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The need for unity

“I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23 NET)

As the time of Jesus’ betrayal approached, there were many things on his mind. Some of these we have recorded in John 13-16. In John 17 we find Jesus in prayer to the Father. In my opinion, this is one of the most revealing and comforting prayers that Jesus offered, as it reveals what was on his heart, and we find that he was concerned about his followers, even those in the far distant future. Continue reading “The need for unity”

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Get rid of the evidence

“Now a large crowd of Judeans learned that Jesus was there, and so they came not only because of him but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to kill Lazarus too, for on account of him many of the Jewish people from Jerusalem were going away and believing in Jesus” (John 12:9-11 NET).

As Jesus approached Jerusalem for his last Passover week, his situation was very different from previous Passovers. He had reached what we, today, would call “celebrity status.” As a result, wherever he was, he attracted large crowds. In fact, the Jewish people had been looking for him since they had arrived in Jerusalem (John 11:56). In addition to this, just a few months earlier he had been called to Bethany where he brought Lazarus back to life from the dead, even after he had been buried for four days (John 11:39). No wonder Jesus’ popularity had risen among the people! Continue reading “Get rid of the evidence”