The Gospel Observer
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations...teaching them
to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always,
even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19,20).
January 22, 2017
1) "You Shall Understand Hereafter" (John 14:4-7) (Jon W. Quinn)
2) Lest We Forget the Goal (Gary Henry)
3) News & Notes
"You Shall Understand Hereafter"
Jon W. Quinn
The Lord's apostle John wrote his gospel sometime after Matthew,
Mark and Luke had written theirs. He also recorded a number of
things which the others had not included. He devotes far more space
than the others to the events of the evening prior to the
crucifixion. By inspiration of the Holy Spirit, John gives his own
eye-witness testimony of that evening. In this article, we shall
focus on one of those events. After eating the final Passover meal
with His apostles, and ordaining the keeping of the memorial supper
by His disciples after His departure, Jesus does a startling thing;
He gets up from the table, lays aside His outer garment, girds
Himself with a towel, pours water into a basin, and then proceeds to
use the water and towel to wash the feet of His apostles. What was
the meaning of this very humble, and somewhat disturbing act of our
Lord? As Jesus told His apostles, "You'll understand later."
The Custom of Feet Washing
"(Jesus)... rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and
taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into a
basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and wipe them with a
towel with which He was girded" (John 13:4-5).
Customs usually develop in societies to answer certain needs of that
particular culture. The main mode of transportation in Jesus' day
was walking, footwear consisted of sandals, and the environment was
often hot and dusty. Because of this, a custom developed where, in
behalf of the comfort of one's guests, basins of water would be
provided so they could wash their feet after a long journey. If the
hosts were wealthy, the household servants would perform the task,
washing the guests' feet. It was a sign of courtesy and hospitality.
It had been a busy day of travel for Jesus and the apostles. There
was no servant, at least in the usual sense of the word. The
apostles had been bickering earlier about which of them was the
greatest. This same poor attitude had effected them throughout the
ministry of Jesus, in spite of His teaching time and again about how
greatness in God's kingdom is measured in the amount of service one
renders unto others, and not the other way around (Luke 22:24-27;
9:46-48; Mark 9:33-37;50; Matthew 20:20-28).
What Jesus intends to do is to leave them with an impression they
will find impossible to ignore. They had not allowed His words to
sink in. But now they would have a vivid memory of the humility of
their Lord. They would never forget it!
"And so He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, 'Lord, do you wash
my feet?' Jesus answered and said to him, 'What I do to you you do
not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.' Peter said to
Him, 'Never shall you 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 has bathed need only to wash his feet; and you are
clean..." (John 13:6-10a)
Peter voices the same feelings that most certainly all the apostles
were feeling. Stunned and embarrassed, Peter puts his feelings into
words of protest. It had been Peter who had identified Jesus as "the
Christ, the Son of the living God." Now, to have the Son of God bow
down and wash his feet seemed so out of place that Peter could not
contain himself. "Never shall you wash my feet!"
But, of course, if Peter is not willing to submit to Jesus in
everything, then Jesus cannot use him. If Jesus is to be Peter's
Lord, then he must be willing to do the things Jesus says (Luke
6:46). By the way, it was not the last time people who claim to have
faith in Jesus and yet would push His words aside. It would not work
for Peter, and it will not work for others. Faith in Jesus means
yielding ourselves to His will in everything. If Jesus says washing
Peter's feet is a necessary part of being His apostle, then it is.
If He says being baptized in water is necessary to wash away sins,
then it is (Mark 16:16; Acts 22:16).
"And so when He washed their feet, and taken His garments, and
reclined at the table again, He said to them, 'Do you know what I
have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right,
for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet,
you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I gave you an example
that you also should do as I did to you. Truly, truly I say to you,
a slave is not greater than his master, neither is one who is sent
greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed
are you if you do them" (John 13:12-17).
Jesus asked if they understood what He had done to them. The answer,
for now, is "no." Jesus had earlier said that they did not yet
understand (verse 7). Of course they understood He had washed their
feet, but that was not the point, nor the significance of the act.
Jesus proceeds to drive the point home. It was not about foot
washing, but rather about service. The proper thing in His kingdom
is to seek for opportunity to serve others and not to be served by
others. There is no place for arrogance in Jesus' kingdom, but
rather for brotherly consideration and love. This is the mind of
Christ (Philippians 2:3-5).
This was not a command to make the washing of feet a formal activity
in the public assembly. That misses the point. It was simply an
example to follow: Jesus served others, if He is Lord and Teacher,
then so should we (Galatians 5:13-15). Those who are high-minded and
too good to humbly serve others are too good to be Jesus' disciples.
— Via the Expository Files 21.7; July 2014
Lest We Forget the Goal
“Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from
a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5).
AMID THE WELTER OF OUR SPIRITUAL THOUGHTS AND WORDS AND DEEDS, THE
MAIN THING THAT SHOULD BE PRODUCED BY ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY MAY END
UP BEING NEGLECTED. Paul wrote that the purpose (in other words, the
“goal” or “end”) of the commandment is love. This is the object in
view — it is the thing that is supposed to be produced by
instruction in God’s word. If we profess to be those who seek God,
we need to be aware that one of the truest tests of our seeking is
the test of love. If we are missing love, then we’ve missed the
“purpose of the commandment.”
The word “love,” of course, means many things to many people, and
the kind of love that God desires is no ordinary love. According to
Paul, it comes “from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from
sincere faith.” A “pure heart” is clean and wholly devoted to God, a
“good conscience” is carefully protected and consistently obeyed,
and a “sincere faith” is genuine and without pretense. When these
qualities combine, they produce a love that is remarkable. It is
certainly distinct from the emotional feeling that is called “love”
in the world, but it is also different from the intellectual
orthodoxy that is called “love” by many Christians. The love that
distinguishes the people of Christ is nothing less than the love
that Christ had: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one
another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By
this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for
one another” (John 13:34,35).
When we think about it, the reason for love’s importance is obvious.
If God is love, how could we possibly draw near Him without growing
in love? But what if we’re seeking God and love is not increasing in
our lives? We may not like to hear it, but one of two things must be
true: either our “seeking” is not a serious seeking or our “God” is
not the real God. If we truly seek and it is the true God whom we
seek, then real love must result. John’s words are clear and to the
point: “He who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1
John 4:8). If we lose sight of this fact, then we’ve somehow gotten
off the road that leads to God.
“With the knowledge of God comes love” (Catherine of Siena).
-- Via WordPoints.com, November 4, 2016
News & Notes
For those who can pray, let us be including the following in our
We extend our condolences to the family and friends of Campbell
Jude “Camp” Tatum who passed away on the 19th, just two
months short of his third birthday, after many months of struggle
Our sympathies also go out to the family and friends of Gary
White who passed away at only 40 years of age; and Janice
Members who also passed away on the 19th, not many days after
the passing of her sister Cheryl Thomas.
Andi Head had been in ICU with a fever of 106.1 and an
unknown sickness. Since then his temperature has dropped, and
it has been determined that he has an enlarged spleen. More tests
will be run.
Ginger Head (Andi’s mother), who had neck surgery 2 weeks
ago, has also been sick.
Billy Lowe has been in the hospital with pneumonia in one
lung. He is now doing better, but still not completely over
it. He is also in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Shirley Davis will be seeing her knee doctor later this
month. She has two more weeks of therapy to strengthen her leg
muscles before having a knee replacement. Her knee slips out
and in at times. She will also be seeing a doctor in February
about a cornea problem in her right eye that might require a
Charles Crosby is doing better from his knee
replacement. Pain is much less; but it is still too early for
him to be able to bend his knee well. He is having therapy 3
times a week.
Also: Lexi Crawford, the Corbitts, Jim Lively, the Medlocks, Kay
Byars, La Donna Andrews, Kelli Fleeman, Brianna Mackey, James
“Buddy” Gornto, Ray Richards, and Mary Vandevander
WordPress Version of this week's bulletin:
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9,10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts
2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3,4; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Pet.
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not,
salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 AM (Bible class); 10 AM & 5 PM (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies' Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 PM (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 614-8593
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