December 8, 2013
· Chapter 13 begins a new division of the Gospel of John.
· His public ministry is over and now He turns to the personal ministry of the disciples.
· Jesus will now impart very important lessons on personal behavior that we need to pay very close attention to.
· We should recognize at the outset that water is used for the cleansing of the disciple's feet instead of blood.
· The soiled feet of the disciples represents the need for daily cleansing of the contamination from this life, and not of salvation.
· In scripture water often represents the Word of God; therefore, we understand that the washing the feet of the disciples is a picture of our need to be washed daily by the Word of God.
· The feet speak of the walk of a person in this world.
· The hour is now come.
John 2:4 And Jesus *said to her, "Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come." NASB
John 7:30 So they were seeking to seize Him; and no man laid his hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come. NASB
John 8:20 These words He spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one seized Him, because His hour had not yet come. NASB
John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. NASB
A SHORT ASIDE NOTE: The word “THIS” from John 13:1.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, "For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind." NASB
John 12:25 "He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. NASB
John 12:31 "Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. NASB
NOTE: The word “THE”:
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. NASB
John 1:10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. NASB
· But sin entered into “THE world” that God created and the entire character of “THE world” changed, along with God's relationship to it.
· "THIS world" is different from "THE world", for in “THIS world” sin entered in and marred “THE world” that God created.
· “THIS world” will be replaced by the "new heavens and new earth" after the final conflict with Satan.
FOLLOW CHRIST’S EXAMPLE (JOHN 13:12-15)
12 So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 "You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 "If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 "For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. NASB
· The Lord had done a marvelous thing for His disciples, and they did not even know that He had done it; in fact, He had to ask then a question even to draw their attention to the blessing that He had just bestowed on them!
· This question is a rebuke to the spiritual ignorance and darkness that lies in each one of us, for by nature we are no different from the Lord's disciples.
· In our own spiritual life, have we ever noticed that the Lord will do something good for us, and only realize it sometime later!
· And later still, we come to understand a deeper meaning and benefit of what He has done for us.
· This is very humbling to realize how slow we are to learn.
· If we would prayerfully examine what HE has done for us in the light of His Word, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit, then the Scriptures would teach us that it pleases Him to reveal His purposes to us.
· Jesus will not be content to receive the title of "Master and Lord" from those who do not believe in Him, or who know Him but will not render obedience to His revealed will.
· As Master and Lord, though He took the role of a Servant, He never abandoned the position of authority and supremacy.
· In V.13, it is "Teacher and Lord."
· In V.14, it is "Lord and the Teacher." Why the switch?
· It was the disciples who called Him "Teacher and Lord."
· Teacher means one who is to "believed." and Lord is one who is to "obeyed."
· This is why they referred to Him first as “Teacher”, then as “Lord”, one who is to be obeyed.
· It was Christ who referred to their relationship with Him as "Lord and the Teacher."
· And today, we have the full revelation that He is our Lord, the Son of God.
· We are taught that we have to FIRST bow in obedience to His authority and THEN, and only then, will we be taught by the Holy Spirit.
· It seems that the spiritual things is always the opposite or reverse to the way we arrange them.
· The church achieves true peace when every one of its members becomes a servant to the others.
· Humility is a commanded duty, yet when we have performed it, we still are unprofitable servants.
· The Lord does not allow any show of superiority among His followers over the rest.
· He requires that they lay aside any personal pre-eminence for they are all "to wash one another's feet."
· Why did Christ consider it needful to give His disciples this example?
Luke 22:24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. NASB
· He was teaching them that if they wanted to be greater than one another in His eyes, they should be seeking a servant's position, serving one another, rather than trying as the world does in seeking superior positions over one another.
· And since He had washed ALL their feet, He taught that they should serve ALL men in the service of their “Lord and the Teacher”.
· There is another lesson in this lesson for us today.
· If we witness a fellow Christians falling short in their daily walk with the Lord, we should not act in a judgmental spirit, but as one who will "wash one another's feet."
REMEMBER WHO SENT YOU (JOHN 13:16-20)
16 "Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 "If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 "I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.' 19 "From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me." NASB
· It could be that the disciples were thinking of themselves as being too great to be servants to anyone as they thought that they would be high up in the government that they expected Jesus to set up.
· If that so, then they were placing themselves higher than Jesus, since He came as a Servant.
· This is a great lesson for all of us today, for our old nature remains - that nature that desires the upper room, and not only that, but the best seat in the upper room!
· Jesus reminds them of this again later.
John 15:20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. NASB
· We should not disdain to practice the humility that Jesus Himself had used.
· The greatest dignity that any of His servants can achieve is to represent Him in a commission, and in that to practice humility.
· Whenever we refuse to walk humbly toward our fellow servants, we are denying our inferiority to Christ, our Lord.
· What things?
1. The need for frequent washing through the Word of God.
2. Owning that Jesus is “Lord and the Teacher”.
3. Performing our ministry as Jesus performed it, as a servant with love.
4. The happiness of Christians comes from doing this to others, not in having it done to themselves.
5. It is the service itself that will allow us to receive the blessings of OUR Lord and Master, and how could He make us more "happy" than by saying to us.....
Matthew 25:21 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' NASB
· Is Christ upholding the doctrine of election?
· True happiness belongs to none but to the chosen and elect ones, and they are only happy in obedience to the Lord.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; NASB
Matthew 24:24 "For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. NASB
· Why did He chose such a man as Judas to be an apostle, whom He knew would prove a traitor?
· To fulfill prophecy.
Psalms 41:9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me. NASB
· The subsequent treachery of Judas did but provide additional proof that Christ is the Messiah, God manifested in the flesh, for only God is omniscient.
· The Lord sent forth His disciples to prevent an untruth about Him from spreading that could result from His betrayal by Judas.
· Some of the enemy may gleefully think that Judas betrayed Jesus because He was a bad master.
· Here Jesus sent His disciples forth in an honorable mission to represent Himself and the Father.
SERVE IN LOVE (JOHN 13:33-35)
33 "Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." NASB
· To the Jews He spoke of His departure in judgment because of their rejection of Him.
· To His disciples, He was full of mercy, and accompanied with a sweet affection to them.
· While He calls this a new commandment, it is new in that it was not expressed before.
· It is a commandment which can be performed by the new nature granted by the Holy Spirit at the time of conversion, at the time of imparting the gift of faith.
· It is a new command in that it us urged upon a new ground, and after a new pattern and example which He set for His own.
· Christ confers this new commandment with power and grace, writing it on our heats that it may be obeyed.
· It is also important because this too will counter any thought that Judas could be justified in betraying Jesus, as it would discredit all of them from even listening to them.
· This love that they are to show would show that Judas was completely unjustified, and indeed also any in the church today must also be shown to be unjustified because of the love we are to have for one another.
· We have a Lord and Master of whom we need not be ashamed.
· We should be willing to let all know that we are His disciples.
RESIST BOASTING (JOHN 13:36-38)
36 Simon Peter *said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered, "Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later." 37 Peter *said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You." 38 Jesus *answered, "Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times. NASB
“Polycarp was the leader of the church in Smyrna in the middle of the second century. Christians were being put to death if they refused to acknowledge Caesar as lord. Polycarp was arrested and ordered to worship Caesar and renounce Christ. The aged leader replied, ‘Eighty and six years have I served him, and he has done me no wrong; how then can I blaspheme my king who saved me?’ Because Polycarp refused to deny Christ, he was taken to the arena to die. The government official gave him another chance to renounce Christ but threatened to burn him alive if he refused. Polycarp replied: ‘You threaten the fire that burns for an hour and in a little while is quenched; for you know not of the fire of the judgment to come, and the fire of eternal punishment, reserved for the ungodly. But why do you delay? Bring what you will.’"
· This illustrates the fact that we may receive much religious instruction, and yet take in very little of it, especially if it conflicts with our preconceived ideas and notions.
· In verse 33, Jesus was referring to His lone death; here He is referring to His return to the Father, hence His adding, “but you will follow later.”
· Peter's question shows us three things at this point:
· His devotion to Christ, for he wanted to be where He was.
· His impatience, for he wanted to go right then.
· His self-reliance; he thinks that he is ready to follow Jesus even into death, as he clearly indicates in the next verse.
· Peter really knew and really loved the Lord, but how little did he as yet know himself!
· Peter meant every word of what he had said, but he did not know the deceitfulness of his own heart.
· Once more the Lord manifests His omniscience, this time by telling the fall of one of His own.
· This teaches that presumption and carnal confidence will never be acceptable service to Christ.
· Peter did not believe his Lord when told that Peter could not follow now, and for his lack of faith, Peter was put to the test where his carnal presumption and carnal confidence was proved to be unreliable.
· God not only makes the wrath of men to serve Him, but he also uses even Satan to accomplish His purposes in the lives of His children.
· In Peter's case, the Lord allowed the failure to take place that Peter might be corrected and be made stronger for the experience.