I’m starting a new series tonight at theWELL – and I’m really excited for it. It’s on John 13-17, which has typically been referred to as the Farewell Discourse. John 13 begins with Jesus in a room with His disciples, where He shows them “the full extent of His love,” and it ends with Jesus praying for His disciples (and you and I) in the garden of Gethsemane.
The thing that I love about the Farewell Discourse is the intentionality with which Jesus teaches and instructs. You and I will never know the day or the time when we will take our last breath. In some ways that’s a luxury! Jesus did know. In fact, John begins chapter 13 by saying, “Jesus knew that the time had come.” Now, Jesus had spent much of the first part of His ministry saying that the time had not yet come – avoiding the attempts to launch Him into the public eye. Now, he calmly, yet in a way that holds the weight of the world, says that His time had finally come.
It’s with this background that we get to jump into John 13-17.
If you knew that it was ‘your time’, what would you do? What would you say? Who would you hang out with? What words of wisdom would you pass on to them. We will never get to live out that hypothetical for our lives, but Jesus did… and in the Gospel of John we have the content of what he said, did, and taught.
One of the things that I am struck with as I read through this section of scripture is how calm and intentional Jesus seems to be. if I knew that I was facing a brutal death in a few short hours, I’m not sure that I would be thinking about other people. I’m not sure that my first order of business would be to bend down, take the posture of the lowest servant, and wash the feet of my disciples. But that exactly what Jesus does. He is completely unlike any other savior. This is completely unlike any other leader or ruler that the world has ever seen.
And we are called to follow (John 13:14-15).
I’m deeply challenged and can’t wait to hold out the word of hope to theWELL tonight.