We get a glimpse of the table conversation at the Passover Feast by one who was actually there in the upper room. John, who identifies himself as loved by Jesus, shares this last, intimate exchange between Jesus and those closest to Him.
Jesus knew He was about to die. What did He want his disciples to know before everything changed for them? Let’s take a look.
Jesus keeps reinforcing the fact that He is the Son of God, that He is on a mission from the Father, that what He says comes out of the Father’s mouth, that He and the Father are one. “Don’t ever forget,” He seems to say, “I AM who I say I AM.”
Jesus not only spoke to them about being a servant, He demonstrated His role as servant by getting on His knees and washing their feet. He showed them that He came to serve. Now it was their turn. “Love one another as I have loved you,” He tells them. They would need to love each other fiercely in the days and years ahead.
He encouraged them to trust God, knowing their faith was about to be tested. He told them He was going to lay down His life, but they would see Him again. In fact, He spoke about heaven, and told them they would join Him there some day.
We’ve already looked at some of the “I AM” statements that Jesus spoke during His ministry. Here, in this last conversation before the cross, He tells His disciples:
I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know Him and have seen Him. (John 14:6-7)
One of the last things Jesus says to His disciples is I AM the only way. Don’t ever forget that.
Jesus went on to tell his disciples about the Holy Spirit, the Counselor, the Spirit of Truth. He wanted His disciples to know He was not leaving them alone. “I’m sending help,” He tells them. “One who will never leave you!” (or me!)
Then, to draw one last picture, Jesus says;
I AM the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (15:1)
The Spirit within us produces fruit that is straight from God. Our lives in Him bear fruit. Lives apart from Him can do nothing.
Jesus goes on to talk about love. I think I’d want to tell my loved ones how much I loved them, too, if I knew I was going to die. “I love you like the Father loves me,” He tells them. “Love each other.” And then Jesus called them His friends. Imagine. The Savior of the world said, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
Then, before making His way to the garden where He would be arrested, Jesus did something amazingly beautiful. He prayed. He prayed for those men sitting at His feet. And He prayed for us. For you. For me.
If you knew you would die tonight, what would you want to say to your loved ones? What would you leave them with? In these chapters in John, we read what Jesus said to wrap up His earthly life. We hear His love, feel His passion. And we know He didn’t leave there before He prayed. Not a prayer that focused on what He was about to experience. He prayed for us.
What I have shared by no means covers everything Jesus said in these chapters of John. Please read them for yourself. Let God speak to your heart about the things that are on His. What Jesus said to His disciples that day, was meant for your ears, too.
Dear Father, thank You for inspiring John to let us in on that last, intimate conversation Jesus had with His disciples. We get to hear Him put a cap on His ministry, find out what He wanted us to remember. Thank You for Jesus. Thank You for Your Spirit that lives in those of us who call You Lord. And thank You for this precious Book that allows us to know You in such a personal way.