Friday, June 22, 2018

Washing of the Water

Washing of the Water  Sunday School Lesson   June 17, 2018 
(Lesson by Linda McHale;  Notes by Laurie Moulton)    John 13

This week, we continued our study of the Gospel of John, and reviewed John 13.
In this chapter, we read about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. We were posed with 2 questions:
1.  What was Jesus teaching when he washed the feet of the disciples?
2.  What is our direction from this?

We then discussed what types of descriptions were evoked from this chapter, and below are some of the examples that were given:

a.  Love –Love always and unconditionally -  Love like Jesus loved.
b.  The enemy—The enemy is always there, waiting. He is waiting for that one weak moment, where he can slip in and gain control.  Be watchful, alert and keep close to Jesus.

This was evidenced by Jesus’ betrayal by Judas, which Jesus was very much aware of at the Last Supper, when he said, “One of you will betray me;” therefore, the enemy was quite present during this last Passover with Jesus and his disciples.

Modeling—Jesus was modeling both a premise for life (leadership by example and humility—we are no better or superior than anyone else regardless of role or status) and the purpose of communion with God and each other.

Washing— How water relates to purification as well as how we receive Jesus
Pondering—Considering how Jesus has moved in our lives

Realignment—How have we realigned ourselves with Jesus and our faith in and through him?

Submission—Jesus submitted himself to his disciples through the act of washing their feet. So, must we submit ourselves in the service to others and him. This levels the playing field for us all.

Betrayal—Jesus knew that Judas would betray him and that Peter would deny him.

Sharing—Even with the non-believer (in this case, Judas), to demonstrate love for all, including those who have done us wrong.

We looked at other areas of the bible that also tied in with our focus on John 13:
Exodus 30:17-21-- states that a bronze basin for washing was to be placed between the tent of meeting and the altar, and that Aaron and his sons were to wash their hands and feet with water from it before approaching the altar, or they would die. So, we learn here, that we must be washed in the water of God before coming to God.

John 4:10—Jesus has come upon the Samaritan woman at the well, and tells her that if she knew who it was that asking for a drink, he would have given her living water, as he is the living water. Again, we learn the importance and significance of the water and being awash in the divine living water of Jesus, in coming to God.

Titus 3:5-7—states that Jesus saved us not because of the good or righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit--“So having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs of having the hope of eternal life.” So, again we learn that we are to be washed in the living water of Christ.

Matthew 3:11—refers to the statement of John the Baptist, telling the people that one who is greater than he will come to baptize us with the Holy Spirit and fire. This is another reference to coming through the water to be with Jesus, who will open us to the Holy Spirit as intercessor between us and God.

Therefore, in answer to the two, original questions posed at the beginning of this, Jesus was teaching his disciples, through the washing of their feet, that we are to come to him through the washing. Anyone who does not wash cannot have any part with him.

This does not necessarily mean the actual act of baptism, as that can be viewed as more of an act of our part, with receiving Jesus as our Lord and Savior, but more of being fully immersed in the presence and teachings and guidance and love of Jesus, always. The robber who was hanging on the cross when Jesus was crucified was not baptized, yet he still called out to Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, and so it was done—"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” He was awash in the mercy and love of Jesus as Lord and Savior of all. Jesus was also teaching his disciples humility, that they are to love always and serve always regardless of their own opinions, role, or stature.

Our direction from this is pretty much the same that Jesus was teaching his disciples—that we are to be washed by, in, and through Jesus’ presence, teachings, commandments, and his new covenant with us; that we are to practice humility with all of humankind regardless of our own or their role, stature, misgivings, or lifestyle; and that should we stray from this, then we have no part in him, for we have turned our own backs and have failed to allow ourselves to be washed by him.



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