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Crucified Before the Foundation of the World

"Crucified before the foundation of the world." What does that mean? How could that even happen? Historians and archaeologists ta...

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Vision and Reality of the Glory of God

 Ezekiel records some astounding visions, notably the Wheel in a Wheel and the Valley of Dry Bones, but to me the most remarkable visions of Ezekiel are his recounting of the appearance and glory of God. In Chapter 1 the focus initially is on the four living creatures with four faces and 2 sets of wings. They are accompanied by the magnificent wheel which represents the Spirit and goes wherever the living creatures go. The wheel rises when the living creatures rise and goes wherever they go.                                                   
The wheel had another wheel inside it, and there were eyes in the wheels. The creatures' wings were lifted and touched each other and Ezekiel heard the sound of them. The sound of the wings was like the sound of the ocean or great waterfalls. Above the heads of the living creatures was a throne which shone like sapphire and great light came from it.

Ezekiel fell on his face when he heard the sound of God's voice. God commanded him to get up on his feet. Throughout scripture this is a common response to the majesty of God's presence. Daniel fell before the Messenger who spoke to him; John "fell as dead" in Revelations; Abram also fell before the presence of God. Gen. 17:3  Many other instances are cited and Ezekiel repeated it twice.  
  I don't think this is something you can practice and prepare for: It is rather something you can't avoid. Standing in the presence of God, witnessing his power and authority takes the breath from the body, reduces humans to utter humility, without even strength to stand. Then like Daniel and John, we will be revived by the orders of God to stand on our feet and face him. I'm guessing that's not something you can plan or prepare for either.

Read Ezekiel 1to begin to understand this great mystery and what awaits us in the future.

Saturday, November 1, 2014


It seems to me the Book of Ezekiel has been neglected even though he is one of the Major Prophets, and I am struggling to understand why and correct my view of him. Ezekiel was taken to Babylon in the first group of exiles from Judah in 598 b.c.e. Some call him a pessimist, but he also prophesies wonderful and glorious future events for Israel. 

In Chapter 1 he describes the first vision in great detail. He cites the day and the place giving details of the men he saw.  The men were not men as we know them, but creatures with four faces. They stood at attention and moved as God directed. Each of the creatures had a human face with a lion's face on the right side and the face of an ox on the left and each also had the face of an eagle. I wondered if the eagle was on the back of the head.

Each of the living creatures had a wheel that went with him and the wheels were "full of eyes." The creatures were obedient to the Spirit and he looked like fire with burning coals and lightning. The wheels looked like a wheel intersecting a wheel. The description sounds like a gear, a wheel in a wheel. The purpose of the wheel is not explained, but it represented the Spirit of God; it contributed to the glory with the sound, the light, and the eyes.

I never thought of God's Glory in terms of sound, but the description of Glory in Ezekiel is profoundly related to sound. In the beginning of the vision, Ezekiel sees a windstorm with lightning and the center of the storm looks like glowing metal. Even though the text does not describe sound, the windstorm would be accompanied by sound and the lightning would be accompanied by thunder. The creatures had wings and they made sound. Yes, this vision is as important in the sounds as in the sights it records.

Friday, October 10, 2014


English: Map of Epistle to Colossians Polski: ...
English: Map of Epistle to Colossians Polski: Mapa Listu do Kolosan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Colossians is a small book in the New Testament that started out in life as a letter of Paul to a faithful congregation in the city of Colossae. Paul's letter reveals that Epaphras evangelized the area, but it is assumed that Paul never visited them, but had only heard of their faith  through the reports of Epaphras and, perhaps, others who visited him while he was in prison in Rome. Epaphas was a resident of Colossae. Epaphras may have heard the message of Jesus from Paul or some other witness, but he took it back home and spread the word. This is indeed what we are supposed to do: Hear the message and share it with those we see and meet and live with.

Paul learned of their faith from Epaphras whom Paul calls "a dear fellow servant." Since Paul had not visited or preached in Colossae, I wonder if Epaphras was won to the Lord through his preaching in another city. Colossae is about 11 miles from Laodicea and Paul made repeated visits in the area.

Even though this is a small book it contains some very important truths such as the passage in Chapter I where he defines the supremacy and magnitude of Christ as equal with God the Father. In Chapter II he reminds the Colossians and us of the necessity of fullness in Christ without the limitations of human rules.

In Chapter III he implores us to keep our eyes fixed on our position as "raised in Christ" and alive to him and his claim on us. We no longer dwell in the carnal nature or depend on it for our sustenance.
He calls wives to be submissive, husbands to be kind and generous, children to be obedient, fathers to be gentle, and whatever you work at, do it as unto the Lord.

Chapter IV gives the last reminders about caring for one another and doing the essentials. He sends regards to some he thinks might know him and gives the closing message to pray for him and the spread of the Gospel.   

I urge you to read this book and find the gems that shine for you. Don't just take my word for it. There is much wisdom and joy to be found here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Not A Quick Fix

I read a selection from the Bible every week with a lady who lives here in "the home" with me. She may be older than me. She does not read when we meet because her vision seems to be worse than mine. We have read the Book of Acts since Easter and now we have begun Micah. I really like the Old Testament Prophets, but they are not very popular in most discussions. Most people think of the Minor Prophets as filled with judgments and destruction, but there are also words of comfort and restoration.

The truth is that God blesses the reading of his words whether we like them or not. Even passages we feel are judgmental and overwhelming are blessed when we read them with reverence and attention. It's not always something we understand that strengthens us for our course. Sometimes it's the act of studying the obscure and difficult passage that brings new awareness and blessing.

Read a different translation and make sure you understand what is happening and what the message is; then read it again and see what God is saying to you about your present circumstances. If you are still in doubt, let it rest for a while and come back later. Maybe you will have to let it rest for a long time, but some day you may find it a surprising revelation. Then you know that God has been working in you heart and mind to reveal a powerful truth, a truth that deserves this kind of commitment and effort. This is something that should take a while, maybe a long while, to become clear. Now you can recognize that God is in this for the long haul. You need to accept that and let it grow in you even if it takes your whole life.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Abram Believed God

English: The frescoes of Joakim Skovgaard in t...
English: The frescoes of Joakim Skovgaard in the Viborg Cathedral, Denmark: Abraham and Isaac climbing Mount Moriah. Joakim Skovgaards fresker i Viborg Domkirke: Abraham og Isak på vej op ad Moriabjerget. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
 In GenesisAbram was called by God to leave his homeland and his people and go to a  place he didn't know. He did it. There were several hindrances to his life and welfare, but he did prosper and find sustenance in Canaan. 

The Bible does not give any clue to the amount of time that passed between the initial call and the time of testing, but finally God called him to take his son Issac and go to Mount Moriah and make an offering there. The offering was Isaac. This son that he had plead with God for was to be the offering. He saddled his donkey and called two of his men to accompany them and they set out early in the morning. 

Isaac was smart enough to know they needed an animal for the sacrifice. He questioned Abram about it. "Father, we have the knife and the wood and the fire, but where will we get a lamb on the mountain?" Abram replied, "God will provide." This is the answer of faith. When God called him to make an offering, he was obedient.

Abram never argued or begged for some other option. He was completely compliant with God's choice. I can imagine the heart wrenching agony he faced when he laid the wood on Isaac's back and assured him that there would be an acceptable sacrifice when the time for the offering came. I am less sure that I could have been as confident of God's providence as Abram was.

Abram came form a society and culture where child sacrifice was acceptable and routine. The society I live in, at least in regard to laws and public policy, defends the child's right to be accepted as an individual and protected as a human being. Abram highly valued and loved his son Isaac. He did have another son, Ishmael, but Issac was the son God had promised, and they could not coexist as descendants of God's promise to Abram. 

When he got to the place where the offering was to take place, Abram prepared the altar and placed the wood in order and bound Isaac and laid him on top. I have to assume that Isaac knew what was about to happen to him when his father took the knife. This surely was a test for Abram, but I think it was equally a test for Isaac. He did not protest or fight. He was as yielded as Abram. 

Before he could sink the knife into the boy, the angel of the Lord called to him and pointed to a ram caught in the thicket that he could substitute for Isaac.

Abram was tested, and God was satisfied with his obedience. God called to him again from Heaven, and said, "Because you have obeyed and not questioned, all the people of the earth will be blessed through your son."

Not every test is announced; some take us by surprise. Only in hindsight do we recognize great tests of faith we witness. Sometimes we witness the test when we fail. Abram had failed one test when God told him that he would have a child. He and Sarai conspired to seek the child from Sarai's handmaiden. That was a flop. The effort produced a child, Ishmael, but he was not the child of the promise. Now Isaac  was the offering. Did Abram have faith to trust God this time? With a resounding yes, we see Abram ready to offer Isaac on the altar. This is the attitude God wanted in every case. 

Are we willing to sacrifice our cherished dream to take up God's call? Abram is the model of obedience. It is not appropriate for us to offer a child anymore. That was a one-time thing, and we cannot take every demand of God as a prescription for our behavior. God no longer calls us to this kind of sacrifice, but he may call us to acts of great obedience and sacrifice. Seek God to learn what he is requiring of you each day.

Monday, May 19, 2014

After the Flood

Sexta/Viernes/Friday-POSER-Deus - Dios - God
Sexta/Viernes/Friday-POSER-Deus - Dios - God (Photo credit: Caio Basilio)
After the flood, God gave some laws.  They weren’t recorded like the Ten Commandments, but they had the same authority.
Man was to dominate the earth.  Spread out and fill the earth. 
Animals would fear man.  Why?  Partly because now man was given license to eat them.
 I don’t know if man was a vegetarian before the flood, but it sounds like it.  Now they could eat meat, and there were no restrictions except the consumption of blood.  This seems to be a picky little point, but there is more theology here than it appears.  The life of the flesh is in the blood.
Leviticus 17:11
For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Meat prepared by kosher butchers is the best you will find.  It is more expensive, but the blood is drained and cleanliness is paramount.  He did not say that murder was unlawful until the Ten Commandments, and  He promised that such an act would result in more of the same.

God makes covenants.  I think of a covenant as something like a contract.  But that is not exactly true.  In a contract, when one party does not conform to the agreement, the contract is broken.  With God’s covenants, there seems to be a different protocol.  Even when we do not fulfill our part of the covenant, God is not released from His own obligation.  He will do His part anyway.  While there are consequences to violating His requirements on us, our unfaithfulness does not release God from His promise. 

Another truth about covenants:  God initiates them.  He lays the rules.  We don’t have to agree, but this is what will happen. 

The rainbow is the sign of God’s covenant.  We haven’t had rain in a while.  I love to see the rainbow after a good rain.  There may come a time when the earth will be destroyed.  But when it does happen, it will be in accordance with God’s covenant.  It won’t be by flood.

Part of the covenant demands our responsibility for the creation.  God made us dominant and required us to be responsible.  Now we are threatened with global warming.  I’m sure we are seeing the possibility of a change in weather patterns.  But there were such changes before man was a factor.  The ice age is over because of global warming.  Scientists have proved that average temperatures were much colder 700 to 1000 years ago.  Even as recently as 1816 we have a year with out a summer in the United States.  Crops failed and people starved because of volcanic activity. 

If we continue to cause conditions that will not sustain our life-friendly environment, we have reaped the consequences of our behavior.  God has still fulfilled His part of the covenant.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Acts 4--Results of Belief

The Disciples shared the testimony of what they had seen when they traveled with Jesus. They spoke of the coming of the Holy Spirit when they went to the Temple to pray. The man who was healed by the prayer of Peter and John was in the courtyard of the Temple, giving silent witness of their power. The officials could not ignore their earnest testimony, but threatening them did not do any good. They had spent the night in jail, but still they were proclaiming Jesus.

Given any opportunity, Peter preached. They were common men without education, but still testified quoting David, and saying Jesus, the stone which the builders rejected, had become the cornerstone.

The chief Priests and the rulers of the Temple were in a quandary. If they could not stop this, it would claim all the people because the man who had been healed was showing himself. They could not take strong action against them because people would know. There was no way to stop the spread of the message. They settled for threatening and commanding them to desist. 

Peter and John went back to the company of disciples and they prayed. The house was shaken and they were all filled with the Spirit and spoke the word boldly. The efforts to stop the spread of the Gospel backfired. They drew together in a tighter community and supported each other and gave generously to the Disciples for the good of all.   
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Sunday, May 11, 2014

The Rest of the Story

English: Saint Matthias, who replaced Judas Is...
English: Saint Matthias, who replaced Judas Iscariot as apostle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Acts 1 takes up the story of Jesus and what happened after the Resurrection. The Book of Acts was written by Luke so it is a natural transition. Both books were addressed to Theophilus. There is disagreement about whether this was a title or the name of a person.

In this chapter there is the sense of anticipation. This is a new venture, and they are ready to take the world for Jesus. They felt the need to replace Judas Iscariot but there were at least two men with equal qualifications, Joseph Barsabbas also called Justus, and Matthias.  I always wonder what the one who was not chosen did? Did he continue to minister as the others. He had been with them and heard the teaching and seen the miracles. He could not have been unaffected. There were 120 people in the Upper Room. Surely he was among them and witnessed the Ascencion.

There had been five hundred or more who witnessed the Ascension but only 120 were present in the Upper Room to witness the coming of the Holy Spirit. What happened to the rest. Did they lose interest? Were they gone on a trip? Did they think this was all a show? Maybe they heard about it later and realized, "I could have been there."

After the Crucifixion there were several appearances and many people saw Jesus and talked to him. Then they assembled to see him take his leave of them, and the officials may have been glad when he was finally gone so that things could return to normal. But Jesus gave them instructions for the future. There was more to come. Acts 2 records the coming of the Holy Spirit who gave all who were in attendance power to believe and to witness. Read it for yourself.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Lord's Prayer

Two places in the New Testament record Jesus' Disciples asking him to teach them how to pray. In both instances it is closely related to a teaching he was presenting at the time. In Matthew it comes in the Sermon on the Mount.(Matthew 6:9:13.) In Luke it comes after Jesus has been praying alone and one of the Disciples said to him, "Lord teach us to pray."(Luke 11:1-4)

The prayers are very similar. Luke 11:2-4: He said to them, When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.(NIV)

The more commonly used version in Matthew 6:2-13

 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.’(NIV)
Verse 13:"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" is a benediction that seems to have been added at a later time. It appears in later manuscripts.

This prayer can be used as a corporate prayer or as a personal prayer in private devotions. It refers to common needs and universal concerns. God is addressed as "our Father." This recognizes his position as our source and our comfort. In the sense of a corporate prayer, it also recognizes our universal brotherhood. In the beginning it recognizes the person of God to be holy and establishes his presence in Heaven and even the holiness his name.

Be sure that you understand the meaning of praying for God's kingdom to come on the earth so that his will is accomplished in earthly realities as it already is in heavenly places. This is not a ritual to be observed without consequences. Praying in this manner will change this world and bring God's reign to our lives.

We are to pray for daily bread, that is, daily needs. We are not trying to fill a warehouse, but only what will suffice for a day. In the Wilderness Wandering of the Children of Israel they could only collect enough manna for one household for a day. Every day was dependent on God's provision. Maybe we should remember this lesson in other areas of our lives.

Jesus limits our forgiveness. The measure of forgiveness we receive is dependent on how we forgive others. In this statement Jesus assumes we have sins and need of forgiveness, and God's forgiveness is limited by how we forgive others. If we are generous and loving toward others, even in their sin, God is generous and liberal toward us.

The final petition is that God would not put temptation in our way or that when we are tempted by life's circumstances,he would provide us an escape, and that he would deliver us from the snares of Satan. 

 The simplicity of this prayer goes to the heart of our needs and releases us from the wordy, endless formalism the Pharisees practiced. God is not impressed by our words or rhetoric, but by the sincerity of our hearts.


Friday, February 28, 2014

Come, Let Us Reason Together

Joshua tree
Joshua tree (Photo credit: Queen Esoterica)

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.                                                       If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword." For the mouth of the LORD has spoken. Isaiah 1:18-20
In this scripture the prophet Isaiah addresses people who do not profess to be Godly, but their lack of recognition of God’s laws does not excuse them from His correction or His judgment.  His promises are extended to them, and He calls them to righteousness.  They will be judged by the same standard as Israel.
Our society promotes a multiple-choice attitude about religion and righteousness.  We claim the right to judge what is good and bad, right and wrong, but God has never made that contract.  He still demands obedience to a strict interpretation of righteousness.  We will never be able to match his requirement with our behavior.  We still fall short, like the people of Israel, and our sins are crimson; they are removed by the sacrifice of Christ on the cross; they are cleansed by His offering.  God’s call to us is always “Let us reason together.”  He has offered us redemption, salvation, righteousness, peace, and eternal life in Jesus Christ.  We have an opportunity to pray and seek God and be blessed. If we are reasonable, we will take His deal.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

How To Be Blessed

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Scholars say that Matthew 5-7, which we usually call the Sermon on the Mount, is really a compilation of the teaching of Jesus on the preaching tours he made in Galilee. It seems like it could be an old-fashioned camp meeting with people sitting on the ground in groups, ready made opportunities to discuss and explore his 

He began with the section we call the Beatitudes. In the King James Version each injunction begins with "Blessed" or in some versions is translated as "Happy." 

 Jesus is trying to impress them with the idea of righteousness in the heart rather than adherence to the law.  In each thought he presents the Pharisee's teaching, then contrasts the heart attitude that produces acceptable obedience. God is not impressed by "letter of the law" obedience when the heart attitude is not present.

In the Beatitudes, verses 3-12, he urges the characteristic that he expects us to strive toward, and then tells the reward we may expect. He does not put any limit on the number of occurrences or how long it will take to achieve the blessed state. 

Verses 13-14 refers to salt and light but does not put a limit or definition of  time. It just says that believers are to perform these functions. Salt is a preservative and light reveals forms and shapes and truth. The believers are to perform these services to the world. You should be conscious of your responsibility to preserve God's truth and witness to it and reveal it to others.

Perhaps there had been rumors that Jesus would destroy the law, but in verses 17-20 he corrected that opinion. "I have not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it," he assured them. Not even the dot over the i will be removed until God's Law is satisfied. You and I must be cognizant of the integrity with which we handle God's blessings and his word. He will not allow it to be mishandled.

In verses 21-30 Jesus equates anger against someone with violence. He calls for the same punishment against one who hates as against a murderer. If you hate another person you have begun to kill him. He warns that you must treat hate as a sin and reconcile with the person or God won't accept you sacrifice or honor your prayer.

In verses 31-32 Jesus takes a very hard line on divorce, but it is no more extreme than his stance on hate or obedience or adultery. Examine the thoughts and intents of your heart to find out if the sin you are denying is already lurking there.

He reproves  all for taking an oath and swearing by God's name or heaven or earth in verses 33-37. Just stand by your word and be faithful to perform your job, keep your marriage vows, and pay your bills.

In verses 38-42 he addresses the issue of revenge against enemies. It was common practice to kill more than you suffered in battle, so the "eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth" was a measure of mercy. You were not supposed to take more lives or property than you have lost. Here Jesus says we shouldn't take revenge at all. Don't resist evil with evil. Overcome evil with good.

Beginning in verse 43 he says to love your enemies. Do good for them. To be called the Children of God we must use the standard he uses. He sends rain on the good and the evil and he makes the sun to shine on the just and the unjust. It is up to each individual what he does with God's blessings, but each will have the resources to make a crop. To be called Children of God means you must carry on his work and be shaped in his likeness. He is perfect: so should you be.
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Enjoy the Good Life

Italiano: Tempio di Apollo a Delfi in Grecia.
Italiano: Tempio di Apollo a Delfi in Grecia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Book of Haggai in the Old Testament carries a stern warning for this generation. We who ignore  God's righteousness and denounce his name and his claims on us should read its short message with fear and trembling.

Haggai was a contemporary of Ezra and Zerubbabel and he prophesied in Judah during the period after the return from captivity. The time is described as the first day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius, but Ezra and Nehemiah had already brought about work on the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem and begun the rebuilding of the Temple. Then they got tired of all the work and spent their time living in their "paneled houses." Now the message of Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua son of Jozadak, the High Priest, was one of reproof. God sharply criticized them for enjoying the good life while they left the house of God in ruins. 

The need for the Temple in their lives was emphasized in Haggai 1:6 "You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but they are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." 

The key to abundance for the Israelites and for us is worship and thanksgiving. It wasn't even the magnificence of the Temple, but the quality of the worship and labor God sought. "'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house," says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace, 'declares the Lord Almighty"

Read Haggai and learn his lesson and hear the promise to Zerubbabel  that he will be the Lord's signet ring. What has God promised to you?
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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Stand in the Gap

Ezekiel 22:30 “I looked for someone among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found no one. 31 So I will pour out my wrath on them and consume them with my fiery anger, bringing down on their own heads all they have done, declares the Sovereign Lord.” (NIV)

This judgment from God was a message to Ezekiel to warn the
people of Israel because of their sins. At this time repentance was 
still possible to avoid the exile. God sought a way to grant 
forgiveness, but first the people had to see their sins and abandon 
them. He could not even find someone to pray for the nation, to 
“stand in the gap.”

We think God is waiting for us to commit some sin so he can mete 
out punishment, but that is not the way God works. He is seeking a 
way to forgive and bless us. When we find someone in need of prayer, we have an opportunity to “stand in the gap” for them and take their need to God. We also have an opportunity to reassure them and bless them with God’s promise.  

As the one who “stands in the gap” we are blessed both in seeking 
God’s blessing for others and in carrying his message to others. 

It’s not too late to begin this as a discipline for 2014.  Resolutions don’t have to begin on New Year’s Day.


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Facing Crucifixion

Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate p...
Antonio Ciseri's depiction of Pontius Pilate presenting a scourged Christ to the people Ecce homo! (Behold the man!). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
In Chapters 13-17 John quoted Jesus extensively instructing the Disciples in the nature of the Christian life and the union they would form as they lived in obedience to his words. Chapter 13 tells them about the necessity of cleansing and the symbolism found in the foot-washing ceremony.

Chapter 14 is full of assurances that what he is doing is necessary and even beneficial for them. He promises the Holy Spirit to guide them. He chides them for not claiming the promises. "Have I been here with you this long and you don't know that I and my Father are one?'

John 15 explores the symbolism of grapevines with Jesus himself as the vine. The Father is the gardener who shapes the plant to produce good fruit. 

Chapter 16 holds warnings about dangers and risks to the Disciples. All these chapters proclaim Jesus' love for them and his direction for accomplishing the Father's plans.

Chapter 17 is his prayer for himself, the Disciples and those who would come to believe through their testimony.

Chapter 18 gives details of Jesus' arrest and the Disciples' fear and confusion. Jesus led the Disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane across the Kidron Valley where he often retreated for prayer or meditation. The guards who came to take him into custody were overwhelmed by his candor and presence. When they asked him who he was, he readily admitted that he was the one they sought. They were immediately threatened by his composure and fell back.

Peter carried a sword. In the confusion of the arrest, he drew the sword and attacked Malchus, the servant of the high priest. Peter looked at the high priest as the one to fear, though apparently only the soldiers were armed. Peter's intent was to take off his head. It was only a mistake that he caught the ear instead. Jesus immediately took control. He reproved Peter saying, "Shall I not drink the cup my Father gave me?" 

The soldiers bound Jesus and took him to be interviewed by Annas and Caiaphas. Peter was left alone in the courtyard with the maid and others curious about the outcome of the arrest. It was here that Peter was asked if he was a Disciple by various people warming themselves at the fire they had built. Annas asked Jesus about his teaching but Jesus told him to ask those who heard him. The soldiers took his answer as impudent and one of them slapped him. 

Outside in the courtyard Peter denied knowing Jesus three times. 

The High Priest sent him to Pilate because the Jews wanted Pilate to sentence him to death. Jewish Law forbade capital punishment, so the Jews sought Roman judgment. It was almost morning by the time they finally got to Pilate. He was not willing to make a decree of death without adequate proof of a crime, but public opinion ruled and he turned Jesus over for execution.

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