Tom: We are continuing with the gospel and we’re going through the Gospel of John, and we’re in John, chapter 13, and Dave, I believe we finished verse 11, but I want to go back to verse 5, just to set the scenario, as it were. This is Jesus, and He is about to wash the feet of His disciples. So, chapter 13, the Gospel of John, verse 5: “After that he poureth water into a basin, 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.” Peter liked to react, didn’t he?
Dave: Well, he was an enthusiast.
Tom: But he was a little too quick to react in lots of places, on the one hand; on the other hand, you read 1st and 2nd Peter, Wow! He had slowed down a bit.
Dave: You like Peter?
Tom: I do. I do.
Dave: He’s impulsive, but he’s genuine.
Tom: Absolutely. Verse 10: “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.” Verse 12: “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?” Verse 13: “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” Should I keep going?”
Dave: Yeah, I think so.
Tom: Okay. “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.”
Dave: That’s quite a passage, Tom. On the one hand, they did know what He was doing because He was doing what, as we mentioned last week, what none of them was willing to do. None of them was willing to humble himself and be the guy that got the water and took a towel and—their feet were dirty; I guess it gets a little uncomfortable wearing sandals in that dusty part of the world—but none of them was willing to do it; let the other guy do it.
Tom: It’s not my ministry, Dave—I don’t wash feet.
Dave: Right. I could talk to young people, you know, teenagers in the home. You let your mother do the dishes all the time? You let your mother do all the work, or your Dad, or the yard work, or whatever? Do you ever lift a hand to help out, but you call yourselves Christians? Just sit around and let somebody else do it? Who volunteers to do the work, and who is willing to serve others? Well, Jesus said, “I am setting you an example.”
But also, they understood that He was washing their feet; they understood that part of it—they would get that example, but He said to Peter, “What I am doing now, you don’t know; you will know afterwards. And, if I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”
So, we are washed by the Word of God, and, as when we first believe the gospel, we are washed clean by Christ—His blood, of course, cleanses us from all sin, but we learn of His blood through the Word, and it’s by the Word that the gospel is preached, and that’s what we believe. But there should be a continual application of God’s Word in our lives. Just as their feet got dusty, dirty, so we become contaminated as we walk through this world.
Some people—you know, Tom, I’m old enough—now I don’t think you are quite that old, I mean you’re much younger than I am, but I don’t remember when television began—I don’t know the date, but I remember. There was a time in my life there was no television; we only had radio. Then television began. I can remember, Wow! I wouldn’t go to a theater. That would be bad, because these were the ways of the world, and you might see things there that would contaminate you. Now we’ve got—coming right into the living room, families sitting there watching—things that they would have been ashamed to go to a theater to see a few years ago. So you’ve got lust and evil coming right in, and we become dirty! So the dustiness, the filth, of someone’s feet as they walked through this world in sandals, and maybe they walked through some garbage, something else, who knows? It needs to be washed.
And that’s what Jesus is saying. We just need to wash the feet. “Once you have been washed clean by My Word, once you have believed the gospel, you’re born again, you’ve become a child of God—you don’t get saved again, you don’t get born again, again and again. But you need to repent. You need to recognize the contamination that has come into your heart or life or conscience. And so what Jesus is saying, more than just serving one another in physical ways, we need also to—it’s not easy, Tom. The elders should do it in a fellowship but friends ought to do it also. You see a friend who’s getting caught up in something that he shouldn’t. Maybe he is dating an unsaved girl or she an unsaved man. Maybe they are falling into the ways of the world because of what’s going on around them, and they are absorbing it and becoming part of it. Well, then, speak out! Wash their feet. Apply the Word of God back into their lives. This is what Jesus is setting an example for.
Tom: Dave, I think of the Psalm: “How shall a young man cleanse—cleanse—his way?” How should he?
Dave: “By taking heed thereto according to thy word, Psalm:119:9.” So I think that this was what Jesus was doing. They didn’t understand it at the moment, at the time, but they would thereafter.
Tom: Now, Dave, in verse 17, what’s the results of what we are talking about—“how shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.” Verse 17: “If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them.”
Dave: So if we know it and we don’t do it, we’re going to have a guilty conscience. We are not going to have the joy of the Lord that we ought to have. And the verse just before, Tom, you read it but I guess we didn’t emphasize it enough: “The servant isn’t greater than his Lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”
And you know, He’s going to say that again in chapter 15. He’s going to say, “I’ve chosen you out of the world, and the world is going to hate you because of that, but remember it hated me before it hated you. The servant isn’t greater than his Lord. They hated me, what do you think they will do to you if you are faithful and true to me?”
But here we have a different application of that. Jesus said, “I came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give my life a ransom for others.”
Tom: “Greater love hath no man than he lay down his life for his friend.”
Dave: And he is saying, “Look, if I’m the Master and I do this, do you think you guys are above doing this—waiting on one another, serving one another, helping one another?” Well, verse 17-18: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. But 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.” He’s warning them, and He’s going to go on and say, “One of you will betray me,” and they will say, “Oh, is it I, is it I, is it I?” And they let it pass, and then they go back to arguing who is going to be the greatest among them. They should have locked that door and not let anyone out until they found out who this was that was going to betray Him! But they kind of forgot it, they let it go, and, well, I guess we will come back to that. We’re about out of time, aren’t we Tom?
Tom: We are.