Day 26 (Thursday, April 4, 2019)


John 13:31-35
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. 33 Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34 I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”


Our capacity to make choices is quite extraordinary. However, we often forget that our decisions impact those around us, especially those who love us or are close to us.

This is graphically illustrated in the events that led to Jesus’ death. John 13:30 tells us that though he was one of Jesus’ close followers, Judas chose to betray him to the Jewish religious authorities. It’s not surprising Jesus was troubled (13:21). Betrayal by a close confidant and friend is deeply hurtful – especially if it sets in motion a sequence of unjust events.

Jesus, for his part, confirmed his own decision to see God’s plan through, whereby both he and his Father would be glorified (13:31-32). He said enigmatically to the eleven left with him at the Passover table, “‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’” At great cost to himself, he chose to serve the world (3:16), even though we have all chosen to turn our backs on God. Paul the Apostle later wrote, While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Before the meal concluded Jesus gave a new commandment to his followers: to love one another. This was not to replace the Ten given to Moses, but to distill the essence of neighbor love. Where God had said ‘no’ to murder, adultery and theft, Jesus spoke of praying for enemies, truly loving one’s spouse, and being generous to the needy.

When we choose to live out the generous love he showed to us, not only will our relationships with one another be transformed, but others will notice the difference.


Eternal God and Father, by whose power we are created and by whose love we are redeemed: guide and strengthen us by your Spirit, so that we may give ourselves to your service, and live this day in love for one another and to you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen. (1978 AAPB, A Prayer for the Morning)

Daily Reading Plan

Read John 13:21-38.