Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jesus Gives an Example

Jesus Gives an Example

Wash Feet for Blog

 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one anothers feet.  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.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 
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.  Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. 

John 13:13-19

 Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.
John 13: 19


People traveling the dusty roads of Palestine found it necessary to wash their feet for comfort and cleanliness. The footwear of that time was sandals. As an expression of hospitality guests were offered vessels and water to wash their own feet.  If it was a wealthy household, a servant might be stationed by the door with basin, pitcher, and towel. As the guest arrived, the servant removed the guest's sandals, rinsed their feet, and then wiped away the dirt and water with a clean towel.  This foot-washing was only performed by the lowliest servant in the household. 

Previously the disciples were disputing who was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom.  Jesus told them that greatness in His Kingdom would come through serving others. Luke 22: 24-30  The disciples did not seem to learn that lesson. Jesus gave them an unforgettable demonstration of humility. At the Last Supper, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Jesus washed the feet of every person at the table—even Judas, His betrayer.  John 13: 5-6   Jesus explained that this humble act of His was an example of the humble ministry that they must be ready to perform for one another 

Jesus turns to was the feet of Peter, but Peter objects. Peter exclaims, "You don't really plan to wash my feet, do you."  Peter was telling Jesus that it was inappropriate for the Messiah to was the feet of anyone.  Peter thought that this act of Jesus was demeaning.  Peter insists, "You will never wash my feet." Peter called Jesus, "My Lord," yet he still told Jesus what he should and should't do. 
Jesus then told Peter that He would have nothing to do with him unless He washed him.  Peter was devastated and begged Jesus to wash, “Not my feet only, but also my hands and my head”John 13: 9

“You call Me Teacher and Lord” John 13:13  In that day a disciple would never address the rabbi with whom he studied by his name. The disciple would acknowledged his subordination by addressing his rabbi as “Teacher” or as “Lord.” Jesus tells His disciples that they show Him this respect, and that they are right in doing so. “If I then, your Lord and Teacher” John 13:14-15. Jesus had washed their feet to give them an example to follow. As Jesus had taken the role of a servant, so they also should be willing to to serve one another just as He served them.“A servant is not greater than his master.” John 13:16–17  Jesus was telling His disciples that if at any time in  the future they were tempted to see themselves as better than others, they need only remember how Jesus had stooped to take a servant’s role at that Last Supper.

Jesus announced that someone reclining at the table that evening would not receive any blessing. Jesus said, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you”  John 13:10  "Not all of you,” means that Judas was not a believing disciple and he would betray Jesus. Apparently this comment did not attract much attention at this time.  He told the remaining eleven disciples that they were fully washed and their sins were forgiven.  Jesus then stated that He was telling them these things that were going to happen in the near future so that they would know "that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He."  John 13:19  Once again Jesus stated that without a doubt He is the I AM.  The Greek words used here for I am He are the "ego eimi ."

Jesus knew the His betrayal by Judas would shake the faith of the remaining disciples.Jesus reassured His disciples in advance.  Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me. John 13:19-20  To "receive" one sent by Christ is to receive Christ, and to receive Christ is to receive the Father.  The word translated as receive is the Greek word λαμβανω lambano. This word means to get hold of, to catch, to accept, to attain, to experience to receive what is given, to gain.

It is essential and wonderful to know that Jesus is the I AM.  He is eternal and alive now, and forever.  If we receive Jesus we receive the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Having received them we are clean.  That does not mean we will no longer sin, but Christ has paid the penalty for our sins.  We, like Peter will find ourselves calling Jesus Lord, yet telling Jesus what He can and cannot do. We must repent, confess and trust in the Great I AM.

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