Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father…
as shown —
I. IN THE DIVERSIONS IT HELD AT BAY.
1. The consciousness that His hour was come that He should depart out of this world. And knowing the fact, He also knew all the particulars of the tragic exode. The actual endurance could not be much worse than such a distinct anticipation of it as He had. And yet the tremendous pressure of this foresight did not divert Him from the most tender and considerate attention to those whom He was about to leave.
2. The consciousness that He was about to return to God. There was a joy set before Him for which He endured the cross, despising the shame. Yet such was His affection for His disciples, that not all the glories of heaven in the act of opening to receive Him, could for a moment disturb His warm and compassionate attentions to them.
II. IN THE REPULSIONS IT SURMOUNTED. There was much unworthiness and carnal crudeness in these men to repel the Saviour's affection. They did not so love Him. A few hours and they all had deserted Him. That same night, one of the most devoted of them denied Him. Another of them was harbouring at the time the Satanic instigation to betray Him. And in the hearts of all of them worked a most unseemly jealousy and contention (Luke 22:24). The Saviour had given them lesson after lesson on this point, and yet their miserable pride and selfishness had not been cured. How painful the contemplation I How disheartening and repellant to Him who had so loved them. And yet, the more unworthy they were of His love, the more intensely did it flame forth.
III. IS THE CONDESCENSION IT INDUCED. He into whose hands the Father had given all things, stooped to employ those hands in washing a traitor's feet! Nor did He only take the menial's attire and work, but, when Peter objected, Jesus set Himself to new efforts to meet new manifestations of disease. And even Judas, with all His known treachery, was not relinquished without the most faithful and tender endeavours to bring him to himself. And when the washing was finished, the Lord preached still another sermon on humility and the true Christian spirit.
IV. IN THE SACRAMENT IT ORDAINED. Though not given in the text, the other Evangelists have stated it in full (Matthew 26:26-28). Herein is the great love of Christ manifest toward His own, that, on the very eve of His great passion, He appointed and left to them and us this perpetual legacy and memorial of His affection, in which He continually administers to all believing celebrants of this holy sacrament the very manna and bread of heaven, and incorporates His living Self with us as our salvation and our eternal life.
(J. A. Seiss, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
WEB: Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.