A New Commandment I Give to You
John 13:31-38 ESV

Intro: One of you will betray me. 

  1. V31-32 The Son of Man will be Glorified “31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. 32 If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.”
    1. Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him.  How? He is about to go to the cross in obedience to the father to act as a substitutionary atonement. Phil 2:8-9 “8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name,”
    2. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and Glorify Him at once Phil 2:10-11 “10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
    3. Jesus Christ went to the cross for so many reasons – it was for the joy set before him (Heb 12:2) it was, to claim a bride (Eph 5:32), it was to restore the creation (Romans 8:20-23) to redeem a people zealous for good works (Titus 2:14), it was in obedience to the father (Phil 2:8), it was for the sake of LOVE, (John 3:16) and it was for the glory of God Roman 3:25-26 “25 (Jesus) whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” 
  1. V33 Where I am going you cannot Come “33 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.’”
    1. Jesus does not just do things without warning.  Jesus is all about warnings, He warns the decuples about the Pharisee’s teaching, He warns the world about Judgement, and He warns the Church about the destruction of Jerusalem that would happen within one generation, and He even has warnings for us for the end times.  
    2. He is WARNING them that He will leave them.  He wants them to know that He loves them and that His death is part of God’s plan.  Notice the tender term of endearment which He addresses them, Little Children. To the arrogant this may seem patronizing, but it is tender and speaks to who they really are, not the manly men that they try and portray. Essentially, we are all children on the inside that simply need to be loved, isn’t that true?  
    3. Are we listening to the warnings of our time?  All who would live Godly will. Suffer. Persecution. Not going to lie, I struggle with that.  I used to be like Peter, “bring it on.” Now I caught just a whiff of it on Facebook and I’m like, “OK, no thank you.”  And that is good because I know just a BIT of what it might be like to face what is ahead. There are clouds on the horizon.  If you can’t see it, wow… 
  1. V34-35 A New Commandment “34 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. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
    1. A new commandment?  The Old Testament says to love your neighbor as yourself, but Jesus takes this to a whole other level.  How did Jesus love His disciples? He gave His LIFE for them – ON the CROSS. That is what we are called to.  
    2. By this will all people know that you are my disciples… this is the distinguishing trait of us, if we are obeying this command.  
  1. V36 – 38 You will Deny Me “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 will follow afterward.” 37 Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” 38 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.”
    1. Note that Peter does not want to talk about the “new commandment” – now how the world will know that they are His disciples. He jumps to the statement “where I go, you cannot come.”  
    2. Peter, not only wants to follow NOW, but wants to follow that statement up with a declaration of His devotion!  He wants to make sure that Jesus knows that, after all, Peter is worthy to go wherever Jesus goes because, He is willing to lay down his life for Christ.  
    3. V38. Jesus knows though. He knows what we are made of.  Jesus, as the son of God, is also the ultimate and final prophet.  You can’t put anything over on a prophet like Jesus, but Peter really thought he was that strong.  

Application

  1. A new commandment Are we loving one another with the love that Christ loved us?  This is a love that goes beyond just comfortable acquaintance. Christ Laid down his Life for us.  John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, that He lay down His life for His friends.”  Are we willing to lay down our lives for one another? Are the things that we believe really real in our lives?  There is no, “I love Jesus and but I just have a problem with His followers.” But when Paul was persecuting the church, and Christ spoke to him on the road to Damascus, he said, Acts 9:4 “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me”.  
    1. If you find yourself always running around offended and fighting with everyone in the church, guess who is to blame?  If you always have hurt feelings, always feel overlooked, always feel left out, and it is all about you, you, and YOU…how is that love?  
    2. I’ve already been loved.  I’m already experienced the love of God so I don’t need to feel anything else.  I mainly come to church not to get, but I come to GIVE.  This is the way God has chosen to work. He wants to love us, and he wants us to partner with Him to fulfill what He will not give us alone.  
    3. In saying that, I might sound like I’m only here FOR you, but God has also made it so that I need you.  Jesus is more than enough, but He has chosen to use the body to complete His love to us.  Why? Does that not just make everything so much richer to know that you are being the hands and feet of Christ, and that others are loving you on behalf of Christ?  This is the ultimate intimacy that God has given to us. Col 1:24-25 “24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known,” Can Christ just fill you up with knowledge on your own, just you the word of God, prayer, and the Holy Spirit? Yes, and He has done that in the past under special circumstances, but normally, we have to TEACH each other, share with each other, and care for each other.  
  2. By this Shall they Know That Ye Are My Disciples This is how the world is to know that we have been changed.  Don’t expect to have a great witness to those on the outside if you do not have love for those in the church.  This is to be the distinguishing trait of who we are. Most importantly is love for God, but the world, can’t directly see that, and will not recognize that, unless it is walked out in the tangible way of loving those in the church, who they can see.  When the world comes in here, they are going to see something DIFERENT than what they experience out in a dog eat dog world. They are going to long for what they see in here, and we are already there, but we can grow in this more and more. 1 Thess 4:9-10 “9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more”
  3. You will Deny Me Have you ever come to a place where you looked at your own spiritual life and said, wow!  I’m strong! I really love God a LOT. I would go to jail or even DIE for Christ!  
    1. If that is you, let him that things he stands, take heed lest he fall.  1 Cor 10:11-12 “11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come. 12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”  Have you seen yourself as Peter? What do I mean? I mean the self-assuredness and the foolish confidence that was boasted of as so strong, but was really just foolish pride. Until you see yourself as the person who would turn on Christ, you have not seen yourself as you truly are. 
    2. Some of you will deny Christ.  Jesus made a prediction and I will make a prediction based on this, we will all likely in some way deny Christ because every time that you decide to willfully, knowingly sin, you are denying Christ.  Now this prediction of denial lays at YOUR feet. YOU are now Peter. What are YOU going to do with that prophecy?  
    3. What to do? Well for starters, do NOT do what Peter did. We know from Matt 26:34-35 that Peter did exactly what I expected him to do, which is to just become even more sure of himself and just talk it up even more to just PROVE how sure he is of himself. Please don’t do that.  We already know where that leads and I can attest to that pattern in my own life.  
    4. Before you ever have the strength to stand in courage, you must turn to God and say, “I’m so week in my own strength and I have such cowardice, I need YOUR strength! Else I will deny you.”  The days are coming where the temptation to deny Christ will be heavy.  The spirit of the age will make it so at the smallest threat the temptation will be a heavy weight to say something like, “Oh I’m not that kind of Christian…I don’t judge people.  I’m not saying that Jesus is the only way, I believe everyone goes to heaven…” Trying to be PC and you will go home and look at yourself in the mirror and wonder what you have become.  You will weep bitterly, like him, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Why? Because this happened to us as an example for our benefit so that we don’t have to fall like Peter!  
    5. Cry out to God for His grace.  Confess to Him your weak heart and weak faith.  Tell Him that you believe but help my unbelief and trust that He cares about you and wants you to succeed in God’s timing and in God’s way.  
    6. When that temptation comes remember that Jesus is King and that everything you do is for HIM…forsake the world that is all going to burn one day and remember what Christ said in His temptation, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”  God has all the strength to stand in conviction.