You may have noticed that I’ve been skipping over what seems to be straight-forward and obvious in order to try and dig out what isn’t. That’s probably not the best way to write out a study, but we’re going so fast that’s what I’m focusing on.
V1. Nice double meaning: “loved them to the end,” meaning both: loved them to the end of His life on earth, and He loved them to the utmost.
V4. On a practical basis, after walking in sandals down dirty roads to someone’s house, washing feet needed to be done before entering (which the host or his servant usually did, or someone who didn’t mind lowering himself to that menial chore – and which, apparently NONE of the disciples wanted to do for the others in this incident) and especially before eating – because who wants to recline at a low table with the next guy’s nasty feet in your face? But, of course, Jesus has a bigger purpose in mind, an object lesson.
Peter is so impulsive – he’s my next favorite disciple after John.
V6. Jesus says that what He’s doing, Peter (and probably all the disciples) does not understand – which means it’s something OTHER than serving one another (which is the usual explanation of this passage). But apparently He’s not teaching us to serve, so what is the lesson? We get a hint in…
V10. So “bathing” also means “completely clean” and is different than “washing feet”. We can figure out what “bathing” means because in v.2 we read that Satan is influencing Judas, who is not a believer. In this verse Jesus says the group is completely clean, but not everyone is clean. Someone is not saved and is still dirty in their sins which must refer to Judas. Dirt is a picture of sins. Therefore, having taken a bath means to believe in Jesus for eternal life and for forgiveness of sins. Once we do that we’re completely clean of our sins and never need to bathe again.
But we still need to figure out what washing feet means. In verse 8 we see that Jesus tells Peter that if He doesn’t wash Peter’s feet, Peter can have “no part” with Jesus. “No part” is a synonym for fellowship. And we saw that dirt is a picture of sins. So it appears that as we walk through life, our feet get dirty with daily sins. Jesus must forgive us of our ongoing sins on an ongoing basis so that we can have continued fellowship with Him. This is true even though our one-time bath cleansed us of our “positional” sins and gave us eternal life.
V14-15. Jesus tells the disciples that they should wash each other’s feet just as Jesus washes our feet. Meaning that we should forgive each other as He has forgiven us.
V16. We shouldn’t think that we’re better than Jesus and that we don’t have to forgive someone, anyone, else. Jesus has forgiven us of a life-time of sins that killed Him, so how can we be so arrogant as to not forgive someone else of what may seem to be the worst offense possible against us, but which is in reality a speck compared to what Jesus forgave us for (pretty convicting!).
But does Jesus just automatically wash our feet? No. We have to confess our sins to Him first.
We see in this concept spelled out in Matthew 6:12, the part of the Lord’s Prayer in which we ask, on a daily basis, our Father in heaven to “forgive us of our sins.”
And this also ties into one of my favorite promises in the Bible – I John 1:9: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us the sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.” Which lets us know that all we have to do is to confess the sins of which we’re aware, and then God will forgive us of ALL our sins, even the ones of which we don’t know. And Jesus promises in John 13 that our fellowship with Him will continue. Pretty cool.
V17. If we do this, we’ll be “blessed,” also translated as “happy!”
from Cal Staggers | Bible Studies http://ift.tt/1MLZCvx