TEXT: John 13:3-11
3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.
11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.
This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 201.
John Bunyan said, “God will not lightly or easily lose His people. He has provided well for us: blood to wash us in; a Priest to pray for us, that we may be made to persevere; and, in case we fall, an Advocate to plead our cause.”
As Jesus is washing His disciples’ feet, their shock, surprise, and likely embarrassment is captured in the response of Peter. Peter is known as the impetuous one among the disciples. He was always quick to speak and to act even if he did not have all of the facts or understand all that was going on. The Gospels tell us of several instances where he spoke hastily, and Jesus had to correct him or explain things to him in greater detail.
So, while the other disciples are stunned into silence by Jesus going around the table washing their feet, Peter is the one to speak out when Jesus comes to him. His first statement is a question of bewilderment. He asks, “Lord, dost thou wash my feet?” He knows that the teacher-student roles are being reversed here. Jesus is doing something that no one would expect Him to do.
Warren Wiersbe said, “It is remarkable how the Gospel of John reveals the humility of our Lord even while magnifying His deity: ‘The Son can do nothing of Himself.’ ‘For I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will.’ ‘My doctrine is not Mine.’ ‘And I seek not Mine own glory.’ ‘The word which ye hear is not Mine.’ His ultimate expression of humility was His death on the cross. Jesus was the Sovereign, yet He took the place of a servant. He had all things in His hands, yet He picked up a towel. He was Lord and Master, yet He served His followers. It has well been said that humility is not thinking meanly of yourself; it is simply not thinking of yourself at all. True humility grows out of our relationship with the Father. If our desire is to know and do the Father’s will so that we might glorify His name, then we will experience the joy of following Christ’s example and serving others.”
Because he does not expect and does not understand it, Jesus’ response is gentle: “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Jesus does not try to explain it to them here because He knows they won’t understand. He just lets the impression of Himself as Master, Rabbi, and Savior washing their feet sink into the disciples’ hearts and minds. Jesus knows that they will understand it once He has died and risen from the dead and given them the Great Commission to fulfill.
Peter, however, is unwilling to accept this as an explanation. He emphatically declares, “Thou shalt never wash my feet.” You can imagine him beginning to swing his feet out of Jesus’ reach. But Jesus responds by saying, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.” Surely, Peter does not want to be cut off from the Lord, so he changes his response and goes in the entirely opposite direction saying, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” Jesus, again, patiently addresses his misunderstanding: “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”
In this exchange, Jesus is talking about two different types of washing. The word used for “wash” in verse 8 is “nipto” and it means to wash a part of the body, while the word used for “wash” in verse 10 is “lou-o” and it means to be bathed all over, to wash the entire body. Jesus is telling Peter that he has already been washed all over, but that he just needs for his feet to be clean.
What does this mean? Dr. Warren Wiersbe writes: “When the sinner trusts the Saviour, he is ‘bathed all over’ and his sins are washed away and forgiven. As Hebrews 10:17 says, ‘Their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.’ However, as the believer walks in this world, it is easy to become defiled. He does not need to be bathed all over again; he simply needs to have that defilement cleansed away. God promises to cleanse us when we confess our sins to Him.”
Peter had already been washed all over. He was saved. He had made that great profession of belief in Christ when he said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” But that did not mean that Peter was perfect. In just a few hours, he would deny that he even knew Christ. This denial would not change the status of his salvation, but it would dirty his feet. And this dirt, this sin, would get in the way of his relationship with Christ — so much so, that when he saw Jesus again, Jesus had to ask him three times, “Peter, lovest thou me?” “Peter, I know you messed up, but do you still love me?”
The message for those of you who are not saved is that Jesus does not require perfection in your walk with Him. By all means, you should strive for perfection. But don’t let the fear of messing up keep you from coming to Christ. Jesus wants to wash you all over. He wants to cleanse you and make you a child of God. And, if you do mess up after you are saved, if you do get your feet dirty, remember that He will be there to wash you again if you confess your sins and ask for forgiveness.
Elisha Albright Hoffman told of the wonderful redemption of Jesus when he wrote:
Christ has a full redemption made:
What a wonderful Savior!
We are redeemed! the price is paid:
What a wonderful Savior!
He cleanses me from all my sin:
What a wonderful Savior!
And now He reigns and rules within;
What a wonderful Savior!
Why don’t you ask Christ to wash you completely today?
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and I want to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please e-mail me at email@example.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.v