If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23
This week, we walk with Jesus on His last night of Passover. Here is an excellent place to listen to these Chapters in John repeatedly in their totality. Five Chapters (13-17), all recording Jesus’ conversation with His disciples as they have Passover and then travel together to the Mount of Olives. James will bring us into sobriety as the Lord’s brother calls us into vibrant faith. In 2 Chronicles, we begin to watch the reigning of many kings in Judah.
John 13 – 19
Chapters thirteen through seventeen are my favorite Chapters in John, because Jesus on the evening He was betrayed, washes the feet of His betrayer along with His disciples, cuts the covenant, and gives His new commandment. “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34 In the next four Chapters, Jesus shares truths concerning His departure, the place He was going to prepare for us—Himself. He shares the Holy Spirit’s ministry and all the benefits He will bring. He calls us to abide in Him and His words to abide in us as we abide in His love. Again and again, He is sharing Holy Spirit’s coming and His advantage to them, giving them His joy and peace. In Chapter seventeen, Jesus turns to the Father and prays for all these things to be so. Like Paul often prays for revelation to be given, Jesus dedicates Himself to His mission by seeing the glory that was His from eternity now shared with us. These five Chapters would be an excellent listen, in one setting, repeatedly.
In Chapter eighteen, Jesus is arrested and brought to Pilate where He holds His good confession before Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-40; 19:1-16, 1 Timothy 6:13) perfectly undoing all authority but the scriptures being fulfilled. Then Jesus is crucified and declares that His sacrifice has been accepted, and this part of His life is finished.
We are called to brotherly love, remembering those imprisoned for Christ, holding the marriage bed in honor, and living without covetousness because the Lord has promised never to leave or forsake us. Our hearts are to be established by grace, even as we bear Christ’s reproach, we are to give the sacrifice of praise which is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to (confessing) His name.
James 1 – 5
James, the brother of Jesus and the Apostle of the Jerusalem church gives us charges as we might imagine a brother of Jesus would. Like Malichi, James pulls no punches and calls things for what they are. We count all tribulation as an occasion for joy so that patience can have its perfect work and we can be made complete. The word of God is to be engrafted in our hearts. No personal favoritism which is based on social economic position, and remembering faith without corresponding actions is dead. Chapter three is all about our tongues and motives contrasting the wisdom from above to that which is earthly, sensual, and demonic. I told you—he doesn’t pull any punches.
Chapter four tells us how friendship with the world is like adultery and places us in enmity with God. Humility is the only way to appear in the sight of God. Judging brothers and boasting about tomorrow are all forms of pride and evil. Then James calls us to patience until the coming of the Lord, and to fervent prayer, as Elijah demonstrated.
1 Peter 1
I love 1 Peter 1, because there we see our inheritance reserved in heaven for us, even though we walk through trials on earth. We are kept by faith, and in believing we rejoice with joy inexpressible. The salvation, that prophets inquired about as prophesied, would come through the suffering of Christ and the glories that would follow. Angels desire to look into this salvation. Therefore, we are called to gird up the loins of our minds and rest our hope fully upon the grace that will be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
2 Chronicles 12 – 21
We begin with Abijah setting a battle in order with four hundred thousand warriors against Jeroboam’s eight hundred thousand mighty men of valor. The battle was against Judah until they cried out to the Lord and the priests sounded the trumpets and the army gave a shout, then God struck Jeroboam, and five hundred thousand men of Israel were killed. Chapters fourteen through sixteen are the reign of Asa, a good king who sought the Lord and grew lazy in seeking the Lord in the end.
All kings prospered if they sought the Lord with their hearts. Jehoshaphat, Asa’s son, reigns after his death and does right in the sight of the Lord, seeking God. He makes mistakes but finds God each time because His heart is set on seeking the Lord. In Chapter twenty, the great battle of praise where Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir are defeated as Judah praises the Lord.
Jehoram, Jehoshaphat’s son, reigns after his death and does evil before the Lord, even getting a letter from Elijah declaring his sin and his death to come.