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Sunday School

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The disciples were about to experience the greatest trial of their lives. In a short while, the LORD, to whom they looked for spiritual guidance and comfort would be tried and sentenced to die on the cross. The last Passover meal had ended, and Judas had departed to do his evil deed (see John 13:21-30). Jesus then instituted the LORD’s Supper (see Mark 14:22-25) and told His remaining eleven disciples that He would have to leave them (see John 13:33). They were troubled, but He encouraged them with promises of a prepared place for them, His return, their power to do mighty works, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and His abiding peace (see John 14:1-31). Despite hard times ahead, Jesus was leaving them with sufficient spiritual resources. It appears from John’s Gospel that at this point, the small group arose and followed Jesus out into the night (see John 14:31). If that’s the case, Jesus’ teachings that followed including chapters 15-17, occurred as the group was headed to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane (see Mark 14:12; Matthew 26:30; Luke 22:39; John 18:1). As they walked, Jesus continued to teach them how to draw on His resources after He was gone. Using the metaphor of a vine and its branches, Jesus taught His disciples the importance of abiding in Him. He would be absent physically, but He would continue to be their source of spiritual life and strength. This is where our lesson begins.