Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and friends. The Synoptics offer a brief description of this event, but we’ll turn our attention instead to John’s gospel which extends the scene to five chapters. Here, the writer tells of how feet were washed, bread and wine were offered, and then Jesus began to speak. It was just hours until his arrest, and by noon of the next day he would be executed. And his disciples had no idea.
What makes Jesus’ sayings here so compelling is the sense that he is pulling no punches. He’s laying it all out... he’s re-emphasizing his most important talking points...he’s promising that they’ll be okay...and then he prays for them.
As we get ready for Easter this year, let’s delve into this final conversation and explore what mattered most to Jesus as he said goodbye and prepared for his passion.
John 13 - Jeremy Duncan
Poetically, John 13:3 reads that God has put all things in Jesus hands, and so Jesus immediately bends down and picks up his friends feet in his hands… The symbolism is beautiful. Because symbols have meaning don’t they… symbols are important but they remind us that we are moving toward something, that we are preparing ourselves for something… That resurrection is coming. That life is not static and things do get better…
John 14 - Jeremy Duncan
John 14 is centered around 3 questions that come directly from three of Jesus disciples: What is the way? Who is the father? And why the big secret?
John 15 - Jeremy Duncan
Our social world is built on in-groups and out-groups, and there’s a lot of research that shows that as human beings, feeling included by defining who is excluded is our fundamental social need. But if we’re going to align ourselves with Jesus and we’re going to be hated, then we need to be hated for who we love…
John 16 - Jeremy Duncan
Christianity is not just a nice set of ideas - it’s the conviction that the divine desires to reside in and through us, and that every breath - every time our chest rises and falls, every second of every day, is an opportunity to commune with the creator… and that can only help change us for the better.
John 17 - Jeremy Duncan
One of the hardest things we can possibly do is to actually value unity over conformity and to honestly follow each other; to listen to those we disagree with, to learn from those with different perspectives, to hold ourselves in community even when it scares us a little bit. And yet maybe this is part of what life to the full, life eternally, was always meant to do for us.