John 13 Jesus washes the disciples’ feet: In the final day of his life, Jesus offers a cross-centered parable and demonstrates absolute control over the events of His Passion.

Photo by dad. 2011. Pacific ocean

IX. The Sermon: A Parable – Kyle McClellan, Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church – The Sermon Passage: John 13:1-30

Intro. John moves his narative now from the public life of Christ now to the private. Why does Jesus act in such an astonishing way as to go against the norms of the day and wash the desciples’ feet? He is not giving us another sacrament of washing feet, but he is explaining the cross.

The Big Idea: In the final day of his life, Jesus offers a cross-centered parable and demonstrates absolute control over the events of His Passion.

Point One: Not another sacrament, but a parable that explains and is explained by the cross (vv. 1-5).
They would have already bathed for dinner but walking to the house they would have gotten dirty, dusty, and exposed to animal by product as well. The lowest, newest slave would have offered the guests to clean their feet.

This text is not just about servant leadership, though it is. It is about teaching the cleansing of sin that the cross will provide all who believe on Jesus. This is about fulfilling all that the Old Testament pointed to, namely, as we read Psalm 103 the One who will remove our sins from us as far as the east is from the west.

Point Two: Accept the first condition of discipleship (vv. 6-10).
If the master serves the servants, then everything we know about what a master does in this new kingdom is turned on its head. The cost of discipleship in its first condition is that it requires self-surrender. Jesus lovingly and patiently corrects Peter’s thinking. Jesus dictates what is proper – not us. If we are not willing to submit ourselves to what Jesus ordains as good and proper, then we have no place with Jesus.

Point Three: Accept the model and adopt the mindset (vv. 12-20).
Blessed are you if you do them. It is not just about knowing these things but doing them as well. Human power and human authority have been turned upside-down by the cross. Jesus is not establishing a new order but restoring the order as it was originally designed. In the garden of Eden we thought we would become the master. It is a lie. There is but one Master and we are his servant, his children. Jesus reclaims his rightful place as master not by swinging a sword but by washing feet and dying. Phillipians 2 reminds us how Christ emptied himself to serve. Remember, He is not turning the world upside-down but rather right side up!

Point Four: Relax! Jesus is in total control (vv. 1, 3, 7, 11, 18, 21, 26-28).
See the contrast how clueless the desciples are compared to how many times the passage says that Jesus KNEW (vv. 1, 3, 7, 11, 18, 21, 26-28). Literally Jesus tells Judas do more quickly what you are already doing. Jesus’ time has come. He knows it, and he is ready. Therefore, we need to relax more too. We need to relax regarding how we are trying to figure things out that Jesus already has figiured out. Jesus has come, and in the cross he takes everything we seem to know and turns it right side up. Jesus was in total control of all the events, including the trajectory to the cross. He remains in control! He is restoring all things to God the father.

The passage:

1Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,£ but is completely clean. And you£ are clean, but not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant£ is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled,£ £‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ 19I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. 20Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

21After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. 23One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table close to Jesus,£ 24so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus£ of whom he was speaking. 25So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

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