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A Back-To-School Talk from Jesus

By Barry Shafer | Director, InWord Resources | August 19 2011

The Backdrop

If you've ever leafed through the Gospel of John in a red-letter edition of the Bible (where the words of Jesus appear in red text), you've probably noticed a section that is a sea of red. This collection of red is Jesus' last, intimate gathering with His disciples, so you could actually call this Jesus' farewell address.

You could also call this Jesus' back-to-school talk, and here's why: Jesus was prepping His disciples to live the gospel in a world that's simply not conducive to the gospel message. Sound familiar?

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The What

Picture yourself having a one-on-one with Jesus. Maybe you're meeting at your favorite coffee spot such as Starbucks, your favorite ice cream place, or your favorite place of solitude such as woods, park or beach. The verses below are snippets from Jesus' farewell address to His disciples. As you read these verses, imagine Jesus sharing these words with you face-to-face. Picture what Jesus would be wearing and whether He would be drinking a fancy coffee drink or a basic roast. You may want to print out these passages, and to help you acknowledge what Jesus is saying to you (as if you're nodding in agreement or taking notes on what Jesus is saying while He's talking to you), underline anything that gives you encouragement or comfort.

"If you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete" (John 15:10-11).

"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything I learned from my Father I have made known to you" (John 15:13-15).

"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you" (John 15:18-19).

"I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

(Jesus praying to the Father for His disciples—and you!)

"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so they may have the full measure of My joy within them. I have given them Your Word, and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that You take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify Myself, that they too may be truly sanctified" (John 17:13-19).

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