Lesson 82


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

13:31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. 13:32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and he will glorify him immediately. 13:33 Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you can't come,' so now I tell you. 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another. 13:35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."


 Today's Lesson 

After Judas goes out into the night, Jesus begins to speak with the remaining disciples in earnest. He begins by speaking to them about the glory of God.

 

The unity of the Father and the Son is such that when one of them is glorified, the other is as well. Jesus says that, "Now the Son of man is glorified." He had spoken of the time when He would be glorified after arriving in Jerusalem. Now He repeats that the time has arrived. The glory that is given to the Son is because He has accomplished all that God has given Him to do. Now was the time that is the culmination of the plan of God. All things had led to this moment.

 

What does Jesus mean when He speaks about "glory"? Glory in Scripture refers to the honor and respect that is given to and that is rightfully due a person. As believers, we give God our worship and our honor because we know that He is intrinsically deserving of all that we have to offer. Glory is all the cumulation of all of the divine attributes of God. In the Old Testament, the glory of God was sometimes described as a physical manifestation, sometimes called the "Sheki'nah Glory." This glory could be seen at times between the cherubim above the Ark of the Covenant or on the face of Moses when he descended from Sinai.

 

While there were moments when Jesus is described in terms of a physical manifestation of glory, such as the Mount of Transfiguration and in His resurrected state, the glory that Jesus is speaking of in Today's Scripture is not physical. It is the spiritual honor and glory that belongs to the Divine Family of God. God is glorified in the Son and the Son is glorified by the love and honor of the Father for what He has and will accomplish.

 

When Jesus calls His disciples "Little children," He is not using the term in a pejorative sense. It is a term of endearment. He is telling them that He is about to go away and they will not be able to find Him. Physically, He will be separated from them.

 

So, as He prepares them for His departure, He has a final commandment for them. "Love one another." They are to love one another just as Jesus has loved them. God shows us the measure and depth of His love for us and then asks that we reflect that love to others in our life. Most importantly, we are to love those who are fellow members of the Body of Christ. If we love Christ, we must love His servants as well for they are His because He has chosen them. All that Christ has was given to Him by the Father. I cannot reject those that belong to the Lord because if I do, I would be rejecting the sovereign choice and will of God.

 

How do we love each other as Jesus has loved us? There are many qualities of this quality of love. Perhaps the quality that is most closely tied with this passage is that Jesus was demonstrating that love is sacrificial. Jesus was willing to show these disciples the depth of His love for them by being willing to die for them. His willingness to give of himself, even unto death, is a demonstration of His love.

 

Another quality of this love is that it brought honor and glory to both the giver and the recipient. The love of Christ never subtracts from those to whom it is given. It builds up and strengthens. People were better for having received it. And the expression of the love of Christ never compromised the giver. Jesus did not become less holy for having loved sinners.

 

Let us resolve to struggle with the expression of this love in our lives. The love of Christ challenges us to go beyond what we had thought possible. It challenges us to know our Lord better than we ever have and to begin to understand others as well. It challenges us to find opportunities for God to express His love for other people in our lives. Are we willing to pay the cost of allowing God to use us to love His children and the world? Are we willing to allow God the freedom to work in our lives?

 

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