John 13:31-38: The power of love.(please click for todays passage)

When Judas ”went out” (30), Jesus knew it was time for Him to die (31, 32). He knew that this treacherous ‘follower’ would trigger the events leading to His arrest and sufferings.

When Judas ”went out…it was night” (30). But it was the time for Jesus to shine with supreme glory. This is what we see in the Cross – the glory of God.

In the light of His soon departure, Jesus spoke so tenderly, kindly and gently to His beloved disciples (33). ”My children…” Let’s be careful how we handle precious people. Who can say what pain lies behind each carefully constructed facade? Probably everyone carries some wounds. In fact, cross out the ‘probably’. Hurt and tears are universal realities. May God help us to be gentle.

How did Jesus want His disciples to conduct themselves after His leaving (34, 35)? He wanted them to be a loving community. Don’t miss the importance of these words.

See the evangelistic power of love. People are hungry for true love, and the more perfectly it is expressed (even in an imperfect world) the more people will be drawn to it. It is known that in the pagan world in which Christianity took root, there were those who were saying, ‘See how these Christians love one another.’ What a testimony.

But we are far from perfect. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves (36-38). We mean well, but we often find that our fine-sounding words and good intentions go up in flames when we’re in the furnace. The Lord is never taken by surprise. He knows what is in us; what we are really made of. We are not yet ‘finished articles’, so humility is called for.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I ask that our church community will be a powerful and vivid advert for life in the Kingdom of God.