Pastor David B. Curtis


Media #893 MP3 Audio File Video File

A New Commandment

John 13:31-38

Delivered 01/28/18

We are studying the Upper Room Discourse that is found in chapters 13-17 of the Gospel of John. What is unique about this discourse? It is only found in the Fourth Gospel and it all takes place in the last night of our Lord's life. It is the night in which Judas betrayed Him and which He went to the garden and prayed and was arrested and put through some mock trials. It is the night before He is crucified.

In the preceding verses of chapter 13 we have seen the Lord washing the disciples feet, and by doing so giving them a visible example of humble sacrificial love. And now in the new commandment He will express directly what He intended to illustrate by the washing of the disciples feet. In our last study we saw the Lord say, "One of you will betray me." What was the disciples response to this? Who? They had no clue that Judas wasn't a believer. Then Yeshua dipped the bread and gave it to Judas. At that moment Satan entered into him. So Yeshua says to Judas, "What you are going to do, do quickly" (verse 27). And in verse 30 Judas leaves. Satan entered into Judas because it was now time to activate the betrayal which would bring about the crucifixion at exactly the time when the Passover lambs were being slaughtered.

In our study for this morning we begin what Scholars have called, "The Farewell Discourse." This section runs from John 13:31-17:26 and is a unique section of the Gospel in that it is one long discourse uninterrupted by narrative. It is the longest discourse section in the Gospel of John, containing 125 verses.

Recent studies of these chapters have noted their formal similarities to other farewell discourses or testaments of famous men from the ancient world. The genre is known in the hellenistic world, but is even more common in Jewish literature. In literary form this Farewell Discourse can be called Yeshua's testament or last words.

The farewell speech is well-established as a literary genre in the Tanakh and the apocryphal books of the intertestamental period. We can see this literary form in Jacob's final speech and blessings in Genesis 48-49. Joshua's farewell to the nation is found in Joshua 22-24. David's final speech appears in 1 Chronicles 28-29. In one sense the whole book of Deuteronomy presents the farewell speeches of Moses.

This farewell speech form became more common in the intertestamental period, and numerous works were written as testaments or the last words of various biblical heroes. In the Apocrypha we have the farewell speech of Tobit from his deathbed in Tobit 14:3-11. The entire Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs are farewell speeches patterned after Jacob's in Genesis. The book of Jubilees gives farewell speeches for Noah (ch. 10), Abraham (chs. 20-22), and Rebecca and Isaac (chs. 35-36). Josephus includes a farewell address for Moses. (Antiquities 4.8.45-47).

In the New Testament Paul makes a farewell speech to the elders at Ephesus in Acts 20:17-38, and the Pastoral Epistles especially 2 Timothy might be thought of as farewell speeches.

The farewell speech had a two-pronged purpose. It addressed the needs of the original audience—encouraging them in the face of the forthcoming death of the speaker. However, when the farewell speech was written it took on a second purpose. It served to influence all future readers in the pattern or tradition of the speaker. So Yeshua's last discourse is designed to comfort and fortify the disciples on the eve of the crucifixion. It is also designed for us. It is given to all the disciples of our Lord.

R. Brown has listed thirteen features of major Old Testament and intertestamental farewell speeches which are shared in common with the Last Discourse in the Gospel of John.(Brown, The Gospel According to John, 598-601). So it seems that Lazarus has given us the farewell speech of Yeshua to His disciples in chapters 13-17.

How is Yeshua's farewell address different from all other farewell addresses? In all the other instances, the person saying farewell was not expecting to come back. Yeshua departed, He was killed, but He came back from the grave. We don't only have his final words of instruction, we have His living presence and power:

When he had gone out, Yeshua said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  John 13:31 ESV

"When he had gone out"this is referring to Judas. At the supper Yeshua dipped the bread and gave it to Judas. At that moment Satan entered into him. And Yeshua said to Judas, "What you are going to do, do quickly." And in verse 30 Judas leaves.

So Judas left the upper room and went to arrange the betrayal of Christ. The other disciples weren't aware that was his intention, but Yeshua knew that events were now in motion. With Judas gone Yeshua prepares His disciples for what lay ahead for them.

"Yeshua said, 'Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him'"—the word "glorified" here is from the Greek word daxazo, which means: "brightness, radiance, and splendor." Which is a sharp contrast to the end of verse 30, "And it was night." The powers of darkness were now at work to bring about the crucifixion which would manifest the glory of God.

Here Yeshua uses His favorite title for Himself, the "Son of man." This title always refers back to the "Son of man" in Daniel 7:13 which is a vision of the "Son of Man" coming in His glory before God the Father in His Ascension to the Father.

Outside the New Testament, the title is associated with glory (especially Dn. 7; 1 Enoch); but within the Synoptics, the title is as frequently associated with suffering. In the Fourth Gospel, the two are brought together. In this Gospel the title "Son of Man" unites the ideas of suffering and glory.

What does Yeshua mean by glorified? Or we could ask, What is God's glory?

First, we need to understand that God's glory is intrinsic, it belongs to His nature. We don't give this to Him, it is His by virtue of who He is. If neither men nor angels were ever created, God would still be a God of glory.

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.  Genesis 3:8 ESV

Adam and Eve lived in the presence of Yahweh. The Hebrews had a word for that presence—shekinah, which means: "to dwell or reside." SHEKINAH is the transliteration of a Hebrew word not found in the Bible but used in many of the Jewish writings to speak of God's presence. The term means: "that which dwells," and is implied through out the Bible whenever it refers to God's nearness either in a person, object, or His glory. It is often used in combination with glory to speak of the presence of God's shekinah glory. Adam and Eve lived with the Shekinah glory of God.

So God's intrinsic glory is simply the manifestation of Himself, and He most often does this by declaring His attributes. When we see God's attributes, we worship or glorify Him.

Moses said, "Please show me your glory."  Exodus 33:18 ESV

This is Moses' request of God. Watch Yahweh's response:

And he said, "I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name 'The LORD.' And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.  Exodus 33:19 ESV

God's "name" is the embodiment of all His attributes. So, what is God's glory? It is the embodiment of all His attributes. God reduced them to a glorious light in order to show them to Moses:

But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live." And the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, and while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will take away my hand, and you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen." Exodus 33:20-23 ESV

The word "face" is used here for full glory. No one could ever see the full glory of God and live, so God showed Moses a little of His after glow:

The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, "The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children's children, to the third and the fourth generation." And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth and worshiped. Exodus 34:5-8 ESV

God's glory causes worship. That is exactly what the glory of God should cause us to do—worship, which is to give to God His worth. Moses wanted to see God's glory, and He showed him His goodness, mercy, and grace because that's His glory. Seeing His attributes causes us to glorify Him.

In chapter 33 of Exodus, God shows Moses His glory, then in chapter 34, He proclaims His attributes, mercy, love, goodness—these are His glory.

So what does it mean to glorify God? It means to acknowledge His glory, and to value it above all things, and to make it known. When Yeshua turned water into wine, His glory was seen:

This, the first of his signs, Yeshua did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.  John 2:11 ESV

These works performed by Yeshua are not just supernatural miracles, but are signs that unveil the glory and power of God working through Yeshua the Messiah. So Yeshua's glory was seen in the creation of wine, but the ultimate display of Christ's glory took place where? At His crucifixion, resurrection, and exaltation:

When he had gone out, Yeshua said, "Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. John 13:31-32 ESV

It is characteristic of Lazarus and of our Lord to use the term "glorified" with reference to the cross. His glory begins at the cross, but it does not end there. He is glorified by His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. Our Lord's suffering and His glorification cannot be separated.

"Now is the Son of Man glorifiedby His crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, and glorification in heaven. Which would mean glory for the Father—and God is glorified in him— by the Son's complete obedience. Who would in return "glorify" the Son—If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself—by the resurrection and ascension of the Son—and glorify him at once.

The first three "glorified's" are past tense in Greek. The last two are future. The crucifixion and resurrection are viewed both as completed, but still to come. "The Son of Man is now glorified," speaks proleptically (to describe an event that is not yet past as though it were already completed) about the work that He will do on the cross by dying there." It is the repeated theme of glory that gives this second half of this Gospel the title "The Book of Glory."

How did Yeshua "glorify" the Father?

I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.  John 17:4 ESV

He glorified the Father by finishing the work the Father gave Him to do.

"And glorify him at once"how long is "at once"? It is about eighteen hours until

Yeshua is nailed to the cross.

The glorification of the Son is synonymous with the glorification of the Father. Yeshua does not seek to be glorified apart from the Father, but with the Father. Both Father and Son are glorified by the cross, resurrection, and ascension.

A man wrote me last week and made a favorable comment about the JW's and I responded, "The JW's are wrong on the deity of Christ and that is damnable." To which he responded, "The Jehovah Witnesses in my experiences come far from dishonoring Jesus. They give Him status just beneath God." I wrote back and said, "The problem with this is He is not 'just beneath God' He is God."

that all may honor the Son, just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. John 5:23 ESV

Failure to honor the Son reflects failure to honor the Father and honoring the Son honors the Father. How can Yeshua say this is light of:

I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.  Isaiah 42:8 ESV

Yahweh will not share His honor with another. So for Him to share His honor with the Son must mean that the Son and the Father are one in essence. What man or what created being could say that we should honor Him just as we honor the Father? Clearly, Yeshua is claiming to be Yahweh! What glorifies the one, glorifies the other, because they are one.

The cross displayed God's glory like no other event. Remember that I said that God's glory is the manifestation of His attributes. When we see God's attributes, we worship or glorify Him. Well many of His attributes are displayed on the cross. The cross is the greatest symbol and demonstration of the glory and wonder of God. At the cross, God's holiness and justice were revealed as never before. The cross exposed how seriously God hates sin. Isaiah says:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 ESV

Isaiah goes on to say, "Yahweh laid on Him the iniquity of us all." The penalty of the law had to be enforced. The sentence of the law had to be executed, even though it meant slaying His own beloved Son, God could not desist from His justice.

At the cross we not only see His holiness and justice, we also see His faithfulness. Yahweh had promised a Savior. He promised that a seed of the woman would crush the serpent's head. He promised a substitute who would take the place of a sacrifice, a ram caught in the thicket of Genesis 22. He promised a sacrifice in Isaiah 53.

Not only do we see His holiness, justice, and faithfulness at the cross, we also see His love. "God so loved the world, that he gave his only son." Lazarus put it this way in his letter:

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.  1 John 4:10 ESV

Propitiation means: "the removal of wrath by the offering of a sacrifice."

Not only do we see His holiness, justice, faithfulness, and love at the cross, we also see His grace and mercy displayed there. His compassion is displayed there, His wisdom is displayed there. He is on display. So, Yeshua say:

If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.  John 13:32 ESV

Let me just say here that there is some question about the authenticity of the opening clause. "If God is glorified in Him," since some of the manuscripts of the New Testament do not have that clause, I'm sure you're all aware that we do not have the original writings of the New Testament books, what we have are copies. But what we do have in the New Testament textual tradition is more copies of the New Testament than of any other ancient writings.

The point of textual criticism is to notice the common human errors, frailties, errors of the eye and errors of the mind and compensate for them. Now it is likely that the text that we have, "If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself," is genuine, but I just wanted you to know that some manuscripts do not have that clause.

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, 'Where I am going you cannot come.'  John 13:33 ESV

"Little children"—is from the Greek word teknion, which means:: "a born one." It's a diminutive; it's the knd of thing that you would use to speak of a little child. "Little born ones." Yeshua uses this tender term for His disciples to show His strong affection for them as members of His family. Teknion occurs eight times in the New Testament and only in the writings of Lazarus. The affectionate reference occurs once in this passage and seven times in the 1st Epistle of John.

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, "Disciples sometimes called their teachers 'Father' (cf. note on Mt 23:9), and sages could refer to their disciples as their 'children.' Although some could be older, most mature disciples were in their teens."

"Yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, 'Where I am going you cannot come"as I said earlier the "little while" here is about eighteen hours.

"Just as I said to the Jews"—who is Yeshua talking to? His disciples who are all Jewish. Jews here, as in most of this letter, refers to Yeshua's opponents, primarily Jewish leaders.

"Where I am going you cannot come"this statement puzzled the Jews to whom Yeshua had said it in 7:33 and 8:21, and now it also puzzles the disciples. Think of how these disciples must have felt hearing this. They had given up their lives, their jobs, and left their families behind, just to follow Yeshua. And now, Yeshua was going away and leaving them behind. Later this same evening He will say to them:

You heard me say to you, 'I am going away, and I will come to you.' If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.  John 14:28 ESV

So He later comforts them by saying that He will come to the:.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  John 13:34 ESV

Is the fact that we should love one another new? How is it new? Deuteronomy 6:4-5 and in Leviticus 19:18 both say that the Israelites were to love one another. You could sum up the Old Covenant Law in two commands: 1. Love God; and 2. Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10). What, then, is so different about our Lord's command here that He can call it "new"?

The new part is "Just as I have loved you"—the sacrificial work of Yeshua on the cross of Calvary is the "new" standard for the Christian's love for fellow-believers. They had seen His love for them during His entire earthly ministry, and most recently in His washing of their feet; but they would only understand its depth through the Cross.

Nowhere else in the New Testament does the term "new commandment" occur outside of Lazarus' writings. He uses it here and in his first and second letter:

Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. 1 John 2:7-8 ESV

So Lazarus talks about this new commandment in his letters, he mentions it three times. But here is what I find interesting about the "new commandment" in John's letters, nowhere in any of his letters, 1st ,2nd or 3rd John, does Lazarus refer directly to the love of Yeshua for His disciples. He doesn't say, "Love each other the way Yeshua loved you." What is different in the letters is that we we ought to love each other because GOD loved us:

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:10-11 ESV

Here is what I hope we know by now, this Yeshua who gave us the new commandment and told us to love each other the way He loved us—this Yeshua is God incarnate. Every act of Yeshua, the Son, was an act of God the Father. When Lazarus writes that God loved us he is saying that the love of God is the love of Yeshua because Yeshua is God.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  John 13:34 ESV

What do you see Yeshua as saying to His disciples here? First of all, this is NOT a suggestion, it's a commandment. You cannot live out the Christian life without a commitment to loving other people. Some Christians place an emphasis on prophecy, some place an emphasis on spiritual gifts, some place an emphasis on social issues; but the core curriculum for the Christian life is; to love one another. It doesn't matter how much we know, or how much we do. If we cannot pass this test, Paul said we're "nothing":

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 ESV

The Greek text at the end of verse 2 does not say that he is nobody, that would be strong. But the Greek text says he is nothing, a zero. Write down five zero's and then add them up. What do you get? Zero! Life minus love equals zero. The loveless person produces nothing, is nothing, and gains nothing. If we are going to be faithful Christians, we can't pick and choose who we're going to love, and we can't let love become a secondary issue. Love is more than just an option, it is the entry-level requirement to discipleship. Yeshua said, "A new command I give you: Love one another as I have loved you."

Let's take a minute and let that sink in. Love—it's the most significant attribute Christians can offer the world. We need to love one another. Now, I'm not quoting a tweed-wearing, pipe-smoking, liberal theologian; I'm quoting Yeshua. He said that they'll know we are His disciples by our love. To not be a loving person is not some small character flaw, it is to break the greatest commandment, it is to not love God. So, we must understand that love is a requirement. Look at the next verse:

By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."  John 13:35 ESV

Disciples were expected to imitate their teachers. As long as Yeshua was in the world, you could tell who His disciples were by who was following Him. But Yeshua tells us that following His physical presence will not be the mark of discipleship any more. So I give you a new mark. A new commandment. Love each other. Since His departure, His disciples are now known by their love for one another.

Please look closely at this verse? Is it love that identifies us as Christians? That is not what it says. It says that it is love that identifies us as Christ's disciples. What is the identifying mark of a Christian? Faith!

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.  John 5:24 ESV

One of the most important and misunderstood distinctions in the Bible is that of a Christian and a disciple. Many see them as synonymous. But I think the Bible makes a distinction between them.

The Scriptures make it quite clear that salvation is a free gift of God's grace, but the Scriptures also teach that discipleship is costly. Salvation is our birth in the Christian life, and discipleship is our education and maturity in the Christian life. All Christians are called to be disciples, but not all are. Yeshua taught His disciples, all His disciples, that we are to love one another just as He loves us.

John MacArthur writes, "Examining ourselves: how do I know I'm a genuine believer? How do I know I'm really converted. And again, you've got to get past the externals, it's not about activities that you might do. It's about love and where your love goes, where your love is directed, where your love is focused, and how consistent and faithful your love is."

He says, "it's not about activities" but isn't love an activity? Love is a verb, it's action, it's something you do.

' John goes on to say, "If you ask the question:' how can you tell when someone's a believer?' And the first answer is, 'Because that believer is consumed with loving the glory of his Lord. His love is all in the direction of the redeemer, the Savior, the Lord, and whatever will bring Him glory.'"

So this is a believer? How many believers do you know that are consumed with loving the glory of the Lord?

John goes on to say, "How do you know when someone is a true Christian? Their love focus is on the glory of their Lord, on the well-being of their brothers and sisters in Christ, and it evidences itself in an undying, enduring, loving loyalty to Christ."

If John is righ,t there aren't many "true" Christians. It's not what we do that makes us a Christian. But it is what we do that makes us a disciple.

I don't think that there should be much argument as to the fact that we are commanded by God to love each other. We know we're supposed to love, but do we know what love is? Our culture uses the word love to mean just about everything except what the Bible means by it. So Christians are easily misled into thinking love is primarily a feeling, something we fall in or out of. The biblical word used for love is "agape." Agape was used by the New Testament writers to designate a volitional love (as opposed to a purely emotional love), a self-sacrificial love.

Agape love is a response to someone who is unworthy of love. This concept of love was derived from the cross. God loved the world and gave His son for it. That was a response to unworthy people, to sinners, to those who were His enemies. That is agape. It is a love that proceeds from the nature of the lover, rather than the worth of the person who is loved. It is a love that gives, a love that seeks the best of the object loved. Agape is a commitment of the will to cherish and uphold another person. It is the only word ever used to describe God's love. It is a decision that you make, and a commitment that you have launched upon, to treat another person with concern, with care, with thoughtfulness, and with his or her best interests foremost. That is what love is.

Let's look at a few verses that command us to love:

Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,  1 Peter 1:22 ESV

The Greek word that Peter uses here for "earnestly" is ekteos. This Greek word means:"intently." It comes from ektenes, which means: "without ceasing." We are to intently love each other without ceasing.

Look at what the writer of Hebrews told believers:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works,  Hebrews 10:24 ESV

He says, "Let us consider …one another." The word "consider" is from the Greek word katanoeo. Katanoeo is a compound word composed of kata, which means: "down" and noeo, which means: "to exercise the mind." It has the idea of thoroughly and carefully noticing someone or something. A good English equivalent would be: "to contemplate." Do you "thoroughly and carefully notice others"?

This exhortation to consider is not given to the church elders, it is given to all believers. We all are to "consider one another." We are to look to the needs, problems, struggles, and temptations of one another. The spirit of rugged individualism so prevalent in America is wholly incompatible with the church of Yeshua. American believers think that they have discharged their responsibility to the Lord because they are individually living in holiness, but they are wrong. We are not only to look out for our own lives, but we are to consider others. Christianity is others oriented! But most of us care only about meeting our own needs; we ignore the many instructions in the Bible about our responsibility to others. Do you realize that individually you and I are personally responsible for the physical and spiritual welfare of each other? Do you understand that?

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  Galatians 5:13 ESV

The kingdom of God is not designed for believers to exist in isolation from each other; we are interdependent. We need each other if we are truly going to be what God has called us to be. Each believer has unique abilities and insights that are invaluable for ministering to the body of Christ. Christianity is to be lived out in community, and God has created us to be dependant both on Him and on one another.

Now let me make this clear here, It is only by God's transforming grace that believers, and only believers, can "love one another" as Yeshua has "loved" them. We can only love like this is we walk in dependence upon Spirit of God for power and grace. Loving one another as Christ loved us is supernatural. It can only be done as the Spirit works through us. The fruit of the Spirit is love.

Simon Peter said to him, "Lord, where are you going?" Yeshua answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward."  John 13:36 ESV

I think Peter was so shocked by our Lord's words in verse 33 that he just couldn't get past them. So he seems to ignore the love command and ask, Where are you going?

Yeshua tells him he will follow him later and:

Peter said to him, "Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."  John 13:37 ESV

All four Gospels report Peter's protestation of willingness to die. Tragically, the boast that he would never deny his Lord, even to the point of death, displays not only gross ignorance of human weakness, but a certain haughty independence. Peter grossly underestimated his own weakness, and what Yeshua' death entailed. Peter spoke of laying down his life for Yeshua, but ironically Yeshua would first lay down His life for Peter.

Yeshua answered, "Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you, the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.  John 13:38 ESV

The NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible says, "Roosters crow often, but ancient sources mention most often their crowing at dawn. Yeshua thus probably warns Peter here that before the night is over he will have denied Yeshua three times."

The prophecy of Peter's denial is recorded in all the Gospels (see Matthew 26:33-35; Mark 14:29-31 and Luke 22:33-34). In the Gospel of Luke 22:31-32 Yeshua warns Peter of his betrayal but gives him hope:

"Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Luke 22:31-32 ESV

So the Lord tells Peter, "when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." And Peter did just that. He repented of his denial and after Pentecost became a rock for the Lord. He preached that great Pentecost sermon and a lot of sermons that followed that in the city of Jerusalem. What was the difference? The Holy Spirit !

Peter did finally go to the cross and die for the Lord. Tradition tells us that Peter followed his Master to the cross in A,D, 67. So he did keep his promise to lay down his life for Yeshua. At Peters request, considering himself unworthy to be crucified in exactly the same manner as his Savior and Lord, Peter will be crucified upside-down.

Believers, let's close with this; If you were to rate yourselves on a scale of 1-10 on how well you obey the biblical command to love others how would you stack up? Are you a disciple of Yeshua? Remember His disciples are known by their love.

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