” He took them to where he was staying and they remained with him that day. This was around ten a.m.

Simon Peter’s brother Andrew was one of the two disciples who left John to follow Jesus. He first went to find his brother and said “We have discovered the Anointed One!” and then he brought him to Jesus.

Jesus saw him and said “You are Simon, John’s son, but from now on you will be called Cephas” (meaning “Rock”)

JN 1:35-42

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Jesus prays for himself, his disciples, and all believers

Jesus prays for himself

After saying this, Jesus cast his eyes up to heaven and said,

“Father, the time has now come. Give glory to Your Son so he may glorify You, because You gave him authority over everyone, in order that he may grant eternal life to everyone You have given to him.

Eternal life is this: that they may know You, the One True God, as well as Jesus, the One You have sent. I have given glory to You here on earth by finishing all the work You sent me to do. Now, Father, give me glory in Your presence, the same glory that I had with You before the world began.”

JN 17:1-5

Jesus prays for his disciples

“I have declared Your name to the people You sent to me from the world. They belonged to You and You gave them to me. They have honored Your word by keeping it. Now they know that everything You have given me is from You, because I have given them the same words that You gave me. They have accepted Your words and truly know that I have come from You. They believe that You are the One who sent me.

I’m only praying for them. I’m not praying for everyone, just those who You have sent to me, because they belong to You. Everything I have belongs to You, and everything You have is mine, and I have been glorified through them.

I am no longer part of the world, but they are. Since I am returning to You, please shelter them in the name that You have given me, so they may be united just as we are united. I protected them in Your name that You gave me while I was with them. I protected them and didn’t lose a single one of them, except for the one who was destined to be lost, in accordance with the Scriptures.

I’m now coming to You, and I’m saying these things here in the world so they may experience the fulfillment of my joy. I have spoken Your message to them. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world, so the world hates them. I am not asking for You to remove them from here, but to protect them from the Devil. Set them apart for holy work by your message of truth. I’m sending them out into the world in the same way You sent me into the world. I have sanctified myself for them so that the truth may sanctify them.”

JN 17:6-19

Jesus prays for all believers

“I’m also praying for everyone who believes in me because of their message. Just as You and I are one, may they all be one. May they be united with us so that the world may know that You sent me. I have glorified them with the same glory that You have given me. You have loved them in the same way that You love me.

Father, I ask that everyone You have given to me to be present with me where I am. Then they will see the glory that You gave me because You loved me before the world began.
Righteous Father! The world does not know you. But I do, and these disciples know that You are the One who sent me. I’ve revealed Your name to them and will continue to reveal it so that the same love that You have given me will be in them and that I may be in them.”

JN 17:20-26

The new commandment

After Judas had left, Jesus said “The Son of Man is now glorified, and God is glorified through him. God will also give glory to him in himself, and will do it immediately.

Friends, I’m here with you for just a little longer. I’m telling you just as I told the authorities – you’ll search for me but you cannot go where I am going.

This is a new commandment that I’m giving you – love each other. In the same way that I have loved you, you must also love each other. People will know you are my disciples if you love each other.”

JN 13:31-35

The meaning of footwashing

Jesus reclined at the table after he had finished washing their feet and had put his robe back on. He said, “Do you know what I was doing for you? You say that I am your Lord and your teacher. It is right that you say this, because I am. So if I, your Lord and teacher wash your feet, you should wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example of how you should treat each other.”

JN 13:12-15

Jesus washes his disciples’ feet

Before the Passover festival began, Jesus knew that it was now the time when he was to leave this world and return to God. He loved the people who had been sent to him and stayed with them to the end.

The Devil put the thought to betray Jesus into the heart of Simon Iscariot’s son Judas before the Passover meal began.

Jesus knew that he had received everything he had from God, that God had sent him, and that he was going to return to God. Therefore, he got up from the table, put his robe aside, and tied a towel around himself. He then put water into a basin and started to wash his disciple’s feet and dry them with the towel that was tied around him

When he got to Simon Peter, he was asked “Lord, why do you want to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but you will later.”

“You shouldn’t ever be the one to wash my feet!” Peter exclaimed.

“If I don’t wash you, then you have no right to say you are my disciple.” Jesus countered.

“Then wash my hands and head too!” Peter said.

Jesus replied “If you’ve bathed, you only have to wash your feet to become clean. You are clean, but not everyone is.” Jesus said that not everyone was clean because he knew who was going to betray him.

JN 13:1-11

Thomas the disciple

Most of us think of Jesus’ disciple Thomas as “Doubting” Thomas. His nickname in the Gospels is “Twin”, but he gets the nickname we know him by through his actions towards the end of the Gospels. He’s the one who didn’t believe it when the other disciples were saying that Jesus had resurrected. He had to see him and touch his wounds for himself.

JN 20:24-29 (HCSB)
24 But one of the Twelve, Thomas (called “Twin”), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples kept telling him, “We have seen the Lord!”But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in His hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe!” 26 After eight days His disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and observe My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Don’t be an unbeliever, but a believer.” 28 Thomas responded to Him, “My Lord and my God!”29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.”

He’s usually seen in a less than favorable light because of his doubt. Jesus said that he would come back, and he did. The other disciples had no reason to lie to Thomas. Thomas has seen Jesus do some pretty amazing miracles before, so he has no reason to doubt. Surely he could accept their testimony?

Yet remember that the disciples didn’t believe Mary Magdalene and the other women when they saw Jesus. They had to see him for themselves. They weren’t called ‘Doubting” apostles.

Note that Jesus didn’t make fun of Thomas, but in fact accommodated his wishes. He offered himself as proof and didn’t try to hide anything.

Very little is written about Thomas, but his strength stands out in this verse that comes several chapters before. Jesus has been called to the village of Bethany, which is just a few miles away from Jerusalem. He knows that this is very dangerous because the Jewish leaders want to arrest him and put him to death. Yet, his friend Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha is near death. Not only does he have a chance to save him, but also to prove to his disciples that he is who he says he is. He wants to go, but the majority of the disciples are opposed to it, thinking it is too dangerous.

Yet Thomas says something amazing in JN 11:16 (HCSB)

16 Then Thomas (called “Twin”) said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go so that we may die with Him.”

Instead of “Doubting” Thomas, perhaps he should be called “Brave” Thomas. He is willing to risk being killed, just for associating with Jesus. That is a faithful disciple!

Many disciples desert Jesus

Many of Jesus’ disciples said “This is a difficult teaching! Who can understand it?” after they heard this.

Jesus knew that his disciples were complaining about this teaching, so he asked them “Are you offended by this? What would you think if you saw the Son of Man returning to heaven? The Holy Spirit gives life. There is nothing to be gained from the flesh. What I have spoken to you is spirit, and is life. But some of you don’t believe.”

Jesus knew from the start who would believe and which one would betray him.

He said “This is what I meant when I told you that only those who the Father calls can come to me.”

Many of his disciples left at this point and no longer followed him. Jesus then said to the Twelve “Are you going to leave too?”

Simon Peter answered “Who would we go to, Lord? Your words contain the way of eternal life. We now believe in our hearts and know that you are the Messiah, the Holy One of God!”

Jesus replied “I chose you Twelve, yet one of you is full of darkness.” He was speaking about Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, one of the twelve disciples, because he was going to betray Jesus.

JN 6:60-71