The Full Extent Of His Love

Saturday, June 01, 2013, 6:57 a.m. – When I woke this morning, the Lord Jesus put the song “My Jesus, My Savior” in my mind. Speak, Lord, your words to my heart.

My Jesus, My Savior / Darlene Zschech

My Jesus, My Saviour,
Lord there is no one like you,
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love…

I read John 13:1-17 (NIV) for my quiet time with the Lord Jesus:

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

A Foot Washing

A few years ago I participated in a foot washing while I was on a mission trip with my husband’s company with whom he is employed. I do not like to touch other people’s feet, but I was willing, so I first of all observed other people doing the washing of feet. I observed how they communicated with the people what they were doing and why they were doing it, and how they presented the gospel of Jesus Christ. And, then I prayed and asked the Lord Jesus to give me a scripture verse to use with the foot washing in order to present the gospel of Jesus Christ, and he gave me 2 Co. 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come” (or he is a new creature): “The old has gone, the new is here!”

When we washed the people’s feet, we first of all removed their old shoes and socks, then we washed their feet, and then we put new socks and new shoes on their feet. So, through this exercise of the foot washing, the Lord Jesus gave me a picture of our salvation. Jesus, by his Spirit, removes our old lives of sin, then he cleanses us of sin, and then he gives us new lives in Jesus Christ (see Eph. 4:17-24). This is the working of the Holy Spirit, i.e. it is by grace we are saved, through faith, and this is not of our own works, lest we should boast that we gained our own salvation through our own good works (see Eph. 2:8-9). Yet, we are full participants in this process. In other words, the people whose feet we washed had to show up, and they had to be willing to give us their feet, to remove their old socks and shoes, to wash their feet, and to put new socks and shoes on their feet, and then to walk in their new shoes. And, that is the way it works with salvation, too (see Luke 9:23-25).

When we come to Jesus Christ by faith, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit of God in removing (putting away) our old lives of sin, in transforming us in heart and mind (a metamorphosis), and in putting on our new lives in Christ Jesus, “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (see Eph. 4:17-24). And, then we walk in our new lives in the power and working of the Holy Spirit within us who has cleansed us from sin, and who has given us new lives in Christ Jesus. We willing die to our old lives of living for sin and self, and we follow our Lord Jesus Christ in obedience wherever he leads us (Luke 9:23-25).

To The End

“Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.” The NIV ’84 reads, “He now showed them the full extent of his love.” Though literally the first translation is more accurate, the other is certainly complimentary, because the fact that he showed his love to the death is the same, in essence, as showing them the full extent of his love, which was to go to the cross and to die, not only dying a physical and painful death, but in taking upon himself the sins of the entire world. Oh, what agony that must have been for him.

His imminent death was on his mind. He knew Judas was going to betray him and hand him over to the authorities to the death. If you knew you were about to die, and that there was not much time left, how would you want to spend your final hours on this earth with those you love? What would you want to pass on to them that is of critical importance that you want them to learn for their own lives for after you are gone? What would you do or say to prepare them for what lies ahead?

Unless I Wash You

Jesus, although he was God, and all things were under his power, and he knew was returning to God, humbled himself and took on the role of a servant, and he washed his disciples’ feet. Peter objected, but the Lord told him that unless he washed him, he had no part with Jesus. This is critically important here. Jesus was not speaking literally of washing Peter’s feet so much as he was speaking metaphorically of a spiritual cleansing, i.e. of a daily dying to sin and self. Why do I think that? Peter responded to the Lord Jesus by telling the Lord that he could, then, wash his head and hands, too, to which Jesus replied by saying that if you have had a bath, your whole body is clean, so only your feet need washed. And, then he told Peter that he was clean, but that not everyone was. He was speaking of Judas, who was going to betray him.

So, what did Jesus mean by that? I believe Jesus was saying that Peter, and perhaps the other disciples, too (excluding Judas), were spiritually clean through their faith in Jesus Christ, so they didn’t need to believe again, but they did need to have their daily walks cleansed, i.e. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny himself and take up his cross DAILY and follow Christ (Luke 9:23-25). We learn in 1 John 1 that if we walk in the light (Jesus/his word/truth), as he (God/Christ) is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his (God’s) Son, purifies us from all sin. The Bible says we are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. The Christian life is a process and a daily walk, and every day we must choose to not sin and to obey Jesus. If we do not allow Jesus/The Holy Spirit to purify us from all sin, then we have no part with Jesus. This does not mean we will live in absolute perfection, but it does mean that this is our understanding of what it means to believe in Jesus, and this is our plan for daily living.

An Example

After Jesus finished washing the disciples’ feet, he asked them if they understood what he had just done for them. For one, he had given them an awesome picture of love, humility, and servanthood. Yet, what he demonstrated was so much more, for he demonstrated the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This humble act symbolized the cleansing that was to come when he humbled himself and willingly died on the cross for our sins and rose again, conquering death, hell, Satan and sin so we could go free from slavery to sin and free from eternal punishment in hell. Yet, the fact that he told Peter and the other disciples that if their bodies were clean they didn’t need a bath, but just their feet needed washed, symbolizes, to me, that daily walk with him, i.e. that daily dying to self and sin and putting on Christ and his armor with which to fight off Satan’s attacks, so we may live for Christ, and with which to go forth with the gospel of Jesus Christ in telling others how they, too, can be saved.

Follow Him / An Original Work / February 21, 2013

Based off Luke 9:22-25

Jesus, Son of God,
Died for us on a cross.

Anyone who would come to Him
Must deny himself and follow.
He must take up his cross daily;
Die to sin and self each day.

Father, God above,
Loved us so: gave His Son.

If you want to save your old life;
Keep on sinning, follow your ways,
You will lose your life forever;
Hope of heaven gone away.

Spirit of our God
Gives us life in God’s Son.

Nonetheless, if you die to self;
Forsake your sin; follow Jesus,
You will live with God in heaven,
And forever praise His name!