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Lesson # John 13:4-5
Study Material - John 13:4-5
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
4 He riseth [egeiro] from [ek] supper [deipnon] , and [kai] laid aside [tithemi] his garments [himation] ; and [kai] took [lambano] a towel [lention] , and girded [diazonnumi] himself [heautou] .
5 After that [eita] he poureth [ballo] water [hudor] into [eis] a bason [nipter] , and [kai] began [archomai] to wash [nipto] the disciples [mathetes] ' feet [pous] , and [kai] to wipe [ekmasso] them with the towel [lention] wherewith [hos] he was [en] girded [diazonnumi] . KJV-Interlinear
4 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. NASB
Abigail wanted only to be a part of David's group. She requested nothing more than to be allowed to wash the feet of David's servants. This would be the lowest position in the hierarchy.
Elisha wanted only to wash the hands of Elijah, never aspiring to be as great as he, but only the honor to serve. Jesus in these verses teaches us all a lesson in humility. He had dinner with the twelve, then at the conclusion of the dinner, He removed his outer coat (we might think of it as a dinner jacket or perhaps a sweater of some sort).
And He in effect rolled up his sleeves in preparation of doing domestic chores as a servant would. The servant who was about to perform some cleaning task would not wear a formal jacket, but would take off his outer loose shirt or jacket, throw a towel over his shoulder or arm, pick up a bucket or tools, and then would proceed to kneel down and begin scrubbing or doing whatever it was he was going to do.
Jesus assumed the role of a servant, but not just any servant. He assumed the role of a servant who loved the object of his service, and who performed the tasks for someone who could not perform them themselves.
Jesus went about washing the feet of those who could not wash their own feet. Why? Because this washing of the feet was representative of a cleansing of the soul in preparation for a new life. Jesus was about to leave them and they would not see Him again (once He had ascended). They would be on their own so to speak, but with His Words only to guide them through their remaining lives.
Jesus was going to the Cross. He knew the task and His mission. He knew that there was no one else who could do what He was about to do. Only through the work on the Cross would there be a path of salvation and a path for a spiritual life to any who would want it.
The feet also represent how man walks through life. The feet come into contact with the ground and the dust or the dirt of the world. Only through the daily cleansing can one remove that dirt and then again become clean.
Our daily life as we live it is our walk through life. Confession of sin is the mechanism of washing our souls which allows us to regain a fellowship status with God. Again, man cannot cleanse himself. It requires the work of God to make us clean. We cannot define the procedure for our self cleansing. We cannot do penance. We cannot do anything by which we can make up for our failures in life. That would be considered works and it would be arrogant to think that there was something that we could do ourselves, which God would accept, that would allow us (from our own efforts) to get back on Gods good side.
God rejected mans works on the Cross, and He rejects mans works in the spiritual life.
The third thing the washing represents here is the cleansing of mans good deeds from the energy of the flesh. We know that there are two combatants in our spiritual life - our sin nature and the Holy Spirit within us. Rom. 7:15 is where the study of the sin nature and our inner conflict, is best begun.
In life we are either driven by our sin nature or we are driven by Bible doctrine. The sin nature has an area of strength (human good) and an area of weakness (sin). The human good side is the production of the sin nature with respect to mans good deeds. The Bible having rejected mans works likewise rejects mans good, or human good. It is called wood, hay, and stubble, or that which is virtually worthless with limited value, and a limited life. God will burn all of this away at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Your good deeds will not be allowed into heaven or into eternity.
In contrast, the production of the spiritual life (those good deeds which are performed from within the fellowship sphere) are represented as gold, silver, and precious stones. These are objects of intrinsic value, and when the cleansing fires of Gods Judgment Seat are used to burn away your wood, hay, and stubble, then only the gold, silver, and precious stones will remain within your soul.
Again God cleanses. God does all of the cleansing. We do nothing but comply with His command to confess (our self acknowledgment of our failures) to Him (the Father only) and He does all of the rest.
So God has done all of the work so that we can first be saved (salvation through faith in Christ), second be cleansed from the dirt in our life (fellowship through confession), and third have a spiritual pattern to follow (walk) through life.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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