Heaven – Angelic Wars

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The Gospel of John 11:45-57 ( Caiaphas states an epoch prophecy without knowing it) )


We see the real impact of Lazarus in John 11:45-57

45 Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs. 48 If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and then the Romans will come and take away both our temple and our nation.”

49 Then one of them, named Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, spoke up, “You know nothing at all! 50 You do not realize that it is better for you that one man die for the people than that the whole nation perish.”

51 He did not say this on his own, but as high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the Jewish nation, 52 and not only for that nation but also for the scattered children of God, to bring them together and make them one. 53 So from that day on they plotted to take his life.

54 Therefore Jesus no longer moved about publicly among the people of Judea. Instead he withdrew to a region near the wilderness, to a village called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

55 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, many went up from the country to Jerusalem for their ceremonial cleansing before the Passover. 56 They kept looking for Jesus, and as they stood in the temple courts they asked one another, “What do you think? Isn’t he coming to the festival at all?” 57 But the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who found out where Jesus was should report it so that they might arrest him.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why were the chief priests and Pharisees afraid of Jesus’s popularity from performing miracles?
  2. What did John, the writer, mean when Caiaphas’s prophecy?
  3. Do you think it is proper, at times, to preach the Word to individual persons out in public?

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The Gospel of John 11:28-44 ( Why did Jesus weep when Lazarus died? )


We now finish the Lazarus story in John 11:28-44

28 After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.” 29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him. 31 When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.

32 When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. 34 “Where have you laid him?” he asked.

35 Jesus wept.

36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

37 But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

38 Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. 39 “Take away the stone,” he said.

“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

40 Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

41 So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. 42 I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”

43 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 44 The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why do you think Jesus wept, knowing that he could raise people from the dead?
  2. Why do you think John wrote about the decaying body odor?
  3. Why does Jesus pray out loud?  Does that mean that we can pray without vocalizing words?

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The Gospel of John 11:11-27 ( Did Jesus’ delay allow Lazarus to die?)


We continue the Lazarus story at John 11:11-27

After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”

12 His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.” 13 Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.

14 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, 15 and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”

16 Then Thomas (also known as Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

17 On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days. 18 Now Bethany was less than two miles[b] from Jerusalem, 19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. 20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

21 “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

23 Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. How do we know that Lazarus was dead when Jesus was first informed of his illness?
  2. Was Martha’s belief that her brother would rise on Resurrection Day a new concept in the Jewish religion?
  3. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;” This is a radical departure from Judaism of that day. Why do you think Martha believed in this?

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The Gospel of John 11:1-10 ( Jesus delays visiting a dying friend)


We now start John, chapter 11:1-10 and the story of Lazarus.

Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. (This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.) So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days, and then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”

“But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews there tried to stone you, and yet you are going back?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Anyone who walks in the daytime will not stumble, for they see by this world’s light. 10 It is when a person walks at night that they stumble, for they have no light.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. Can you name another scene with Mary and Martha?
  2. Why did Jesus stay an additional two days after hearing his friend, Lazarus, was sick?  Doesn’t that seem odd?
  3. What did Jesus mean about walking in the daylight and nighttime in vs 9-10?
  4. Do you sometimes feel that God doesn’t hear your prayers and is ignoring you?

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The Gospel of John 10:34-42 (Jesus tells the Religious how to judge him as Messiah)


Finishing up the chapter with John 10:34-42.

34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? 35 If he called them ‘gods,’ to whom the word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside— 36 what about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? 37 Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father. 38 But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.” 39 Again they tried to seize him, but he escaped their grasp.

40 Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.

Questions for discussion:

  1. What did Jesus mean by his response using “gods?”
  2. Do you recall what John the Baptist said on how to prepare the way for Jesus?
  3. Do people try to trap you when you talk about Jesus?

May you feel God’s presence today!

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The Gospel of John 10:22-33 (Religious leaders threaten to stone Jesus)


Here is the next section takes place in the temple courts in John 10:22-33.

22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” 

25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”

31 Again his Jewish opponents picked up stones to stone him, 32 but Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these do you stone me?”

33 “We are not stoning you for any good work,” they replied, “but for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God.”

Questions for discussion:

  1. What is the Jewish Festival of Dedication?
  2. Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me.  When did Jesus tell them he was the Messiah?
  3. How did Jesus' works testify about his proclamation as the Messiah?

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The Gospel of John 10:14-21 (Jesus upsets his listeners with his message about being our Shepherd)


We now finish this “Good Shepherd” scene with John 10:14-21.

14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”

21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”

Questions for discussion:

  1. What verses (here and before) foreshadows Jesus’s crucifixion?
  2. Can you think of a verse where God knows us intimately?
  3. What does verse 16 mean about “other sheep?”
  4. What does verse 18 mean about taking up his life again?
  5. Have you experienced a miracle in your life?

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The Gospel of John 10:7-13 (Jesus explains his Shepherd role)


Jesus explains his role as a shepherd in John 10:7-13.

Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Can you name a parable in Luke where Jesus demonstrates his love as a shepherd to each one of us? What is its biblical citation?
  2. Does Jesus condemn all who are thieves and the dishonest?
  3. Do you feel that Jesus is shepherding you in your life, or is he silent at times?

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The Gospel of John 10:1-6 (The Shepherd, the sheep, and the robber).


Jesus uses an analogy of a shepherd, sheep, and robber when talking to the Pharisees in John 10:1-6.

“Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Who are the shepherd and thieves in this story?  Can you name places in the Bible that answer this question?
  2. Who are the sheep—all mankind? Give biblical citations.
  3. Do you hear Jesus’s voice through the Holy Spirit, sometimes?

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The Gospel of John 9:35-41 (Jesus identifies himself as the “Son of Man”).


Let’s finish up the story of the healing of the blind man and Jesus telling him he is the “Son of Man.” John 9:35-41

Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

36 “Who is he, sir?” the man asked. “Tell me so that I may believe in him.”

37 Jesus said, “You have now seen him; in fact, he is the one speaking with you.”

38 Then the man said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him.

39 Jesus said, “For judgment, I have come into this world so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

40 Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?”

41 Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Why did Jesus use the title, “Son of Man?” What does it mean?
  2. What did Jesus mean by his statements of the Pharisees claiming to see and their guilt remains?

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