John 13 goes right to Wednesday evening and The Last Supper, bypassing all that Matthew, Mark and Luke had already written of Monday and Tuesday of Passion Week. John wants to give disciples of Jesus, down to this day, much #9, New Life instruction not found in the others. Let’s take note of all of that! For example, while we get a great glimpse into who Jesus is as #4, the Savior, with verses 1 thru 3; we also find an incredible teaching by personal example, beginning at verse 4 thru 17. And what New Life teaching do we find here, but of the most menial manual acts of personal service unto one another in all meekness, gentleness and love! From verse 18 and following, even as Jesus is predicting His betrayal by Judas, it is for the purpose of securing His disciples #7, faith in Him, says verse 19. After Judas leaves, He then tells of Peter’s denial of Jesus with verses 31 thru 38. But, even within this passage, Jesus’ emphasis in a New Life instruction is that His disciples must love one another in verses 34 and 35. It is a conscious decision and an act of the will! Fellow church members ought to be as our own family members!
With chapters 14, 15, 16 and 17, we find lengthy valuable discourses. Jesus’ own words to His disciples. What does He tell us? We need to know! Chapter 14 contains glorious truths. There’s only 3 parts, but they are so incredibly valuable to believers! The first is verses 1 thru 4, and is a favorite Christian funeral passage. It speaks to the ultimate reward of believing on Jesus. And, what might that be? Verse 3 tells us! It is to live forever with Jesus in the glorious #10, Kingdom, best seen in Revelation chapters 21 and 22, where are told that we will see His face! These words of comfort result in a bit of confusion with His Disciples in verses 5 thru 14, and they inquire, seeking clarification, prompting one of the most famous verses of all, verse 6. Jesus tells us that He is the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Himself. Fact, pure and simple. He then declares absolute unity and equality with the Father in verses 7 thru 11. Verses 12 thru 14 have been a cause of confusion, but if by ‘anyone’, He was referring to those in His immediate hearing, it makes perfect sense in regard to their Apostolic ministries after He ascended, as Hebrews 2:3+4 makes clear. And, as we read Acts, they show evidence of this Apostolic authority throughout that book. In the final passage of verses 15 thru 31, Jesus teaches concerning the Holy Spirit. The first point is that the Spirit is a real person, as Jesus uses the personal pronoun ‘He’ everywhere concerning the Spirit. The word ‘another’ in verse 16 is ‘allos‘ in the Greek, and means another of the same kind. The Spirit is like Jesus, and as Jesus is divine; so, also, is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is described as the ‘Paracletos‘, or ‘the One called alongside to help’. Jesus gives Him to all who truly come to Him in repentance and faith, resulting, first, in the #8, New Birth. It is coming into the possession of the Holy Spirit, that He makes it possible for us, as believers, to live a #9, New Life in Christ, described here as one of devotion and obedience to Him. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell