Monday, January 30, 2017

John 13 – Jesus washes the disciples’ feet, predicts His betrayal, and predicts Peter’s denial





John 13:1-17 – Jesus Washes

Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him and He wanted to prepare His disciples for His death and resurrection.  He wanted them to know His love for them would never end.  He loves us the same way.  He came to earth and died for us because of His love for us.  Now, nothing can separate us from His love.

We all know that one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas betrayed Him.  The devil had already put into Judas’ heart the thought of betraying Jesus.  Yes, Satan can put thoughts into your head.  He can put thoughts of jealousy, greed, power, and the like.  But we have a choice and Judas had a choice.  He could have said, “No.  I will not betray Jesus.”  Then he could have asked God to help him not to submit to such evil thoughts.  But we know this was not God’s plan.

It was just before Passover and Jesus knew His time had come to leave this world.  He was going to prove how much He loved people.  Jesus already knew the devil prompted Judas to betray Him, but He knew God had put all things under His power and that He would be returning to God.  Jesus also knew that Peter would deny Him and all the disciples would desert Him. 

Jesus and the disciples were finishing their evening meal when Jesus began washing the disciples’ feet.  Peter didn’t understand and asked why Jesus was doing this.  I am pretty sure they were all shocked and Peter probably said what the others were thinking, but were afraid to say.  Jesus told him that he didn’t realized exactly what He was doing, but would later understand.  Peter said, “No, you shall never wash my feet.” John 13:8a.  Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”John 13:8b.    Then Peter told Jesus to wash not only his feet, but his hands and head as well.  Jesus said a person who has had a bath need only to wash his feet and you are clean though one of you is not.  The unclean one He was talking about was Judas.

Jesus told them He has set the example and they were now to wash one another’s feet.  He was showing them how to behave.  “I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor a messenger greater than the one who sent him.  Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”John 13:15-17.

The picture of needing to have their dirty feet washed shows the need of cleansing from sin.  We all have dirty feet and need Jesus to wash them.  It shows humility.  Washing someone’s feet was an act of the lowest slave in a household.  Jesus took this lowly place as a servant.  He wants us to serve each other.  We are to be humble and not proud of our service.

If we want to belong to Jesus, we must let Him take away our sins.  Sin makes us dirty inside and His blood removes that sin.  Only His blood can make us clean.  Christians still sin sometimes, because we are only human and certainly not perfect.  We need ongoing cleansing, because we walk in a sinful world and our feet get dirty.  We need Jesus to wash our dirty feet and remove sin.  So we should say we are sorry and ask for forgiveness. 

We all are guilty sinners in need of cleansing.  “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”Rom. 3:23.

Do you consistently follow Christ’s example of humble service?
Do you consistently come to Him for cleansing from sins?

Principle:  Humility recognizes that no task is beneath us to do for Christ’s sake.

John 13:18-30 – Jesus Predicts

Jesus told the disciples that one of them was going to betray Him.  He used words from Ps. 41:9 – “Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.”    

The disciples looked at one another in wonder of who He meant.  John, the one Jesus loved asked Jesus if it was him.  Jesus said, “It is the one whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.”John 13:26.  Then Jesus dipped the bread and gave it to Judas.  When He did this, Satan entered Judas.  Jesus told Judas whatever you are going to do, do it quickly.  Judas took the bread and left.

Satan knew Jesus was the Son of God and he wanted to kill Him.  He thought he could stop God’s plan, but of course he could not. 

Judas heard Jesus preach and teach.  He saw His miracles.  He saw Jesus heal the sick and raise the dead.  It was money and greed that clouded Judas’s judgment.  His heart became hardened.  The devil put in his heart to betray Jesus and Judas gave in.  Later Judas felt remorse, but did not repent.  He threw away his betrayal money and hanged himself.

How and when have you betrayed Jesus?
How has Satan tempted you to doubt Christ?
What are some ways you can fight temptation?

John 13:31-38 – Peter Denies

When Judas had gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him.”John 13:31.  Jesus knew Judas was going to the Jewish leaders and that He would die soon and be made alive again.  This would bring glory to God.  The disciples didn’t understand this.  Jesus would go to heaven and they could not follow at that time.  He knew this would make them sad.  Later Jesus explained how they would have the Holy Spirit to help them.

Jesus told the disciples to love each other another as He had loved them.  He showed just how much He loved them by His death.  He became a sacrifice on our behalf.  He willingly suffered the punishment that we deserve.

Peter asked where Jesus was going and wanted to follow, but Jesus told him he couldn’t until later.  Peter said he would lay down his life for Jesus.  But Jesus said Peter would disown Him 3 times before the rooster crows.  Peter thought he was fully committed to Jesus, which he was in many ways.  Jesus knew all the disciple would flee for their lives when He was arrested.  Still Jesus loved them and restored them and used them after His resurrection.

When have you run from Christ?

It’s easy to make promises to God when we don’t have trouble in our lives.  God knows our hearts and whether we are sincere.  We don’t really know what we’ll do in a difficult situation.  But if we do mess up, He will forgive us.To truly remain loyal to Him we need to stay in His Word and trust Him to guide us.  We must stay faithful in the small things as well as the large ones.  We must live our lives to please God.

When have you broken a promise to God?

Jesus loved His disciples.  He was committed to Peter and the other disciples in spite of their failure.  He didn’t reject them because of it.  He showed His love by restoring them and using them after His resurrection. 

Love can be costly.  It can mean we have to sacrifice our selfishness for others.  We are to see others as Christ sees them and become more like Him.  You don’t have to like a person to love them.  You don’t have to be their best friend and spend all your time with them.  Even Jesus spent more time with Peter, James and John than the other disciples.  But He loved them all the same.  Jesus loved His enemies even though they were constantly trying to kill Him.  “Love you enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt. 5:44.  This kind of love requires effort.

Who do you need to show the love of Christ?

Principle:  Jesus showed His love through service and sacrifice.

Next week we will study John 14.  Have a blessed day and thanks for visiting my site.  Hope to see you here next time.
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