THE 89 DAY GOSPEL CHALLENGE
DAY EIGHTY-ONE JOHN THIRTEEN
The greatest man Who ever lived was also the greatest servant Who ever lived. Jesus said that the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve others (Mark 10:45). He submitted His will to the Father’s will and came for our benefit, not for His.
Paul wrote in his amazing Christological passage in Philippian 2:6-8, that the Son, being every bit God, willingly relinquished His throne, took on the form of a servant and being in our flesh, He humbled Himself and surrendered to death, even the shameful death on a cross.
Jesus had all authority. He openly exercised that authority over the demons and over disease and over nature and even over the elements. But He never “lorded” over anyone. He led by example and He led in love. He touched the untouchables and He entered into their pain.
In the end, He performed the greatest service ever. He took our sins and the offenses against us and He nailed them to His cross. He was our Passover Lamb and He died, not as a king, but as a servant in our place.
1. Jesus washes the feet of the Disciples (v. 1-17)
He knew His time had come. His sacrifice was only hours away. The affection He held for the twelve was real. Even at this late hour, there were still lessons He needed to teach them.
The meal was over. Satan had been active and had put in Judas’ heart to betray Jesus. He knew He came from the Father and it was always in the plan that He would return to the Father. He never came to stay.
Jesus arose from the dinner, set his robe aside, wrapped a towel around Him and put water into a basin. Then He began to wash the feet of His disciples and dry them with a towel. In a Jewish home, this was the job of the lowest servant in the household. Yet, Jesus took all this upon Himself.
The disciples were silent. They thought, “What is He doing?” They were under a lot of stress just knowing the Pharisees were plotting against their Master. Now He was acting like a common servant.
The silence was broken when Peter confronted Him and asked, “Lord, are you washing my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You may not understand what I am doing now, but one day you will.”
Peter was sincere with he refused to let Jesus wash his feet. He thought it was beneath His Master to do such a thing. But Jesus warned, “If I do not wash you, you will not belong to me.”
“Then don’t just wash my feet, wash my hands and face as well,” Peter said. Peter was definitely a reactionary. Here he overreacted
“Peter, you are clean. But not all of you.” Jesus was speaking of holiness and not about hygiene. We can understand this better if we look at the statement Jesus made in verse eleven and John’s commentary in verse twelve. Jesus said, “You are clean but not all of you.” He spoke concerning the spiritual condition of the twelve. One of them was not “clean.” One of them had not truly accepted Jesus as Savior. John said Jesus was speaking of the one who would betray Him, Judas, who was never saved.
The other eleven had no need of justification but they did have a continuing need for sanctification. If we get “spiritually dirty,” it impedes our spiritual growth and negatively affects our relationship with God. Our feet are constantly in contact with the world. If our feet “get dirty,” by being led astray by worldly lusts and other considerations, our heart will be turned from God. We must daily allow Jesus to cleanse our “feet.”
John wrote three epistles that bear his name. All three are written to believers. In I John 1:9 he wrote, “If we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” All believers are still sinners and we are in a constant struggle against our adversary, the Devil. Only daily confession and time with Jesus can keep us clean and make us holy.
Jesus then told the disciples, “You are to follow my example and to wash each other’s feet.” We are to assist each other in our spiritual growth. We are responsible for each other to keep us holy before God.
How do we wash each other’s feet? We can start by praying for one another. The Devil is at war with all of us. We must not divide our ranks and allow that old snake to get a foothold in our lives and in our fellowship. Know who the enemy is. It is not your Christian brother or sister.
Encourage each other. Some Christians can light up a room by leaving it. We are to be salt and light, not just for the lost but for our Christian family as well. Finally, we are to prefer one another. What does that mean? It means we should enjoy time with our church family and other Christian friends.
2. Jesus identifies the Betrayer (v. 18-30)
Jesus quotes Psalm 41:9, “Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.” Then Jesus said, “One of you will betray me.” This greatly disturbed the disciples. They looked around the room wondering which one it would be.
John never referred to himself by name in his gospel. He was always either “the disciple whom Jesus loved” or “the one who leaned on Jesus’ breast.” The latter term simply meant “the one who sat to the right” of Him. John asked Jesus, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus said privately to John, “It is the one who I give the bread to after I have dipped it in the sauce.”
Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas Iscariot. Their eyes met and Satan entered into Him. Jesus said to Judas, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” No one knew what Jesus meant. They supposed that Jesus had instructed Judas to give something to the poor because Judas had held the money. Judas took the bread from Jesus and left the table and went out into the night.
3. Love One Another (v. 31-35)
Judas had departed. Jesus gave the remaining eleven a new commandment, “Love one another.” Earlier they had argued over who would be the greatest. Jesus instructed them not to be divided over petty things. He told them He was going away. Jesus knew they would need each other. “Let people know you are my disciples by the way you love one another.”
Peter Scholtes wrote the lyrics of a song popular during the “Jesus Movement” of the late sixties and early seventies that declared, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” That’s the way Jesus said it should be.
4. Before the Rooster Crows (v. 36-38)
Peter said, “I want to know where you are going.” Jesus told him that he could not go with Him then, but one day he would follow Him. Jesus spoke of His death. Peter said, “I will go anywhere with You. I would even die for You.”
“Really Peter? Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny me three times.” The room was silent but the conversation was not over.
Happy Easter! Praise the Lord! The grave could not hold Him
Love to all,