Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
JOHN 13:1-11 JESUS SAID TO HIM, "HE WHO IS BATHED NEEDS ONLY TO WASH HIS FEET, BUT IS COMPLETELY CLEAN; AND YOU ARE CLEAN, BUT NOT ALL OF YOU."
John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."
In today’s message we will see Jesus humbling Himself and showing us the attitude of Servant Leadership. This is a concept that is shown by Jesus the whole time He is here on earth. He was humble in the fact that the God who created everything came to earth to die on the cross for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11). Jesus said in Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Peter gets proud and doesn’t want Jesus to wash his feet so He tells Jesus "Lord, are You washing my feet? So, Jesus begins to say that Peter doesn’t understand all this right now, but will later on. Peter strongly protests again. So, Jesus tells Peter that if He is not allowed to wash his feet that He cannot have anything to do with Jesus. So Peter replies wash all of me then. Jesus lets Peter know that a saved person (those that are completely clean) only needs to clean their feet. In other words a saved person has been completely washed clean by the Blood of Jesus and only needs to daily ask for forgiveness(wash their feet) to maintain fellowship with God. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As we walk through this world we get dirty from being exposed to the sin around us that contaminates us. He then tells Peter that Judas is not saved by saying all of you are not clean.
The opening section stands out with three dominant thoughts in John thirteen, the first three verses. The first is that Jesus Christ knew His hour had come. He knew it was the time. Secondly Jesus Christ loved his disciples until the end and thirdly Jesus Christ knew that Judas would betray Him. We are going to try to apply as we set a foundation for looking at this whole section of “How to prepare for My departure,” Jesus says. “How to get ready for when I'm gone. How to continue once I leave you.”
1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 3rd Passover in John
And the way the original language would be read, and the way the first century would hear it, would be more of, "He loved them to the full extent. He loved them comprehensively. He loved them completely. He loved them perfectly. He loved them, not just to the end when He died. He loved them fully." So He came unto His own, His own new Him not. Those who were chosen responded and He loved them to the full extent.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, It is our Lord’s sovereignty that is being stressed here, and not His suffering.
John wishes us to understand that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at a time when others would not have been inclined to do so. Jesus was in complete control. Jesus was God’s CEO. When men find themselves in this position, they are tempted to behave very differently: “Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions exercise authority over them’” (Mark 10:42). In spite of who He was; in spite of the fact that all authority had been given to Him, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. In spite of the fact that He could have required men to minister to Him, catering to His every whim, Jesus humbled Himself by washing the feet of His disciples. This was truly an amazing thing! Jesus humbled Himself, knowing that He was soon going to be exalted higher than anyone in all of human history.
In chapters 1-12
“love” occurs 12 times
1 time per chapter
In chapters 13-17
“love” occurs 34 times
approx. 7 times per chapter
It is obvious, is it not, that John wishes to emphasize the love our Lord has for His own? Mitchell observes:
It is remarkable that in this section, starting in chapter 13, begins with the statement, ‘Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end;’ (13:1). This section ends in chapter 17 with Jesus praying, ‘that the love wherewith thou has loved me may be in them, and I in them’ (17:26). He begins and ends with His love for His own. It’s just like the Savior! And down through these five chapters we have the marvelous revelation of His love, of His concern for His own.
Here is the amazing thing. Jesus loves His own. Jesus loves His own, knowing everything. He loves His own, knowing that He is sovereign, and that He is about to leave this earth and return to His Father. He loves His own, knowing that they have been arguing (or will shortly do so) about who is the greatest, knowing that they are about to forsake Him and flee for their lives, knowing that Peter will deny Him. It is one thing for people to love us, who do not know all of our wicked deeds, thoughts, and motivations. It is another for the Holy God of heaven to love us, knowing every wicked thing we have done and will do. This is, indeed, amazing love. What a comfort to the Christian, knowing that our Lord’s love is constant and unchanging, knowing that He chose to love us—and to keep on loving us—purely out of His grace, and not based upon our performance. Jesus loved His own; He loved them to the “end”—to the uttermost degree, and to the very end. What security! What grace! What a Savior!
4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
The washing of the feet of one’s guests was expected in Jesus’ day, as we can see from Luke’s Gospel:
44 Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil (Luke 7:44-46).
Normally, the host would not do this washing himself, because it was regarded as a very demeaning task. We get some idea of just how menial it was from the comment Abigail makes to David in the Old Testament: “Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, ‘Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord’” (1 Samuel 25:41, NKJV).
Foot washing was understood in the same way by John the Baptist:
When John the Baptist desired to give expression to his feeling of unworthiness in comparison to Christ, he could think of no better way to express this than to say that he deemed himself unworthy of kneeling down in front of Jesus in order to unloose his sandal straps and remove the sandals (with a view to washing the Master’s feet).”
I believe our Lord’s washing of the disciples’ feet in John 13 is further explained by a comment that is found in Luke’s Gospel:
24 A dispute also started among them over which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 So Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But it must not be like that with you! Instead the one who is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:24-27).
It would not at all surprise me if this dispute occurred just as the disciples were entering this upper room. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 9 So the host who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then with shame you will start to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host comes he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:8-11).
I believe that when the disciples entered this upper room, they were all intent on sitting in the places of honor—at our Lord’s right and left hand (see Matthew 20:21-23). I can almost see them pushing and shoving their way into the room, hurrying past the basin of water, where a servant normally would have been present to wash the feet of the guests as they entered, in preparation for the meal. This may well have been the time that the disciples argued among themselves about who was to be regarded as the greatest. After all, every one of them would have to establish their “ranking” among the 12 if they were to be seated according to their greatness. I can see our Lord, quietly observing His disciples as they squabble. I can imagine Him making His way to the washbasin, and filling it with water, while His disciples continue to argue with each other, completely oblivious to what He is doing. And then they suddenly become silent as they realize that He has taken the lowest position of all—lower than the lowest of the 12—the position of a servant (and not a high-ranking servant, either). To their amazement, they observe Jesus, working His way from one of them to the next, first washing a pair of dirty feet, and then drying them with the towel that is wrapped about His waist. The argument seems to end with the words of our Lord in verses 12-17. They may not understand all that He has done, but they must have had enough sense to know it was time to be stop bickering and be quiet.
Two verses out of five focus on the actual washing of the disciples’ feet by our Lord. Three of the five verses provide us with background information, which John believes his readers need to know in order to properly understand the Lord’s actions. We might say that verses 1-3 provide us with information that gives us insight into our Lord’s “state of mind.” This “state of mind” of our Lord is expressed by John, both in terms of what Jesus “knew” (see verses 1, 3, 11), and in terms of why He did what He did (namely, His great love for His own).
It would seem to me that the lack of a servant to wash the disciples’ feet was deliberate on our Lord’s part. First of all, it was the host’s responsibility to provide this (see Luke 7), and Jesus was the host. Furthermore, throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus very carefully arranging for things in advance (the procuring of the donkey and its colt, and of a place in which to celebrate Passover, etc.). I cannot imagine that our Lord—who is omniscient (knowing all)—would forget to provide for the foot washing. And finally, all the things that were necessary for the foot washing were present (the basin, the water, the towel). I am therefore inclined to think that Jesus purposefully arranged for a servant not to be present, so that He could wash the disciples’ feet, knowing (as He did) all that would take place during this meal.
Those of you who've studied the Bible in detail and know a little bit of how to use the concordance and language tools, this is a wonderfully rich study for you to do on your own. Just look at these seven verbs. How they're used in the Gospel of John and how they're used elsewhere in the course of the New Testament.
And one I want to point out is the one secondly, "laid aside." It also shows up in John chapter ten verses eleven, fifteen, seventeen and eighteen. And that's where He's going to lay down His life for them. The same word John uses here. So Jesus, when He lays aside His garment, is showing them a picture of laying aside Himself for them. He's laying aside His position for them. He's going to lay aside His life for them.
Now if John gives us a parable that is acted out by the Lord, Paul gives us the theology of the Lord in Philippians chapter two and many of you are familiar with that passage of Scripture sometimes called the Kenosis; the emptying of Jesus Christ. He emptied Himself and took on the form of a bondservant. So in part of your study this week you might want to look at these seven verbs and you also want to compare with the theology of Philippians chapter two where Paul explains the why of what Jesus did.
Now Jesus Christ is not self promoting. In fact he is self humiliating. He condescends because he garbs himself like a slave to wipe off the grime of humanity. When we read over it the first time, we might wonder what's missing in the story. The tools are all there: the basin, the pitcher, the water, and the towel are all present in the story. They're not missing.
5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"
7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."
8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Strongest negative in Greek Language - This is a triple negative, no never, ever will you wash my feet If I do not wash “You? Are You going to wash my feet?"
Joh 3:5; 1Co 6:11; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22
McGregor writes, "Peter is humble enough to see the incongruity of Christ’s action, yet proud enough to dictate to his Master."
you - Entire Bath Spiritually means have been saved
Peter is protesting against divine grace. Think of it for a moment. Peter is, with a fair measure of false humility, rejecting our Lord’s actions as though he is undeserving (which, of course, he is). That is the point. What Jesus does for His disciples, He does out of love and grace. And this is precisely what Jesus is about to point out to Peter. Would he resist having Jesus wash his feet, on the premise that he is unworthy? Then he must also reject having his sins washed away by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, for he is unworthy of this as well. To reject grace in principle is to reject all grace, period. And so Jesus says to Peter: “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." Bathed - Part of a body cleaned – daily cleansing of sins – 1John 1:9 – get dirty as we walk through this world What does it mean to be cleansed by Jesus? First of all it’s the atonement. There is the fundamental requirement that a person who trusts Christ is the tone for by His blood for our sins. This is a complete action. When you trust Jesus Christ, He takes care of all of your sins, all of my sins. No matter how wicked in the past, no matter how grotesque we are presently involved in him; when we are at tone for by the blood of Christ, He cleanses us from all of our sins. That's a profound truth, men and women.
But there's a second layer of that, if you will, and that's the need for forgiveness. Yes, we have positionally and perfectly been atoned for by Christ's work, but we need ongoing forgiveness by Christ when we sin. I John 1:9 would be an example. We have a positional cleansing, but we need ongoing forgiveness.
11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." Judas is not saved
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.
The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.
 Being omniscient, Jesus knew everything. He knew that Judas had decided to betray Him to the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus would also have known that all of His disciples would abandon Him and that Peter would deny Him, but in verses 1-3, this is not John’s emphasis.
 John G. Mitchell, with Dick Bohrer, p. 248.
 “… (this noun only here in this Gospel) is ambiguous, meaning both ‘to the end’ and ‘to the utmost.’ It is likely that here we have a typical Johannine double meaning, with both meanings intended. But the aorist, hgaphsen, is more consistent with love shown in a single act than with the continuance of love (imperfect).” Carson, p. 614, fn. 8.
 Hendriksen, vol. 2, p. 228.
 This entire paragraph is speculative, and thus the reader should beware, but it does at least suggest how things may have happened.
 In a criminal trial, the state of mind of the accused is usually given considerable attention, especially in crimes which have different degrees (first, second, third) of guilt, and therefore of punishment. Here, while it is unusual perhaps, John describes our Lord’s “state of mind” so that we can determine the degree of goodness of this foot washing. I think we should conclude from what we are told that Jesus is to be assessed with “first degree goodness.”
 “I am of the opinion that this was added for the purpose of informing us whence Christ obtained such a well-regulated composure of mind. It was because, having already obtained a victory over death, he raised his mind to the glorious triumph which was speedily to follow. It usually happens, that men seized with fear are greatly agitated. The Evangelist means, that no agitation of this sort was to be found in Christ, because, though he was to be immediately betrayed by Judas, still he knew that the Father had given all things into his hand. It may be asked, How then was he reduced to such a degree of sadness that he sweat blood? I reply, both were necessary. It was necessary that he should have a dread of death, and it was necessary that, notwithstanding of this, he should fearlessly discharge every thing that belonged to the office of the Mediator.” John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume 7: The Gospels (Grand Rapids: Associated Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d.), p. 821.
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