John 13-15 The Message Bible

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Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet

13 1  Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end. 2  It was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal. 3  Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything, that he came from God and was on his way back to God. 4  So he got up from the supper table, set aside his robe, and put on an apron. 5  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. 6  When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said, "Master, you wash my feet?" 7  Jesus answered, "You don't understand now what I'm doing, but it will be clear enough to you later." 8  Peter persisted, "You're not going to wash my feet - ever!" Jesus said, "If I don't wash you, you can't be part of what I'm doing." 9  "Master!" said Peter. "Not only my feet, then. Wash my hands! Wash my head!" 10  Jesus said, "If you've had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you're clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you're clean. But not every one of you." 11  (He knew who was betraying him. That's why he said, "Not every one of you.") 12  After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table. 13  You address me as 'Teacher' and 'Master,' and rightly so. That is what I am. 14  So if I, the Master and Teacher, washed your feet, you must now wash each other's feet. 15  I've laid down a pattern for you. What I've done, you do. 16  I'm only pointing out the obvious. A servant is not ranked above his master; an employee doesn't give orders to the employer. 17  If you understand what I'm telling you, act like it - and live a blessed life.

18  "I'm not including all of you in this. I know precisely whom I've selected, so as not to interfere with the fulfillment of this Scripture: The one who ate bread at my table Turned on his heel against me. 19  "I'm telling you all this ahead of time so that when it happens you will believe that I am who I say I am. 20  Make sure you get this right: Receiving someone I send is the same as receiving me, just as receiving me is the same as receiving the One who sent me."

Jesus Foretells His Betrayal

21  After he said these things, Jesus became visibly upset, and then he told them why. "One of you is going to betray me." 22  The disciples looked around at one another, wondering who on earth he was talking about. 23  One of the disciples, the one Jesus loved dearly, was reclining against him, his head on his shoulder. 24  Peter motioned to him to ask who Jesus might be talking about. 25  So, being the closest, he said, "Master, who?" 26  Jesus said, "The one to whom I give this crust of bread after I've dipped it." Then he dipped the crust and gave it to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot. 27  As soon as the bread was in his hand, Satan entered him. "What you must do," said Jesus, "do. Do it and get it over with." 28  No one around the supper table knew why he said this to him. 29  Some thought that since Judas was their treasurer, Jesus was telling him to buy what they needed for the Feast, or that he should give something to the poor. 30  Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night.

The New Commandment

31  When he had left, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, 32  God's glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified - glory all around! 33  "Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I'm telling you: 'Where I go, you are not able to come.' 34  "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. 35  This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples - when they see the love you have for each other."

Peter's Denial Foretold

36  Simon Peter asked, "Master, just where are you going?" Jesus answered, "You can't now follow me where I'm going. You will follow later." 37  "Master," said Peter, "why can't I follow now? I'll lay down my life for you!" 38  "Really? You'll lay down your life for me? The truth is that before the rooster crows, you'll deny me three times."

Jesus the Way to the Father

14 1  "Don't let this throw you. You trust God, don't you? Trust me. 2  There is plenty of room for you in my Father's home. If that weren't so, would I have told you that I'm on my way to get a room ready for you? 3  And if I'm on my way to get your room ready, I'll come back and get you so you can live where I live.

4  And you already know the road I'm taking." 5  Thomas said, "Master, we have no idea where you're going. How do you expect us to know the road?" 6  Jesus said, "I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. 7  If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You've even seen him!" 8  Philip said, "Master, show us the Father; then we'll be content." 9  "You've been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don't understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, 'Where is the Father?' 10  Don't you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren't mere words. I don't just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act. 11  "Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can't believe that, believe what you see - these works.

12  The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. 13  From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I'll do it. That's how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. 14  Whatever you request in this way, I'll do.

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

15  "If you love me, show it by doing what I've told you. 16  I will talk to the Father, and he'll provide you another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. 17  This Friend is the Spirit of Truth. The godless world can't take him in because it doesn't have eyes to see him, doesn't know what to look for. But you know him already because he has been staying with you, and will even be in you!

18  "I will not leave you orphaned. I'm coming back. 19  In just a little while the world will no longer see me, but you're going to see me because I am alive and you're about to come alive. 20  At that moment you will know absolutely that I'm in my Father, and you're in me, and I'm in you. 21  "The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that's who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him." 22  Judas (not Iscariot) said, "Master, why is it that you are about to make yourself plain to us but not to the world?" 23  "Because a loveless world," said Jesus, "is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him - we'll move right into the neighborhood! 24  Not loving me means not keeping my words. The message you are hearing isn't mine. It's the message of the Father who sent me.

25  "I'm telling you these things while I'm still living with you. 26  The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. 27  I'm leaving you well and whole. That's my parting gift to you. Peace. I don't leave you the way you're used to being left - feeling abandoned, bereft. So don't be upset. Don't be distraught.

28  "You've heard me tell you, 'I'm going away, and I'm coming back.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I'm on my way to the Father because the Father is the goal and purpose of my life. 29  "I've told you this ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the confirmation will deepen your belief in me. 30  I'll not be talking with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world is about to attack. But don't worry - he has nothing on me, no claim on me. 31  But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father's instructions right down to the last detail. "Get up. Let's go. It's time to leave here.

Jesus the True Vine

15 1  "I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. 2  He cuts off every branch of me that doesn't bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. 3  You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken. 4  "Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can't bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can't bear fruit unless you are joined with me. 5  "I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you're joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can't produce a thing. 6  Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. 7  But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. 8  This is how my Father shows who he is - when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.

9  "I've loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. 10  If you keep my commands, you'll remain intimately at home in my love. That's what I've done - kept my Father's commands and made myself at home in his love. 11  "I've told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. 12  This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. 13  This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. 14  You are my friends when you do the things I command you. 15  I'm no longer calling you servants because servants don't understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I've named you friends because I've let you in on everything I've heard from the Father. 16  "You didn't choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won't spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you. 17  "But remember the root command: Love one another.

The World's Hatred

18  "If you find the godless world is hating you, remember it got its start hating me. 19  If you lived on the world's terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God's terms and no longer on the world's terms, the world is going to hate you. 20  "When that happens, remember this: Servants don't get better treatment than their masters. If they beat on me, they will certainly beat on you. If they did what I told them, they will do what you tell them. 21  "They are going to do all these things to you because of the way they treated me, because they don't know the One who sent me. 22  If I hadn't come and told them all this in plain language, it wouldn't be so bad. As it is, they have no excuse. 23  Hate me, hate my Father - it's all the same. 24  If I hadn't done what I have done among them, works no one has ever done, they wouldn't be to blame. But they saw the God-signs and hated anyway, both me and my Father. 25  Interesting - they have verified the truth of their own Scriptures where it is written, 'They hated me for no good reason.'

26  "When the Friend I plan to send you from the Father comes - the Spirit of Truth issuing from the Father - he will confirm everything about me. 27  You, too, from your side must give your confirming evidence, since you are in this with me from the start.

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