It’s Jesus’ final week on earth. The Cross is looming.
He’s sharing one last meal with his disciples. Yesterday, he said that one of them would betray him. Today, he says they’ll all fall away:
Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
“Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Simon Peter asked him, “Lord where are you going?”
Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later. Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
Peter replied, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you. I am ready to go with you to prison and to death. Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”
“Will you really lay down your life for me? Truly I tell you, Peter, today — yes, this very night — before the rooster crows twice, you will deny three times that you know me.”
But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the other disciples said the same.
Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
“Nothing,” they answered.
He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”
The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”
“That’s enough!” he replied.
(Matthew 26:31-35; Mark 14:27-31; Luke 22:31-38; John 13:31-38)
Let’s look at our 2 BIG Questions:
1. Who exactly is Jesus?
The Shepherd who was “numbered with the transgressors” and who will be stricken and abandoned by his flock but then rise again and be glorified by — and glorify — the Father.
2. What exactly does he want us to do?
Have faith, trust him and LOVE others as he loved us.
That’s how people will know we’re really his disciples: if we LOVE one another.
(Image credit: Shutterstock.com / ablund)