Summary: # 35 in series. The Lord and His disciples are in the Upper Room it is now just hours before his death. It is a crucial time and there is much truth that He wants to pass on to them.
A Study of the Book of John
“That You May Believe”
Sermon # 35
The Lord and His disciples are in the Upper Room it is now just hours before his death. It is a crucial time and there is much truth that He wants to pass on to them. This record of the intimate teaching of Jesus to his disciples in the Gospel of John (comprising chapters 13-17) has come to be known as the Upper Room Discourse. In these five chapters we find Jesus teaching His disciples about love for one another, service, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, Heaven, and prayer. In background of this time of intimate teaching the shadow of the cross loams with increasing menace.
First, The Compassion Of the Savior. (vv. 1-3)
“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.(2) And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, 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.”
Sometimes when we know that the time we have with a loved one is short we look for every tender consideration that we may show them. Nothing no matter how small is too much too ask! But such is the love of God that when He knew that his own time earth was drawing to a close and very soon He would surrender His life as a payment for the sins of mankind His thoughts where not for Himself but for His Disciples. In the first verse of the John chapter thirteen, it states He loved his own “to the uttermost”. (RSV)
If you knew that you were to die a horrible death tomorrow what would you be focused on? Most of us would be focused on ourselves. But Jesus was not focused on Himself and what He was to face, He is focused on preparing His disciples for what they are to face!
We have not only the Compassion Of the Savior but …
Second, The Cleansing From the Savior.(vv. 4-11)
Verse four says that Jesus, “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. (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!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
The Disciples are all gathered in the Upper Room with Jesus. The Passover Meal has just started. They are all present. Then something unexpected happened. Jesus suddenly rose from the table and took off his outer robe. Then he took a slave’s towel and wrapped around his waist. Filling a basin with water he knelt and began to wash the disciple’s feet. Slowly, methodically, He worked his way around the table. Silence, total and complete silence filled the room. No one dared to speak.
The process was repeated with each man. He first unlatched the sandal and set them aside. Then he brushed aside any excess dirt from the feet. Then he splashed water on their feet, massaging them with his hands. Finally, he dried their feet one by one with the slave towel wrapped around his waist.
To say that they were shocked would be an understatement. But, It was not the foot washing that bothered them. That was customary in those days. But if, it was customary and they had no servants why hadn’t they washed each others feet? The answer is not hard to find. Luke in his gospel account tells us that as the Last Supper began the disciples were having an argument among themselves as to who was the greatest (Lk. 22:24-27). For them it was demeaning to see their leader, the man they called “the Son of God” washing their feet.
Yet His actions are an almost perfect dramat-ization of Philippians 2:5-9, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,(6) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, (7) but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. (8) And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (9) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name”