The New Life Mission

Sermons

Subject 16 : The Gospel According to JOHN

[Chapter 13] (John 13:1-17) In Order to Make Us Know That the Lord Has Already Washed Away All Our Sins!

(John 13:1-17)
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray 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, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.’ Peter said to Him, ‘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? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’”
 
 
Why Did Jesus Wash Peter’s Feet?
 
As you know well, Peter is the closest disciple of Jesus who made the clear confession of faith that he believed in the Lord as his Savior, the Son of God, and the King of kings, as he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). In the Words of today’s Scripture passage, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this” (John 13:7) while He was washing Peter’s feet. Here, we must contemplate why Jesus washed Peter’s feet and also why He said such things and look into the deep meaning of this.
Jesus already knew that Peter would deny Jesus three times in the future and commit sin against the Lord. Therefore, Jesus was washing Peter’s feet to free him from all the iniquities and sins that he would commit in the future. That is, the Lord washed Peter’s feet in order to teach Peter that He took even all the sins Peter would commit continually in the future. The Lord did this because it would be difficult to maintain the relationship between Peter and the Lord after the Lord ascends to Heaven if even the slightest sin remained in him. The Lord probably wanted to teach him this because he did not know the heart of Jesus who was washing Peter now. The Lord intended to teach the disciples through the real life experience because He already knew their hearts and that the disciples would commit sin. The Lord washed their feet beforehand because He did not want to leave anything uneasy in His relationship with all the disciples including Peter.
Dear fellow believers, it’s because we cannot share true fellowship with the holy Lord if there is anything uneasy in our relationship with the Lord because we who try to live the life as a disciple of Jesus commit sin before the presence of the Lord. It’s because the fellowship with the Lord becomes distant when we have sin in our hearts. Therefore, the Lord washed the disciples’ feet and taught them through such a real life experience in order to show them that the Lord has already cleansed all the sins of the disciples by the baptism He received. Jesus is the holy Creator and the Son of God the Father who came to this world in human flesh. Jesus is the Creator of all things, our God, and the Savior of you and me. Today, I want us to think deeply about the Word of Jesus, our Savior, who said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this” (John 13:7).
If you have the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you probably understand the Word of the Gospel of John chapter 13 very well. This account occurred before Jesus being crucified on the Cross after receiving the baptism. That Word is a very important teaching to His disciples who were with Him as well as us who are living in this era. That is, through the Passover Supper, Jesus showed all the disciples what kind of faith they must have in order to resolve all the sins they commit throughout all their lives. Now, at the Passover Supper, after having the bread and the wine with the disciples, Jesus wanted to wash the feet of the disciples. Spiritually, the Lord did this to tell us, “Do not be deceived by the Devil. I already took all your sins upon Myself at the Jordan River by the baptism I received from John the Baptist.” Therefore, Jesus said in the Gospel of John chapter 13, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this” (John 13:7).
 
 
Why Did Jesus Say This?
 
In today’s Scripture passage, Gospel of John chapter 13 verse 1 records, “When Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” As this Word records, Jesus already knew that the time had come for Him to be crucified and ascend to God the Father. And He wanted to have the last supper with the disciples before dying on the Cross because He so loved His own disciples who would remain in the world. Therefore, it is written, “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, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, are You washing my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this’” (John 13:3-7).
However, at that time, Peter could not understand the Lord’s profound will as to why Jesus wanted to wash his feet. Peter did not understand that the Lord washed his feet beforehand because the Lord was concerned that he would commit sin in the future and would become a sinner who would not be able to come before the presence of God. By washing Peter’s feet, the Lord showed that He already cleansed all the sins that he would commit in the future. Jesus washed the feet of Peter and the other disciples before returning to the Kingdom of God because they could not but return to the state of sinners if He did not do this. Peter and the other disciples were able to understand such intentions of Jesus only after Jesus was resurrected from death. They were able to understand later the profound will of the Lord that said, “I have blotted out all your sins. I have blotted out even the sins you will commit in the future.” Also, Jesus did this so that they would not be lost to Satan the Devil due to their sins.
The Scriptures state that the intention of Jesus washing the feet of Peter like this was the truth of the water basin in the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:17-21). The priests were able to go before the presence of God to offer up the sacrifice by washing their hands and feet cleanly every day with the water from the bronze basin. God had established the law of salvation hidden in the secret of washing away the filth with the water of the bronze basin. Even in the New Testament era, it was God’s intention to wash all the filth and all the sins of the disciples of Jesus and make them clean in the New Testament era like the water of the bronze basin of the Old Testament.
Like this “method of cleansing sins” in the Old Testament, our Lord gave the remission of all the sins of all sinners by cleansing their sins and receiving judgment by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and the blood of the Cross. Anyone who has received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit would know what important element of the cleansing of sins Jesus is speaking of in today’s Scripture passage. Before dying on the Cross after receiving the baptism according to the promise of the Old Testament, while having the Passover Supper, Jesus washed Peter’s feet to teach the disciples that He cleansed even their personal sins perfectly at once.
The Lord was saying, “You do not know why I am washing your feet now. However, you will come to know in the future. You will come to know why I washed your feet if you realize the reason I received the baptism at the Jordan River.” We will be free from sins eternally only if we know that Jesus saved us from all our personal sins by the account of washing Peter’s feet. In order to be free from sins eternally, we must know that Jesus blotted out all the sins of us sinners through the baptism at the Jordan River and we must also understand the Lord’s Word, saying, “It is finished” when He was crucified on the Cross. We must understand by the gospel of the water and the Spirit that the Lord carried away all the sins of this world once and for all. The Lord blotted out all our sins once and for all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and carrying all our sins to the Cross and shedding His precious blood.
Dear fellow believers, examine carefully whether you have sin or not after believing in Jesus, and whether you now believe in Jesus correctly or not. If you have believed in Jesus correctly, you would not have sin by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Wouldn’t you?
Jesus is God who created all things. God who watches over all things knew so well how Satan the Devil would deceive us the disciples of Jesus in the future. It is the deception of the Devil to make us not know that Jesus has resolved the problem of all our sins. Therefore, the disciples of Jesus had to know clearly that the Lord is their Savior who has taken all their sins without fail.
However, look at Peter’s resolve in today’s Scripture passage as he said, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Peter had tremendous faith toward Jesus. He was a man of faith as he professed, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He actually confessed, “Lord, You are my God, my Savior, and the Son of God the Father.” However, our Lord knew that even Peter who had such strong faith would commit sin in this world due to the weakness of the flesh after Jesus’ death on the Cross, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. Therefore, our Lord wanted to tell him that He resolved even all those sins. In other words, because the Devil would falsely assert that they are sinners whenever the disciples of Jesus commit sin and question why they do not have sin when they commit sin, the Lord washed the feet of the disciples in order to protect them from the Devil’s attack. Like this, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples for the benefit of the disciples. Jesus took all their sins and all the sins of this world upon Himself already by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River just once from John the Baptist. Jesus wanted to make us all understand this fact.
Not only the disciples of Jesus but also you and I who live in this era now must know such Truth and reconfirm it and not be ensnared by Satan. You can become the servants of God only if you have sure faith of receiving the salvation from all sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. If you were attacked by Satan because of not having such faith, you would not be able to become the servants of God who truly are apart from sin. Only the born-again who have received salvation from sins perfectly and are apart from sin can become the preachers of God’s gospel. Only the saints have such qualification.
However, you are a slave of your flesh now, not a servant of God, if you do not have faith that is apart from sin at all. You can become the people of the Lord who do not have even a single sin only by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Although you have shortcomings even after receiving the remission of sins, you can give thanks to God always while living out your faith by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. In order to make us understand all the Truth of salvation, our Lord said before washing Peter’s feet, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Have you received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Have you believed with the correct understanding of the Truth that Jesus blotted out all your sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and shedding His precious blood of the Cross? To you who have boldly answered, “Yes,” I want to ask you again: “If we have received the remission of all the sins by believing in the Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit, can we become sinners again due to the sins we commit after receiving salvation?” No, we cannot become sinners again. You cannot become sinners again if you believe that the Lord has blotted out all your sins by His baptism and the blood of the Cross. Those who have become the righteous once by believing in the Lord’s gospel of the water and the Spirit cannot become sinners again. If you are still distressed due to the sins you have committed again after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, you must return to the Jordan River and believe that your sins have been passed over to the head of Jesus through the baptism He received in order to take all the sins of the world upon Himself for our salvation. There, you must ruminate the fact that Jesus took away all your sins once and for all by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and reconfirm that Jesus is your true Savior. Only then, your heart can dwell in the Truth. If you truly believe in Jesus as your Savior, you must know and believe that all your sins have passed over to the body of Jesus by the baptism He received from John the Baptist. No matter what situation you are in, you would never forget that you have become a child of God if you believed in the baptism, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus.
Dear fellow believers, we have become the righteous eternally and unchangingly by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit because the Lord had done the righteous work that took the sins of the world upon Himself and paid off all those sins by shedding His blood. You and I and all the sinners of the world were able to receive salvation by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Are you still a real sinner even though you believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? No, you are not. Are you really a righteous person? Yes, you are. Believe in the righteousness of the Lord. And give thanks to the Lord. Of course we commit sin even after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit because the flesh is weak, but Jesus took and shed blood for even those sins. We cannot but commit sin always. That is why Jesus took all the sins of the entire world once and for all by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist.
Why are we called the righteous instead of a sinner when we still commit such sins? It’s because the Lord took away and shed blood on the Cross for even all the sins we commit due to our weakness after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Because Jesus took even the sins all the people will commit until they die by His baptism, the sins have been blotted out and we become the righteous if we believe in the righteousness of Jesus. Jesus spoke of this by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The disciples of Jesus probably could not practice discipleship of Jesus if the Lord ascended to Heaven without speaking of this Truth clearly.
 
 
The Implication of the Water Basin Recorded in the Old Testament Was Fulfilled in the New Testament
 
At the time, when Jesus wanted to wash his feet, Peter refused, saying, “How can you wash my feet. You shall never do this.” However, Jesus said, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me. Therefore, I must wash your feet. Only then, you can become my true disciple and the things I have done for you will be perfect and not in vain.” That Jesus washed the feet of the disciples means that Jesus washed all the sins the disciples had committed and the sins they would commit from then on while living in this world. And after Jesus resurrected and ascended to the Kingdom of the Father after receiving the baptism from John the Baptist and dying on the Cross, the remaining eleven disciples including Peter actually continued to commit sin due to the weakness of their flesh. This is the same for us who have received the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. The Lord already took even all the sins we commit due to our weakness through His baptism. Therefore, we can become perfect and preach the perfect gospel of the water and the Spirit only when we have the faith of believing in this genuine gospel. The Lord washed Peter’s feet in order to make us understand precisely that He already took all our sins upon Himself.
As I have said briefly moments ago, the work of the Lord washing Peter’s feet was the fulfillment of the Word of the water basin recorded in the Old Testament. In the Old Testament, the priests put water in the bronze basin and washed the filth of their hands and feet whenever they entered the holy place. Similarly, Jesus saved the disciples from the sins they would commit in the future by washing their feet beforehand. Aaron of the Old Testament was able to go before the presence of God by washing his hands and feet with the water of the bronze basin. Like this, the water basin of the Old Testament manifested the righteousness of God that all the iniquities of the priests had already been cleansed and received judgment by the sacrificial offering. Because God had washed all the sins of sinners by the water, the Israelites at that time were able to go before the presence of God by the faith of believing in this. We probably could not have been able to go before the presence of the Lord confidently if not for the Word of God contained in this bronze basin and the Word of the Lord that fulfilled this Word in the New Testament by the Word of the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We must give thanks for the law of salvation that the Lord gave us through the sacrificial system, which consists of the laying on of hands and the vicarious judgment of the sacrificial animal.
Dear fellow believers, the Lord was able to suffer the penalty of the Cross because He received the baptism of the Jordan River before we were born to this world, and we were also able to receive the remission of sins by believing in this Truth. Jesus washed Peter’s feet before dying on the Cross in order to solidify the faith of believing in the baptism Jesus received from John the Baptist. Peter could not understand the heart of Jesus at that time, but he was able to understand the reason clearly when he met the Lord of resurrection later.
When Peter who loved Jesus refused and said, “You shall never wash my feet,” Jesus said, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” And Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” At this, the Lord said, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean,” and put an end to the argument.
 
 
Jesus Knew That Peter, the Closest disciple of Jesus, Would Deny Jesus Three Times in the Court of Pilate
 
As you also know well, Peter the closest disciple of Jesus was the person who denied Jesus three times in the court of Pilate. Jesus washed the feet of Peter beforehand for such sins of Peter. Peter said, “I will lay down my life for Your sake,” but the Lord told him beforehand what sin Peter would commit as He said, “The rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times” (John 13:38). Then, Peter said strongly, “Such a thing will never happen. I will not fall no matter what happens. I will not leave You, Lord, unless death separates You, Lord, and me. However, what eventually happened? After a short while, Peter denied Jesus three times just as Jesus said and he even cursed Him. Our Lord took even all such sins of Peter through the baptism He received at the Jordan River and He was reminding Peter of this Truth one more time by washing his feet.
This fact is recorded in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 26 verses 69 to 75. It is recorded, “Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, ‘You also were with Jesus of Galilee.’ But he denied it before them all, saying, ‘I do not know what you are saying.’ And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, ‘This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.’ But again he denied with an oath, ‘I do not know the Man!’ And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, ‘Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.’ Then he began to curse and swear, saying, ‘I do not know the Man!’ Immediately a rooster crowed. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.’ So he went out and wept bitterly” (Matthew 26:69-75).
At that time, there was one little girl who was doing chores in the court of Pilate. That servant girl told Peter, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee. You are His follower.” We can see that he denied two times, saying, “No, I am not. I am definitely not one of them. I do not know Him,” and then denied Jesus and cursed Him on the third time.
Dear fellow believers, the disciples of Jesus were weak fleshly like this. Jesus knew all too well what kind of sins His disciples who had followed Him for three years would commit in the future. It means that the Lord already knew the weaknesses of humans. Therefore, Jesus said, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” When Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this,” He was telling the disciples to know that He Himself took all the sins of humankind by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist. Through this, Peter later came to understand Jesus truthfully, followed truthfully, and came to remain as a disciple who believed that Jesus really is his God, the Savior, and the Shepherd. Peter whose faith was so strong when Jesus was alive and well in this world cursed the Lord when he was at the court of Pilate. We do not know what Peter said as he cursed Jesus, but the word “curse” is an extreme expression in any case. Peter himself did not know that he would be in such desperate situation and deny Jesus with cursing words, but Jesus knew well even such weakness of Peter. Therefore, the Lord washed Peter’s feet and said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” The Lord was saying that He already took upon Himself and cleansed even all such sins of Peter, the disciples of Jesus, and us who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now, by the baptism He received. Although Peter believed in Jesus as the Savior, he denied Jesus out of momentary fear of death. This is the very weakness of flesh that every human being has. We must know properly that the Lord knew all such weakness of humans already and blotted out even the sins we commit due to weakness by washing their feet.
Jesus washed the feet of the disciples during this time of the Passover Feast in order to plant in the hearts of the disciples the Truth that declares, “I took even all the sins you will commit in the future by receiving the baptism and I received even the judgment you should receive in the future. I have become your perfect Savior. I am your God and the true Savior who has saved you from the sins of the world.” We who live in this era when sin is prevalent in the world must know and believe in this Truth in order to receive the true salvation and enter the Kingdom of Heaven by believing in it. We were able to become the true disciples of Jesus by such faith. We who have become the true disciples who follow Jesus by believing in the true remission of sins that manifested by the gospel of the water and the Spirit will continue to keep this faith firm in the future as well.
 
 
We Are the People Who Commit Sin Always
 
As weak humans, we commit many sins while living in this world. That is the same even after receiving the remission of sins by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Of course we should not commit sin intentionally, but when we are put into such desperate and life-threatening situation while following the Lord’s will, we consequently lie even without knowing it and also come to commit sin as we are ensnared by the desires of the flesh. Humans are beings who commit sins like this due to the weakness and shortcoming of the flesh. It’s not that we deny the truth that “Jesus is my Savior,” but that lies cannot but come out of our mouth when the situation becomes so desperate. We commit sin without having anything to do with the Lord’s will when we follow the desires of the flesh. It’s because sin starts from the desires of the flesh. However, thankfully, our Lord who knows the weaknesses of our flesh so well has saved us from all these sins by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, the Lord wanted the disciples to ruminate the gospel of the water and the Spirit by washing the feet of Peter and the disciples. Jesus became our true Savior even until the last moment. He became the perfect Savior who blotted out all the sins of sinners until the end.
At that time, when Peter denied Jesus once, twice, and three times in the court of Pilate, Jesus looked at Peter. When Peter’s eyes met the eyes of Jesus, Peter’s heart was startled and he was so shameful in his conscience as he remembered what Jesus told him. How terrible and shameful Peter must have felt about himself who swore that he would never deny Jesus. However, Jesus already knew this also. That is why Jesus said before all this happened, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” In other words, He wanted to tell Peter and the disciples beforehand, “I knew you would commit even greater sins in the future, and therefore washed your feet because I did not want you to fall and become a sinner again. I have received the judgment for even these sins and became your perfect Savior. I have become your God and I have become your perfect Savior. Believe in the baptism I have received from John the Baptist for you eternally. Although you are weak, I have received the baptism from John the Baptist because I love you. Therefore, my work of blotting out your sins is eternal. The salvation of My love for you is unchanging for eternity.”
This Truth is hidden in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Dear fellow believers, do you understand? Jesus said this to the disciples because believing in this gospel of the water and the Spirit is the very important faith that we must absolutely have.
It is recorded in today’s Scripture passage, “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’” (John 13:9-10).
Now, dear fellow believers, we have received the remission of the original sins that we were born with from our mother’s womb and even all the sins we commit after believing in Jesus by the baptism Jesus Christ received from John the Baptist. We do not have any sin remaining in us at all. Jesus Christ said that He took upon Himself even the sins we commit after receiving the remission of sins. And it was necessary for Jesus to tell the disciples clearly before dying on the Cross, saying, “I took all those sins upon Myself. I have washed them all away. I took all the sins you will commit in the future upon Myself by the baptism I received from John the Baptist. I have washed them all.” Therefore, the Lord washed their feet because it was necessary to plant the confirmation of faith in them.
Of course, that does not mean it is okay for us to commit sin intentionally all the time due to the weakness of the flesh. The important thing is to know that our Lord received the baptism from John the Baptist in order to blot out all the sins of the world from the sinners and that the Lord has saved perfectly those who believe in this Truth and made them the righteous. It means that all the people, whether sinners or the righteous, must be freed from the guilty conscience for the sins they commit by believing in this Word that the Lord has cleansed at once all the sins they commit in this world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Do you know and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit? Jesus did not just wash our head and body, but he has washed even our legs, too. It means that the Lord already took upon Himself even all the sins we commit after receiving salvation from sin by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. John the Baptist pointed to the Lord and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”(John 1:29) Through this Word, John tells us that Jesus took all the sins of sinners by the baptism He received from John the Baptist and received all the penalties for those sins on the Cross. We must believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit in our heart; we must believe that all the sins were transferred over to Jesus Christ once and for all when He received the baptism from John the Baptist at the Jordan River. Also, we must believe that the Lord took even all the sins we commit like Peter whenever human weaknesses manifest while living in this world by ruminating the baptism He received from John the Baptist.
You and I must make the confession of faith, saying, “Lord, thank You. Lord, as You washed the feet of Peter because You knew Peter would do such shameful things, You washed away all my sins by receiving the baptism from John the Baptist because You knew I would be like this.” You cannot say that you have truly received the remission of sins if you cannot understand this. Jesus already knew the sins Peter would commit and Jesus received the baptism from John the Baptist in order to blot out even those grave sins. Although you have received salvation by believing in Jesus, you cannot but be a sinner if you cannot become a true disciple of Jesus and cannot receive the eternal salvation due to the sins you will commit in the future. A person who has received the remission of sins will go to the right hand of the throne of God the Father by the faith of believing in the account of Bethlehem, of the Jordan River, of the Cross, and Jesus’ resurrection. We can give glory, praise, and thanks to God only by such faith.
In the last chapter of the Gospel of John, we can see that the resurrected Jesus went to the Sea of Galilee looking for Peter. Jesus met Peter and asked him, “Do you love Me more than these?” At this, Peter said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You,” and the Lord said to him, “Feed My lambs.” Peter’s such firm faith of Jesus was possible because he believed absolutely in the truth of Jesus washing his feet. Peter’s faith became firm because he understood and believed in the meaning of our Lord washing his feet.
 
 
“Yes, Lord; You Know That I Love You” (John 21:16)
 
Let’s look at the Word from the Gospel of John chapter 21 verse 15. The resurrected Jesus appeared to the disciples and spoke to them. It is written, “So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs’” (John 21:15).
As you can see in this Scripture passage, you can see that Jesus Christ entrusted His sheep to Peter as He said, “Feed My lambs.” This was possible because Peter was His disciple who received salvation perfectly from sins, a perfectly righteous person, and also God’s perfect servant of faith. Jesus could not have entrusted His people to Peter if he became a sinner again and eternally after committing sin due to the weakness of the flesh. However, when Jesus asked “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these,” Peter confessed his faith, saying, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” Peter was finally able to understand the meaning of the Lord washing his feet just before He was crucified on the Cross.
Dear fellow believers, let’s listen carefully to the words of Peter once again. It is written, “He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You’” (John 21:17).
Such confession of faith of Peter was stemmed from the gift of salvation the Lord had given to Peter. If Jesus did not do the work of washing the feet of the disciples as recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 13, what would have been Peter’s answer when the resurrected Lord appeared to Peter and asked him, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” We must think about this. He probably could not but say, “Lord, I have many shortcomings. I am a sinner. I cannot love you, Lord, more than these people.” However, what was the answer of Peter who received the grace of salvation. Peter confessed sincerely, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You” (John 21:16).
Dear fellow believers, you must know that this confession came out of sincere heart of Peter. This confession of faith was the confession of faith of believing that the Lord has already blotted out all his sins. If Peter did not have the faith that the Lord had blotted out once and for all, by the gospel of the water and the Spirit, even all the sins he would commit after believing in Jesus Christ, whether they were sins he would commit with his hands or feet, he would have fallen back as a sinner although he had believed in Jesus. However, the Lord did not let the beloved disciples become like that. The salvation of Peter was the perfect salvation by Jesus. Peter’s faith was based on the remission of sins that was originated from the baptism of Jesus and His death on the Cross.
Is this true or not true? We must have such faith that says, “Lord, You know that I love You. How can I not love You, Lord, when You have saved me perfectly like this?” How could you and I not love the Lord when the Lord has already blotted out all our sins, all the sins of the world? We absolutely cannot do that. If the Lord just gave the remission of the sins that we had committed until we believed in Jesus Christ as the Savior and we had to pray for repentance of the sins that we commit every day after believing in order to receive the remission of those sins, sins could not but remain in our hearts without being able to offer the prayers of repentance every day because we are lazy.
How could we love the Lord if we became a sinner? We cannot love the Lord if we were sinners. How could we believe in the Lord, then? We could not believe in the Lord. Then, how could we follow the Lord? We could not follow the Lord even if we wanted to. However, Jesus took upon Himself even all the sins we commit due to our weakness by the baptism He received from John the Baptist. Because the Lord who is our perfect Savior has blotted out even all those sins we commit in this world, we can believe in the Lord and also love Him. I am also a person who cannot believe in the Lord and cannot do His work as the Lord’s witness if He did not blot out and left even one iota of sin among all my sins. Are you also like this?
When Peter said to the Lord, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You,” Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.” The Lord entrusted His sheep to the people who have received the remission of sins perfectly. At that time, the Lord asked Peter three times, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” And Peter confessed by faith, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” This was the confession of faith that came out of the faith of believing in the Lord. Like Peter’s faith, our faith also is not the faith that we believe out of our own will. I want you to remember that our faith has come out of the very faith of believing in the righteousness of the Lord.
 
 
Love and Faith Out of One’s Own Will Is of a Failure, but Believing That the Lord Saved Us Is the True Faith
 
When we love someone and try to maintain that love with our own will only, then, such love would fail once our will becomes weak. However, what would happen if the person he loves had vast and great degree of love? The love with the person would be maintained even if he was lacking.
Dear fellow believers, the love of God toward us is like this. His love is such great love that cares without reservation for us who are weak. Therefore, our faith of knowing and believing in the righteousness of God is the faith that manifested out of God’s love and God’s perfect salvation, not out of our will. It means that our serving God and loving God as God’s workers are all out of God’s love, not out of our fleshly ability. If we believed in the righteousness of God out of our own will, then, there would be so many people who would have given up leading a life of faith cursing his own faith as they become weary because of believing faithfully one day and then falling to sin another day like that.
However, the Lord who loves us so much has blotted out all the sins of us who are like that and also holds on to us always. The Lord has blotted out all those sins like in Peter’s case here, without exception. This is true. We cannot but become a failure in spiritual life if we believe in God only by our own will, our own love, and the faith of our own fleshly resolution only. However, we have become a true believer and a successful people of faith because we have the Lord’s love that saved us perfectly by the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Dear fellow believers, we who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit are the children of God. We have become His children and the righteous due to the Lord’s love. We who believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit do not have sin. The salvation we have received from sin is not due to fleshly faith or due to human love. It is only because of the salvation that is originated from God’s love and His righteousness. We are now living out our faith as the righteous, the people who have been born again, and the people who shall go to the Kingdom of Heaven because we have the faith in His everlasting law of salvation. Because we now have our righteousness that manifested from the Lord’s love, we live eternally praising the righteousness of God and live the spiritual life thanks to God. Brothers and sisters, do you believe in the righteousness of God?
Therefore, Jesus said, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). There was actual salvation because God’s plan of saving us from sins was perfectly accomplished through the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We would not have been able to receive salvation from sins from anywhere if it had not been for God’s love and the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have received the true salvation by the faith of believing in the salvation of the remission of sins God has given, the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit. We have become the righteous before the presence of God by believing in this Truth.
There are many people in the world who live the life of faith with their own will, saying, “I will follow the Lord even unto death.” However, a human’s willful faith or willful love is actually nothing. It is not the true love, faith, or belief. It is just a momentary will of a human and it is only of a human emotion that can change at any time. There are many times when such people who believed in Jesus with their own will in the beginning like that and give up their spiritual life because they have been bounded by sins again. Therefore, we must have the true faith based on the perfect love of the Lord by believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, not the faith based on our own resolution. Jesus who loves us so much saved us from even all the personal sins, including terrible sins we have committed knowingly or unwittingly, by the gospel of the water and the Spirit. Therefore, the Lord gathered the disciples before dying on the Cross and washed their feet in order to teach us once again how definite this salvation He has given is. We must become the people who know and believe in the great love of God and the work of salvation.
 
 
“You Shall Know after This”
 
At that time, when Jesus wanted to wash the feet of the disciples, only Peter refused stubbornly. He refused stubbornly, saying, “You shall never wash my feet! Jesus, You must not do that! Lord, You can never wash my feet even until the end of the world.” At this, Jesus said, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Then, when did Peter come to know such will of God? Yes, it was when Jesus appeared to Peter again after dying on the Cross and was resurrected from death. Peter, the closest disciple of Jesus, came to know, though belatedly, perfectly the meaning of the love of the Lord and the Word the Lord spoke to him before. We who have the faith of believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit also must give glory and praise to God by believing that Jesus already took all our sins upon Himself until the end.
Shall we speak a little more about Peter? After Jesus died on the Cross, Peter was fishing in the sea with the other disciples. Jesus appeared before him who returned to the old occupation as a fisherman. Then, Jesus called the disciples together. And when they came ashore, they ate together the breakfast Jesus had prepared. At that time, Peter finally came to know the deep meaning of the Lord who said, “But you will know after this.” ‘He came to realize, “Jesus really gave the remission of all my sins and saved me from all sins. The Lord knew and gave the remission of all sins, even the sins I commit due to my weaknesses and the sins I will commit in the future.”
After having breakfast, when Jesus asked Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?” Peter made a profound confession of faith, saying to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” This implies, “How can I not love You when You have loved me like this? You know that I love You. My love for You has manifested out of Your love.” Peter finally came to know the meaning of the Lord’s Word, “But you will know after this.”
 
 
The Twelve Disciples Preached the Gospel at the Risk of Their Lives
 
After that, how were the lives of Peter and the disciples who came to know the profound will of Jesus? They preached the gospel of the water and the Spirit unto death, at the risk of their lives. The twelve disciples witnessed Jesus without care for their lives during the terrifying era of the Roman Empire when the believers in Jesus were persecuted severely and put to death by the oppressors. I know that there probably are some people who have some questions here as to why I am saying there were twelve disciples instead of eleven when Judas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, killed himself by hanging after betraying Jesus. But, after Judas died, the disciples chose Matthias and filled the spot. However, the Lord chose the Apostle Paul and it became twelve Apostles including Paul. All of the twelve Apostles of Jesus were martyred later. However, so many people came to believe in Jesus and received salvation through the disciples who witnessed even until the moment of death, saying, “Jesus has blotted out all your sins. Jesus has saved you by taking all your sins upon Himself by receiving the baptism at the Jordan River and shedding blood and dying on the Cross. Believe in this Truth and receive the remission of sins.” We also have received the remission of sins by hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit now because of the witness of those disciples at that time. We have also become one of the disciples of Jesus Christ due to the love of Jesus and His perfect salvation.
Dear fellow believers, do you believe in this now? We have become the disciples of Jesus absolutely not because we are great. We have become the disciples of Jesus Christ because Jesus has loved us so much. Jesus washed the feet of Peter and the other disciples in order to show His unfathomable love toward us. It was to teach you and me once again that He has cleansed all the sins you and I commit in this world. I give thanks to such deep love of the Lord. I praise the Lord.
It is written in the Gospel of John chapter 13 verses 12 to 17, “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? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.’”
Just a little time ago, Jesus said to Peter, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Dear fellow believers, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples at that time to show clearly that He is the perfect Savior who served the sinners and made them the righteous. Jesus showed personally His example of serving by washing the feet of disciples in order to teach them the truth that said, “It is right for you who have become the righteous first to serve those who have become the righteous later just as I have served you.” Therefore, in the Church of the born-again, those who have become the people of God first serve the brothers and sisters who have become the people of God later just as Jesus did. Of course, occasional disputes flare up because of human weaknesses, but, we come to realize the fact that we have become who we are thanks to the sacrifice and service of our predecessors of faith.
 
 
Two Implications in the Account of the Lord’s Washing the Feet of the Disciples
 
In the Gospel of John chapter 13, there were two meanings in Jesus washing the feet of the disciples during the feast of the Passover. They are none other than “salvation” and “serving.” These two things still exist in the Church even now. I am saying that these two things are now in action in our Church now. You receive salvation by hearing and believing in the gospel of the water and the Spirit through God’s Church and the servants of God. And God is serving you who are in the Church through His servants who have come before you.
Though it might seem like you are serving God’s Church and God, you are actually being served by the Lord. The Lord always loves us first and also serves us first. That is why the Lord said that a student is never greater than a teacher. Dear fellow believers, we must serve the other people just as Jesus serves us. I am saying that you must serve the people who come after you. This is the work of preaching the gospel and the true life of faith. Our Lord washed the feet of the disciples in order to teach us this very truth.
And by recording this Word in the Scriptures, the Lord gave us the blessing of becoming the righteous by receiving the unfailing remission of sins without being deceived by Satan the Devil. The Lord has spoken to us about the perfect salvation and the work of the remission of sins by washing the feet of Peter and the other disciples. By the feast of the Passover recorded in the Scriptures, the Lord is showing us now that He has become our perfect Savior. Dear fellow believers, do you believe in this? Do you believe that Jesus has washed away all your sins completely? Believe in it. We can receive salvation from all sins only if you believe in this gospel the Lord has given us.
Dear fellow believers, we humans are weak being who are easily deceived by Satan the Devil if we are not careful for even just a moment. Satan the Devil says to us, “How can you not have sin when you commit sin like that? You are a sinner if you have committed sin.” Then, we refute against Satan the Devil, saying, “We are not sinners. How can we be sinners when Jesus took all the sins of the world by the gospel of the water and the Spirit? What sin do we have and what debt must we pay for when the Lord has paid off the entire debt of sin completely?” There is no sin in this world when we look at this world by shedding the light of the gospel of the water and the Spirit.
Therefore, everything that Satan the Devil says does not apply to us. However, the words the Devil says seem right when we think only fleshly without believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we must engrave in our heart the Truth of salvation of the remission of sins that manifested by the gospel of the water and the Spirit as we live in the world. The Truth of the gospel of the water and the Spirit means that Jesus Christ the Son of God saved us perfectly from all the sins of the world by receiving the baptism and shedding His blood on the Cross.
The disciples were able to become free from their sins because Jesus already washed the feet of the disciples beforehand. God the Father made us the children of God by washing us sinners perfectly through the righteousness of Jesus and made the people who believe in His righteousness the perfectly righteous people.
I sincerely give thanks and praise to the Lord who so loves us like this.