The Series - Jesus, Unique & Unequaled Teacher (43/50)

Focus Text: John 13.8-13

The final Passover had arrived. Jesus was about to be betrayed in to the hands of sinners. The apostles still yet had many things they needed to know in order to achieve the mission for which they had been called. Besides all of this, Jesus was about to enter the darkest place into which any man could ever enter! His suffering was to be incomprehensible and it waited only hours away. What anguish might have stricken the ordinary heart; what dread might have engulfed a lesser man in self-pity and sorrow. What did Jesus do? Read on!

As He prepared Himself to wash the disciples’ feet, Peter proclaimed, ‘You shall never wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!’ Jesus said to him, ‘He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’ For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, ‘You are not all clean.’ So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you?’” (John 13.8-12).

One amazing thing about the Unique and Unequaled Teacher was that He never stopped teaching. However, that is not phrased quite as it should be; pay attention please as we rephrase it. Jesus, the unique and unequaled Teacher, realized that He taught all the time (just like everybody else does) and He seized every opportunity to teach what needed to be taught! That is one reason why He was and is unique. Had the very shadow of death been looming over me, I probably would not have been thinking about others and their needs; the human thing would have been to have pulled away and served self in such an hour as this. Jesus did the exact opposite; He exposed Himself to the needs of others, denied His own needs, and taught a lesson which could never be forgotten. It was true that they did not understand it at the moment, but later as they reflected on what He did, the impact of His selfless service would forever and irrevocably bond their hearts to His!

Hear Him now as He speaks plainly about His role as THE Teacher: “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.” (John 13.13). How one could miss this point is beyond all reason. He was not just a teacher; He was THE Teacher! He was Lord and Teacher! False humility was not a part of Him in any shape, form, or manner. True humility literally fell around Him wherever He went and whatever He did. His grasp of the essential never wavered; His desire to serve endured through His own pain. In this darkest hour, He taught in an indelible manner the greatest lesson of discipleship, namely, that it is not about me! It is always about someone else. The true disciple loses himself in the sea of service to God and never regrets that loss! Jesus epitomized that sacrifice, not just at the Cross, but in all that He did each and every day of His existence here upon the earth.

Did they know what He did? How could they? Yes, later they would grasp it, but like any good teacher, He challenged them to grow beyond where they were and to give themselves even as He had done!


1. What consequence did Jesus indicate would follow if He did not wash Peter?

2. How did Peter respond? Was his response in keeping with other events where his personality came out so strongly? What were some of these events?

3. What is false humility? How do we know that Jesus’ was not given to that type of deception, but that His service was always from the heart?

4. When do you think the disciple really determined what He did on the night in which He washed their feet? What impact do you think this realization had on their lives?