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Apr 10 / Chuck Smith, Jr.

April 7, 2019

Luke 22:22-27 and John 13:1-2

Intro: G. C. Morgan was a well-known preacher in the early 20th century

He was one of my dad’s favorites – in his commentary on John, Morgan wrote:
“The key phrase to this section is ‘His own.’ The thirteenth chapter begins, ‘Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them to the end.’ His public ministry completed, our Lord devoted Himself for a brief period of a few hours to the inner circle of his apostles, those who were designated ‘His own’ . . . .”
– we will soon see how true this is
• the crowds were fickle, but these men truly belonged to Jesus

The setting is upper room where they shared their last supper together
– chapters 13 and 14 consist of Jesus’ “Table Talk”
• he engaged his disciples in an evening of interactive teaching
– it began with a surprise–more than surprise, something of a shock
• Jesus washed his disciples’ feet
◦ when he finished, Jesus asked them,
“Do you understand what I have done to you?”
◦ Peter already proved that he did not
What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand
• there is another “not now, but afterward” statement
Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward (v. 36)
◦ this is the advantage of John’s gospel
▫ the Synoptic gospels tell the story in real time–as it happened
▫ John writes from both real-time, but also a “fulfillment time” later on
◦ we’ve been tracking the deeper meaning John perceived in Jesus’ life and teaching

The Synoptic gospels report the Communion words that Jesus spoke

John does not include what Jesus said over the bread and the cup
– Christians had been celebrating Lord’s supper for decades
(cf. 1 Cor. 11:23-26)
• John did not need to report these well known words
• but what he does report was what his experience that evening
◦ he saw more and felt more than the bare words
◦ he felt a fullness in what Jesus was passing on to them
– Luke tells us, after Jesus announced betrayer, first the disciples
began to question…, which of them it could be who was going to do this
• but immediately after that,
a dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest (Lk. 22:23-27)
◦ Jesus outlined the hierarchy (authority structures) of this world
◦ then he explained how hierarchy for them was the exact opposite
Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves
(Matthew and Mark also record this teaching, but occurring at a different time in Jesus’ ministry)
• in John, Jesus gives them a picture of this inverted hierarchy that they would never forget
◦ I don’t think they’d ever forgot the feeling of his touch
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet, For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you (Jn. 13:14-15)

Another instance in which John says more than Synoptic gospels

This comes in chapter 14

Matthew, Mark and Luke have little to say about the ongoing ministry of Holy Spirit in the lives of the apostles
– only Luke says God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him (Lk. 11:13)
• in all three, Jesus tells the disciples they do need to plan their defense, because the Spirit will speak through them
◦ Luke reports Jesus as saying,
for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say (Lk. 12:12)
• John also records Jesus saying the Spirit will teach you
◦ John, however, adds much more!
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you (Jn. 14:26)
◦ John unlocks more regarding their relation to God’s Spirit
◦ he would be “another” Helper
(the Greek word allos means “another of the same kind,” that is, the same kind of helper, encouragement, comforter as Jesus had been to them)
• regarding the Spirit, Jesus tells his disciples,
You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (Jn. 14:17)

John also remembers Jesus comforting them that evening

Let not your hearts be troubled
– to appreciate impact of these words, let’s follow the conversation
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus answered him, “Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterward.” Peter said to him, “Lord, why can I not follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for me? Truly, truly, I say to you. the rooster will not crow till you have denied me three times.
Let not your hearts be troubled . . .” (Jn. 13:36-14:1)
John remembers Jesus encouraging them to trust him
Believe in God; believe also in me (Jn. 14:1)
◦ he was not going away so much as going ahead
◦ their separation would not be forever,
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also (Jn. 14:3)
◦ he was not abandoning them,
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you (Jn. 14:18)
John remembered Jesus promising them his peace
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (Jn. 14:27)
John remembers Jesus reminding them what they know
◦ they know the Father, because they know Jesus (14:7)
◦ they know the Spirit, because he dwells with them (14:17)
◦ they know the way to where he was going (14:3 & 6)
– this statement created a complication for them
• Thomas was right when he said,
Lord, we do not know where you are going (14:5)
◦ Jesus had been rather vague about the “where”
◦ so vague, that he had the crowds making wild guesses
Where does this man intend to go that we will not find him? Does he intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks? (Jn. 7:35)
Will he kill himself, since he says, “Where I am going, you cannot come?” (Jn. 8:22)
• but twice in this conversation he will say,
I am going to the Father (Jn. 14:12 & 28)
◦ they knew the way, because they knew the Father
◦ and they knew the Father, because they knew Jesus

All this John remembered
– and disciples were not the only ones who needed to hear it
• John was telling Jesus’ story for second and third generation Christians
◦ they needed this understanding
◦ they needed to know this kind of experience for themselves
• we need to hear this too!
◦ we need to know that we have not been abandoned
◦ and all that John tells us in these two chapters is made present to us in the bread and the cup of the Lord’s Supper

I believe that John gives us the most intimate portrait of Jesus

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot (Jn. 13:21-26)

When John was leaning back against Jesus, his head was in Jesus’ chest
– that is, the area from neck to waist; where parents holds their child
• the place we go to each other for closeness, for comfort
– also, John identifies himself as a disciple whom Jesus loved
• he is showing us that Jesus is God’s Son
• who loves his followers and desires their love
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another (Jn. 13:35)
If you love me, you will keep my commandments (Jn. 14:15)
There’s no greater intimacy than Jesus describes:
In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you (Jn. 14:20)
Listen for the word “love” in what Jesus says here:
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him” (14:21-23)
– we don’t serve each other because this is what we’re told to do
• or to qualify ourselves as saints
• we serve one another, because we love

Through most of chapter 14, Jesus is soothing his disciples’ fears
– that’s what love does

So John tells us that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet
After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me” (Jn. 13:21)
– how did John know Jesus was troubled in his spirit?
• well, he had said as much earlier (Jn. 12:27)
◦ and he either revealed this later or it was apparent in his body language
• Jesus opened his soul to his disciples, he gave them access to what he felt
– this is how we come to know another person intimately
• they give us access to their deepest feelings
◦ this is how we come to know Jesus, intimately
◦ we hear it from John, because it’s meant for us too
• the flip-side to what Jesus reveals to us,
◦ is revealing ourselves to him
◦ and that is where we run into difficulty

Conclusion: Only John mentions that Judas was the son of Simon Iscariot

He adds this note three times in his gospel and two of those times are here in chapter 13
– and I’m not sure why–unless it’s possibly linked to Simon Peter
(which John uses four times in this same chapter)
• John may have been deliberate in how he referred to Peter
• Peter was a person who struggled with two selves
◦ Simon and Peter were conflicted at times and fused at other times
◦ he could be both well-meaning and wrong-headed at once
– this is easy to illustrate in both instances that he speaks in chapter 13
You shall never wash my feet
I will lay down my life for you
• you see? well-meaning, but wrong-headed

This is the dark side of contemplative prayer
– the self awareness that is sometimes given to us
• I sit in silence, open and receptive to God,
◦ and suddenly this ugly truth about myself rises to the surface
◦ stuff I’ve unconsciously suppressed – the sad truth about myself
– the old self is not so easy to get rid of
• it isn’t like a used shirt we can fold up and give to a thrift store
• it’s wired into our brains
◦ I can piously renounce it, quote scriptures about it being dead
◦ but I have to admit, my old self is me
◦ I am still sometimes Peter, sometimes Simon
– it is in getting to know Jesus that we come to know ourselves

Years after this incredible night with Jesus,
I can imagine the disciples getting together and saying,
“Oh, that’s what he was trying to tell us”

Jesus was a mystery, kept secret for long ages,
waiting to be revealed (Ro. 16:25-27)
I am also a mystery waiting to be revealed–
and so are you
For the creation waits with eager longing
for the revealing of the sons of God (Ro. 8:19)
Beloved, we are God’s children now,
and what we will be has not yet appeared;
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
because we shall see him as he is (1 Jn. 3:2)
Again, that is how it works:
discovering who Jesus is, I discover who I am,
and also the person that he is making me to be

What John makes clear in these chapters
is that Jesus wants us to know a love
that makes us better people

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