“…The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” – John 13: 31-35.
If you were going to die tomorrow, how would you spend your day and night today? Jesus faced that question over 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 demoralizing. The world of the disciples would be shattered, and He wanted them to be as ready as they could possibly be.
Jesus knew it was His time to die, and even more significantly, He knew He was going back to the Father. 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.
In John Chapter 16, Jesus offered a novel idea with which the disciples had some difficulty grasping. He said: “But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate, won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you” (John 16:7). The Bible doesn’t tell us but I bet they looked at each other and said, “what?” How can we be better off when you leave especially the way you are leaving? They would not understand until later.
Jesus was leaving because He had finished the work His father sent Him to do. Galatians 4:4-5 says, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Jesus was born in “the fullness of time”—at the right time. He will leave in “the fullness of time”—at the right time.
There is so much we can learn about the value of being prepared when it comes to the future. It is difficult to plan for the future because much of what happens to us is beyond our control; what we can do is prepare to deal with it when it rolls in.
- How did Jesus prepare His disciples for His death and resurrection?
- What do we need to do to better prepare for living the Christian life?