The Lord's Passover begins with bickering, dirty disciples. John 13:1

Class Outline:

John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.


The feast of the Passover is the first in the Levitical series. It is described in Exodus 12 and mentioned doctrinally in 1 Corinthians 5:7.


1 Cor 5:7 Clean out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.


It portrays the death of Christ on the cross. With the feast of the Passover Jesus Christ is terminating His public ministry. By nine o’clock the next morning Jesus Christ will be on the cross.


So what we have in chapters 13, 14, 15, 16, and 17 all occurs approximately 16 hours before the crucifixion.


Jesus Christ has stopped all public teaching and focuses His attention on the disciples, which He has been doing for the last two days.


The discourse—called the upper room discourse—begins at this point.


Jesus Christ is going to give two messages on this evening. The first message will be given in the upper room; the second message will be given after they departed from the upper room and went out to Gethsemane.


One is given in a banquet hall on the second floor and the second is given in a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. These two discourses are the prophetical preparation for the Church Age.


The recipients of these two messages are the eleven born-again disciples, and part of it was heard by Judas Iscariot.


Before we enter into the upper room discourse we must first look into the hearts of the disciples.


We know that they walked into the room with dirty feet. They should have washed each other’s feet, but that wasn’t on their minds.


The law required for the participants to recline at the table, leaning on their left arm while keeping the right one free to eat. This was a picture of faith rest. God delivered His people out of Egypt and Christ is going to deliver His people out of the world.


But how can you rest with filthy feet at the same level of the table? How can you rest while you smell the filth of the world on your feet? How can you rest while someone else’s dirty, filthy feet are next to you? You can’t.


The filth on their feet represents the world, not the material world, but the kosmos, the system in the world that is ruled by Satan. Because of our contact with it we will have sin in our lives and that sin must be washed away.


Now because a disciple should have washed the feet of another disciple doesn’t in any way indicated that a disciple can remove the sin of another, or that we should be confessing sins to one another.


The truer picture is that as a disciple, when I am in the presence of my brother and he is in sin or infected by the world, in humility I do not judge him or put him down. I do not look at the speck in his eye while there is a log in my own. In humility I comfort my brother with the same comfort that I have received from my Father.


And therefore the Lord must first wash their feet before any eating can begin and any relaxation and rest can begin.


Sometime during the supper, when the Lord indicated that one of them would betray Him, the 12 discussed among themselves as to who this might be and then the discussion turned from who’s the scoundrel to who’s the greatest.


Luke 22:24 And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest.


The Jews sat at the table in a particular order that defined their rank. Most likely the disciples have fallen into this same mindset that is antagonistic towards God’s mindset.


Since we know that Judas dipped the morsel into the bowl at the same time as our Lord we can confidently infer that Judas took the seat of highest rank, next to the master. We also see that Jesus dipped the morsel and gave it to Judas. This was in honor of the man who had the highest seat or highest rank at the table, and it was also an offer of friendship - Jesus’ last appeal to Judas. And it is most likely that he sat on the pillows above Christ as Satan filled his heart to betray Jesus and so satan himself might claim this empty and momentary victory. Little does satan know of the power of God and his disciples know even less.


John would have been on his right, but to the right is not the chief seat though it was a place of honor. John, the beloved disciple became a source of jealousy for Peter, to whom the Lord said, you should have taken the lowest seat and wait for promotion. Peter would in fact apply that later on, much later on.


The synoptic Gospels record the supper’s transformation into what we call today the Lord’s supper and the betrayal of Judas as well as the competition of the disciples. But we have John’s Gospel to thank for showing us what happened as the disciples took their places at the table and the sublime message that the Lord gave to them.


Hindered by arrogance and competitive lusts the disciples miss much of what is taught, just like we all do when we’re in Bible class and we are arrogantly thinking of ourselves or our problems with people, but fortunately for them, the Helper, God the Holy Spirit, will bring to their remembrance all that He said so that their ministry can begin with the truth of the Church-age.


John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.