Tag Archives: John 13:34-35

Clean Hands Not Required

26 Apr

Resurrection Sunday has come and gone. The tomb is still empty and Jesus still lives, but I wonder if it might be that some of our heightened awareness of Him may have come and gone with the date on the calendar. I pray that’s not the case – not for me and not for you. I’m praying that our worship is still filled with intense adoration and our praise for Him is fresh every day. And Sister, if we truly recognize the depth of our debt to Him, how can we live any other way?

It’s easy to slide into the “take God for granted” lifestyle, but why would we want to? What keeps us from fighting to stay in a place of God conscious living? Oh the busyness of life drowns Him out too quickly. Hectic schedules vie for our attention and our time slips away. Responsibilities mount and the moments are gone.  Chaotic careers turn our heads – especially if we work in a place where hurt and brokenness are all around us—and the fight slowly slips away. Life simply screams more loudly than that still Small Voice. But when we fail to listen, when we choose not keep our heads turned toward Him – we are the ones who suffer and become empty—empty of Life and empty of Love.

Acts 17:28So what say for this year, you and I link arms and we live, move, and exist in Him just as purposefully and as intentionally after the Easter Season as we did during? What if this year we lingered longer, fought to fuel the fire and kindled afresh the flame at every turn? What if we lived with the same mindful, responsive love the woman who anointed the feet of Christ at Bethany did?

Now one of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went into the Pharisee’s house and took his place at the table. Then when a woman of that town, who was a sinner, learned that Jesus was dining at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfumed oil.  As she stood behind him at his feet, weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. She wiped them with her hair, kissed them, and anointed them with the perfumed oil.

Now when the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him, that she is a sinner.” So Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He replied, “Say it, Teacher.”

 “A certain creditor had two debtors; one owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” Jesus said to him, “You have judged rightly.”

Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon,Do you see this woman? I entered your house. You gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil.

Therefore I tell you, her sins,

which were many, are forgiven,

thus she loved much;

but the one who is forgiven little loves little.”

 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”

Luke 7:36-48 (NET)

She knew the depth of her need for Him. She knew the condition she longed to be free of and the wounds her heart ached to be healed from.

And she knew . . . that He knew.

And yet, He did not simply choose to allow “the sinner” to touch Him, He welcomed her in His presence. Unheard of in that dispensation of time. Unfathomable that the righteous, the clean would be tainted by the unclean. But . . .

our Jesus does not require clean hands to reach for Him.

Clean hands Not Required to Reach for Jesus.

 He welcomes the outstretched heart of the repentant who recognize their need and desperately grab hold.

I would be so bold as to say that is impossible for those who believe they have clean hands to reach for the Savior. And I think if you’ll back at the passage, that’s exactly what Jesus is saying. When He tells Simon that the one who is forgiven little loves little, He isn’t saying that Simon has little to be forgiven for. Oh no Sweet One. He’s saying that Simon hasn’t realized the enormity of his own sin yet. Unacknowledged sin, excused sin, beats within an unrepentant heart.

Simon shed no tears on the feet of Christ because he felt no godly sorrow. The woman’s sins may have looked different than the sin of self-righteousness and ritualism but both the actions of the woman and the actions of Simon required payment far beyond what either could pay. Only the priceless blood of Christ would ransom either of them.

And Beloved, I think we need to be diligent in fighting the urge to look down on Simon the Pharisee because it might be that there have been times in life when we’ve looked at another and found our hands to be quite clean in comparison. It might be that we’ve had that same haughty heart toward someone who wore their sin on their sleeve a little more plainly.

To be forgiven much or to be forgiven little

is a human perspective on sin – not a godly one.

The debt owed is more than we can comprehend. The magnitude of it is just too much for us to wrap our minds around. And when we begin to get that—to understand that we can’t comprehend the cost let alone hope to pay it on our own—then, I think,

we begin to love.

We begin to love like someone who knows what it is like to be unlovable for we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Our love comes closer to mimicking the love of the One that rescued us because we know He saved us from condemnation. And we remember when we let our tears fall on the feet of Jesus, gave voice to our need and reached out with an unclean hand to our Savior and then, we begin

to love as He loved us.

Sister, let’s be purposeful and intentional in our awareness of Him and what He has done. Let’s not let the changing season turn our gaze away from Him. Let us keep our eyes firmly fixed on the One whose heart is firmly fixed on us.

Yes, Sweet Believer . . .

Let she who has been forgiven much love much.

Let she who knows the touch of Jesus reach for unclean hands.

And let she who is loved—love in His Name.

 Love one another  John 13:34-35


“I give you a new commandment—to love one another.

Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.

Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples—

if you have love for one another.”

John 13:34-35 (NET)

Passion Week . . . Maundy Thursday (Commandment Thursday: John 13:34-35)

17 Apr

The blog entries this week will be much different. This paragraph will be atop each one in explanation of what follows, but as always my prayers will be with you as you read.  However, other than that I will be silent and let the Scripture speak to you without any commentary to disturb your thoughts. Just you and the Holy Spirit without any distractions.  So if I’m not planning to do any chatting, what will I be doing?  Well, I hope I will be helping you drink in all of Passion Week as I help myself do the same.  Quite often with the parables, I take the accounts offered in each of the Gospels and bring all the details together so I can see the whole thing unfold a little more clearly.  I love doing it and it has taught me much.  This week, beginning with the Anointing at Bethany and finishing up with Easter Day, I’m going to try and do the same for Holy Week using the ESV.  

I’ll use different color texts to denote different Books and I’ll post a color key to go with it. In addition, I’ll provide links to BibleGateway.com so you can go and read not only each Scripture for yourself, but also take a look at the “Holy Week Timeline” available on the site. Bringing these passages together is an intentional step toward immersing myself in Christ through this Easter season and I ‘m certain I will learn much and it will bring me much joy. I hope, as we roll away the stone together on Easter Day, you will find the same is true for you. Be blessed Sister.





*Black will indicate transition words inserted for ease of reading.

Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 13:1-38,18:1-28

creation swap background Pierce Brantley 5001 pweek

Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the Passover?” And he sent Peter and John and said to them, “Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, My time is at hand. Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples? I will keep the Passover at your house with my disciples.’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready;  prepare it there.” And the disciples set out and went to the city as Jesus had directed and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.  For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, Take this, and divide it among yourselves. Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When it was evening, he reclined at table with the twelve. And as they were reclining at table and eating, he said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me one who is eating with me.” And they were very sorrowful and began to say to him one after another, “Is it I, Lord?” He answered, “He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.” Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

And a dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.  And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves. “You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

During supper, when the devil had 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 back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, 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 also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

After saying these things, Jesus was troubled in his spirit, and testified, “Truly, truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me.” The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he spoke. One of his disciples, whom Jesus loved, was reclining at table at Jesus’ side, so Simon Peter motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So that disciple, leaning back against Jesus, said to him, “Lord, who is it?” Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot.Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.” Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the moneybag, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the feast,” or that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.  When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

A new commandment I give to you,

that you love one another:

just as I have loved you,

you also are to love one another.

By this all people will know that you are my disciples,

if you have love for one another.”

And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered him, “Even though they all fall away because of you, I will not. I will never fall away.” Jesus said to him, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you,that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.”  Jesus said, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny that you know me three times.” But Peter said to him emphatically, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.

And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”   (See John 14-17)

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to his disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with him Peter and James and John, he began to be greatly distressed and sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with me.” And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying,

“Abba, Father,

all things are possible for you.

Remove this cup from me. Y

et not what I will, but what you will.”

And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, he went away for the second time and prayed,

“My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”

And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy and they did not know what to answer him.. So, leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and said to them, Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”

And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders of the people. Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” When Jesussaid to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” Now Judas, who betrayed him had given them a sign, saying, “The one I will kiss is the man; seize him and lead him away under guard.”  And he drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” Then he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” And he kissed him. Jesus said to him, “Friend, do what you came to do.”

Then they came up and laid hands on Jesus and seized him. And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And behold, Simon Peter stretched out his hand and drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) Then Jesus said to him, No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. “Put your sword back into its place; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Alll this has taken place that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. ” Then all the disciples left him and fled. And a young man followed him, with nothing but a linen cloth about his body. And they seized him, but he left the linen cloth and ran away naked.

So the band of soldiers and their captain and the officers of the Jews[arrested Jesus and bound him. First they led him to Annas, for he was the father-in-law of Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. It was Caiaphas who had advised the Jews that it would be expedient that one man should die for the people. Peter was following at a distance and so did another disciple.  Since that disciple was known to the high priest, he entered with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest, but Peter stood outside at the door. So the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to the servant girl who kept watch at the door, and brought Peter in to the courtyard of the high priest. Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves. Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself.   And as Peter was below in the courtyard one of the servant girls of the high priest, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, came,and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus. You also are not one of this man’s disciples, are you?” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean. Woman, I do not know him.” And he went out into the gatewayand the rooster crowed.

And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter again denied it with an oath and said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, your accent betrays you. He too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.

The high priest {Annas} then questioned Jesus about his disciples and his teaching. Jesus answered him, “I have spoken openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the temple, where all Jews come together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who have heard me what I said to them; they know what I said.” When he had said these things, one of the officers standing by struck Jesus with his hand, saying, “Is that how you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If what I said is wrong, bear witness about the wrong; but if what I said is right, why do you strike me?” Annas then sent him bound to Caiaphas the high priest.

Then those who had seized Jesus led him to Caiaphas the high priest, where all the chief priests and the scribes and the elders had gathered. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many bore false witness against him, their testimony did not agree. At last two came forward and said, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.”  Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent and made no answer. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God. Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said to him, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “What further witnesses do we need? He has uttered blasphemy. What is your judgment?” They answered, “He deserves death.” Then they spit in his face and struck him. And the guards received him with blows, some slapped him, saying, “Prophesy to us, you Christ! Who is it that struck you?”

Then they led Jesus from the house of Caiaphas to the governor’s headquarters.It was early morning.







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