Joseph Prince - Let The Lord Wash You With His Word
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This is an excerpt from: Unveiling Jesus' Heart To Serve You
I love the way the whole chapter begins. It said that, "Jesus knowing He came from the Father, and going to the Father, laid aside His garments and washed the disciples' feet," including Judas's feet, 'cause Judas was still there. And do you all remember when He did that, He came to Peter, and Peter says, "Lord, you must not wash my feet. How can you wash my feet"? And the Lord said this to him, "If I don't wash your feet", okay, all this is in the Bible. You're looking at me like I need to show you the Bible so at least you will have a feeling that it is in the Bible, okay? So I said just now, "Before the Feast of Passover, when Jesus knew His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father," I love this, "having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end". Okay, drop down. Now, "And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot..."
It's interesting that Judah is Judas Iscariot. His name actually is Judah. This one is the Anglicized form. It is like Greeks, you know? Judas, they say Judas, but it's Judah. Judah Iscariot. "Ish" is "man," "cariot" is like "kiryat," Kiryat Ye'arim. It's from the word "kiryat". It means city. Judah, man of the city. It's like the entire nation rejected their Messiah, huh? So, "Judah Iscariot, Simon's son, betrayed Him. Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, and took a towel and girded Himself". So in those days, right, it is like the most menial task of the servant is to wash the visitors' feet. So obviously they had the upper room to celebrate the Passover in a few days. And in fact right after this, Jesus will be arrested and all that. Will be the Passover, and the Bible says just before the Feast of Passover, all right, Jesus rose from supper. He girded Himself. But before that, notice the way it says, "He knew the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God".
Do you see that? I love that. "He rose from supper". That means He knows the Father, He's secure in Himself. The Father gave him all things. He's the strongest person in that room, in the upper room. I love it. You know, it takes the strongest to stoop the lowest. For us, we say that, you know, I humble myself. Bro, you're already flat on the ground. You're already humbled. It takes the Most High to be able to humble Himself and make Himself low. For us, if we know the truth, I don't care about what accomplishments and all that, in the sight of God, all men is flat. They don't realize it. When Adam sinned, all men fell. We cannot go humbler than that. God wants us humble, yes. Humble means we realize that everything that we have, we owe it to God. It comes from Him so we are grateful and thankful for it. Can I have a good amen, people?
So I love it. Knowing He had all things from the Father, knowing He's the strongest there, knowing He's the richest there, knowing He has received all things from God His Father, He rose from supper, bowed down, and washed the disciples' feet. That's how the Lord loves you. With all the power He has, He uses it to serve you, to cleanse you from your defilement and sin. He uses His power. I love this because, now, you must understand one thing. You say that, "Oh Pastor, He's instituting the physical ordinance of washing feet".
Now, I got nothing to say critically about that, okay? Please don't read things into my sermon here. I'm talking about the spiritual truth of what Jesus is doing, because I tell you this. I don't think Jesus was teaching all this to institute a physical washing of the disciples' feet. I'll tell you why in this context. Did they practice that in the early church? Yes, but I think they practiced that knowing it was figurative, okay? I tell you why it's figurative. Do the disciples know when Jesus took the basin of water and washed their feet, if Jesus washes your feet, if I wash your feet, can you tell? Can you tell I touched your feet? Yeah, of course. Can you tell I'm watching your feet? You can tell, right? But what Jesus told Peter, drop down to where he says, "Lord, are you washing my feet"?
What did Jesus say? Jesus answered Peter and said what? "What I am doing you do not understand now". Don't you think he would understand that Jesus is washing his feet? So obviously it's not referring to the physical. He's doing something that has a spiritual meaning, a powerful, a deep, poignant truth there that He's telling them, "What I'm doing now..." Yeah, He's doing it physically, but, "What I'm doing now you don't know, but you will know hereafter". So in other words, the whole thing is symbolic. The fact that the Father gave Him all things, He rose from supper, and supper is a picture of the cross. He died on that cross where the Father says God is glorified in Him and He in God, because the glory of God is shown the fullest, where? At the cross, why? At the cross, everything is manifested to the fullest, to the extreme, and to the greatest. The sin of man.
Never was there a greater sin than to take perfect goodness who came to earth healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, unstopping deaf ears, opening the eyes of the blind, all right, and rejecting all the good. Not only that, putting Him on that shameful death, amen, that cruel death, that torturous death on the cross. So the sin of man is manifested in its fullness against perfect goodness. At the cross, you see Satan's power manifested in his fullness. He was able to sway multitudes of men to sin and to follow his will. He's still active in the world today, to sin against the very one who would give His life for them. At the cross, you see God glorified, why? Because all His attributes of holiness, and righteousness, and inflexible justice, because if God curves on His justice, the whole world collapse.
We see all that is fully met at the cross. God's fullest justice was executed. His righteousness, His perfect righteousness was met at the cross, so God's justice is satisfied. Now we see something wonderful. We see that wonderful Man. We see the story of Bethlehem. We see the story of Nazareth. We see the story of the shores of Galilee where this young baby that was brought into this earth to become a Man grew up, and then we see there the perfect Man, Man in His greatest goodness, in His perfect goodness. Don't forget, He came as a Man. He's there as a Man. Never did we see a man in his perfect goodness and love displayed like that. He loved His Father. He obeyed His Father at the expense of Himself at the cross. And at the cross, God's infinite, unconditional, undying, eternal love for you and I was demonstrated when we see, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son". It's at the cross.
Ahhh, for a thousand tongues to express, everything was fully met at the cross. You know, there is a Levitical offering, the burnt offering. When they bring the lamb and they kill it, they sprinkle the blood around the altar. They sprinkle the blood around the altar, all right? What does that mean? Altar means God's claims on man. You lay on the altar what He claims from man in the Old Testament. Blood around the altar means the blood of Jesus at the cross has fully met all the claims of God's holiness and righteousness on you and your family, and God is glorified. And that's why today God can accept sinful man. It's not a matter of like God said, "I purposely don't want to see your sin. I don't wanna smell that smell. You know, I just accept you, lah. Never mind, lah, you know, from a distance". No, it's not like that. It's not pity, you know?
The Bible used the language of the court. God is just, righteous in making you righteous. Who is it just to? What Jesus did at the cross. And that's why God raised Jesus from the dead, amen, as a testimony that you have been declared righteous because that perfect Man, the sin that He carried, wasn't His own so that the righteousness you and I carry today will not be our own. The divine exchange took place at the cross. Come on, church, amen? You know, I'll keep on preaching the cross, the gospel until Jesus comes for me, all right? You've gotta sit down there and keep on hearing it. It is your bread. It's your life. It's your health. It's your length of days, amen? So Jesus washed the disciples' feet, but He says, "What I'm doing you do not know now".
So it's a spiritual washing, isn't it? It's a spiritual washing, isn't it? Because later on in the same upper room, right, in the same upper room, He says, "I am the vine, you are the branches". In John 15, and this is what He said, "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you". What did He just speak to them? Was it a law? Was it a demand? Was it corrective? Was it a rebuke? No, all these things has its place, but what is the word that cleanses the disciples? He just got through verse 1 and verse 2 talking about, "I am the vine, you are". not "You will be," not "Try to be". "I am the vine, you are the branches". And people, of all the trees, right, if you look at the vine, the vine has no branch. In a sense, the vine has no, I should say, stem. It has branches. In other words, the branches are the stem. What you call clinging vine, have you seen it? You must have the trellis, and the trellis is usually like a cross, right?
So the vine, the grape, the grapevine, it grows like this... It curls around because it has no stem. It has no trunk. The branches make up the vine tree. Jesus says, "I am the vine, you are the branches". You know how one that is? Oh, when He used that phrase, "I am the vine, I am the true vine, you are," it's a declaration, "the branches". "You are so part of Me". When He rose from the dead, He did not rise alone. When He came, He came alone, amen, and born as a baby, but when He left this earth, I'm telling you, we are all in Him. He has something called the church, and the church is not a building. It's the called out ones, amen, partakers of the divine nature. Sins are forgiven and God does not impute their sin to them. And the whole purpose, I was saying just now, is so that God looks at you without your sin on you. "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin".
Now, does that make you want to sin? No, because if you know that there's no imputing of sin, even when you sin and you know there's no imputing of sin, does not make you want to sin. It makes you love the person who loves you so that He still looks at you as if you have never sinned. Peter denied knowing Jesus three times with cursing and swearing. Jesus was caught by the Pharisees. I shouldn't say caught. He allowed Himself to get caught. And Peter denied, "I never knew the Man," and then with cursing and swearing. And yet, the very first word Jesus gave to the angel, "When the women come, give them this message: 'Go tell My disciples and Peter.'" Tell them, "For Pete's sake". "Go tell them and Peter". And Peter. Didn't say, "And Bartholomew. And..."
"How 'bout Judas, Pastor Prince"? Oh, by now he was hanging already. He killed himself. If only he wait for a few hours more, right? Jesus' hanging would become his hanging and he'd be forgiven. He didn't wait for the, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". If only he had waited. One of the greatest forms of self-righteousness is to kill yourself. All right, friend? You have no right to do that. You are not your own. You are bought with a price, and what a price. It's not the blood of Angel Gabriel, or Archangel Michael, or one of them. No, it's the blood of God's own Son. So we come to this and you see that Jesus is washing their feet, and it's a spiritual act. So what was this act? Then He came to Peter and Peter says, "You must not wash me," right? And Jesus says, "What I'm doing now you do not know," so obviously it's not referring to the physical one, but spiritual.
Let's go on. And then, "Peter said to Him, 'You shall never wash my feet!' 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.'" Now, some people say, "Well, that shows salvation". He says, "You have no part with Me". No, salvation is He would have said, "You have no part in Me". It is not the Greek word "en," E-N, in. "En" is the Greek for "in" in English. It is the word "meta" in Greek, for "With Me". In other words, "You cannot walk with Me. You are saved, you are born again, but if you wanna walk successfully with Me like we are communing together, you need the washing of your feet". Notice it's not the washing of the blood anymore, it's the washing of the feet. Because when Jesus rose from supper, it's a picture of resurrection. He's giving us an intimation of what He is doing in heaven for us today. He's waiting for you to come and place your soiled feet, dirty feet, your dirty walk, amen, into His hands.
And you say, "How can I do that? How can the Lord of glory take my filthy feet"? And that's exactly what He wants to do. He wants to love you that way, amen? You know, have you had a child that you love, and one of the things you want to do is to... like, the child is lying down in the bed at night about to sleep and all that, you feel like massaging the child's feet? You know, as you're like, you know, just to love him. So you all don't talk to me, right? Don't wanna say amen and all that, ah? Have you had things like this? You massage their leg. And you don't know how else to show love, and it's silence but it is, you express by massaging your child's feet ever, amen? Especially when they complain that it's, you know, sore or whatever, and you start doing that. It gives you joy, doesn't it? The joy is in the act, amen?