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Now before the feast of the Passover...

The LORD is near - Sunday, December 1, 2013
by Jacob Redekop, Brian Reynolds, John van Dijk, Eugene P. Vedder, Jr
Now before the feast of the Passover...

Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, loved them to the end
(John 13:1)

The opening verse of chapter 13 is introductory to the last discourses of our Lord. The occasion was that at last "His hour was come." In the course of our Lord's earthly path we have heard of other "hours".
At Cana of Galilee He could say to His mother, "Mine hour has not yet come" - the hour of His manifestation in glory to the world. In John 5 we read, "An hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the son of God, and they that have heard shall live" - the hour of His grace to sinners. In the presence of man's enmity, we twice read that, "No man laid hands on Him, because His hour was not yet come" - the hour of His suffering. This hour-the hour that introduces the farewell words-has another character. It is the hour of His return to His glory with the Father, in the love and holiness of the Father's house.
The disciples, however, would be left behind in a defiling world that hated the Father and rejected Christ. If then they are to be kept from the evil of the world, they are passing through, and yet enjoy communion with Christ in the Father's home of love and holiness, they will need this last gracious ministry with its comfort, its instruction and its warnings.
If the Lord leaves the world, He will not forget His own, nor will He cease to love them. Alas! our hearts may grow cold towards Him, our hands may weary in well doing, our feet may wander; but of this we are assured, that He will never fail us. His love will carry us, and care for us, "unto the end"; and at the end love will receive us into love's eternal home where there are no cold hearts, nor hands that hang down, nor feet that wander.



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