November 6, 2015
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We are looking at A Humbling Example in John 13:1-5, going through it phrase by phrase, because in this scripture the Lord give us one of the greatest anticlimactic scenes ever!
Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had
come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved
His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper
being ended, the devil having already 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 had come from God and was going to
God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and gird-
ed Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash
the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was
Each phase of this description builds up to what we might think should be a great climax! But, really, it is just the opposite! Here is a quick review of the six phrases we considered in our last blog:
• John 13:1 – “…Jesus knew that His hour had come ….” The cross – the central ‘hour,’ the chief event, of all history!
• John 13:1 – “…that He should depart from this world to the Father….” Jesus was going back to the Father to reclaim His exalted position at the Father’s right hand!
• John 13:1 – “…having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” This love – giving Himself – would guarantee the eternal safety of His followers!
• John 13:2 – “And supper being ended….” The Last Supper – the last time He would eat earthly food in His mortal human body!
• John 13:2 – “…the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son to betray Him….” In his engineering of the cross – including Judas’ betrayal – the devil never knew God had ordained it long before for victory and the devil’s undoing!
• John 13:3 – “…Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands….” Jesus is Lord and rules over all – the Creator and Sustainer of all things!
There is one more building block to the climax (or anticlimax) of this scene:
• John 13:3 – “…and that He had come from God and was going to God….” Later that same evening Jesus explained this more fully to His disciples in John 16:28: “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” And in the next two verses the disciples said they finally understood:
See, now You are speaking plainly, and using no figure of speech! Now
we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone
should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.
But did they understand? Jesus had told them plainly in John 10:17 and 18:
…I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me,
but I lay it down of Myself. I have the power to lay it down, and I have
the power to take it again.
But they acted like it was completely out of Jesus’ control! When He was arrested, they all ran and hid! Did they really believe the confession that Peter made on all their behalf in Matthew 16:16? “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” For this is what it means when it says in John 13:3, “…He had come from God and was going to God…”!
Wow! What a buildup! You would think that at that moment Jesus would blaze forth on the scene as He revealed Himself to John in Revelation 1:12 through 16:
…I saw…the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and
girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and His hair were
white like wool, as white as snow; and His eyes like a flame of fire; His
feet like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound
of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth
went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun
shining in its strength.
And you would think the disciples would have been bowled over with His glory, as John was in Revelation 1:17: “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” But, no, it wasn’t anything like that! And we will see the great anticlimax in the next blog on Monday.