Take Heart...

This is the fourth of a week long reflection on Jesus' sacrifice. Join me tomorrow for more Passion Week Reflections.

Today is last supper day. Right before he is handed away, Jesus held Passover, instituted communion, and WASHES his disciples' feet (john 13-17).

As I read over today's passage, I thought that I would share just a few verses that the Lord pointed out to me.

"By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)
"If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father's who sent me." (John 14:23-24)
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (John 15:8)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." (John 15:12)
"In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 15:33b)

These are Jesus' last words to his disciples. And what stands out to me is that he is concerned about how they behave. It's almost like listening to the dying wishes or the will of a family member: we are so willing to do what they wanted because it was the last thing they said as they knew their time was ending. Jesus warns his disciples that behaving in obedience to him would cost them acceptance, just as it did Him. But, right before he prays for them (and us) in chapter 17, He reminds us that he has already overcome the world. 

I think with all that is going on this week, we should remember Jesus' final prayer for us. He says,

 "I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth."

In this last day before we commemorate Jesus' sacrifice, let's we examine our hearts and consider his last will and testament: that we love one another to set ourselves apart, and that we obey his word. It may be difficult or uncomfortable to take the side of truth sometimes, but take heart: he has overcome the world! A special dinner may be in order as we celebrate what God did for the Israelites, and what He has done for us. 

love, me

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