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April 17, 2014

An Unforgettable Evening

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.”

John 13:1 (NIV) 

It was a Thursday evening, the night before Good Friday. It would be an unforgettable evening for Jesus’ disciples as He showed them the full extent of His love. Never in the three years with them had they doubted His love. Yet, on this evening, He would take special care to express His love for them in a way they would never forget! John records the events and instructions that Jesus gave them in five chapters that cover John 13-17. Following the Last Supper that they would share together, Jesus modeled servanthood in a way that humbled them all. “He got up from the table, took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist and poured water into a basin. Then He began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around Him.” (John 13:4-5 NLT)  While they’re processing this display of humility and service, Jesus challenges them to practice the same attitude toward one another – to love each other as He had loved them. Then, He predicts that one of them would betray Him and another deny Him. He announces His death, followed with a lengthy, detailed teaching that covers three chapters in John 14, 15 and 16. Those instructions would give them comfort and counsel with what they were about to experience. Before the evening closes, Jesus prayed for His disciples. What is striking to me is that Jesus included you and me in His prayer that night. “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in Me through their message.” (Vs.20) Later, as they crossed the valley and entered a garden of olive groves, they would witness the betrayal He had predicted as the Roman soldiers and Temple guards apprehended Him and took Him away. Imagine that evening with Jesus. Read the chapters in John’s record. Picture yourself with them. Experience the love that He lavished on them. Here’s another highlight from Holy Week. Let the truth of His counsel that evening enlighten you and His prayer empower you with the reality of His indwelling presence this Easter!