John 15:7-11 – The Best Perk of All Time



If the Hebrew believers to whom the Lord ministered (Mt. 15:24) would abide in Him they wouldn’t burn in hell (John 15:6), they’d get eternal life in the kingdom.  Eternal life is a pretty good “base salary,” but the Lord added the best “perk” of all time when He promised that whatever they asked would be done for them in the kingdom (15:7).

But those that don’t know that the Lord was describing the heaven on earth that the kingdom will be for the Jews think this is a prayer promise for us.  But we wouldn’t qualify for this promise since His word doesn’t abide in us (15:7) as it will in the kingdom, as per the terms of the New Covenant (Heb. 10:16).  Only then can God trust them with a promise to do whatever they ask (Ps. 37:4; Isa. 58:9-11).

We know that the saints at Pentecost received a taste of this because of what John wrote to them (I Jo. 3:22).  Since the Lord will also get whatever He asks in the kingdom, He is offering them everything that He Himself will have, and no king does this (Esther 5:2, 3; Mark 6:22, 23).

And the Lord makes us the same offer (Rom. 8:16, 17).  “Joint-heirs” means we are equal heirs with Christ.  The Greek word for “joint-heirs” is translated “fellowheirs” (Eph. 3:6).  We are equal heirs with the Jews in the Body of Christ, and equal heirs with Christ in eternity to come.  That means whatever He gets we will get equally!

Why would God offer us such an amazing perk?  What will He get out of giving believers whatever they ask for in eternity?  He get’s glory (John 14:13).  How so?   It glorifies God that He can give whatever men ask and not miss it, just as it would have glorified Warren Buffet that he could have given away a billion dollars to any who came up with a perfect bracket for March Madness.

The Father was also glorified when the believers brought forth “fruit” like good works and good virtues (II Pe. 1:5-8).  But He was only glorified if men knew that these believers belonged to Him.  Remember, the Lord’s been talking about the vine tree and the branches (15:1-5).  A fruit tree gets the glory when the branches bear fruit because it’s obvious the branches are connected to the tree.  When Peter did the good work of healing the lame man, he made sure people knew he was connected to the Lord and His Father (Acts 3:12-16).  If you want God to be glorified by your good works, you too will have to make sure people know you are connected to God by telling them so (cf. Mt. 5:16).

When the Lord finished Verse 8 by saying that unless they bore fruit for Him they couldn’t be His disciples, verses like this have led to the doctrine of Lordship Salvation.  This doctrine says that if a person doesn’t bear fruit for God he can’t be saved.  This is Scripturally correct, but it is not dispensationally correct.  The Corinthians bore no fruit but they were still saved (I Cor. 6:11).

How does one continue in the Lord’s love (John 15:9)? The answer to this differs dispensationally. We don’t have to do anything (Rom. 8:35-39), but these saints had to do some-thing.  The Lord gives a clue as to what that was when He compares His love for them to His Father’s love for Him.  The Father loved Him because He never sinned (Jo.8:29), and that’s the only way they could continue in His love.

The Greek word for “continue” (v. 9) is the same as “abide” (v. 10).  To continue to abide in His love, they had to keep His commandments (v. 10) perfectly (James 2:10), just as He had kept them perfectly and continued to abide in His Father’s love.  Of course, if you thought John 15:10 was written to you, you’d doubt your salvation on this basis.

When you talk about keeping God’s commandments the world thinks you are trying to rob them of joy, but the Lord explained that He was telling them these things that the joy He had in fulfilling His Father’s commandments might remain in them (John 15:11).  Their joy would be “full,” of course, because in keeping His commandments they knew they were saved (I Jo. 2:3).  But is that how you know you’re saved, by keeping His commandments perfectly?  No, you can’t, but your apostle says your joy can be full “in believing” (Romans 15:13) that Christ died for you.

Memorial Service for Pastor Paul M. Sadler


John 15:1-2 – The Vine and the Branches



The “vine” (15:1) is “the vine tree” (Num.6:4), a type of Israel. Several trees typified Israel in various capacities. The fig tree, for instance, was a symbol of religious Israel. Adam used fig leaves to try to cover his sin, and that’s what religion is, man’s attempt to cover his sin. The only religion that God ever gave was Judaism, and it covered Israel’s sins until Christ came to pay for them. The vine tree, however, is a symbol of national Israel, for God brought the vine of the entire nation out of Egypt (Ps.80:8), not just the believers.

So what did the Lord mean in saying He was “the true vine”? Well, He was called “the true light” (John 1:9) not in contrast to a false light, but as the antitype of Israel, who God expected to be a light to the Gentiles (Isa.49:3-6). He was saying that He as the true light would succeed as a light where Israel failed. So “the true vine” means He would succeed as a nation where Israel failed. What does that mean?

Well, God called Israel to be “an holy nation” (Ex.19:6). They failed in this (Isaiah 5:1,2; Jer.2:21) but He succeeded, having never sinned in thought, word or deed, and all that were in Him would also be holy—they would be a “righteous nation” (Isa.26:2;60:20,21).

His Father was “the husbandman” (Jo.15:1), the farmer that planted the vine of Christ (Isa.53:2). The righteous nation in Christ was also His planting (Isa.60:21;61:3), and they couldn’t ask for a better husbandman (Isa.27:2,3).

But before the true vine of believers in Christ could enter the kingdom, they were going to have to go through some changes, for they were not all righteous yet. So the Lord said that His Father would take away branches that didn’t bear fruit (Jo.15:2). Since the branches were the Lord’s disciples (15:5), people think this passage is talking about losing your salvation. But remember the context; they had risen from the last supper (14:31), and Judas left moments before (13:30). In context, this analogy is explaining what happened to Judas. And since Judas was never saved (6:70), this passage has nothing to do with losing salvation.

So what does it mean? Well, the word “fruit” (15:2) in the Bible, like all words, has different meanings. In the kingdom program, it is defined as things like temperance, patience, godliness, kindness and charity (II Peter 1:5-8). Judas never had these, so the Father took him away. That sounds scary, and should (cf.Ps.52:5), especially since we’re talking about taking away branches in Christ (Jo.15:2). If this analogy was about Judas, he must have been in Christ. How then did he go to hell (Acts 1:25)?

Well, when he left, he revealed he was never of the 12 (IJo.2:19). How was he in Christ then? John 6:56 said that those that believed in Christ dwelt in Him, but Judas hadn’t believed to the saving of the soul, he had drawn back to perdition (Heb.10:39). He was like the shallow believers of John 2:23,24 and Acts 8:13-23 who only believed “for a while” (Lu.8:13). But how was he in Christ?

Words and phrases mean different things. For example, when Paul talked about “the kingdom” (Col.1:13), he wasn’t talking about the same kingdom the Lord offered to Israel. Being “filled with the Spirit” is a phrase that doesn’t mean the same today as it did under the kingdom program (Acts 2:4 cf. Eph. 5:18).

Similarly, “in Christ” under the kingdom pro-gram didn’t mean in the Body of Christ. And in this context, being in Christ meant being in Christ the vine, the true nation of Israel. And the nation was always made up of saved and unsaved people (Ex.12:38). They won’t be all righteous until the kingdom, until the Father gets rid of the deadwood like Judas. Until then, Judas the unbeliever was allowed to “grow” in Christ along with the 12 (Mt.13:25-30).

After the Rapture, God will pick up where He left off with Israel, and unlike Judas, some tares will choose to remain with the little flock to infiltrate them (Rev.2:9; 3:9). The purpose of John’s epistles will be to help the little flock identify these infiltrators.

John 14:28-31 – Men Don’t Listen



The Lord probably figured the reason they didn’t listen when He said He had to die was because they knew they’d be sad, so He tells them they should “rejoice” since He was going to the Father (v.28), who was “greater” than He was.

How was the Father greater? Weren’t they “equal” (Phil. 2:6)? Don’t we teach that all three members of the Trinity were equal? Then why does the Father call Christ “My righteous servant” (Isa. 53:11). Doesn’t that indicate the Father is greater than the Son?

I used to think the Father was greater before the Son’s incarnation, but the Father “sent” the Son into the world (John 5:30,36,37; 6:44,57, etc.) Isn’t the sender greater than the one sent? Then I thought maybe after the Lord ascended into heaven the Father ceased to be greater, but Paul calls the Father “the God…of our Lord Jesus” (IICor.11:31; Eph. 1:3; cf. IPe.1:3). Then I thought that maybe the Father wouldn’t be greater in the ages to come, but Paul says otherwise (ICor.15:24-28).

The solution is in I Corinthians 11:3, where Paul compares the headship of the Father over Christ to the headship of a husband over his wife. The husband is the head of the wife (Eph. 5:23), but she is his “help meet” (Gen. 2:18). The word “meet” means “to be equal or equivalent to.” Eve was Adam’s equal, and yet we are told that he was her head. This means headship doesn’t affect equality.

Our constitution says that all men are created equal, and yet the president is your head, and the governor is greater than you. It’s a question of order, not inferiority. Christ was “subject” to His parents (Lu. 2:51), but wasn’t inferior to them. So wives who are subject to their husbands (Eph.5:24) aren’t inferior to them, and Christ is not inferior to the Father. God is a God of order (cf. Col.2:5), and the order in our homes reflects the order in the Godhead.

The Lord told them about dying and going to the Father (Jo.14:28) before “it” came to pass (Jo.14:28). He was trying to avoid the hopelessness they experienced on the road to Emmaus (Lu.24:17-21). If He told them about dying before He died they’d “believe” that He was Jehovah (Jo.13:19). Only God knows the future (Isa.41:23).

Compared to the previous three years of His ministry, the Lord wasn’t going to “talk much” more (Jo. 14:30) because “the prince of this world” was coming, i.e. Satan. But if it was actually Judas that was coming with soldiers, why does the Lord say Satan was coming? Well, remember, the Lord called Peter “Satan” when he refused to believe His Word (Mt.16:21-23).

If you’re thinking it was nice that the Lord knew the devil was coming, you too can know he’s coming. Satan hindered Paul from fellowshipping with saints (IThes.2:17,18), and he’ll hinder you too, through family, neighbors, friends, etc. He comes for you every Sunday.

When Judas & his gang got there they’d find nothing in the Lord to charge Him with (Jo.14:30 cf. 8:46). Even though He’d done nothing wrong, He let them arrest Him “that the world may know that I love the Father” (Jo.14:31). He said “the Father gave Me commandment” to lay down His life (Jo.10:18), and obeying it would prove He loved the Father.

Wouldn’t you think it would prove He loved us? It did, but it was more importantly proof that He loved Him. You too should do things for others to prove your love for the Father, not for them. The former makes you look good, the latter makes God look good.

The Lord ends the chapter by telling them to “arise” from the table where they ate the Passover and the Last Supper (14:31). His words “let us go hence” meant that even though He knew Satan was coming, in the person of Judas, rather than sit and wait for him like a victim, He was going to meet him (John 18:1-3). You too can be “more than conquerors” in your tribulations (Ro.8:35-37). A conqueror merely overcomes adversities; someone who is more than a conqueror benefits from adversity (Ro.5:3; IICor.4:17). You don’t have to be a victim!

John 14:21-26 – Religious Hypocrites



Why didn’t the Lord just say, “He that keeps My commandments loves me?” (v.21). The Jews were famous for having God’s commandments and not keeping them (Rom.2:17-24), thinking mere possession of them saved them, but this wasn’t so (Rom.2:13). Since the Lord came to minister to these same Jews (Mt.15:24), He said “He that hath My commandments and keepth them…loveth Me.” You had to keep them for the Father to love you (Jo.14:21) enough to save you (Rev.22:14 cf. Gen.3:22). God loves all men, but “specially” those that believe (cf. ITim.4:10).

The Lord planned to manifest Himself to the 12 the same way He was manifested to Israel. He was manifested by His baptism with the Spirit (John 1:31-34), and He planned to manifest Himself to the 12 in their baptism with the Spirit at Pentecost, who was His presence among them.

When Judas (not Iscariot) asked how the Lord would manifest Himself to the 12 but not to the world (14:22 cf. 14:19), that was a good question. Wouldn’t others be able to see them speak in tongues, heal the sick, etc., and other evidence of Christ in them?

The commentaries that don’t rightly divide the word say that Judas was confused, that He didn’t know that the Lord never meant to establish a literal kingdom on earth where He’d be manifest in the hearts of believers but not to the world, so he asked how that would work. We know the Lord did plan to establish a literal kingdom, however, because Daniel 2 described the kingdoms of Media-Persia. Greece and Rome, then said that God would conquer them and set up His kingdom (2:44). If God’s kingdom conquered literal kingdoms, His would have to be a literal kingdom on earth as well.

So how did the Lord plan to manifest Himself to them but not to the world? At Pentecost they kept the His words perfectly (IJo.3:9). That manifested Christ to them, but not to the world, who just assumed they sinned when no one was looking, as the Lord’s brethren did (John 7:5).

But keeping the Lord’s words perfectly meant they also got whatever they asked for in prayer (IJo.3:22). This would also manifest Christ to them, but not to the world, for they wouldn’t abuse this prayer promise, something that would give them away to the world.

For those that love the Lord and keep His commandments the Father and Son would dwell with them (Jo.14:23 cf. Rev.7:14,15; 21:3). Literally? Well, remember, the Lord planned on “restoring” the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6), i.e., the kind of literal kingdom they had when God dwelt with them in the wilderness (Ex.25:8; 29:45; Lev.26:11,12 Deut.23:13,14), and in the temple in Jerusalem under Solomon (IKi.8:13).

Not keeping the Lord’s words was serious, for His words were the Father’s words (Jo.14:24).

The Lord was telling them these things at that present time (14:25), but He knew they wouldn’t get it till the Comforter came (v.26). That’s when the children of Israel would receive the adoption and become adult sons (Hos.1:10). That’s when all kids really learn what they were taught when they were kids, when they become adult children!

The Comforter wouldn’t teach them new things, but bring the Lord’s words to their remembrance (14:26 cf. John 2:22; 12:16; Acts 11:15,16). How would that help, if they didn’t understand His words the first time they heard them? Well, with the Word written on their hearts (Jer.31:33), when they heard the words of Christ again they could compare Scripture with the Scripture on their hearts and understand His words (ICor.2:13).

Of course, when it says the Comforter would teach them “all things,” it means all things they’d know to serve Him. He came at Pentecost, which was the beginning of the kingdom that was interrupted by the Mystery. In the kingdom that will still be established on earth after the Rapture and after the Tribulation, men will know everything they need to know to serve Him.

John 14:16-20 – The Comforter



The Comforter (v.16) was “the Spirit of God” (Mt.3:16), but also “the Spirit of Christ” (IPe.1:11), which is why the Lord called Him “the Spirit of truth” (Jo.14:17). He had just told them that He was “the truth” (v.6), so the Spirit would be “the Spirit of truth.” This was His way of telling them that the Spirit would be His continued presence among them (Mt.28:20).

This is why the Holy Spirit is sometimes called the Holy Ghost. There are ghosts (Gen.25:8; Lu.24:37-39), they just aren’t allowed to walk among us. By calling the Spirit “the Holy Ghost” the translators were trying to convey what the Lord was saying here, that the Spirit would be His lingering presence on earth. He was the truth, now the Spirit would be the Spirit of truth.

Saying that the world couldn’t receive the Spirit “because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him” (v.17) implies that the 12 could see and know Him. They saw Him in Christ. Just as the Father could be seen and known in the Son (14:7,9), so could the Spirit. That’s how the Lord could say of the Spirit, “but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you.” The Spirit dwelt with them in Christ (Jo.3:34).

But He was about to dwell “in” them (v.17) at Pentecost. When the Lord went on to say, “I will come to you” (v,18), He meant that He would come to them in the Spirit at Pentecost.

In saying that the world would see Him no more after He died, but that they would see Him (14:19), He meant that they would see Him in the Spirit (Jo.16:16). And because He lived, they will live (v.19 cf. John 6:57).

In context, “that day” (14:20) is a reference to the day of Pentecost. He’d already told them that He was in the Father (10:38), even as recently as a few verses ago (14:10), but they didn’t fully get it, so He says here that “at that day ye shall know that I am in My Father.” They were perfect examples of what the Lord was trying to illustrate by restoring sight to the blind man gradually (Mark 8:22-26). He was teaching them that God’s people would not see everything clearly until the kingdom (Isa.29:18; 32:1-3), and Pentecost was the beginning of the kingdom.

At Pentecost they would also know that they were in Christ (14:20). They weren’t in the Body of Christ, of course, for that “new man” began with Paul (Eph.2:14,15). Paul spoke of those in Christ before him (Rom.16:7) because all men are either in Adam or in Christ (ICor.15:22). Abraham and David were in Christ, they just didn’t know it. But their hope was to live again on earth, while the hope of the Body is to be raptured. At Pentecost they would also know that Christ was in them (14:20). Christ has always indwelt believers (John 6:56).

If you are not saved, when the Lord said “yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more” (v.19), maybe you thought you’d never have to face the One who died for you. If so, you should know that if you miss the Rapture and live to see the Second Coming, “every eye shall see Him” (Rev.1:7). So what did the Lord mean when He said that the world would see Him no more?

Well, He also told the disciples that they would see Him no more (John 16:10), even though He knew they would see Him again in the kingdom. He meant that they would see Him no more as the humble carpenter’s son. When they saw Him again, it would be as “the Lord of glory” (James 2:1). If you are not saved, you too will see the Lord someday, but in that day He will be your judge, not your savior (James 5:9).

When they crucified the Lord, the world thought that He would never be able to judge them, but God assured them otherwise when He raised Him from the dead (Acts 17:30,31). So don’t be thinking that you will get away with your sins just because men did away with your judge. He is alive, and if you refuse His payment for your sins, you must pay for your sins in the lake of fire for all eternity.

The choice is yours.

John 14:4-11 – How To Know The Way



When the Lord talked about going in John (14:4) He was talking about going to the Father (7:33; 14:28). He spoke of this often, and how they could get to the Father, so you’d think He was right, that by this time they would know where He was going and how to get there (14:4). The fact that they didn’t (v.5) proves that no matter how good a Bible teacher is, people don’t always get the message! Never be afraid to ask dumb questions, however, for they lead to fuller explanations, like the one we have in Verse 6.

The Lord told them there were no instructions to follow about how to get to the Father, that He Himself was the way to the Father. This statement gave His faith a new name, “the way” (Acts 9:1,2; 19:9,23; 22:4; 24:22). Notice Christ doesn’t say He is one of the ways to the Father, He was the only way. There are always many “ways” to hell (Pr.14: 12), but only one way to be saved, depending on the dis-pensation. In time past the way to God was through sacrifices; here in John the way was through Christ.

What did the Lord mean when He said He was “the truth”?

There were so many religious leaders in Rome claiming to have the truth that Pilate asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). There are many religious teachers today that claim to have the truth as well, but the Lord claimed to be the truth. But what does that mean?

Well, when He said that grace came by Him (1:17 cf. Gen.6:8) He meant New Testament grace. The Greek word for “dwelt” (1:14) is tabernacled. The Old Testament tabernacle was a tent of skins with the glory of God inside, the New Testament tabernacle was a coat of the Lord’s skin with the glory of God inside. The OT tabernacle was full of the Old Testament grace of the Law, the NT tabernacle was full of the grace of Christ.

Similarly, truth came by Him (1:17). “Truth” is the noun, the adjective is true. If something is true it is the truth, and if something is the truth it is true. The OT tabernacle was a tabernacle of God, but Christ was the true tabernacle. The OT tabernacle a candlestick, but He was “the true light” (Jo.1:9). The OT tabernacle had shewbread, but He was “the true bread” (Jo.6:32-35), and so He had to be worshipped in truth (John 4:23). He wasn’t saying He was the true tabernacle and the OT tabernacle was false, He was saying He was the true tabernacle and the OT tabernacle was a shadow. The shadows used to be the way to the Father, but Christ was the true way, and “the life,” i.e., the true life, the giver of life (John 6:51; ICor.15:45).

To see Him was to see the Father (John14:7). That didn’t mean He was like the Father, it meant He was the Father. If you saw Clark Kent you saw Superman. If you saw Pet- er Parker you saw Spiderman, if you saw Bruce Wayne you saw Batman, and if you saw the Lord you saw the Father.

“Sufficeth” (14:8) is the verb form of sufficient, or content. Men always think they’d be content if they were to see God, but they wouldn’t be (Ex.24:9-11 cf. 32:4). Of course, the 12 should have known He was the Father (Jo.14:9), but before you start thinking that you would have, remember He never told them plainly (16:25) but in “proverbs,” short sentences repeated often (Pr.14:12 cf. 16:25). But if the Lord was remonstrating with Philip it means they could have known Him from the Proverbs.

The Lord talked plenty about Himself (14:10), but the words weren’t His words. Being a prophet (Deut.18:18), He spoke by the Spirit (II Pet. 1:21 cf. John 3:34). He had told unbelieving Jews to believe Him because of His works (John 10:33-38), which is what we tell unbelievers to do (Ro.1:22). If the world is “without excuse” for knowing there’s a God after looking at the works of Creation, then the Jews were without excuse for knowing that He was God after they saw Him do the works of God.

He said the same words to the 12 because their faith in him was wavering, and when that happens, a man needs to be reminded of the works of God (Mt.11:2-5). If you think that your faith will never waver, than you must think that you are greater than John, the greatest prophet that ever lived (Luke 7:28 cf. ICor.10:12).

John 14:1-3 – Heart Trouble


After announcing His betrayal and Peter’s denial, the Lord said, “Let not your heart be troubled” (v.1). It is precious to see that He was concerned about their troubled hearts even though He Himself was “troubled” (13:21) about having to bear our sins soon. In your worst crisis, looking around for others to comfort will make you like Him.

They believed in God when He predicted the Tribulation, but said that everything would end well in the kingdom; so the Lord asked them to believe in Him as He was telling them He would be betrayed and die, but that it would end well in His resurrection. You too will have troubles (Acts 14:22) but believe God when He says they will end well, working for you now (Ro.5:3) and in eternity (IICor.4:17).

How can the Lord say He was going to die and go to heaven to prepare a place for them (v.2,3) if the hope of the Jews is on earth? How can He say He’ll come again and receive them if the Rapture was a “mystery” (ICor.15:51) not revealed till Paul? Well, let’s define our terms:

“My Father’s house” (John 14:2) is not heaven; a man’s house is his family. There was nothing evil about the house Abraham lived in, so we know that when God told him to leave his “house” He meant his family (Gen.12:1; 20:13). The Lord’s “house” was the house of Israel, and “the glory of His house” (Isa.22:23,24) were the believers in the house of Israel, His “spiritual house” (IPe.2:5).

So what are the “mansions” (John 14:2)? The dictionary defines a mansion as “the house of a lord,” and a lord was a landowner—which is why we have landlords. So if you live in a mansion, you are the lord of some land that you rule from your mansion. Thus the Lord was saying, “In the spiritual house of believers in Israel, there are plenty of positions available to rule in the kingdom of heaven on earth” (cf. Luke 19:17,19).

Disciples under the kingdom program gave up houses and lands to be saved, just as the Lord said they must (Mark 10:17-21). Hearing this, Peter replied that they’d already done that, and followed Him 3 years, implying they should have more. So in Matthew’s version of the story, He prom-ised them a hundred times the land they gave up and a 100% better house (Mt.19:29)—in other words, a mansion where they could rule great lands! Faithful Jews will live like kings in the kingdom (Rev.1:5,6). That’s all hard to be-lieve, so the Lord said, “If it weren’t so, I would have told you, and not asked you to give up your houses and lands.”

What “place” did the Lord prepare for them? “Friends in high places” usually means in government (John 11:48; Rv. 12:7,8). Right now Satan’s hosts are in “high places” in the government of heaven (Eph. 6:12), but someday you’ll take their place (Eph. 1:23; ICor.6:3). But the Lord was talking to the 12 about “places” in the government of earth in the kingdom. In Daniel’s vision, Christ returns to conquer the kings of earth and “no place was found for them” (2:35). There will be no place for unsaved kings in the government in the kingdom, so the 12 will take their “place” (Mt.19:27,28) and faithful Jews with them (Rv.2:26,27).

Of course, the Lord had to die and go to heaven to “pre-pare” a place in “the kingdom prepared for” them (Mt.25: 34). They would have no right to enter the kingdom unless their sins were paid for. He also died to pay for their right to rule there. Satan may have tricked Adam out of ruler-ship of earth, but the Lord didn’t challenge his rulership (Mt.4:8). But to take those kingdoms from him to give them to Israel without paying for that right would be just as wrong as what Satan did to Adam.

When the Lord comes again for the Jews (John 14:3) He will receive them to Himself (Mt.24:31), that where He is, they may be too. He will be ruling “in the earth” (Jer. 23:5) and they will too (Rev.5:10). How will Christ “ever be” with us also (ITh.4:17)? After the millennium, God will gather Israel and the Body together (Eph.1:10) in New Jerusalem, “the mother of us all” (Gal.4:26). The city will be on the earth, but will be 1322 miles high (Rev.21:16), jutting out past earth’s atmosphere. From the top we will rule the heavens, and from the bottom Israel will rule earth.

John 13:12-18 – The Agony of De-Feet



In Bible days if you didn’t have a servant to wash your guest’s feet, it was the job of the host. But at the Last Sup-per, they were all guests (Mark 14:12-16), and all too proud to wash feet. So the Lord laid aside His garments, took on the attire of a servant, and then redressed after washing their feet (John 13:2-12). This is a picture of how before He came to earth, the Lord was clothed with glory (Ps.93:1; 104:1), but put aside His garments when He came to earth and took on the attire of a servant (Phil.2:5-7), then put His majesty back on (Heb.1:3) when He ascended. He expects we who are clothed with robes of righteousness (Isa.61:10) to do the same, and not be too proud to serve others.

The Lord was a prophet (Deut.18:18), and the prophets were always acting out their prophecies (Isa.20:2; Ezek.24: 15-24; Acts 21:10,11), so He acted out the lesson He want-ed to teach them by washing their feet. What lesson? Well, it starts with how they called Him “Lord” and “Master.” Paul never calls Him “Master” because “master” means teacher, and the Lord is not our teacher, He teaches us through Paul, His “teacher of the Gentiles” (I Tim. 2:7; IITim.1:11). But if we call Him “Lord,” we too “say well” (Jo.13:13). No one ever called Him “Jesus” to His face—except His enemies (Mt.26:61) and demons (Mark 1:23,24)

The writers of the four gospels called Him Jesus, but they were inspired by the Spirit, and while He was here on earth He was a little lower than the angels (Heb.2:9), and lower than the Spirit, so the Spirit could call Him that. Now that He has risen up far above all heavens (Eph. 4:10), we can’t. Jesus Christ died for the right to be your Lord (Rom.14:9), so give Him His props. Just don’t call Him “Lord” and then fail to do what He says (Luke 6:46) through Paul, or else you mock Him as the ones who put a reed in His hand and called Him King, with no intention of obeying Him.

Now the Lord presses the point. He says that if He, their Lord and Master, was willing to wash their feet, they should be willing to wash one another (John 13:14). We should be willing to do these kinds of things too, for Paul says “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ… Who…took upon Him the form of a servant” (Phil.2:5-8).

But we know the Lord didn’t want us to practice a religious ceremony of washing feet, as some do, for He told the apostles He had given them “an example” (John 13:15). Some who practice this ceremony ask why we don’t, but we observe the Lord’s Supper—a good question! The an-swer is found in the little words. In giving the Supper, the Lord said “this do” (Luke 22:19). “This do” meant to do the exact thing (Gen. 42:16-18). Just as Joseph wouldn’t have been happy with a picture or some other example of his brother, “this do” means the Lord wanted us to do the very thing He was doing. But in washing their feet the Lord said “do as I have done,” which means to follow His example (Cf.Ezek. 24:22,23). The Lord told Ezekiel to tell Israel not to cry over the temple, i.e., to follow the example of when Ezekiel didn’t cry when he lost his wife.

Since Christ washed their feet before the Last Supper, some churches do this for the same reason the Catholic church has confession before communion, as a cleansing to make you worthy to receive the elements. But you don’t have to be worthy to take communion, you just need to be saved

I’m not trying to find fault with those trying to follow the Lord in washing feet, I just don’t want you to let them criticize you for not practicing this religious rite. If they claim they follow the Lord in this, ask if they wear a towel. Then ask if after washing the feet of someone in a wheelchair if they fail to help that person on the stairs. If so, they are guilty of observing symbolism over substance.

It is not enough just to “know” these things, you have to “do” things like this to be “happy” (John 13:17). It is a happy thing to get your feet washed, but it is a happier thing to do the washing (Acts 20:35). There are of course people who wouldn’t be happy washing the feet of others. The Lord says He wasn’t speaking those words to Judas (John 13:18). The secret of happiness is serving others, but the secret of a happy life begins with getting saved.