Blog 23 – John 13:31-38.

The new commandment

SNL Sunday 17 March 2013 7.00pm

This blog as usual is written not by John the evangelist but by Derek McKelvey.

It seems that the mood changed so quickly in that room that night, Judas had only gone a few minutes  – and Jesus began to speak again as he had when the Greeks wanted to see him.[1] It was as if he was talking to someone else not just us – he spoke of his being glorified – and then we had no clue what he meant – now that seems so crazy for every time he spoke like this he spoke of his crucifixion and resurrection. But he spoke as much to his Father as he spoke to us.

And then… he turned to us and called us ‘little children’ – somehow it was both endearing and at the same time as if we needed to be taught the simplest thing. ‘Love one another’ – it is the simplest thing – but how hard it has proved to do. Down the years again and again that has stymied us in congregation after congregation – so in my old age I was writing it all over again in my letter to the churches under my jurisdiction.[2]

And if as a case in point, Peter’s blundering ‘I’ll lay down my life for you” is swiftly followed by Jesus prophesying Peter’s denial. Peter was terribly quiet from then on.

But Jesus began to unburden his heart – and I’ve written it all down in the next three chapters and after Easter we’ll talk more of them.


[1] John 12:20-36

[2] See 1 John written to the churches in and around Ephesus where John as an old man was Bishop.