What does it say?
In Luke 22 we find Luke’s account of the important events of Jesus’ final hours on earth. He begins with the conspiracy of the religious leaders and follows with Judas’ agreement to betray Jesus (22:1-18). The account of the last supper follows (22:19-38). Luke also tells us of the time of prayer and eventual betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is arrested and appears before the Jewish leadership to be condemned, and we also see again Peter’s denial of his Lord. Luke apparently reorders the chronology of certain events in order to group them together in thematic clusters to accomplish the purposes of his writing. As we have seen, this is common at this time and explains some of the chronological challenges we face in trying to order the events between the four gospels.
John 13 takes us into of the most intimate moments of Jesus’ ministry as he washes the feet of his disciples. As Jesus announces that his betrayer is at the table with them, John also presents this story from a very personal and intimate perspective. John provides several details that are not mentioned by the other gospel writers.
What does it mean?
Entering the hours before Christ’s death reminds us that the triumph of God’s mission is impossible without passing through the pain of death. Jesus warns us that following him results in death for us, too. This is not necessarily a martyr’s death, but it is certainly death to self, sin and our personal agendas.
We should also notice the fear and failure of his closest disciples, including Peter’s three denials. Serving Christ is not something we put off until we have reached some perceived level of perfection, but through our weaknesses and failings we grow, mature and deepen. Shortly after this moment of shameful failure, the disciples are turning the world upside down.
We also see in John’s writings a decided emphasis on love. He is the only writer that records Jesus’ new commandment in John 13:34-35.
How will I respond?
What place does death have in my walk with Christ? Specifically, what have I had to die to in the past in order to follow Jesus? Is there something in my life today to which I need to die in order to continue my growth into maturity?