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…
Christ appears here as a dramatical teacher. Every act is significant. The old prophets taught in this way. Jeremiah's potters vessel; Ezekiel's scales, knife, and razor, are amongst the numerous examples. Christ taught here —
I. THAT TRUE GREATNESS CONSISTS IN MINISTERING TO THE GOOD OF INFERIORS. We learn from Luke 22:24, that there was a dispute as to who should be greatest, and that Evangelist records what our Lord said. John records what Christ did. This idea of greatness —
1. Condemns the general conduct of mankind. The world regards men great who receive most service, and mix least with inferiors.
2. Agrees with the moral reason of mankind. The greatness of Christ, who made Himself of no reputation, and the greatness of Paul, is that which commends itself to the unsophisticated reason of the world. He who humbles himself to do good gets exalted in the estimation of universal conscience. Disinterestedness is the soul of true greatness.
II. THAT SPIRITUAL CLEANSING IS THE GREAT WANT OF THE RACE (ver. 8).
1. That this is so appears from two facts.
(1) Divine fellowship is essential to human happiness. In God's presence is fulness of joy, and nowhere else.
(2) Spiritual purity is essential to Divine fellowship. "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord." Hence God's command, "Wash you and make you clean;" and man's prayer, "Purge me with hyssop," etc.
2. This cleansing is preeminently the work of Christ. "If I wash thee not," etc. His blood cleanseth from all sin. "Unto Him that loved us," etc.
3. It extends to the whole life of man (ver. 10). Though regenerated, a man is not perfect. Every day brings its defilements and requires its purifications.Conclusion: At the table were three types of character.
1. The perfectly clean — Christ.
2. The partially clean — the disciples.
3. The entirely unclean — Judas.
(D. Thomas, 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.