Absorbing Jesus’ focused teaching on the night before his death
If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend your day today? Jesus faced that very serious question 2,000 years ago. His answer was obvious. He would spend that entire evening with those whom he was closest to. He would prepare them, teach them and encourage them, for what was coming would be shocking and horrifying. The world of the disciples would be shattered, and he wanted them to be as ready as their imperfect minds could allow them to be. What he taught them that night through his words and actions was extraordinary. Even though it is not possible for us to get our arms around the depth of Jesus’ compassion, wisdom, love and clarity of mind, we are going to try anyway. What we find is pure spiritual inspiration.
Final insights before the crucifixion
The Gospel of John, Chapters 13-16 are a unique view into the heart and mind of Jesus the night before he was taken to be crucified. They represent a detailed recounting of the several hours that Jesus had with his most faithful disciples in the upper room and beyond. John began writing his record of these events with a specific introduction. He told us that Jesus knew it was his time to die, and even more significantly, he told us Jesus knew he was going back to the Father. How could he know he was going back to the Father when he had not yet withstood the horrors of crucifixion? How could he know he wouldn’t break under pressure?
It is hard to exactly determine how Jesus knew he wouldn’t break under the pressure of the cross. It is much easier to understand what he was doing with that knowledge in final hours of freedom as a man. Jesus used these precious final hours of freedom to protect and prepare followers. He protected them by telling them of the trials they would face in the immediate future. Knowledge is power if we choose to apply it and the disciples were given that power. Even though they all faltered, the power of Jesus’ words provided a solid foundation for them to all recover upon.
The preparation Jesus provided was epic
He knew these individuals who were with him the night before his crucifixion would be the very foundation pillars of Christianity. So, he taught them. He taught them how to be leaders when he washed their feet. He taught them what the price of Christianity was by foreshadowing their coming persecution. He taught them how connected they were through the illustration of the vine and the branches. He taught them about the role God’s spirit would play in their everyday lives. He taught them to love one another as he loved them.
These lessons barely scratch the surface. Check out our March 29, 2021 podcast, “How did Jesus Prepare His Disciples for His Death?” for more. No group of followers were ever given so much to work with. Join us as we uncover their lessons and join them in being prepared!
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