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Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.

This week we continue our series titled “Personal portraits of Peter”.

These messages will contain lessons that can help each of us daily.

Today we are talking about Peter in the Upper Room.

Text

John 13:16-17 (AMP)

16 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 

17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].

Scripture Reading.

John 13:1-17

Introduction 

Jesus and the disciples had come to the upper room (probably in the home of Mark’s mother) where Jesus would eat the Passover meal with His disciples and ordain the Lord’s supper, the new Passover.

It was Thursday after sunset, which was the beginning of Jewish Friday.

Before the night was over, Jesus would be betrayed, and on the next day He would be crucified.

On the previous Tuesday night, Judas, stung by the rebuke of Jesus at the feast in the home of Simon the leper (John 12:2-8), had bargained with the rulers to betray Jesus ( Matthew 26:14-16, Mark 14:10-11, and Luke 22:3-6).

Jesus was aware of Judas’ treachery, but the disciples were not.

Jesus arranged for the large upper room and sent Peter and John to make ready the Passover (Luke 22:7-13).

This may have been done secretly so that Judas would not suspect that his treachery was known.  

  1. The state of mind of the disciples and of Jesus.
  1. The contention continued among the disciples as to “which of them should be accounted the greatest” (Luke 22:24).

This had started a few months earlier on the way from Caesarea Philippi to Capernaum.

They had not learned the lesson that Jesus had tried to teach them by setting a child in their midst as an object lesson of humility (Matthew 18:1-6).

Nor had they heeded Jesus’ worst James and John, who on the way to Jerusalem had requested the first places in the kingdom.

Remember Matthew 20:20-28 and Mark 10:35-45?

The disciples continued to think of the kingdom as political.

B. Jesus’ state of mind contracted with that of the disciples.

John 13:1 (AMP)

The Lord’s Supper

13 Now before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that His hour had come [and it was time] for Him to leave this world and return to the Father. Having [greatly] loved His own who were in the world, He loved them [and continuously loves them with His perfect love] to the end (eternally).

Jesus was aware that His death was at hand, and His love for the disciples was intensified.

Luke 22:14-16 (AMP)

The Lord’s Supper

14 When the hour [for the meal] had come, Jesus reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him. 

15 He said to them, “I have earnestly wanted to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; 

16 for I say to you, I will not eat it again until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.”

Jesus was not a baby prince who does not know that he is destined to rule.

He was fully aware of His deity and of His mission to die for the sins of humankind.

2. Jesus washed His disciples’ feet.

According to the custom of the day, the host would provide a basin of water for the washing of guests’ feet.

Since people travelled barefoot or in sandals, they needed to wash the dust off from their journey.

A servant would normally do this service if the host did not do it himself.

None of the disciples had volunteered.

They had all apparently taken their places reclining on couches, which was the custom, around the table.

John 13:2-5 (AMP)

2 It was during supper, when the devil had already put [the thought of] betraying Jesus into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, 

3 that Jesus, knowing that the Father had put everything into His hands, and that He had come from God and was [now] returning to God, 

4 got up from supper, took off His [outer] robe, and taking a [servant’s] towel, He tied it around His waist.

Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

5 Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist.

This act was a characteristic example of the Master’s spirit.

It was an acted parable, an object lesson in humility.

He rebuked the attitude of the disciples.

John 13:6-7 (AMP)

6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 

7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.”

Peter felt that it wasn’t right for the Master to wash the disciples’ feet and said to Jesus, in John 13:8-11 (AMP),

8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].” 

9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 

10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.” 

11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.”

Jesus indicated that there was a hidden meaning.

It seems to be this, one who had bathed did not need to bath again.

He needed only to wash off the dirt from his feet.

One who is saved does not need to be saved all over again.

He needs only the daily cleansing from the sins of his daily walk.

They had all been bathed (saved) except Judas.

Peter would be an example of this.

He was a saved person, but before the night was over, he would deny his Lord.

He would not need to be saved again, but he would need to confess and get forgiveness (have his feet washed), which he would do.

3. The significance of Jesus’ action.

John 13:12 A (AMP)

12 So when He had washed their feet and put on His [outer] robe and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?

  1. This was an example.
  1. True humility does not disparage one’s powers.

Jesus is Master and Lord.

It is false humility that does not acknowledge that we are a person made in God’s image and are of infinite worth.

What some people call humility is poor posture.

2. The spirit of Jesus in stooping to serve is true humility.

The mind of christ is portrayed in Philippians 2:5-11 and in Mark 10:45.

Jesus came from heaven’s glory as the incarnate Son of God.

He humbled Himself to death on the cross.

This was necessary for our salvation.

We cannot do what He did.

We need not.

But in the same spirit we can serve others.

B. In Jesus’ picture of the last judgement, He indicated that the way his disciples serve Him is to serve others in His name.

Matthew 25:40  (AMP)

40 The King will answer and say to them, ‘I assure you and most solemnly say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it for Me.’

Jesus commanded, John 13:14-15 (AMP)

14 So if I, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet as well. 

15 For I gave you [this as] an example, so that you should do [in turn] as I did to you.

Some people think that in these words Jesus is commanding another ordinance, in addition to baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be perpetually observed.

There is no evidence that this is true and that the disciples understood it that way.

Most Christians understand Jesus to command needful service to others ion the basis of His example. 

Conclusion.

Happiness comes from following Jesus’ example.

John 13:17 (AMP)

17 If you know these things, you are blessed [happy and favored by God] if you put them into practice [and faithfully do them].

Jesus was happy.

For the joy of being the Saviour, Jesus endured the cross.

He fulfilled the words of Isaiah 53:11 about the Messiah, 

11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He shall see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge [of what He has accomplished] the Righteous One,

My Servant, shall justify the many [making them righteous—upright before God, in right standing with Him], For He shall bear [the responsibility for] their sins.

The happiest Christians are those that are serving others in the name of Jesus.

Try it.

Until next time

Stay in the Blessings

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I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.

When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.

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