Lesson 251: John 13:31…
John 13:31 When he was gone, Jesus said, Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him.
By dismissing Judas from the table, Jesus set in motion the events that would lead to his crucifixion. He would soon take his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, where they often slept. That way, Judas would know where to take the guards in order to make the arrest. Jesus was in control of his crucifixion every step of the way.
We tend to think of the crucifixion as the most inglorious thing that ever happened to Jesus: nails, blood, misery and shame. But Jesus saw his crucifixion as an act of radical obedience that brought glory to the Father, and to himself. It glorified the Father to see his Son laying down his life for the world, and it glorified the Son to do his Father’s will. In this sense, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is the most glorious event that has ever occurred.
John 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Giving up his live on a cross was the ultimate act of love for his people, so the distinguishing mark of God’s people must be love. The Father loves the Son and the Spirit; the Son loves the Father and the Spirit; and the Spirit loves the Father and the Son. Love is such a part of God’s nature that twice the Bible says, God is love (1 John 4:8, 16).
And because God is love, it is impossible for him to love some people ten, twenty, or even ninety percent. He can only love one hundred percent because God is love.
So God determined to love the world by giving his one and only Son (John 3:16). And the Son determined to love the world by laying down his life (John 15:13). And the Spirit determined to love the world by living within our hearts (Romans 5:5).
And because God is love, Jesus said the two most important commands are to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37), and to Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). More than anything else, the church should be known for love.
A study revealed seven emotional needs the church is able to meet. The seventh is to be accepted; the sixth is to be respected; the fifth is to be secure; the fourth is to be recognized; the third is to be appreciated; the second is to be needed; and the first is to be loved. Every child comes into the world with a need to be loved, and never outgrows it.
Many years ago, I went through a difficult time, and had to find a new church. I walked into a service and, to my surprise, the question in my heart was not, Will I like the preaching? Or, Will I like the music? Or, Will I like the programs? But, rather, Will these people love me? It took a while, but eventually they did, and it became my church for many years.
John 14:2-3 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
When a young man became engaged, back then, he and his father would add a room to the family home. When the room was complete, the young man would go to get his bride and bring her back. This is what Jesus had in mind, and it should stir our hearts. He is preparing a room for us, and will soon return to bring us home. Then we will be with him forever.
John 14:5-6 Thomas said to him, Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
The religion of Jesus Christ and the religion of the world are opposite in many ways. The religion of the world says people are basically good, are not actually lost, and do not need Christ to be saved. But Christ’s religion says people are basically bad (Mark 7:21-22), are totally lost (Luke 19:10), and can only be saved through him (John 14:6).
The world’s religion is broad and easy, but Christ’s religion is narrow and hard. Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it (Matthew 7:13-14), he said.
A missionary was being guided through the jungle by a native wielding a machete. There was no path, so the missionary asked if he was sure he knew the way. The native smiled and replied, I am the way. If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there. But if you want to go to heaven, you must know the way.
John 14:26 [T]he Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
The same Holy Spirit who oversaw the writing of the Old Testament would oversee the writing of the New Testament. Since Jesus taught the Old Testament was accurate down to the spelling (Matthew 5:18), we should have the same view of the New Testament. Peter recognized Paul’s writing as Scripture (2 Peter 3:16); Paul recognized Luke’s gospel as Scripture (1 Timothy 5:18, Luke 10:7); and All Scripture is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), wrote Paul.
Since the Spirit oversaw the writing of Scripture, he can also help us understand it. Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law (Psalm 119:18), wrote the Psalmist. This is what Jesus did for the disciples on the Road to Emmaus. [H]e opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:45), wrote Luke. The same God who wrote the Bible will help us understand it, if we ask him to open our hearts and minds.
Reflection and Review
How did the crucifixion bring glory to the Father and the Son?
How do we know God is love?
How does the Spirit help us understand the Bible?