John 13:1-38

 

Passover evening, the Passover meal Jesus kept with his disciples, what is called “the last supper” by most Christians

 

“Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.  After that he poureth water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.  Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?  Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.  Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet.  Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.  Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth  not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.  For he knew who should betray him; therefore he said, Ye are not all clean.  So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?  Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.  If then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.  If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.  I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.  Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.  When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.  Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake.  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.  Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake.  He then lying on Jesus’ breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it?  Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.  And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.  And after the sop Satan entered into him.  Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.  Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him.  For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor.  He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night.  Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.  If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him.  Little children, yet a little while I am with you.  Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you.  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou?  Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards.  Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now?  I will lay down my life for thy sake.  Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake?  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”

 

“Good morning.  Great to see everybody, hope you all had a blessed holiday [Thanksgiving], time with family and friends.  Let’s open in our Bibles to John chapter 13.  If you missed the announcements, and weren’t listening to the announcements earlier, later tonight is the time with Pastor John Thomas from Pennsylvania.  He’s a potter, and neat ministry.  He’ll be sharing just what God does in our lives, as he ministers through this gift of pottery that he has.  It’s kind of a neat presentation.  And prayer will be moved earlier, 5:30 or so this afternoon.  Normally we have prayer at 6, but we’ll be getting together a little bit earlier to have our prayer, so we can have the time of ministry with John Thomas, and of course we don’t want to miss out on our time of prayer too.  But why don’t we just say a word of prayer again, speaking of prayer.  I know Pete just prayed, but I want to say a word of prayer again too before we get started here in John 13.  ‘Lord, as we just take one more moment to prepare our hearts before you.  And as we go through these Scriptures Lord, your Word is very simple, yet is very powerful.  What is needed in our hearts is a desire to hear, and I guess an aspect of humility too, that we we’d be willing to hear, and also willing to respond and obey.  And Lord if there is even anything now in our hearts that would hinder our ears, our spiritual ears from hearing, if there’s anything even now Lord, we pray that you’d reveal it to us, that we could confess our sin to you Lord, and just get right so that we can hear you speak to us.  We so desperately need to hear your voice. So we ask Holy Spirit that you’d open our eyes to the wonders that are here in your law.  And Holy Spirit be upon all of us, and even upon myself now as we go through your Word, in Jesus name, Amen.’

          There have been a number of times in the ministry for me, where my wife and I have turned to each other, and I guess because of the challenges and circumstances that we face, and difficulties, we’ve said to each other, “You know, there is an easier life than this.  There’s got to be an easier life than this, you know.”  And there’s times I confess, you know, you look around in the world, you see people living, enjoying the ways of the world, and here I am seeking to obey the Lord.  Sometimes I look out there and say, ‘Man, it’s definitely easier out there.’  Or maybe it was easier in the past before I decided to follow the Lord.  I can relate to Asaph, right?  Psalm 73, we’ve been there a few times.  His experience, you know, looking at those busy there in the world, seemingly having no pangs of death, he says, or little trouble in their paths, confident that their strength is firm, and yet there’s this pride and a disregard for the ways of the Lord, the things of God.  So I can relate to Asaph, that emotion he feels, the thoughts that he has, the struggle that he has there in Psalm 73.  And without the right perspective, of course he clues in the middle of that Psalm, but without the proper perspective, there’s this ‘What’s the use?, What’s the use?’ you know, that mentality that starts to creep it’s way in.  ‘Why do all this?’  I can just give that a little kick, and move on somewhere else, or go back that way, you know, maybe pick up my engineering books again, or whatever.  I don’t want to scare you, or anything [laughter].  But there’s times that we all can relate to.  It isn’t necessarily easy.  But also, like Asaph, what does keep us from throwing in the towel, is this incredible relationship we have with Jesus Christ, this daily walk that we have with him, with him ministering to us and loving us, and us looking to him, seeing his face, seeing his beauty, as Asaph says there in Psalm 73.  He says, ‘I would have slipped, but I went in to the Sanctuary, man, there was the beauty and wonder of God, and I worshipped the Lord, it gave me a whole new perspective on life.’  And it’s true, as I look back in faith, as I look back to the cross and what Jesus has done for me, man it brings a humility into my heart.  And as I look forward in faith, I look ahead in hope to what God has prepared for me and what is waiting for me.  Man, it really does put away those thoughts of ‘what’s the use’, and the struggles that might come in, you know, ‘that there’s a better life.’  When I begin to just look upon Jesus, especially what he’s done for me, and what he has in store for me, then it begins to change my heart and gets me back into the race, motivates my heart.  And that’s a perspective that we need to continue to grow in.  And I start with that because we see this perspective here too in John chapter 13, as we continue our study in John.  No doubt it’s my view, what Christ has done for me in the past, just beholding his beauty and looking to what he has done for me in the past.  But also considering the future and what I have in store for me, what Christ has done for me, man it does make me live differently, that is for sure.  It motivates me in a different way, that’s without a doubt.  John chapter 13, this is a great chapter, we’re getting into some really great chapters.  I mean, they’re all great, but this chapter has got some great stuff in it.  And you could study a lot of different aspects of John chapter 13, focus on different things.  I’m sure maybe you’ve already heard some different studies and sermons.  But I’d like to focus on this theme of love.  Love is a re-occurring theme from this point on, of course, just throughout the Bible.  But it especially is in John now as we move on.  Up to this point, the first 12 chapters, the word “love” is mentioned 12 times.  From this point on, the next 9 chapters, the word “love” is mentioned 44 times.  So there’s this increasing emphasis on “love”.  When you see a key word repeated a lot, it tells you a lot about the heart of the passage and the theme of the passage.  So I’d like to focus on this thought of love and make some points about it as we go through this chapter together.  Here’s my basic outline, five points:  First point, The freedom to love, the freedom to love, we’ll talk a little bit about that.  Second point, The freedom to receive love, the freedom to receive love.  Third point, The blessing found in expressing love.  Fourth point, Love expressed towards all men.  And then the commandment, the Fifth point, To love one another.

 

1. Freedom to love

 

What would you be like if you knew you were going to soon die a painful death?

 

Chapter 13, verses 1-5, let’s begin, “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come, that he should depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.  And supper being ended, the devil having put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God, and was going to God, rose from supper, and he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciple’s feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.”  Now this chapter, chapters 13 through 17, is a bit like the chapters we’re studying in Deuteronomy on Wednesday night.  This basically is kind of a final farewell, Jesus’ words of encouragement to the disciples.  [Comment: As brought out in the other Gospels, this evening was the Passover service that Jesus had ordered the disciples to prepare for him, and they were all sitting around eating it with Jesus.  John brings out different points, the love aspect, of what Jesus was saying on his final Passover meal with them.  The others bring out the details, and that this was indeed his Passover meal, while John focuses on the love aspects of Jesus’ final words with them.  For greater details into this Passover meal log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm and the other articles in the upper nav bar.]  And Deuteronomy is like that, Deuteronomy is Moses’ final exhortation, words of encouragement, farewell to the people of Israel, God’s people.  And now we have a similar kind of text that we enter into in the next four chapters.  It’s essentially a farewell message, with a little bit more included, and we’ll see that as we go.  But with a farewell message, and when it’s from the Lord, man, there’s always strong encouragements, strong admonishments, strong exhortations, and we’ll see that.  Now it says there, in the beginning of verse 1, it’s now before the feast of the Passover, and so we’ve come up, and we’ll see that this is now, this is when it all starts to take place, the whole “hour” that we’ve been reading about, this “hour” that Jesus referred to many times.  Now the timetable for this last week, we’ve seen a bit of it in this Gospel and other Gospels, but Jesus has been in Jerusalem essentially one week, [now this is according to his Calvary Chapel’s timing, based on a 32AD crucifixion date, it is different for a 31AD crucifixion date], he entered Jerusalem on Sunday, on Monday he cleansed the Temple, we see that in the different Gospels, Tuesday there was some time of conflict and things, where the religious leaders were trying to trap him, and then depending on how you lay out the Sabbath, whether there was one Sabbath or two Sabbaths based on the Passover feasts, it’s either Wednesday or Thursday, and it’s the Passover Feast.  [A 31AD crucifixion has Jesus observing this Passover meal with his disciples on the 13th/14th Nissan, Tuesday evening at sundown, and the very next day, the 14th Nissan is the very day Jesus was crucified, on the day portion of the Passover, Wednesday.  Wednesday afternoon, 3pm, to Saturday afternoon 3pm, make for three days and three nights in the tomb, which fits Scripture.]  And now we see this time where Jesus heads to the upper room, has prepared this upper room, had it prepared, and the disciples have gone and got it all ready and are gathering there, and we see that in verse 1.  Now Jesus, all along, has mentioned many times, he’s talked about this “hour”, he says ‘the “hour” has not yet come,’ ‘the hour has not yet come’, ‘the hour has not yet come.’  We see that repeatedly, but here in verse 1 we’re told that he understands that now the hour has come, the hour has come, it’s time.  Noted with this hour, John says in verse 1, this includes this hour where Jesus is going to depart from the world.  He’s going to return to the Father in heaven.  So it’s that hour that has come.  Of course there’s something inbetween him departing from the world and going to be with the Father, that is the cross.  So it’s this whole hour, it’s the hour of the cross.  He must first go to the cross, and die for the sins of the world, then be resurrected, before he can ascend and be with the Father.  So it’s this tremendous hour.  And you remember as we’ve been studying in John, as Jesus at times, and he’s very much a man, but he’s also the Son of God.  But at times, in his humanness, as he’s considered the anguish and the pain of the cross, there’s been a sense of almost recoiling from it, and being repulsed to it for a moment, as he’s considered the horrific pain, and just this reality of being separated from the Father and having the sin of the world placed on him.  So that’s the “hour”.  Of course, his heart has been to do the perfect will of the Father, so he just continues to move on.  ‘Not my will, but yours, Father.  You know, I’m going to do whatever it takes.’  But yet there’s this reality of going to the cross, it’s a very unpleasant thing.  So this is the hour, the hour has come.  And so I asked myself a question, and I guess it’s a question we can ask all of ourselves as we study this passage here.  You know, if you were facing an hour like this, I mean, there’s hours that come into our lives, maybe the last hour of our life, or maybe there’s other seasons, you know you’re facing a real difficult time.  I mean, what are you like at those times, what will you be like at those times?  I mean, will we be seeking attention from others, will we be seeking comfort from others?  That’s in and of itself OK.  Will we be seeking service from others, you know, favors from others, love from others?  Maybe some of us, ‘Hey, I want my wish, man, send me to Disneyland.  I’m at that point, I want to go, make a wish and head to Disneyland, this is the last hour I’ve got.’  What would we be like, what are we like when we face these times?  Considering the hour that Jesus faces here, and then watching what he does in these verses we just read, it really is amazing.  It’s just breathtaking to consider what he does.  The truth is, it leaves you speechless.  Of course, I can’t do that right now, being a pastor and a preacher at this moment, I just can’t stand there quiet, that doesn’t’ serve a purpose.  But it’s amazing to consider what he does, and what he’s facing, what’s before him.  Would I be doing what he’s doing at this moment, would I at all be thinking about anybody else other than myself?  I mean, I’m sure, I’d, well, I wish I wouldn’t.  But you know what I’m saying, just consider what he does.  Consider, it’s really very beautiful, it’s just another angle of his love, another glimpse at the love that is in his heart, and it’s incredibly wonderful and marvelous to consider.  Also, John mentions, as we consider his love, John mentions this point, he says “having loved his own who were in the world”, he’s loved them all along, no doubt about that.  He’s expressed love to them all along, shown them incredible care, but he’s loved them to the end.  And when somebody says they love me, and I know they mean it, I mean, there’s a wonder in that word.  I mean, it’s encouraging when somebody says to me that they really love me, when my wife says she loves me, my parents or my kids.  I mean, they really care for me, you know.  There’s just a neat thing about people loving me, and experiencing love.  And Jesus loved his own, his loved his disciples, and we’re told he loved them to the end.  That means loving to the uttermost, loved them to the uttermost.  There’s a lot in that word.  And we get a glimpse of that, here in the picture of what he does.  But also, John notes in verse 2, the supper’s ended, it’s the Passover meal here, and the devil, we’re told, has already put it into the heart of one of the disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him.  So seated there with him is the betrayer.  Well, Jesus earlier called Judas the devil.  In fact, in John chapter 6, you might remember verse 70, he referred to one of the disciples being a devil.  [John 6:70-71, “Jesus answered them, ‘Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’  He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”]  So, there’s this Judas Iscariot, and the devil has really just moved his heart and consumed this man’s life.  [Probably actual possession.  Satan can target unconverted people at his will, if they don’t have God’s protection.  He can influence them, or he can enter into them and control what they do that way.  We don’t know which way it was with Judas, but I would surmise, since Satan really wanted Jesus dead, he probably entered into Judas.  We’ll know later.  Satan entered into Adolph Hitler at times, and a British intelligence officer who had an audience with Hitler actually witnessed what appeared to be Hitler coming under possession of what probably was Satan.  Here’s Scriptural proof that it can happen to those in the world Satan wants direct control over.]   He’s one of the twelve, he’s not a believer in Jesus Christ.  [In fact, none of the disciples have the indwelling Holy Spirit at this point.  That doesn’t occur until John chapter 20:21-22.]  He’s an unbeliever.  There might be some that say he was a believer, but he never was a believer.  Jesus said he was a devil.  He was never a believer.  And it’s clear as we go on, too.  He had personal, selfish reasons for following Jesus, selfish ambition.  It wasn’t this faith in his Lord, it was “I want to get something out of this Jesus, I want to get something out of his Kingdom.  And that’s why he’s following along, putting up a pretty good show though.  But consistent to his heart, we don’t have it here in this Gospel, but we read about it in other Gospels, Judas has met with the religious leaders prior to this, and he’s had a meeting, and he said to them, ‘I will turn over Jesus, I will find a good time where he’s away from the multitudes, I will turn over Jesus to you.  What will you do for me?’  And they say, ‘We’ll give you money, we’ll give you thirty pieces of silver’, which fulfills the prophecy of Zechariah chapter 11.  So this is the Judas that sits there, one of the disciples there at this time as they have this supper, this [Passover] meal before Jesus goes to the cross.  But well with all these things though in front of him, Jesus does something that is certainly out of the ordinary for men to do.  He doesn’t gather folks around him to minister to him, to minister to maybe a burdened heart that he might have.  Although that’s OK to do.  He doesn’t request privilege from them, service from them, doesn’t go into self-defense mode.  I mean, I would probably start getting a little defensive realizing what Judas is about to do.  He doesn’t do that either.  He reacts very differently, and it’s all because of the condition of his heart, that’s for sure.  John tells us in verse 3 that knowing the Father, that the Father had given all things into his hands, he knows it confidently in faith, all things have been given into his hands.  But also understanding where he’s come from, he’s come from God [and he in his pre-incarnate form was Yahweh, the Great I AM, the God of the Old Testament who dwelt in the Tabernacle and Temple with the Israelites], he was once with the Father.  And now that’s where he’s about to go.  We’re told he rises from the table, I’m sure, silently just gets up, doesn’t make any big deal out of it, just gets up, lays aside his garments, real picture of humility here.  Takes a towel and girds it around his waist.  Then he begins to put water in a basin.  Of course the disciples, I’m sure, are intrigued.  And then he kneels down and begins to wash the dirty feet of the disciples.  Then he wipes them with the towel that’s girded around his waist.  I’m sure there were some bewildered looks as he began to do this.  Of coarse we see that even with Peter’s reaction as he gets to Peter.  Now this was a very menial task in this society.  Of course it would be today.  I don’t know about you, but I really don’t like to wash people’s feet, I don’t make a habit of doing it.  I wash my own, and I just have no desire to get down, with my children if I’m giving them a bath, I’ll do that.  But you guys, I really don’t have much of a desire in my fleshly side to go and wash your feet, it’s just not a lot of fun to do.  It’s not appealing at all, right?  It’s a menial task, it’s a very menial task.  In fact, historically in the Jewish society, Jewish servants wouldn’t even wash a master’s feet.  If it was done at all, it was done by a Gentile slave.  So the Jews wouldn’t even wash each others feet.  Generally, only on an occasion, maybe if you came into somebody’s house, and you were a guest, if they really wanted to show you a mark of affection, they might get down and wash your feet.  But it was very unusual for someone, especially a Jew to do that to a Jew.  It didn’t occur, it wasn’t the common thing to do.  But Jesus, considering who he is, gets down, and he does this just before he is to go to the cross.  He does this just before he’s to die on the cross.  I mean, that pain is moments away, but this is what he’s doing.  And that tells me a lot about the love of Christ.  It tells me a lot about his love, and how it’s motivated and how it’s expressed.  And it also reminds me, that at any hour, as a Christian [or Messianic Jewish believer], with the love of God in my heart, at any hour, at any moment, in any place, any time, man, I can still be an instrument of the love of God.  I can still be a useful instrument in the hands of God to do service in one way or another.  If Jesus does this, it tells me that when the love of Christ is in my heart, at any moment I can be used of the Lord, even times when I don’t feel like it, even times that would seem very unnatural or very unpleasant and unreasonable.  When there’s the right heart in me, his heart, his mind, man, I can do anything at any time, in serving and loving others.  But what helps me be like this?  What motivates me?  I think verse 3, just the way it’s there, that truth is significant.  And I think it’s significant to Jesus at this moment.  “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God…”  It’s noted, but I think it’s significant to us too.  He knows what he’s been given, Jesus knows what’s in the past, he’s confident of that, and he knows what’s ahead in the future.  And when that’s true of me too, man, it really helps me at any moment, in any situation, at any time.  [Comment: knowing what our future is, ie, 1 Corinthians 15:49-54; Revelation 19:7-8,14; 20:4, 6.]  I think it’s the key to the freedom of love, that is to express love.  I am confident in the past, meaning, confident in what Christ has done for me, I look back, I see the cross, and I see the beauty of it, and I just know that the past is taken care of, and I’m a new creature in Christ.  All things are new, and I’ve been given all kinds of incredible spiritual blessings.  And I know in the  hope of the future, in reality, I’m already seated in the heavenlies with Christ.  When there’s a real confidence in that, man, there’s now a sense of freedom, I can do anything at any time.  I can just get down and I can get the bucket out, and regardless, I’m going to end up in the kingdom of God, I got that waiting for me, that’s a pretty good deal, and when I’m confident in it---but also my sins are forgiven and I’ve got Christ in me---I can sit down and wash someone’s feet, I can just wash people’s feet, I can do anything at any time.  [Comment:  Mother Theresa, whom I believe was a real born-again Christian, her ministry was to take the poor street people, ones who were dying, their bodies festering in disease, and wash them totally, and comfort them before they died.  That’s the kind of “do anything” this pastor is talking about.  Showing the love of Christ, not just preaching it.]  So here’s this point, the freedom of love.    Having that real sense, that freedom, just love, just love, and being set free to do that.  And it comes with really knowing the cross and knowing and having that confidence of what’s in store for you in the future.  There’s a story Lu Fuk, I think this is how you say his name, or Luo Fuk, a Chinese Christian moved with compassion for the coolies in the South African mines, sold himself to be a coolie slave for a term of five years.  That’s an amazing thing, this guy became a slave, because he wanted to minister to slaves.  He was then transported to Dimera to carry the Gospel to his countrymen working there.  He worked in the mines with them, and preached Jesus while he toiled, he worked hard and long until he had scores of men who could speak as Paul spoke of Onesimus, “Paul declared of Onesimus, ‘Whom I have begotten in my bonds…’”  Luo Fuk died, but not until he had won to the Savior nearly 200 disciples who joined the Christian church.  Like Jesus Luo Fuk took upon him the form of a slave.  Now that’s so unnatural and unreasonable to do.  A free man, I will go be a slave, work with these people in the mines so that I can share the love of Christ and the Gospel with them.  You know that stuff begins to happen as I begin to walk with Christ, as I begin to look back and consider all the more what he’s done for me, and as I begin to consider and grow confident in what lies ahead for me in the future.  You know, maybe you find yourself, at times you’re serving the Lord in various ways, you know, you looked on the schedule and it’s your Sunday or Saturday morning to work in the nursery, and out comes some sort of comment, ‘Oh man, I might as well stay home’, maybe there’s something like that.  Or you’ve been asked to do something maybe in the church by one of the leaders, and there’s this ‘Awh, why did they even pick me?  You know, I was trying to hide from that guy, I knew he was looking for help.’  Or maybe it’s in your own home, you know.  Wife says ‘Pick up the trash’, and you find yourself going in the other room, trying to hide, or whatever it might be.  And that is often our case.  And I tell you, the more we walk with the Lord and just see what he’s done for us, and look forward to what we have in the future, man, we’re free of that stuff.  It’s much easier to serve, and to lay down our lives for others.  When there is, in my heart, just the love of Christ, and the confidence of the past and what he’s done for me, and the confidence and hope in the future, man, I can do anything at any time for anyone.  And I can do it with the right attitude.  I mean, that kind of goes with it, the right attitude.  And that’s an attitude of overflowing love.  You know, I think about this, this has been ministering to me, as I consider this orphans and widows ministry that we’re just beginning, and I’m wondering,  maybe we’ll even give a name to it.  I’m wondering what the Lord is going to do.  I’ll be honest with you, at times, as we’re kind of reducing our local budget so we can give more, what we can use locally we’re reducing, we’re pinching pennies, and there’s cost associated with that, and maybe personal sacrifice, and sometimes, I hear others say it at times, ‘Why would we do such a thing?  Man, it’s just a lot easier to take care of the needs here and focus on one another, we’ve got plenty of things we can do for ourselves.  I’ll be honest with you, in my heart, as I wrestle with that, at times I find myself there, there’s the sense, I want to please the Lord.  And God does say, man, it’s perfect religion, man, to go relieve the fatherless, and relieve the oppressed, that’s perfect religion.  And I might be struggling with it, and I go sit in my office, and there’s a little flyer, you know, that comes in from a ministry we’ve sent money to or whatever, a child’s picture that’s been helped, there’s a sense of compassion.  I’ll be honest with you, that never was in my heart before.  I can go back thinking, there was a time in my life when I’m saying ‘I’m not having kids until I’m 30, you know, kids, that’s hard, I live for myself, I’m in my 20s, my career, have fun, do the gym and the sports and go out on weekends.  And now later, as the Lord’s working in my heart, I have a burden for orphans, and to make personal sacrifice if necessary.  [This website features a tiny Christian orphanage in south India, the Blessi Orphan Home.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/sisterchurches/BlessiOrphanHome.htm and scroll down to see the children and widows.]  How does that happen?  That’s strange, man.  Certainly it’s easier to go out and live like the world.  But you know, like Asaph, you can’t do it, you know.  It’s what the Lord has done for you, it’s the cross.  And then it’s what he has in store for you in the future.  Why not just go for it, you know.  Lay it down.  There’s no reason not to.  There’s no reason not to.  And that’s what I see here, Jesus, he’s about to go to the cross.  I mean, he could go to Disneyland at this point, I mean, he could make that wish, right?  But instead, he’s got a towel and he’s loving people, man.  He’s washing their feet, of all things to be doing.  But he’s also teaching them a tremendous lesson.  Here is also a picture of humility.  I think love and humility go hand in hand.  When there’s the love of Christ, if there really is the love of Christ in my heart, there is a humility that comes with it.  When I look back at the cross, there’s a humility that comes with that, there’s a love in my heart that begins to swell.  When I look ahead to the future, there’s a humility that comes with that.  There’s a love that comes with that.  I think when Peter writes in his first Epistle chapter 5, verse 5, I think he has this picture right here, what Jesus is doing, in his mind.  He writes this in his letter to the Church, “Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders, yes all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility.  For God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  He says be clothed with humility.  And this is what we see.  There’s also a spiritual picture of what Jesus’ has already done.  Jesus, we’re told in Philippians, he stepped away from the Father, from that glory, in a sense, he stepped from the table, and then he took off his glory, he put aside his glory, like taking off the garment here.  And then as he wrapped himself in a very human way, in a towel, he put on human flesh, and he came here to point us into the love of God and bring us to God.  So, just a picture of incredible humility, and I think it goes hand in hand with love.  But it’s that heart, I know what I have, I know where I’ve been, what’s happened in the past, and I know where I’m going.  There’s an old saying, “The head of wheat with the most grain, bends the lowest to the ground.”  It’s true, you’ll be looking at a head of wheat that’s really got a lot of stuff going on, it’s the one that stoops the lowest.  And it should be that way.  I’m blest so much with the love of God, with the blessings of God, man it should cause me to stoop down too, and be of use in service to others, bend me down in love and humility.  Love and humility go hand in hand.  May we not be confused, you know, sometimes some of us will say ‘I’m hesitant to express love.  You don’t know my personality, I’m a guy whose withdrawn.’  You know, that’s not personality, that’s honestly pride.  To say that I’m a withdrawn kind of person, is to say you’re prideful too.  Because if you’re a Christian and the love of Christ is in your heart, when the love of Christ is in my heart and it’s overflowing, I don’t withdraw, I get on my knees, and I serve others and I love others, and I express love.  I confess to you, talk about being withdrawn, man, that’s me.  And God has me as a pastor.  And he has me ministering.  And at times I have to fight my natural tendency, which is to play it cool, get on the edge, away from everybody.  But you know, you can’t do it if the love of Christ is in your heart.  You can’t stay there long.  If you’re using that excuse, understand it, it’s pride, and pride holds back, but love gives.  Pride withdraws, holds back, keeps, but love gives. 

 

2. The freedom to receive love

 

Verses 6-11, “Then he came to Simon Peter, and Peter said to him, ‘Lord, are you washing my feet?’  Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’  Peter said to him, ‘You shall never wash my feet.’  And Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with me.’  Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.’  Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean, and you are clean, but not all of you.’  For he knew who would betray him, therefore he said ‘You’re not all clean.’”  Initially Peter reacts with dismay here.  There’s a real hesitation.  I mean, he’s thinking ‘How can the Master wash my dirty feet.  The roles here need to be reversed.  I’m to serve you, certainly I’m not to receive this act of kindness and service from you.’  And with that, I’m reminded here of Peter’s reaction, I’m reminded, you know, we have the point, the freedom to love, but also we have the freedom to receive love.  And that’s a statement of humility too.  Sometimes some of us, maybe it’s easier to express love, it is hard to receive love.  And that’s a statement of pride.  And Peter here, God is teaching him a lesson too, about real humility and brokenness.  It humbles also to receive love. [tape switchover, some text lost]….There’s a statement of pride there with Peter.  But Jesus says, ‘Peter, man, if you don’t let me wash you, you have no part with me.’  But now he actually uses this to paint another spiritual picture.  There’s a picture, there’s a truth he’s conveying here at the same time.  And Peter says, Peter man, he’s fun to read.  He says ‘All right, man, not only my feet’, he says, ‘give me the whole deal man, head to toe, bath me’, here he goes, taking off his garments, ‘I’m ready.’  I guess he always wants to be seen as doing the right thing to the fullest extent, this is a go-getter kind of guy.  But then Jesus says to him, this is his point, he’s conveying a spiritual truth to his disciples.  ‘If you’ve bathed, Peter,’---when you go to a Jewish feast like that [ie Passover], the guest, I mean it would be the proper thing to do is to bathe [before you go].  We have the same custom here.  He says, ‘You guys, you’ve bathed, and because you’ve bathed, there’s no need for me to give you a bath right now, Peter.  You’re clean, all I need to do is clean your feet.’  And they had the type of footwear, the way they would travel then, obviously their feet would get dirty, his feet would have gotten dirty on the way there.  ‘All you need to do is have me clean your feet.’  But he’s teaching a principle, and that is, the principle, it is, in Christ I am clean man.  When I received Jesus Christ into my heart as Lord and Savior I got the bath.  [Initially & spiritually, washed in his blood, our sins covered; conditionally, overcoming sin over a lifetime, being washed in his Word, enabled by the Holy Spirit.]  I got the bath, I have been made clean.  But the truth is, day to day, I can get my feet dirty, in a sense.  I don’t lose my salvation, but there is a sense, well, I’ve done some things, seen some things, been a part of things, and there’s a sense of defiling.  So I need to get my feet cleaned, meaning, I need to confess my sin.  And the blood of Christ, you know, I’ve been bathed, man, but now I go “Lord, I’ve done wrong, forgive me, cleanse me, heal me of my sin, cleanse me.”  And he’ll come, and in that sense he cleanses your feet, he cleanses you.  The Word of God, we’re told, we’ve been given the Word, it also purifies us, it keeps us pure, it’s got that cleansing work in us.  Psalm 119, the Psalmist says ‘How shall the young man keep his way pure?  But by the Word’, so as I’m in the Word it has that cleansing going on too.  But hey, the truth is, sometimes you and I do things we wished we didn’t.  But we don’t need a bath [re-baptism, re-conversion], I don’t need to get saved again.  I just need to get my feet cleaned, I just need to confess my sin.  And wonderfully, the Lord says ‘Here, let me cleanse your feet for you.’  That’s the picture he’s stating there, to the disciples.  But he makes the point.  He says “not all of you are clean, not all of you.”  Now when he uses the word “wash”, verses 5, 6, 8 and 14, the word “wash”, we don’t necessarily pick up on it directly, but it means “to wash part of the body”, that word literally in the Greek.  When he used the word “bathed” or “washed” in verse 10, he’s referring to now complete washing, bathing all over.  So he says ‘You don’t need to be bathed all over, Peter, but some of you are not clean.  You’ve already been bathed, but some of you [one of you] aren’t’, and he’s referring to Judas, meaning, some of you aren’t saved, in this crowd, some of you never had that bath.  [If this were referring to actual bathing, it would be like all bathed after a hard days work or travel, but one guy in the crowd didn’t and reeked to the high heavens.  Ever sit next to a person who hadn’t bathed or used deoderant?  That’s the way Judas was to Jesus, sitting amidst this group.]  And then he goes on, and we’ll see in this chapter, begins to directly refer to Judas and issues there. 

 

3. The blessing found in extending love---

symbolized in the footwashing ceremony---

What the footwashing ceremony really means

 

Verses 12-17, “When he had washed their feet, taken his garments and sat down again, he said to them, ‘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 one another’s feet, for I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. [and the Sabbatarian Churches of God do this during their Christian Passover observances]  Most assuredly I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’”  This brings me to my third point, and my third point is:  The Blessing found in extending love.  And there are blessings found in extending love, and that’s exactly what Jesus says, he says to his disciples here, ‘I’ve done this as an example to you.  You know, who am I?  I am your Lord and your Master’, he says in verses 12 and 13, ‘You call me Teacher and Lord, and you’re right, I am.  And if I am your Lord and I am your Master, and I have gotten down into this position and washed your feet, you ought also ought to follow this same example, and wash others feet.  I’ve given you this as an example, and certainly a servant is not greater than his master.  So if I’ve done it, all should do it.’  If the head of the Church has done it, all of us should do it, he makes that point clear, there’s nobody in the Church that is exempt from loving and serving others, and humbling themselves.  All of us are to serve one another.  There are people in the Church that are to be served, and there are the servants and the served, we’re all to serve, we’re all to love, nobody’s above anybody else.  In fact, as the Master got down and became the servant, he got, in a sense, down on our level, saying, ‘You’re all the same, you’re all servants.  [Comment:  the word for “minister” in the King James version, when Jesus said the minister is to be the servant of all, well, the Greek word for “minister” or what we would call a pastor, is hupomeno, which means underoarsman.  In the Greek navy, they used Trireme’s, a ship with a ram on the front of it.  This ship had three rowing levels, three levels of rowers.  During battle, a rower couldn’t just get up and relieve himself, so he did it where he sat.  The “underoarsmen” received these gifts from above.  Also, if the ship was hit, rammed, it was the “underoarsmen”  that probably didn’t make it out, they drowned.  Jesus, through the Gospel writers used a word to describe what a true pastor or minister was to be toward those he served, the congregation and community at large, an underoarsman.]  And this is what you are to do.  And verse 17, he said “You know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”  When he says “do them”, in the Greek it’s “continue to do them.”If you continue to do them, happy are you, blessed are you---if you do these things, wash the feet of others, happy are you.’  So this morning, is there happiness in your life?  You’re a born-again Christian.  Is there happiness in your life?  Is there joy in your life?  Or is there a lack of happiness and a lack of joy?  Well then consider what Jesus says here.  “Blessed, happy are you, if you are continually doing these things.”  If you want to restore joy to your life, man, more than anything what we need is to begin to serve in faith, and love, lay down our lives.  Stop fighting so much with the things that we think we need, or whatever.  Just love people, man.  Take a good look at the cross, take a good look at the future, and say ‘Yeah, man, I’m going for it.’  And happy are those, blessed are those who do exactly that, in that heart.  I think of Paul, he writes that letter of joy, the letter to the Philippian church, the letter of Philippians, he writes it from prison, what we call a letter of joy.  It’s a letter all about joy, and he’s in prison.  He’s about to die.  And he’s in prison pouring his life out for others, he’s writing letters to encourage others.  That’s why he’s happy while he’s in prison.  That’s why he’s full of joy while he’s in prison.  So many of you have been looking in all kinds of places, saying ‘I lack joy, I’m not happy, I’m a miserable person.’  Well, if you’ve got Christ, that’s where it starts, but now go and do what he says.  Go and serve, man, just love people, have a blast, have a great time in the nursery, great time in the children’s ministry, great time ushering, great time serving in the parking lot, the sound system, or worship or whatever, just have a good time loving people.  And you’ll find, blessed are you.  I mean, you’ve heard all the stories, you’ve heard so many, I’m sure.  I think of school when I hear of people in our church, that they’ve gone into the hospital, they’re in the hospital bed, and I go to maybe visit them in the hospital, and they’re telling me “I shared Christ with the guy next to me, what a thrill!”  Here they are, they got tubes connected to them, you know what I mean, you know, they got a sore, and a bandage, and they’re having a blast because they’re sharing Christ, they’re loving people, there on the hospital bed---blessed are you, man, when you love others, when you serve others, orphans and widows, blessed are you.  [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/evangelism/sisterchurches/BlessiOrphanHome.htm.]  Go do these things continually, man, and you’re going to have a good time.  But remember, he says, ‘A servant is not greater than his master, if I’ve done this, don’t think that you’re somebody special, you shouldn’t, that’s bizarre, that’s bizarre.’

 

4. Love expressed towards all men

 

Verses 18-30, (Now the last part of the chapter he focuses on Judas) “‘I do not speak concerning all of you, I know whom I have chosen.  But that the Scripture may be fulfilled, he who eats bread with me has lifted up his heel against me.  I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am he [he is not in the Greek].  Most assuredly I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me.’  When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, ‘Most assuredly I say to you, one of you will betray me.’  Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom he spoke.  Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples whom Jesus loved.  (Of course it’s John, he just doesn’t tell us his name.  He likes to refer to himself that way.)  Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom he spoke.  Then leaning back on Jesus’ breast, he said to him, ‘Lord, who is it?’  Jesus answered, ‘It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.’  And having dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.  Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. [entered him, that is direct demonic possession by Satan himself]  Then Jesus said to him, ‘What you do, do quickly.’  But no one at the table knew for what reason he had said this to him.  For some thought because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, ‘Buy those things we need for the feast.’  Or that he should give something to the poor.  Having received the piece of bread he then went out immediately, and it was night.”  And you know that is, the point is, it’s night, but it seems like night too at this point.  What a dark moment.  Right?  But he makes this point to the disciples, he says, ‘You know I don’t speak about all of you, there is an exception here.  And he quotes Psalm 41 verse 9, this is a psalm, evidently where David refers to this guy, Ahithophel, Ahithophel was his counselor, a guy David just enjoyed, man, they had meals together, they had fellowship together, they had communion together, they enjoyed life together.  He ministered to David, David ministered to him.  Then Absalom starts to do his rebellious thing, and draw people to him.  And Ahithophel, David says that he essentially leaves and goes to be with this Absalom, and then just begins to work against David.  And, that’s hard, man.  I don’t know if you’ve ever had that happen, but that is really hard.  When you have somebody you’ve broke bread with, just ministered to the Lord with, and just enjoyed life with, and then they turn on you, man.  [Sort of like a divorce, the pain is similar.]  And that is really hard.  And Jesus quotes that Psalm, and says ‘I say this because there’s a guy whose been breaking bread with me, man, we’ve been walking together, you’d be amazed at who it is.  But he’s turning on me, and he’s been against me.’  So he says that.  Well, when he says that, the disciples are perplexed, and we learn in the other Gospels, they actually says “Is it I? Is it I”?, they began to ask Jesus “Is it me?”.  They’re not even sure who it is.  They can’t even guess.  Then the way they would sit at the table, they’d be down on the floor [on cushions], leaning to one side.  John is at that position where he can lean over and just turn to Jesus.  So Peter asked “Hey, John, who is it?”, and John says “Lord, who is it?”.  And Jesus says, as you see in verses 26 and 27, “It’s the guy who I give the piece of bread”, and he dips it as part of the meal, and he gives it to Judas Iscariot.  Evidently at that point, I would think John knows who it is, because Jesus has just said it to him.  But no one else does, because as the moment transpires, nobody quite understands what’s going on, and John doesn’t have an opportunity to say anything.  But we’re told when he takes that piece of bread, Satan just completely enters him, and Jesus says “Go do what you’re going to do, and do it quickly.”  Of course, Jesus is in control of the whole time clock here.  He’s submitted to the Father, but he’s in control.  He lays down his life, that’s for sure.  But the amazing thing, verse 28, is nobody knew it, man.  If fact, there’s a sense that Jesus gives him that piece of bread, and some are thinking it was almost a statement of honor, ‘Go and go give to the poor, here’s some instruction, go do some ministry, love people Judas.’  [It was and is a custom among the Jews to give to the poor during the Holy Days, so that they may have a good Holy Day season as well.]  I mean, people are thinking that maybe there’s more of a statement of honor that Jesus has just done.  They don’t understand for a moment what is going on, they don’t for a moment think Judas could be the type of man that he is, that he’s actually a devil, and that he’s filled with the heart of Satan, and he’s going to betray their Master.  That tells me a ton about the love of Christ.  And I have this as my fourth point:  Love expressed towards all men.  Clearly Jesus loved everybody around him.  And with the life of Judas, I don’t know how you could say anything else but that.  Because the way Jesus was with Judas, later Jesus will even say to Judas “Friend” when he comes to betray him with a kiss, he’ll actually call him “friend.”  Jesus expressed love towards him in such a way that not for a moment anybody thought Judas was against Jesus.  That tells me a lot.  I realize there’s doctrine out there, there’s a doctrine that says that God only loves those that are saved, and he hates sinners.  And it’s true, God hates iniquity and the workers of iniquity, but he loves them, he extends love to everybody.  [God hates sin but loves sinners.]  “For God so loved the world, the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”, and here you see it.  I mean, clearly he didn’t express hatred toward Judas, because nobody clues in for a moment.  Jesus knows what this guy’s all about, but he treats him in such a way that everybody’s sure Judas is a neat guy, and [therefore] Jesus must think he’s a neat guy.  That’s an amazing thing.  So you’re thinking, ‘OK, that’s Judas, but not my neighbor, man.  Not my neighbor, not a chance.  What that guy does, puts that stuff on my property, or he messes with my trees, or whatever, or he plays that music so loud.’  Or maybe you’re thinking ‘Not that guy at work, not that gal at work, not a chance, not a chance.  They’re the exception.  Right?  I know as a Christian I’m supposed to love people, but God knows that person, man, they need to hear a mouthful from me once in a while.  I mean, those thoughts are justified that I have, they are justified.’  Maybe it’s somebody in your family, maybe it’s a relative.  You know, this is a concept the Church, man, the Church needs to really grab onto.  In fact, he will say to the Church “Love one another.”  Man, express love.  And as the Church right now, we are doing things as a Church, that we are conveying to the societies something very different.  And I think we need to be careful, and I tell you this now and then.  Politics, you know, we have this government, we vote and all that [more effective to vote on your knees and stay out of politics, Daniel 4:17.]  But we need to be careful how we communicate the things that we do, because there, maybe you have a concern about people that maybe are liberal in a political stance, maybe there are things that people are doing in our society, and you think it’s dead wrong.  And there are things that I look out there, and I have those same thoughts.  But we should express love.  We should express love.  The truth, the truth, but love [The truth, the truth, but in love.].  Love is key.  I mean, if Jesus expressed himself in a way to Judas that even all thought he was an ordinary disciple, that tells me a lot.  That tells me a lot.  Maybe there are people you don’t like very much, think it’s possible not to appreciate them, but you can still love them.  And we need to be careful, man, in the community.  There might be things going on, and as a church we go ‘That is wrong, that is wicked, that is evil.’  But at the same time, I should be seen as expressing love.  I can state the truth in love, I can express concern in love.  But man, love, love towards all men, for God so loved the world, for God so loved the world.  Well, Judas departs  into the night, and we have the last verses here in this chapter.

 

5. Love to one another

 

Verses 31-38, “So when he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘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.  Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer.  You will seek me, and as I said to the Jews, where I’m going you cannot come, so now I say to you.  A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’  Simon Peter said to him, ‘Lord, where are you going?’  Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me know, but you shall follow me afterwards.’  Peter said to him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow you now?  I will lay down my life for your sake.’  Jesus answered him, ‘Will you lay down your life for my sake?  Most assuredly I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied me three times.”  Well, Judas leaves, and when Judas leaves, Jesus especially now focuses with exhortation and encouragement to the disciples.  And it’s at this time that they actually partake in what we [Christians] call the last supper [this was actually a Passover meal, which turned into the Christian Passover service which was observed for the first 250 to 300 years in the early Judeo-Christian Church, and the Jerusalem Church of God.  This Christian Passover was observed once a year on the 14th Nissan, while it devolved into the Communion service in what became the Roman Catholic Church.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/lamb/lastsix.htm, and http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/index3.htm], Communion, which we’re going to do here in just a moment.  Of course, Judas needs to leave for that to happen, because this last supper, this sacred moment is for the Church, it’s for those who have Christ in their heart.  It’s not some religious thing, it’s a statement of Communion and fellowship with God through his Son Jesus Christ.  But he refers, now the time has come for the Son of man to be glorified, that’s the last time he uses that phrase.  “And God is glorified in him, God will glorify him in himself, and will glorify him immediately” (verses 31-32). But he says ‘I’m about to leave guys, it’s just moments away, you remember I told the Jews ‘Where I’m going you can’t come.  You can’t follow me.’   And it’s true for you, you can’t follow me right now, but you’re going to later.’  And then he says in verse 34, and this is just the command to love, he says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another,  as I  have loved you.”  It’s interesting he says it’s a new commandment.  We go back to Leviticus chapter 19, God says “But you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  So this has been around, I mean, from the start.  Love is what it’s about.   Right?  But when he says ‘new’, he means this is a new way expressed, there’s a freshness to it.  This isn’t an or now, maybe you’ve heard this verse many times, ‘Yeah, we’re supposed to love one another, we’re supposed to love one another’, kind of a warn-out cliché or phrase.  And that’s what he’s saying, ‘This isn’t a warn-out cliché now, this is fresh.  This is a powerful dynamic.  It’s a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another.’  And he adds the point, and this is what makes it fresh for you and I, “That you love one another, as I have loved you.”  ‘What I just did [the footwashing], what I’m about to do, what I’ve done for the last three and a half years, love one another as I have loved you.’  I tell you, that constantly puts a new spin on it for me.  As I see the way the Lord works in my life, and I see the things that he does to me.  I mean, I expect grace, I expect mercy, you know, I even tell him, ‘Lord, I’m just a weak sinner, Lord be gracious with me.’  I expect him to love me, because he’s so good to me.  And he says “the way I’ve loved you, go love others.  It’s a new commandment.”  Same truth, love your neighbor as yourself, but there’s another way to think about it, ‘the way I treat you, all the things that I do for you, in fact, I’m going to the cross for you.  This commandment to love one another, do exactly that.’  “By this all will know that you’re my disciples, if you have love for one another” (verse35).  And I till you, you want to make a big impact in this town, in the neighboring town, the North County as a church, we love each other man, it makes people stop and consider, makes people stop and watch, makes people stop and think.  And they say, ‘You know, those people are good to each other.  Those people love each other.  They’re really kind toward each other.  Yeah, I know they have disagreements, but man, there’s a real forgiving and gentleness and a love expressed.  The Church leader Tertullian he was a Church leader [and lived] from 155AD to 220AD, he quoted the pagans in that time, who said of the Church, “See how they love one another.”  He quoted that in his time.  [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tertullian.]   But the world was saying of the Church that’s a place where people love each other.  [Tertullian was part of the church in Rome, the church that became the Catholic church, which had not yet apostatized at this time.  By 325AD the proto-Catholic church had,  see: http://www.unityinchrist.com/history2/earlychurch3.htm.]  And that’s what Jesus is saying here, love one another man.  ‘It’s a new commandment, you’ve seen what I’ve done.  Go and do the same.’  [And they did.  See http://www.unityinchrist.com/LegacyOfLove.htm.]   Well Peter, Peter’s Peter, right?  And we’ll talk more about Peter.  He says ‘What do you mean we can’t follow you?  I’m going to follow you right to the end.’  And really, he should have taken the words of Jesus seriously here, I think Jesus is saying, ‘Don’t follow me, I’m gonna let you guys go in a little bit.’  In fact, the mob will come to arrest Jesus, and he’ll specifically say “Take me and let them go.”  And it probably would have been wise for Peter to just go, but Peter wants to follow to the end, and he doesn’t know what it means, and then he stumbles.  We’ll talk more about that later.  Let’s close in prayer.  [Transcript of a sermon given on John 13:1-38, given somewhere in New England.]