Jesus Farewell Discourse


“We fail, but Jesus doesn’t”


John 13:31-38

We tend to swing back and forth from thinking we are strong, to being overwhelmed by our weaknesses. The true and more helpful perspective is to recognize, we at times fail, but Christ doesn’t


Jesus Declares the Glory of His Work

The “glory” he describes is the finished work of the cross

v31  The FATHER is glorified in Jesus’ death and resurrection

They manifest his perfections in holiness, justice and grace

They reveal his astounding plan and the fulfillment of his promises

v32  The Father glories the SON in himself

Jesus shows the heights of his humility, love and sacrifice

We see his wondrous victory over sin death Satan

Jesus describes this glory as now (v31) and at once (v32)

The unveiling of God’s eternal plan has begun and the events are moving quickly

The cross not only glorifies the Father and Jesus, it glorifies US (John 17:22-23)

Through the cross we are made new and will be complete (Romans 8:30)

(1)  Every believer is the subject of the most glorious works of God

(2)  Every believer is in the process of being made in the glorious image of Jesus

(3)  Every believer is called to be part of how God’s glory touches others  

We don’t have to do big things, we simply live out and share glorious truths

These glorious truths should show us that we spend too much time thinking on the wrong things

Jesus describes the events of the cross as if they were finished – because they were that sure

So we can look at what the gospel accomplishes in us as that sure

We are believers, so we should face uncertainty and burdens with what we know


Jesus is Doing a Great Work, But His Leaving Will Be Hard (v33)

Jesus leaves them with “new commandment” (vs 34-35)

He shares what should be at the center of their fellowship when gone

They have already been given the Great Commandments to love God and neighbor, how is this commandment to love “new”?

What makes it revolutionary is to love one another “just as” Christ has loved us!

The defining display of Jesus’ love is about to take place

The new commandment is to love according to the glory of the cross

Jesus has just said he will not be with them, but how he loved them should remain

Jesus tells us this is what should identify a community of his people (v35)

Correct theology is necessary to know the gospel and become Christian

But without love for one another, people cannot see Christ in us

Let’s be sure we see clearly how Jesus loves us

1. Jesus loved with humility (Philippians 2:3-4)   Love is not about our expectations

2. Jesus loved sacrificially (Romans 5:8)

3. Jesus loved consistently through people’s weaknesses and failures (1 Corinthians 13:8)

Since we always have this love in us, we can consistently live it out. To say we “cannot” love someone is biblically false


Peter is Still Thinking About Jesus’ Leaving (v36)

Peter has no idea where Jesus is going, but he expresses confidence he can handle it

But Peter is Not As Strong As He Thinks (vs 37-38)

In a few hours he will deny knowing Jesus!  Our weaknesses strike fast

We are like Peter in at least Three Ways

1.  We think we are stronger than we are:

      We think we know what to do and how to handle our lives and problems

2.  We want to debate what Jesus says

Peter does the same thing in v8 during when Jesus tried to wash his feet

We need to ask ourselves – is anything our Lord says ever debatable?

3.  We miss Jesus’ focus: Peter misses that Jesus had just given an essential principle

      Like Peter we get stuck in thinking how we are going to handle a situation,rather than consider Jesus agenda for that moment

We may have an abundance of weaknesses, but Jesus doesn’t: so listen to what he says and follow what he tells us to do




Jesus understands trouble and betrayal   


John 13:21-30

Jesus’ Farewell Discourse comes from the perspective of culmination. Yet, there is also the heartache of betrayal throughout this chapter

There is Anguish In Jesus’ Soul

The burden in Jesus has been growing

Jesus mentions it for the first time in John 6:70-71

Now in chapter 13, it is woven throughout the narrative (vs 2, 10-11, 18)

Jesus turmoil over Judas reaches its culmination in v21

Jesus not only carries the burden of his coming crucifixion, now betrayal is added

Jesus had chosen Judas to be one of the 12 who shared life, ministry and miracles with him

What this friend does is repeatedly described as “betrayal” (Mt 26:14-16)

Jesus declares Judas’ act as a fulfillment of Psalm 41:9


Jesus Draws In His Disciples

Jesus wants to strengthen his disciples against the coming blow (v19)

Jesus wants them to know that he is sovereign even over this betrayal

God is good and faithful, even in the difficult, unexplainable and painful

Jesus wants to share his own troubled heart with them (v21)

They cannot do anything, but Jesus wants to share his burden

The disciples fall into awkward silence (v22) ‘looking at one another’

They are weighing their own hearts and each others

Peter wants to find out who is the one and asks the disciple next to Jesus

Jesus identifies his betrayer, but the disciples don’t hear or grasp the significance of it


Jesus Engages Judas

Jesus reaches out to Judas, he doesn’t send him away, until after the foot washing and the meal

The foot washing allowed Judas to experience Jesus’ care and humility once more

In the last moment, Jesus fed Judas a ‘morsel’, which culturally was a way to honor a guest

In taking Jesus’ love without repentance, Judas has turned himself over to his sin

Judas had been following a path of sin for some time (Jn 12:3-6)

Why did Jesus pick Judas?

John 6:64 tells us Jesus knew from the beginning who would betray him

v18 tells us this was so prophecy would be fulfilled

Judas wasn’t forced by God to betray Jesus, God used a betrayer


Let’s Consider Some Applications

1.  About Burdens

Life is hard at times for everyone, because our world is in rebellion against God

Some Christians mistakenly think ‘If I follow God well enough, he will take my problems away’

No one lived better than Jesus, and he experienced many sorrows

The Bible tells us suffering and struggle will come

Jesus knows what it means to have a ‘troubled’ heart

We are not meant to carry these burdens alone, we are given the church to bear them with us

When everything falls apart, God has not

2.  About Sin

Nothing is more dangerous, deceiving or corrupting than sin

We don’t know what took place in Judas’ mind, but we know the results

v30 ends with what seems obvious “and it was night”; this was a spiritual statement as much as the time of day

3.  About Satan

He is a real person, with motivations and actions that all hate God

We live in the midst of spiritual warfare: “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood” (Ephesians 6)

If our enemy is spiritual, then our daily preparation must be spiritual

Can Satan enter a believer? 

He would have to be able to overcome the Holy Spirit – and that will never happen

We should take Satan seriously – but God is the only one we need to fear

4.  About Where Your Life Is

Who is Jesus to you?

How does your life demonstrate that he is your Lord?

If you are thinking, “I will respond to God sometime in the future”, pushing Jesus off is how we are turned over to our sin