The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 155

Passion Week ~ The Upper Room ~ Part 4

In our last post, we continued to examine the final days of Yeshua’s life and ministry. This post continues to explore the events that may have occurred on Thursday.

Yeshua Sends Y’hudah Out

“What you are doing, do quickly!” Yeshua said to him. 28 But no one at the table understood why he had said this to him. 29 Some thought that since Y’hudah was in charge of the common purse, Yeshua was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival,” or telling him to give something to the poor. 30 As soon as he had taken the piece of matzah, Y’hudah went out, and it was night.

Yeshua Calls for Love

3After Y’hudah had left, Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32 If the Son has glorified God, God will himself glorify the Son and will do so without delay. 33 Little children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and, as I said to the Judeans, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ now I say it to you as well. 34 “I am giving you a new command: that you keep on loving each other. In the same way that I have loved you, you are also to keep on loving each other. 35 Everyone will know that you are my talmidim by the fact that you have love for each other.”

Why is this a new commandment? Doesn’t Leviticus 19:18 already say, “Love your neighbor as yourself”? The difference is this: Leviticus says, “as yourself”; Yeshua says, “In the same way that I have loved you,” presupposing that God’s way of loving can be ours. Humanly this is impossible. But Yeshua gives us a new nature and spirit, fulfilling the Tanakh promises (Ezekiel 36:26, 37:14; Jeremiah 31:32(33), God’s Ruach. This is how we can love as God loves; God makes it possible.

Everyone will know that you are my talmidim by the fact that you have love for each other. I personally bear witness to the truth of this statement. I became willing to investigate the truth claims of the Brit Hadashah not because I was overwhelmed by irrefutable arguments but because I met Believers whose love for each other went beyond what I had experienced. It was not even their love toward me which impressed me (although they treated me well), but their self-sacrificing and cheerful willingness to give themselves entirely for each other without any trace of self-serving motivation. Those who claim to be trusting Yeshua are called to do this and can expect God’s power to enable them to do it. God can be counted on to fulfill His promise that the world will recognize such people as the true talmidim of Yeshua.

Kefa Makes a Request

36 Shim’on Kefa said to Him, “Lord, where are you going?” Yeshua answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow later.” 37 “Lord,” Kefa said to him, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!” [1] 31 “Shim’on, Shim’on, listen! The Adversary demanded to have you people for himself, to sift you like wheat! 32 But I prayed for you, Shim’on, that your trust might not fail. And you, once you have turned back in repentance, strengthen your brothers!” 33 Shim’on said to him, “Lord, I am prepared to go with you both to prison and to death!” 34 Yeshua replied, “I tell you, Kefa, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know me.” [2]

To sift you like wheat means to put you through trials as He did Job. In sifting, the wheat is shaken as the chaff is separated; Yeshua alludes to future testings for the talmidim. Once you have turned back in repentance, literally, “when you have turned again,” or “turned around,” or “turned back.” In Judaism, “turning” (t’shuvah) is not conversion but repentance. Here it refers to Kefa’s returning to unshakable trust after denying Yeshua three times later.

In our next, we continue to follow Yeshua into Yerushalayim for His Crucifixion by the end of the week and continue in The Upper Room.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] Yochanan13:27b-37.

[2] Luke 22:31–34.

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