With Judas’ betrayal, Jesus sees the stark reality of his final journey. He declares that both he and God will be glorified by his death.

We have slowly come to understand that this glory reflects God’s true nature of sacrificial love revealed through his Son.

Jesus realises that his disciples will not understand the meaning of what is about to happen to him until afterwards. Nor can they share his journey. So he instructs them as ‘little children’ to love one another, as a basic example to others of what it means to be his disciple.

This short passage needs to be read in the wider context of John 13-17, in which Jesus seeks to prepare his disciples for his departure. These chapters contain a treasury of conversations with God; prayers for unity and fellowship with each other; explanations of the nature of God and himself, as the way, the truth and the life.

Finally, he tells how the Holy Spirit will come as comforter and advocate, uniting us all, as his disciples, with both himself and God.

Philip Eldridge