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Gospel of John - Chapter Thirteen
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Pastor Ovid Need
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Restrict our study to John, we overlook a vast amount of other activity in Christ's life as recorded in Matthew, Mark and Luke. Desiring to eat the passover with His disciples, Christ sent Peter and John to this house with the upper room, Lk. 22:7-13. They made it ready and He came with the other ten and ate the passover here, (the last supper).
As we saw previously, the passover commemorated the death of the lamb as God's covenant people came out of Egypt. (Covenant peoplethose whom God has made a covenant with or promise to, e.g., trust Christ as your Substitute and Saviour, and God makes a promise of salvation, victory and eternal life.)
John 13 takes place the day before the preparation for the passover. The time table may have been thus: Chapter 13 (the last supper) on Thursday evening; Friday, the arrest and trial of Christ; Friday, about 9 A.M. (the third hour) the crucifixion of Christ; about 3 P.M. (the ninth hour) Christ gives up the ghost, dies and is buried. Whereas our day is from midnight to midnight, the Jewish day was from 6 P.M to 6 P.M. Therefore, Christ died on our Friday afternoon just before the start of the new Jewish day, their high Sabbath of the passover, (6 P.M. Friday). Christ is in the tomb our Friday and Saturday night and rose very early on our Sunday morningmaybe around 6 A.M. Confusing to say the least. The prophecy was three days and three nights, as Jonah suffered, in the heart of the earth, Matthew 12:40, 16:4. To make three nights, we would need to include Christ's agony in the garden on this Thursday night in His suffering. When He said, "Nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done," He would be as good as dead. He submitted and died there.
Jesus had eaten the passover with His disciples, spending His last night with them. V. 1, Christ knew that His time to die was come. The Lord never missed a chance to teach His disciples, and He sure did not here. This will be the last sermon He will give to them before His arrest; therefore, it is a very important message. We are reminded of His love for His own, and now He will show His love toward these men. (We say we love someone, so let us prove it as Christ does here. This proof of our love does not require physical death, but does require death to selfpride and vain-glory.)
1. Who put it into Judas' heart to betray Christ?
a. What was one of the things he used to influence Judas to betray Christ, Lk. 22:5 (see I Tim. 6:10)?
Many folks today have fallen pray to the same offer. What does the devil put into our hearts? Another point here: What would we teach our children if we knew we only had time for one last lesson?
2. What does Jesus know even before He washes the disciples' feet, v. 3? 1.)
It is extremely significant that the apostle John is the only one of the four (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) to record this lesson. John presents Jesus as King of kings and Lord of lords, "Very God of very God and very man of very man." John shows us the Creator of all things, visible and invisible, doing something that 95% of Christians would not do no matter what.
3. What had the disciples been arguing over, Lk. 22:24?
a. What did Jesus point out to them, Lk. 22:25?
b. What did Jesus tell them concerning who is the greatest in God's sight (in the Kingdom of God), vv. 26, 27?
4. Christ was not one to teach something and not give an illustration. What does Christ do to illustrate His point, Jn. 13:4, 5?
a. Who is the first one He comes to, v. 6?
b. Knowing this man from the many other accounts of him, undoubtedly, he was one of those in the argument in Lk. 22. He responds to this just as we probably would, with embarrassment. What does he say, v. 6?
c. What does Christ say to him, v. 8?
We have talked about the water of the Word. Thus, the bath requested in v. 9 speaks of total salvation, v. 8. The feet of v. 10 speaks of daily confession of sin as required in I Jn. 1:9, Prov. 28:13, 14.
5. Christ gives two very important words in v. 7. (See vv. 12, 15 and 17.) Can you pick them out?
Thus we have a point we must not pass over lightly. Someone has said, "Values are caught, not taught." What do you think this means? Very seldom do people, including our children, remember what we say. But what we do will stick with them until they die.
6. There are more illustrations of this than we can number. Let us look at the one the Lord illustration the Lord is using What is He illustrating in vv. 4-16, Lk. 22:26?
a. The lesson He is teaching goes contrary to the natural man. What does the natural man think, Lk. 22:25?
b. We have a warfare going on within us. One of the results of obeying the Spirit of Christ within us is what, Gal. 5:13?
Therefore, we see that this Christian characteristic is one of the most resisted by the flesh, as well as one of the more required by the word of God. Christ teaches by example. What are we teaching by our example? We know of folks who follow this examples, and have a ritual of foot-washing in their church. Of course, there is nothing at all wrong with that, but that really is not what the Lord is telling us to do. Verse 15 makes it very clear: WE TEACH BY EXAMPLE, and that example is not restricted to church services. What we teach at home and on our jobs is what will last in the minds of those around us.
7. Along with this, who does the Lord identify as the happy ones in v. 17, (Ja. 1:22)?
It sure is difficult to expect children to do what they should when their parents will not do what they know they should. Knowing the word of God about a situation will only bring destruction unless that knowledge is acted upon and His word is applied to the situation. (Matt. 7:24-29.)
Vv. 18-30, Jesus tells them what is going to come to pass, so when it does take place, they will believe Him. He plainly tells them who will betray Him, but even then they were unable to identify the trader, v. 28. Judas goes out to do his dirty work.
V. 31, God is glorified as the Son obeys the Father to the very death.
V. 33, Jesus clearly tells them the Jews are going to kill Himthe very next day, in fact.
8. What is the command that Jesus leaves with His disciples, v. 34?
Note that Christ did not give a new command in the since that it had never been given before. It was as old as the law itself. (Lev. 19:18.) The Lord tells us how this is new, "as I have loved you..." We need to keep His words in their context, vv. 4-17. The Lord showed His love for His disciples by serving them, which was certainly new. Thus the command in v. 34 is based in that service one to another. If the apostles argued in the presence of Christ (as we saw in LK. 22), how much more danger is there of this attitude controlling after He is gone. He illustrated true love both in the washing of the feet, then in His death. The new command is, thus, that we show the same kind of love one toward another as He showed in vv. 4-17.
9. V. 35 is not some kind of warm feeling; rather, it is action. As the fleshly desire for authority is resisted and overcome by the command to serve one another with humility, the world will know what?
Indeed, a strong lesson: One that the natural man will fight against untill we die. Yet Christ in us gives us the wisdom to recognize where we are failing in these areas, and the power to subdue them according to His word.
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