HOPE CHAPEL - Sunday, February 13, 202
Youtube link... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMTogw1STn4
Teaching Series - “Doing Life with Jesus"
Weekly Topic - “Rejection, Betrayal, Denial & Abandonment”
Texts – John 13:1-38, 16:28-32; John 17; John 15:18-16:4
Life is filled with rejection and Jesus was not immune to it…in fact, he probably faced more than most! Today, we’re going to examine an eight-hour period of Jesus’ life—starting with his final meal with the disciples to just prior to his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is clear that Jesus was fully aware of everything that was about to take place and how each of twelve would respond. He knew all about their coming rejection, betrayal, denials and abandonment…yet loved them to the very end.
“REJECTION, BETRAYAL, DENIAL, ABANDONMENT”
John 13 – “Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. 2 It was time for supper, and the devil had already prompted Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, 5 and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will.” 8 “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!”
What was Peter’s issue? Foot washing was a regular practice and a common courtesy, which had somehow been neglected in preparation for this final meal. It was common for a bowl of water to be provided, especially before guests sat down to eat around low tables to dine together, where everyone would be exposed to the condition of one another’s feet.
If the foot washing was an assigned duty, it was typically done by a slave, though there is evidence that a Jewish servant was not to be required to perform it. It was therefore, left to the lowest slave to do, most often a female. In households, however, it was often performed by the wife for her husband, due to its intimate nature, and a host might perform it for a highly regarded guest as a sign of honour. Students could also be expected to perform foot washing for their teacher. But the master wash the feet of his servants and/or students? Never! Until Jesus that is….
While the disciples sit around arguing about who will get the most prestigious positions in the coming kingdom, Jesus does the unthinkable. He takes off his outer clothes, dons a towel, then proceeds to wash each of their feet. This would have been humiliating for the disciples on a couple of accounts—both having their teacher wash their feet and having neglected to show the proper respect by not having washed his.
Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.”
9 Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet!”
10 Jesus replied, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For Jesus knew who would betray him. That is what he meant when he said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. 14 And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. 16 I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. 17 Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”
What was the bottom-line message Jesus was trying to shock into their realities? Doing life with Jesus isn’t about being served, but about serving others. This action on Jesus’ part was meant to set an example…the Master had performed a most humiliating task on their behalf…none of them was to consider themselves too good to do likewise.
Notice, too, that Jesus didn’t leave anyone out of this act of service—not even the one he knew was going to betray him! What does this mean for us as Jesus’ disciples today? Our love and care of others should be extended equally to all.
18 “I am not saying these things to all of you; I know the ones I have chosen. But this fulfills the Scripture that says, ‘The one who eats my food has turned against me.’ 19 I tell you this beforehand, so that when it happens you will believe that I am the Messiah. 20 I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”
21 Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!” 22 The disciples looked at each other, wondering whom he could mean. 23 The disciple Jesus loved was sitting next to Jesus at the table. 24 Simon Peter motioned to him to ask, “Who’s he talking about?” 25 So that disciple leaned over to Jesus and asked, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus responded, “It is the one to whom I give the bread I dip in the bowl.” And when he had dipped it, he gave it to Judas, son of Simon Iscariot. 27 When Judas had eaten the bread, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus told him, “Hurry and do what you’re going to do.” 28 None of the others at the table knew what Jesus meant. 29 Since Judas was their treasurer, some thought Jesus was telling him to go and pay for the food or to give some money to the poor. 30 So Judas left at once, going out into the night.
Jesus was not emotionally impervious to what was about to happen…nor was he unaware by whose hands the coming events would be facilitated. How did he appear to the disciples? He was troubled; however, I do not believe it was just Judas’ coming betrayal that had him disturbed.
31 As soon as Judas left the room, Jesus said, “The time has come for the Son of Man to enter into his glory, and God will be glorified because of him. 32 And since God receives glory because of the Son, he will give his own glory to the Son, and he will do so at once. 33 Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. 34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
What did Jesus say is the proof that we are his followers? As he looked around the room, he saw a lack of love for one another in evidence. Instead of supporting one another, they saw themselves as competing for his favour and prestige. What does love for each other look like? Do Christians today possess that kind of love for one another? What does the world see?
36 Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?”
And Jesus replied, “You can’t go with me now, but you will follow me later.”
37 “But why can’t I come now, Lord?” he asked. “I’m ready to die for you.”
38 Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.
Jesus was troubled not simply by the continued lack of understanding that the twelve had concerning his mission and Judas’ betrayal. What does he tell Peter? By this point, Peter has become one of the leading members of the disciples, the first to acknowledge Jesus as Messiah, one of his inner circle with James and John. Peter is certain that he is ready to die for Jesus, but Jesus matter-of-factly states that Peter will not even admit to knowing him, three times no less, before morning.
But it will not be just Peter…
John 16:28-32 – “Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and now I will leave the world and return to the Father.” 29 Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not figuratively. 30 Now we understand that you know everything, and there’s no need to question you. From this we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus asked, “Do you finally believe? 32 But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. “
Yes, Peter will deny Jesus in his attempt to remain safe while still being present, but what does Jesus say of all of them? They will all abandon him…and very soon. We shouldn’t judge these men harshly. Jesus didn’t. He knew what was coming and was simply warning each of how they would respond. Staying with Jesus would have most certainly meant their imprisonment and brutalizing, if not the religious leaders’ attempting to have them all join Jesus on crosses of their own. Jesus knew it wasn’t their time…but they didn’t. Rather than condemning them, he simply offers his knowing reality check…and then prays specifically for them and for all who would follow as his disciples.
“JESUS PRAYS FOR HIS DISCIPLES”
John 17– “After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.
6 “I have revealed you to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.
9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name; now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me. I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.
13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.
Before Jesus died, he didn’t just pray for the twelve, he prayed for all his disciples—all of whom he knew would come to believe in him and become his disciple. That includes each and everyone of us. His prayer is for all who would choose to follow him as their Master and Teacher. What does it say to you that Jesus not only knew you, he also prayed for you? What did he pray?
He prayed that God would protect us from the evil one for as long as we live on this planet.
He prayed that God would make us holy—teaching us his truth.
He prayed that we would be unified—together with one another and with God himself—as further proof of God having sent Jesus into the world.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!
25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”
We are to be the very embodiment of the love of God. Not just telling people about God, but showing others what he is like by literally becoming mirror images of the character of God—filled with love, compassion, grace, forgiveness, humility and generosity. How are we as the Church doing? How does the world see us? We have work to do! Too often we reflect the angry, demanding, selfish world we live in, rather than standing out…and we are called to stand out and be different!
Jesus has forewarned us that the life of a disciple wouldn’t be easy.
“JESUS HAS FOREWARNED US”
John 15:18-16:4 – “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
26 “But I will send you the Advocate—the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. 27 And you must also testify about me because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry.
16 “I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. 2 For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. 3 This is because they have never known the Father or me. 4 Yes, I’m telling you these things now, so that when they happen, you will remember my warning. I didn’t tell you earlier because I was going to be with you for a while longer.”
Something to consider. Loving others does not mean you won’t face rejection, betrayal, denials and abandonment. Jesus loved the twelve right to the very end, doing all he could to tangibly show them the example they were to follow. As he bent over the feet of Judas, Jesus’ love remained unwavering…and Judas’ determination to betray him, unchanged. Jesus insisted on washing Peter’s feet despite his resistance, knowing that Peter was going to need this teachable moment as he took on the leadership of the new Church after Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus washed all their feet, recognizing that they still didn’t fully comprehend the nature of his mission, but also knowing that this too would someday make sense to them and the full meaning of what he was doing would be revealed to them.
Love is not something to be withheld until it is earned. We are to love. Period. Just as Jesus did. Sacrificially. Desiring the best for another. Demanding nothing in return. WOW! Can we really do that? Love the way that Jesus did, all the while knowing what was about to take place? Only with God’s help.
References and for further study / inspiration…
“What’s the Deal with Foot Washing” Mike Cosper - https://www.crossway.org/articles/whats-the-deal-with-footwashing/
Sunday, February 20, 2022 – 2022 Theme - “Doing Life with Jesus – Counterculture” – In-person and Online
Pastor Jane Peck, Hope Chapel
(Collingwood EMCC Church)
"Learning and Living the Way of Jesus!"
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!