Do you desire Humility and Grace? is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
Last year we unpacked John 1-12. John detailed to us the truth of Jesus’s claims as the Messiah. Time and time again, he proved to us through the testimony of many eyewitnesses that Jesus truly is who He says He is. His testimony of Jesus’s teachings showed us that Jesus spent 3 years preparing His disciples for His departure. As we begin this year in John 13, we will see Jesus’s farewell tour, as He begins to give His disciples their final exam. Jesus’s earthy ministry, as they have known it, is now over. He is now transitioning into His final hours, where He will leave them to carry on His work.
In chapters 13-21, John presents, for the most part, the private ministry of Christ with His own Disciples. He was preparing them for their future service when the Holy Spirit would come and empower them.
Last year, we already studied the days leading up to today’s reading. We learned Jesus had entered Jerusalem on Sunday and then on Monday had cleansed the temple. Tuesday, was a day of conflict as the religious leaders sought to trip Him up and get evidence to arrest Him. The details of these events are in Mathew's chapters 21-25. Wednesday, was probably a day of rest, and in our reading today, it must be Thursday, as He is meeting with His disciples in the upper room to observe the Passover. Here, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet.
Read John 13:1-5
We observe two things in these 5 verses. The first emphasis in verses 1-3 is on what Jesus knew, and the second is in verses 4-5 on what Jesus did. Jesus knew that his hour has come. More than any of the other gospel writers, John emphasized the fact that Jesus lived on a heavenly timetable, as He did the Father's will.
What was this divinely appointed hour? It was the time when Jesus would be glorified through His death, resurrection, and ascension. From a human point of view, it meant suffering, but from the divine point of view, it meant glory. He would soon leave this world and return to the Father who sent him, Jesus had finished His work on earth.
Jesus also knew that Judas would betray Him. Judas is mentioned eight times in John’s gospel, more than in any of the other gospels. Why?
Let’s unpack Vs 3 a little further, where it says “the Father had given Him all things”. This statement parallels John 3:35, “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand.” It also reminds us of Mathew 11:27 “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him”.
In Vs 4 and 5 the disciples must have been shocked when they saw their Master rise from supper, lay aside His outer garments, wrap a towel around His waist, take a basin of water, and wash their feet.
Jesus knew His disciples’ hearts and He knew that they had a competitive spirit about them. We read within a few minutes; the men were disputing over which of them was the greatest in Luke 22:24-30.
The Father had put all things into Son's hands, yet Jesus picked up a towel and a basin! His humility was not born of poverty but of riches. He was rich, yet He became poor (2 Cor 8:9)
Jesus was sovereign, yet He took the place of a servant. He had all things in His hands, yet He picked up a towel. He was Lord and Master, yet He served others.
Read John 13:6-11 and see Peter’s impulsive statement out of ignorance and then his correction by Jesus.
The word translated as “wash” in John 13:5-6 is “nipto” and means “to wash a part of the body”. But the word “washed” in John 13:10 is “louo” and means “to bathe all over”. The distinction is important, for Jesus was trying to teach His disciples the importance of a holy walk.
But why is it essential to keep our feet clean?
We learn an important lesson from Peter here. Don’t question the Lord's will or work, and don’t try to change it. He knows what He is doing.
Notice that John carefully pointed out that Peter and Judas Iscariot were in a different relationship with Jesus. Yes, Jesus washed Judas’ feet! But it did Judas no good because he had not been bathed all over.
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