Highlights In Today's Reading:
The defiled cannot enter the Kingdom of God, BUT Jesus can and will cleanse them (13:4-17). Are we guilty of betrayal or denial. (13:18-38)? The Comforter promised (14:16-17; 15:26; 16:7-15). New relationship (14:20-21;15:12-21) described (15:1-11). Jesus overcomes sorrow and trials with joy and peace (16:16-33).
God had promised to deliver the helpless Israelites from Egyptian slavery. They must kill a lamb without blemish, place its blood on their door posts, eat all the lamb, and be prepared to leave when God gave the command. In remembrance of their freedom from slavery, Jewish families were to annually reenact their deliverance.
Jesus and His 12 disciples met as a family in the upper room in Jerusalem to commemorate that Passover. During this sacred meal, as the host at the feast, Jesus would dip the sop (unleavened bread) into a common bowl and pass it to the guest of honor who sat next to Him. He was demonstrating a final gesture of His love for Judas even though he would soon betray Him.
Jesus said: He that eateth bread with Me hath lifted up his heel against Me (13:18-21). And when He had dipped the sop (bread), He gave it to Judas Iscariot. . . . And . . . Satan entered into him (13:23-27). Jesus later said: It had been good for that man if he had not been born (Matt. 26:24). Judas then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night. Therefore, when he (Judas) was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of Man glorified (John 13:30-32). After Judas left, Jesus addressed His 11 disciples as little children (13:33) because they were teachable.
The final words of Jesus at the dinner were centered on five inseparable truths for all of His followers throughout the ages: love, prayer, security in Christ, obedience to His Word, and the privilege of being guided by the Holy Spirit. The first of these truths was the importance of loving one another — even as I have loved you (13:34). Jesus said we are to express our love with a sacrificial, self-denying, forgiving spirit, even as God loves us. The true child of God should never express bitterness, hatred, or resentment toward anyone.
The love of God, as it is expressed through us, identifies us as true followers of Christ. Jesus reminds us: By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35).
Thought for Today:
Let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God (I John 4:7).
13:10 but not all =b> but not every one; all were clean except Judas; 15:2 purgeth it =b> eliminates what is keeping it from bearing better fruit.
For John 13:18: See Ps. 41:9. John 15:25: See Ps. 35:19; 69:4.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Rick Hash • Staff: Jennifer Cunningham • Government Officials: Sec. Arne Duncan (Dept. of Education) and Rep. John Carter (TX) • Country: Kenya (29 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: English and Swahili • Religious freedom • 46% Protestant; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% belief in mystical powers; 6% Muslim; 3% Eastern Orthodox • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord amidst trouble and He will deliver you (Ps. 91:15).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:24