After Jesus washed the feet of His disciples, He sat down and continued preparing them for what was about to come. We ended the last Bible study with Jesus telling His friends that God will bless them if they put into action what they have been taught.
We are continuing on and studying the conversation that Jesus is having with His apostles. Today’s study is John 13:18-38. Go ahead and read through these verses. You will see how this text has two separate sections. Verses 18-30 reveals how Judas will betray Jesus and verses 31-38 reveals how Peter will deny Jesus. They haven’t happened yet but Jesus is preparing them. He is telling them what is going to happen.
You could say that Jesus is the weatherman and He is forecasting the storm that is about to approach them. He is preparing His followers so they will know and be ready for when the storm hits. It won’t take them by surprise. God is like this, you know, He prepares us. He walks with us and teaches us the things we need to know because He knows what is coming down our road.
QUESTION: What is the somber truth from verse 18?
Look what Psalm 41:9 says, “Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.” Jesus considered Judas one of His best friends. We all have friends that have disappointed us in some way. We have disappointed our friends as well.
This should comfort us to know that Jesus understands the hurt that comes from our relationships. Sin has wrecked life. It has marred it so much that there will always be tension at some point. We all fall short of God’s glorious standard; see Romans 3:23. We fall short with God and each other.
QUESTION: Why does Jesus tell them beforehand what will be happening? See verse 19.
Notice the present tense of how He speaks of Himself. “I AM the Messiah.” He is with us today. When the Holy Spirit talks, He will talk in present tense. Another name for Jesus is Emmanuel which means, God with us.
Jesus tells His friends in verse 20 that anyone who welcomes them or anybody who becomes His follower is also welcoming Jesus as well as His Father. Christ breaks the barrier of sin so believers are united with God and His Son.
We see another side of Jesus’ humanity. He is deeply troubled by the choice that His friend was going to make. Again, He can relate and understand the sorrows we experience. He is a comforting God.
We see in verse 26 that Jesus revealed who would do such a thing and betray the Son of God. This puzzled the disciples which meant that Judas was a part of them all along but something dreadful was going to take place within Judas’ heart.
QUESTION: What happened in verse 27?
“Satan entered into him.” This is a very real thing. God is alive and active and works within believers hearts. Satan is also alive and active perched on people’s shoulders and whispering twisted lies to keep people from believing Jesus. The thing that makes Satan a wimp is that Christ’s resurrection gave him the death blow. Satan is rendered defeated, deflated and denied. He talks a big talk but that’s all he has got and his time is running out. Jesus is returning to make things right.
We read that Judas was the treasurer. Judas left and went out into the night. His friends thought he was going out to do some treasury work which showed they didn’t understand what just took place.
ADDED INSIGHT: We are either following Jesus or following Satan. There is no neutral area where we can hang out and chill.
Now we will study Peter’s problem. It’s a problem that I can safely say, we are all guilty of doing. I would imagine that Jesus’ heart was very sad over Judas departure but as soon as he left, Jesus continued leading the rest of His friends.
QUESTION: What will God receive when Jesus enters into His glory, see verses 31-32?
QUESTION: How does Jesus refer to His disciples in verse 33? Do you find this endearing or demeaning?
This particular verse is the only place you will see Jesus referring to His friends as children in John’s gospel. This was not demeaning in any way. This showed the concern that He had for them.
QUESTION: What would He be concerned about? See verse 33.
Soon, He will be leaving this world to be reunited with His Father in heaven. Jesus gives them a new commandment.
QUESTION: What is the new commandment, see verses 34-35?
He was telling His believers that they are to love other believers like Jesus loves them; unconditionally. When believers unite and show Christ’s love, we are able to survive this sinful world more readily when we have each other. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s Love.
Now we are at the point where Jesus foretells what Peter will be doing. Peter asks a good question, “Lord, where are you going?” I would have asked that too. Jesus responds that they will be able to follow Him later but for now, the apostles can’t.
QUESTION: Peter questions Jesus again. What does he tell Jesus in verse 37?
I imagine Jesus has a deeply troubled heart as He spoke what Peter would be doing in the morning.
QUESTION: What did Jesus foretell?
This is a hard pill to swallow. Peter is all in with His Lord, ready to die for Him yet we will see how his humanness takes over so readily and he cowers out of fear. I’ve cowered and I imagine you have too. It’s so easy to talk big when things are easy but when the tide turns we shake in our boots and cower.
This is why Jesus is the greatest meteorologist. He always prepares us so when storms hit, troubles brew and we shake in our boots, we will know that He is with us and He will see us through it. We will be certain that He has our backs! We will know without a shadow of a doubt that we will come out on the other side stronger and confident.
This COVID storm is a piece of cake for God. No matter what loss you are facing, God is leading you through to a place that is better than you can imagine. We might need to use some elbow grease and rebuild but with God nothing is impossible! Victory is ours my friends.
Embrace the weatherman and don’t fear or cower from the storm that is swirling around right now! Those who believe in Jesus are protected under His umbrella.