JERUSALEM, APRIL 6, AD 30
BULLETIN: Jesus and his apostles completed their Passover dinner in the upper chamber at the home of Elijah and Mary Mark. Jesus continued to address the eleven apostles with more teachings, including a new commandment. The highlights are presented below:
A new commandment
Jesus first cautioned the apostles to take care to allow for material needs during the trying period they were about to face. “No longer can you depend upon the good will of the multitudes.” Jesus then declared he had a new commandment to give them:
“ ... I give you this new commandment: That you love one another even as I have loved you. And by this will all men know that you are my disciples if you thus love one another. When I invite you to love one another, even as I have loved you, I hold up before you the supreme measure of true affection, for greater love can no man have than this: that he will lay down his life for his friends. And you are my friends; you will continue to be my friends if you are but willing to do what I have taught you... If you will only love one another as I am loving you, you shall be my friends, and I will ever speak to you of that which the Father reveals to me ... The Father and I will both work with you, and you shall experience the divine fullness of joy if you will only obey my command to love one another, even as I have loved you.”
The vine must bear fruit
“ ... I am the real vine, and you are the living branches. He who lives in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit of the spirit and experience the supreme joy of yielding this spiritual harvest. If you will maintain this living spiritual connection with me, you will bear abundant fruit. If you abide in me and my words live in you, you will be able to commune freely with me ... Herein is the Father glorified: that the vine has many living branches, and that every branch bears much fruit. And when the world sees these fruit-bearing branches— my friends who love one another, even as I have loved them—all men will know that you are truly my disciples.”
The enmity of the world
Jesus then discussed the great enmity the world would unleash upon the apostles. He pointed out:
“When I have left you, be not discouraged by the enmity of the world. Be not downcast even when faint-hearted believers turn against you and join hands with the enemies of the kingdom. If the world shall hate you, you should recall that it hated me even before it hated you. If you were of this world, then would the world love its own, but because you are not, the world refuses to love you.” Jesus noted that the words of his apostles would offend the ungodly. “Many of those who will assail you are ignorant of the light of heaven, but this is not true of some who now persecute us. If we had not taught them the truth, they might do many strange things without falling under condemnation, but now, since they have known the light and presumed to reject it, they have no excuse for their attitude.”
Then Jesus stated that he would not leave his followers alone to face the world, but would send them a new teacher. “Let not your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; continue to believe also in me. Even though I must leave you, I will not be far from you. I have already told you that in my Father’s universe there are many tarrying-places ... I am going to return to these worlds of light, stations in the Father’s heaven to which you shall some time ascend ... the hour is now at hand when I must return to my Father’s work in the spheres on high.” Jesus then turned aside to refresh himself with water.
(Extract from Chronicle of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
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