Saturday Morning: 16 Feb 2019 – John 13:21-38 ~ prove to the world that you are my disciples

Saturday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (Collect for Purity)

Almighty God: to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of my heart through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name, through Christ my Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – John 13:21-38 (NLT)

Jesus Predicts Judas’ Betrayal

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!”

The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?”

Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. So Judas left at once, going out into the night.

Jesus Predicts Peter’s Denial

As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “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.”

Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”

And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”

“But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”

Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
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Morning Reflection:

During the Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus predicts Judas’ betrayal and Peter’s denial. And sandwiched in between these two astounding prophecies, Jesus gives his disciples 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 13:34-35

But what does that say about the Church’s witness to the world today – with church fights and divisions, court battles over property, denominational antipathy, cultural pride and arrogance, and the outright dismissal of historic church traditions.

Is it any wonder that the church is losing its influence over an increasingly secular society? If we can’t love each other as Christ has loved us, our witness to the world rings hollow.

In any family, there are disagreements. So how can we disagree without being disagreeable?

+ Be kind – in speaking to and about one another; in interacting personally with one another, in praying for and serving one another.

+ Be sympathetic – in entering into another’s pain or sorrow; in showing compassion for the sick and broken, in showing mercy to the undeserving.

+ Be self-less – in serving the needs of others; in seeking the good of others; in promoting the achievements of others.

+ Be patient – in forbearing annoying people; in bearing the foolishness of the young; in deference to elders; in thinking before speaking.

+ Be forgiving – as we have been forgiven, now and forever, through the sacrificial death of Jesus on the cross; freely we received, freely give.

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you experienced conflict between people who claim to follow Jesus? How was it resolved? How did outsiders view the conflict? Please explain.
  • How do you relate to people from different traditions who claim to follow Jesus? How can you express love for them? Please explain?
  • What, or who, comes to mind when you think of annoying people who claim to follow Jesus? How can you express love for them? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus: I confess that I have not loved my brothers and sisters in Christ as you have loved me. I have been critical, indifferent and dismissive of those with whom I disagree. I have put my interests before theirs, and written them off as apostate. Please forgive me, and show me how to love them – that the world might know we are one in you. For your glory and Name’s sake I ask it. Amen.
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“Love Each Other” – Graham Kendrick

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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