Today’ 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 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 girded himself. After that he poured water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Them 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 not 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 white: 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 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. 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. Aesop, 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 u not the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. But 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 the thirteenth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you will find the beginning of a section of Scripture that is completely and utterly incredible when you take the time to consider it. It is in the thirteenth chapter of this gospel narrative we find the beginning of Jesus’ preparation for His suffering and ultimately His being crucified before being buried in the tomb and raised to life on the third day. What’s more is that as you come to the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative you can and will come face to face with Jesus’ beginning to prepare His disciples for His departure from this world and His return to the Father. If you take the time to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture you can and will find Jesus not only preparing His disciples once more for His suffering and death upon the cross but also His return unto the Father. There were multiple times within this gospel when the Lord Jesus would declare unto His disciples—and not only unto His disciple but also unto the Jews that where He was going they could not follow for He was going somewhere they neither knew nor could accompany Him to. This is something which warrants strong and careful consideration for when you come to the thirteenth chapter you will find incredibly unique and powerful language concerning the knowledge Jesus had concerning that which was about to come to pass and be fulfilled within His physical and natural life. It was indeed true that Jesus came in the flesh and was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us. It was indeed true that Jesus took upon Himself the seed of Abraham and that as a direct result of His taking on the seed of Abraham He would come unto His own who would receive hIm not. With this being said, however, we must needs recognize and understand that when we come to this particular portion of Scripture and ultimately this point during the physical and natural life of Jesus He knew and was prepared to suffer in the flesh—and not only suffer in the flesh but ultimately return unto the Father who was in heaven. The more you read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture the more you can and will encounter and come face to face with the truly astonishing truth surrounding the Lord Jesus knowing that He was preparing for more than simply suffering in the flesh and being crucified upon the cross at the hands of sinners. Jesus recognized and understood that He was indeed preparing to return unto the Father and that His time upon the earth was drawing to a close. Jesus knew that His time here upon the earth was almost finished and that He was preparing to return unto the Father from whom he had come and been sent. With this being said we must needs acknowledge and understand that although Jesus knew that He was returning to the Father He knew that the road and path to the Father was and would be marked with suffering and ultimately death. Jesus knew that He was returning to the Father, however, the path to the Father would lead directly through Calvary. What’s more is not only would the path to the Father lead directly through the hill called Calvary and the cross but it would also lead through the borrowed tomb in which His lifeless body would be placed. The Lord Jesus Christ knew that He had indeed come from the Father and that He would return to the Father and with that knowledge He also knew that in order to return to the Father He would indeed need to suffer in the flesh. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for there is something truly captivating when you take the time to consider this beautiful reality. Jesus was indeed preparing to be clothed with the glory He had with the Father which He had from the beginning of time, however, before He would and could be clothed with that glory He would need to be clothed with suffering in the flesh. There was absolutely no way Jesus would or could return unto the Father without and apart from suffering in the flesh. As you read the words which are found in the opening verses of the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative written by the apostle John you can and will be brought face to face with an intimate knowledge Jesus had within Himself. If you begin reading with and from the first and opening verse you will find the apostle John writing once more concerning the feast of the Jews—specifically the Jewish feast which was the celebration of the Passover. If you begin reading with and from the first verse of this chapter you will find that 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.” Oh it is absolutely necessary that we pay close attention to this concept of Jesus knowing the hour was come that He should depart out of this world unto the Father. If you take the time to read this gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John you will find continual reference and mention to the Jews’ persecution of Jesus and their desire to destroy and put Him to death. What’s more is that you will read of the desire of the scribes, the Pharisees, the chief rulers and the religious leaders of that day seeking to lay hands upon Jesus that they might destroy and remove Him from the earth. Not only this but you will also read of another encounter when they picked up stones wherewith to stone the person of the Lord Jesus because of their offense and outrage with the words which He had spoken. What makes this truly captivating when you take the time to think about it is when you consider the words and language the apostle John would write concerning these futile attempts of the Jews and their religious and political leaders to kill and destroy the Lord Jesus. Time and time again the Jews and their religious and political leaders sought to kill and destroy Jesus and yet they were incapable of and unable to actually carry out their desires and intentions against the Lord Jesus. Upon reading the words which are found in this gospel leading up to the thirteenth chapter you will find this incredible concept and language of the timing of the eternal and living God. The more you read the words presented in this passage of Scripture the more you can and will be brought face to face with the desire and intention of the Jews to destroy and put to death the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly is for although the Jews sought to destroy and put to death the Lord Jesus Christ they were unable to because His appointed time had not yet come to pass. What is truly astonishing about this when you take the time to think about it is when you consider that although Jesus did in fact come in the flesh to suffer and ultimately to be crucified upon a cruel Roman tree that would and could not happen without and apart from the timing and will of the eternal Father which was in heaven. We must needs recognize and understand this for although Jews and their religious and political leaders sought to kill and destroy the person of the Lord Jesus who had come in the flesh they were prohibited and restricted from doing so because of and according to the divine will and timing of the eternal Father. Although the Jews had intentions to destroy and put to death the person of the Lord Jesus Christ time and time again they would and could not do so because it was not the time which had been ordained and appointed by the eternal father who had sent Him from heaven to earth. Oh this is something we must needs understand and acknowledge for there is something truly captivating and powerful about the timing of the eternal and living God. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this for it calls and draws our attention to the wonderful and powerful truth concerning the person of the Lord Jesus and the divine will of the father concerning Him. If there is one thing I absolutely love about this gospel and the language that is contained within it it’s that although the Jews desired to destroy and put to death the Lord Jesus and remove Him from their culture and society they were physical incapable of actually carrying out their intentions against Him. Oh despite their intense and vehement hatred and animosity toward and against the person of the Lord Jesus Christ they were entirely and altogether unable to carry out their will against and upon Him. Time and time again within this New Testament gospel we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth that the Jews and their leaders sought to destroy and put to death the person of the Lord Jesus and yet were unable to do so—not because they did not desire to do so but because the eternal father who had sent Him would not allow it. The Jews together with their leaders sought to completely destroy the person of the Lord Jesus from among them in their midst—something that would begin as early as the fifth chapter of this gospel. It would be after and as a direct result of Jesus healing a man on the sabbath and His making the declaration that God was His Father thus making himself equal with God that would cause the Jews to persecute Him—and not only persecute Him but also seek to slay and put him to death. From the fifth chapter all the way through the twelfth chapter of this gospel we find the Jews being consumed with their hatred and animosity towards and against the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Jews themselves were greatly offended, outraged and angered by the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and as a direct result of this anger and outrage they would indeed seek to destroy and remove Him from their midst. It would be beginning with the fifth chapter of this gospel narrative we find the first account of the Jews actually seeking to kill Jesus after they would also begin persecuting Him. Oh as you continue reading the gospel narrative which was written by the apostle John you can and will encounter and come face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding the person of the Lord Jesus and the struggle the Jews and their religious and political leaders had with Him. What would begin with the outrage and offense of the Jews with his healing a man on the sabbath and His making the declaration that God was His Father thus making Himself equal with God and the Jews persecuting and seeking to slay Jesus would continue and ultimately culminate in what was referred to as the whole world believing upon the person of the Lord Jesus. If you read the words which are found in the opening chapter of this gospel you will find the apostle John writing how Jesus came into the world and the world knew Him not. What’s more is that within the first and opening chapter you will find the apostle John writing how Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not. With this being said, however, the apostle John would also declare that as many as received Him it would be unto them who were given power to become sons of God. At the very heart and center of this gospel narrative was indeed the powerful invitation to believe in the person of the Lord Jesus—and not only believe in Jesus but also receive Him. As you read the words presented in this gospel you will find that at the very heart and center of it is the choice and decision many would need to make within their hearts and minds concerning the person of the Lord Jesus. Either the Jews would believe that He was indeed the Christ and the Son of the living God or they would reject and despise that notion. Either the Jews would indeed believe in Him and receive Him or they would completely and utterly despise and reject Him. Oh it would be the apostle John who would in fact declare that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not which would further confirm the words which are found in the prophetic book of Isaiah. I am absolutely convinced that if you want to truly understand the words and language which is found in this passage of Scripture you must needs consider the words which the apostle John wrote in the first and opening chapter of this gospel. What’s more is I would also dare say that the words which the ancient Hebrew prophet Isaiah prophesied unto the southern kingdom of Judah must be considered in light of this. It would be within these two passages of Scripture where we find the idea and understanding that the Lord Jesus would indeed come into the world and the world would know Him not and would come unto His own and His own would receive Him not. This is something we must needs recognize and understand when seeking to come to the understanding of the Lord Jesus being despised, rejected and abhorred by many of the Jews and their religious and political leaders. With this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found in the first chapter of this New Testament gospel narrative as well as the words which are found in the fifty-third chapter of the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah. Consider if you will the following words which are are found in these two chapters beginning with the first and opening verse of the first chapter of this New Testament gospel: “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 truth 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 many 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 fullness 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). “Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord rev eagled? For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he strikcen. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceive in his mouth. Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (Isaiah 53:1-12). Within these two passages of Scripture—not only do we find the Light coming into the world and the darkness comprehending it not but we also find Jesus coming into the world and the world knowing Him not and His coming unto His own and His own receiving Him not. What’s more is that within the fifty-third chapter of the prophetic book of Isaiah we of course read of the suffering which the Messiah and Christ would experience in the flesh, however, we read of so much more than that. That which is presented in the Old Testament prophetic book of Isaiah must needs be carefully considered for it calls and draws our attention to the incredible truth surrounding the person of the Lord Jesus Christ and how He would be despised and rejected by the Jews and those people whom He would come unto. It would be the prophet Isaiah who would indeed prophesy of the rejection of the Messiah and the Christ by His own people which would indeed be written of by the apostle John in the first and opening chapter of this New Testament gospel. With this being said I am absolutely convinced we must needs recognize and understand the words which are found in the tenth chapter of the New Testament epistle which was written by the apostle Paul in the epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Rome. It is within this passage of Scripture where we find an even greater demonstration and manifestation of the rejection of the Jews toward the person of the Lord Jesus who did indeed come as the Christ and the Son of the living God. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the tenth chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Rome beginning to read with and from the first and opening verse of the chapter: “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (That is, to bring Christ down from above) Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (That is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith,w high we preach; that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be shamed. For there is no different between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moss saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me. But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:1-21). We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for within it we encounter the apostle Paul writing of the Jews’ rejection and despising of Jesus who was their Christ, who was their Lord, and who was indeed the Son of the living God. It is absolutely impossible to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the tremendous and incredible truth surrounding Jesus coming unto the Jews and the Jews complete and utter rejection of Jesus as their Christ and as their Lord. There were many Jews who would and could not receive the person of Jesus as the Messiah which was ordained and appointed to come unto them and prophesied by the prophets and written of within their Law. There were countless Jews and even many of their religious leaders who could not receive Jesus of Nazareth as their Messiah and Christ. There were countless examples found within this New Testament gospel written by the apostle John of the Jews not only rejecting the person of the Lord Jesus Christ as their Messiah but also their seeking to destroy and put Him to death. What’s more is that within this gospel you will also read of the chief priests, the rulers and those who were present during those days using fear and threats to silence any who would dare believe in the person of Jesus of Nazareth and any who would receive Him as the Christ and the Son of the living God. It would be in the fifth chapter where we find and read of the Jews persecuting and seeking to destroy Jesus because He had healed on the sabbath and made the profession that God was His Father thus making Himself equal with God. With this being said we must needs recognize that in addition to this the Jews would continue seeking to kill and destroy Jesus—and not only seek to kill and destroy the person of the Lord Jesus but also seek to cancel and silence any one who dared speak out in favor of Him. It is with this in mind I invite you to consider the following words which are found within this gospel beginning to read with and from the fifth chapter: “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:16-18). “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life? And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve” (John 6:66-71). “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judaea, that they disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus aid unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is always ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come. When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee” (John 7:1-9). “But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. Then the jews sought him at the feast, and said, Where is he? And there was much murmuring among the people concerning him: for some said, he is a good man: others said, Nay; but he deceiveth the people. Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews” (John 7:10-13). “Now about the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and taught. And the Jews marveled, saying, how knoweth this man letters, having never learned? Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him. Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law? Why go ye about to kill me? The people answered and said, Thou hast a devil: who goeth about to kill thee? Jesus answered and said unto them, I have done one work, and ye all marvel. Moses therefore gave unto you circumcision: (not because it is of Moss, but of the fathers) and ye on the sabbath day circumcise a man. If a man on the sabbath day receive circumcision, that the law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at me, because eI have made a man every white whole on the sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:14-24). “Then said some of them of Jerusalem, is not this he, whom they seek to kill? But, lo, he speaketh boldly, and they say nothing unto him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is the very Christ? Howbeit we know this man whence he is: but when Christ cometh, no man knoweth whence he is. Then cried Jesus in the temple as he taught, saying, Ye both know me, and ye know whence I am: and I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come. And many of the people believed on him, and said, When Christ cometh, will he do more miracles than these which this man hath done? The Pharisees heard that the people murmured such things concerning him; and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take him. Then said Jesus unto them, Yet a little while am I with you, and then I go unto him that sent me. Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come. Then said the Jews among themselves, Whither will he go, that we shall not find him? Will he go unto the dispersed among the Gentiles, and teach the Gentiles? What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come?” (John 7:25-36). “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this speak he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was? So there was a division among the people because of him. And some of them would have taken him; but no man laid hands on him” (John 7:37-44). “Then came the officers to the chief priests and Pharisees; and they said unto them, Why have ye not brought him? The officers answered, Never a man spake like this man. Then answered them the Pharisees, Are ye also deceived? Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him? But this people who knoweth not the law are cursed. Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth? They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee raiseth no prophet” (John 7:45-52). “Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? And the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself? Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I. Know him, and keep his saying. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad. Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty. Years old, and hast thou seen Abraham? Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by” (John 8:52-59). “They brought to the Pharisees him that aforetime was blind. And it was the sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Then again the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. He said unto them, He put clay upon mine eyes, and I washed, and do see. TGherefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day, Others said, how can a man that is a sinner to such miracles? And there was a division among them. They say unto the blind man again, What sayest thou of him, that he hath opened thine eyes? He said, He is a prophet. But the Jews did not believe on earning him, that he had been blind, and received his sight, until they called the parents of him that had received his sight” (John 9:13-18). “His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind: But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself. These words spake his parents, because they feared the jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. Therefore said his parents, He is of age; ask him” (John 9:20-23). “The man answered and said unto them, Why herein is a marvellous thing, that ye know not from whence he is, and yet he hath opened mine eyes. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind? If this man were not of God, he could do nothing. They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out. Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him” (John 9:30-38). “There was a division therefore again among the Jews for these sayings. And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is made; why hear ye him? Others said, These are not the words of him that hath a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind. And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no. Man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one. Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus answered them, Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?” (John 10:19-33). “Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escape out of their hand, and went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at the first baptized; and there abode. And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true. And many believed on him there” (John 10:39-42). “Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? For this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of god that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death. Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with his disciples. And the Jews’ passover was night at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him” (John 11:45-57). “Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus” (John 12:9-11). “The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record. For this cause the people also met him, for that they heard that he had done this miracle. The Pharisees said among themselves, Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold, the world is gone after him” (John 12:17-19). “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? And to whom hath the arm of the Lord been re veiled? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath bel indeed their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, les tThey should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:37-43). I fully recognize that there was a lot of Scripture just presented unto you and yet it is absolutely necessary for us to pay close attention to the words which we see in these passages found in the gospel narrative written by the apostle John. Within these passages of Scripture we are brought face to face with the tremendous truth that at the very heart of those days in which the Lord Jesus walked upon the earth there was indeed a division which was present among the people. It’s important to recognize that this division not only occurred and was present among the Jews themselves but it was also present among the chief priests, the rulers, the Pharisees and the like. It would be in the twelfth chapter where we find among the chief rulers many believing on Jesus but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him lest they should be put out of the synagogue. Within this gospel we find there were those who believed that Jesus was the Prophet while there were others who believed that Jesus was indeed the Christ. With this being said it’s imperative for us to recognize and pay attention to the fact that there were many of the Jews who despised and rejected the person of the Lord Jesus. ON more than one occasion the Jews not only sought to kill Jesus but even sought to take up stones against Him to cast at Him that they might put Him to death. There are multiple examples and accounts within this gospel concerning the Jews who rejected the claims Jesus made that He was indeed the Son of the living God and that He was come from the Father. Time and time again within this passage of Scripture we find the jews together with their leaders and rulers despising and rejecting the person of the Lord Jesus Christ completely and utterly despising Him. The more I read these words the more I am gripped and captivated with and by what I read in the thirteenth chapter of this New Testament gospel. As you read the words presented in this gospel you will find time and time again the Jews seeking to take Jesus that they might destroy and put Him to death and yet they were completely and utterly unable to because His time was not yet and His hour had not come. Oh we dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible this truly is for it brings us face to face with the words and language that we see in the thirteenth chapter of this gospel. If you begin reading with and from the opening verse of this chapter you will find that 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.” There is something truly necessary about the words presented in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the truth surrounding Jesus knowing that His hour had come for Him to depart out of this world unto the Father from whom he had been sent and from whom he had come. With this being said it is absolutely necessary to recognize that although the Jews had indeed sought to kill and destroy Him but could not because His hour had not yet come that time was drawing nigh. Jesus knew that His hour had come for Him to return unto the right hand of the Father. Jesus knew that the time and the hour had come for Him to depart out of this world unto the Father and how He loved His own which were in the world and loved them unto the end. What’s more is that when you read the words found in this passage you will find that Jesus also know that the Father had given all things into His hands—and not only this but that He was come from God and went to God. Oh within this passage of Scripture we find it written how the person of the Lord Jesus knew that his hour had come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father and also knew that He was come from God and went to God. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of the words which are found in this passage of Scripture for it brings us face to face with the tremendous truth surrounding the person of the Lord Jesus and the knowledge He had that His hour had come. Jesus recognized and understood that He would always go and return unto the Father and this was something He would allude to when speaking unto the Jews. Oh as you read this gospel you will find Jesus declaring unto the Jews that where He was going they would not be able to come. What’s more is Jesus would also declare how yet a little while they would seek Him and would not be able to find Him. Jesus would speak unto the Jews and would declare unto them that they would indeed search for Him but would not be able to find Him for He would indeed and would in fact return unto His Father who was in heaven. What we find here in this passage is truly captivating when you take the time to think about it for it brings us face to face with the knowledge Jesus had this his hour had come—the hour that he should return unto His Father which was in heaven. What we must needs understand when considering the words found in this passage of Scripture is that Jesus knew that He would indeed return unto His Father who was in heaven and that the road and path to the Father would indeed lead directly through the suffering and straight through the cross. Despite the fact that Jesus did indeed and did in fact come from the Father and would return unto the Father He would and could not return unto the Father absent and apart from suffering. Jesus would indeed prepare to return unto the Father, however, in preparing to return unto the Father the Lord Jesus would indeed need to prepare Himself for suffering in the flesh. Important to realize and understand is that it was also the divine will and purpose of the Father that Jesus return unto Him, however, that return would and could not happen without and apart from walking through and enduring the suffering in the flesh. I sit here today thinking about and considering the words which are presented in this passage of Scripture and I am brought face to face with the undeniable truth surrounding Jesus’ knowledge that He would indeed return unto the Father who was indeed and was in fact in heaven. The person of the Lord Jesus realized and understood that He would indeed return unto the Father who was in heaven and yet the road and the path to the Father would lead directly through Calvary and through the cross. It was absolutely impossible for Jesus to return unto the Father until and unless He suffered in the flesh and endured the shame and the death which would come as a result of the cross. Oh pause for a moment and consider how absolutely incredible this truly is for Jesus did indeed come from God and would go unto God and yet in order for Him to return unto the Father He would need to walk through the suffering ordained and appointed unto Him and would indeed need to taste and experience death. Jesus knew that the path to the Father would indeed require Him to carry and take up His cross and walk with it all the way to the place where He would find His arms and hands outstretched and nailed to the cross beam of the cross with His feet nailed to the horizontal beam of the cross. If there is one thing Jesus knew and understood it was that He had indeed come from God and would return unto the Father which was in heaven, however, directly linked and connected to His return unto the Father in heaven would indeed be his suffering in the flesh. Jesus knew and understood that He had come unto this world to suffer in the flesh—and not only suffer in the flesh but also to taste and experience death as a direct result of the cross. Oh this is something which we must needs realize and recognize and which is spoken of and alluded to in the second chapter of the epistle written by the apostle Paul unto the saints which were at Philippi as well as in the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Hebrews.
I am convinced that before we are able to consider the words which are found in this passage of Scripture it is necessary to turn and direct our attention to these passages and how they present us with the the suffering which the Lord Jesus would experience—and not only the suffering Jesus would experience but also the humility he would exercise as He would indeed humble himself and would become obedient unto the point of death. Consider if you will the following words which are found in these two epistles beginning to read with and from the second chapter of the epistle written unto the Philippian saints:
“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 vain glory; but in loveliness 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 s hound 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. Do all things without murmurings and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither labored in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:1-18). “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 visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and dust 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 the 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 succor them that are tempted” (Hebrews 2:5-18). It is quite clear from the words which are found in both of these passages of Scripture that Jesus taking upon Himself the form of human flesh was indeed one of the greatest acts of humility ever undertaken in the history of mankind. To think that he not only exchanged the glory He had with the Father with flesh and blood but would also clothe Himself in the earthly and natural tabernacle of flesh, and bones, and sinews, and muscle, and ligaments, and tendons and blood is incredibly powerful when you consider it. When you take the time to read the words which are found in the thirteenth chapter of this gospel you can and will be brought face to face with Jesus once more laying aside something that He might take up something even greater. What we must recognize when reading the words presented in the thirteenth chapter of this gospel is that after supper had ended on this particular night Jesus would lay aside His garments and take up a towel and gird himself therewith. This is something absolutely necessary for what we find here in this passage of Scripture is a powerful picture of that which Jesus did prior to His becoming flesh and dwelling among us. Here in this passage we find Jesus laying aside the garments He was wearing that he might take up and gird Himself with a towel to serve His disciples. The entire purpose of this particular event was that Jesus might indeed wash the feet of His disciples that He might provide them with an example of the same humility they ought to share with and demonstrate unto others. What we find here was more than simply Jesus laying aside His garments and taking up the towel that He might wash the disciples’ feet—something that was indeed the responsibility of a servant during those days. One thing that warrants strong consideration when you consider these words is when you consider how the Lord Jesus would lay aside His earthly garments and take up the towel knowing full well that He came from God and that He was going to God. It would be with this knowledge of where He came from and where He was going that He would lower Himself to that of a servant and engage in that action which would have been customary for a servant during those days. I read the words which are presented in this passage of Scripture and I can’t help but find a powerful earthly example of a heavenly reality surrounding the person of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus would indeed lay aside the glory He had with the Father in heaven that He might take up humanity in the form of flesh and blood. Jesus would indeed lay aside the glory He had with the Father that He might take up the form of human flesh that He might truly be Emmanuel which means “God with us.” In order for God to truly dwell among us Jesus would need to come in the form of human flesh and blood and clothe Himself with the very essence in which man has been clothed with from the time of Adam when he was formed and fashioned from the dust of the earth. The Lord Jesus Christ did in fact lay aside the glory He had with the Father which was in heaven that He might take upon Himself the form of flesh and blood that as the living Word made flesh He might dwell among us. What’s more is that it was only by and through taking upon Himself the form of flesh and blood that he might truly be able to suffer according to that which was spoken of in the Law and the prophets. The eternal and only begotten Son of the Father was indeed clothed with flesh and blood and while it is indeed true He was one hundred percent God He was also one hundred percent human dwelling in flesh and blood. Here on this particular night the Lord would set aside His garments thus rendering Himself in the form of a servant and thereby might serve the disciples through humility in washing their feet. The Lord Jesus would lay aside the earthly and natural garments which He was wearing that He might take up the towel and was the feet of the disciples. We must not miss and lose sight of this and how absolutely incredible it truly us for there is something incredibly unique about Jesus laying aside His earthly garments that He might take up the towel and wash the feet of the disciples. We know from Scripture that Jesus laid aside the glory He had with the Father from before time began and the heavens and the earth was created that He might take upon Himself the form of o flesh and blood. What we find within this passage of Scripture is that Jesus was now preparing to lay aside the flesh and blood which He had been encased in for thirty and three years that He might once more take up the glory and eternal nature which He had with the Father from before the world began. It’s absolutely astonishing to read the words which are found in this passage of Scripture and how the Lord Jesus Christ would indeed lay aside the glory He had with the Father that He might humble Himself becoming a servant in taking upon Himself the form of flesh and blood. The words and language we find here in this passage of Scripture begins to set the tone and the stage for the Lord Jesus Christ departing from this world and returning unto His Father. Before He would set aside the physical garment of human flesh and blood He would first need to suffer in the flesh—and not only suffer in the flesh but also be killed and crucified upon the cross. There is something absolutely incredible about the words which we find in this passage of Scripture for within it we find Jesus preparing to return unto the Father and departing from this world that He might return to the realm of eternity. Before He would return unto the Father, however, He would indeed humble Himself through the washing of the disciples’ feet as well as through the suffering of the flesh and being killed and crucified. Important for us to realize is that before Jesus would humble Himself and become obedient to the point of death He would lay aside the earthly garments He was wearing that He might take up the towel and wash the feet of the disciples. What’s more is that was you read the words found in this passage of Scripture you will find the Lord Jesus Christ explaining to the disciples that which He had done for them—namely, that through the laying aside of His earthly garments and taking up the towel that He might wash the feet of the disciples they might have an example on what to do unto others. Consider if you will the following words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the twelfth verse after Jesus had finished washing the disciples’ feet and taken up His garments and was set down among them again: “So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye 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). As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely incumbent to call and draw your attention to that which we find in this passage of Scripture. When Jesus knew that His hour had come—and not only knew that His hour had come but that He was returning unto the Father—He not only sought to prepare His disciples for His departure but also prepared them for how they ought to live in His absence. Everything we read in chapters thirteen through seventeen is Jesus’ preparing His disciples for His departure—and not only for His departure but for how they ought to live in His absence. What’s more is that He was not only preparing them for how they ought to live in His absence but He was also preparing them for how to live in response to having walked with Him. What we must needs understand when reading these words is that what Jesus showed them was just as important as what He would teach and speak to them. Not only this but what we find in these passages of Scripture is a double-edged instruction given unto the disciples for on the one hand He was teaching them how to live in His absence while on the other hand He was teaching them how to live in light of walking with Him. This sis something which we as the disciples of the Lord Jesus must needs acknowledge for we are called to live our lives in light of the example which Jesus set forth for us in the gospels. The Lord Jesus did in fact prepare His disciples for His departure and sought to teach them how to live in His absence, however, we must also needs recognize and understand that he taught them how to live in light of what He taught and showed them. It would be in these chapters the Lord Jesus prepared and made ready His disciples for His departure and how they ought to live in light of His return to the Father which was in heaven. We dare not and must not miss how incredibly important this truly is for it is a clear example for us who are called to live our lives in light of walking with the person of the Lord Jesus and even in light of His departure from this earth and return unto the Father which was in heaven. The question we must needs ask ourselves is whether or not we are in fact those individuals who not only walk with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ but are also those individuals who live our lives walking in and following the example which He provided for us.