Peter said to HIM
“Never shall YOU wash my feet!”
JESUS answered him
If I do not wash you
You have no part with ME
The reading of John 13:3-17 is the perfect prologue for this BIBLE study.
3 JESUS, knowing that The FATHER had given all things into HIS Hands, and that HE had come forth from GOD and was going back to GOD, 4 got up from supper, and laid aside HIS garments; and taking a towel, HE girded HIMSELF. 5 Then HE poured water into the basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which HE was girded. 6 So HE came to Simon Peter. He said to HIM, “LORD, do YOU wash my feet?” 7 JESUS answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to HIM, “Never shall YOU wash my feet!” JESUS answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with ME.” 9 Simon Peter said to HIM, “LORD, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” 10 JESUS said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For HE knew the one who was betraying HIM; for this reason, HE said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 So when HE had washed their feet, and taken HIS garments and reclined at the table again, HE said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 “You call ME Teacher and LORD; and you are right, for so I am. 14 “If I then, The LORD and The Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 “For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Though these were the final hours before our Precious LORD JESUS CHRIST would be betrayed into the hands of sinners, violently mistreated, and finally crucified on our behalf; HE continued to teach HIS disciples two more lessons before eleven of them would depart with HIM to the garden of Gethsemane. First, our LORD JESUS taught them and us today, that If HE does not wash us, we have no part with HIM (Jhn 13:8). And second, we have all been called to follow HIS example (Jhn 13:15).
What did JESUS mean “If I do not wash you, you have no part with ME”? To fully understand this statement, we must first understand the statement JESUS made in John 13:10, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” HIS disciples who believed in HIM (Jhn 6:67-69, Mat 16:15-17); were cleansed of their sins (Act 10:43, Act 26:18). Judas Iscariot however remained in his sin as pointed out by our Precious LORD JESUS when HE said “but not all of you” for HE knew Judas Iscariot was HIS betrayer (John 13:11). JESUS knew the heart of Judas, and allowed us to see it through his behavior. Judas neither believed in JESUS, nor WHO HE was, as demonstrated by his:
• indignation that costly perfume was used on JESUS (Jhn 12:4-6, Mat 26:7-9)
• willingness to betray JESUS for the price of a slave (Mat 26:14-16, Exd 21:32, Zec 11:12-13)
• having deep remorse for betraying innocent blood (Mat 27:1-6), without acknowledging WHOM’s blood he had betrayed
Also, Judas’s lack of concern for the poor confirmed his hardened heart (Pro 29:7) despite his pretense (Mrk 14:3-10, Luk 22:1-6). He continually stole from the money box (Jhn 12:4-6), even though he dwelt in the presence of our LORD JESUS! Judas’s behavior is highlighted even more when compared to Zacchaeus who turned from stealing as a tax collector, the moment he met our Precious LORD JESUS (Luk 19:1-10).
Even though we were cleansed from sin when we believed in JESUS, as we live in this world, we still need to be washed from sin we periodically fall into. Sin that comes either from our human nature which is prone to sin and oppose GOD (Luk 9:23, Rom 8:13), or sin we succumb to because we live in a fallen world completely permeated by it. Our GOD is faithful, and will wash those sins away when we turn from and confess them (2 Chr 7:14, 1 Jhn 1:7-9). If we choose to remain in any sin, we have no part with HIM. Our GOD is righteous (Deu 32:4, Psa 11:7, 2 Cor 5:21), and HE will have no part in unrighteousness (2 Chr 19:7, 1 Jhn 5:17).
How does one have “no part with JESUS”? They experience no personal relationship with HIM, since there is:
• nothing in common with HIM. As sin has nothing in common with righteousness; light has nothing in common with darkness; CHRIST has nothing in common with Satan; a believer has nothing in common with an unbeliever; nor the temple of GOD has anything in common with idols (2 Cor 6:14-18). Habitual sinners, or those who lead a life of sin, have nothing in common with LORD. Our GOD is light and there is no darkness (no sin) in HIM at all. If you walk in sin you cannot walk with HIM (1 Jhn 1:5-7).
• no shared interests with HIM. You cannot have it both ways; you cannot fellowship with JESUS and fellowship with demons (1 Cor 10:21, Mat 8:28-29); you cannot be a friend of the world* and a friend of GOD (Jam 4:4); you cannot serve two masters (Luk 16:13).
• different beliefs from HIM. You cannot hate discipline and yet listen to GOD (Psa 50:16-21); you cannot live in sin yet be comfortable with holiness (1 Jhn 2:18-19); you cannot believe Satan and yet believe The WORDS of GOD (1 Jhn 4:5-6).
*“world” as used in James 4:4 above, does not mean the physical place men dwell. Instead it means the ungodly multitude; the whole mass of sinful men alienated from GOD; men who are hostile to the cause of CHRIST (John 7:7).
Are there examples of people who have no part with JESUS? Yes, there are several types, those who:
1. are HIS enemies (Rom 8:7-8, Php 3:18-19, 2 Ths 1:8-9)
2. teach GOD’s WORD but do not abide in it (Mat 7:21-23, Rom 2:17-24)
3. hear GOD’s WORD but do not obey it (Eze 33:30-33, Luk 6:46-49)
4. assemble with believers, for social connections only (Luk 13:22-27)
5. believe righteousness can be purchased (Act 8:18-24, 1 Cor 13:3)
6. obey their flesh rather than GOD (Rom 8:5, Gal 5:16-21), satisfying the lusts of their flesh (Eph 5:5, Eph 5:11-13)
We pray, you would carefully study the different types of people above, and take note that many of them believe they have a personal relationship with JESUS. Satan is a deceiver (Rev 12:9), and has deceived many into believing that Church attendance or BIBLE reading makes one right with GOD. Knowing that both trusting in JESUS and obeying GOD’s WORD, brings relationship with HIM (Jhn 14:21, Jhn 14 :23), and righteousness through HIM (Php 3:9).
Why did JESUS wash the disciples feet? HE gave them and us, HIS example to follow (Jhn 13:12-15). A student is not better than their teacher (Jhn 13:16), like HIM we must be willing to, humble ourselves (Jhn 13:14, Php 2:3-4), serve one another (Jhn 13:15-17, Mrk 10:42-45), and love one another (Jhn 13:34-35, Jhn 15:12-13, 1 Jhn 3:14-18)
How does JESUS wash our feet today? When we confess our sins, HE forgives us, and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 Jhn 1:9).
What is our indicator that we have been cleansed by JESUS? We experience a change in our hearts and minds. We no longer desire the things we did before, we live, think, and act differently. HE sanctifies us by faith in HIM (Act 26:18), purifies us by HIS Blood (Heb 13:12), washed us with both HIS Holy SPIRIT (Eph 5:26, Jhn 7:37-39), and HIS WORD (Jhn 17:17-19, Jhn 15:3).