John’s account of the Passover Meal in the Upper Room is by far the most descriptive of what took place, but says nothing of the institution of the Lord’s Supper. It also gives us the most information concerning what Jesus said and did during the meal. In the footnotes in my Bible, the editors point out that in the first twelve chapters of John, Jesus mentions love six times but in chapters 13-17 He emphasizes it 31 times. I have read and reread this book many, many times, but I did not realize that fact. As Christians we have read the Gospels and many books concerning the life of Christ. We have heard many sermons concerning all of the individuals involved in Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. For me, there is no better explanation or depiction of what happened than the Book of John. I especially like how chapter 13 opens, “It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His love.” Take just a moment and reflect on just what the “full extent of His love means, especially to you.

Another thing we learn quite early in this chapter is that the devil has already prompted Judas to betray Jesus. I can just imagine the devil whispering in Judas’ ear continuing his prompting. “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God…” At this He got up and prepared to wash the disciples’ feet. Perhaps one of the most important things that Jesus says is said to Peter after he had asked if He planned to wash his feet because Peter does not want Him to that for him. And it is here that Jesus says, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” To this Peter responds to Jesus saying, “Then wash my hands and feet as well.” Now don’t miss this, it is very important. Jesus says to Peter, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” Okay, did you catch that? You can be part of God’s program, doing good things, professing Christ and His teachings and Jesus says to you, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” Can you imagine that? You can be living a good life, be active in church, doing good things, even teaching a Sunday School class and here is Jesus looking straight into your eyes, into your very soul  and He tells you that, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” I cannot emphasize this enough, take a moment and look inward, a long, hard look and ask yourself, “Has Jesus washed me? Am I clean in His sight? Have I truly been redeemed?” Please, do not shrug this off!

I think a good place to bring this to a close is verse 17, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” To summarize what we have discussed in these very brief thoughts on these verses, let's go back to the editors’ comment that while John describes quite well what transpired at the Passover Feast, he does not mention the institution of the Last Supper. Here we see that while John didn’t mention the Last Supper, he fully demonstrates its intent. Each time we come to His table it is a time for us to reflect. My question for you is, how would you answer Jesus when He says to you, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me!”? Have you been washed in the blood of the Lamb? Take a moment and look hard at your life! Are you a part of Him?

by Paul Kightlinger, Elder

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