Summary: Jesus had so little time left for the disciples to learn that the way to glory is through service and not through position and authority. How could Jesus get the message across forcibly enough so that they would never forget the truth? This is what led
Three weeks in John 13. Just before tonight’s passage, as recorded in Luke 22 and Mk. 10, the disciples had been arguing over who would hold the leading positions in the government Jesus was about to set up. The discussion was heated. They were caught up in the ambition for position and power and authority.
Surely this was discouraging to Jesus. He had so little time left for them to learn that the way to glory is through service and not through position and authority. (Oh if only some Christians in churches today could learn that same message.) How could Jesus get the message across forcibly enough so that they would never forget the truth? This is what led Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet and to demonstrate what true royalty is: serving others.
VERSE 1. This event took place right before the Passover. It was in the upper room where so many significant events took place.
VERSE 2. Here we see the momentum for royal service. Three things drove Jesus to wash the disciples’ feet and to demonstrate the royalty of service and ministry.
1. He knew His hour had come. His time was short. He would die soon. Whatever He hoped to teach His disciples had to be taught now.
2. He loved His own—His followers on earth. His own also includes all those in both heaven and earth who are followers of Him. He loved them all. He was compelled to do whatever was necessary to help them, no matter the cost. He was compelled to wash their feet, no matter the humiliation.
3. He knew His enemy, and He knew the enemy was about to strike and betray Him. He had to act before the enemy struck. The disciples had to be strengthened and fortified. Once the enemy struck, it would be too late.
And when we think about all this, the same 3 things should drive every believer to serve and to serve now.
1. Knowing the time, the hour, has come, the time is short.
2. Loving his own; those for whom the believer is responsible.
3. Knowing the enemy and that he is going to strike soon and with all the force he can.
VERSES 3-5. Here is the extreme demonstration of royal service. Would you stoop so low? (Expound on foot-washing service at Galveston mission trip). Jesus knew who He was. He knew His glorious position as the Son of God, yet He humbled Himself. Note exactly what He said.
He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands; all power and authority and glory and honor—all beings both in heaven and earth—all administration (Ministry) and rule—all judgment and responsibility for saving the universe.
Still, knowing all this, Jesus took off His outer clothing and began to wash the feet of men. Despite of who He was, He gave the most extreme demonstration of service possible. He chose the most extreme act possible to demonstrate that there is royalty in service and ministry. Washing people’s feet was the lowliest of jobs for the lowliest of slaves.
VERSE 6-11. The prerequisite for royal service is that of being washed and cleansed. What happened now was critical for every person who claimed to be a follower and a servant of the Lord. The crucial point is the statement Peter made in verse 8. READ.