In John 13:3-17, Jesus employs a loaded sequence of multi-message communication. This could be a dangerous, and at best, difficult style for us to pattern and try to use effectively. But from the lips of Jesus, with all the time at our disposal to meditate, his discourse with His disciples is choc-full of applicable goodies. Let’s try to spot some of them.
- Jesus was aware of his authority and power. It was this awareness that motivated and empowered him to perform one of the lowliest of tasks. Are we aware of our authority and power? (John 13:3-4)
- For a fisherman, Peter does well when he tells Jesus not to even think of washing his feet, by asking Him, “Lord are you going to wash my feet?” (John 13:6). He then confirms this in John 13:8.
- Jesus transcends the literal to the spiritually figurative by removing the word “feet” and placing the emphasis on “wash”. John 13:8).
- Understandably, Peter misses the transition and still thinks of the literal washing of his feet. (John 13:9).
- Jesus replies to Peter at the higher of the two levels of messaging, as He defines, and then illustrates what it means to be “clean”. To reinforce the positive meaning, Jesus refers to one who is “unclean” (John 13:10).
- Finally Jesus returns to the literal act of feet-washing, but points out the relevance of its symbolic value. (John 13:12-16)
- He closes with a charge, encompassing all He just taught, literally, figuratively and symbolically. This charge is as relevant to us today, as it was to His disciples. “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17)Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org