Wednesday, April 1, 2009

John 12 and 13

John 12 and 13
And so begins Holy Week according to John. Chapter 12 has the anointing of Jesus at Bethany and the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the day we call Palm Sunday. I love the exasperated comment by the Pharisees in 12:19 "You see, you can do nothing. Look, the world has gone after him!" They can see at a glance that their problem with Jesus is much larger than they imagined.
John 13 begins the Last Supper discourse. This runs through to the end of Chapter 17. Notice the events of chapter 13 -- Jesus teaches servant leadership by washing the feet of the disciples. He predicts his betrayal and calls out Judas Iscariot as the one who will do the betraying. The Author of the gospel gives us a wonderful statement in 13:30 that not only describes the time of day but the state of Judas soul. "So, after receiving the piece of brad, he immediately went out. AND IT WAS NIGHT!"

With the betrayer out of the room Jesus teaches the central command of his ministry. In fact it is the only place where Jesus uses the words "a commandment I give". John 13:34-35 is a passage I committed to memory early in my christian walk. "I give you a new commandment that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." The mark of all Christ followers is a radical commitment to community.

The chapter ends with Jesus foretelling Peter's denial . . . before the cock crows -- before dawn -- you will deny me three times.

Dr. BJ

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