John 13:31-32 (NIV) 31 When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once.
On verses 31-32: With Judas now on his way to betray Jesus, Jesus sees Judas’ betrayal as triggering the important process by which Jesus will be handed over to the authorities, crucified, killed, buried, and finally resurrected and glorified. So Jesus is looking past the betrayal to what the betrayal would lead to, ultimately Jesus being glorified.
What can we learn from this? Instead of focusing only on the current or soon coming pain or problem you are facing, like Jesus, learn to look past that current or soon coming pain and see that the current or soon coming pain is part of something greater that God is doing down the road. Like Jesus, though your current lot may be pain and trouble, may you have eyes to see that if you persevere through this difficult time, there will soon be glory waiting for you in the end.
Also, here we see again how intertwined and close is the relationship between Jesus the Son and God the Father: when Jesus the Son of Man is glorified, God the Father is glorified in Jesus (v31). When God the Father is glorified in Jesus the Son, Jesus the Son will be glorified in God the Father (v32).
John 13:33 (NIV) 33 “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
On verse 33: Here Jesus is preparing his disciples for the time when he will die for the sins of the world and after resurrecting be leaving earth and returning to heaven (v33). This would involve Jesus going to places that Jesus’ disciples could not go to themselves (“Where I am going, you cannot come”). To save us, Jesus went where we couldn’t go and bore our sin and shame on our behalf.
John 13:34-35 (NIV) 34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
On verses 33-35: In this context, Jesus gives his disciples a new command: to love one another (v34).
What can we learn from this? If there is anything we as Jesus’ disciples should be known for, we should be known for how we love one another. More than for what you believe, may the people around you know you for how you love. May they see the love of Jesus in and through your actions and words. For if you love people poorly, people won’t care what you believe; in fact, when you love people poorly, you discredit the Saviour we are serving and make it harder for them to know Jesus themselves. But if you love people well, you give not just yourself but even more your Saviour Jesus a good name, and people will look at you and say, “That’s what a Christian looks like.”
As Peter would later write, “Above all, love each other deeply” (1 Peter 4:8).
John 13:36-38 (NIV) 36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
On verses 36-38: Sometimes we can get overconfident about our own devotion to Jesus, as was the case with Peter. As Romans 12:3 says, we need to think of ourselves not more highly than we ought, but with sober judgment. When tempted to get a big head, realize that we desperately need God to live through us: For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. (Romans 12:3)
Heavenly Father, I pray that I would love the people around me well, that through the way I love they would know that I am a disciple of Jesus. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!