Address on John 13-14

John 13‑14  •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
What a blessed thing to be one of the Lord's very own! How we are valued by Him! Firstly, “Thine they were and Thou gavest them Me.” How can we measure the preciousness of such a gift? Secondly, redeemed with His precious blood—His own that way. And thirdly, His own as sealed by the Spirit! How blessed to think of ourselves as His own in this threefold way! And it is very blessed too to think of His love which never gives up its object.
Not “supper being ended,” but “supper being come,” or “during supper” (Ver. 2). The thought of betraying the Lord had already been instilled into Judas' heart, but Satan had not yet taken possession of him What a contrast between Peter's love at the beginning, and his love at the end of this chapter! Poor, impetuous Peter!
What a break-down must ensue when pressure is brought to bear, if we are trusting to our own love! But there was all the difference between Peter and Judas. The latter was an apostle and a disciple, but he was not born again. Peter, on the contrary, was truly born of God, besides being an apostle; and as he had, so have we, a nature with the character of righteousness and true holiness.
What a wonderful display of grace we get in vers. 3, 4. This action of the Lord was typical; they did not understand it then, but He intimated they would know hereafter, not when they got to heaven, but when the Spirit of truth came who should guide into all the truth. To most of us it brings Philippians 2 to mind. For the Lord Jesus never gave up His Godhead, but He did lay aside His glory He unrobed Himself. Is it not the Servant we see here? And does not love delight to serve? It does, and He makes it manifest.
Vers. 5-8: The Lord was here, and in His marvelous grace had part with the disciples; but now He was going to be the absent one, and He wanted them to have part with Him; and (as often with us also) Peter's mistakes are used to bring out truth. Vers. 9: I understand three words are translated “washing"; one having reference to inanimate things, nets, robes, etc.; another, to bathing of the whole person; and the third, to washing a part of the body, such as the hands or the feet. The first word here is “bathed.” This is the action of the word by the Spirit of God in cleansing us from sin's defilement. “Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” This is not expiation, which is by blood, but purification; and, thank God, we are clean, every whit, through the operation of His precious word when we were born again. But walking through this world our feet are exposed to defilement. Our blessed Lord, on the contrary, was “the undefiled One in the way.” Also, we are often defiled in our walk, and we need the service of that blessed One, “Who loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it by the washing of water by the word; and that He might present it to Himself a glorious church without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” There we have His love, past, present, and future. Meanwhile, He desires that we have part with Him, and this is communion, to be enjoyed day by day. What interrupts communion is defilement contracted down here. The Lord's service as Priest is to hinder our sinning; but His advocacy is for us should we have sinned. We need Him as both, and we need to have our feet cleansed constantly. Only One can do it, and He does it in His own wonderful love.
Verse 11: Then He refers to His own example, and shows that we should wash one another's feet.
I was thinking of the continuity of the Lord's service—until we are in a scene where the place of the laver is taken by the sea of glass—consolidated purity.
Chap. 14:1-2: “I would have told you,” that is, He would have corrected any false hopes. Verse 3: We cannot measure the comfort of these words to the saints. But that is not all the comfort. We have been reminded of the presence of the Holy Ghost. Let us dwell on vers. 15, 16. Whilst here the Lord Himself was their Comforter or Paraclete. And He had kept them. Now He was about to leave them, and would send them another Comforter—the Holy Ghost. The world would not receive the Lord when here; they cannot receive the Spirit, for He was never presented as an object. He is here not to speak from Himself as a source, but to testify of the Lord Jesus. “Ye know Him, for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” That is, I take it, the contrast between both Comforters—the Lord was only here for a little while; the Spirit abides till we are conducted to the glory.
Verses 19, 20: “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me; because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.” We should not have had this if the Holy Ghost was not here. We are in that blessed One up there: “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit.” Before the world it is “I in you"; and that is the secret of our being able to say in any little way, “for me to live is Christ.”