John, the worthy disciple of Jesus – Part – V


1. How does Bruce relate the parable of the Good Shepherd to the blind man who was healed? Bruce, p. 223.


The Good Shepherd is Jesus, who will lead His flock to the right path, saving them from the evils and dangers on the way. The Bible says that Jesus is the shepherd who will protect His blind sheep, meaning the spiritually blind people, from all harm and show them the true way to God. Bruce relates this parable to the healing of the blind man by showing that whoever will listen to His words and follow them, will heal from their spiritual blindness and receive the true light. The healing also shows God’s glory in action. Jesus not only opened the man’s eyes, but also his spiritual eyes, so that he may see the truth and understand it and learn to praise the God with his newfound blessings.


2. Contrast “the good shepherd” with “the shepherds of Israel” of Ezekiel 34:1-24.


The Good Shepherd is Jesus Christ, who has come in this world to save us all from eternal damnation. He does not think about Himself, but of all His flock. But He is intent upon saving not only the Jews but also the gentiles. He is the Good Shepherd who will take care of the entire flock and protect and save them from all dangers that may come their way. But “the shepherds of Israel” are the religious leaders of Israel, who only care for themselves and not their flock. They sleep, drink and eat lavishly without caring for their people. They did not take care of the spiritually weak people and let them go astray. Neither did they make any effort to bring them back on the right course. The lost people were subjected to every imaginable harm and trouble on their way, because there was no one there to lead them home.


3. How does the ancient Palestinian method of tending sheep compare to more recent methods in the same region? Bruce, p. 224.


In the ancient method, the entrance was guarded by a doorkeeper, who would keep the sheep in check and also look out for intruders that would try to jump the fence and create nuisance. Even if many sheep were kept together, the sheep would recognize the voice of their shepherd and follow him. Even the shepherd would know each of his sheep distinctively, either by a mark or any feature. Some shepherds even claimed that the sheep knew their names and would respond when called by such names. In the modern-day, Bruce says, there is the leisure of sheepdogs, that would protect the sheep from going astray and carefully lead them home. This reference projects the close relationship between God and His people, who knew Him closely and Him blindly. The sheepdogs are the caretakers of faith, who have come after Jesus to assist Him in His attempt to lead His people back home to heaven, safely.


4. Why did Jesus have to explain the parable to his disciples? 10:6.


Jesus had to explain to His disciples the meaning of His parable because even though they had ears and brains to hear and process the words, those words fell on hard grounds. The way to their hearts was closed shut and nothing that He would say could be perceived by them. Their hard souls did not allow their ears to hear the words of God and of good. Their minds were so engrossed with materialistic and evil thoughts that no good words could find its place there. Their hearts were not yet ready to accept God’s words and so, they could not understand the inner meanings of the parables.


5. What other metaphor does Jesus apply to himself besides shepherd? 10:7.


Besides being “the good shepherd” Jesus also called Himself, “the gate for the sheep”. Only the people that would listen to His words and follow them, would be the legitimate dwellers of heaven and receive eternal life. And whoever would cheat and deceive in order to enter through the gates of heaven, would face eternal damnation, because they are the intruders who can only cause harm and disturbances.


6. Who possibly are the “thieves and robbers?” 10:8. Bruce, p. 226.


Jesus called the intruders thieves and robbers, who were leading the people astray by misleading them. They are the unworthy religious leaders who have failed to take care of their people. The thieves and robbers may also be referred to the false prophets, who led people to their own destruction.


7. For what purpose did Jesus say he had come? 10:10.


Jesus had come to give life to the helpless people who had been led astray by the false prophets and unworthy religious leaders. Jesus had come to bring salvation in His name, so that everyone who believed in Him, would be saved. He came to bless the people with eternal life in their heavenly abode, so that even after their bodily death, their spirits would live on eternally with the Heavenly Father.


8. Describe the hireling. 10:12. Bruce, pp. 226f.


The hireling is not evil or treacherous like the false prophets. They are only hired as assistants to help the owner. But they are also not as careful and meticulous like the owner. The owner cares for his sheep with all his life and protects them from every danger that arrives at the vicinity. But when danger arrives before the hireling, he leaves his flock and runs away. It is referred to the prophets and the religious leaders who are not inherently bad but also not very strong in their faith. They only carry on their duty without having any emotional attachment or connection with the people.


9. Who are “the other sheep which are not of this fold?” 10:16. Bruce, pp. 227f.  


By “the other sheep which are not of this fold”, Jesus referred to the non-Jewish people. The Jewish people are the people of His own. But when they are adamant on not listening to Jesus and follow His words, Jesus went on preaching the non- Jewish people who were more welcoming of His words and were eager to follow His words to receive the gift of an eternal life.


10. Harmonize Christ’s words “No one takes it (my life) from me” with the fact that his enemies killed Him. 10:17-18. 

Bruce, pp. 228f.


It is by God’s wish that Jesus had come to the earth to suffer and it was by God’s wish that He died and was resurrected on the third day of His death. It had been prophesied long back the ways He would suffer and be betrayed. Even Jesus knew all these predicaments. But He never waved off His responsibility. He tried to persuade people to listen to His words and follow Him to reach God. But in turn, they flogged and stoned Him. He came in peace, but the people rose into a violent uproar. So, Jesus is the human representation of God on earth. So, when He said that His life cannot be taken away from Him by any tortures inflicted upon Him by the people, He meant that He knew He had to suffer so that people would believe. He could have easily shrugged off His responsibilities. But it was His own wish to undergo these hardships so that the name of His Father may be glorified.


11. How did certain Jews answer those who accused Jesus of being demon-possessed? 10:21.


Some of the Jews accused Jesus of being demon-possessed because of the words of an intimate relationship with God He established. But some of the Jews responded by saying that if He was truly demon-possessed, He would not be able to heal a blind man. Healing is a sign that precedes good. No can be evil and yet do good to others. No one can serve the devil and yet serve people. So, if He were truly a demon-possessed man, He would not have been able to heal the man and perform many other miracles.


12. What was the origin of the Feast of Dedication? 10:22. Bruce, pp. 229f.


The Feast of Dedication or, Hanukkah, is celebrated when the Jewish temple was re-dedicated to God after it had been defiled by the Greeks. King Antiochus IV sacrificed a pig in the altar, dedicating it to the Greek gods and carried on a spree of persecutions and oppressions on the Jews to make them bow down to the pagan gods. A group of four Jewish brothers, called the Maccabees, fought against this injustice and u democratic rule and freed the Jews from such a tyrannous rule after a continued fight of almost four years. After this, they cleansed the temple to rededicate it to God and this feast is known as the Feast of Dedication or Hanukkah.


13. Comment on the term “Messiah.” What did the Jews want Jesus to say? 10:24. Bruce, 230.


The term “Messiah” means the one appointed by God to lead His men back to heaven. But the Jewish people took the “Messiah” to be one who would lead them to political glory and not spiritual glory. They thought that the appearance of the “Messiah” would free them from servitude and make them the rulers of the world. But in reality, the appearance of the “Messiah” would free them from the materialistic fetters of this world and give them the riches of heaven, the eternal life in God, through Jesus Christ.


14. Rather than a direct reply to the Jews, to what did Jesus appeal? 10:25.


When the Jews asked Jesus to testify his authenticity of being the Messiah, Jesus replied to them that His works spoke about Him coming from God and that in itself bore the testimony of Him being the Messiah, or the one anointed by God to lead the lost souls back to Heaven. He said that all the miracles and signs He performed, are due to the glory of God, who invested in Him the power to serve the people. He also told them that they do not believe Him because they don’t want to. They believe in the evils of the world and they bow to the evils of the world. Thus, they could not listen to Him even if they wanted to.


15. According to Jesus, how are his true sheep identified? 10:26-27.


According to Jesus, those people did not listen to Him because they were not His flock. It meant that they were not willing to listen to the words of sacrifice. They associated the idea of worldly riches and powers with the Messiah. But when Jesus spoke to them about sacrifice and non-violence, they were dissatisfied. They had closed their hearts and minds to the words of God. So, they could not and neither wanted to hear the words of God and nor could they respond to Jesus’ call. But if they were truly in search of the Messiah, they would have listened to Him and welcomed Him to their hearts and responded to His call.


16. Think about the statement “I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish.” Compare that to other statements in the New Testament. 10:28 (cf. John 10:12; Hebrews 3:12, 6:4-6; 2 Peter 2:20-22; Romans 11:20-23; I Peter 1:5).


Eternal life can only be achieved through Jesus Christ. And those who will receive this gift through Christ will never falter in faith. But the ones with less faith will leave the people under them when they face any precarious or dangerous situation. But those who leave the faith after staying in faith and return back to believe in are much worse people. They were better not knowing the words of God because doing wrongs without knowledge is better than the people who believed and then faltered in faith. It is like they consciously committed mistakes even after knowing that those wrong deeds should not be done.


17. How are the Father and Christ “one?” 10:30. Bruce, p. 233.


Jesus Christ is the representation of God in the flesh. He had been sent by God Himself in this world to live and suffer for the people so that they might be redeemed through His death. Jesus was so obedient to God and was one with God in thoughts and actions that Jesus and God are the same.


18. What angered the Jews so that they wanted to stone Jesus? 10:30-33.


The Jews were so adamant on not believing and listening to the words of God that they were prepared to stone Him. Despite showing many signs and performing many miracles by healing people and bringing them back from life, people did not want to associate Jesus with God. They considered the words of Jesus to be blasphemous and meant to garner fame and power for Himself.


19. How did Jesus respond to their allegation “You make yourself God?” 10:33-36.


When the Jews asked Jesus why He called Himself God, Jesus said that whenever any prophet came before Jesus to proclaim the good news of God, they treated them as Gods. And when God sent to them His anointed son to them to be saved from eternal damnation, they are questioning His authority. Jesus asked them that if they could believe previously, why cannot believe in His words at that time when He was doing no bad but was only serving God by serving and healing the people.


20. What does Jesus appeal to as evidence that the Father is in Him and He in the Father? 10:37-39.


Jesus said that the people may not believe Him for His words. But they should believe Him for the works He did which are to glorify God. He asked them that when they see His works, let them believe in the bountiful grace of God. Everything He did is what God wanted Him to do, that is, serving the people and leading them back to their heavenly abode. By these words, they must believe that Jesus and God have the same mind and heart, with the same intent and purpose. Thereby, they must believe that Jesus and God are the same.


21. What did the hearers of John the Baptist say concerning John’s testimony about Jesus? 10:41.


The hearts of John the Baptist said that even though John himself never performed any signs or miracles, everything He said about the Messiah was seen in Jesus Christ to be true. Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the son of God, proclaiming His good news.


22. Who was Lazarus? Where did he live and who were his relatives? 11:1.


Lazarus was the brother of Mary and Martha, of the town of Bethany. He was the brother of Mary, who would pour on Jesus’ feet the finest perfume and wash it with her hairs. Lazarus was sick and his sisters called for Jesus to visit and heal Lazarus.


23. What report did Jesus receive concerning Lazarus? 11:3.


Jesus received the news that Lazarus, His loved one, was sick and so his sisters called for His presence, so that he may be blessed by Jesus and thereby, be healed.


24. When Jesus said “This sickness is not unto death,” what did he imply? 11:4. 


When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, he said that his sickness would not let him die but be instrumental in the major glorification of God. We will now in the next few sentences that Lazarus died. But then what prompted Jesus to say that his sickness would not be the cause of his death. Jesus knew better. He knew that Lazarus would die but he would be resurrected from his death by God’s glory and thereby, God will be praised.


25. Why did Jesus wait two days before going to Bethany? 11:6f. Bruce, p. 241.


Jesus waited for two days before going to Bethany to Lazarus’ place because He knew what was about to happen and going there immediately would not serve the purpose of God. If Lazarus had not died, God’s glory could not be portrait and people would still go on about with their ungodly lives. So, Jesus waited for two days before going to Bethany because he wanted people to be sure that Lazarus was truly dead. Also, from this, we learn that even though we are passing through some difficult moments, that moment will pass. Miracles may not happen instantly, but if our faith remains unaltered throughout the situation, we will find happiness at the end of it.


26. How does Bruce explain the cryptic saying concerning walking in daylight rather than in the night? 11:9-10. Bruce, p. 241.


When people walk in the dark, they may stumble and fall. But when there is light, they can see everything and do not stumble. Similarly, here, Jesus said that due to the spiritual blindness in people, they falter in their worship of the true God. They do not know Him, nor did they want to know Him, because their eyes are closed with materialistic and worldly affairs. But when they open the eyes of their hearts and minds and welcome the words of God, they begin to see the blessings and glories of God. They, no more, stumble or falter in worship because they know the true God. Also, when they allow “the light of all mankind” (NIV BIBLE- JOHN- 1:4) to penetrate through their stone hearts and shine upon it, they receive the Holy Spirit and are blessed with eternal life.


27. How did the disciples understand the words “Lazarus is fallen asleep?” 11:11 

(cf. Mark 5:39).


When Jesus said to His disciples that Lazarus had fallen asleep, they took it in its literal meaning and understood that Lazarus was simply sleeping. But what Jesus meant was that Lazarus was bodily dead. What Jesus truly meant was that his earthly body was dead but not his spirit, which would be resurrected on the final day of Judgement.


28. Show the harmony of the statements “he that believes on me, though he dies, yet shall he live” and “whosoever lives and believes on me shall never die.” 11:25-26. Bruce, p. 244. 


In the first sentence, it means that whoever believes in Jesus will surely have bodily death one day, but their spirits will live on. This means that their body may face decay, but they will not face spiritual death. The second sentence resonates with this tone, where it says that whoever lives their lives according to the teachings of Jesus and has an unflattering faith in Him, shall never face spiritual death.


29. Why did Jesus weep at the grave of Lazarus? 11:33-37. Bruce, pp. 246f.


When Jesus reached the grave of Lazarus, He found his sisters and the other people weeping. He, too, wept because He was moved with sorrow and sympathy at the death of Lazarus, who was “the one you love” (NIV BIBLE- JOHN- 11:3). He was grieved at the pain that death caused to humans. This was His human emotions that came into play at this moment, because, besides being “the son of God”, He was also “the son of man”.


30. What was the primary reason that Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead? 11:39-42.


Lazarus was already dead when Jesus reached Bethany. When Jesus found his sisters and relatives cry at his death, Jesus was moved and filled with sorry, which made Him cry, too. He asked His disciples to move the stone that covered the mouth of Lazarus’ grave so that all the people present could see God’s glory in action. He thanked God for having listened to Him and then said that He thanked God publicly so that people hearing Him might believe that it was because of God’s will that Lazarus would be alive again. And thus, by raising Lazarus from death, Jesus was doing God’s work, so that people will accept Him as the Son of God.


31. Why could the resurrection of Lazarus not be a permanent resurrection? 11:43f. 

Bruce, p. 248.


Lazarus died before Jesus went to Bethany. But after reaching there, when Lazarus was already dead for two days, Jesus saw his sisters and relatives crying at his death. Jesus was moved with the sorrow and to perform God’s will, He raised Lazarus from death. But this resurrection will not be a permanent one because Lazarus’ body will die again and decay. But he will live on spiritually after his bodily death when he will reach heaven and only then will his resurrection be a permanent one when he will raise on the final day of judgement.


32. In what sense does Bruce see the raising of Lazarus as a pivotal event in this gospel? Bruce, p. 249.


According to Bruce, the raising of Lazarus from death was a climax to the public ministry of Jesus in John’s gospel. It was this event that showed the ultimate evidence of Jesus being the anointed one. This incident was a pivotal event in the gospel because after this many more started believing in Him, even those who had some ounces of doubt left regarding the authenticity of Jesus being the son of God.



33. Who was Caiaphas? Give the double meaning attached to the words of Caiaphas. 11:49-52. Bruce, p. 250-251.


Caiaphas was the high priest of the year in which Lazarus was raised from the dead. He said that it would be better for one person to die for the entire nation than the entire nation gets destroyed in the process. Jesus was perceived to be a threat to the Jewish religious leaders and so His death would be beneficial. But the other meaning of his words may be that through Jesus’ death, the entire nation would be saved from eternal damnation, than the entire nation getting washed away due to the ungodly affairs of life of the people. He meant that through the death of Jesus, the people would be able to reconcile with God and be redeemed through their faith.


34. What was the decision of the Sanhedrin? 11:53.


The Sanhedrin started plotting ways to kill Jesus from the day they had heard the news of Lazarus rising from death.


35. While Jesus was visiting in the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus at Bethany, what act of devotion did Mary perform? 12:1-3.


When Jesus was at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus after Lazarus had been raised from death, a dinner was served in the honour of Jesus. At that event, Mary poured “a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume” on the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hairs. Through this act of hers, the entire house was filled with the mesmerizing smell of the perfume.


36. What is nard? Discuss its value. 12:3. Bruce, p. 256.


Nard is a very expensive perfume, oriental in nature, whose fragrance filled the entire house with its mesmerizing scent, that remained etched in the minds of the beholders. It was so expensive that Judas Iscariot said that its price was “worth a year’s wages” (NIV BIBLE- JOHN- 12:5).


37. Explain whether Judas Iscariot was sincere when he said the ointment could have been sold and given to the poor. 12:4-6.


Judas Iscariot is the person who would betray Jesus for some mere “thirty pieces of silver”. So, if he could betray the son of God for a price, it can be safely said that his intention behind chiding about the expensive perfume was not a sincere one. Moreover, it is said in the Bible that he was a thief who would put money aside for him what was want to go inside the bag for other purposes. Even if the concern had been sincere, it can be seen that he had not yet left behind the materialistic way of measuring everything against money and not the moral value it would hold in someone’s life.


38. How did Jesus excuse Mary’s apparent waste in anointing him with expensive ointment? 12:7-8.


Jesus said everyone to leave Mary alone as she would have otherwise used the ointment to anoint the dead body of Jesus, whereas through this action of hers, the perfume could receive its appreciation in the present time. Having concern for the poor was a good gesture. But the poor would still be there even after Jesus would leave them for His heavenly abode. So, while He was there with them, they might as well praise His presence.


39. Why did the chief priests wish to kill Lazarus? 12:10-11.


The chief priests decided to kill Lazarus because it was because of the raising of Lazarus from death by Jesus, that more people were flocking towards Him. It was also due to the miraculous event of Lazarus raised from the dead that people were starting to believe in Jesus and started following Him. This raised their jealousy since they were losing their followers and the way they held over every Jew.


40. What is the probable significance of the crowd’s greeting Jesus with palm branches? 12:12-13. Bruce, p. 259.


Palm branches signified victory, peace and triumph over evil. So, the Jews greeted Jesus into the city with palm branches laying before Him because they accepted Him as the Messiah and accepted His victory over their stone-cold hearts.


41. When did the disciples first understand that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem fulfilled Hebrew scriptures? 12:16. Bruce, p. 261.


After Jesus had been resurrected on the third day of His death and had been glorified, the Holy Spirit caused His disciples to remember everything that Jesus had prophesied would happen, which did happen. Earlier, they did not understand it when Jesus spoke of them because they were not yet prepared in faith.


42. Who were the Greeks mentioned here, and for what purpose does Bruce think that their request is recorded? 12:20-21. Bruce, p. 262-4.


There were some Greeks who would worship at the outermost court of the synagogues and associated themselves with the Jewish ways of life, without giving in to every aspect of Judaism. After the event of cleansing the temple by Jesus, the Greeks might have thought that He made the temple “a house of prayer for all the nations”. So, they approached Philip and requested to meet with Jesus.


43. What is meant by the words “The hour is come?” 12:23 (cf. John 2:4; 7:30; 8:20). Bruce, p. 264.


It means the time has arrived when Jesus would be glorified after being resurrected from His death. The time has come when Jesus would be betrayed and be crucified. The time has arrived when He will be flogged and mocked at, before being killed. The time has come when people would ultimately believe in Him after He would be taken to the heaven. The time had arrived when, finally, the spiritual eyes of people would open and they would begin accepting Jesus and His teachings. The time has finally come when people will accept Him as the son of God and praise the Lord for every sign and miracle that He performed through Jesus.


44. Explain the principal contrast between the recurring seed-time and harvest ritual of the fertility cults and Jesus’ death and living again. Bruce, p. 264.


Unless the seed falls on the ground and starts germinating, no new plant will come out of it. Falling on the ground means returning to the ground. That would not necessarily not mean death. Because only when the seed falls on the ground, it can give birth to many more of its kind. Similarly, with the death and the succeeding resurrection of Jesus, many people will start believing in Him. His death would mean a bodily death, but He would live on in the heaven, with the Heavenly Father. His death will give birth to a stronger faith in people. But the difference between the two is that the seed would not be alive again, after falling to the ground. But after His death, Jesus was resurrected on the third day and has eternal life.


45. Explain the words of Jesus, “Father, save me from this hour?” 12:27. 

Bruce, p. 266.


Jesus said that He has come to earth to serve the will of the Heavenly Father. He knew that He would have to suffer and die at the hands of people. He also knew that only through His death, only through His flesh and blood, people would be redeemed. It was only through Him that they would receive salvation. It was only through His sufferings and sacrifice, that the sins of people would be forgiven. So, He is saying that when His soul was troubled, He could have easily quitter His responsibility. But He would not do so because it was for those particular events that Jesus had come to earth, to suffer for our sins, to glorify the name of God.


46. Who is “the ruler (prince) of this world” and how would he be cast out? 12:31. Bruce, p. 267.


“The prince of this world” (NIV BIBLE- JOHN- 12:31) is Jesus, since God, His Father, is the creator and the King of this world. Jesus said that the Prince of the world would be cast out. It means that Jesus would be tortured and killed. Every attempt would be made by the Jews to eliminate Jesus from the face of the earth. Little did they know that the person they were trying to get rid of was the prince of the world.


47. Discuss the implications of “If I be lifted up.” 12:32. Bruce, p. 267.


By being lifted up, He meant being taken away back to heaven. When people would torture and crucify Him, Jesus would be resurrected from His death on the third day and stay with His disciples for some days before being finally taken away back to heaven. It can also signify the moment when He will be glorified, the moment when people will realize His value and praise Him.


48. The multitude said “We have heard out of the law that the Christ (Messiah) abides forever.” What did they mean? 12:34 (cf. Isaiah 9:7, Ezekiel 37:25).


The prophets and the Scriptures had said that the Messiah will come and remain forever. But Jesus was speaking about being taken away. This made the people perplexed. In Isaiah, it is said that “He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.” (NIV BIBLE- ISAIAH- 9:7). It means that the Redeemer would come and forever rule the people. But this ruling meant ruling their hearts and mind, where people had accepted Jesus and His teachings.


49. Comment on the statement “Yet a little while is the light among you.” 12:36. 


Jesus is the light of all mankind. He is the light that would bring the people out into the light of truth and blessings. But now that the Jews were adamant on killing Him, His time on earth, in flesh and blood, was limited. But He was still there when He said these words, to men that until the day He would leave the earth, He would be there to serve the people and the Lord, His Father.


50. Summarize how the people’s unbelief had been foretold, and reference the specific prophecy in scripture. 12:39-41. Bruce, p. 271.


It had been foretold by Isaiah that the eyes of the people were so closely shut and the hearts of the people were so hardened that they could neither see nor perceive the words of God. Only if they had softened their hearts a little to create a welcome ground for the teachings of Jesus, they would have been saved from the eternal damnation. Only if they had made even a little effort on their part, they would have been saved from the doomsday. But instead they killed Him as it is said in the Scriptures, “Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” (NIV BIBLE- ISAIAH- 6:10).


51. What did Jesus say about who or what will be the specific judge “at the last day?” 12:48.


People were about to kill Him for whom Jesus was to suffer in humanely and die on the Cross. Jesus is constantly warning them to refrain them from doing the violent thing they were about to do, with the hope that they would realize their mistakes and ask for forgiveness and be saved from eternal damnation. He knew He would be rejected by the people for whom He came to this world. But since they turn a deaf ear to His warnings and teachings, whoever did not listen to His teachings would be judged. That judge is God Himself, who sent His only son to earth to bridge the gap between Him and men that was widened by the evil actions of men. Jesus also warned the people that the very words they were rejecting, would be the very words that would condemn them on the day of Judgement, when everyone will receive what they deserved.


Work Cited:




Leave A Response