Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

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.

[Jesus' love is revealed by his devotion and service to his disciples. Though he knew his suffering was soon, he did not focus on himself, but on those he loved.]

2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,

[Now where it says "supper being ended" the Greek word for ended means assembled or brought to pass, so I think the dinner preparations were ended, rather than the meal itself. After the anointing at Bethany when Judas criticized Mary, then Jesus rebuked him, Judas joined the conspiracy of the priests to kill Jesus. (Matthew 26)

14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests 15 and said, "What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?" And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. 16 So from that time he sought opportunity 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.

[Most people, usually traveled by walking, and the shoes of the day were sandals. You can imagine walking in sandals on crude roads where animal droppings were common, would make for some very dirty feet. Furthermore the reclining position they used to sit at the table brought your feet much closer to the food than we are used to. This is why it was common for guests to wash their feet before eating. If the host had a servant they could wash the guests feet, if not they would provide the water basins and towels for each person to wash their own feet. But here everything is ready, but no one has washed their feet. So Jesus humbly takes the place of a servant and does the job himself.]


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!"

[Peter speaks in the extreme "you will never ever, not in a 1,000 years wash my feet". Peter was offended by the idea that his Lord, would be his servant. Jesus was about to perform the ultimate act of service by dying in our place, but Peter did not yet understand, so he protests. ]


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."

[Peter is still confused here. Jesus gives him an ultimatum here, telling Peter he had to let him serve in this way. Then Peter jumps to the other extreme and says wash my hands and head also. But Jesus is teaching an important lesson here. The Greek word for washing just your hands or feet is nipto. The Greek word for bathe a total cleansing is Louo. So we are to understand the need for complete cleansing by salvation only once, but the partial washing to remove the surface dirt, needs to be done through daily confession. (Titus 3:5)

5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,


The root word for "washing" here is Louo, the complete cleansing. Salvation brings the washing of regeneration. Those who are saved still need to purge the daily sins. (1st 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.


1st John is written to believers, those who John says have fellowship with the Father and the Son. Yet John says we still need to confess our sin so we can be forgiven and cleansed.]

12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.

[Jesus gives us this wonderful example that we should humble serve one another. Christ is the head of the Church; we don't have any rank, or hierarchy. Let no one call themselves a follower of Christ, if they are not willing to serve others in the Church.]


15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.


[Some Churches have elevated foot-washing to an ordinance like Baptism or The Lord's Supper. But the Greek word for "example" means a pattern. If you are making something you don't copy the pattern, you follow it to makes the parts needed for assembly. Jesus pattern for us is one of loving service and humility. Almost anything we make using that pattern will glorify God. ]


No comments:

Post a Comment