(If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
(If you would like to download the PowerPoint presentation for this sermon, Click here -195 The Final Passover Pt 1)
Pastor Scott L. Harris
Grace Bible Church, NY
February 17, 2019
This morning we are going to look at several texts that once again demonstrate that people are innately proud and God is innately merciful and gracious. The disciples once again get into a dispute about who is the greatest among them, and Jesus once again corrects them, and then He demonstrates to them the attitude and service they are to have with one another. History records that 11 of these men finally learned the lesson and followed that example, but one remained committed to his selfishness and greed.
My last sermon ended with Peter and John finding the man carrying the water jar and following him to the house he entered, then talking with the owner and securing the place where Jesus and His disciples would hold Passover. That Thursday afternoon they would have gone to the temple to sacrifice their lamb and then returned to arrange and prepare the Passover meal. (See: A Plan, A Plot, and Preparation) We pick up the narrative in Mark 14:17, Matthew 26:20 and Luke 22:14
Mark 14:17, “When it was evening He came with the twelve.”
Matthew 26:20, “Now when evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the twelve disciples.”
Luke 22:14, 14When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him
Everything was prepared and Jesus brought the rest of the disciples to the place He had been secretive about before to prevent Judas from any opportunity to betray Him prematurely. As was custom in that time and place, they reclined on couches at a low table instead of sitting at a table as portrayed by DaVinci. The table would have been in the center with Jesus and the disciples arranged in a horseshoe manner with one end of the table left open for the servants to be able to serve the food. We think John is at the first position on the left with Jesus next, then Judas in the place of honor, then the other disciples around the table finishing with Peter at the last place on the right. This arrangement accounts for the various conversations that take place during the meal.
The exact chronology of everything that takes place during this Passover meal is uncertain, but what occurs is not. John 13-17 gives us by far the most details, but he does not specifically mention the institution of Communion which is covered by all three of the synoptic gospels. Some chronology we can figure out from the normal course of events at a Passover meal. The meal starts with a cup of red wine mixed with a double portion of water. A prayer of thanksgiving is offered along with the cup. It could be at this point that Jesus says what is recorded in Luke 22:15-16, 15And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;16for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” All that Jesus came to earth to accomplish will be fulfilled in next few days, and though He will have to endure the suffering and shame of the cross, He sees beyond that to the future kingdom of God (Hebrews 12:2). That is why He earnestly desired to eat it with them.
Luke’s chronology follows this with the institution of Communion, and perhaps Jesus said this toward the end of the meal when He established Communion instead of at the beginning as related here, but the chronology of John 13 would have to come early in the meal and so would the dispute among the disciples. Jesus’ example in John 13 is the rebuke to their selfish ambition exposed once again in Luke 22:24-30.
The Pride of the Disciples – Luke 22:24–30
24And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.
This was not the first time they had this argument with each other. They argued about this during Jesus’ Galilean ministry (Matthew 18; Mark 9 & Luke 9). That was when Jesus rebuked them saying that “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of the all and servant of all” and then pointed them to a child as an example of humble trust and greatness. (See: Who’s the Greatest?) On the way to Jerusalem, James and John had their mother approach Jesus about being seated on His left and right in the kingdom. The other disciples became indignant about it when they heard, and Jesus had to rebuke them all teaching again that “whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:20-28; Mark 10:35-45). (See: Being Great in God’s Kingdom)
They have not yet learned this lesson for they are arguing again about who was the greatest among them, but what blatant selfishness. Just the day before, Wednesday, Jesus said He would be crucified after two days, that Friday, and He had just said this was His last Passover with them until it would be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. Perhaps it was this mentioning of the coming of the Kingdom of God that prompted their arguing again, but they should have known better. Jesus will now rebuke them again in both word and deed.
Luke 22:25-30, 25And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’ 26“But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant. 27“For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves. 28“You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; 29and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you 30that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
This is very close to the same rebuke He gave them only about a week earlier when they were on the road to Jerusalem and approaching Jericho. This teaching is contrary to anyone with a secular mindset for the worldly view power and position as the means of greatness. God’s kingdom is radically different because greatness is instead directly tied to trusting God to serve Him and do His will. Greatness boils down to a simple matter of faithfulness to God to do whatever He calls you to do whether great or small in the eyes of man.
This truth is as much as a challenge to us today as it ever has been even within the church. It is not your particular gift, ministry or size of ministry that determines success in God’s eyes. It is your faithfulness to Him in using your gifts and diligence in ministry according the power the Holy Spirit gives you. It is God who gives you the gift, the ministry and empowers all as He desires (1 Corinthians 12). I am grateful for what the Lord has allowed me to do in my life, but any greatness I have in God’s kingdom is neither greater than those who minister to just a few nor is it less than those who minister to multiple thousands more. True greatness is marked by humility to simply trust God and serve Him however, wherever and whenever He desires to the best of your ability.
It is not surprising that Jesus rebuked them for their blatant selfish ambition, but it is surprising that He so quickly assures them that they will be granted a place at His table in the kingdom and will be rulers within it. He commends them for staying by Him in His trials even knowing that they will run away from Him that very night in fear of also being arrested. It is the nature of Jesus to see beyond the present failures to the future successes. The disciples would be faithful in the future even though they would be failures that night. He sees us the same way, and that is a great source of encouragement. He is faithful to continue to His good work in you so that you will reach perfection on the day of His return (Philippians 1:6).
I think it is at this point that Jesus drives in this lesson by His personal example described in John 13.
The Savior’s Humility – John 13:1-20
The Setting & Motivations. Jesus takes the position that a father would have with his family during a Passover meal. Jesus will lead the various ceremonial aspects involved in the supper. John 13:1-3 begins with the setting and Jesus’ motivations for what He would do.
John 13:1, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, [the son] of Simon, to betray Him, 3 [Jesus,] knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God.
John states that Jesus’ first motive is love – aJgaphv / agapē – the love that sacrifices itself for the best interest of the one loved. This is far beyond the idea of either fond feelings of affection or desire which is the common meaning when people speak of love. This is a love that is far beyond emotions, which for Jesus would be very mixed that night. Jesus loved His own to the present and would continue to do so to the end which was coming rapidly since the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Jesus.
Jesus’ second motivation was confidence in carrying out the Father’s plan and His soon return back to Him. This was part of the joy set before Him that enabled Him to endure the cross and its suffering and shame as described in Hebrews 12:2.
John specifically points out Judas and makes sure there is no confusion about his identity by giving his full names and lineage – Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. He is identified as the means of Jesus’ betrayal, but Judas also becomes the example that demonstrates the depth of Jesus’ love.
As pointed out in previous sermons, Judas was a deceiver. He was trusted by the others and was the keeper of the money box, though in reality he was greedy and would even steal from the money box (John 12:6). Judas’ heart was set on wealth and position, and since it did not appear Jesus was going to set up His kingdom anytime soon, Judas made an agreement with the chief priests to betray Jesus for whatever he could get, and it was a paltry sum of 30 pieces of silver, the price of an injured slave. Yet, as we shall see in all the actions Jesus takes at this Passover, He still shows love to Judas including having compassion to warn him one last time.
What Jesus does next is motivated by His love for His disciples, in recognition of His soon departure, to give them a living example of the lessons He had been teaching them about humility and service. I think it is more reasonable that this follows his rebuke of the disciples for their selfish ambition than to put their arguing about who was the greatest among them after what Jesus does next.
The Role of a Slave. John 13:4-5 tells us that Jesus “rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. 5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.
This is an incredible action for normally a servant would wash the feet of the guests when they arrived or soon thereafter, but for some reason this had not been done. Apparently there was no servant present that would do that task. Perhaps this was because foot washing was considered about as low a task as anyone could have. According to a comment in the Midrash, a Hebrew slave could not be required to wash people’s feet.
The Passover supper had either started or was about to start, but no one’s feet have yet been washed, and they would have been dirty since they had walked into Jerusalem from Bethany. The disciples were all present, but none of them showed any interest in performing this servant’s task. As Luke has already pointed out, their interest was in who was the greatest among them for which they had been rebuked yet again. This presented a perfect opportunity for Jesus to drive home the lesson He had taught them by His own example.
Jesus gets up and lays aside His garments. This would have been the outer robe and the tunic. He then takes the long linen towel and ties that around His waist. The end of the towel would be used to dry their feet after he had washed them. He is now dressed and equipped just as would have a slave. Paul accurately described Jesus in Philippians 2:7 as “taking the form of a slave.”
John 13:5 describes what He did next. “Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”
The disciples are all still reclining at the table while Jesus gets up prepares to wash their feet by pouring water into a wash basin. That shows that there had been preparation made for someone to do the foot washing. Their heads would have been toward the central table on which the food would have been placed with their feet pointed toward the outside of the horseshoe arrangement. Jesus goes around the perimeter washing the feet of each disciple one by one and drying them with the towel around His waist. John’s description is detailed showing the impression this scene left in His mind. Jesus had taken upon Himself the role of the most humble slave.
Surprised Disciples. Perhaps the disciples were not surprised when Jesus first got up, for there is a certain point early in the ceremonial procedures of the Passover supper in which the person heading the supper, Jesus in this case, would rise and wash his hands as part of the ceremony. However, they all must have been astonished when Jesus disrobed and began to wash their feet.
We do not know whom Jesus started with and we do not know the reaction of any of them except Simon Peter. We would hope all of them would be ashamed. Peter responds with a question of shock. John 13:6, “So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Peter recognizes the contradiction taking place. The Lord of Glory should not be washing his dirty feet.
Jesus answers him in verse 7, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.” Peter did not understand then, but Jesus assures him that he will in the future. This should have been enough to ease Peter’s embarrassment about what Jesus was doing. Instead, Peter reacts in his own contradictory response. Verse 8, “Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’” This response is emphatic. A more wooden translation of the Greek here would be, “NO! You shall not wash my feet unto eternity.” We can imagine Peter pulling his feet away from Jesus as he said this. Peter recognized the incongruity of Jesus washing his feet and was ashamed, but he does not recognize the incongruity of him telling Jesus what he would and would not allow.
Jesus could have strongly rebuked Peter, but instead He gives a very gracious response. Verse 8, “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’” Peter is wrapped up in the immediate while Jesus has the whole picture in mind. Jesus’ answer brings Peter to some understanding of the whole picture. What Jesus is doing is proper for those that are part of Him.
Peter, in his typical pendulum like manner, now responds in the opposite extreme. Verse 9 “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Peter may still not have understood what Jesus was doing, but his love for Jesus is such that if washing his feet means he will have a part with Jesus, then he wanted even more washed so he could have an even greater part with Jesus.
The Symbolism. Jesus now gives him a fuller explanation in John 13:10-11, “Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all [of you.]’ 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’”
Jesus uses the physical present to explain the spiritual reality. A person who has taken a bath does not need to bathe again because he has walked to the house of the feast. He only needs to have his feet cleaned. The fact that Jesus is talking about more than physical dirt is brought out in His pointing out that not all of them were clean and the comment in verse 11 that this was in reference to the one who would betray Him. In other words, Jesus was not saying that Judas forgot to take a bath before he came to the Passover meal, but that Judas’ heart was still filled with sin.
The spiritual reality is that Jesus had cleansed them of their sins. They only needed to deal with the filth that gets on them as they walk in this world. That is the issues addressed in 1 John 1:9 which is written to Christians. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This is spiritual reality for us. We need our spiritual feet cleaned as we live in this world.
The devil lies and slanders believers, and at times we may come to start believing those lies and think we cannot be used by Jesus because of the sin in our lives. That is just what our adversary wants us to believe. The truth is that all who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins through His atoning death on Calvary have been cleansed from their sins. Colossians 2:14 describes all the judgments of sin against you being cancelled for they are “nailed to the cross.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 describes the sinful lives these people had lived, but in coming to Christ they “were washed . . . sanctified . . . justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ . . . ” So it also is with us. We are new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17), but we still get our feet dirty walking in this world. We confess those sins and are forgiven, cleansed and restored to our intimate fellowship with God.
John 13:12 describes Jesus finishing the task and then teaching the lesson from what He had done. “So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined [at the table] again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’” Jesus begins to teach them the meaning of the act He had just performed.
Jesus’ Position. First, Jesus makes clear His own position in verse 13, “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for [so] I am.” Jesus is both their teacher and Lord. The sense of “teacher” here is more than what we normally accord those with that title here in America. The common Hebrew word for “teacher” is “Rabbi,” which they often specifically called Jesus (John 1:38,49; 3:2; 4:31; 6:25; 9:2; 11:8). “Rabbi” is derived from “Abba,” meaning “father” or “daddy.” A Jewish teacher, especially a religious teacher, was seen in the place of a substitute father and was given all the respect due a father. Jesus was in the place of the father to His disciples even in taking that position in leading the Passover meal. They also recognized that Jesus was their Lord. He was their master and they were to be His slaves. Additionally, Peter had already declared on behalf of the disciples that they recognized that Jesus was also deity – “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16)
Jesus’ Action. Jesus explains His action in verse 14-16, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither [is] one who is sent greater than the one who sent him.”
It is worth noting that Jesus does not rebuke or scold them for their selfishness. There is an implied rebuke, but Jesus’ words are a loving positive exhortation. They need to deal with each other in humility and not in pride. Jesus had taught them the principle of verse 16 previously and now He reinforces the lesson with His own action toward them. If Jesus could perform the slave’s role for His disciples, then certainly the disciples could be servants to one another.
Jesus’ Command. Jesus’ command in verse 15 is straightforward that this is an example that He has set for them to follow. Some have taken this to mean that foot washing should be practiced as an ordinance in the church just as baptism and communion are practiced. While there is certainly nothing wrong with having this as a ritual practice as a reminder of the humility by which we are to serve one another, Jesus command here is that we follow His example in doing as He did, that is, we are to be humble servants of one another. It is not a specific command to do what He did as a religious ritual, that is, to literally wash each other’s feet.
Promised Blessing. That this is a command to be repeated in kind and not in specific ritual is seen in the blessing Jesus pronounces in verse 17, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” The condition of blessing is twofold. You must know these things and then you must do them. “Things” and “them” are plural. If it was only referring to washing feet, then it would be singular and only pointing to one action. The blessings come from first knowing the lessons that Jesus just taught. These include: 1) That Jesus is the Teacher and the Lord; 2) That the servant is not above the master, and 3) Even the Teacher and Lord is humble to do the slave’s work. But knowledge is not enough. You must take action and put into practice Jesus’ example of humility and serve one another. Or to state this very concisely, the practice of humble service brings blessing.
“Blessed” here is the same word used in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). This is not equivalent to happiness, but rather a reference to being the objects of God’s favor. Blessedness is a spiritual condition and not a feeling though it may and should affect the emotions. It is this blessedness that allows the Christian to be at peace and even experience joy in the midst of difficult circumstances which leaves the world confused about us. The world does not understand our actions because they do not understand our identity as slaves of Christ and servants of one another.
Preparing the Disciples for the Future – John 13:18-20
There is blessing for those that follow Jesus’ example, but not everyone there would be blessed. Jesus attention turns to preparing the disciples for what will be occurring later that night and the next day in verses 18-20, “I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but [it is] that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ 19 ‘From now on I am telling you before [it] comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am [He.] 20 ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Jesus had already said to Peter back in verse 9 that not all of the disciples were clean. Now He adds to this that not all of them were chosen, but that one of them would be fulfilling the Scriptures, ‘He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.’ This quote is taken from Psalm 41:9 in which David laments the treachery of his once trusted counselor, Ahithophel (2 Samuel 15:12f). One of them would be a traitor to Jesus just like Ahithophel was to David.
Jesus also explains to the disciples that He is telling them this information in advance so that they would not be shaken in their trust of Him and continue to believe. We must put ourselves in their shoes if we are to understand the importance of Jesus’ revelation here.
The disciples did not understand what was about to happen. They were still looking for Jesus to fulfill all the prophecies concerning the Messiah including reigning on the throne of David. They did not understand that those prophecies would not be fulfilled until a later time and that Messiah would first have to become the atonement for their sins (Isaiah 53). Even though Jesus had been warning them for sometime about what was about to happen to Him in Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21; 17:22,23; 20:17-19; 26:2), they still resisted the idea. Even when Jesus was arrested, Peter grabbed a sword and started swinging in Jesus’ defense until Jesus stopped him.
By telling the disciples before hand that He was going to be betrayed, Jesus eliminates any idea that He was a victim in the tragedy that was about to play out. By showing His omniscience, Jesus also assures them of His sovereignty. They will still be able to believe in Him without reservation.
In verse 20 Jesus also adds to their confidence by reminding them of whom it was that would be sending Him. Jesus will remain the Messiah who was sent by the Father, so that anyone receiving Jesus receives the Father. In the same way, those that will receive whoever Jesus sends out, will receive Jesus.
One portion of Passover meal involved eating bitter herbs as a symbol of the bitter bondage they had in Egypt along with a thick mixture of ground raisins, dates, nuts and apples called, “charoseth” as reminder of the mud they had used to make bricks. It is in connection with this that Jesus brings up a bitter truth.
John 13:21, “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.’” Jesus’ own spirit was troubled, disturbed, agitated. The word here is used for water that has been stirred up. It bothered Jesus that one of them would betray Him. Jesus “testifies” in His statement. This is a solemn affirmation about what He knew was already true. His repetition of “truly, truly” emphasizes the nature of what He is saying as a statement of fact and not speculation.
The disciples are shocked at this statement. John 13:22, 22 The disciples [began] looking at one another, at a loss [to know] of which one He was speaking.” Matthew 26:22 adds, “And being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?”
Jesus had been telling them that He would suffer and be killed and they knew the religious leaders were seeking to kill Him, but they were astonished to learn that one of them would be a traitor. They had been together for two years and experienced many things together. How could one of them who was now sharing the Passover meal with Jesus also be a traitor? Sharing such a meal together was a great mark of friendship so this compounded the betrayal that would take place. Understandably then, each was grieved.
Jesus did not relieve their personal fears. Matthew 26: 23, And He answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the bowl is the one who will betray Me.” The problem was that could be any of them since they were all sharing in the same meal.
Jesus continued, Matthew 26:24, “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” Jesus would be betrayed, but that would not obstruct God’s plan Who would instead use it just as it had been prophesied. However, Jesus does give His betrayer a stern and sobering warning. Betrayal is cruel, yet Jesus still had compassion to warn him. No earthly gain could compensate for an end so horrible that it would be better to have never existed.
Incredibly, Judas’ ignores the warning and in brazen insolence responds in Matthew 26:25, And Judas, who was betraying Him, answered and said, “Surely it is not I, Rabbi?” He uses a term of respect for Jesus, “Rabbi,” but does not call Jesus, “Lord,” as all the other disciples did. Jesus affirms that Judas was the betrayer and said to him, “You have said it yourself.” Because Judas was next to Jesus, the other disciples did not hear what Jesus had said.
The disciples were at a loss of whom it could be. Luke 22:23 explains, “And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.” For eleven of them there was a sincere and humble admission in asking if it could be him? Could he somehow be ignorantly responsible for such a horrendous action as betraying the Lord? For Judas, it was a question of utmost hypocrisy.
Peter wanted to know more, so he gets John’s attention since, as described in John 13:23, “There was reclining on Jesus’ breast one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.” John was always struck by the fact that Jesus loved him and referred to himself by that fact rather than use his own name (John 19:26; 20:2; 21:7, 24). This is not arrogance on John’s part, but glorying in the wonder of Christ’s love for him. John 13:24 describes Peter’s action, Simon Peter therefore ^gestured to him, and ^said to him, “Tell [us] who it is of whom He is speaking.” We do not know exactly where Peter is located around the table in reference to John, but it is far enough away that he has to gesture get John’s attention, yet close enough that he can talk with him without the others hearing clearly what is being said. A likely place would be John and Peter are across the table from each other at either end of the “U” seating arrangement.
John responds in verse 25, He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ breast, ^said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” They are reclining on couches with their heads toward the table. Most people would lie on their left side and eat with their right hand, so all John had to do was lean back slightly and whisper to Jesus. That is what is meant that John was reclining on Jesus’ breast.
John asks directly, “Lord, who is it?”26 Jesus therefore ^answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He ^took and ^ gave it to Judas, [the son] of Simon Iscariot. The “morsel” is the piece of flat bread – the matzoh cracker – that would be dipped into either a bowl filled with bitter herbs, vinegar and salt or one containing mashed fruit. Judas was already in the place of honor on Jesus’ left side, and it was an honor to receive the dipped morsel as well.
I have a hard time imagining that Judas would not have heard what John said and what Jesus said in return. I see Jesus’ method of identifying Judas to John as a way to let Judas know that He is fully aware of what he is planning to do, yet doing it in a cryptic way that would allow him to save face should he yet turn from his plan, and at the same time to bring out the heinous nature of what Judas is about to do. He was about to betray the one who was feeding him with His own hand!
But there would be no turning back for Judas. John 13:27, And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Jesus therefore ^ said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” Satan had previously put it into Judas’ heart to betray the Lord (13:2), and now Judas gives himself over to Satanic control for Satan can only enter into a person who will not submit to God and resist him (James 4:7). Judas would not heed Jesus’ warnings and he would not resist Satan any longer. He was now confirmed in his evil plot.
Satan was in control of Judas, but he was not in control of the situation. Even here we find that it is Jesus that does the commanding. He tells Judas to be quick about what he is about to do. Jesus would be betrayed and crucified in God’s timing alone. Judas would be the tragic fulfillment of the ancient prophecies.
Don’t ever think you can out maneuver God to get what you want. You may get what you think you want, but it will not satisfy in the end and you will have to pay the consequences. Judas could not do it. Satan could not do it. You cannot do it. Our Lord is sovereign.
John 13:28-30, 28 Now no one of those reclining [at the table] knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast;” or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.
Apparently even John and Peter did not understand what Jesus meant by what He told Judas. They all trusted and respected Judas. He was the last on the list to be suspected. He was their treasurer, and so they thought he was leaving to do either some errand related to the feast they had forgotten or to perform an act of charity for the poor. They could not have been more wrong. Judas had left immediately with his heart filled with Satan. John’s comment that “it was night” reminds us that it is under the cloak of darkness that evil people perform their evil deeds. The blackness of the night would match the darkness that was now in Judas’ heart.
How easily we can be deceived! How often do we think one thing of someone only to find out later that they were the exact opposite? We do not know what is in a person’s heart. A person’s character is only proven over time, and especially when facing difficult circumstances. There are many who, like Judas, are very good at pretending to be something they are not, perhaps even fooling themselves (cf. Matthew 7:21-23).
Man is innately proud and seeks for himself. Jesus is innately gracious and redeems man and makes those who will humble themselves to believe in Him into new creations in Him. Every person must choose whether they will follow God or self. All attempts to do both result in an internal conflict which eventually forces a choice. Those who choose self will descend into greater sin. Believers who choose self will be chastened by God (Hebrews 12:5-11). Those who choose God make steps toward belief and salvation if they are not Christians and towards God’s glory and greater personal holiness if they are believers. Eleven of the disciples followed Christ and were blessed. One, Judas, chose self and was cursed. Will you follow Jesus or yourself? Will you be like the eleven or like Judas?
Sermon Notes – 2/17/2019
People are innately proud, God is innately merciful and _____________
Jesus and the disciples are in the upper room ______________ at the table for the Passover meal
The exact _____________is uncertain, but the events that took place are certain
Luke 22:15-16, Jesus sees the present with a view to the ____________and so desires this last Passover
The Pride of the Disciples – Luke 22:24–30
The disciples had __________in Galilee about who was the greatest(Matt. 18) and the week prior (Matt. 20)
Jesus had rebuked them but they were blatantly _____________ and had not yet learned the lesson
God gives you your gift(s), ministry and empowerment – greatness is about being _____________to Him
The rebuke is expected, the _____________of future greatness is not – Jesus also sees their future greatness
The Savior’s Humility – John 13:1-20
The Setting & Motivations – John 13:1-3 – Jesus is motivated by __________- aJgaphv / agapē
Jesus is motivated by _____________ in carrying out the Father’s plan and soon return to Him
Judas Iscariot, son of Simon is __________ and selfish, yet Jesus still has compassion to warn him
The Role of a Slave – John 13:4-5
Foot washing was a task that Hebrew ______could not be compelled to do – their dirty feet were not washed
Jesus takes up the role of a __________and prepares and then washes their feet – cf. Phil. 2:7
Surprised Disciples – John 13:6-9. Peter responds with shock and strong ____________
Jesus explains it is necessary in order to part of Him – & Peter swings the opposite direction – wash ______!
The Symbolism – John 13:10-12. The physical example explains a ____________reality
Those _____________of their sins only needed the filth from walking in the world cleaned off – 1 John 1:9
Jesus’ Position – John 13:13. Jesus is both teacher and ____________
Jesus’ Action – John 13:14-16. Jesus’ gave them a positive exhortation to follow His example of ________
Jesus’ Command – John 13:15. Be humble _________to one another – this is not a foot washing ordinance
Promised Blessing – John 13:17. There is blessing if you put into _________ the command
Blessedness is a spiritual condition that exists in __circumstances – something the world doesn’t understand
Preparing the Disciples for the Future – John 13:18-20
Jesus quotes Psalm 41:9 in _________ that one of them would be like Ahithophel was to David
Jesus tells them in ___________so they would not be shaken by what was about to take place
Jesus is not a victim in a tragedy – He is omniscient and ____________even in facing His own death
vs. 20 – Jesus’ ministry will ___________ through them
John 13:21 – Jesus’ spirit is troubled, agitated that one of them would be _________ Him
Matthew 26: 23 – All of them were sharing in the same meal, so Jesus’ statement could apply to ___of them
Matthew 26:24 – Jesus gives a stern and sobering ______________ to the betrayer
Matthew 26:25 – Judas brazenly acts like the others, but Jesus ______________ it is him
Luke 22:23 – The disciples discuss among themselves ________ it could possibly be
John 13:23-25 – Peter gets _________(the disciple whom Jesus loved) to ask Jesus directly
John 13:25-26 – Jesus identifies Judas with a dipped morsel – a ____warning to him that Jesus knew his plot
John 13:27 – Judas rejects the warning and would not __________ Satan any longer
Jesus is still in control and _________ Judas to go do his deed quickly
John 13:28-30 – the disciples __________ think Judas leaves to do something legitimate
People can be very __________ for character is only proven over time as various circumstances are faced
Man is innately __________ and seeks for himself while Jesus is innately gracious to redeem man from sin
Every person will __________ between self and God
Choosing self results in greater ________, and for the Christian, chastening from God (Hebrews 12:5-11)
A non-Christian choosing God makes steps toward ___________ and salvation
A Christian choosing God moves toward greater personal _____________ and glorifies God
Parents, you are responsible to apply God’s Word to your children’s lives. Here is some help. Young Children – draw a picture about something you hear during the sermon. Explain your picture(s) to your parents at lunch. Older Children – Do one or more of the following: 1) Count how many times Jesus is mentioned. Talk with your parents about how Jesus was in control of His future even as His enemies plotted to murder Him.
THINK ABOUT IT!
Questions to consider in discussing the sermon with others. What were the customs in that time and place for eating a Passover meal? Do we know the exact chronology of what occurred in the upper room? Why or why not? What helps guide us? Why were they arguing about who was the greatest among them? How did Jesus rebuke them for this in the past? How does He rebuke them now? What are the marks of greatness in God’s kingdom? Are those qualities developing in your own life? What two things motivated Jesus (John 13:1-3)? Why had their feet not been washed? Why did Jesus wash them? Why does Peter react so strongly to this? What was the lesson of Jesus’ example in washing their feet? What is Jesus’ position and what action did He take? How are you to follow that example in your own life? Is this a command for an ordinance of foot washing? Why or why not? What blessings come by following Jesus’ example? How does Jesus prepare the disciples for the future and assure them that God is still in control? Why are the disciples so confused by Jesus revelation that one of them would betray Him? Why didn’t they suspect Judas? What warnings did Jesus give to Judas? How, why and when did Satan enter Judas? Have you been deceived by others who turned out to be evil? Are you striving to serve God or self? How can you turn from self to God? When will you do it?
If you would like to receive Pastor Harris’ weekly sermons via e-mail, Click Here)
For comments, please e-mail Church office