Christ’s Farewell Sermon to His Disciples

William Gladstone, in announcing the death of Princess Alice to the House of Commons, told a touching story. The little daughter of the Princess was seriously ill with diphtheria. The doctors told the Princess not to kiss her little daughter and endanger her life by breathing the … More


From a human perspective, the death of Christ was a terrible thing that involved unspeakable suffering and humiliation; but from a heavenly perspective it was the revelation of the love of God. “The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified” (12:23). The word love is used only twelve times in John 1-12, but in chapters 13-21 it is used forty-four times! It is a key word in Christ’s farewell sermon to His disciples. With the exit of Judas, the stage was set for that series of events that would bring glory to both the Father and the Son (vv. 31-32).  

He was only about 40 hours from His death and 40 days from His ascension, when He would be with the Father. Jesus spoke with the tenderness and affection of a father when He said, “Little Children” (v. 33). This is the only time this phrase is used in the Gospels. He didn’t have much time left and anything they wanted to know they would need to learn quickly.


Our Lord was speaking to His disciples for the last time before He went to the cross. He was giving them His last message and that message was, “Love one another.” Under the law they had been commanded to “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18) but now Jesus was giving them a newer and higher standard.  He commanded His disciples to love one another “even as I have loved you” (vv. 34-35). At this point Peter was still a little confused. Christ told him that he would follow afterwards (vv. 36-38). Peter’s time of death had not yet come (Heb. 9:27). Note Peter’s impulsiveness. He wanted to be with Christ now. Christ predicted the exact opposite of Peter’s claims. Peter said he would die, but Christ died. Peter would deny his Master.



If I knew I had only twenty-four hours to spend with an unsaved friend before he died, what would I want to do?  Lord, help me to be a person who senses the urgency to get your Gospel out.

John 13:31-38 (English Standard Version)

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