Summary: Message 25 in our journey through John's gospel exploring the lesson of foot washing.
Pastor David Welch
“Dealing with Daily Dirt”
We now enter the private teaching and ministry of Jesus to his disciples that run 13-17 with chapter 17 actually an intimate intercessory prayer – the real Lord’s Prayer in 17. Jesus addresses nearly every vital teaching regarding the essence of the Christian walk in this relatively short section of Scripture. In His final days, Jesus emphasized the core truths necessary and vital for the building of the church and the meaningful life of the individual believer they would need during His physical absence.
The lessons in chapter 13 have to do with relationships.
A Lesson on forgiveness -- the cure for guilt and bitterness
Jesus graciously forgives our sin.
We must likewise forgive the offenses of others.
Some perhaps feel that the lesson here is humility and service. In fact every commentary focuses on Jesus’ example of humility. A closer examination of the passage I believe should focus on a specific aspect of humility – forgiveness. Many have ignored this simple yet powerful lesson and paid dearly.
Failure to perceive our forgiveness by Jesus generates guilt.
Failure to practice forgiveness like Jesus breeds bitterness
The power of forgiveness eliminates the devastating torment of both bitterness and guilt.
Jesus so graphically models the principle of daily forgiveness at a most crucial time in his life. Do we identify with the lesson found here?
Most assuredly, it something that we must practice nearly every day of our life. Until Christ returns we must persistently deal with both our sin against God and others and the sin and offenses of others against us. This is what I call the daily dirt.
Failure to deal with the daily dirt results in either guilt or bitterness. Guilt and bitterness can kill. They are ruthless tormentors allowed by God to teach us the need for forgiveness. We cannot survive in a fallen, sinful world without this most crucial cure. Refusal to accept or award forgiveness is like refusing to take an antidote to a deadly poison or disease. Choosing to continue in unforgiveness and bitterness is like continually drinking cyanide poison thinking it punishes the one who offended us when it only destroys us.
Do you need this truth today?
Consider your sin against God. We can’t appreciate the glory of God’s forgiveness until we apprehend the grief of our sin. If someone comes up to us and says, “I forgive you.” when we have no idea we have even offended them, forgiveness has little impact.
However, when we realize how horribly we have hurt someone by our choices and they in humility and grace offer forgiveness instead of revenge we are drawn into the blessing of grace and healing community. Take a moment to contemplate your sin against God – momentarily muse through your hall of shame. Take a brief look at your ten most unwanted list -- people you just as soon never see again or talk to. Now with those thought in mind, lets see what insights Jesus teaches his disciples regarding healthy relationships.
Insights from the action and instruction of Jesus
Contemplate the surrounding circumstances 1-3
• Jesus was aware of the impending timetable.
Now before the Feast of the Passover Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
This gives us the timetable -- perhaps Thursday of Passion week. He realized the time to face the agony of his greatest physical, mental, emotional and spiritual torment had arrived. Yet it did nothing to diminish his love. Stress often derails good relations.
• Jesus realized that among those of his closest friends on earth hid a betrayer.
And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him
Satan had already put an evil plan into Judas’ heart and it was still there.
“Put into the heart” from the verb “to throw”
Perfect tense verb indicates that Satan threw the thought to betray into Judas’ calloused and evil heart at a point in time and the incredible intent still lingered there. The treacherous meeting with the religious goons had already taken place and a price negotiated. This was not the first realization as Jesus already predicted it way back in chapter 6:70-71. Again in verse 11 John tells us that Jesus knew Judas intent.
For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, "Not all of you are clean." John 13:11
We gain some understanding concerning how Jesus felt from his quote of a Psalm 41:9.
"I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.' John 13:18