31 January 2017

BSF 2016-2017: John 13:1-30

In his gospel, John jumps straight from Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem to the Last Supper. This was special meal was held on the evening before Jesus’ crucifixion.

Jesus knew that the time of His suffering and death was approaching. He was eating dinner with His disciples and was preparing them for what was about to happen. Jesus got up from the table and washed the disciples’ feet. He took the place of a servant. Washing others’ feet was a task reserved for servants. Jesus is worthy of all praise and exaltation. But He also humbled Himself to serve others and ultimately to die for them.

Peter was humbled and questioned Jesus’ actions. He refused to let Jesus wash his feet. He didn’t want Jesus to serve him. “Are you going to wash my feet?” Peter asked. “You shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus said, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Then Peter declared that he was all in – he wanted Jesus to wash his whole body not just his feet! Jesus taught His disciples that those who had a bath still needed their feet washed. This is a beautiful word picture – those who are saved (clean from a bath) still need to be cleansed of their daily sins (have their feet washed).

Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, but Jesus still loved Judas and washed his feet.

Then Jesus explained what He had just done. He instructed His disciples (and us!) to humble themselves and wash each other’s feet. He promised blessings when they obeyed Him. The command is not to physically wash others’ feet but to humbly serve others. We should serve others without expecting anything in return. And Jesus set the ultimate example for us to follow.

Next Jesus told His disciples that one of them would betray Him. The disciples wondered who the betrayer was going to be. Jesus said He told the disciples about the betrayal in advance so that they would believe in Him even more when the betrayal happened.

John asked Jesus who would betray Him. Jesus said it was the one to whom He gave a dipped piece of bread. This usually was a sign of honor at a dinner party. Jesus gave the bread to Judas. Judas took the bread, and Satan entered Judas to completely influence him. Then Jesus told Judas to do it quickly. Judas left. Judas chose to allow Satan to enter him and influence him. Jesus gave Judas an opportunity to repent and change.

Things to Think About
  • Jesus displays His love with humility and grace. To whom do I need to display God’s love in an act of humility and grace?
  • Jesus knew His identity, and it didn’t prevent Him from humbling Himself to serve others. Because our identity is in Christ, we can serve in humility and grace.
  • Here are a few practical ways to “wash the feet of others” – show genuine love, forgive, pray, encourage.
  • Jesus understands what it means to be betrayed by one of His closest friends.

This Week’s Memory Verse
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:14-15 NIV