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JESUS Washes THE DISCIPLES' FEET.
JOHN XIII 1. and 33. 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; and supper being ended, (the devil having now put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,) Jesus knowing that the Father bad given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and girded himself; after that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter; and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet ? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my
feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with
Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit; and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him ; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he
said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you. Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye, if ye do them.
Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come, so now I say unto you. A new commandment I give unto you,
love one another; as I have loved
also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou ? Jesus answered him, whither I go, thou canst not follow me now ; but thou shalt follow me afterward. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I'will lay down
life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say nnto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
This passage affords a very striking instance of our Lord's manner of illustrating and impressing a principle; and what an example does it afford of noble humility! It is not without reference to his subject that the apostle John commences this chapter by referring to the situation and feelings of the Saviour at the time. « Jesus knew that his hour was come ;” and if at any time his mind might naturally be filled exclusively with thoughts of himself and hỉs own sufferings, it
might be then. But no. His love for his disciples yielded not in the prospect of death. “Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.” He would give them, before he went to his Father, a lesson of love; a lesson which they should long remember, of that love which he had felt for them, and which he desired that they should feel towards each other. He knew that the father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;" but exalted as he was, he hesitated not to perform a menial office to his followers, that they might remember and feel more deeply the lesson he designed to convey. Oh where is pride? Where is the haughtiness of station or of birth? Do they not shrink into nothingness at the contemplation of the Son of God employed in such an office of holy humility?
And dost thou deign, my blessed Lord,
May thy meek spirit far remove
May never hate this breast annoy,
Let me with thee the path pursue
PRAYER IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE.
MATT. XXVI. 36. Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death; tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt. And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What! could ye not watch with me one hour ? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation ; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, Oh my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again; (for their eyes were heavy ;) and he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Are ye sleeping on now, and taking your rest ? behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going ; behold, he is at hand that doth betray me. And while he yet spake,
lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he ; hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come ? Then came they and laid hands on Jesus, and took him. And behold, one of them which were with Jesus stretched out his hand, and drew his sword; and struck a servant of the high priest, and smote off his ear. Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place; for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray 10 my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels ? But how then shall the scripture be fulfilled ? for thus it must be. In the same hour said Jesus to the multitudes, Ye are come out as against a thief, with swords and staves for to take me; I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me; but all this was done that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and fed.
Our Saviour's perfect foreknowledge of his approaching doom, imparted the depth of agony to an hour like this, when all was removed which could keep from his mind the dark image that rose before it. In the midnight silence of Gethsemane, and with no one near him but his slumbering apostles, he had a foretaste in its full bitterness, of that cup of woe, which awaited him 'on the morrrow. We may well doubt how far the reality of bodily pain exceeded the mental an