Jesus was aware that His time with the disciples was running short. Because of this, He knew it was important they had the proper understanding of their relationship to Himself, to God, to one another, and to the world. Today specifically, we will be looking at the relationship of Jesus’ disciples to Himself and the relationship of the disciples to one another. Jesus uses the picture of vines and their branches to describe our relationship to Him and we are to abide in Him and He in us. And as for our relationship with one another? We are commanded to love one another the same way Jesus loved us.
Why was the death and resurrection of Jesus so important? There were a lot of amazing and miraculous things about the life of Jesus. He was God in the flesh, born of a virgin, and performed numerous miracles during His ministry. But His death and resurrection were the culmination of His ministry. In these He purchased forgiveness for our sins and set us free from sin and death. He made us Alive in Him.
Here's the last words recorded before heading out to the Garden of Gethsemane. In this intimate setting Jesus comforts His disciples with the promise of the Holy Spirit. The profound truth is that He is exactly the same as Jesus, so in essence their walk with God is uninterrupted. We can experience the presence of the Holy Spirit when we show through obedience that we love God. We can proceed with confidence in the work of expanding the kingdom of God.
Can you imagine how the disciples were feeling as we left off last week? Let’s recap the news the disciples had received during this short period of time. Jesus just told them He was going away. He had previously told them He was going to die in John 12:32. He told them that one of them was going to be a traitor. He just told Peter that he would deny Jesus 3 times. And in Matthew, it is recorded that during this supper, that all would fall away (Matt 26:31). That much bad news in such a short period of time is bound to weigh very heavily. The disciples needed some encouragement, and that is just what Jesus is going to do as we will see today.
As we continue into chapter 13 of John’s gospel, we see Jesus’ farewell message to His disciples. Over the next several chapters, we will see Jesus’ final teachings and instruction to the His disciples. John’s gospel shares and gives us more detail on these teachings then any of the other gospels as these next 6 chapters only cover a period of one night whereas the first 12 chapters covered a period of 3 years!
A day before the crucifixion, at the Last Supper, Jesus's last Passover with the disciples, He sets the example for us that we are to serve others. He also proclaims being the master and calls us "messengers" in verse 16. This section finishes with the promise that whoever receives the messenger receives the sender!
We finished last week with the religious leaders saying, "Look, the whole world has gone after Him." And then in the first verse we will study today, we see that even the Greeks were seeking Him. And as Jesus hears they are looking for Him, He shares a particularly important teaching of how we are to prioritize living for Him rather than ourselves if we are to have eternal life.