Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm20000105.htm
JOHN: TRIUMPHING IN LIFE'S MOST CRITICAL ISSUE
Part IV: Presentation Of The Messenger Of Salvation
D. Christ's Credentials Revealed In His Preparations For The Cross
1. Christ's Credibility Seen In His Graciously Facing His Betrayal Unto Death
Lesson: (1) Jesus is God's Messiah and Son ALTHOUGH He died, for He KNEW He would die, He ALLOWED for it, He PREDICTED it and WILLINGLY FACED it in loving service to pay for our sins. (2) His servant attitude to meet OUR need for redemption cau sed by our SIN by His dying on the cross was epitomized in His washing the dirt off of His disciples as a house-slave. Thus, such remarkably gracious service is to be copied by US as God urges us to serve in WILLINGLY burdening ourselves with the lowly or hard service acts that address the sin-caused failures and needs of fellow believers. (3) Following Christ's example of self-humiliation for us in this way will make us happy!
- There are times when we Christians wonder if we serve the Lord in our being placed in the unenviable role of having to minister in picking up or beariing up under the mistakes or messes made by fellow believers!
- In a moving scene, John revealed how Jesus intentionally faced His death and willingly gave of Himself in ministry to God on the cross in accord with God's will. That event teaches us much about our own service to God for the messes and mistakes in the sinful failures of fellow believers as follows:
- Christ's Credibility Seen In His Graciously Facing His Betrayal Unto Death, John 13:1-20.
- As John 20:31 reveals, the events in John's Gospel are written to make readers trust in Christ to be saved.
- In keeping with this intent, John reveals a moving act of service by Jesus the night of His betrayal that reveals He knew about His betrayal to death and went out of His way to prepare His disciples for it:
- Just before the passion, when he was at the Last Supper, Jesus was noted by John as being fully aware of His eternal role in time and history as God come in the flesh, John 13:1-3:
- At the Last Supper (John 13:1), John reports that Jesus knew full well that He had come from God and was going back to God by way of His impending physical death, John 13:3b with 13:1.
- At that time, John tells us He loved His disciples to the very end, John 13:1b.
- At that time, Jesus was also aware that He would be betrayed by Judas, and that Judas was already under Satan's influence to betray Him to die on the cross, John 13:2 with 13:1.
- In view of His identity, Jesus gave a parable in action on self-humiliation in service so that His disciples would follow His lead as illustrated most vividly in the s elf-humiliation of the cross, 13:4-20:
- Jesus arose from the meal, donned a slave's garb, and began to wash His disciples' feet, 13:4-5.
- This self-humiliation was so strikingly opposite what the disciples expected from their Lord that Peter at first objected to Jesus' stooping to wash his feet, Jn. 13:6.
- Jesus told Peter that it was necessary for Him to wash his feet if Peter was to have any part with His Lord, so Peter consented to this activity, John 13:7-9.
- At this point, Jesus revealed that not all of the disciples were clean, indicating that He was fully aware of Judas' heart and destiny, and that of the cross to which Judas' actions would lead, 13:10-11.
- After washing the disciples' feet, Jesus taught its lesson: since He, their Master and Lord stooped to do a menial slave's service of washing their feet, they were to stoop to serve the needs of one another in self-humiliation, 13:12-16. Such a service would bless the server with happiness, John 13:17.
- However, Jesus noted that not all of the disciples would be so blessed, for He knew Judas would betray Him to death, and noted that there would be a betrayal to fulfill Psalm 41:9 so that after His suffering, the disciples would believ e Him for having predicted and willingly faced death, 13:18-19.
- In other words, Jesus was exampling that His work of self-humiliation on the cross was an intentional ministry for the meeting of the sin-cleansing needs of His people caused by their sinful failures! Thus, He was to be believed as Messiah not although He died, but because He died intentionally! Also, we who would disciple others as Christ did the disciples would copy Jesus in self-humiliation in our service as well, John 13:20 implied.