Son of Man Glorified, John 13:31-38

“So when he [Judas] had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.’” John 13:31-32.

In this chapter Jesus had washed Judas’ feet. As the Lord pointed out, once a person has bathed they need not bathe again but are clean. But He said, referring to Judas, “You are not all clean.” This was so because Judas had never accepted Christ as his savior.

Once a person accepts Christ as their savior, they are cleansed by the blood of the Lamb, bathed; they need not repeat the process, because salvation is permanent.

Foot washing on the other hand, has the significance not of a ritual but rather of the necessity for the Christian daily to cleanse their way, because they continually become defiled by sin in their walk through life.

This cleansing comes by the washing of the water of the word of God. Our washing of water is administered by Jesus through His Holy Spirit as He keeps us on the paths of righteousness by the study and application of Scripture.

“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word [the Bible]. With my whole heart I have sought You; oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.” Psalm 119:9-11.

The secondary, but no less important meaning of foot washing was that, as the Lord of all had washed the disciple’s feet like a lowly servant, they too must wash one another’s feet.

This is not about foot washing, but rather one of caring for others in ministering to their needs, as servants, not superiors.

This is all yada, yada, yada; to the unclean Judas who having had his feet washed by a humble Savior and been given a place of respect and honor by receiving the morsel of bread at the end of the supper, learned nothing.

After about three and a half years of being loved by Jesus, the traitor walks out into an eternal night. The last pin has dropped into place and the Juggernaut begins to roll forward to its inevitable end.

“Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.” Jesus, being a Man is representative of mankind, the second Adam. The first Adam was placed in a Garden and along with his wife Eve, was given one command.

“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’” Genesis 2:15-17.

Then Satan, took advantage of them and came to them in the form of a serpent and questioned God’s word, then lied to them, then promised that they would be like God if they ate of the fruit.

Seeing that the tree was good for food, pleasant to the eyes, and desirable to make one wise, Eve ate of it and gave some to her husband, Genesis chapter 3.

These are the three avenues of temptation that come against all of us at one time or another.

“For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16.

After Jesus had fasted forty days and forty nights and being hungry and weak, He was tempted by the devil. All three of His temptations were in the same order as the others shown above.

“Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, ‘If [since] You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.’” Matthew 4:3.

“Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, ‘If [since] You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down.’” Matthew 4:5-6a.

Think of the glory of diving off the pinnacle of the temple and having a group of angels catch Him and gently lower Him to the ground. The nation would surely have received Him then, or not.

“…Again, the devil took Him…and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to Him, ‘All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.’” Matthew 4:8b-9.

Having countered all of Satan’s temptations with Scripture, the Lord finally answers him with these words.

“Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’” Matthew 4:10.

Adam and Eve fell before the temptations of the devil, failing God and plunging the whole world into darkness and sin.

Jesus resisted with Scripture and even at His weakest point He vindicated God before the holy angels and before Satan and his fallen angels by staying true to Him.

Having done all things well as a man, Jesus representing mankind is glorified. The second Adam has vindicated the first Adam, and has become the last Adam.

“Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:18-19.

So then, not only is man glorified through the Man Jesus Christ, God is glorified in Him.

“If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.” John 13:32.

Because of the cross God glorified Christ through the resurrection and has seated Him at His right hand in heaven.

In saying “…glorify Him immediately”, it is meant that God is going to circumvent the Messianic Kingdom (having been rejected by Israel) for now and seat Christ at His right hand until the time is right, when the church age comes to an end and Christ returns to reign in power.

“…that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.” Ephesians 1:18b-23.

“The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.’” Psalm 110:1.

“I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is and everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14.

“I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:2b-3.

“Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come,’ so now I say to you. 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 13:33-35.

“A new commandment I give you…” every Christian must give serious consideration to verses 34-35; without question this is the most important doctrine concerning the church other than the foundation which is the doctrine of Christ.

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” This begins by being called a commandment, so this is something to be done.

“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.” 1 John 3:23-24.

This appears to be a little different than keeping the royal law, which is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Leviticus 19:18 and James 2:8.

Yet Christ raises the bar here and commands us to love one another as much as He loves us; this now becomes a staggering requirement. This is not unprecedented for Scripture tells us:

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” Ephesians 5:25-26.

Husbands are told to love their wives. This is not if they feel all warm and fuzzy toward them, or if they give them no reason not to love them; they are commanded to love their wives.

This takes effort, you may have to ignore a lot of things that bother you, many may even be unlovable, but the words are firm, “Husbands love your wives.”

Even as much as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it; this kind of love is very great and may involve sacrifice. To do this requires an act of the will, not just the heart.

Considering again the commandment to love one another; it is the same kind as the husbands for the wives.

This kind of love is specifically for those within the church, the body of Christ. It is a commandment to love, whether they are lovable or not, this too requires effort and determination.

This love, does not allow gossip about a brother or sister in Christ, it does not allow judgment of a brother or sister, retaliation, innuendo, disdain, domineering, contentions, bickering, holding a grudge, an unforgiving heart, rejoicing when they fall, or outbursts of anger, in fact it does not allow any of the sinful responses of the world.

This does not mean you have to be a doormat; even Jesus spoke up when He was struck without justification.

“And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, ‘Do You answer the high priest like that?’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?’” John 18:22-23.

However, Jesus also said.

“But wisdom is justified by all her children.” Luke 7:35.

Knowing where to make a stand and what things make for peace is more important than just making a point.

“…fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4.

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Ephesians 4:1-6.

“Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:8a.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35.

“Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, where are You going?’ Jesus answered him, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake.’” John 13:36-37.

Again Peter speaks up, logically asking the Lord where He is going. Today we might paraphrase Jesus’ answer in this manner, “I am going to the cross to die, and since there is still work for all of you to do, you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later.”

However, since the Lord’s answer is obscure, Peter begins to make promises he cannot keep, “I will lay down my life for Your sake.”

Of the several errors in his words, the gravest of them is Peter’s confidence in self. We have the tendency to think that we will give our life for God or someone else, but to depend on the flesh is arrogance. Everything should be based on, if the Lord wills.

“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit’; whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15.

The point here is that we stumble through life making decisions independent of the Lord. The question is, do you want success in what you do? What is God’s will, have you consulted Him?

As a result of not consulting Him, we often find ourselves surrounded with problems that we did not anticipate. At this point folks usually say, “Lord, why did You let this happen?”

So then the questions arise when we get into a bind; (a) did you consult the Father, and (b) did you listen to Him?

So then, Peter’s statement of devotion, while laudable, was made completely in the flesh and would become a source of humiliation to him later. It pays to be slow to speak.

“Therefore, by beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20.

While Peter’s, “where are You going” question was probably on everyone’s mind and legitimate; he did not listen to the reply, “…but you shall follow Me afterward” and have it at that.

It does no good to ask a question of God if you are not going to listen to the answer.

“Jesus answered him, ‘Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times.’” John 13:38.

This was not a bitter statement on the Lord’s part, rather a prophetic one. If this part of the conversation had not happened, and Jesus had not said anything about the crowing of the rooster, the end result might still have been the same.

Perhaps Peter would have gone out and wept bitterly anyway after denying his beloved Lord. But the impact of the prophecy and his own words had an immediate and powerful impact.

In all fairness, it was not Peter alone who vowed to die with the Lord.

“Peter said to Him, ‘Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!’ And so said all the disciples.” Matthew 26:35.

When Jesus was in Gethsemane with His disciples and they came to arrest Him, Scripture says this.

“Then they all forsook Him and fled.” Mark 14:50.

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.” Psalm 18:2-3.

Son of Man Glorified, John 13:31-38 taken from posted on 3-10-13, updated on 1-18-18.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version, copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission, all rights reserved.

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