< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father, except through Me"

Sunday, November 05, 2017

Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father, except through Me"

John 13:18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill this passage of Scripture: ‘He who shared my bread has turned against me.”

In Middle Easter culture there was no treachery worse that to eat at a person’s table and then betray him, because to eat together shows true friendship.

Jesus knew Judas completely: his mind, his desires and disappointments. And Judas had witnessed the miracles, heard all the teachings and Christ’s promises, prophecies and warnings.

But he wasn’t satisfied, and he succumbed to the devil’s influence. But Jesus washed his feet along with the other disciples. But when He spoke of them being clean and promised blessing for following His command, He continued, I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. 

And Jesus not only knew Judas completely, He knew His betrayal would fulfill prophecy from the words and the life of His human ancestor King David. David wrote in Psalm 41:9 Even my close friend, someone I trusted, one who shared my bread, has turned against me.

John 13:19-30 “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am who I am. 20 Very truly I tell you, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me. After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “Very truly I tell you, one of you is going to betray me.”
22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.
So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” 28 But no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. 29 Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the festival, or to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.
The table around which they gathered was a low, solid block, with couches grouped around it in a half-circle. As host, Jesus would have been in the center with a disciple on each side. Each man reclined on his left side with his left arm on a cushion for support, leaving his right arm free for eating. They stretched their feet out behind them. This meant the head of each person was near his neighbor’s chest on the left.
During the Passover meal, it was customary for the father of the family to give the honored guests pieces of bread or meat dipped in a juice made from fruit boiled in wine, a symbol of the fruits of the Promised Land.
Jesus gave this to Judas. This should have really touched Judas. But now Satan had entered him. Matthew 27 records Judas regretted his decision to betray Jesus and tried to return the 30 pieces of silver the chief priest paid him. But remorse isn’t the same as repentance. Remorse is wishing you hadn’t done something, usually because of the consequences, but refusing to confess and ask for forgiveness. Repentance is a deliberate change in mind, spirit and life direction following the receiving of forgiveness. Judas didn’t ask for forgiveness from Jesus or God. In fact, in choosing to take his own life he shut the door to reconciliation with Christ.
John 13: 31-38 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”
37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
The disciples needed to understand that Jesus was not a victim. He willingly laid down His life. And the cross would bring Jesus glory.

Jesus made four statements about His glorification. He spoke of divine glory as well as human glory.

1.     How the Son of Man is glorified. Son of Man was Jesus’ most-used title for Himself. Jesus’ perfect human life fulfilled all God’s purpose in creating people in His own image.

2.     God is glorified in Him. Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension brought lasting glory to God the Father through His triumph over Satan, sin and death. The cross displays the perfection of God’s mercy, justice and wisdom.

3.     God will glorify the Son in Himself. Jesus was preparing to return to Heaven as Son of God in a glorified body.

4.     God will glorify Him at once. Jesus’ hour had come. God glorified his Son as man by His bodily resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven in His human body.
Jesus calls His disciples “my children” here. God’s children are those who trust in His Son. Brought into His family forever by faith in Him. This seems to have made an impression on John because he often called his readers my children.

He tells the disciples (and us) to love one another as He has loved them (and us!): selflessly, humbly and sacrificially.  We may not feel Jesus’ loving look or touch, but we can feel it when another believer does it. Believers now put the skin on Jesus!

John 14:1-7 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
Everyone knows this passage. It’s quoted ALL the time. We love to hear that Jesus is preparing a home for us and he’s coming back to get us, don’t we?

And Jesus meant for it to be a comfort. His disciples were worried. They didn’t know what was happening. So, Jesus told them. But He started out by commanding them to not let their hearts be troubled. He is showing us that worry is a choice! He told them to stop worrying and replace worry with trust in God.

After that He told them His purpose for leaving – to prepare a place for them where they would live with Him forever. When He returns for us we’ll never be separated again.

Some translations say, “many mansions” instead of houses. That doesn’t mean large houses like we would picture now. Back then a “mansion” referred to a permanent dwelling place.

Jesus pictured a king’s son, his father’s heir and the ruler of his kingdom returning to His Father’s house and to His proper place on His throne. And the Father welcomes all His Son’s friends. Within the king’s home is room for all who trust Him. In Christ, the Father adopts each believer as His child.

Jesus talked about His coming back a lot. 1 out of every 20 verses in the New Testament relates to His return. He will return personally, physically, visibly and in the same way he went up into Heaven.

When He returns He will: judge and bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him. He will evaluate the character, personal relationships, thoughts, motivations, words and work of every day of each person who has ever lived. But he will never accuse any who repent and trust Him. Everyone who trusts in Christ can be confident the Father has laid on His beloved Son all our punishment. The book of Romans says, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

And His righteous judgment will vindicate His people and end all questions about the seeming victories of wrong over right or the suffering of the innocent.

Where Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” He didn’t say, He knew, taught or revealed the way the truth or the life. He didn’t say He was one way among a bunch of other good choices. He said NO ONE else can lead us to God.

John 14:8-14 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Jesus reveals God perfectly to us. To see Jesus is to see God.

Twice each day, Jesus, Philip and the other disciples would have recited the Shema. Deuteronomy 6:4Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”

That’s why the Jewish leaders were trying to kill Him. Because He was claiming equality with God. They sort of got it, but apparently Philip still didn’t.

Jesus is the only one who came from Heaven to tell us about Heaven.

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