ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

John's Gospel - a new look Number 14: Chapter 13 The lesson in servanthood

Updated on August 15, 2017

John's Gospel . A New Look- number 14: Chapter 13 - A lesson in serving.

As Jesus now turns to his disciples in this his final hour, John tells us that he loves them (agape) as his Father loved them. They are confused by his teaching and by his statements that he is soon to leave them. Satan is working in the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray him. Many conflicting thoughts go through their minds and in Luke's Gospel account we are told that they are arguing about who would be "counted as the greatest" (Luke 22:24). In that gospel is recorded what he says to them, but John describes what Jesus taught them in the powerful example of the washing of their feet.

When people met for a meal in the time of Jesus, a servant would come around and wash their feet as a sign of hospitality and preparation for the meal. The dusty streets were dirty and as people walked bare foot or in their sandal type shoes, their feet would become dirty and sweaty. In this scene no-one was going to perform this task as it would indicate their inferior position in the group. They were prepared to fight for the sceptre of leadership, but not for the towel of service. So Jesus graphically illustrates the lessons of humility and service that he previously taught as recorded in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1- 16 and Luke 6:20-38). In this world where everyone is grabbing for power and possessions, Jesus teaches a very different message; one of service above self, and how powerfully he does that in this simple ceremony. The fishermen's feet that had once strained to bring in the nets from the Lake of Galilee, now dusty and dirty in the streets of Jerusalem. Washed with the soft hands of the teacher who claimed to be the very Son of God, kneeling in front of them wearing the servants towel. What a lesson to be imprinted on their minds and souls.

On a deeper level John is perhaps also illustrating the cleansing of the soul that can only take place by means of the living water that Jesus brings. In their faith and discipleship, the followers at that meal can be assured that God has accepted them and so Jesus declares them clean. But Judas Iscariot has failed the test in his greed and betrayal , and is declared to not be clean.

In contrast to the poor example of his disciples who are fussing about positions of leadership, Jesus illustrated what real Christianity is meant to be and then gives them this great promise "If you know this and do it you will be happy" (John 13:17). If only we can grasp this great truth today.

In this chapter John also records how intensely Jesus felt at this time as he declares that one at the table will betray him. As he carefully points to Judas by sharing some food from the dinner, he does not make a public show of it but allows the betrayer to slip away to do his dastardly deed. And John records "It was night". (vs. 30)

Here again is the contrast between light and darkness graphically illustrated as John records this dramatic moment. We will see it again on the cross and we see it often in human behaviour as it reaches moments of deep darkness. It is only in love that darkness can be driven out as Jesus explains in the new command that he issues at this time: "That you love one another as I have loved you" (vs.34).

Peter, again in this chapter, plays an important role as the one who interacts with Jesus in an enthusiastic if somewhat naïve way and then finally assures a somewhat sceptical Jesus that he is prepared to lay down his life for his leader. John describes the dramatic picture of what Jesus says to Peter about the cock crowing. That sound must have haunted Peter for the rest of his life. Every morning at first light for the rest of his life Peter must have been awakened by that sad sound. Perhaps it is just as well that we today often live in an urban environment and so do not hear the cock crow!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)