Books of the Book: John

The Shadow of the Cross

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Deyvy Rodriguez & Jon Paulien


Series Code: JBOTB

Program Code: JBOTB00017A

00:20 Hello friends and welcome back.
00:22 This is "Books of the Book."
00:23 My name is Deyvy Rodriquez
00:25 and we're so glad that you can take this time
00:28 and join us as you open your Bibles with us.
00:31 We're studying the Gospel of John
00:33 and you're welcome to pick up with us.
00:35 We are in Chapter 12
00:37 and it has been an amazing experience
00:39 with this Bible study.
00:41 We're studying with Dr. Jon Paulien.
00:44 He is currently the dean of religion
00:45 at Loma Linda University and he comes all the way
00:48 from Loma Linda, California.
00:50 And I keep telling him I've been blessed.
00:52 I've seen so many spiritual applications from this book
00:56 and as he says this is an-- this is a spiritual gospel.
01:01 And, Dr. Paulien, when you say this is a spiritual gospel
01:04 because you said it before,
01:06 but tell us briefly what do you mean
01:08 when the Gospel of John is spiritual?
01:11 Aren't all the gospels spiritual?
01:15 It depends I guess on how you come at it
01:17 but I think the primary motive
01:19 of the Matthew, Mark and Luke is to get the story down.
01:23 This is what Jesus did.
01:24 This is what Jesus said
01:26 that the simple telling of the story is enough.
01:29 But in John the story is only the beginning.
01:34 Each of the stories functions like a parable
01:37 with all kinds of spiritual meanings.
01:40 And so John I guess is content that the story has been told
01:46 and now he's going to take aspects of the story.
01:50 Especially ones that only he seems to know about
01:53 or only he emphasis and use that story to go deeper.
01:59 And the reason for this is that as the apostles went out
02:05 they would tell the story of Jesus
02:07 but then they would interpret it.
02:10 But once the apostles are dead,
02:14 the interpretation has to come out of the story.
02:18 So John felt that the three gospels
02:21 that were there before by themselves
02:24 were not everything that the second generation needed.
02:26 The second generation needed the interpretation,
02:29 needed the deeper spiritual meaning
02:32 they brought to them
02:33 so that they could function without the living apostles.
02:36 And when you say the second generation again
02:38 it's that a group or that generation who have--
02:41 who never got to see physically Jesus
02:44 or His miracles being performed. Or His disciples.
02:47 So we happen to be that generation. Yeah.
02:49 You see, as long as the disciples are alive
02:52 remembering everything Jesus did,
02:53 they can interpret it all.
02:55 But once the apostles are dead,
02:58 the words on the page have to do the job.
03:01 And so John I think is seeing that
03:04 the three other gospels are very, very good,
03:06 very, very important, very useful
03:09 but they are not fully gonna do the task by themselves
03:13 of reaching a generation
03:15 that doesn't have that living voice
03:17 that only has the words on the page.
03:19 So John puts words on a page
03:22 that will elaborate these things.
03:25 And I like what you said also that the first generation
03:29 who were present in the lives,
03:30 in the life of Jesus don't have an advantage
03:33 over our faith, you know. Right.
03:36 In fact you can even said that it could be to,
03:40 to our advantage that we didn't see Jesus physically.
03:44 Time and again in the Gospel of John,
03:45 the people are standing there with Jesus have doubts.
03:48 They don't get it. They reject Him.
03:51 Physical presence of Jesus is no guarantee of anything
03:55 but if our hearts are open to the Holy Spirit
03:58 and to the words of the gospels.
04:01 We can have everything they could have had and more.
04:04 So today, now we're talking about--
04:07 we're at Chapter 12.
04:10 Tell us what are we studying today in this chapter?
04:12 Well, Chapter 12 is kind of a transition in the gospel.
04:17 We've been working through
04:18 some three years of Jesus' ministry.
04:21 John touches based on a story here
04:24 and saying there another story, Jesus' public ministry.
04:29 And with Chapter 12,
04:31 we're coming to the close of the public ministry of Jesus.
04:35 This is the last part of His public ministry.
04:38 And with Chapter 13,
04:40 He's is gonna go into the closet so to speak with His disciples.
04:44 And what goes on there is not for the wider world
04:47 but He's gonna deal directly with them
04:50 and He becomes much more of a teacher in Chapters 13-17.
04:57 In its public work, its in more about what He does
05:00 and the miracles and one and one encounters with various people
05:05 who have not been believers before very public.
05:08 But now we're at the point
05:10 where we gonna start transitioning
05:12 to a more personal private kind of ministry.
05:16 Okay, and where shall we begin?
05:18 Well, Chapter 12 has a series of short vignettes
05:24 kind of like stories where they are just little pieces
05:27 of the last few days of Jesus' ministry.
05:30 It starts like a week before His crucifixion
05:33 and will see several little stories here.
05:35 The first one is the climax of the Mary story I think
05:39 and that's in Chapter 12:1-8.
05:42 So why don't we start there?
05:46 "Then, six days before the Passover,
05:48 Jesus came to Bethany,
05:49 where Lazarus was who had been dead,
05:52 whom He had raised from the dead.
05:55 There they made Him a supper,
05:56 and Martha served,
05:58 but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.
06:01 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard,
06:06 anointed the feet of Jesus,
06:08 and wiped His feet with her hair.
06:11 And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
06:14 But one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot,
06:17 Simon's son, who would betray Him, said,
06:20 'Why was this fragrant oil
06:22 not sold for three hundred denarii
06:24 and given to the poor?'
06:26 This he said, not that he cared for the poor,
06:28 but because he was a thief, and had the money box,
06:31 and he used to take what was put in it.
06:34 But Jesus said, 'Let her alone,
06:37 she has kept this for the day of My burial.
06:40 For the poor you have with you always,
06:44 but Me you do not have always.'"
06:47 Part of the concept that the spiritual gospel
06:51 is that various characters in the story play bigger roles
06:56 that they are almost like actors in a drama.
06:58 And here you have three characters in a story.
07:01 You have Mary, Martha and Lazarus.
07:03 They happen to be brothers and sisters.
07:05 One single family
07:07 but each of them relates to Jesus
07:08 a little bit differently.
07:10 And in Mary we see the kind of person who is up and down,
07:16 you know, sometimes she is, you know,
07:19 really locked in for the spiritual things.
07:21 Sometimes she gets caught in some unfortunate situations.
07:25 But here she represents absolute sold out
07:29 love and devotion to Jesus.
07:31 She is gonna give the equivalent of the years wages
07:36 and just sort of wasted on a moment.
07:38 You know, Martha wouldn't have done that.
07:40 She would have calculated, this is really costly.
07:42 You know, couldn't we just dip our finger in
07:44 and smell up the room and that would be enough.
07:47 I mean, she pours enough perfumes out there
07:49 to smell up the whole neighborhood.
07:51 Maybe Jerusalem is even catching at two miles away you'll see.
07:55 It's an absolutely wasteful.
07:57 I mean Judas is right in the sense it's a waste.
08:01 But she feels nothing is waste
08:04 if it expresses her absolute devotion to Jesus.
08:07 So she represents all those believers who,
08:10 well, they may not be the most stable people on earth.
08:14 They love Jesus with all their hearts
08:16 and they are willing to do even wasteful silly things
08:19 in the eyes of other people
08:20 in order to express their devotion to Jesus.
08:23 Martha on the other hand,
08:25 she reflects faith, service, steadiness,
08:30 you'll see and she represents those believers
08:33 that Jesus can count on so to speak, you know.
08:36 She'll be there even when all else fails.
08:39 She'll be cooking and cleaning
08:40 when nobody else feels like doing it.
08:42 She is steady, she's solid.
08:44 Lazarus, he represents the resurrection hope
08:47 that all of us have.
08:49 He already tasted
08:51 what we will all one day experience in Jesus Christ.
08:54 So the characters here--
08:57 John is not just telling the story
08:59 but he is unpacking it in ways that we can pick a character
09:04 that we relate to and really bring it home.
09:06 Now there is another character in here
09:08 that I don't think we-- Oh, yeah.
09:10 Leave out in John, it certainly didn't leave out
09:12 and I just hope that we don't chose this character
09:15 but that is Judas and apparently he--
09:20 it seems that he cares for the poor
09:23 and his following statement was
09:28 why was this fragrant oil not sold for,
09:31 you know, three hundred denarii and given to the poor?
09:33 So it almost seems like,
09:35 you know, we could have used this
09:37 and multiplied the blessing to many others--
09:39 Yeah, done a lot of good with it.
09:43 This is a waste. Right.
09:45 And the next verse the narrator kind of,
09:46 you know, he says the following,
09:49 you know, he said this not
09:50 because he cared for the poor but because he was a thief.
09:53 So speaking of characters
09:55 who does this character represent?
09:58 Well, one thing the scholars have noticed
10:00 in the Gospel of John is a strong dose of irony.
10:05 Irony is a literarily concept
10:10 where what's there on the surface
10:12 is the opposite of reality.
10:14 You know, it's kind of like somebody has a baby
10:17 and he gives a cigar
10:19 and the person lights up the cigar
10:20 and blows up in his face.
10:21 It's a particle joke, you see.
10:24 The idea was that this was a pleasant gift
10:26 in honor of something
10:27 and then it kind of blows up in the face
10:29 and everybody laughs at the victim.
10:31 You see, kind of a thing.
10:32 So irony is kind of in that regard.
10:35 And Judas is playing the idiot here in a real sense
10:39 because he's so serious.
10:41 This is a waste and this money
10:44 should have been given to the poor.
10:46 Well, the reality is, he's the one
10:48 in charge of giving money to the poor
10:51 and he is stealing from the bag.
10:54 So the irony is the surface he says
10:57 this money should be given to the poor,
10:59 the reality is he is the poor.
11:02 He's the one that is lifting from the bag.
11:04 Almost like saying, why don't I get a piece of that? Yeah.
11:07 It has to go through me. Yeah.
11:09 And-- He is upset that there
11:11 isn't-isn't little bit more that he can pull out of.
11:13 But, you know, there's a deeper irony here
11:16 and John always goes a little bit deeper.
11:18 The amazing thing is this.
11:21 In reality no one in the history of the world
11:25 has ever given more to the poor than Jesus did.
11:29 I mean than Judas did when he betrayed Jesus
11:32 because in giving Jesus up to the cross
11:36 that was a gift that did more for the poor
11:39 than anything else anyone has ever done.
11:41 So Judas of course didn't intend that
11:44 but in betraying Jesus,
11:45 in essence he gave the world a huge gift at his own loss.
11:49 I never really saw that, that spirit application that
11:55 he didn't-- it wasn't obviously no monetary value or anything
11:58 but it was a greatest gift to humanity he gave Jesus. Yeah.
12:02 And that's how God works. God takes actions of our.
12:06 Sometimes our actions are well intentioned.
12:09 Sometimes they are ill intentioned.
12:12 In this case it was ill intentioned.
12:14 And yet God can use the nasty things people do.
12:18 The anger, the hatred, evil deeds
12:22 and God can take those
12:24 and bring something good out of it.
12:25 And that brings a little bit of hope
12:27 to people who have had been robbed,
12:31 people who have been abused,
12:33 people who have suffered at the hands of angry people
12:37 to realize if God could take Judas' miserable act
12:43 and bring the greatest things
12:44 that has ever happened on this earth out of it,
12:46 salvation for all who will receive it.
12:49 Then the things that have happened to me in my suffering,
12:53 God can use that to bring something beautiful out of it.
12:57 And so that there's a sideline to all the story.
13:01 Another side of this is that
13:04 often our greatest strength is our greatest weakness.
13:08 Judas' strength was handling money
13:12 and in that strength the disciples trusted him.
13:15 They never asked,
13:16 you know, what the bottom-line was.
13:18 Judas can take care of, he is good at that,
13:20 we'll let him handle it.
13:22 But his greatest strength
13:23 became his greatest temptation, you see.
13:26 Like a pharmacist.
13:28 A pharmacist great strength
13:30 is being able to give people exactly what they need.
13:34 But that strength is also weakness
13:35 because pharmacists are--
13:37 have the ability to become drug abusers themselves
13:41 and nobody can check them.
13:43 They are the ones in charge of it, see.
13:45 So the temptation is there.
13:46 At our school of pharmacy
13:48 we train pharmacists in the importance of ethics
13:51 that they above all people have to be true to themselves
13:55 when no one else is looking.
13:57 Because nobody can monitor
13:58 what the pharmacist does with the drugs
14:01 because pharmacist is the monitor, you see.
14:03 So your greatest strength and your greatest weakness--
14:06 I'm not ragging on pharmacist please.
14:08 I'm just using it as an illustration
14:10 that the area in which we're most talented and strong
14:13 can sometimes be the place where we fall
14:16 and we have to be aware of that. Right.
14:17 And as Paul says, he who thinks he stands
14:21 let him take heed lest he fall.
14:24 And there was Peter also in his self sufficiency.
14:26 He believed, he trusted in himself
14:28 and yet that's when he denied the Lord.
14:32 We do know the tragic story of Judas unfortunately
14:37 but that is, that is quite sad,
14:40 you know, and we were talking about
14:41 in earlier programs how Jesus said that,
14:46 that there is, there are also wolfs.
14:48 You know, Jesus said He's the good shepherd
14:50 and then there are wolfs in sheep's clothing
14:53 and referring to the Pharisees.
14:55 Who the Pharisees had casted out
14:57 the blind man from the synagogue
14:59 and Jesus took him.
15:02 But as we see here there was,
15:04 it seems that even within His disciples
15:07 there was wolf, can--is that applicable,
15:10 would that be fair to say?
15:12 If we allow Satan to get into our lives,
15:15 he can turn even our well intentioned efforts
15:19 into great destruction.
15:21 What was--I think Judas actually has some good intentions.
15:25 He was trying to provoke Jesus to get out there
15:28 and do what he was supposed to do to become a king.
15:31 What was in Judas' heart that led him to,
15:34 to eventually betray Jesus or turn him into,
15:39 turn him into the religious leaders to death?
15:42 Well, let's get into that in a moment
15:44 but I think right now we need to go to a break.


Revised 2014-12-17