John 13* Christ washes the disciples' feet. (1-17) The treachery ofJudas foretold. (18-30) Christ commands the disciples to loveone another. (31-38)1-17 Our Lord Jesus has a people in the world that are his own;he has purchased them, and paid dear for them, and he has setthem apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as apeculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end.Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. Weknow not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to doin constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. Whatway of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. Butsome sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so littletemptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it isplain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples'feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, whereinwe may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. Wemust address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thingthat would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed hisdisciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value ofspiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from thepollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which evenhis own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, butthey shall know afterward. We see in the end what was thekindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is nothumility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, asif too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. Allthose, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ,have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, hejustifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to bewashed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace ofthe Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his handsand head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to besanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its partsand powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when hereceives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be thedaily care of those who through grace are in a justified state,and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves fromdaily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. Thisshould make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, weshould be strengthened against this day's temptation. And whenhypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause ofstumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Dutiesare mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, andafford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, wecannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the samelove which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples whenenemies, still influences him. 18-30 Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings anddeath, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered whenhe spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief ofChrist. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. Theprophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God'smercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, whoonly looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away theirauthority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, whoprofesses to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himselfby them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for athing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence,after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judaswent out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whosedeeds are evil, love darkness rather than light. 31-35 Christ had been glorified in many miracles he wrought,yet he speaks of his being glorified now in his sufferings, asif that were more than all his other glories in his humbledstate. Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to Godby the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenlyhappiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow himhereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work.Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a newcommandment. They were to love each other for Christ's sake, andaccording to his example, seeking what might benefit others, andpromoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by onesoul. But this commandment still appears new to many professors.Men in general notice any of Christ's words rather than these.By this it appears, that if the followers of Christ do not showlove one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity. 36-38 What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peteroverlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept themignorant. It is common to be more eager to know about secretthings, which belong to God only, than about things revealed,which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to haveour curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to knowwhat is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. Howsoon discourse as to what is plain and edifying is dropped,while a doubtful dispute runs on into endless strife of words!We are apt to take it amiss to be told we cannot do this and theother, whereas, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knowsus better than we know ourselves, and has many ways ofdiscovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hidepride from them. May we endeavour to keep the unity of theSpirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pureheart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.
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