Summary: Jesus demonstrates His love for the disciples by washing their feet and ultimately laying down His life for them


John 13:1-18

Although I have been in Japan for a little over 2 years, I have only recently learned the story of Hachiko. A couple of weeks ago I went to Shibuya station to see the statue of Hachiko. I found the Hachiko exit and even asked the station attendant, “Hachiko San wa, doko desu ka?” Upon learning about Hachiko I thought that was a very moving example of one who was devoted to his master. As you know Hachiko went to the Shibuya station every day to meet his master. When his master died in 1925, Hachiko still went to the station every day to meet him, and he did so until he died, 11 years later. So I was very happy to see the statue of him. Although she is not as famous as Hachiko, Simone is another example of one who is devoted to her master. Just so you know, I have had her for over 14 ½ years now.

When I read the story of Hachiko, I say what an example of being a true servant. But did you ever stop and see the master take the role of a servant. What if Hachiko’s master hadn’t died, and he went to the station every day to meet the dog?

We are going to see someone else take the role of a servant in a much more humiliating way today. He did this voluntarily, not because He was forced to do it. We are going to look at Jesus’ example of being a servant as He washed the disciples feet.

Time does not permit us to look at everything in this passage we just read. But I would like us to look at Jesus example and see what we can learn from it.

In the gospel of John, chapters 13-16 are devoted to Jesus’ instructions to His disciples. John 17 is His prayer for His disciples just before He is arrested. You won’t find Jesus words to His disciples in the other gospels. These passages have words of Jesus Christ that can also encourage us.

Jesus has been officially rejected by His own people, the Jews. If you read the gospel of John from chapter 13 you will not see Him perform any more miracles. Neither will you see Him teaching in public. Now His teaching will be in private with the disciples.

I’ve entitled this message Jesus’ love for His own. Because He will now show His disciples how much He really loves them. Look at verse 1

John 13:1 ¶ It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

It was just before the Passover Feast and Jesus knew His time to leave the world was near. Over and over in the gospel of John, Jesus relates how He was sent by His Father to do His Father’s will.

Jesus doesn’t just say He loves the disciples. He demonstrates it, as we will see in this passage.

I won’t go into detail about his, but in verse 2 notice Judas Iscariot is about to betray Jesus. Come to the English service if you want to know more about it.

Verse 13 tells us that Jesus knew 3 things. These 3 things enabled Him to do the will of His Father.

John 13:3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;

First, He knew that He had been given power of all things by His Father. Because later in this chapter, it won’t appear like He has control over all things. Jesus also knew He came from God and would return to God. Now He needed to give instructions to the disciples.

I have appreciated the kindness of Mrs. Okada taking care of Simone and KC when she was here for me when I am away. I can always be sure she will take good care of them. What I am so concerned about is when I return, the cats seem happy there and don’t want to come home with me. Before I leave I give Mrs. Okada instructions on feeding the cats and other things. So she is prepared to care for them.

Jesus also needed to give the disciples instructions. Soon He would be arrested, tried and crucified. After that He would be raised from the dead and He would return to His Father. The disciples also had a mission to carry out, and Jesus wanted to prepare them for it. And the first thing He needed to prepare them for is how to serve one another. He demonstrates this in a very dramatic way in verses 4 and 5.

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