The Gospel According to John

Lesson 4

Preparation of the disciples

John 13:1 - 17:26

John Chapter 13:1-20

The first incidence we see for the preparation of the disciples is the act of Jesus washing their feet. Through doing this Jesus showed the disciples humility and servant-hood.

Peter thought he was showing humility when he refused to let Jesus wash his feet, but indeed he was showing pride. Showing the disciples that he was so humble as to not be worthy of Jesus washing his feet. But it was not humility. A truly humble person would let someone they thought greater then they, wash their feet if that is what they wanted to do. He was "Proud" that he was being so "Humble".

But Jesus said to him. "You do not understand right now, but you will later. If I do not wash you, you have no part with me."

I believe he wanted to show his disciples that a truly humble person would not care about the other persons feet, how they looked or where they had been, but just that he wanted to wash them, like a servant. He wanted the disciples to be servers and this was a good example to them.

He also said "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean, and you are clean, but not all of you."

By this he meant that they had clean hearts, but the feet represented where they had been in contact with the world and itís filthiness. That they needed to wash off signs of the world in their life. We need to do this on a daily basis. Everything that Jesus did was a type and symbol of something greater.

He also knew that not all had a clean heart. That one would betray him. And yet, he washed his feet as well. This was a true sign of humility and something I am sure the disciples remembered at a later date.

He then asked them this "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash on anotherís feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.......for the servant is not greater than his master."

This is where he showed that true humility is servant-hood. And that no one should be ashamed or afraid to lower themselves to the level of a servant, if he had. This shows a great person, that can be the servant of his fellow man. And that knowing how to do these things should make you happy.

After Christ tells Judas to leave, he then begins the real teaching to his "Loyal" disciples. He starts be telling them that he will soon be departing from them.

He tells them "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately."

He can only say this after Judas the traitor has been removed. He is referring to the glory of the resurrection I believe. He does not discuss the traitor or the suffering He would encounter, but only the Glory of the end result of all that was to happen. I am sure the disciples did not understand what he meant at the time, but did after the resurrection. He repeats the word Glory five times in this short passage.

He tells them that He will only be with them for a little while longer, and that where he is going, they cannot follow Him. And then he gives them a new commandment.

"That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another, By this will all know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

This was an important message that he wanted to get across to them. He knew the obstacles and problems that would be in their way. And the people that they would encounter along the way, and He knew they would need to operate in love. He was moved by compassion and miracles were prominent in His life.

At this point Peter speaks up and asks where He is going, and that he will follow him anywhere, to the point of laying down his life for him. Jesus then tells him, that instead, he will deny Him.

Chapter 14

At this point I am sure that Jesus sensed that the disciples were troubled by the thought of him leaving so he said this.

"Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Fatherís house are many mansions, if it were not so, I would have told you. I go too prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know."

This was not just a message of comfort to the disciples, but to all that would read it. We draw comfort that Christ is preparing a place for us, and will come back for us some day. And how will we know the way? He is the way, the truth and the life. If we know Him, we know the way.

The disciples knew Jesus, and would know Him in an even greater way when the Holy Spirit came. But at this point, it might have seemed like He was talking in riddles to them. But everything He said to them, was to bring comfort, in the future, when they would need it.

Thomas asked him how they would know the way, and Jesus answered him this way "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also, and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

Then Philip asked Him to show them the Father. And Jesus answered him saying

" Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.......Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words I speak to you, I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me, does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves."

Even though these men had been with Jesus all this time, they still did not "Know" Him. He was trying to show them that He and the Father were one. That whatever they had seen Him do, it was the Father doing it. Again, most of this they would not understand, until after the resurrection, and the Spirit had come.

Then he goes on to tell them, that they would do the same works and greater, because He goes to the Father. If we ask anything in His name, He will do it. And then, if we love Him, we will keep His commandment.

I believe he is showing them that we would do the greater works, because of his sacrifice, and resurrection and the fact that He is on the right hand of the father, making intercession for us. What a marvelous thing, to know that Jesus is praying for us, to do greater works then He did on this earth. What are we doing with it? Are we doing the works, let alone the greater works?

He also said we could ask anything in His name and He would do it. Up to this point, they had not prayed in the Name of Jesus. This was a new way of praying for them that would be a straight line to God. The Name Of Jesus! It is the name that is above every name, and every name must bow to the Name of Jesus.

He ends this discourse with the statement that if we love Him, we will keep His commandments. What is He commanding? That we love one another. So He is saying that all of this will only work, if we walk in Love. We cannot hate our brother and our enemies and see the power of God manifested in our lives.


Lesson 5 of John