I. "NOW BEFORE THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER, WHEN JESUS KNEW THAT HIS HOUR WAS COME."
A. John tells us of four things that Jesus knew in this paragraph.
1. He knew that His hour had come.
2. He knew that the Father had given all things in His hands. Vs.3
3. He knew that He had come from God and was going to God. Vs.3
4. He knew who it was who should betray Him. Vs. 11.
B. He knew that His hour had come.
1. His first reference to His hour was to His mother when at the beginning of His public ministry He said to her, "My hour has not yet come."
2. What hour is He referring to?
a. The hour He was to glorify the Father by His death and resurrection.
b. The hour that He was to depart out of this world unto the Father.
C. Jesus had such a keen sense of timing, God's timing.
1. This is an area where we often fail miserably.
a. We are so prone to get ahead of God. We are so impatient and thus ready to rush into things or try to move things along ahead of schedule.
b. We often lag behind God, we have other things that we desire to do first, and are prone to put off the things of God until a more convenient time.
c. We all need to pray that God will make us more sensitive to His timing.
II. HAVING LOVED HIS OWN, HE LOVED THEM UNTO THE END.
A. The interesting thing here to me is that John associates the fact that Jesus knew all things, with the fact that Jesus loved His own.
1. Sometimes we are afraid to let people we admire greatly get to close to us for fear that if they knew us better, they would not like us anymore.
2. That's one thing that you never need to worry about Jesus. He knows you completely, even better than you know yourself, yet He loves you to the end.
B. The Greek words "eis telos" is translated to the end, more literally it is to perfection, or to completion. Another translation has it, to the uttermost. Let me offer another, not translation, but interpretation, "Having loved His own He saw it through."
1. That is He went through the bitter experience of the cross.
2. John tells us that Jesus prayed, "Father, save Me from this hour," in chapter 12.
3. The other gospel writers tell us that in the garden Jesus prayed, "Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me."
4. In a little while He will be telling His disciples, "Greater love has no man than this, that He lay down his life for his friends."
5. Having loved His own, He loved them to the completion of the means for their salvation.
III. THE SUPPER IS NOW OVER, AND THE DEVIL HAS PUT INTO THE HEART OF JUDAS ISCARIOT TO BETRAY HIM.
A. It was probably something that Judas had been mulling over for a period of time. He knew that a reward had been offered by the rulers if anyone would reveal to them the whereabouts of Jesus.
1. It is possible that during the supper, the idea gelled in his mind to do it.
2. It is not sinful to be tempted. Jesus was tempted by Satan.
a. There comes a moment, when in the heart the conscious decision is made to yield to the temptation.
b. James tells us that a man is tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts and enticed, and when lusts have conceived, it brings forth sin, and sin when it is finished, brings forth death.
3. There comes that moment of decision when one says "I will do it."
IV. JESUS KNEW THAT THE FATHER HAD GIVEN ALL THINGS INTO HIS HANDS.
A. In Matthew's gospel Jesus said, "All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth."
1. Now that is a lot of power. Think of it, all of the power in the universe was given to Him.
2. If you were given that kind of power, what do you think you would do with it?
3. I have found that there is a limit to the amount of power that I can be trusted with.
a. My brother was into drag racing.
b. I discovered that I could not resist the temptation to misuse power.
c. I just had 450 horses and I was trying to blow everyone away.
B. What did Jesus do with it?
1. He got up from the table and laid aside His garments and girded Himself with a towel and began to wash the feet of His disciples.
2. John gives some details of the method. He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel.
3. Girding yourself with a towel was to take the mark of a slave.
4. Washing their feet was to perform the actions of a slave.
C. John here inserts the little incident when Jesus came to Peter. He tells us that Peter objected with the incredulous, "Lord, dost Thou wash my feet?"
1. Jesus answered Peter that he did not understand now what Jesus was doing, but that he would understand later.
a. Later when Peter was writing his epistle he exhorted them to clothe themselves with humility.
b. It is quite possible as Peter was writing these words his mind was back on that evening when Jesus gird Himself with a towel to wash his feet.
2. Peter responded to Jesus more vehemently, "You will never wash my feet." It is difficult to know just how to respond to Peter here.
a. Should we admire him for his recognition of the Lordship of Christ?
b. Was there a subtle motive to appear more righteous than the other disciples.
3. This was to be a bad night for Peter.
a. Here Jesus will correct him.
b. Later when Jesus speaks of all of them being offended because of Him, and Peter brags though they are all offended, I will never be offended, Jesus then predicts his denial.
c. Later He will be singled out by Jesus for sleeping when he should be praying.
d. Still later he will be rebuked by Jesus for drawing his sword and beginning to swing to defend Jesus from being arrested.
e. Still later the prophecy of Jesus will be fulfilled as he thrice denies his Lord.
4. Jesus answered, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me."
5. Peter true to form replied, "Then don't just wash my feet, but my hands and my head."
6. Jesus answered in essence, "All you need is that I wash your feet and you are all clean, yet not all of you are clean." John again tells us that Jesus knew which of them was going to betray Him, and that is why He said, you are not all clean.
V. JESUS THEN REDRESSED IN HIS ROBE AND SAT DOWN AND BEGAN TO TEACH THEM, ASKING THE QUESTION, "DO YOU KNOW WHAT I HAVE DONE TO YOU?
A. It was more than just washing their feet, it was a symbolic action.
1. You call Me Master and Lord; and that is correct for so I am.
2. If I as your Lord and Master have washed your feet...
a. Remember at the table they had been arguing as to which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
b. Earlier Jesus had said, "If any man will be chief among you let him become the servant of all."
3. Jesus tells them that He has given them an example that they should do as He had done. For a servant is not greater than His Lord.
a. We acknowledge Jesus as our Lord, and if He was willing to serve others, then surely we should be willing to serve others also.
b. Where in the church do you see real examples of this?
c. How the Lord must be grieved by the way so many pastors lord over their flocks.
d. Peter will later tell us that Christ has left for us an example that we should follow in His steps.
4. The action of Jesus washing their feed was symbolic of that which is ever necessary, and that is of the cleansing of the defilement contracted as I walk along the way.
B. This section is closed with the words of Jesus, "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them."
1. The happiness does not come just by knowing but by the doing.
2. Be ye doers of the word and not hearers only.
3. Should we wash feet today?
a. That would be to have missed the message.
b. What we need to do today is to serve one another in love.