Fragments Gathered Up: John 13

John 13  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 8
John 13—scripture calls God light, and it calls Him love. He is not holiness, for that is relative; he is not righteousness, though he be holy and righteous. To be holy there must be a knowledge of good and evil; and so of righteousness. Evil cannot be in their God; but perfect purity, and that which manifests all, He is, and the perfect activity of goodness (that is, love); and so scripture speaks. And this makes the cross so glorious as the way: God meets sin there. O what a wondrous meeting in perfect love, yet in perfect righteousness and holiness; yea, exalting them by it. Hence he says, “now is the Son of man glorified [for it was glorious for a man to do it], and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him” —shall not wait for the outward display in the coming kingdom, but shall glorify Him in Himself, who was glorified is Him. This is man's place in hope and spiritual nature and affections now—hence not of the world, as Christ (who came from heaven, and as a divine person was in heaven) was not of the world. This nature may display itself in a thousand exercises and relationships here, as it did in Christ—in us mixed with failures, alas! for which there is provision in him—but the proper association of our nature and standing as Christians is with him in heaven. Hence Jesus, knowing that the father had given all things into his hand, and that he came from God and went to God, in presence of all he was, and was going to, and in presence of treachery and failure, takes the place of a servant to wash his disciples' feet that they might have a part with him. He could not stay with them in this polluted earth. Hence, too, when peter would have other than his feet washed—his need through defilement from daily walk, the Lord says, “he that is washed (i.e., really partaker of this divine nature, for they were, save Judas, clean through the word spoken) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.” what a picture of grace! What a witness of our portion as part with him! And while giving the assurance that the truth of the divine nature is there (for here he speaks of water, not of blood), how it gives us morally elevating confidence in intercourse with God, and yet allows not the smallest daily stain! Yet grace is learned in it. If this lovely and elevated picture of the Lord's grace is closely examined, it will be seen that it comes after his earthly claims are witnessed and closed. As son of God, he raises Lazarus. As son of David, he rides into Jerusalem. When the Greeks come up, he says, “the hour is come that the son of man should be glorified,” but then adds that he must fall into the ground as a corn of wheat and die. In chapter 13 He shows how we have part with him when he could not with us. But note this well: if we are to be really elevated, it is taking us in spirit out of this world. He gave himself for our sins, to deliver us from this present world