Enroll in this free course on C.S. Lewis today!

John 21

1 Alter Jesus appeared to His disciples the second time (John 21:26), He went to Galilee, where He had told His disciples to meet Him (Matthew 28:10,16).

51 Some Christians also believe that when we eat the bread and drink the wine of the Lord’s Supper we, through faith, receive or experience the presence of Christ in a special way.

52 The Feast of Tabernacles was one of three Jewish festivals held each year for which many Jews traveled to Jerusalem (Deuteronomy 16:16). Therefore, at that time Jews from all over the world would be in Jerusalem to celebrate the feast. That’s why Jesus’ brothers suggested that at that time Jesus could show Himself to the world.

53 Some ancient manuscripts of John do not have the word yet.

54 Jerusalem is higher in elevation than Galilee. Therefore, to go from Galilee to Jerusalem it is necessary to climb up.

55 The Feast of Tabernacles lasted for a week.

56 God has already shown to all men what His general will is: it has been clearly written throughout the Bible.

57 For a man’s teaching to be true, it must also agree with what is written in the Bible.

58 In place of the words nothing false, some translations of the Bible say “no unrighteousness.” The meaning is essentially the same.

59 Circumcision is the cutting away of the excess skin of the penis. According to Genesis 17:12, it had to be performed on the eighth day of a child’s life, even if that day fell on the Sabbath. For further discussion, see Word List: Circumcision.

Jesus said, “Moses gave you circumcision” (verse 22). He said that because the command to circumcise is mentioned in the book of Genesis, which Moses wrote. But the command didn’t come through Moses himself. It was given directly by God to Abraham. God Himself told Abraham that all of his descendants must be circumcised (Genesis 17:10).

60 It was believed that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (see Matthew 2:3-6; John 7:41-42). But it was not known who His parents would be.

61 At any one time there was only one Jewish “high priest.” But under him, there were a number of chief priests. Then under the chief priests there were the ordinary priests.

62 The Greeks lived not only in the country of Greece, but they, like the Jews, had spread to all the other countries around the Mediterranean Sea. The Greeks, being non-Jews, were also called Gentiles. In fact, in many verses in the New Testament (including verse 35), the word Greeks is used to mean all Gentiles, not just Greek Gentiles.

63 The meaning of both Christ and Messiah is the “anointed one.” Christ was “anointed” by God to be the Savior of the world (see John 1:41; 4:25).

64 Not all ancient manuscripts of John contain verses 1-11.

65 Moses received the law from God and transmitted it to the Jewish people.

66 According to the Jewish law, the witness to a crime was supposed to throw the first stone (see Deuteronomy 17:7; Acts 7:57-58 and comment).

67 It is not certain when the discussion recorded in verses 12-59 took place. Some Bible scholars believe it follows the discussion described in John 7:37-44, and thus took place on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles (John 7:2). Others believe it took place after the feast was over, at which time most of the Jews who had come to celebrate the feast would have gone back to their own homes (John 7:53).

68 In place of the word valid, some translations of the Bible say “true.” The meaning is the same. According to Jewish law, the testimony of only one witness could not legally be considered “true.” It might, in fact, be true, but it could not be accepted in court as true. Two witnesses were necessary to establish the truth.

69 Some Jews, of course, did repent after Jesus’ death; but Jesus is not referring to them here. He is speaking here of the Jews, especially the leaders, whose hearts were becoming more and more hardened. Those whose hearts become totally hardened no longer have the capacity to repent. Notice in verse 30, however, that many (with unhardened hearts) did repent and put their faith in Him.

70 In place of the words I am the one I claim to be, some translations of the Bible say, “I am he.” The meaning is the same: Unless we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, we shall die in [our] sins.

71   Abraham was the first Jew, the ancestor of all the Jews.

72 In the Greek text, the word sins means “continues to sin.” Jesus is not talking here about a person who sins from time to time and who then genuinely repents of his sin (see 1 John 3:6 and comment).

73 In place of the words rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day, some translations of the Bible say, “rejoiced to see my day.” The meaning in the Greek language is the same.

74 Jesus was at that time about thirty-two or thirty-three years old (Luke 3:23).

75 To put someone to death without a proper trial was against the Jewish law. However, the Jews were so eager to kill Jesus that they didn’t want to wait to hold a trial.

76 Nowadays doctors know about many diseases which are transmitted from parents to children before the children are even born.

77 It is also true that Satan has the power to perform miracles, and he gives that power to evil men. But such miracles never bring glory to Christ or to God. They bring glory only to Satan and to those who serve him (see Mark 13:22 and comment).

78 For a discussion of the meaning of the term Son ofMan, see Mark 2:10; John 1:51 and comments. In place of the words Son of Man, some ancient manuscripts of John say “Son of God.”

79 In the Middle East, the sheep of several different shepherds used to be kept in the same sheep pen. Each shepherd had a special call for his own sheep, which his sheep could recognize.

80 Jesus cannot mean here the Old Testament prophets. He would not have called them thieves and robbers. But perhaps He means the false priests and leaders of Israel who acted like thieves and robbers (Jeremiah 23:1-4; Ezekiel 34:1-10,15-16).

81 The Feast of Dedication was held in Jerusalem each year to commemorate the rededication of the Jewish temple in 165 B.C., after it had been desecrated by a foreign king.

82 Jesus said that He was quoting from the Law. Usually the “Law” means the first five books of the Old Testament. But sometimes the entire Old Testament was also called the “Law.”

83 We must remember that in a few verses it is not fully certain what was originally written. The reason for this is that the original manuscripts and earliest copies of the New Testament have been destroyed or lost. Only later copies exist today. Thus, when these later copies are compared, some minor differences can be seen in the way a few verses are written. However, none of the differences affect the meaning of any important Christian teaching. Furthermore, the number of verses involved is very small. For further discussion, see General Article: How We Got Our Bible.

84 This story of raising Lazarus from the dead is not mentioned in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The first three Gospel writers do not describe the miracles Jesus did in Jerusalem; they describe miracles that were done mainly in Galilee. John, on the other hand, describes mostly the miracles Jesus did in Jerusalem and Judea.

Matthew, Mark, and Luke do describe the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead (Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56). Also Luke describes the raising of the son of the widow of Nain from the dead (Luke 7:11-15).

85 In place of the words twelve hours of daylight, some translations of the Bible say, “twelve hours in a day.” The first translation, however, gives the true meaning.

86 The word Thomas means “twin” in the Hebrew language. Didymus means “twin” in the Greek language.

87 In the same way, to prove that He had the spiritual authority to forgive sins, Jesus restored a paralyzed man to complete health (see Mark 2:3-12 and comment).

88 John mentions only the Jews who had come to visit Mary. Perhaps Mary had a softer heart and, therefore, needed greater consolation; but we must understand that the Jews came to console both sisters.

89 The Sanhedrin was the ruling council of the Jews, It exercised final authority over all Jewish religious matters. For further discussion, see John 3:1 and comment; Word List: Sanhedrin.

90 The Romans exercised full political authority over their colonies, such as Israel. But they usually gave religious freedom to the local people of each colony. However, if the Romans thought that the Jews were revolting, they would take away their religious freedom also.

91  Caiaphas was high priest in 18-36 A.D. When John says he was high priest that year, he means that he was high priest in that important year, when Jesus died and rose again. Caiaphas is also mentioned in Matthew 26:3.

92 For further discussion of the Passover, see Mark 14:1 and comment; Word List: Passover.

93 Jesus’ enemies among the Jews were also looking for Him in order to arrest Him.

94 These Greeks were probably not from the country of Greece, but were Greek-speaking people from various cities in the Middle East (see John 7:35 and comment).

95 If they had been true Jews, John would not have called them Greeks. The Jews commonly called the Gentiles “Greeks.”

96 For Jesus, to die meant to be glorified. He knew that three days after His death He would rise in glory from the dead. Therefore, He often talked about His death and resurrection together, as if they were a single event, by which He would be glorified.

97 After Jesus’ death, the twelve disciples were called “apostles.”

98 Here the word life means not only our body, but also all the pleasures and conveniences and honors of life in this world.

99 In place of the words he now showed them the full extent of his love, some translations of the Bible say, “He loved them to the last,” which is a literal translation of the original Greek text. The meaning is the same.

100 In the Greek language, the words You trust in God (a statement) can also be translated, “Trust in God” (a command).

101 For further discussion of what happens to little children who die before they hear about Jesus, see General Article: Children and the Kingdom of God.

102  Judas is mentioned in Luke 6:16 and Acts 1:13. Some Bible scholars believe that Judas is the same as Thaddaeus, who is mentioned in Mark 3:18.

103 The only Scriptures the disciples had were the Old Testament writings. Most of the New Testament wasn’t written until twenty to forty years after Jesus’ death.

It is important for us to remember that it was because of the promise given in this very verse that the disciples were later able to write the New Testament Scriptures. The New Testament (and the Old Testament also) was written entirely with the help and inspiration of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21 and comments).

104 Some Bible scholars, however, believe that Jesus and His disciples did get up at this point and leave the room. These scholars believe that Jesus gave the teachings of Chapters 15-17 on the way to the garden of Gethsemane.

105 In place of the words trims clean, some translations of the Bible say “cleanses,” which is a literal translation of the Greek text. The meaning is the same.

106 Most religious leaders treat their disciples as servants. But our leader, Jesus, does not treat us that way. Instead, He has made Himself our servant. For example, what other leader has ever washed his disciples’ feet? (John 13:5).

107 In this context, the word world means “unbelieving men of the world.” It can also mean “worldly men,” that is, men who love the things of the world more than they love God.

108 Most Christians do not make any distinction between praying to God and praying to Jesus. It is the same thing.

109 God doesn’t only hear prayers for His glory. Many times Christians in pain or suffering or fear simply cry out to God for mercy and relief, and God certainly listens to them and often grants their requests. But God may not grant their request; He may have a special and eternal purpose in allowing a person to suffer. However, a prayer for His glory He is always ready to answer positively.

110 In place of the word you, some translations of the Bible say “your name,” which is a literal translation of the original Greek text. The meaning is the same; to reveal God’s name is the same as to reveal God Himself.

111 Jesus was mainly referring here to His eleven close disciples, who were soon to become apostles. But He could also mean all those who had truly believed in Him up to that time.

112 Jesus, because He is God, knows who will not accept Him. But we believers do not have that knowledge. Therefore, we must continue to pray for all men, in accordance with Paul’s instructions in 1 Timothy 2:1.

113 In place of the words protect them by the power of your name, some translations of the Bible say, “Keep them in your name.” The first translation gives the meaning of the Greek text more clearly.

114 In this verse, the meaning of to know is to “be convinced” or to “believe strongly.”

115 In place of you, some translations of the Bible say “your name.” The meaning is the same; to make God’s name known is the same as to make God known (see verse 6 and comment).

116 Jesus had taught His disciples privately from time to time. But in this verse Jesus’ meaning is that everything He had said to His disciples in private He had also said to others in public. He had kept nothing secret from the people.

117 The Jews did from time to time stone people for breaking the Jewish law (see Acts 7:57-60). But according to Roman law, it was illegal for them to do so.

118 It is not certain whether Pilate’s words, “You are a king, then,” form a statement or a question. In some translations of the Bible, these words are written as a question. In the original Greek manuscripts of the New Testament, there are no punctuation marks, so it is impossible to tell whether John intended this to be a question or not. The sense seems clearer, however, if the words are taken as a statement.

119 In place of the words, You are right in saying I am a king, some versions of the Bible say, “You say I am a king,” which is a literal translation of the original Greek text. The meaning is the same. However, the first translation gives the true meaning more clearly. When the Jews ofJesus’ time said, “You say I am a king,” they actually meant, “Yes, I am a king” (see Mark 15:2 and comment).

120 In place of the words Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion, some translations of the Bible say, “Barabbas was a robber,” which means he was an “outlaw.”

121 All Roman emperors were called Caesar. “Caesar” is the Roman word for emperor.

122 This John was the Apostle John, the “beloved disciple” (verse 26), who wrote this Gospel.

123 The Romans used to let the bodies of crucified criminals hang on the cross for days, to serve as a warning to others not to break the Roman law. Therefore, it was necessary for the Jews to ask permission to take the bodies down.

124 The Jewish “day” began at sunset. Therefore, the Sabbath actually began at 6 P.M. Friday evening. For this reason, it was necessary to remove the bodies and bury them before 6 P.M. on that same Friday, the day they were crucified.

125 The tomb was in a garden (John 19:41).

126 In place of the words they are not forgiven, some translations of the Bible say, “They are retained.” The meaning is the same.

127 Peter’s father’s name is mentioned also in John 1:42. Nothing else is known about this John.

128 Some Bible scholars, however, believe that Jesus’ meaning is this: “Do you love me more than you love these disciples?” This meaning is also possible according to the Greek text, but it’s less likely to be what Jesus meant.

129 In the Greek, this means “keep on following me.”

California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information  California - CCPA Notice