John, Chapter 13 Part 9

The Gospel of John

Chapter 13

Part IX


Let’s Move On:

33) Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.

(CEV)  My children, I will be with you for a little while longer. Then you will look for me, but you won’t find me. I tell you just as I told the people, “You cannot go where I am going.”

(MSG) “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.’


Regarding “Whither I go, ye cannot come,

“The Lord had told the same thing to the Jews, but He meant it in a different sense. For the disciples, His departure would only be temporary. He would come again for them (chap. 14). But for the Jews, His leaving them would be final. He was returning to heaven, and they could not follow Him because of their unbelief” [BBC].

“but with this difference, whereas the unbelieving Jews, who died in their sins, could never come whither he went, these his disciples, though they could not come now, yet they should hereafter, all of them, as well as Peter, John_13:36 [Gill].


34) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

In regards to “new commandment,”

“The Jew was known by his external rites, by his uniqueness of dress, etc.; the philosopher by some other mark of distinction; the military man by another, etc. In none of these cases had love for each other been the distinguishing and special badge by which they were known. But in the case of Christians they were not to be known by distinctions of wealth, or learning, or fame; they were not to aspire to earthly honors; they were not to adopt any special style of dress or badge, but they were to be distinguished by tender and constant attachment to each other” [Barnes] {emphasis mine}.

“It was new because the Holy Spirit would empower believers to obey it. It was new in that it was superior to the old. The old said, ‘Love your neighbor,’ but the new said, ‘Love your enemies’” [BBC].

A new commandment: The specific ancient Greek work used here for new here implies freshness, or the opposite of outworn, rather than recent or different. It isn’t that this commandment was just invented, but it will be presented in a new, fresh way.” He goes on to say, “The command to love wasn’t new; but the extent of love just displayed by Jesus was new, as would be the display of the cross. Love was newly defined from His example” [Guzik].

“it is expounded in the gospel in a new manner, pressed more plainly and in new arguments, and urged by a new example of their Lord and Master” [Poole].

Regarding “as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”

“for as Christ continually pressed this by his precepts, so he set them his own example, by showing the greatest love to them he could show” [Poole].

That you love one another: ‘Whereas the Old Testament demanded that men should love their neighbors as themselves, the New Law is that they should love the brethren better than themselves, and die for their friends’ (Hoskyns)” [Guzik].

This Extent of This Great Law:

1 John 3:16) Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren.

John 15:12-14) This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14) Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

Romans 5:8) But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

This Love Fulfills the Law:

Matthew 22:36-40) Master, which [is] the great commandment in the law? 37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38) This is the first and great commandment. 39) And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Galatians 5:13-14) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. 14) For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Romans 13:8-10) Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9) For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if [there be] any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10) Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love [is] the fulfilling of the law.


35) By this shall all [men] know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Concerning “disciples,”

“a learner, that is, pupil[Strong’s].

Mathetés means more in the NT than a mere pupil or learner. It is an adherent who accepts the instruction given to him and makes it his rule of conduct” [Word Study].

In regards to “shall all men know,”

“Love is the mark of the fellowship of true believers, and all other criteria are strictly secondary” [Guzik].

Notice What Jesus Prayed:

John 17:23) I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Other Translations:

(BBE)  I in them, and you in me, so that they may be made completely one, and so that it may become clear to all men that you have sent me and that they are loved by you as I am loved by you.

(CEV)  I am one with them, and you are one with me, so that they may become completely one. Then this world’s people will know that you sent me. They will know that you love my followers as much as you love me.

(GNB)  I in them and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.

(MSG)  I in them and you in me. Then they’ll be mature in this oneness, And give the godless world evidence That you’ve sent me and loved them In the same way you’ve loved me.

(NIV) I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

QUESTION: How will those outside of the church recognize that we are genuinely followers of Christ?

ANSWER: We won’t be recognized as disciples/students/followers of Christ by dressing differently than the “world,” or by preaching hellfire to everyone we work with/live around, or by abstinence and dedication; we will only be judged genuine by the world if they see Christ-like love for one another among us.

NOTE: The Law of Moses made the Old Testament Israelites a peculiar people; walking in Christ-like love for one another makes New Testament believers a peculiar people. It’s great to give up bad habits and establish good ones; I call this dedication and abstinence. However, it won’t impress those you are trying to reach for Christ. They must see you walking in the love Jesus walked in!


36) Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.

NOTE: What Jesus just said concerning this “new commandment” was every bit as important to the church as the giving of the 10 commandments was to Israel. Yet, Peter was still thinking about what Jesus has said earlier. I’m afraid we’re so busy some times thinking about other things Jesus said that we miss the weight of this new commandment.


37) Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.

Concerning “I will lay down my life for thy sake,”

“Concerning “I will lay down my life for thy sake,”

“Poor Peter! He would have died for Jesus right then but he later failed because his devotion was based on emotion,” the commentator then goes on to say, “Poor Peter! He would have died for Jesus but he could not stand being laughed at for Jesus’ sake. To him, a servant-girl’s tongue was sharper than an executioner’s sword” [Guzik].

Poor Peter! thou wast sincere, but thou didst not know thy own strength. Thou wast at this time willing to die, but when the time cams wast not able. Christ must first die for Peter, before Peter can die for him” [Clarke].


38) Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Regarding this sad prophecy,

“Christ speaks these words as questioning, not Peter’s sincerity, but his strength” [Gill].

“Let no man think he can do any thing good, without the immediate assistance of God. Peter’s denial should be an eternal warning to all self-confident persons: though there be sincerity and good will at the bottom, yet in the trial these cannot perform that office which belongs to the power of God. We should will, and then look to God for power to execute: without him we can do nothing” [Clarke].

NOTE: Jesus informs Peter that his love for Him isn’t as deep as Peter thought it was. As a famous songwriter once wrote:

“The Author of my salvation is the strength of my dedication.”

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church