John 13

* Christ washes the disciples' feet. (1-17) The treachery of

Judas foretold. (18-30) Christ commands the disciples to love

one 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 set

them apart for himself; they devote themselves to him as a

peculiar people. Those whom Christ loves, he loves to the end.

Nothing can separate a true believer from the love of Christ. We

know not when our hour will come, therefore what we have to do

in constant preparation for it, ought never to be undone. What

way of access the devil has to men's hearts we cannot tell. But

some sins are so exceedingly sinful, and there is so little

temptation to them from the world and the flesh, that it is

plain they are directly from Satan. Jesus washed his disciples'

feet, that he might teach us to think nothing below us, wherein

we may promote God's glory, and the good of our brethren. We

must address ourselves to duty, and must lay aside every thing

that would hinder us in what we have to do. Christ washed his

disciples' feet, that he might signify to them the value of

spiritual washing, and the cleansing of the soul from the

pollutions of sin. Our Lord Jesus does many things of which even

his own disciples do not for the present know the meaning, but

they shall know afterward. We see in the end what was the

kindness from events which seemed most cross. And it is not

humility, but unbelief, to put away the offers of the gospel, as

if too rich to be made to us, or too good news to be true. All

those, and those only, who are spiritually washed by Christ,

have a part in Christ. All whom Christ owns and saves, he

justifies and sanctifies. Peter more than submits; he begs to be

washed by Christ. How earnest he is for the purifying grace of

the Lord Jesus, and the full effect of it, even upon his hands

and head! Those who truly desire to be sanctified, desire to be

sanctified throughout, to have the whole man, with all its parts

and powers, made pure. The true believer is thus washed when he

receives Christ for his salvation. See then what ought to be the

daily care of those who through grace are in a justified state,

and that is, to wash their feet; to cleanse themselves from

daily guilt, and to watch against everything defiling. This

should make us the more cautious. From yesterday's pardon, we

should be strengthened against this day's temptation. And when

hypocrites are discovered, it should be no surprise or cause of

stumbling to us. Observe the lesson Christ here taught. Duties

are mutual; we must both accept help from our brethren, and

afford help to our brethren. When we see our Master serving, we

cannot but see how ill it becomes us to domineer. And the same

love which led Christ to ransom and reconcile his disciples when

enemies, still influences him.
18-30 Our Lord had often spoken of his own sufferings and

death, without such trouble of spirit as he now discovered when

he spake of Judas. The sins of Christians are the grief of

Christ. We are not to confine our attention to Judas. The

prophecy of his treachery may apply to all who partake of God's

mercies, and meet them with ingratitude. See the infidel, who

only looks at the Scriptures with a desire to do away their

authority and destroy their influence; the hypocrite, who

professes to believe the Scriptures, but will not govern himself

by them; and the apostate, who turns aside from Christ for a

thing of naught. Thus mankind, supported by God's providence,

after eating bread with Him, lift up the heel against Him! Judas

went out as one weary of Jesus and his apostles. Those whose

deeds 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, as

if that were more than all his other glories in his humbled

state. Satisfaction was thereby made for the wrong done to God

by the sin of man. We cannot now follow our Lord to his heavenly

happiness, but if we truly believe in him, we shall follow him

hereafter; meanwhile we must wait his time, and do his work.

Before Christ left the disciples, he would give them a new

commandment. They were to love each other for Christ's sake, and

according to his example, seeking what might benefit others, and

promoting the cause of the gospel, as one body, animated by one

soul. 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 show

love one to another, they give cause to suspect their sincerity.
36-38 What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter

overlooked, but spoke of that about which Christ kept them

ignorant. It is common to be more eager to know about secret

things, which belong to God only, than about things revealed,

which belong to us and our children; to be more desirous to have

our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know

what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get thither. How

soon 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 the

other, whereas, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knows

us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of

discovering those to themselves, whom he loves, and he will hide

pride from them. May we endeavour to keep the unity of the

Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure

heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.

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