JOHN CHAPTER 13
The purpose of the observation stage is to maintain focus on the text at hand within the normative rules of language, context and logic which limits the observer to the content offered by the book of John. This will serve to avoid going on unnecessary tangents elsewhere; and more importantly, it will provide the framework for a proper and objective comparison with passages located elsewhere in Scripture.
Remember that something elsewhere may be true, but in the text at hand it may not be in view.
I) [Jn 13:1-20]:
(Jn 13:1 NKJV) "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.
(Jn 13:2 NKJV) And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,
(Jn 13:3 NKJV) Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,
[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 - referring to those who were believers, especially His disciples. He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him;" Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God;" knew that these would be the final moments with His closest followers - 11 of His disciples - before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father and await the time of His coming again. So in these moments Jesus was mindful of setting an example for them to follow, (Jn 13:1-3)]
(Jn 13:4 NKJV) [Jesus] rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
[Jesus rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself as servants would do in preparation for the task of washing others' feet, (Jn 13:4).]
(Jn 13:5 NKJV) 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.
(Jn 13:6 NKJV) Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, 'LORD, are You washing my feet?'
(Jn 13:7 NKJV) Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.'
(Jn 13:8 NKJV) Peter said to Him, 'You shall never wash my feet!' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.'
[So Jesus poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded - as a servant would do. But when Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to Him, 'LORD, are You washing my feet?' - implying that he considered himself unworthy to have Jesus - the Son of God, the Christ - minister to Him in such a subservient manner. Peter's point of view evidently lacked the mindset of a servant to those whom the LORD would have him minister to for Him. Hence Peter did not at first accept the LORD's ministry to him as Jesus approached him to wash his feet. Whereupon, Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.'
Jesus' message was that a believer must realize that he was to be a servant to those to whom he ministers for the LORD.
When Peter said to Jesus, 'You shall never wash my feet!' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me,' implying that the activity that Jesus was performing was a lesson for His disciples to be willing to be in servitude to others. They were not to lord it over others in order to establish with others that they had some kind of authority, even if their message was from God.
Note that Jesus was not teaching His disciples to perform this particular ritual upon others in order to maintain their salvation or establish fellowship with Jesus / God, as some contend. On the other hand, if one did not exemplify the attitude of serving those whom the LORD would have one minister to, Jesus indicated that that one had no part with Him - in the sense that one was not in fellowship with God, hence one could not have a part in the work of the LORD. Without an attitude of being subservient to others as the LORD had done at the cross and was exemplifying by washing the disciples' feet, one could not serve the LORD. This does not mean that one was not a disciple or a believer, as some contend. But it does mean that without a subservient mindset toward others, one would not be in fellowship with the LORD and hence not be taking part in ones service for the LORD until one resolved this attitude / fellowship problem with the LORD. This implies that one must acknowledge ones shortcomings before the LORD and demonstrate the necessary change of attitude, (Jn 13:5-8).
This is a very familiar concept for those who were familiar with Old Testament Scripture:
Compare what David, a believer, states in Psalm 32:5:
1) [Compare Ps 32:5]:
"I [David] acknowledged my sin to Thee,
And my iniquity did not hide;
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the LORD'
And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin."
Note that old testament saints were saved unto eternal life by a moment of faith alone in Christ (the Messiah Savior) alone Who was promised to come and provide an atoning sacrifice for sins. For example, the message of the gospel unto eternal life in the Eternal Kingdom of God had previously been conveyed to the reader in Isa 39:1-40:5, (cf. Isa 7:14; 9:6-7); when the prophet Isaiah announced Israel's return from captivity in Babylon to Jerusalem; whereupon, if all of that generation of Israel trusted in God's provision of a Messiah / Savior to come into the world to provide His righteousness evidently through an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, (cf. Isa 40:1-5; 53:1-12), God would make such provision so that all those who trusted in that provision, Jew or Gentile, would enter the Eternal Kingdom of God. Whereupon if all of Israel had trusted in this provision the Eternal Kingdom of God would have then commenced, .
On the other hand, fellowship with God for old testament believers came as a result of confession and practice of various acts such as stipulated under Mosaic Law.
2) [Compare Lev 5:5-6]:
(v. 5) "When anyone is guilty in any of these ways [vv. 1-4], he must confess in what way he has sinned
(v. 6) and, as a penalty for the sin he has committed, he must bring to the LORD a female lamb or goat from the flock as a sin offering; and the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin."
The sacrifice of a goat or a lamb under certain Mosaic Law provisions was meant to be a picture of an individual's acknowledgment to God of certain sins committed which then results in God's forgiveness of those 'confessed' sins:
3) [Lev 4:27-35]:
(v. 27) "Now if anyone of the common people sins unintentionally in doing any of the things which the LORD has commanded not to be done, and becomes guilty.
[i.e., becomes aware of his sin]
(v. 28) if his sin, which he has committed is made known to him, then he shall bring for his offering a goat, a female without defect, for his sin which he has committed.
(v. 29) And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering at the place of the burnt offering.
(v. 30) And the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.
(v. 31) Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat was removed from the sacrifice of peace offerings; and the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the LORD. thus the priest shall offer it up in smoke on the altar for a soothing aroma to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him, and he shall be forgiven.
(v. 32) But if he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring it, a female without defect.
(v. 33) And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering, and slay it for a sin offering in the place where they slay the burnt offering.
(v. 34) And the priest is to take some of the blood of the sin offering with his finger and put it on the horns of the altar of burnt offering; and all the rest of its blood he shall pour out at the base of the altar.
(v. 35) Then he shall remove all its fat, just as the fat of the lamb is removed from the sacrifice of the peace offerings, and the priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar, on the offerings by fire to the LORD. Thus the priest shall make atonement for him in regard to his sin which he has committed, and he shall be forgiven."
4) [Compare Pr 28:13]:
"He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper,
But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion."]
I cont.) [Jn 13:1-20 cont.]:
(Jn 13:9 NKJV) Simon Peter said to Him, 'LORD, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!'
(Jn 13:10 NKJV) 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.'
[Peter then responded impetuously with, 'LORD, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!' Whereupon, Jesus answered Simon Peter's impetuosity with, 'He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean but not all of you,' referring to Judas who had not trusted in Jesus for forgiveness of sins, and hence remained uncleansed of his sins unto eternal life. For he never became a believer, (cf. Jn 6:70-71). Jesus was implying that the actual physical washing of the disciples' feet was not only a lesson for the disciples to have a subservient attitude toward others in their ministry for the LORD; but it was a picture of the spiritual cleansing of the disciples' temporal sins. Furthermore, Jesus' statement that there was no need to wash more than the disciples' feet, saying, 'He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean,' implied that all of the 11 disciple' sins had been cleansed / forgiven - once for all time - unto eternal life evidently because they all had expressed a moment of faith alone in Jesus' atonement for their sins alone unto eternal life as Jesus so many times declared to them and so many others, (cf. Jn 3:16; 5:24; 6:29, 35-40, 47)]:
(Jn 13:11 NKJV) For He knew who would betray Him - referring to Judas; therefore He said, 'You are not all clean.'
(Jn 13:12 NKJV) 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?
(Jn 13:13 NKJV) You call me Teacher and LORD, and you say well, for so I am.
(Jn 13:14 NKJV) If I then, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
(Jn 13:15 NKJV) For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
(Jn 13:16 NKJV) 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.
[Author John wrote of Jesus' knowing who would betray Him, referring to Judas; therefore He said, 'You are not all clean,' in the sense of being cleansed from sins unto eternal life, (cf. Jn 6:70-71).
Then, after Jesus had washed the disciples' feet, taken His garments, and sat down once more, He asked them, 'Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and LORD, and you say well, for so I am.' And then, the lesson Jesus was giving them: 'If I then, your LORD and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet,' in the sense of serving one another, having a subservient attitude toward others in order to minister properly to others. Jesus confirmed this when He said, 'For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 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.'
Since a master is obligated by God to humbly serve those under him, which conveys a subservient attitude toward them in the exercise of his authority over them; so it is that the servant - not being greater than his master - is to likewise serve others before God with that same attitude of servitude. Whatever their respective positions of authority, one was to act with the mindset of a servant - as if one were not better than others. Jesus then gave the ultimate example of this godly attitude, saying, "Nor is He Who is sent greater than He Who sent Him," ultimately referring to the Father Who sent His Son, Jesus Christ to fulfill His plan to personally atone for the sins of all mankind - the ultimate servant to mankind - so that anyone may choose to have salvation unto eternal life through a moment of faith alone in Christ alone. Hence this example of Jesus Christ might also serve to be the example to all believers of how to serve one another in the name of the LORD]
(Jn 13:17 NKJV) If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
(Jn 13:18 NKJV) I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'
(Jn 13:19 NKJV) Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.
(Jn 13:20 NKJV) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.' "