THE LESSON BACKGROUND.
This week’s lesson took place in the upper room where Jesus and His disciples had gathered for His last Passover meal. While there, He taught them spiritual lessons by washing their feet (see John 13:1-17). He announced that He would be betrayed and Judas left to meet with Jesus’ enemies (see John 13:18-30). Jesus also declared that He would be leaving them and that Peter would deny Him (see John 13:31-38). Finally, in what we call the Upper Room Discourse, Jesus began to teach the disciples in order to prepare them for challenging days ahead (see chapters 14-16). Jesus encouraged His followers by promising them an eternal home which He was the only way to (see John 14:1-11). He also told them that their ministry would be even more productive than His if they depended on Him in prayer (see John 14:12-14). In John 14:15-26, Jesus declared the importance of obedience to Him being based on love for Him. He then promised to send them another Comforter, the Holy Spirit who would also teach the disciples and remind them of everything Jesus had taught them. In John 14:31, it appears that Jesus and His disciples left the Upper Room headed for the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane (see Matthew 26:30, 36). But on the way, Jesus continued to teach them regarding the True Vine and the branches (see John 15:1-14). He also spoke of a new closeness with His disciples; they were no longer servants, but friends (see John 15:15-17). In John 15:18-27, Jesus spoke of how the world would view believers in Christ, hating them because they hated Him. Then in John 16:1-3, Jesus told His disciples that they would be expelled from synagogues which meant being left out of Jewish society. Some of them could even expect to be killed for their faith by those who thought they were doing God a favor (see John 16:2; Acts 26:9-11). Again, He reminded them that after He departed from them (through His death and resurrection) He would send the Holy Spirit to comfort them (see John 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit would also guide the disciples to understand things that they were not ready to understand at that time (see John 16:12-15). Then Jesus told His disciples tha