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John 13:31-35 – All You Need is Love
by Gary Sims
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The Gospels
John 13:31-35 – All You Need is Love

Key Verses:
  • 31: "When Judas was gone, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man receives His glory and God receives His glory through Him.'" – Jesus had just sent Judas on his way into the night to betray Him. Knowing what lay in store and the pathway to His crucifixion set in motion, Jesus foretells of the glory that is to come.

  • 32: "If God receives glory through Him, then God will give glory to the Son through Himself. And God will give Him glory quickly.'" – "'To give glory' is to praise, to recognize the importance of another, the weight the other carries in the community… Glory is, thus, that side of God that humans recognize and to which humans respond in confession, worship, and praise."1

  • 33: "Jesus said, 'My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and what I told the Jews, I tell you now: Where I am going you cannot come." – Jesus tells Peter in verse 36 that he cannot follow now but he would follow later. Jesus alone had to set salvation in place so that the pathway for following Him would be clear and open for all time.

  • 34-35: "I give you a new command: Love each other. You must love each other as I have loved you. All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other." – Three times He says to "love one another." Do we get the point? We are to be known and recognized by our love for one another.
Points to Contemplate:
  • As a believer are you living in the Glory of Christ? What does this mean? Is it a life of success and happiness? Should you be rewarded on earth in some fashion for your faithfulness, belief, and hard work? Should things come easier to you because you are a good Christian? Should all your problems be solved and your struggles erased through a regime of prayer and devotion? As Judas departs to earn his silver, Jesus speaks to the disciples that the glory of God is now upon Him. When we think of the word glory we usually envision lofty golden thrones and music of harp and lyre filling the air. There is a sense of light airiness and the cares of the world are gone. Was this the kind of glory Jesus was referring to, or was it the cross?

  • Is suffering your destiny as a Christian? If the glory of God is found through the example of Jesus' suffering on the cross and if the model of the suffering servant where we deny ourselves and follow Jesus is our calling, then does that mean we must suffer in order to truly follow Jesus? If we are not being persecuted and ridiculed for our faith is it an indication that we have not adopted the proper life-style indicative of a humble servant? Or did Christ suffer in our place? Is this possibly what he meant by: "Where I am going you cannot come?"

  • Do you love? In the midst of His discussion of glory and thoughts of the pending suffering He was about to face, Jesus speaks of love. Three times He says to love one another. Could all our questions regarding the implementation of our faith and the salvation of our lives be answered in these verses? When you are in doubt and unsure what to do, do you love? When you face uncertain times or disagreements, do you love? When you are ridiculed or scorned, do you love? When hate, prejudice, and war seem to fill the world, do you love? When your righteousness flairs and your pride blooms, do you love?
Promises of the Gospel:

Love one another. The pathway seems clear and concise. Love God and love one another. Yet, this is where we tend to falter most. We take a different path filled with self-righteousness and indignation. Our pride suffers and we lose hope. We wonder if our ministry efforts are for naught. The victories seemingly come few and far between. Struggling permeates everything we do. The tide of despair and hopelessness always seems present; threatening to wash away everything we dream and work for. Yet, Jesus teaches that our struggles just might be the pathway to glory. The humble servant, the struggling servant, and the persecuted servant are labels of hope and lifestyles of destiny. There is one promise available that will carry us through any circumstance: love. When we face doubt and hopelessness, we are to set everything aside to love God and our neighbors. When we do the glory of God will be upon us.

1Definition of "Glory" from "Holman Concise Bible Dictionary," ©1997, 2001 by Broadman and Holman Publishers, pp267.

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