When Love & Humility Collide At the Feet of Others

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament gospel narrative of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ as it was written and recorded by the apostle John. More specifically, today’s passage is found in the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel. “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and birded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean” (John 13:1-11).

 

            “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye not what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. IF ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me” (John 13:12-20).

 

            “When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another doubting of whom he spake. Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the Sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night” (John 13:21-30).

 

            “Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:31-35).

 

            “Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice” (John 13:36-38).

 

            When you come to this particular portion of Scripture you will begin to encounter the events which took place on the night in which Jesus was betrayed. The thirteenth chapter through the seventeenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John bring us face to face with the first of two upper room encounters the disciples would have during those days. This first of these two upper room encounters and experiences would take place on the night in which the Lord Jesus Christ was betrayed by one of His own and when He and His disciples would celebrate the Passover meal with each other. In the previous three gospels that which you are presented with in reference to the upper room experience is the Passover meal where Jesus took the bread and broke it and divided it among His disciples and spoke of it as being intrinsically linked to the covenant that would be manifested in His body which would broken for the remission of sins. Also at the Last Supper at the table the Lord Jesus Christ would take the cup containing the wine and would emphatically declare unto His disciples that this was the cup of the New Covenant in His blood and that He would not drink it again with them until He drank it anew with them in His Father’s kingdom. What’s more is that Jesus would also declare unto His disciples that as long as they drank of this cup they would show His death until that appointed time when He would return. The Synoptic gospel authors were very careful to preserve details surrounding the Last Supper, however, what we find within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is something entirely and altogether different. What we find within chapters thirteen through seventeen of this gospel is a powerful discourse—not merely on the events which took place there in the upper room but also the dialogue and teaching which would take place.

 

            I read the words found in the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel and I am utterly fascinated with and by the language that is contained therein. It is within the thirteenth chapter where we begin to notice a shift in the understanding of Jesus concerning the time and hour in which He was entering. You cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not come face to face with the fact that Jesus recognized and understood that His time and hour had drawn near and that He was about to poured out as an offering before the Father for the remission of the sins of man. Throughout this gospel there is the language concerning the time and hour surrounding the Lord Jesus and how His time and hour had not yet come and had not arrived. In fact you cannot read the first twelve chapters of this gospel without encountering this concept of the time and hour ordained and appointed by the Father at least a handful of times. With this being said it’s important to note that in the twelfth chapter we begin to see the manifestation of this time and hour beginning to be manifested within the life and soul of Jesus for the apostle John writes how Jesus’ soul was greatly troubled. Not only this but the Lord Jesus would speak unto His disciples and ask them what He should say concerning that hour. Should and would He ask that the Father deliver and save Him from this hour? The truth of the matter is that the Lord Jesus Christ would not ask the Father to save Him from that hour and would emphatically declare that it was this hour and for this purpose He had come to the earth.

 

            Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture—particularly and especially concerning the language presented at the beginning of it. It is when and as you read the words found in the opening verses of this chapter you will find a wonderful and powerful declaration made by the apostle John concerning the understanding Jesus had concerning the hour and time in which He had entered. We must needs recognize and understand the language that is found here for the events which would take place thereafter would be intrinsically and directly linked to Jesus’ understanding of the events which would take place on that night. Jesus recognized and understood that His time and the hour of His departure and glorification had indeed arrived and that He would fulfill that purpose for which He was sent. In all reality it is quite astounding to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for there were a number of things which the Lord Jesus Christ recognized and understood concerning and during those times. You cannot read the words presented here in this passage of Scripture and not come face to face with the fact that the Lord Jesus recognized and understood that the time of His departure from this earth and subsequent return unto His Father in heaven had indeed come and begun to be manifested in the earth. Even in the previous chapter you will find the Lord Jesus speaking of His departure and how where He was going they could not come at that time but would come at an appointed time ordained by the Father. It would be at this time Jesus was preparing Himself—not only to be presented and offered as a living sacrifice which was holy and acceptable for the sins of humanity but also to return unto His Father who was in heaven. Directly linked to the suffering and death of Jesus would be resurrection—and not only resurrection but also ascension into heaven as He would return to that place from which He came.

 

            As you begin reading with and from the opening verses of this thirteenth chapter you will encounter and come face to face with a tremendous level of understanding Jesus had concerning the time and hour in which He was living. Jesus would express a wonderful and powerful understanding of that hour in which He had entered for He knew and recognized that His time and hour had finally come. Over and over again within the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John we find the apostle speaking of the time and hour of the Lord Jesus Christ having not yet come. Time and time the Jews would seek to persecute and stone Jesus and time and time again the chief priests, the scribes, the Pharisees and the religious community of that day would seek to lay hold on and seize Jesus that they might destroy and put Him to death. Despite their many attempts to stone, to persecute and to lay hold of Jesus they would and could not do so because His time and hour had not yet come. Oh it is absolutely incredible to recognize and understand this when you read the words found in this particular passage for despite the many times within this gospel where the apostle John declared that His time and His hour had not yet come we find that shifting in the twelfth chapter. Consider if you will the words which are found in the twelfth chapter concerning Jesus’ understanding that the time and hour which had previously been not yet was now being manifested in the midst of the earth:

 

            “The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now my soul is troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name” (John 12:23-28).

 

            It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we pay close attention to the words found in this portion of Scripture for they bring us face to face with Jesus’ understanding concerning that time into which He had come. Jesus recognized and understood that He was entering into that hour and appointed purpose for which He had come. Jesus recognized and understood that the time and hour of His departure from this earth and return to the Father was approaching and that He would not be much longer upon the earth with His disciples. If there is one thing we must needs realize when reading the words found in this portion of Scripture it’s the level of understanding Jesus had concerning this hour in which He was stepping into for it is truly something remarkable to read that which is contained here in this passage of Scripture. I find it utterly fascinating when reading these words to consider how the Lord Jesus Christ knew and understood certain things about the hour into which He was entering and what that would indeed mean for Him. The hour into which Jesus was stepping into would have far reaching implications and impacts beyond simply that which was in the present for the Lord Jesus Christ would prepare Himself for certain manifestations within the earth. Upon reading the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you will find Jesus speaking of certain things and certain realities which were directly linked and connected to that hour in which He was entering for that hour would directly impact both the here and the now as well as the future. The hour in which Jesus was entering would be an hour in which He was preparing to be betrayed by one of His own. Not only would He prepare to be betrayed by one of His own but He would also be prepared to be denied by Simon Peter three times as well as being abandoned and forsaken by each of His disciples there in the garden of Gethsemane.

 

            PREPARING FOR BETRAYAL! PREPARING FOR DENIAL! PREPARING TO BE FORSAKEN! PREPARING TO SUFFER! PREPARING TO DIE! PREPARING TO BE BURIED! PREPARING TO BE RAISED FROM DEATH TO LIFE! PREPARING TO DEPART FROM THIS EARTH! PREPARING TO RETURN UNTO HIS FATHER WHO WAS IN HEAVEN! PREPARING TO SEND THE PROMISE OF THE FATHER WHICH WAS THE HOLY SPIRIT! As you come to the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will encounter and come face to face with the incredibly awesome and powerful truth surrounding that hour into which the Lord Jesus was entering and how He would prepare and make His disciples ready for that hour. Oh if there is one thing that so incredibly amazes me about what is found in this passage of Scripture is that Jesus would enter into this hour of betrayal, suffering, denial, abandonment, loneliness and even death and His concern was for His disciples. You cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter the awesome truth that the Lord Jesus was indeed and was in fact concerned about His disciples and sought to prepare them for that which He was about to enter. It is this reality of preparation that is found within and throughout the four gospel narratives written concerning the life and ministry of Jesus and would first be revealed and manifested in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew. It would be in the sixteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel where we find Jesus beginning to teach His disciples how He must needs suffer many things and be killed and on the third day being raised from death to life. Oh consider if you will the following words which are not only found in the sixteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel written by the apostle Matthew but also the words which are found in certain subsequent chapters written by the same author:

 

            “When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day. Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee. But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angel; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom” (Matthew 16:13-28).

 

            “And while they abode in Galilee, Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men: and they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again. And they were exceeding sorry” (Matthew 17:22-23).

 

            “And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again” (Matthew 20:17-19).

 

            It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and pay close attention to the words found in this passage of Scripture for they bring us face to face with Jesus’ preparing of the disciples for that which was about to take place in the earth. The words and language we find in these passages of Scripture are incredibly significant for they call and draw our attention to the tremendous truth surrounding Jesus recognizing and understanding that He was going to be betrayed and delivered into the hands of sinners. Not only would Jesus be delivered and handed over to sinners but He would also suffer many things at their hands before being crucified and killed. If there is one thing we must needs acknowledge when reading the words found in these passages of Scripture is that the Lord Jesus could have stepped and entered into that hour where He would be betrayed and where He would suffer before being killed without preparing and making the disciples ready for what He was going to endure. I have to admit that I find it absolutely and incredibly fascinating that Jesus knew that His time and hour was coming and what that would mean for Him and yet that hour would be intrinsically linked and connected to His disciples for He would indeed invite them into that hour with Him. In fact I have to say that I absolutely love that Jesus would lead His disciples into the garden of Gethsemane and would take Peter, James and John with Him a little further into the garden for essentially what He was doing was inviting them into the suffering which He was about to participate in and partake of. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it draws and calls our attention to the awesome truth surrounding the Lord Jesus and the preparing of His disciples for what He was about to endure—and not only preparing them for what He was about to endure but also inviting them to participate in it to a certain degree.

 

            As you begin reading the opening verses of the thirteenth chapter you will find that before the feast of the Passover Jesus would take the time to truly engage in what was perhaps His most personal and intimate dialogue and conversation with them. You cannot read the words found in this passage without and apart from encounter and coming face to face with the Lord Jesus preparing His disciples for that which He was about to enter into and endure. With this being said, however, it is also imperative that we understand that Jesus was not only preparing His disciples for what He was about to step into and endure but He was also preparing them for His departure and what that would mean for them. This preparation which would take place in the hearts and lives of the disciples was an intense and intimate time before and with the Lord Jesus for He would prepare them for that which they were about to walk through and experience and that for which they themselves would be called. What we must needs recognize when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture is that on the night in which Jesus would be betrayed He would not only take the cup and break the bread and engage in the last supper with His disciples but He would also take the time to teach them concerning His Father, teach them concerning the Holy Spirit, and prepare them for what they were about to step into. In all reality I would dare say that this time spent between Jesus and His disciples would not only prepare them for His departure but also for their living and their remaining.

 

            Perhaps one of the greatest truths surrounding Jesus’ preparing His disciples for His departure was that He didn’t merely prepare them for His departure from this earth and return unto His Father who was in heaven. What you find within these chapters—chapters thirteen through seventeen—is Jesus preparing His disciples for their remaining, their abiding and their dwelling upon the earth. Not only this but all of this would conclude and end with Jesus praying for His disciples and those who would continue to walk with and follow Him after His departure. In fact it is quite remarkable to read the words found in this passage of Scripture for within it find both preparation and prayer being manifested within the life of the Lord Jesus Christ as He recognized and understand the great and tremendous need to prepare His disciples for that which they were about to step into and endure. Oh on the one hand there would be that which they would step into in terms of the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ and there would also be that which they would step into surrounding His resurrection from death to life and His subsequent ascension into heaven and return unto His Father who was seated upon the throne. Jesus would indeed prepare His disciples for what He would walk through in the here and now—namely, His betrayal, His suffering, and His death before being buried in a borrowed tomb. The suffering and death Jesus spoke about would reflect that which would take place in the here and the now, however, as you read the words found in these passages of Scripture you will find that Jesus didn’t merely prepare His disciples for that which they would enter into and walk through in the here and now but also that which they would step into and walk through after His departure.

 

            In no uncertain terms Jesus emphatically declared unto His disciples that he was going to be betrayed, that He was going to suffer and that He was ultimately going to die and be crucified. What we must needs understand and acknowledge is that directly linked to this suffering and death which He would walk and enter through is a powerful preparation for what life would look like after the suffering and death had worked their perfect work and after He would be raised from death to life on the third day and would ascend and return unto His Father who was in heaven. We know that time is essentially broken up and divided into two distinct different time periods as expressed in the years “B.C.” which literally mean “Before Christ” and in the years “A.D.” which are essentially Anno Domani or after Christ. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find and encounter Jesus preparing His disciples for one incredibly important and powerful truth—namely, that although He would suffer, although He would die, although He would be buried and although He would rise again on the third day and ultimately ascend unto the right hand of His Father who was in heaven life for them here upon and within the earth would go on. Essentially that which we find present here in this upper room dialogue and exchange between Jesus and His disciples is a preparation for what life would, could and should look like after His departure. That which Jesus was doing was preparing His disciples for life “A.D.”—essentially life after Christ and life after walking in fellowship and communion with Christ for three and a half years. We cannot read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that Jesus was preparing His disciples for what life would look like after His departure.

 

            I read the words found in this passage of Scripture and I am absolutely and completely captivated with what is present here for the Lord Jesus would not only prepare His disciples for the suffering which He was about to walk through and the death and crucifixion that would be the end result but also for His resurrection which would make room and pave the way for His ascension. If there is one thing we must needs recognize and understand when reading the words found in this passage of Scripture it’s that the Lord Jesus Christ prepared and made ready His disciples for life after His departure and life without His physical presence and form in the earth. They had walked with Him for three and a half years and now the time and hour had come—not only for His departure and for the Father to glorify Him but also for the remaining and abiding of the disciples within and upon the earth. As Jesus approached the hour which had been ordained and appointed by the Father we find Him desiring one thing for and concerning His disciples—namely that He might prepare and make them ready for what they were about to walk through. Jesus knew that when the shepherd was stricken and smitten the sheep were scattered, however, Jesus also recognized and understood that His disciples would be converted and that after their faith was shaken and tested they would be positioned to be baptized with and by the person, the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit. As you get into these chapters you will find the Lord Jesus preparing His disciples for His departure, however, while it was indeed true He prepared them for His departure He would also prepare them for two distinct realities which were directly linked and connected that departure—namely, His coming and return as well as the coming and arrival of the Holy Spirit.

 

            We will not get into the promise of Jesus’ return and coming again nor the manifestation and arrival of the Holy Spirit in this particular writing, however, we must needs understand and recognize that Jesus would prepare and make ready His disciples for His departure which would be intrinsically linked and connected to His return and coming again as well as the coming and arrival of the Holy Spirit. THE COMING AGAIN OF CHRIST AND THE COMING OF THE SPIRIT! We will soon see in the next chapter that Jesus’ departure from this earth and return unto His Father in heaven was indeed necessary and imperative for if He did not depart from this earth and return unto His Father the promise of the Father which was the person of the Holy Spirit would not come and be manifested in the midst of the earth. With this being said we must recognize and understand that although Jesus was preparing His disciples for His departure and return unto His Father who was in heaven He would prepare them for moving on with their lives when He was no longer around. In all reality I find it absolutely incredible that the Lord Jesus would take the time to invest in His disciples here in this upper room experience and encounter for He knew and understood that their faith would be shaken and that Satan desired to have them that he might sift them as wheat. Jesus prayed for His disciples that their faith might not fail and when they were converted they would strengthen their brethren. It is necessary and imperative we pay close attention to this as it calls and draws our attention to the awesome and powerful truth that the Lord Jesus was concerned with making sure His disciples were ready for His departure from this earth and their remaining within and upon it. The whole purpose of what we find within these chapters is Jesus preparing His disciples for what life would and what life must look like after He departed from this earth and returned unto His Father which was in heaven.

 

            I have mentioned and written concerning the Lord Jesus preparing and making ready His disciples for what life would be like after His departure and how they ought to live as His disciples absent His presence in the earth and it is necessary that we understand what this looks like as expressed in the thirteenth chapter. When you begin reading with and from the opening verses of the thirteenth chapter you will find that Jesus knew that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father and having loved His own which were in the world He loved them unto the end. After supper had ended on the night of His betrayal—the devil having now put into the heart of Judas to betray Jesus—Jesus knew that the Father had given all things into His hands and that He was come from God and went to God. In light of Jesus knowing that His hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father and having loved His own which were in the world and loving them unto the end Jesus not only sought to sought to prepare His disciples for His departure but also sought to prepare them for what life would indeed and would in fact look like after He departed and while they were left here upon the earth in the absence of the presence of the One whom they had walked with and followed for three and a half years. Oh I cannot help but read the words found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that what took place on this night was Jesus preparing His disciples for how they ought to live in His absence as disciples and followers of Him in the earth. What is presented before us in the first portion of the thirteenth chapter is a truly wonderful and powerful example of humility, of love, of affection, of servanthood, of submission, and of surrender as Jesus would lay aside His garments, take up a towel, pour water into a bason and begin washing the feet of the disciples.

 

            Before we get into that which is found in the first portion of this chapter I find it absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the saints which were at Philippi. It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words which the apostle Paul wrote in the second chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle Paul as well as the words which are found in the second chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Hebrews for not only do they bring us face to face with the tremendous humility of the Lord Jesus Christ but they also serve as a context of what is found within the opening portion of the thirteenth chapter. I am absolutely convinced there is a great need to read and consider the words which are found in each of these passages of Scripture for they help us to understand what was so significant in Jesus’ laying aside His garments, girding Himself with the towel, pouring water into a bason and beginning to wash the feet of the disciples. I cannot help but see an intrinsic and apparent link between the words which the apostle Paul and the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews wrote and what was manifested on this night in the upper room for there is that which took place in the natural and physical realm and there is that which took place in the spiritual, the supernatural and the eternal realm. In fact I would dare say that what we find in this passage of Scripture is an earthly manifestation of what we find in heaven before Jesus would be born of the virgin Mary and would become the word made flesh. I am absolutely and completely convinced that what is presented here in this passage brings us face to face with a supernatural and eternal reality which would take place in heaven between the Father, the Son and the Spirit when the Son would submit Himself to becoming the Word made flesh and dwelling among us. With this being said I invite you to consider the following words:

 

            “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as man as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:1-18).

 

            “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:1-13).

 

            “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? Or the son of man, that thou visitset him? Thou madest himn a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him, and again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18).

 

            It is absolutely necessary that we recognize and understand the words and language found within these passages of Scripture for they all highlight and point to one very specific and powerful truth—namely, that when Jesus Christ came in the flesh He laid aside His divinity and laid aside certain attributes which He had with the Father since the world began. Each of these passages of Scripture bring us face to face with the incredible truth that Jesus—when He took upon Himself the form of a servant and when He took upon Himself the form of human flesh—laid aside that which He had with the Father from the foundation of the world and from eternity. One of the main things Jesus laid aside and gave up when taking upon Himself the form of a servant and the form of human flesh was His omnipresence and His ability to be in all places at all time. What we must needs recognize and understand is that while it was indeed true that Jesus was one hundred percent man in the flesh He was also one hundred percent God. With that being said, however, we must needs recognize that there was a certain laying aside and a certain putting off that took place when Jesus became the Word which was made flesh and dwelt among us. The apostle Paul, the apostle John and the author of the epistle written unto the Hebrews each describe how Jesus allowed Himself to be made a little lower than the angels and to take upon Himself the form of the seed of Abraham that He might not only be a merciful and faithful high priest but also that He might be servant unto and before us. Perhaps one of the greatest truths we must needs recognize and understand concerning the Word being made flesh and dwelling among us is that in that flesh He would take upon Himself the form of a servant. This reality would ultimately be expressed by Jesus who would emphatically declare that He came not to be served but to serve and that He might give His life as a ransom for many.

 

            What we find here in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John is not only a powerful declaration of Jesus demonstrating His willingness to be a servant before and unto men but also how that was to be an example for His disciples and those who would continue walking with and following Him even after His departure from this world. We must needs recognize and understand that what is expressed here in this passage of Scripture is an incredibly powerful demonstration of servanthood for Jesus would set aside His garments that He might take up the towel and gird Himself with it. Having set aside his garments and taking up the towel which he girded Himself with Jesus would then proceed to pour water in a bason and would begin washing the feet of the disciples. Oh it is absolutely necessary we recognize and pay close attention to this for there is something about Jesus’ willingness to lay aside and set aside the garments He was wearing and that which He was clothed with that he might gird Himself with the towel. The expression of love, the expression of humility and the expression of servanthood found within this passage of Scripture is a wonderful and powerful manifestation of a spiritual and eternal reality that was manifested when Jesus agreed to take upon Himself the form of human flesh. When Jesus took upon Himself the form of human flesh and to put on this tabernacle of flesh He would lay and set aside His divinity. In taking upon Himself the form of human flesh Jesus would set aside that glory which He had with the Father and would do so for more than three decades. For more than three decades upon the earth Jesus would live and move among us in the form of human flesh and with the exception of what took place on the mount of transfiguration there would really be no demonstration of His glory—at least not the glory which He had with the Father before the world began.

 

            I absolutely love that which is found in this passage of Scripture for what we find within it is not only a powerful picture of what Jesus did in taking upon Himself the form of human flesh but also a powerful picture of how the disciples were to interact with men in the earth. In all reality there are two distinct sides to this encounter and experience which took place between Jesus and His disciples in this portion of Scripture for there would be the outward and earthly demonstration and manifestation of what took place when Jesus laid aside the glory He had with the Father and took upon Himself the form of human flesh. With this being said there would also be the example that was presented before and unto the disciples as to how they ought to live in His absence within and upon the earth. There was within this single expression of love, of humility and of servanthood a demonstration and manifestation of that which Jesus did when He took upon Himself the form of human flesh as well as a wonderful and powerful example of what His disciples ought to do in His absence. There is a great need to pay attention to that which is found in this passage of Scripture for what we find here is an astonishing manifestation of what took place in eternity when Jesus would submit Himself to the will of the Father as He would lay aside His divinity and lay aside the glory which He had with the Father. Oh I have to admit there is a part of me that wonders what it was like when Jesus laid aside His glory and gave Himself to being born of a virgin and taking upon Himself the form of human flesh. I can’t help but wonder what it was like in eternity when Jesus laid aside His garment—essentially as He laid aside His garments in the upper room—that He might take upon Himself the form of human flesh. What was it like in heaven before the Father as all the angels watched and witnessed as the only begotten Son of the Father would set aside His glory—that which He would not pick up again until He would return unto His Father after fulfilling what He was called, ordained, appointed and sent to do. What was it like in heaven as the Father, as the Spirit and as the angels all watched Jesus lay aside the garments of glory to take upon Himself the tabernacle of flesh?

 

            LAYING ASIDE THE GARMENTS OF GLORY FOR THE TABERNACLE OF FLESH! It’s interesting to note that during the days of Moses and the children of Israel there was a physical and earthly Tabernacle that was ordained and appointed by the LORD as a place where He would meet with them and as a place where they would worship Him. This Tabernacle—when it was finished—would be the center of the divine glory and presence of the living God as once it was completed the glory of the LORD would completely fill it as the cloud of God’s presence would overshadow it. There in the wilderness the divine glory and presence of the living and eternal God would completely fill and consume the Tabernacle and would be so thick and so strong that Moses would not be able to enter into the midst of it. What’s more is that if you transition to the book of Leviticus you will find fire coming down from heaven upon the altar and upon the burnt offering after Aaron was ordained and appointed as the high priest among the children of Israel. In the Old Testament books of Exodus through Deuteronomy we read of the glory filling the earthly Tabernacle while in the Old Testament books of First Kings and Second Chronicles we read of the glory of the LORD filling the Temple which Solomon the son of David had built. It is actually quite astounding to think about and consider this as it calls and draws our attention to what exactly happened in heaven for there in eternity Jesus would lay and set aside the glory He had with the Father—that glory which was manifested in the midst of both the Tabernacle and the Temple—that he might take upon Himself the form of human flesh. When Jesus came unto this earth as the Word made flesh He would lay and set aside the glory He had with the Father as He would confine Himself to the limitations and boundaries of human flesh within the earth.

 

            What we find here in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by John is a powerful earthly example and manifestation of that which took place in eternity and in the kingdom of heaven when Jesus laid aside the garments of glory that He might take upon Himself the form of human flesh. The events which are presented before us in the thirteenth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John brings us face to face with Jesus once more laying and setting aside earthly garments that He might take upon Himself the form of a servant. We know that Jesus laid aside His garments of glory when He took upon Himself the form of human flesh, however, what we find here in this portion of Scripture is His laying and setting aside the garments He was wearing and girding Himself with a towel. That towel would be a wonderful and powerful expression of servanthood, of humility and of love and affection as Jesus being their Lord and Master would humble Himself and wash each of their feet. Oh imagine what it would have been like there in the upper room as Jesus laid aside the garments He was wearing and girding Himself with a towel as He prepared to wash the feet of each of His disciples. I would love to know what it was like as He came to each of the twelve disciples—including Judas who would betray Him—and wash their feet with the water which He had poured into a bason. What did the apostles Matthew, James, John, Philip, Andrew and the others think when Jesus came unto them and it was their turn to have their feet washed? What went through their mind as they would witness and behold Jesus laying aside His garments and taking up the towel that he might wash their feet? How absolutely incredible and perhaps initially confusing this must have been for the disciples as they perhaps at first did not recognize nor understand that which the Lord Jesus was indeed doing unto and among them.

 

            There is something truly stunning and beautiful within the opening verses of the thirteenth chapter of the gospel written by the apostle John for what we have here is Jesus laying aside His garments that He might take upon Himself the towel. This towel would be significant for what Jesus was essentially doing among His disciples was once more humbling Himself in their presence as He washed their feet. Pause for a moment and consider how incredibly powerful this would have been on the night in which Jesus was betrayed as He would put on an incredible display of humility and servanthood in the presence of His disciples. Here we have Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world unto His Father in heaven and we find the apostle John describing how He not only loved His disciples but how He loved them unto the end. The apostle John had written in the eleventh chapter how Jesus loved Lazarus and His two sisters Mary and Martha and now here we find in this particular passage a further demonstration of love which Jesus had for and toward His disciples. Within this passage of Scripture we find and discover the apostle John writing how not only did Jesus know that His hour had come for Him to depart out of this world unto the Father but the apostle John also described how He loved His own which were in the world and loved them to the end. It is quite remarkable and astonishing to read the words found in this passage of Scripture and read how at the very heart and foundation of what would take place is this demonstration and manifestation of love and humility. WHEN LOVE AND HUMILITY COLLIDE! I find it absolutely captivating to read the words presented before and unto us in this passage of Scripture and consider the fact that Jesus would set aside His garments and take up the towel that He might wash the feet of the disciples—not only as an act of humility and servanthood but also as an act of love.

 

            If there is one thing we must understand when reading the narrative presented before us in this passage of Scripture it’s that Jesus’ setting aside His garments and taking up the towel to wash the feet of His disciples was more than simply an act of humility and servanthood for it was also a powerful demonstration and manifestation of love for and toward His disciples. There is within this passage of Scripture—not only a wonderful and mighty demonstration of the humility of Christ as He was willing to wash the feet of the disciples which was something a hired servant would do but there was also a powerful demonstration of love. We cannot ignore the very heart and foundation of what took place here in this passage of Scripture is the setting aside of earthly garments to exercise humility and servanthood in the presence of His disciples as well as a tangible demonstration and manifestation of love for and toward the disciples. The apostle John made it perfectly clear at the beginning of this chapter that Jesus not only loved His own which were in the world but also loved them to the end. It is important for us to recognize this particular concept of love for it would be manifested later on towards the end of the chapter. After Jesus had finished washing the feet of the disciples and taking up the garments He had laid aside He would explain to them what He had just done. It wasn’t enough for Jesus to simply wash the feet of the disciples for Jesus would also explain and help them to understand the significance of what He had done for them and to them. Jesus would take the time to make the disciples aware—not only of what He had done unto and for them but also the example He had provided for them.

 

            The demonstration and manifestation of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples was more than simply a display of love and humility which took place there in the upper room. It would be very easy to think and conclude that what Jesus did for and unto the disciples was simply and solely connected to that night and His being a servant unto and among them. The truth of the matter, however, was that in that demonstration and in that manifestation there would not only be a powerful example for them to live by after His departure but also contain a powerful command. As you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find both a wonderful and mighty example for the disciples to live by after Jesus’ departure from this world and return unto His Father in heaven—one which I can’t help but wonder if the disciples ever did. I read the words found in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but wonder if they ever took up the towel themselves, filled a bason with water and washed the feet of others. Even when you read the words found in the New Testament book of Acts you will not find a single account of the disciples having washed the feet of others. This of course isn’t to say that they did not wash the feet of others but it is nonetheless compelling and worth thinking about whether or not they actually washed the feet of others. With this being said we must needs recognize and understand that it wasn’t so much about the actual act of washing the feet of others but what was directly linked and connected to it—namely, presenting oneself as a servant unto others. The disciples were not to live among the world as those who were greater than those around nor even as those who were holier than thou. The disciples had already experienced the Lord Jesus declaring unto them that those who desired to be greatest among them would be the least among others and would be servant unto all. This particular truth of being a servant unto others is directly linked to the words which the apostle Paul wrote when he encouraged the churches to esteem others as greater than themselves.

 

            Perhaps the single greatest question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we can and whether or not we are willing to live as servants among others. Do we possess enough humility within our hearts, within our souls and within our spirits to truly live as a servant among others? Or, do we live as those who feel as though others should serve us and accommodate our needs, our desires, our wishes, and that which we feel is necessary within our lives. What you find in this passage of Scripture is something that is absolutely incredible when you take the time to consider it for it brings us face to face with the Lord Jesus demonstrating humility in the company and presence of the disciples through making Himself as a hired servant. The act of washing the feet of His disciples was something that would be demonstrated by a woman who was a sinner who dared entered into the house of religion and present herself at the feet of Jesus. In the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the physician Luke we not only find a wonderful and powerful demonstration and display of humility but we also find a wonderful and powerful demonstration of love. In fact I would dare say that what we find in the seventh chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative is not only an indictment of the religious but also an invitation to the sinners to indeed demonstrate and manifest their love before the One who can redeem their past, offer them forgiveness, give unto them deliverance and make them whole. What we find in the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John would not be the first account of one’s feet being washed as a woman from the city who was a sinner would dare enter into the house of religion uninvited and present herself as an offering before and unto the Lord Jesus. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this particular chapter in the gospel written by the beloved physician Luke:

 

            “And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash h is feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, seest thou this woman” I ENTERED INTO THINE HOUSE, THOU GAVEST ME NO WATER FOR MY FEET: BUT SHE HATH WASHED MY FEET WITH TEARS, AND WIPED THEM WITH THE HAIRS OF HER HEAD. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much; but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50).

 

            Please don’t miss the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we not only find the context of washing the feet of another but we also find it in direct connection with love—and not only love but loving much. The demonstration of this woman was more than simply a display of love but a display of loving much because although she was a sinner she would be forgiven much. Jesus made it perfectly clear that those who love little are forgiven little love little and those who are forgiven much love much. What’s more is that within this passage of Scripture we find Jesus indicting Simon who was a Pharisee for Simon would neither provide Him water for His feet, would not greet Him with the customary kiss and would not anoint his head with oil. This woman, however would not only wash the feet of Jesus with her tears but would also dry them with the hairs of her head, would pour precious ointment upon them and would kiss them. We must needs recognize and understand this for here in this passage of Scripture we find a sinner who dared enter into the house of religion uninvited and love Jesus through the worship, the humility and the affection of washing His feet. What’s more is that within Scripture we find a sinner who would wash the feet of Jesus and we find one who would take upon Himself the form of a servant who would wash the feet of Jesus. WHEN SINNERS AND SAINTS WASH THE FEET OF OTHERS! Oh in all reality I am convinced that there is essentially two different sides to this reality of washing feet for as sinners we come before Jesus in humility and wash His feet with the tears and weeping of our hearts and our souls and as servants we wash the feet of others.

 

            As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary and compelling to call and draw your attention to the fact that as sinners and as servants we are called into a place of washing the feet of others. As sinners we are called to wash the feet of the Lord Jesus having been those who have been forgiven much. Being those who have been forgiven much we are to be those who also love much as we present ourselves before the feet of Jesus and wash those feet with the tears from our hearts, the tears from our souls and even the tears from our eyes which are stored in a bottle as a precious treasure in heaven. Not only this we must recognize and understand that as those who are called to be servants we are called to wash the feet of others and have been called to present ourselves as servants unto others. This woman presented herself as a sinner in need of forgiveness before Jesus and it would be her act of washing His feet that would be a passionate act of worship and cry for forgiveness. Jesus presented Himself as a servant unto the disciples when He laid aside His garments and girded Himself with the towel that he might was their feet. If there is one thing we must needs recognize is that we are not only called to present ourselves as sinners who have sinned and were in need of forgiveness but also as sinners who have received forgiveness. It is from this place that we pour out our hearts, our souls and our spirits before and unto the Lord Jesus as we allow ourselves to be broken in His presence. What’s more is that we have a great need to recognize that we have been called to be those who not only present ourselves as sinners in need of forgiveness and who have been forgiven before Jesus but also as servants who are willing to love much and love others as we have been commanded and instructed of our Lord.

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