John 13:21 ESV
After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.”
Facing the Reality
Summary John 13:1-11
Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father. Now it was the Feast of the Passover, so He was celebrating the Passover with his disciples.
At this time, Judas, one of his disciples, was about ready to betray our Lord to his death, because Satan had put it in his heart to do so. Yet, Jesus knew this, but he was not afraid. For, he knew who He (Himself) was, and that this must happen for the salvation of human lives.
So, Jesus gave his disciples a lesson in humility and in servanthood to prepare them for what was soon to come. And, he did this by exemplifying for them what it means to be a servant of God to others. And, so he began to wash his disciples’ feet.
But, this wasn’t just a lesson in humility and servanthood. What he was teaching them was the truth of the gospel of our salvation, too. For, Peter didn’t want his feet washed. But Jesus told him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” This was a very profound statement!
So, Peter offered for Jesus to wash, not just his feet, but also his hands and his head. And, Jesus responded with yet another profound statement: “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean.”
But, this wasn’t just about Peter being physically clean and not needing his whole body washed, but only his feet. For, Jesus went on to explain that not every one of them was clean, for he knew Judas was about to betray him.
Explanation of the Washing
Based upon what Jesus told his disciples, this washing he was doing of their feet was about more than just exemplifying for them what it means to humble ourselves and to serve God and others. He was teaching them a much deeper lesson which had to do with their hearts, and with their walks of faith, too.
All of them were clean except Judas, who was about to betray Jesus. But, this wasn’t just about desertion, for all the disciples deserted Jesus, out of fear, when the soldiers arrested him. And, Peter ended up denying Jesus three times, out of fear.
But, this was about a premeditated plot to hand Jesus over to the authorities for money. This was about a total and absolute disassociation with Jesus Christ and a surrendering of him to the enemy. And, this was rooted in hate and in greed (lust). He sold Jesus out for a price. This is total rejection!
The other 11 disciples, however, were spiritually clean. They had faith in Jesus. They had had their minds and their hearts and their deeds cleansed. But, they still needed to have their feet washed. Why?
I believe this is a picture of our salvation from sin and of our walks of faith in Jesus Christ. For, when we believe in Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, we are crucified with him in death to sin and we are resurrected with him to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
But, it doesn’t end there. We have to daily die to sin and self. We have to daily, by the Spirit, be putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh. We have to be walking (in practice, in lifestyle, in conduct) according to the Spirit of God and not according to our sinful flesh. We have to be walking in the light (truth, righteousness), as Jesus is in the light, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from every sin (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, we do have to die with Christ to sin and live to him to his righteousness, not just be positionally saved, if we want to have eternal life with God. For, Jesus told Peter that if he could not wash Peter’s feet (representing his daily walk of faith) that he had no share (no participation) in Christ or his salvation.
For, we are not saved from our sins just so we can escape hell, and just so we can go to heaven when we die. We are saved from our slavery (addiction, bondage) to sin so that we can walk with Christ, in his power, in holiness, purity, godliness, uprightness and in self-control (Tit. 2:11-14).
For, this is the very purpose for which he gave his life up for us, that we would die with him to sin and live to his righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24).
The Betrayer Betrays
Notice with me that Jesus’ betrayer was not some random person out in the world somewhere who had little knowledge of Jesus. His betrayer was one of his disciples whom he had called to walk alongside him in ministry. He was one of his closest and most intimate companions who traveled with him, who ministered with him, and who shared the gospel message with others.
And, we need to understand that our betrayers, and Jesus’ betrayers today may, as well, be within the gatherings of the church. They may even be pastors of churches, too, some of whom have secretly slipped in among the sheep, but who are really wolves in sheep’s clothing (See John 10).
For, Jesus said that if we follow him, we will be hated and persecuted as he was hated and persecuted. And, he said he didn’t come to bring peace to the earth, but a sword, and to turn family members, one against the other. So, our betrayers could also be within our own families, even within our own households (See Matthew 10:34-39).
For, what Jesus meant by these words is that if we are truly following him with our lives, and if we are walking in obedience to his commands, and especially if we are sharing the truth of the gospel of our salvation, and if we are refuting the lies of deceivers who oppose the truth, we are going to be hated, rejected, betrayed, slandered, falsely accused and persecuted.
But, we are not the primary target. Jesus is still the primary target, as is his gospel message of salvation from sin (the true grace gospel). And, so the betrayers are not just against us, but they are coming against the gospel, too. And, they are selling it out for their greed and lust, too.
For, they want to live in sin. They don’t want to be told that they must deny self and take up their cross daily and follow (obey) Jesus if they want to have eternal life with God. And, so these betrayers are either those who devise the opposition to the true gospel, and/or they are those who have bought into the lie and who are actively opposing the truth of the gospel.
So, they have handed Jesus and his gospel over to the enemy. Thus, the enemy has obliterated the true gospel of grace, and he (Satan) has made it into a free license for wickedness and immorality of every kind. For, it requires no true repentance – no leaving our former lives of sin behind us. And, it requires no submission to Christ as Lord and no walks of obedience to our Lord and to his commands. But, this is a BIG FAT LIE FROM HELL!
The truth of the gospel, Jesus taught when he washed the disciples’ feet, and when he preached during his years of ministry on the earth. And, it was taught by his NT apostles, too, and it is written down for us in the books of the New Testament in the Holy Bible. And, it says we have to walk according to the Spirit and not according to our flesh if we want eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, we need to hold on to that truth, and we need to not let Satan and his many hordes unsettle us with their lies. And, if we are being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, we need to hold fast to what we know to be the truth, and we need to not let the opposition take us out. For, our Lord and His Word will never betray! We can count on them fully!!
An Original Work / November 29, 2018
Based off various scriptures
Cast your cares upon your Lord.
Come to Him
All you who’re weary.
Know that He will
Give you rest.
Take His yoke upon you
And learn from Him
And you’ll find your rest.
For His yoke is easy
And His burden’s light.
It’s His to bear.
Find the peace of Christ in heart.
Let the peace of Christ
Rule in your hearts,
And be then
And, the peace of God
Which is beyond all
We can comprehend
Will guard your hearts
And your minds in Christ,
For He is Lord of all.
Hope in God will not betray.
Let us hold
The hope that
We now profess.
For the One
Who promised hope
Is faithful to
His ev’ry word.
Therefore, with minds
That are sober,
Set your hope
On Christ’s return.