John 13:18-38

John 13:18-38 has Jesus with His disciples in the Upper Room.  Jesus is talking to them about what is going to happen.  “I’m telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am”.  Jesus isn’t really prophesying here, but rather just telling them matter of factly what is going to happen.  It is now within days, and the message was that God has a plan and Jesus is it.  He becomes emotional as He talks about his betrayal.  “Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why”.

Jesus has poured His life into the 12 for three years now, and yet one of them is going to betray Him.  The disciples around the table wanted to know who it would be – they couldn’t really believe it.  But Jesus tries to give them that answer but they don’t really understand it.  Judas is the one Jesus called out with a crust of bread that had been dipped, but the rest of the disciples were oblivious to what He said and did and didn’t really understand.  So Judas takes off and gets ready to betray Christ.

Jesus is saying goodbye to the rest.  “Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me”.  They’ve been with Him now for some time, and it’s all going to change very soon.  So He is telling them to prepare.  And He tells them they won’t be able to follow.  Peter challenges that notion, saying he wants to go along even if he has to give up his life.  But Jesus changes the focus and says “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another”.

We’re to love like Jesus loved.  That is a tall order.  Does it matter?  You bet it does.  Jesus says “This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples–when they see the love you have for each other”.  The way we are to live is how we show others that we are Christ Followers.  Love was what defined Jesus life and ministry, and it is what will define us as well.  We need to be focused on loving each other.  Jesus loved us to death, literally.  And we are told to love others like He loved us.  So the commandment is high and requires us to be all in and focused on Him.

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