John 13 to 17 -“Continue Ye in My Love”

June 5, 2023 to June 11, 2023

In the rich chapters of John 13–17, Jesus teaches of love and hope. These chapters are directed to those who followed him: to comfort them and teach them to love and serve each other.

“Farewell Discourses and the High Priestly Prayer,” by Eric D. Huntsman, at BYU New Testament Commentary438px-this_is_my_blood_of_the_new_testament_which_is_shed_for_mary.jpg
In John 13–17, Jesus encourages his disciples to abide in him and bring forth “much fruit.” He teaches about love (and obedience as a product of that love), that he would send the Comforter, and that his disciples should work through the pain of his death and find joy in the promise of redemption and eternal life.

“The Last Supper and the Timing of Passover,” by Eric D. Huntsman, at BYU New Testament Commentary
“While the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) identify the Last Supper as a Passover meal, the Gospel of John maintains that the Last Supper was the night before the Passover meal. Efforts have been made to resolve this discrepancy, appealing to the possible use of different calendars by the various Jewish groups that existed in the first century A.D. In the end, however, suspending judgment on which is ‘correct’ and looking separately at symbolic and theological intents of the different gospels seems like the best approach.”

“The Lost Commandments: The Sacred Rites of Hospitality,” Peter J. Sorensen, BYU Studies, Vol. 44, no. 1
Being a good host is a form of unconditional love. Just as one cannot wholly merit mercy (for the very essence of mercy is that the recipient is unworthy of it), so one clearly cannot be a partial host, catering only to visitors who meet preconceived qualifications.

At the Last Supper, Jesus is the host. It is fortunate that John 13 preserves the scene of the Last Supper that is missing from the synoptic gospels. Peter’s hesitation to let Jesus wash his feet stems not from a wanton ignorance of hospitality, but from his high regard for Jesus’ place and mission; once Peter realizes the ordinance has eternal or cosmic significance, he rushes headlong to be washed head to foot—a remarkably resonant comment about higher ordinances.

“Maundy Thursday,” Eric D. Hunstman, BYU New Testament Commentary
The Gospels record two important ordinances at the Last Supper: the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper in the Synoptics and the Washing of Feet in John. The earliest reference to the institution of the sacrament in the New Testament is actually in the letters of Paul, which were written before any of the gospels. John’s omission of the sacrament is surprising, but sacramental imagery is woven throughout the body of his gospel (e.g. the Bread of Life Discourse, Jesus as the Fountain of Living Water, the Vine, etc.).

“Make Our Lord and Master Your Friend,” Harold B. Lee, Conference Report, December 1968, pages 59–62
In this article are several suggestions on how to make real John’s words “Ye are my friends” (John 15:14). The world tries to tell us that we need only be friends of the world. We don’t need a Savior. We can be successful as we operate on selfish desires, false values, and improper motives. To keep us from succumbing to this mind set, the Lord has given us guidelines that if we follow, we will find ourselves worthy to be called the Master’s friend.

“Abide in Me,” Jeffrey R. Holland, Ensign, May 2004
Jesus teaches, “I Am The True Vine” (John 14).” Jesus said, ‘Without me ye can do nothing.’ I testify that that is God’s truth. Christ is everything to us and we are to ‘abide’ in Him permanently, unyieldingly, steadfastly, forever. For the fruit of the gospel to blossom and bless our lives, we must be firmly attached to Him, the Savior of us all, and to this His Church, which bears His holy id. He is the vine that is our true source of strength and the only source of eternal life. In Him we not only will endure but also will prevail and triumph in this holy cause that will never fail us.”