Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 13: 31 – 38

John 13: 31 – 38

Get your house in order

31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man Is glorified, and God Is glorified in Him. 32 If God Is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.” 38 Jesus answered him, “Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.

If our Lord Jesus sent you this message – get your house in order, what would you do?

Do not think this so strange. Our Lord had told people before to do this. We read in 2 Kings 20: 1, “In those days Hezekiah was sick and near death. And Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, went to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.'?”

Getting your house in order is something that we all know that we need to do but we are sometimes not sure of the best way to go about doing it. Getting your house in order begins with a mind set. You need to make a decision that you are going to do whatever it takes to get your house in order. You have to be on a mission.

So what does it mean to get your house in order? It means to take a hard look at what you are doing and arrange your affairs and solve any lingering problems.

Please make a note that from the remainder of chapter 13.31 through chapter 17.26 our Lord Jesus is putting His earthly house in order. Words spoken on approaching death, and especially on a deathbed, were considered to be particularly potent. There are numerous examples of this in Scripture, like the blessings of Jacob to his sons in Genesis 47.29-49.33, Moses’ farewell words in Deuteronomy 33, the farewell of Joshua to the nation of Israel in Joshua 22-24, and David's farewell speech in 1 Chronicles 28-29. Thus we must see these chapters as essentially spoken to the disciples, although of course we may apply much of what was said more generally as having wider implications. Within them, however, The Lord Jesus gives special promises of unique gifts and blessings which were only for His Apostles in their task of establishing the church.

It is noteworthy that they were not spoken until Judas had left the company. They did not apply to him. He had gone out into the night. These instructions and promises were for those who walked in the light of day.

The opening two verses reflect our Lord Jesus’ awareness of the pivotal nature of the situation. As He thought back to the glory which had been His with the Father before the world was He saw Himself as now returning to that glory. But it was to be a glory achieved by the glory of His self-offering of Himself. He would be glorified on the cross

In eternity our Lord Jesus had equal glory with the Father, and that He had revealed that glory in the Temple to Isaiah as YHWH as described in chapter 12.41. It was a glory which He relinquished in order to live among men, taking a lower place, so much so that He could say ‘(at present) my Father is greater than I’. And yet even then it could not be completely hidden for His life had shown forth that glory. In the end, however, it was a glory to which He would be fully restored so that He would have equal glory with the Father.

This is then followed by an attempt to prepare the Apostles for what was coming, and a stress on their need to love one another in view of His soon departure. He is returning to His former glory and status. They are going forward to battle with the world and with Satan, and love is to be their keyword, both His love and their love.

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