PREPARING DISCIPLES FOR HIS DEATH
JESUS prepares His disciples at the Passover meal and on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane: “He wants to prepare them for what is about to happen. The New English Bible characterizes the five chapters of John, chapters thirteen through seventeen, as ‘farewell discourses.’”1
In the first ‘farewell discourse,’ JESUS gives an example of how to treat each other by washing His disciples’ feet. (John 13).
“The whole matter of Christ’s death and resurrection was not grasped by the twelve. The reason may have been that they were enamored with other ideas about the Messiah and how His earthly rule would operate.”2
“Ignoring the Lord’s repeated instruction that He was going to Jerusalem to die, the disciples still thought the physical manifestation of the kingdom was about to appear and were busy maneuvering for the places of prominence in it.”3
[T]hey were thinking about who was the greatest of them, so that none was willing to stoop to wash feet. When Jesus moved to wash feet, they were shocked. Through this action Jesus taught the lesson of selfless service.4
“As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21 ESV). “The Sent One (Jesus) has now become the Sender, commissioning his followers to serve as his messengers and representatives.”5
[T]hey shall know that Christ continues in them, communicates his power to them, and has not forsaken them by his resurrection, by his abiding and conversing with them for forty days after, by his going to heaven to prepare a place for them, by his sending his Spirit to them, and by his indwelling presence, to administer every degree of comfort, light and power, which would be requisite to render their afflictions supportable, their own souls holy and happy, and their ministry successful.6
“We must learn from the four Gospels and for a doctrinal exposition of it we must turn to the Epistles. ‘Abide in Me,’ ‘learn of Me,’ ‘follow Me,’ are the contents and summing-up of the Christian statute-book.”7
Only those willing to carefully assess the cost and invest all they had in His kingdom were worthy to enter. This speaks of something far more than mere abandonment of one’s material possessions; it is an absolute, unconditional surrender.8
(23) I Go Prepare a Place
1. Thomas Lane Butts, “Jesus Prepares the Disciples,” 18 February 2012, Ministry Matters, 12 February 2021 https://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/2477/jesus-prepares-the-disciples.
2. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 339.
3. MacArthur, 340.
4. MacArthur, 403.
5. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 2070.
6. Thomas Coke, “Commentary on John 14:20,” 1801-1803, Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible, 12 February 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/john/14-20.html#verse-tcc.
7. Horatius Bonar, God’s Way of Holiness (Pensacola, FL: Mt Zion Publications) 86.
8. John MacArthur, One Perfect Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2012) 305.
9. “ . . . if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also” (John 14:3 ESV).
10. “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 . . .” (John 14:12 ESV).
11. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . . .” (John 16:13 ESV).
12. “He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:14 ESV).
13. “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest” (Luke 22:24 ESV).
14. “Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet . . .” (John 13:5 ESV).
15. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13 ESV).
16. “I am the vine; you are the branches . . .” (John 15:5 ESV).
17. “ . . . take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).