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<strong>PART</strong> R: Prophecy<br />

<strong>PART</strong> R: PROPHESY<br />

Jesus declares that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and predicts his<br />

own impending departure, and his disciples’ flight.<br />

Near to the Temple Treasury the Lord<br />

sat down and watched the contributions made.<br />

Donations from the rich were very large<br />

yet one poor widow put in nothing but<br />

two copper coins. Jesus made it clear<br />

her penny’s-worth was representing more<br />

than all the cash donated by the rich.<br />

Their benefactions came from opulence:<br />

her penny constituted all she had.<br />

Someone remarked as he was going out<br />

how beautiful the Temple buildings were<br />

how solid and how finely crafted stood<br />

the stones with which the edifice was built.<br />

‘Make no mistake’ he said, ‘the day will come<br />

when every stone you see will be displaced<br />

and shattered and come falling into dust.<br />

The Temple you admire will not exist.’<br />

The Feast of Passover attracted some<br />

who were not Jews but had an interest<br />

in Jewish Festivals and in their God.<br />

Greek-speaking Gentiles of this sort approached<br />

the Lord’s disciples and requested help<br />

in meeting him, but Jesus was aware<br />

that his own sacrifice was imminent<br />

and that his death would have the consequence<br />

of saving all mankind – Gentile and Jew.<br />

‘Remember this,’ he said ‘that if a grain<br />

of wheat does not drop to the earth and die<br />

it is of no significance at all.<br />

Only by dying is its aim achieved,<br />

and anyone who clings on to this world<br />

and makes a god of all its vanities<br />

will lose it: but the one who turns his back<br />

upon the values of this world will find<br />

a new and everlasting life in heaven.’<br />


A gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables<br />

If you would serve me, follow in my path.<br />

By doing so, you’ll gain my Father’s trust<br />

and he will honour you. But I myself<br />

am now uncertain and distressed. ‘Father!’<br />

I dare to say, “Don’t ask of me what I<br />

feel bound to do!”And yet I know that this<br />

is why I came…“But, no! Thy will be done<br />

and Thy Name honoured and be glorified!”’<br />

And then there seemed to come a voice from heaven<br />

(though some took it to be a thunderclap).<br />

‘My wishes have already been obeyed<br />

and my name glorified and once again<br />

it will be so.’ ‘For sure, an angel spoke<br />

to him,’ some called aloud. But Jesus said<br />

it was for them and not for him the voice<br />

was heard. They were the beneficiaries.<br />

‘Now comes the time when this world will be judged.<br />

The princes of the world will needs give way<br />

when I am lifted high above the earth<br />

and demonstrate my right to precedence.<br />

Both Jew and Gentile will be reconciled<br />

and all men be attracted to my cause’.<br />

By this he hinted how he was to die.<br />

‘The Law has taught us that the Christ will live,<br />

for ever’, came the voices from the crowd,<br />

‘but what’s all this about the ‘Son of Man’?’<br />

Who is this ‘Son of Man’? How lifted up?’<br />

‘For just a little longer you have light,<br />

So make the most of it while you can see.<br />

When darkness comes, you’ll not know where to go,<br />

but while you have the light, believe in me.<br />

That way, you may become the sons of light.’<br />

Then with these words he disappeared from view<br />

and no-one could discover where he’d gone.<br />

The crowds who’d hung around all heard him say,<br />

‘Not long from now I shall be leaving you<br />

but you will find you cannot follow me.’<br />

The Jews concluded that he’d kill himself.<br />

‘That’s what he means!’ they said. The Lord explained,<br />


<strong>PART</strong> R: Prophecy<br />

‘You see, I’m from above: not of this world:<br />

but you are from below, from here on earth.<br />

Unless you take my word, you’ll die in sin,<br />

for I am what I’ve always said I was.<br />

When you have lifted up the Son of Man<br />

you’ll know that I’ve done nothing for myself<br />

and spoken only as my Father wills.<br />

Yes! I have always done what pleases Him<br />

and He’s stayed with me. I am not alone.’<br />

No need to get upset: believe in God.<br />

Believe also in me. My Father’s house<br />

is never short of rooms. I should have said<br />

if that were so. Meanwhile I go ahead<br />

to furnish and mark out a place for you.<br />

Then I’ll return so you can join me there.<br />

You’ll know the way, of course. But Thomas said,<br />

“We don’t know where you’re going. How could we?<br />

We do not even know where we should start.”<br />

‘But, I’m the Way’, the Lord declared.’ I am<br />

the Life: I am the Truth: and no-on finds<br />

the Father but through me. If you had known –<br />

if you had really known – just who it is<br />

I am, you would have known the Father, too.<br />

Now, understand! The Father’s known to you<br />

and you have known about him all along.’<br />

But Philip made a bid for further proof.<br />

“Show us the Father: then we’ll be quite sure.”<br />

‘What! All this time and still you’re unconvinced!<br />

‘How can you say, “Show us the Father now!”<br />

when I myself am in the Father, and,<br />

the Father is in me. You’re still in doubt!?<br />

The words I speak to you are not my own.<br />

The Father says them all ....and we are one<br />

and He it is who works His miracles<br />

from where he dwells. But if you still have doubts<br />

the miracles themselves will prove my words.<br />

Believe in them if you’ve no trust in me.<br />

But let me say, who does believe in me<br />

will bring about strange wonders such as mine.<br />

Indeed, I promise you much more than this<br />

because it’s to the Father that I go.<br />

Ask what you want in my name and it’s yours<br />

so that both Son and Father may be known<br />

and glorified. Trust me and you will see.’<br />


A gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables<br />

Do not upset yourselves or be afraid.<br />

You’ve heard me tell you that I’m leaving you.<br />

Indeed I am, and you should be well pleased<br />

because it’s to the Father that I go –<br />

and He is much more powerful than I.<br />

I’ve told you this before it’s taken place<br />

so when it happens you will know it’s meant.<br />

There’s not much chance for me to talk to you<br />

for soon the world’s Dark Villain will be here.<br />

He has no power over me, but I<br />

was sent to do the will of He Who Is –<br />

my loving Father. All must understand<br />

that I love Him and want to do His will.<br />

So what I leave to you is peace – my peace.<br />

It’s not a peace the worldly ever know.<br />

I sent you out to teach in villages<br />

and told you not to take a lot of food<br />

nor even extra sandals or a purse.<br />

So did you ever find yourselves in need?’<br />

This was the question Jesus put to them.<br />

‘No! We were never short of anything,’<br />

they said. ‘Well, times have changed. I recommend<br />

that now you carry sandals, bags and purse<br />

and if you have no sword, well, sell your coat<br />

and buy one and go armed. The prophesy<br />

Isaiah writes about has yet to be<br />

fulfilled:- “For sinners he gave up his life<br />

and let himself be called a criminal.”<br />

‘We have two swords between us, that is all.<br />

Look, here they are.’ ‘It is enough’, the Lord<br />

replied.<br />

’Oh! Now at last we start to understand.<br />

Your words are plain: not cloaked in metaphor.<br />

There is no longer need for questioning.<br />

There is no doubt that you have come from God.’<br />

‘Right! Are you there at last!? Yet, truth to tell,<br />

the time is almost here when you will run<br />

for cover and abandon me. You’ll hide<br />

and I’ll be left alone… not quite alone.<br />

My Heavenly Father always stays with me.<br />


<strong>PART</strong> R: Prophecy<br />

But this I’ve told you so you’ll be prepared.<br />

You’ll find out that the world’s your enemy.<br />

Times will be hard, but you’ve no cause to fear.<br />

The world that threatens you, I’ve overcome.<br />

You’ve every reason to know happiness.<br />

You’re mine! Your enemy is at your feet.<br />

When two or three meet in my name, I’m there,’<br />

explained the Lord, ‘and if you pray as one<br />

then be assured that you’ll be heard in Heaven.’<br />

The Feast of Passover was getting close<br />

And there was much to do, so Jesus said<br />

To Peter and to John ‘Go and arrange<br />

somewhere for us to eat.’ ‘Where shall we go?’<br />

they asked. ‘Into the city,’ Jesus said,<br />

‘and when you see a man who’s carrying<br />

a jar of water, follow him.’ (This was<br />

a sight less usual than you may think,<br />

for then, such menial tasks were women’s work.)<br />

‘You’ll see him walk into a house and there<br />

you’ll go and greet the householder and ask,<br />

“Where is the guest room which the Lord requires?”<br />

Then they’ll take you to an upper room –<br />

well furnished and prepared.’<br />

The opportunity to warn them all<br />

of what must happen next, came as they sat<br />

stretched out at leisure in this Upper Room.<br />

While they were eating Jesus took some bread<br />

and blessed and broke it – gave to each a piece.<br />

‘This is my body I am giving you.<br />

Take it and eat, and later on do this<br />

in memory of what I’m going to do.’<br />

Then, having filled a cup with wine he said<br />

a prayer of thanks and passed it to them all.<br />

‘This is my blood – another covenant –<br />

my sacrifice of love for everyone.<br />

But from now on no wine will pass my lips<br />

until I drink new wine again with you<br />

within those realms that are my Father’s home’.<br />

When they had finished eating, Jesus stood<br />

and put an apron on. He took a jug,<br />

and pouring water in a bowl, began<br />


A gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables<br />

to wash and dry the feet of all his friends.<br />

But Peter, chief disciple, when he saw<br />

that his feet, too, would be washed by the Lord,<br />

refused. This was a servant’s job – a slave’s -<br />

some low domestic or some underling.<br />

How could he take this from the Son of God?’<br />

‘I’ll never let you wash my feet,’ he said.<br />

‘I know you do not understand as yet<br />

why I do this,’ the Lord replied. ‘You will!<br />

If you refuse, you’ll be no part of me.’<br />

‘Then wash not just my feet, but head and hands<br />

and every bit of me!’ was the reply.<br />

‘If you have bathed already, only feet<br />

need to be washed. The rest of you is clean.<br />

Now, Peter, you are clean from top to toe:<br />

but this cannot be said of everyone.’<br />

The Lord was well aware he’d be betrayed.<br />

So, when he’d washed the feet of all the Twelve<br />

he took his seat and said to them, ‘ You call<br />

me Lord and Teacher as indeed I am,<br />

but like a slave I’ve washed your dirty feet.<br />

That’s my example. You should follow it.<br />

Make sure that you too wash each other’s feet.<br />

Yes, that’s the Master’s bidding. Hear my words.<br />

No servant tells his master what to do<br />

No pupil contradicts his teacher’s wish.<br />

Nor is the one who’s sent a greater one<br />

than He it is who sends. I have been sent’.<br />

Then, having sung a hymn, they went outside<br />

towards the Mount of Olives, where the Lord<br />

attracted their attention by a quote<br />

from Zechariah. This is what he said.<br />

‘“When I have struck the shepherd, all the sheep<br />

will run away.” ‘Because of me’, he said,<br />

‘tonight you’ll all be scattered, every one:<br />

for you will all desert me.’ ‘I shall not,’<br />

said Peter, ‘and whatever others do<br />

I’m ready to face prison at your side,<br />

indeed, lay down my life.’ ‘I’ll tell you what,’<br />

the Lord declared, ‘before the cock has crowed –<br />

before tomorrow’s dawn – three times you will<br />

deny you’ve ever known me.’ ‘We shall not!’<br />

they all affirmed. We’ll stay and die with you.’<br />


<strong>PART</strong> R: Prophecy<br />

But Jesus said no more in this regard.<br />

‘Within three days you’ll see me once again<br />

In Galilee when I have been raised up.’<br />

Meanwhile, the High Priest, Caiaphas, convened<br />

A conference of Elders, much concerned<br />

about the growing influence of one<br />

young Galilean who had thus far<br />

trounced them in public argument<br />

and threatened both their influence and power.<br />

But there had been a new development.<br />

Within the Palace walls they planned a way<br />

of getting hold of Jesus quietly<br />

and putting him to death. ‘We’d best take care.’<br />

they said. ‘Not during Passover, or we<br />

might provoke a riot in the streets.’<br />

Jesus continued talking to the Twelve.<br />

‘The followers I have, I’ve picked with care.<br />

I was aware of what the choice entails.<br />

The Scriptures have to be fulfilled. Oh, yes!<br />

Look in the Psalms, you’ll find the prophecy.<br />

“The one who eats my bread has lifted up<br />

his heel to threaten me”. Remember that,<br />

so when it happens, you’ll believe I am<br />

the One: and who receives the One who’s sent<br />

receives the One who sent him. Here I am!’<br />

At which point Jesus was himself distressed.<br />

‘Ah! One of you will treat me treacherously!<br />

Yes! One of you who’s eating with me now!<br />

No one was sure to whom he had referred.<br />

Each seemed afraid lest he should be to blame.<br />

But Simon Peter signalled to young John<br />

as he was lolling by the Master’s side.<br />

‘Find out for me which one of us it is.’<br />

John whispered to the Lord, ‘Who is it, then?’<br />

‘Just watch and you will learn,’ the Lord replied.<br />

‘It is the one who’ll dip his bread into<br />

the common dish when I dip mine. You’ll see!’<br />

Judas Iscariot did so: and yet<br />

it was to him whom Jesus turned and said,<br />

‘Do get on with the job you have to do.’<br />

None of the listeners quite understood<br />


A gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables<br />

what ‘job’ was to be done, but since he was<br />

the treasurer, it may have had to do<br />

with further preparations for the feast<br />

which would have several days to run. Perhaps<br />

The Lord’s concern for those in poverty<br />

was what it was about and Judas had<br />

been sent to help the ones who could not feast<br />

upon the festive days. As for Judas,<br />

he, silently, left them to eat, and stepped<br />

into the night. As Jesus looked on those<br />

on whom he hoped he could rely, perhaps<br />

he chose to speak another parable.<br />

The Parable of the Salt<br />

Salt of the earth are you –<br />

You disciples – you few.<br />

But you must strive in haste<br />

That all may have fore-taste<br />

Of that new kingdom<br />

In which all are welcome –<br />

The Kingdom of God-made Man<br />

Planned since the world began.<br />

Each must play his part<br />

And must not lose heart.<br />

If you cease to labour<br />

Your message will lose its savour.<br />

What I have told you quietly, go and shout.<br />

What I have murmured, yell for all to hear.<br />

Was it once secret? Make it plain to see.<br />

What was once private can be noised abroad.<br />

No tiny detail’s ever missed by God<br />

He is aware of every sparrow’s death<br />

but has a special love for humankind.<br />

Nothing escapes His notice. Never fear!<br />

He knows how many hairs are on your head.<br />

You who remain my followers on earth<br />

I shall acknowledge when we meet at death.<br />

If you reject me now, I’ll turn away<br />

on Judgement Day before the Court of Heaven<br />

So have no fear of those who have no power<br />

to kill the soul, though they may take your life.<br />

Fear God and tread my path courageously.<br />

That way eternal happiness is yours.<br />


<strong>PART</strong> R: Prophecy<br />

The time had come for Jesus to make clear<br />

how near they were to shattering events.<br />

The elders and the chief priest and the scribes<br />

would charge him and arrest him: thereupon<br />

he would face certain death, but afterwards<br />

in just three days, he would rise up again.<br />

These things would happen in Jerusalem.<br />

Then Jesus said to them… (and to us all)<br />

‘My Father has loved me and I love you.<br />

Join me in being the recipients<br />

of my own Father’s love. Do as I’ve said.<br />

I’ll go on loving you, for what I’ve done<br />

is in obedience to His commands.<br />

You know I’ll go on loving you as long<br />

as you are doing what He asks of you.<br />

All this I’ve told you. You can share my joy<br />

and it will be an everlasting joy.<br />

No one can show his love more certainly<br />

than giving up his life to save his friends.<br />

You are my friends and if you walk my way<br />

you’ll be no longer servants – in the dark<br />

not knowing what your master thinks. You’ll know<br />

just everything my Father has passed on.<br />

You know that I chose you: you didn’t choose me.<br />

You are the ones I chose, because it’s you<br />

who’ve been deputed to bear fruit culled from<br />

my Father’s vineyard, that will last… and last.<br />

So what you ask the Father in my name<br />

He may well grant. But one more thing: this one.<br />

It’s a commandment, and importantly<br />

you all must follow it. It is to love!<br />

…you all must love each other – always love!<br />

And, Judas having left, Jesus began<br />

to speak to the Eleven of other things<br />

of paramount importance – of himself:<br />

of the great glory that would soon be his:<br />

and what had been the purpose of his life.<br />

God would be glorified by it: what’s more,<br />

The Son of Man would share that glory too.<br />

‘My little ones’ he said ‘it’s not long now<br />

before I go: and as I told the Jews,<br />

however much you want to go with me<br />

you’ll find you can’t. It is impossible.<br />


A gospel in blank verse with rhymed parables<br />

But when I’ve gone, remember my command.<br />

As much as I’ve loved you, you too must love<br />

each other. That is to be your hallmark,<br />

the way in which you(a)re recognised as mine.<br />


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