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Love to the End

(John 13:1-17)

I. Introduction.
As we move into chapter 13
We see the Passover has finally arrived
And Jesus is with His disciples in the upper room.

Its been noted

That John in his Gospel
Fills in some of the gaps
Of the other Gospel writers
Gaps, not in the sense
That anything is missing
Since we have what the Lord intended to give to us:
The Bible is a complete and perfect standard
Of what we should believe
And how we should live
But in the sense of filling in some of the areas
The other Gospel writers
By the inspiration of the Spirit
Didnt include.
John was likely familiar
With what the other Gospels contained,

As his was the last Gospel written.
This may be why
He doesnt give us an account
Of the Last Supper
Since the other three writers
Included it in their Gospels
He does, however, give us
What Jesus taught on that occasion
Just before His betrayal and crucifixion
Which the other Gospel writers left out:
The next five chapters
Which we call the Upper Room Discourse.

Here Jesus begins

With a demonstration of His humility and love:
He washes His disciples feet
Giving them and us a lesson
Of what we should be doing for one another.

This morning, lets consider two things:

The love Jesus has for His disciples.
And how we are to follow His example in loving each other.
II. Sermon.
A. First, lets consider Jesus love for His disciples.

1. We read in verse 1, Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that
His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having
loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
John tells us that what were about to read
Took place just before the Feast of Passover.
There is some question
As to what John meant
When he said it was before the Feast.
Some believe he meant a couple of days before,
While other see it as just before,
So that what we see Jesus teach
Takes place at the Last Supper.
When you consider
That immediately following this meal
Jesus and His disciples
Go to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray,
It seems that this must be the latter.

Jesus knew the time had finally come

To depart from this world
And return to His Father.

Having now loved His disciples throughout His ministry

By His continual care and instruction
He loved them to the very end of His life

Which He was now about to lay down for them
That they might live forever.

John was referring to Jesus care and service

To His disciples on earth,
But lets not forget
He still loves His own
Who are in the world right now
That is, He loves and cares for us from heaven
And He will do so to the end
To the end of our lives,
And then take us to be with Him forever.
If you have trusted Him,
That is as certain to take place
As it was for the disciples.

2. It was at this time

Jesus did something,
Which may seem unique,
But which was really what He had been doing all along
He took the role of a servant
And washed the disciples feet.
We read in verses 2-5, During supper, the devil having already put into the
heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that
the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth
from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His

garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into
the basin, and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the
towel with which He was girded.

During the Passover meal,

The devil having already tempted Judas
To betray Jesus,
Knowing that the Father had given Him
All those He would die for,
As well as the power to keep them
And direct all things for their good;
Knowing that the Father had sent Him into the world
And that He was returning to Him
Took off His outer garment
Since it would get in the way
Of what He was about to do
Tied a towel around His waist,
Poured water into a basin,
And began washing the disciples feet
And drying them with the towel.

John Gill notes that

Foot washing wasnt the Jewish custom
At the Passover,

Or when the Jews would entertain privately,
Or at their common meals,
But something they would do
When they entertained travelers.
Perhaps Jesus was making a statement
About His disciples being pilgrims and strangers in this world
Even as our Lords says is true about our own situation.
Seeing the condition of this world,
And how wonderful heaven will be,
We should not be at all sorry
That this is the case.

But one thing that was always true about foot washing
Was that when it was done
It wasnt something
The master would do for the servant,
But the servant for the master.
It was an act of the greatest humility
For it to be the other way around.
But thats what happened.
Jesus, the Son of God
God, in our nature
Humbled Himself,
Took the role of a servant

And washed His disciples feet.

Its easy to see why

Peter was so uncomfortable
When Jesus finally reached him.
John writes in verse 6, So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, Lord, do
You wash my feet?
Apparently Peter wasnt the first to be served,
And it appears that the others didnt object,
But submitted to it without a word.
But Peter couldnt bring himself to allow it.

This was more than a mere foot washing:

Jesus was providing an object lesson,
But He was also providing a spiritual lesson.
We see an indication of this in what we read next:
Jesus answered and said to him, What I do you do not realize now, but you
will understand hereafter (v. 7).

But again, Peter objected.

We read in verse 8, Peter said to Him, Never shall You wash my feet! Jesus
answered him, If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.
Here we begin to see a double meaning
In what Jesus said.
How could washing Peters feet
Give him an interest in Jesus?

It couldnt.
But Jesus washing Peter
With His own blood
Through His sacrifice on the cross would.
Thats what Jesus was teaching.

His whole ministry had been one

Of loving and serving His disciples.
He was about to perform
His greatest act of service to Peter on the cross.
This wasnt the beginning,
Nor would it be the end.
If Peter wouldnt let Jesus serve Him now
In administering this object lesson,
How could He serve Him through His death?

Whether Peter realized this,

Or only the fact Jesus said
He must submit to this
Or he has no part with Him,
Peter replies in verse 9, Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands
and my head.
If my not letting you wash my feet now
Means Ill be cut off from You,

Then give me a full bath!

Jesus now has him moving in the right direction,

But theres something else He wanted to teach him in verses 10-11:
Jesus said to him, He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is
completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you. For He knew the one
who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, Not all of you are clean.
Jesus was washing Peters feet also to show him
That once he had been washed by His blood,
He only needed to be touched up from time to time
From the sin he committed while in this world.

Jesus wanted all of His disciples to know

They were already clean
The sacrifice He was about to make on the cross
Was already being applied to them
But not all of them.
Jesus keeps talking about the one exception
Which well look at more carefully next time.
One thing we should note though:
Judas was still there,
And Jesus washed his feet.
Foot washing
Even having your feet washed by Jesus
Doesnt take away your sins,

But it is a picture of what does:
The death of Jesus Christ on the cross
Received by faith in Him,
Which was something Judas didnt have.

3. Jesus, the Son of God,

The God of all Creation,
Humbled Himself to become a servant
To serve you,
If you are trusting Him.
Everything He did
His perfect submission to the Father,
His teaching ministry,
His suffering and dying on the cross
He did for you
To wash you from your sins
And give you a perfect record of obedience
Because He loves you.

And He continues to serve you

Now in heaven.
Jesus rules with absolute authority over the world
Making sure that everything will ultimately
Work out for your benefit.

He rules and overrules all things
For your good.
And He prays for you
Continually before His Father,
Pleading His righteousness
And His death,
And the Fathers promise to give you to Him.
He will not let you go
If you love Him and are following Him
Because He loves you too much.
He will not lose you,
But bring you to heaven,
And keep you forever.

If you dont know this love

Jesus has for His own,
Then receive Him
As He offers Himself to you now.
Receive His love and mercy.
Look to Him in faith
And He will give it to you
He will wash you,
He will forgive you,
And He will love and keep you to the end.


B. Second, lets consider that we are to follow Jesus example.

1. This was not only a picture
Of what Jesus was about to do
In laying down His life for His disciples,
It was also an object lesson
Of what He wanted them to do for one another
Of what He wants us to do for each other.

We read in verse 12-17, So when He had washed their feet, and taken His
garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, Do you know
what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right,
for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also
ought to wash one anothers feet. For I gave you an example that you also
should do as I did to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than
his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you
know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
If Jesus, being God,
Would do this for His own
If He would do this for us
How much more should we do this for each other?

Jesus didnt mean

That we should wash each others feet.

Some churches have its members do this

As an act of love and humility towards one another.
Its certainly an act of humility,

But it could only be considered loving
If the person really needed their feet washed.

Other churches have turned this into a third sacrament

Looking to it as another picture
Of what Jesus sacrifice does for us.
The only problem with this view
Is that we dont find it practiced
Anywhere in the Bible.

2. What Jesus actually meant

Is that we should love one another,
And humble ourselves
And serve one another,
As He did for us.
Jesus says in John 15:12-13, This is My commandment, that you love one
another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one
lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus loved us so much
That He laid His life aside
To minister to us,
Even to die for us.
Thats the kind of love
He wants us to have for each other.

Laying down our lives for each other


Doesnt necessarily mean

That we will literally die in each others place
Though it might.
But it certainly means
That we will set aside our comforts
And our desires,
So that we might meet the real needs
Of our brothers and sisters around us,
Remembering that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35),
And that the one who humbles himself
To become the servant of all
Will be the greatest in Gods kingdom (Luke 22:26).

Do you see that this is what Jesus wants?

That He wants us to follow His example?
That He wants us to serve as He served,
And love as He loved?
If you do see this, Jesus says,
You will be blessed if you do it. Amen.