John part 60
Christ’s new command and Peter’s denial
John 13:31-38 ESV – 31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. 33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’ 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
This narrative continues in what has traditionally been called, “The last supper.” Jesus has just revealed that Judas was the betrayer. Jesus did this by sharing the bread he dipped in the cup with Judas – then Satan enters Judas as he takes the bread from Jesus. Jesus then goes on and tells Judas to quickly set things into motion that will lead to his death.
Now with Judas gone, it is just the eleven – the true disciples of Christ present. Now Jesus is going to speak to the eleven even more intimately than he has before.
We are going to see two things that Christ mentions in our text this evening:
- His new commandment to His followers.
- He will reveal that one of them to whom He is very close too will disown Him.
Jesus speaks of the Father and He being glorified.
John 13:31-32 ESV – 31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.
Jesus viewed His upcoming death on the cross as His glorification and God the Father receiving glory as well.
There are a couple of great truths concerning the cross:
- Jesus humbled Himself to die – This is called Christ’s humiliation.
Philippians 2:8 ESV – And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
- In His humiliation was His exaltation and glorification.
Philippians 2:9-11 ESV – 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
John 17:4-5 ESV – 4I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. 5And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
The words, “glorified,” or “glory,” are used 4 times in these short verses. What does the word mean?
Doxazo (dox-ad’-zo): “To render glory, or make glorious; full of glory, honor, and splendor.” We get our English word, “Doxology” from this Greek word. Doxology means, “to ascribe glory and splendor too.”
Jesus states that the time for Him to be glorified – or as I translate it – “to shine with splendor and glory,” has come. God is glorified through the Son’s obedience to the cross and God Himself will glorify the Son at once – this expression probably refers to Christ’s resurrection and ascension.
John Calvin in his commentary of John states in this passage: “The special glory of the death of Christ is the fruit which sprang from it for mankind’s salvation.”
Jesus shows His concern as a Father to His children.
John 13:33 ESV – Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’
He starts out this verse by calling the eleven, “Little children.” The Greek word for Children is Teknion (tek-nee-on). It means, “infants, darlings, little children.” This is a term of endearment. Jesus is speaking to them with a full heart of love toward them. He cares for them and will continue to care even though Peter will deny Christ, and the rest of the Eleven will scatter.
He will be with them only a short time. They cannot go through what He is fixing to face. He has to face the cross alone.
The new commandment – To love one another as Christ loved them.
John 13:34-35 ESV – 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The disciples are to love one another (Greek: agapao) the same way that Christ loved them. Let me state that this type of love is impossible, unless the love of Christ has been put in your heart.
Love between the followers of Christ is our public profession to the world that we really are His disciples.
John really explains this type of love well in his first epistle.
1 John 3:11-18 ESV – 11For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another. 12We should not be like Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brother’s righteous. 13Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
We live in a world that is divisive and hates Christ and His church. When we come together, it should be to support and love one another in deed and truth – not to be divisive and spread lies, gossip, and hatred.
Peter’s denial revealed.
John 13:36-38 ESV – 36Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
Peter in confusion asks Jesus about where He is going (verse 36).
Jesus answer is prophetic in meaning. He is basically saying, “Now you can’t follow me in death, but later you will” (verse 36). We see later in John that Jesus prophesies Peter’s death.
John 21:18-19 ESV – 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19(This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”
Next in verse 37 we see that Peter does have a longing to follow after Christ. And again, like so often with Peter, he speaks without really knowing what He is saying.
In verse 38 Jesus reveals the truth to Peter: Peter will not lay down his life for Christ, but before the rooster crows, He will disown Him three times!
The Greek word for “denied” is arneomai (ar-neh’-om-ahee). It means, “to contradict, disavow, reject, deny, disown, refuse.”
Can you imagine how Peter must have felt when Jesus told him this? Perhaps that is why Jesus said the next sentence.
John 14:1 ESV – Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.
As we conclude this evening – what can we apply to our lives from the truths of this text?
- We need to understand that God the Father and Christ were both glorified through the cross; so bring the cross into your remembrance everyday. Let’s be like the Apostle Paul.
1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV – For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
- Christ has given all believers a command: Love one another as He loved us. This can only be done through Christ’s love in our hearts.
- Like Peter, when we deny Christ by not honoring Him through our words and actions, Christ continues to love us and forgiveness is available and offered.