A New Commandment & Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

The Gospel of John

John 13:31–38

A New Commandment & Jesus Foretells Peter’s Denial

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

1.         Already the Jews had Moses’ commandments that stated they were to love God with all their being and their neighbor as themselves. (see Deuteronomy 6:4–5 and Leviticus 19:17–18)

2.         Loving the neighbor however, applied only to Jewish neighbors, not Gentiles.

3.         In the “Parable of the Good Samaritan”, is the story of a Gentile, a despised Samaritan taking care of a person in need. (see Luke 10:25–37) It is the Samaritan who proves to be a neighbor. This is an absolutely revolutionary concept for Jesus’ hearers.

4.         Now Jesus’ disciples are to love, and the Greek word transliterated into English letters, is agape. Jesus’ followers  are to agape one another. (Would this include Judas?) Agape love means, in addition to much more, the seeking of the well-being of another person no matter what the cost.

5.         This, from the mouth of a Jewish person is nothing short of extraordinary! They are to love each other as Jesus loves them. And Jesus is about to give up His life for them, and us, by the way.

6.         We will ask ourselves: Are we capable of this? Circumstances may never arise that would call for such love, but then again…

7.         In the next paragraph, or pericope , John goes on to detail Peter’s denial of Jesus, which would occur the very next day. (see John 18:15–18 and 25–27)

8.         Now, Jesus said He was going to a place His disciples could not come, at least as we know from the rest of the Gospel, not now.

9.         Peter wants to now where Jesus is going. Jesus responds that Peter could not follow Him then, but he would later. (Is Jesus referring to Peter’s own crucifixion?)

10.       Peter boasts he will lay down his life for his Lord. Jesus asks, “Will you.” Then closes the conversation by telling Peter that before the rooster crows (between 2 and 4am) Peter will deny Him.

One of You Will Betray Me & A New Commandment

The Gospel of John

John 13:21–35

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. The event is a dinner, likely on a Thursday evening, one day prior to the Last Supper/Passover Meal. The place is somewhere in Jerusalem. The 12 disciples are with Jesus and He has competed His washing of their feet.
  2. Jesus announces that one at the table will betray Him. It so happened that John is next to Jesus at the table. Peter gestures to John to find out from Jesus who the betrayer is. And John does and Jesus replies it is the one He will give a morsel of food to.
  3. Judas must have been close to Jesus, so He only has to extend the morsel to him. John sees it, but dose anyone else, including Peter? Probably not. Did Jesus conceal His move?
  4. At the very moment Judas receives the morsel, Satan enters into him. Earlier, verse 2 of chapter 13, we find that the devil had already compromised Judas, and in a way we know not. It is obvious the demonic moves in mysterious ways.
  5. Jesus tells Judas to go do what he will do. The identity of the traitor remains a mystery, of necessity since head strong Peter might have reacted violently if he had known.
  6. Judas left the dinner, and John tells us it “was night.” Some see it as describing the darkness that was soon to descend.
  7. With Judas absent Jesus announces that the Son of Man is to be glorified, a statement that is beyond, at this point, our full comprehension. Glory has to do with the presence of God.
  8. Jesus goes on to say that He will be gone; He offers comforting words regarding their coming loss, then launches into a new commandment: they are to love each other as He has loved them. We struggle with obeying this high command.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

The Gospel of John

John 13:1–20

Jesus Washes the Disciples Feet

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Perhaps this meal takes place the day prior to the “Last Supper” or, according to some, on that very day.         
  2. At that time and place, it was customary for either a servant or the youngest physically present, to wash the dirty feet of those gathered.
  3. Jesus is preparing His disciples for His departure; there are yet things He wants them to clearly understand before that event.
  4. John notes the presence of Judas, and also points out that the devil had already planted the betrayal into Judas’ heart and mind.
  5. Jesus rose up, took off His outer garments, put on the traditional linen garment meant for foot washing, and began to wash the disciples’ feet. Their feet would have been outward with the head around a central table.
  6. Peter does not want Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus, not rebuking Peter, but stating Peter would understand later, makes it clear to Peter it must be so. Peter quickly recants and Jesus washes his feet.
  7. Again John mentions Judas, who did not protest the foot washing, but despite the washing, would be a traitor.
  8. After the “ordinance” Jesus asks if what He did was understood. He then says that they are to wash each others’ feet.
  9. The Christian Church has generally understood this to mean that we are to humble ourselves and seek to meet each other’s needs. This is a healthy concept for us today who live in a world that emphasizes self fulfillment.
  10. Jesus points out that what He did they should do as well–acts of simple kindness. He pronounces blessing on those who so do.
  11. There is one present who will not be so blessed, and He references Psalm 41:9 which speaks of an intimate betrayal.
  12. John concludes with the promise that the one who receives Jesus sends, receives Jesus, and that one therefore receives the One who sent Jesus.

Jesus Came to Save the World

The Gospel of John

John 12:44–50

Jesus Came to Save the World

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Some commentators think this passage should have come after verse 36a. I have no opinion, but it is highly possible. In that period when John wrote there existed pages, even of paper, and one could have been shuffled. One way or another, it is of no significance. The content is thoroughly Jesus.
  2. Jesus “cried out” and the word means “loudly.” These are now the last words that Jesus preached to the crowds and He goes right to the core of everything and anything that matters.
  3. Believing in Jesus the Son is tantamount to believing in the Father. The only reason Jesus is even there is because the Father sent Him.
  4. Indeed, to see the Son is to see Him who sent Him, meaning the Father. This demonstrates the oneness and the mystery of the nature of the Trinity. No Christian ever completely understands.
  5. The theme of “light” appears again. Believing in Jesus brings one out from the darkness and into the light. Those who reject His words Jesus does not judge for He came to save the world. And by “world” Jesus means He came to save the Greeks, the heathen, as well as the Jews.
  6. Jesus does not judge at this point; judgment comes from the Father upon those who reject the words of Jesus. But at the last day, the Day of Judgment, Jesus as well as the Father, does judge.
  7. Jesus is careful to point out that His messages, His words, have been given to Him by the Father.
  8. Jesus uses the word “commandment” in regard to His words that He has been preaching to the people. And these words, the content, have all together to do with eternal life.
  9. To reject Jesus and His words is to reject the saving message, indeed the commandment, of the Creator God.

2 stories about events of the last week of Jesus’ earthly ministry and life

The Gospel of John

John 12:27–43

The Son of Man Must be Lifted Up &

The Unbelief of the People

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Following the Triumphal Entry, large crowds were singing Hosanna with Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, Jesus had something utterly different on His mind however: He was “troubled.”
  2. He sees the coming betrayal, humiliation, and crucifixion that is just days ahead. It is imagined that He is speaking to some segment of the Passover celebrants and perhaps mostly, to His close followers. Then a voice from heaven with the most uplifting message possible is heard.
  3. Jesus announces the coming judgment, the judging of sin, and the undoing of the “ruler of this world.” Immediately He announces that He will be “lifted up” and His hearers would understand that Jesus was saying He would be placed on a cross.
  4. He harkens back to His previous claim that He is the light of the world, and that light, for the majority, will be overtaken by darkness. He urges His hearers to believe in the light, and those who do He refers to sons of light, which is a profound and difficult concept.
  5. At this point, with high excitement in the air, Jesus hides Himself from the crowds., and likely accompanied by the Twelve.
  6. John, the author of the Gospel, states what can be considered astonishment, that though so many had either witnessed or heard of incredible signs and wonders Jesus had done, still they mostly remained in unbelief as to the nature of this young man from Galilee.
  7. John understands that this unbelief had been predicted by the prophet Isaiah. He quotes Isaiah 53:1 that states that despite revelation there was no faith, and then Isaiah 6:10 where the prophet shows God as blinding eyes and hardening hearts.
  8. The writer of the Gospel then explains that Isaiah saw the glory of the future Messiah. There was spiritual blindness but still many, and even of the religious authorities, many did believe that Jesus was who He said He was. However, they did not let on to their faith publically lest then be excluded from their community of faith.
  9. John then explains that these “loved the glory that comes form man more than the glory that comes from God.”

What Happened Following Jesus’ Birth

GOSPEL MEDITATION

Luke 2:22-35

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

1.        Mary and Joseph presented Jesus at the Temple

according to the Law of Moses. (See Ex. 13:2 & Lev.

12:8). They offered 2 pigeons meaning the family was poor.

2.        The obedience of Mary and Joseph indicates also that

they were observant Jews and would be Jesus as he

grew up.

3.        Here now they meet Simeon, Holy Spirit inspired     prophet who is awaiting the arrival of the Messiah.

4.        The remarkable statement about Jesus being the cause of the “fall and rising of many,” among other things, is a preparation for Mary about what was to become of her baby. The Child would be loved and hated, both at once, and so it has remained to this day.

5.        This extreme reaction reveals both God’s holiness and our unholiness, and that Jesus has an enemy.

6.        The sword that will pierce Mary, the trauma that only a mother could experience, likely was meant to be comforting to Mary, in taking away any surprise or false expectation.

7.        Then Anna, another witness to Mary and Joseph, two witnesses thus meeting Biblical requirements (see Dt. 17:6). Mary and Joseph would be comforted by this.

8.        Some 33 years before the cross, God brings two people to the temple to announce that great event that was to come.

The Christmas Story

Genesis 3:14–16; Psalm 22:14–18; Isaiah 7:14; 9:6–7; 53:3–6; 10–12; Galatians 4:1-6

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. In Genesis we see that our Creator made us with the capacity to know Him, have fellowship with Him, but the great tragedy befell us and we were sent east of Eden. Yet, in chapter 3 verse 15, is the proto-Gospel, the first direct mention of the intentions of this Creator.
  2. God addressing the Serpent, who had deceived Adam and Eve, states, “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head and you shall bruise his heal.”
  3. The woman’s offspring, as the historic drama in Scripture makes plain is Mary’s son Jesus, who defeats the serpent while the serpent is only able to do minor or temporary damage.
  4. In Psalm 22 then is a portrayal of the damage the serpent does, all under the authority of the Creator. The Psalmist, David depicts a man dying on a cross hundreds of years before the invention of this horrible instrument of execution is invented.
  5. Isaiah the prophet speaks of a virgin giving birth to “Immanuel” which means “God with us.” Then this virgin born son is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (If you look carefully you will see the Trinity.)
  6. Further along in Isaiah we find this Immanuel as the suffering servant of Israel. The prophet speaks of a person despised and rejected,  but who is “wounded for our iniquities” and upon whom is laid all of our sin.
  7. Isaiah goes on to say that this despised one’s dying is an “offering for sin” yet his days will be prolonged, even that “the will of the LORD prosper in his hand.” This is clearly about Jesus’ resurrection. (see Isaiah 53)
  8. In the first century CE a former Jewish Rabbi, the Apostle Paul, in writing to a Gentile audience, sums up the ultimate intention of God in this manner: When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons (Galatians 4:4-5).

Mary Anoints Jesus at Bethany & The Plot to Kill Lazarus-John 12:1-11

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Before going further, look at Matthew’s (Mt. 26:6–13) and Mark’s (Mk. 14:3–9) accounts of what most say is the same story.
  2. Likely a Saturday, the last such before Jesus dies, at the home of Simon the Leper at Bethany, and not at the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Bethany, on the east slope of the Mt. of Olives, two miles from Jerusalem, is where Jesus felt safe and was among friends.
  3. A dinner is given for Jesus and Martha served, and Lazarus was present: Could it be a celebration of life event?
  4. Mary is present, of course, with a flask of a very costly perfume, that most think came for a plant found in North India. 5         Mary pours the juice on Jesus’ feet (note in Matthew and Mark, on His head) and most think she anointed both head and feet, the head being the common practice. Pouring the nard on the feet is a sign of deep gratitude.

6          Judas, somehow he kept the money box, protests this supposed waste of resources. We see how little he cared for Jesus. And yes, millions of us have wondered why it was Jesus included him amongst His disciples.         But, He did.

7          Jesus stops Judas short and explains, though no one there would have understood His meaning, that this was an anointing like one would anoint a dead family member.  

8          Yes, one can always give to the poor, and it is unlikely Judas cared for the poor in any case, but Jesus would not always be physically present.           

The Plot to Kill Jesus-John 11:45-57

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

1          The miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection forced the hand of the Jewish leadership. There is no indication or rejoicing by anyone but family members and close friends.

  1. Here we see the utter blindness of many; the miracle worker must be done away with.
  2. It was all based on fear, fear that the Romans would see the presence of a miracle as a threat and work to illuminate that. It would not have been something new at all.
  3. How quickly minds are changed. At one moment no doubt glad to see their friend Lazarus alive, but at the same time a determination to murder the healer/miracle worker not to mention close friend of their friend.
  4. Caiaphas, the high priest, astonishingly leads the way to sanctioning the death of Jesus. He utters a phrase that is ironical in saying that it is best for one man to die for the people. He is not referring to what would take place, the crucifixion of Jesus, but basically says that Jesus must be killed to prevent something worse from taking place.
  5. John tells us that Caiaphas did not say this on his own, but it was instead a prophesy. Here it must be that at that moment the high priest actually uttered a great truth, that Jesus’ death would mean the gathering of the “children of God” that were scattered abroad, people known as those of the dispersion.
  6. Jesus, then knowing these things, travelled north with His disciples, to the area of Ephraim, and thus away from a premature confrontation. But with Passover coming, some thought that Jesus would come to Jerusalem and then He would be arrested.

Jesus Wept and Jesus Raises Lazarus-John 11:28-44

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Jesus approaches Bethany where four days before, Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died. Martha, having gone out to meet Jesus, returns and informs Mary that Jesus is calling for her.
  2. On her way to meet Jesus, Mary is followed by some of the Jewish leaders. She finds Jesus, falls on her knees and laments that if Jesus had been there, her brother would not have died. Jesus is deeply moved by those in grief, and asked where Lazarus had been laid.
  3. When Mary says, “come and see” Jesus weeps. Observers ask, well, if a blind man can be healed why not Lazarus?, thus displaying their opposition to Jesus.
  4. For a second time, verse 38, Jesus is “deeply moved.” Jesus directs that the stone laid on top of the burying place be moved. Martha, the ever practical one, points out that after four days there will be a bad odor.
  5. Jesus reminds her He told her that if she believed she would see the glory of God in action. Reminds us of our need to be reminded as well.
  6. The stone is lifted off, Jesus lifts up His eyes and thanks the Father for hearing Him. This He did so that the miracle that is to follow would be a witness to the fact that the Father had sent Him, and was then the Messiah of Israel.
  7. With a loud voice, Jesus commands Lazarus to come out of this burial place. John then states Lazarus come out, bound with the burial clothes. Jesus simple directs he be unbound.