Jesus is a rabbi, a teacher in the Jewish culture, teaching final, critical lessons to His disciples. The upper room discourse begins in John 13:31-38. Earlier in John 13, Jesus provided an object lesson for His disciples when He washed their feet. As He will soon be departing, Jesus desires for His disciples to thrive without His physical presence, as they will not yet be able to follow Him.
No matter their fear, uncertainty, failure, or doubt, Jesus has a final, powerful lesson for His disciples to learn: that loving one another like Christ is the way of perseverance.
John places a discourse of teaching before or after each of the miracles he writes about. A chief discourse is found in John 6:22-71 after the feeding of the 5,000 and Jesus' walking on the water. In this passage, Jesus is at the end of His Galilean ministry. Having fed the 5,000, He and His disciples are along the shores of the Sea of Galilee near Jesus’s hometown. Those who have been fed and healed have found their way to the other side of the lake, marveling that Jesus is there too, knowing He had not set out in the boat with His disciples the evening before.
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