Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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BAC Sermons

Rewards in the Gospels - part II


How to Get Rewards

Lk 20:25 Jesus called them together and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave_ 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Lk 12:19 And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20 "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'21 "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."


*Waiting, Watching and Being Waited Upon

Lk 12:31 But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. 32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 35 "Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like men waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night. 39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. 40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."


12:41 Peter asked, "Lord, are you telling this parable to us, or to everyone?" 42 The Lord answered, "Who then is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? 43 It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. 44 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions.


The issue in these verses is faithfulness to the Master's instructions, particularly good stewardship or responsibility (faithful and wise. not justification). Those with the expectation of the Master returning, who carry out His will, will receive the pleasurable reward of having their Master wait on them (v37 fulfill their desires) and gaining additional possessions (v44).

Note the contrast with 12:37 and 17:7 (next section) and the parallel with Mat 24.


Luke 12:45 But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. 46 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers. 47 "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.


Those who lose sight of His return and engage in self-centered behavior will suffer punishment, described as being beaten with blows, cut into pieces, and assigned a place with unbelievers.

Place usually refers to portion or part of a whole. In a geographical sense, it is sometimes used but with the idea of part of a territory. More frequently it is used of a share in something (like a reward or inheritance).

Cut in pieces=


*see Mat 24


Lk 17:7 "Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, 'Come along now and sit down to eat'? 8 Would he not rather say, 'Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink'? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?

10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'"


Wedding Feast

The parable of the wedding feast occurs in the context of failure to do (21:31) "what the father wants." The consequence of failing to do results in the loss of the possession of the kingdom. In this section of Matthew there is an emphasis on what happens to the kingdom in light of the rejection of it.


MAT 21:43 "Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.


Mt 22:2 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. 5 "But they paid no attention and went off_one to his field, another to his business. 8 "Then he said to his servants, 'The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.'


vv5&8 The original invitees refused to come to the feast because they were more concerned about their own business interests.


10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 11 "But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 'Friend,' he asked, 'how did you get in here without wedding clothes?' The man was speechless. 13 "Then the king told the attendants, 'Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

14 "For many are invited, but few are chosen."


Apparently the king had provided the appropriate garments for the recently invited guests. The man tossed outside had either refused the offer of garments or was unprepared. The parable ends with the point: not everyone is chosen.


Lk 13:22 Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?"            He said to them, 24 "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.


25 Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.'   "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' 26 "Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' 27 "But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' 28 "There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but you yourselvs thrown out. 29 People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. 30 Indeed there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last."

In vv 23-24 Jesus teaches that one must make every effort to be saved. This implies an uncertainty, for how does one know if they've made every effort or missed a few? Verse 30 is used to illustrate a principle regarding reward in the kingdom (cf Mark), and the first-last indicates relative position rather than forgiveness. "Saved" most likely refers to reward in the kingdom (see Matt 7) and is dependent upon effort. Apparently many people who thought they were doing well will be thrown out of the reward banquet because they haven't made every effort (particularly the Jews in first place).


Mat 24:10 At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11 and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. 12 Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, 13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.


v13 Being saved is dependent upon standing firm during the tribulation of the end times. The context would indicate that "saved" is deliverance out of temporal trials or perhaps glorification (See Hebrews). Apparently the admonition is addressed to believers who were following the faith.


Mat 24:42 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46 It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47 I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48 But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, 'My master is staying away a long time,' 49 and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51 He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

v42 Our responsibility is to keep watch, v44 be ready, v45 be faithful and wise (chose the right objectives and right means of obtaining those objectives), fulfill our responsibilities especially those of serving others. The motivation for doing so is v46 it will be good for us, v47 we will receive additional responsibility from our Master.


Lk 14:12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."


v14 Blessing is equated with being repaid at the resurrection of the righteous. When those who have demonstrated righteous (self-sacrifical) behavior are resurrected, they will be repaid (Dan 11).


Lk 14:24 I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.'"


The cost of Being a Disciple

14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:

26 "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters_yes, even his own life_he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' 31 "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.

33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

34 "Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out. "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."


v33 The issue is exchanging what we have in this life for the benefits of being Christ's disciple. There is clearly a cost involved which is most easily reconciled with the free gift of forgiveness by viewing the calls to discipleship as being issued to believers who were already forgiven. The motivation for discipleship in vv34-35 is the desire to avoid being  useless or unprofitable like unsalty salt. The unfaithful believer is useless to his Master, while the profitable one will be entrusted with additional responsibility in serving his Lord.  The one who has ears to hear and accept the call and pay the cost of following is a believer who is convinced that Jesus is who He claimed to be.


Lk 16:8 "The master commended the dishonest manager because he had acted shrewdly. For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light. 9 I tell you, use worldly wealth to gain friends for yourselves, so that when it is gone, you will be welcomed into eternal dwellings. 10 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. 11 So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? 12 And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own? 13 "No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." 14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.

In Luke 16 there are two direct motivations appealing to self-interest. v9 instructs believers to use the worldly (especially financial) resources with which God has entrusted them to evangelize, for the purpose of gaining friends (converts) and receiving a rich welcome into eternal dwellings (see II Peter 1). The second motivation is in the next verses (vv10-12) that of being entrusted with true riches, and receiving property of our own (in the kingdom).


Mt 25:1 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 "At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' 7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.' 9 "'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 "Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' 12 "But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' 13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.


Being excluded from the joy of the banquet was the result of not being prepared with enough oil. Note that the issue isn't that there never was any oil, but that they hadn't wisely chosen the right objective, being prepared for the return of the lord.


The Parable of the Talents


25: 14 "Again, it (kingdom of heaven) will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 "After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.' 21 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' 22 "The man with the two talents also came. 'Master,' he said, 'you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.' 23 "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' 24 "Then the man who had received the one talent came. 'Master,' he said, 'I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.' 26 "His master replied, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. 28 "'Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.


The five talent and two talent servants were both equally faithful in using that which God entrusted to them, thus they received equal commendation and happiness but it is not specified that they received equal entrustment of additional responsibility. In Luke's account, the servants were not equaly faithful, and so received differing commendation and differing reward of additional responsibility.

Note that in Luke the reward is spelled out as authority over cities which indicates the reward of rulership in the future kingdom. (See verses on ruling *).


The third servant is usually considered an unbeliever for logically indefensible reasons. The manner in which he differed from the other servants is not over whether or not he had accepted God's gift of forgiveness but rather over the issue of faithfulness.


It is more than likely that the item taken and given has some corresponding significance to the Christian life, otherwise believers would not know with or in what to be faithful. The reward of rulership or authority or dominion or power is a function of the glory given to believers which can be reasonably equated with the Spirit of glory, the Holy Spirit. All believers are given a bestowment or initial installment of the HS at regeneration. The believer has the job of using the HS in their own lives as they persue sanctification and in the lives of others as they reach out. One who has grieved, quenched or ignored the HS is an unprofitable servant. Those who fail to use or respond to the HS in their lives will face judgment when the Lord returns. It is quite possible that the portion of the HS or power entrusted to believers will be taken from the unfaithful and given to the faithful. (See on I Pt 1.)


25:31 "When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. 34 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?

39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'


41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44 "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."


*Kingdom come


Lk 17:20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within/among you."

22 Then he said to his disciples, "The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it. 23 Men will tell you, 'There he is!' or 'Here he is!' Do not go running off after them. 24 For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.


There are four major sections of our Lord's teachings about the kingdom: 1) at the beginning of His ministry (including the sermon on the mount); 2) the parables in light of His rejection (Mat 13); 3) the parables as the end of His ministry; 4) His post-resurrection teachings (Acts 1).


The message of John, Jesus, and the apostles was that the kingdom was near. It had not arrived. The institution of the kingdom promised in the OT was dependent upon the receptivity (and repentance) of Israel. To understand John's (et al.) view of the kingdom one only needs to look at the context of John's quotes from Isaiah 40 and following, in which the characteristics of the Millenial kingdom are specified.


At the other end of our Lord's kingdom teaching is the data in Acts 1. For forty days after the resurrection Jesus had instructed the disciples about the kingdom. This is significant for two reasons: first, it demonstrates the importance of understanding the kingdom (since that is what Jesus spent His last time on earth teaching about) and second, after receiving such instruction, the disciples were still expecting the promised Davidic kingdom to be restored to Israel. Their interest and eagerness to see the kingdom restored is understandable in light of Jesus' promises that they would be ruling with Him over the twelve tribes of Isreal. Jesus' response doesn't say the kingdom is here, nor that it will not occur, but indicated instead the responsibility they had until He returned to set up the kingdom.


 The parables about the kingdom in Mat 13 indicate hitherto unrevealed information about the kingdom. A mystery is that which was previously undisclosed in the OT. Thus Mat 13 gives us previously unrevealed truth (mystery) about the kingdom promised in the OT. [It does not give previously unrevealed truth (mystery) about the mystery form of the kingdom.] There is no indication that there is a mystery form of the kingdom, but just previously unrevealed information about the kingdom which was expected by faithful believers.


The parables at the end of Jesus' minsitry regarding the kingdom are discussed separately, as are the references to the kingdom in the epistles. It is my contention that there are no verses which support a present mystery form of the kingdom. There are clearly none which demand it, a few which allow it, and a few which indicate that the kingdom is yet future.


Luke 17:20  is one of the most misinterpreted verses regarding the kingdom, purportedly indicating that the kingdom of God/heaven is not that promised in the OT (with a descendent of David reigning over the nation of Israel on the earth) but rather the kingdom is within one's heart. A look at the surrounding context shows how impossible such a view is. First it should be noted that the kingdom is still viewed as future, adding weight to the view that the kingdom being at hand does not mean it has arrived. The audience is the Pharisees, those rejecting the kingship of Jesus. To say that the kingdom is anywhere Jesus is king or ruling, and then state that is in people's heart on the basis of this verse is a gross distortion of Scripture. (Incidently there is no other verse on which the false doctrine of the kingdom being in one's heart is propurtedly * based.) The Pharisees were obviously rejecting the rulership of Jesus, and could not have the kingdom in their heart (if the kingdom was going to be in anyone's heart).


The word for within (NIV marg = among) provides additional refutation of the non-literal view of the kingdom. Up until this point in the Gospels, and continuing beyond, a literal view of the kingdom has been demanded. One cannot on the basis of this verse state that the kingdom is now figurative. That is not the point of this passage, not is it in harmony with subsequent teachings about the kingdom."Within" is used only one other time in the NT * to refer to wine within a cup. Obviously the wine is not within the molecules of the structure of a cup (within the metal itself) but rather in the midsts of the container formed by the walls of the cup. In the same way, Christ was not stating that the kingdom was within the bodies of the Pharisees, but rather that it was in the midsts of them, standing in front of them.


This view of the passage makes use of a firgure of speech where the cause is put for the effect (metonomy of cause). Jesus is the one who causes the kingdom to come. If the Pharisees were looking for the kingdom, they would have recognized the King when He arrived. But in fact, the Pharisees had no desire for a kingdom from the heavens because they were too busy building their own little kingdoms on earth. 


17:33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.


Lk 18:7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"


Lk 19:8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount." 9 Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."


The Parable of the Ten Minas

19:11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once.

12 He said: "A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return.

13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. u 'Put this money to work,' he said, 'until I come back.'

14 "But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, 'We don't want this man to be our king.'

15 "He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it.

16 "The first one came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned ten more.'

17 "'Well done, my good servant!' his master replied. 'Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.'

18 "The second came and said, 'Sir, your mina has earned five more.'

19 "His master answered, 'You take charge of five cities.'

20 "Then another servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth.

21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.'

22 "His master replied, 'I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow?

23 Why then didn't you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?'

24 "Then he said to those standing by, 'Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.'

25 "'Sir,' they said, 'he already has ten!'

26 "He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.

27 But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them_bring them here and kill them in front of me.'"   (The Triumphal Entry)


Lk 21:16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.

17 All men will hate you because of me.

18 But not a hair of your head will perish.

19 By standing firm you will gain life.


Lk 21:27 At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

28 When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

29 He told them this parable: "Look at the fig tree and all the trees.

30 When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near.

31 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near.


36 Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man."


Lk 22:24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

25 Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors.

26 But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

28 You are those who have stood by me in my trials.

29 And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,

30 so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you 24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.



:3 In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. q"

4 "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. " Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!"

5 Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.

6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit r gives birth to spirit.

7 You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You s must be born again.'

8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit."

9 "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked.

10 "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?

11 I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.

12 I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?

13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven_the Son of Man. t

14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,

15 that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. u

16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, v that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son.


36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him."


5:21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it.

5:22 Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,

5:23 that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.

5:25 I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.

5:27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.

5:28 "Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice

5:29 and come out_those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.

5:30 By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.


6:27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."


6:40 For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."


6:44 "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 6:47 I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.


6:53 Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

6:54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.

6:55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.

6:56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

6:57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.

6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."


6:63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you are spirit m and they are life.

6:64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe." For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.

6:65 He went on to say, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him."

6:66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

6:67 "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.

6:68 Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

6:69 We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."


7:18 He who speaks on his own does so to gain honor for himself, but he who works for the honor of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.


8:24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], s you will indeed die in your sins."24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am [the one I claim to be], s you will indeed die in your sins."


8:47 He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."


8:51 I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death."


10:9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. y He 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 who owns 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.

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."


10:24 The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, a tell us plainly." 25 Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for 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 can 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."


It appears that eternal life is given as a result of following. A sheep: 1) v26 beleives; 2) v27a listens; 3) v27b are known; 4) v27c follows; 5) v28a are given eternal life; 6) v28b shall never perish; 7) v28c can not be snatched out of Jesus' hand. There might be a sequential logic to the verses or they are parallel or might conform to some other structure. The decision must be made on the basis of evidence in the immediate context, not one's theological bias. 


11:23 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. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; 26 and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?" 27 "Yes, Lord," she told him, "I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world."


v24 demonstrates the expectation of a resurrection.


12:23 Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.


v25 The requirement for eternal life is hating one's life (and expending it for the goal of reproduction). The motivation for serving Jesus in the process is being with Jesus and honored by the Father as was Jesus.


12:46 I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 47 "As for the person who hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save it. 48 There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; that very word which I spoke will condemn him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say."


v50 the command which will judge us leads (results in?) eternal life.


Jn 13:14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


v17 The motivation for humble service is being blessed for obedience.


14:15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

Here is a clear example of love being a motivation for obedience.


14:23 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.


15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.

2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes u so that it will be even more fruitful.

3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

5 "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.

11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

14 You are my friends if you do what I command.

15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit_fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

17 This is my command: Love each other.


17:1 After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed:            


"Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you.

2 For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.

3 Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. 4 I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.


21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you."               Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16 Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?"                He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." 17 The third time he said to him, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, "Do you love me?" He said, "Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you."            

Jesus said, "Feed my sheep.


20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

20:31 But these are written that you may h believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.