December 1

We are in the Christ Stream reading from The Message.

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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis

Jesus, you are such a dear Savior, comforter, friend, instructor. Your love is overwhelming, we can but be inspired to live all our days for you. Amen.

13:31-38 – With Judas now gone Jesus can make the statements He needs to make, now that the group had been cleansed of its traitor.  They must love one another. It was now time for Jesus to proceed alone into a baptism that most of them would follow into within a generation or two.  He would die alone on a hillside while being mocked. Jesus knew what was coming in the next 18 hours. And notice that He says He will be glorified at this point, not crucified.  The disciples’ hearts were still telling themselves, “say it isn’t so…”

14 – all of this chapter was spoken to the 11 remaining disciples while they were still at the Communion Table of the Last Supper. This was in an Upper Room in the SW corner of the city of Jerusalem.  It is the most heart-warming material in the whole Bible. God/Jesus promised them that there was a wondrous celestial reward waiting for them, for certain, at the end of this pilgrimage. And Jesus’ words were true because Jesus is the Truth. Their understanding of Jesus meant an understanding of God the Father. The Holy Spirit was coming to them to walk them through everything, to teach, and strengthen, and guide them all the way as they lived out their Calling. They will have peace. They need not fear anything. They must be loving; filled with love, and obedient to God. These two matters are verification of each other: to love is to obey – to obey is to love [and vice versa!]

15 – They had left the Upper Room and Jesus kept talking to them all the way to Gethsemane [ch’s 15,16,17].The main points here are that we, his followers, are like branches of a main vine.  We are pruned so that we can be productive. We must be like pruned vines that are productive, not the prunings that are gathered and burned. “Abide” in Me means to stay attached/connected. The Message version this week says “stay joined with Me” (Jesus). This means to stay in God’s love. Your joy will be the proof that you know God’s love. You’re being elevated to where I Am/Jesus is. Realize how special/chosen you are. And know this about the world: they don’t know God, thus they hate Jesus, and they are going to hate you. That is simply the succession.  Just decide to be o.k. with it.
16:1-4 – Jesus told them about being hated by worldly souls so that the disciples were fairly warned.  And the disciples were violently hated. It’s sobering that they all died from such cruel, criminal treatment and all of them were so completely loving to the end – even to their executors.  To be so hated and to be so loving at the same time. Perhaps this can inspire us all to do better with unpleasant people.

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