Reading: No scheduled reading
Thoughts and Reflections: Today is the regularly scheduled day to catch up on your reading for the second week of August. Please take advantage if you’ve fallen behind. Otherwise, below are some thoughts for your consideration for today from this week’s readings.
- Jesus knew that His leaving earth would pose an extremely difficult adjustment for the apostles. So, in the upper room, Jesus repeatedly spoke of the Holy Spirit that would come. He called Him the “Helper,” the “Spirit of truth,” and “guide” (14:26; 15:26; 16:13). Jesus knew they would need not only this reassurance but also all that the Spirit would provide. Jesus would not leave the twelve “as orphans” and neither will He leave us without providing every spiritual need (14:18).
- Never underestimate the value and power of God’s written word. We may think that we are somehow disadvantaged as ones having never literally heard Jesus preach or been an eyewitness to one of His miracles. But John says that what has been written is sufficient to produce faith and this faith leads to life (John 20:31-31).
- One may wonder why John included some of the information that is found only in his Gospel. For instance, he tells of the “restoration” of Peter (21:15-23). Perhaps by the end of the first century (the time this Gospel was written) some Christians had begun to think or speak poorly of Peter because of his denying Jesus. There’s not any way to really know this for sure, but it certainly seems a possibility. And what encouragement we receive from this—we too, in spite of our failings and mistakes, may also be restored to the Lord.
What a Disciple Needs
The hours Jesus spent in the upper room were brief by comparison to the three years of His ministry. Though the time was short Jesus had much to accomplish. This was His final opportunity to prepare these men for the events of the coming days they could not begin to comprehend, not to mention the coming years and their world-changing work.
Notice what Jesus did during this final evening with the twelve. Hear what He taught. Observe His emphasis. See His concerns and intentions.
- He washed their feet showing the supreme role of service (13:1-20).
- He identified their love for each other and the bearing of much fruit as the means by which the world could identify them as His disciples (13:35; 15:8).
- He comforted them, in view of His impending departure, with the assurance of His return (14:1-4).
- He affirmed His role as the only means to God (14:6-7).
- He promised the coming Holy Spirit who would provide for them the infallible guidance they needed to fulfill the Master’s mission (14:16-17; 15:26-27; 16:13-14).
- He warned them of the world’s hatred (15:18-23; 16:2)
- He prayed for them, that God would guard them and that they might be sanctified (17:6-21).
Other matters were undoubtedly discussed. These, though, help us see the things Jesus knew His disciples needed.
Do I not need the same?