Humility with Holiness brings Happiness (John 13:12-35) is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
In last week’s show, we talked about “humility and grace” and it was a powerful one. If you haven’t listened to it yet, we highly recommend you go back and listen after this show. This week, we will be in John 13:12-35 to finish off this chapter. The three key highlights in our reading today are: 1st, Judas Iscariot is pointed out as a traitor by Jesus to the disciples; 2nd, The battle between darkness and light; 3rd, Jesus is teaching His disciples that, in order for people to know that they are His disciples, they will know them by their love for each other.
Read John 12:12-17 to start off our reading. This section is a continuation of our reading from last week of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet.
I notice here that John 13:17 is the key verse in this section, where it says, “If you know these things, happy are you who do them.” What is Jesus talking about?
Jesus asked the disciples if they understood what He had done regarding washing their feet, and it is likely that they did not. So, what we read here, is that Jesus is explaining to them the lesson in humble service. He said this is an example for them to follow. The world thinks that happiness results from others serving us, but the real joy comes when we serve others in the name of Christ.
Jesus was their master, so he had every right to command their service. Instead, He served them! He gave them an example of true Christian ministry. On more than one occasion during the previous three years that Jesus has been with them, He had taught them lessons about humility and service, but now He had physically demonstrated the lesson to them.
The world asks, “how many people work for you?”. But Jesus asks, “how many people do you work for and serve?” Our leadership should be measured by our servant’s heart within us. The last will be first, the first will be last, (Mathew 20:16). We should care more about the people, than the work they do, and in return, the work they do will be more productive.
Let’s move on to read verses 18-35. But before we do, be sure to keep these lessons that Jesus has taught us in this chapter close to our hearts. The sequence is, we first must be humble, then walk holy, then we will receive the fulfillment of happiness. Submit to the Father’s will, keep your life clean, and serve others. The true formula for true spiritual joy.
A dark shadow now fell across the scene as Jesus dealt with Judas, the traitor. It is important to note, as we mentioned last week, that Judas was not a true believer, but he was a hypocrite. Remember in last week’s show, we said He had never believed in Jesus.
Read John 6:64-71
In vs 21, it says that Jesus was troubled in his spirit. Jesus was concerned that Judas’s treachery would not weaken His disciple’s faith. This is why He related it to the Word of God. When the disciples saw all of this fulfilled, it would make their faith stronger.
The most remarkable thing is that everyone sitting at the table with Jesus did not know that Judas was an unbeliever and a traitor. Up to the very hour of his treachery, Judas was protected by the Savior whom he betrayed.
I Sam 16 (v. 7) For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. God does not judge us by our outward behavior or our acts like man does, but by the intents and desires of the heart.
Peter signaled to John, whom Jesus loved, and who was the closest to Jesus at the table, to ask him who the traitor was. Jesus replied by saying “It is whom I give this bread to”. To the disciples, this probably didn’t register yet because, this was an act that was interpreted as an act of love and honor, so Jesus' actions were seen in that light.
Even though Satan had entered Judas, it was Jesus who was in charge. He lived on the timetable given to Him by the Father, and He wanted to fulfill what was written in the Word.
John’s little phrase it was night, carries a tremendous impact when you remember that light and darkness are important spiritual images in his gospel. In 8:12 he wrote, “Jesus is the light of the world”. But, Judas rejected Jesus and went out into the darkness, and for Judas, it is still night.
Did you notice in vs 31 the minute Judas was gone; the atmosphere was cleared and Jesus began to instruct His disciples and prepare them for His crucifixion and His ultimate return to heaven? His core message to them was to love one another. He told them their greatest responsibility was to love one another, just as He had love them.
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