Thursday – was a day that apparently started out quietly but toward evening the Passover preparations began.
The disciples unfortunately had an argument over who would be the greatest in the Kingdom. This was so sad and insensitive given the impending events. Jesus emphasized the need for servants in the Kingdom and that those who would be great must be servants. He also emphasized love as the central facet of His Kingdom. It is by the mutual love of His followers that they would be recognized. John 13:35 immortalizes that concept.
In the upper room they gathered for the evening meal. Jesus washed their feet while they ate. He then gave the “Upper Room” discourse. He emphasized that He was about to leave His disciples. He promised the Holy Spirit of God to come to them and fill the place that He would leave. This Spirit would be the comforter, the Spirit of Truth.
“I am the vine and you are the branches” – He and His followers would be so joined together. He also emphasized that, just as the world hated Him, the world would also hate His followers also.
The account then moves from Jesus speaking to His followers to Jesus speaking to His Father. It is a moving transition – the language changes, the tone changes, eternity is now in view. He and His Father had glory and fellowship since before the world began. He had done what the Father had sent Him to do – only one thing yet remained – His death.
“This is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom Thou have sent.” “Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy Word is Truth.” His prayer is for all who will follow Him for all time. His prayer is for unity – “I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be perfected in unity…” Unity is the result of being in Christ and Christ is us. Thus we are unified in Him.
After this prayer, Jesus and His disciples went over the Kidron to the garden of Gethsemane.