We are making our way in studying the book of John. We are at the point in Jesus’ ministry where He is heading to His crucifixion. He continues to show love and compassion so people will come to believe Him. We studied last week in how He was welcomed into Jerusalem with a celebration of palm branches as He rode into town on a donkey. This was prophetic, meaning that it was spoken way before it happened.
Amidst great rebellion and unbelief from the masses, Jesus shows love to His beloved disciples in an intimate setting. He is going to show them by His actions the full extent of His love for them and for all people. Go ahead and read John 13:1-17.
QUESTION: Jesus knew that the hour had arrived for His departure from this earth. What does verse 1 reveal about His love for his friends?
QUESTION: “He loved them to the very end.” What does this say about His character, who He is? What can we learn from this?
Jesus sets the bar high for what love is and He asks us to follow Him and be the example and love others the same way. John 13-20 could be titled, Finishing Strong. We will see how He remained focused as He fulfilled His calling. Jesus obeyed to the very end what His Father asked of Him. He did exactly what the Father told Him to do. He listened intently, prayed constantly and lived out what was asked of Him.
This was Jesus’ calling. This is our calling too. We need to listen intently to the voice of God, pray constantly for wisdom, clarity and direction and obey what He tells us to do. There is no greater call than to live for others. There is no greater blessing than to love without boundaries. In Christ, we are free to be who we were intended to be.
QUESTION: From verse 2, we see the devil had his hand on what was about to take place. Why?
QUESTION: Judas was one of Jesus’ disciples and he witnessed Him up close and personal. How can someone who is in close proximity to God still miss the truth and betray true love? Jump down to verse 11. What does Judas do to Jesus?
PERSONAL QUESTION: Who are you? Do you fully receive Christ as 11 of the disciples did or do you partially receive Christ like Judas?
Look at verse 3. We read in one sentence who Jesus is. “Jesus knew that the Father had given Him authority over everything and that He had come from God and would return to God.” He understood His mission. What He did next reveals the epitome of how we are to live like Christ.
QUESTION: What did He do in verses 4-5?
We are to do the same.
While the thought of washing someone’s feet makes us wrinkle our noses and go, “gross”, back in biblical times it was a customary thing to do. People wore sandals without socks and roads were dusty. When someone entered a home, the host showed honor to that person by having their feet washed. It was the hospitable thing to do to show respect. Usually the host had one of his servant’s wash their feet.
Jesus reversed the role and He washed His disciples feet. He was showing them how vital serving others is. Jesus came to serve. Matthew 20:28 says, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
QUESTION: How did Peter respond to Jesus washing his feet? See verses 6-8.
Jesus replied to Peter, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
QUESTION: What does Jesus mean by that? Think about Judas and how he missed what Jesus was offering Him. How does believing partially cause one to miss out on eternal life?
QUESTION: How did Peter respond from verse 9? Do you respond to Christ the same way?
Jesus is looking for people who want to go all in with Him. Go ahead and look back through my past blogs and reread my very first blog, “Jump Into Boiling Water!” God loves us from our head to our toes and everywhere in-between. We are to respond accordingly.
The meaning behind verse 10 is a person who has received salvation has become clean all over. Jesus’ blood washes away our sins. But we do live in a sinful world and we need a daily washing of our feet for the daily sins we do. How we do that is by confession and asking God to forgive us. This is a moment-by-moment lifestyle of walking with God where we are letting Him lead us.
After serving His friends, Jesus sits down and talks with them. He wants them to understand why He did what He did. The disciples understood that Jesus is their Teacher and Lord. Jesus wants them to understand what their role is in being a follow of Christ.
QUESTION: What are we to do according to verse 14 and 17?
“I tell you the truth, slaves are no greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who send the message.” These words from Jesus, verse 16, should greatly encourage us in what God is asking of us to do. Every role that people play for the Kingdom of God is important, vital and necessary. No one is greater than another. In God’s eyes, we are of one body, one family and everyone is essential!
We need Christ. We need to jump in and let Jesus wash us down from head to foot. Then we need to wash our feet of our daily sins by walking with God and praying and confessing and receiving His mercy and grace. We follow that by loving others the same way that Jesus loves us; unconditionally.
We want Christ to find us finishing strong when He comes for us and since we don’t know when that will be; stay the course, fight the good fight, keep oil in your lamp, run the race, be discerning and don’t jump in to the worldly chaos that runs rampant; especially during this pandemic. Whatever is loud and divisive is from the enemy. Stop feeding it attention. Follow that still small Voice that leads to peace, hope and restored lives.