Friday, April 23, 2010

The Heidelberg Disputation

The more I read the Heidelberg Disputation, Luther's presentation of the implications of indulgences, the more I realize how much I need Jesus. We often function in American culture with a therapeutic deism. In essence, we are pretty much o.k., but we need God to kind of fill in the pieces. The harder we try the less we will need God, unless we mess up real bad (pre-marital pregnancy, alcoholic, abuse, STD's or some things that are worse). Yet, this assumes that we have a glimmer of hope. This is exactly what Luther was addressing. Hold on tight, you may not feel better about yourself after reading:

2. Much less can human works, which are done over and over again with the aid of natural precepts, so to speak, lead to that end (Hell).

3. Although the works of man always seem attractive and good, they are nevertheless likely to be mortal sins.

4. Although the works of God are always unattractive and appear evil, they are nevertheless really eternal merits.

Ever heard someone say, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus on the cross, but let's talk about what we need to do." This helps us put in perspective. All the works we do that appear attractive and good, actually separate us more from God when we think we are good for doing it. All of our works still are tainted by sin and often our intentions are not on the people by which we serve, BUT are for our own gain. A good example is when I try to get my kids to sleep, often my motivation is not for them to get good sleep, but so that I can read, get online, or get my own sleep.

And the works of God many times seem kind of lame. The words "you are forgiven" are a far cry from the Joel Osteen message of making tons of money. Salvation forever doesn't seem as good as a new house. Water, wine, and bread are not nearly as cool as someone making a decision for Christ. But those works of God are eternal, forever, and will give us salvation. Although appearing not to be real exciting, they are the source of salvation.

May we look to His works above our own.

Monday, April 19, 2010

1518 Heidelberg Disputation and a theology of the cross

To begin a discussion on being Lutheran, often we jump to the 95 Thesis from 1517. We celebrate October 31 as our day of Reformation and the findings of Justification by faith in Christ. Yet, if you look at the document it is more of a dismissal of indulgences as opposed to the pure gospel.

The starting point of Lutheran theology could easily be pointed to Luther's presentation to the Augustinian order concerning being a theologian of the cross. This is the foundation of the Lutheran tradition and takes us away from ourselves, our glory, and places it completely on the cross. Here is the introduction from

The Heidelberg Disputation


Distrusting completely our own wisdom, according to that counsel of the Holy Spirit, »Do not rely on your own insight« (Prov. 3:5), we humbly present to the judgment of all those who wish to be here these theological paradoxes, so that it may become clear whether they have been deduced well or poorly from St. Paul, the especially chosen vessel and instrument of Christ, and also from St. Augustine, his most trustworthy interpreter.

  1. The law of God, the most salutary doctrine of life, cannot advance man on his way to righteousness, but rather hinders him.

When was the last time you heard someone say that the Law was a salutary doctrine? Often we will demonize the law because it makes us feel bad, does not save, and for all intensive purposes is NOT the Gospel.

Yet, Luther begins by calling it the most salutary of doctrines because it points us to Christ. Even though the law can not advance us to God and does nothing but hinder us from perfection. The law thrusts us from self reliance to a need for a Savior. Thus it is the most salutary of doctrines.

Every time I read through the Disputation I fully feel the problem of my sinfulness and my need for Jesus. As we travel through the disputation remember your sins, your great need for atonement, but even more so the great love of our Lord.

Lord have mercy

Friday, April 16, 2010

Confessions and the Heidelberg Disputation

After speaking to a number of brothers in ministry, I am amazed at how each one attempts to find ways to address current issue. Some go to their circuit counselor or District President for help. Some go to "evangelical" writings to help discern how we would evaluate it as a Lutheran. Some immerse themselves with conferences and summits. And some jump into our theological roots and infiltrate their lives into the confessions (a.k.a. the Bible!).

This is where I confess my own neglect of our own confession and maybe allow myself to be immersed into things that are outside of what we believe, teach, and confess. Take my sins and let them be!

So I have a few thoughts:

1) Anybody know of a confessional study group in South Wisconsin? Anybody interested in starting a study on the Augsburg Confession and/or Formula?

2) I will be starting an informal study on confessional writings, beginning with our Theology of the Cross in the 1518 Heidelberg Disputation.

This study will be beginning tomorrow and we will evaluate what it means to be a "theologian of the cross." Other references I will use will include the Bible (duh!) and Gerhard Forde's book, "On Being a Theologian of the cross."

May the Lord bless our time of study.

Letters to God and prayer

My wife and I went out last night on a date night and saw the movie, "Letters to God." The producers of Fireproof and Facing the Giants made this very powerful movie.

The acting was marginally better than the first two, the storyline outstanding, and the evangelical undertones of "inviting Jesus" into your heart was apparent. Yet, overall, I would suggest people to see it.

The premise of the movie is around a young boy, Tyler, who was suffering with cancer. Each day he would write a letter to God asking random questions, "How many stars are there?" "God can you help my mom smile?" etc. He would give it to the mailman every day with one stamp and his letters ended up affecting many people.

He was described as God's warrior that would show God's power in the midst of weakness. And he ended up doing that. His letters ended up leading many people to faith and showed the power of prayer and telling of Jesus has (especially in trial).

I equated his letters to God as our opportunity to pray. As John Kleinig has said, "The best thing one can do for anyone is pray for them." When we pray we lay people at the feet of Jesus and he deals with them in grace and love. Most of us need to start writing prayers for our brothers and sisters, less talking of or about, and more time placing individuals at the feet of Christ.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pastor's Conference-SWD

We just finished our spring pastor's conference at Olympia Resort, Oconomowoc, WI. It is a lot of fun to meet with brother pastors, worship (without having to do anything), study the Word, and hear the new ministries in our district and Synod.
I am humbled by our district. President Wille is a caring, confessional, missional District President. Our staff and others have done an oustanding job with many different financial struggles and staff changes. Most of all, it is a district that desires to be Lutheran Christians and extending mercy mission in all areas.
Lord have mercy

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Parenting: Quanity of time vs. Quality of time

Family time is the most precious time a parent can ever have. The longer I am a parent, I cherish those times more than anything else I do. Yet, what should we as parents look at this time as being? Just quality time or simply quantity?

I received advice from a mentor pastor in college that when I started a family that my main goal should be quantity of time. "Because," he stated, "quantity of time will get you quality, but quality time usually ends up being NO TIME."

This is very true. How does a busy parent do this in a chaotic world. I am blessed with the opportunity to work across the street from our home and because of circumstances my wife is able to stay at home. Quantity of time is not a major issue. Yet for all families, quantity of time is possible (two working parents, part-time, etc). It is all about making it a priority. Why is it that during a major recession that the NFL, MLB, and NBA have not lost major money or revenue? Priorities.

I have seen families claim no time for family take various vacations, fishing trips, and date nights without their children. The reality of parenting is all about sacrifice. No bones about it, it often kind of stinks. I have many things I wish I could more of (read, go out, get season tickets to baseball, workout, sleep, etc). Yet, it isn't about me anymore, it is about the whole family. I repent everyday.

My encouragement is for everyone to spend QUANTITY of time with your family. Time with your family, not just your family, is a gift. He has given this to you to take care of them. If this is not happening, repent, talk to your pastor and be forgiven. If it is kind of happening, be forgiven and work harder. Don't meditate on your past sins too long and start making it a priority today.

Chief of sinner though I be.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Raising kids in today's world...Church

There is nothing more exciting, beneficial, and at the same time more frustrating than taking little children to church. I speak on this subject not as one who has to deal with it much (my wife is a saint-and hot-with three little ones and being pregnant). So I speak these words with my wife in mind and also realizing that it is a huge challenge for all involved.

It is actually very simple: Go to church! Despite all the frustrations, despite there being many times that you as a parent don't "get anything" out of the service, and maybe spend most of your time running out the door with a crying child, it is worth it.

It is worth it not because of how much you get out of it, but because of the power of God's Word, his forgiveness, and the witness you are giving your children. There are times that missing church just happens. For us it happens when there is sickness and or a very bad night of sleep. At that moment, it is not worth it, yet, those are in the minority of times.

Think of it this way: Each worship service with your child is a chance to fulfill the mission of Christ: to make disciples of these little ones. It isn't always going to be about how much WE get out of it, but about the opportunity to teach our little ones what it means when the pastor says "you are forgiven", when the people stand for the Gospel reading, when the people eat the bread and drink the wine, and why the cross comes into the church. These are exciting things that carry on to our homes, work, and at school.

Next I will discuss how churches can help us parents deal with this tough dynamic of young kids and church. Since kids in church is a great benefit to all involved, not a nuisance.

Want to have 24 straight hours of Scripture? Check this out?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Christian parenting and the challenges...Restoring the Family Altar

The toughest part of parenting is teaching the Christian faith. This is the hardest because most poeple think that churchinizing your child is all it takes (taking them to church, maybe Sunday School, and definately confirmation).
However, very few individuals who grew up in this kind of lacklusterness in faith have moved to a serious life of following Christ. People become thankful for the "church", but talk very little about faith in the daily walk. I must admit that I have fallen into this category, in the sense of faith only be at church and life basically dealing only with worldly view.
Yet, there is a way to combat this mentality, "The Family Altar." Each family should make a point of establishing a place that is specifically for a time of prayer, Bible stories, and singing. This is an example why there is much power in owning a hymnal and following the reading schedule and prayers. The hardest part of this is getting it started since most of us never grew up with it.
A good time is right after eating. But it also might be right before bed. One person I know have specific people they pray for each night and Sunday night is to pray for each person in their family and extended family. And the tough part is that it can change from one day to the next. Yet, if we are serious about our loving God, serious about the devil working against us at every step, and desire our children to see us witness our faith, something like this needs to be done.
I already hear the argument, "I don't want to give my children too much religion." Interseting statement. I have yet to hear a parent say that they don't want their kids to have too much baseball, football, basketball, choir, camping, or traveling, but yet faith is seen to the thing that we can get too much of. I diagnose this problem with children seeing a hypocrite when they see one. If a parent forces a child to go to church all the time, but yet NEVER discusses faith and how it affects their decicion making, work, family time, politics, and how one spends his money, then YES you can get too much because there is no point. But when Christ becomes part of everything and you have a place to worship at home also, those arguments are significantly less.
Let's join together to make Christ a MAJOR part of our daily life and not just Sunday.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Parenting. Joys, ills, mistakes, and forgiveness

I am a parent of three young children (4 and younger) and expecting our fourth in August. I am a mess. Besides the lack of sleep, downtime, and peace, my life is no longer my own. Yet, I would not exchange it for anything, I value every moment (even though I have selfish desires), and I marvel at what God does through the whole experience.

I marvel at how much I pray and ask God for help in all things after the birth of our first child. I marvel at the looks on my girls faces when they see a princess dress and my son's face when a truck drives by our house. I marvel at the gifts God gives to my wife whose patience, love, and excitement for parenting exceeds anything I could ever imagine. And I marvel at the amount of fear I experience every day realizing my own mortality, how fragile life is, and the many things that I can not control.

Who will release me from this stress? Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ who has had the victory.

This week I will be discussing the ins and outs of parenting. As I do not have many answers of how to do parenting right, I will be discussing more of the struggles of parenting and the need for Christ for strength and even more forgiveness.

Lord have mercy

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Why do you look for the living among the dead?

The angels asked the women in Luke 24, "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" They looked among dead things for something that was alive.

We have the opposite problem. We look among dead things for life. Gathering more money, buying homes, the newest Ipod or pad, more education, etc all expecting it to bring us life, yet there is always something better, more expensive, and more money to save. All of those things end up dying.

On Good Friday I went for a run between services with my son in a running stroller. When I got back home I was exhausted due to the extreme wind coming from the southwest. I placed the running stroller in the middle of our front yard and when I turned away the stroller started to roll into the busy road in front of our home. It went all the way to the road and while I was chasing it, people looked in shock as this stroller came whizzing by them. Then it hit the curb, fell over, and luckily my son was not in it!

I compare that moment to our lives. Things that look like life whiz right by us. We watch in amazement with things that promise new life, but they all go by and get thrown down right after. And there was no life in it at all.

Yet, at Easter we celebrate a God who does whiz by us, but lives right among us. Stops right in the middle of our lives in Word and Sacrament, gives our sinful lives new life, and doesn't fall by the curb but continues to live for you. As He lives, we live too.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Egg Hunts and the downplay of the resurrection

I have noticed a disturbing trend in the Christian and the secular realm during Easter: there does not seem to be a difference. On facebook my Christian friends and my non-Christian friends have similar posts, pictures, and reactions to this season. Their children are wearing the same outfits, they are looking forward to the same events, and are eating the same foods. Yet, they are supposed to be doing it for completely different reasons, but nobody would know.

The most glaring example concerns Easter Eggs. First of all, what does that have to do with the resurrection? Yet, Christians traditionally fight for them and a bunny to be in the churches and in their homes, without a semblance of an empty tomb or the words Alleluia anywhere. Children see many traditions for Easter and besides MAYBE going to church, it may as well be a pagan holiday.

Compare it to Christmas. There are traditions that explicitly Christian. Christmas Trees, Carols, Presents, and even Santa Claus and stockings have Christian roots. Yet, there are no traditions for Easter that even look somewhat Christian. Bunnies, eggs, chocolate, egg hunts, and bright colored clothing, all of which mean nothing to the death and resurrection of Christ.

What does this mean for the future? I'm not sure and I'm not one to predict too much from Easter Eggs. But I am perturbed by the fact that the church ends us selling out to culture and tacks on a little Jesus at the end to make it look good (a.k.a. resurrection eggs). All the while, it would be nice to see Christians at least making a chocolate empty tomb, Alleluia, and a celebration prayer in every Christian home that includes talks of resurrection, hope, excitement over new life in Jesus.

I would love suggestions on what things people have done to make this season more Christ-centered. I'm not advocating the denial of eggs, chocolate, or bunnies for Christians, but the balancing of the season to connect our faith to the season.

Good Friday worship and tradition

Another powerful year of worship at St. John for Good Friday. We did the typical reading of the passion from John, used a new candelabra made by a member, a new rugged cross made by another member, and at the late service the church has never been so dark as the Christ candle left the sanctuary.

The focus for this year was the mercy of Christ bearing our sorrows and pains (Isaiah 53:4). We have a God who not only sympathizes with our pains and sorrows because he has been there, but also one that feels it at the same time. Not only does he feel it, but he takes is on himself. This gives us the hope and comfort to lay it all on Him and trust in His unending grace.

It was also very nice to have my oldest daughter (4 years old) to make it through a service and teach her what all the aspects of the service meant. Good Friday was a powerful service for me growing up, but in all reality I just always liked how people left quickly after church and liked the strepitus. I never really understood the full meaning of the rituals.

Finally, when the kids went down to bed my wife and I watched "The Passion of the Christ" by Mel Gibson. It has become a tradition for us to do so and unfortunately falling asleep during it has also turned into another. Still emotional that because of our sin our Lord went through all of that!

Lord have mercy

Thursday, April 1, 2010

What happened on Holy Thursday?

What happened on Holy Thursday?

Jesus instructs his Peter and John to secure a large upper room in a house in Jerusalem and to prepare for the Passover mealMatthew 26:17-19Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying,
“Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?”He said,
“Go into the city to a certain man and say to him,
‘The Teacher says,
My time is at hand. I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’”And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the Passover.Mark 14:12-16And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him,
“Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?”And he sent two of his disciples and said to them,
“Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says,
Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.”And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.Luke 22:7-13Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying,
“Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”They said to him,
“Where will you have us prepare it?”He said to them,
“Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house,
‘The Teacher says to you,
Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.”And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.In the evening Jesus eats the Passover meal with the Twelve, tells them of the coming betrayal, and institutes the Lord’s Supper Mathew 26:20-29When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were eating, he said,
“Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another,
“Is it I, Lord?”He answered,
“He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”Judas, who would betray him, answered,
“Is it I, Rabbi?”He said to him,
“You have said so.”Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said,
“Take, eat; this is my body.”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying,
“Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”Mark 14:17-23 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said,
“Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another,
“Is it I?”He said to them,
“It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said,
“Take; this is my body.”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. And he said to them,
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”Luke 22:14-30And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them,
“I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said,
“Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.”And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying,
“This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!”And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them,
“The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.After supper Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, interacts with them, and delivers the Upper Room Discourse John 13:1-17:26Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper.He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.He came to Simon Peter, who said to him,
“Lord, do you wash my feet?”Jesus answered him,
“What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”Peter said to him,
“You shall never wash my feet.”Jesus answered him,
“If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”Simon Peter said to him,
“Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”Jesus said to him,
“The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said,
“Not all of you are clean.”When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them,
“Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,
‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him,
“Lord, who is it?”Jesus answered,
“It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.”So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him,
“What you are going to do, do quickly.”Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.When he had gone out, Jesus 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. 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.’ 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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”Simon Peter said to him,
“Lord, where are you going?”Jesus answered him,
“Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.”Peter said to him,
“Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”Jesus 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.“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.”
Thomas said to him,
“Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”Jesus said to him,
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”Philip said to him,
“Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”Jesus said to him,
“Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say,
‘Show us the Father’?Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him,
“Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?”Jesus answered him,
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. 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. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe. I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you:
‘A servant is not greater than his master.’If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled:
‘They hated me without a cause.’But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.
I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me,
‘Where are you going?’But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
“A little while, and you will see me no longer; and again a little while, and you will see me.”So some of his disciples said to one another,
“What is this that he says to us,
‘A little while, and you will not see me, and again a little while, and you will see me’;and,
‘because I am going to the Father’?”So they were saying,
“What does he mean by ‘a little while’? We do not know what he is talking about.”Jesus knew that they wanted to ask him, so he said to them,
“Is this what you are asking yourselves, what I meant by saying,
‘A little while and you will not see me, and again a little while and you will see me’?Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
“I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”
His disciples said,
“Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.”Jesus answered them,
“Do you now believe? Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said,
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”Jesus and the disciples sing a hymn together (probably from Psalms 113–118), then depart to the Mount of OlivesMatthew 26:30And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.Mark 14:26And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.Luke 22:39And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him.Jesus foretells Peter’s denialsMatthew 26:31-35Then Jesus said to them,
“You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”Peter answered him,
“Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.”Jesus said to him,
“Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”Peter said to him,
“Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!”And all the disciples said the same.Mark 14:27-31And Jesus said to them,
“You will all fall away, for it is written,
‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”Peter said to him,
“Even though they all fall away, I will not.”And Jesus said to him,
“Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”But he said emphatically,
“If I must die with you, I will not deny you.”And they all said the same.Luke 22:31-34[Jesus said:]
“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.”Peter said to him,
“Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”
Jesus said,
“I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”Jesus gives his disciples practical commands about supplies and provisionsLuke 22:35-38And he said to them,
“When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?”They said,
“Nothing.”He said to them,
“But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack.And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me:
‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’For what is written about me has its fulfillment.”And they said,
“Look, Lord, here are two swords.”And he said to them,
“It is enough.”Jesus and the disciples go to Gethsemane, where he struggles in prayer and they struggle to stay awake late into the nightMatthew 26:36-46Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples,
“Sit here, while I go over there and pray.”And taking with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them,
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.”And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying,
“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping.And he said to Peter,
“So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”Again, for the second time, he went away and prayed,
“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again.Then he came to the disciples and said to them,
“Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”Mark 14:32-42And they went to a place called Gethsemane.And he said to his disciples,
“Sit here while I pray.”And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them,
“My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.And he said,
“Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter,
“Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.And he came the third time and said to them,
“Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”Luke 22:40-46And when he came to the place, he said to them,
“Pray that you may not enter into temptation.”And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying,
“Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them,
“Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”HT: Justin Taylor