John 13:16-20
John 13:16 (KJB)
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.
Here Jesus begins with “verily, verily,” which means a very important truth is coming our way. Jesus is teaching us a very sobering truth. It does not matter if you pastor a true church of one thousand or if you hand out tracts in your neighborhood. Jesus is stating emphatically that the servant is never greater than his Lord. The servant does what is expected of them, whether they are paid servants or slaves. In either case, they are never greater than the one they report to. Then Jesus adds a second principle. Those that are sent are never greater than the one sending them. For example, if a person is an ambassador to a foreign country, even though they hold this esteemed position, they are never greater than the government that sent them. They are to deliver the messages and make known the wishes of their government to the host government. They never make policy, they just convey it to their hosts. The Christian is the same way, they are never higher than the Lord Jesus Christ, even though some think they are, but these learn the hard way. As the Father sent the Lord Jesus into the world, He sends us the same way. (John 20:21 KJV) Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. He sends us to walk in humility so we can accomplish what goals the Father sets for us. If we walk in pride, then we have to be continually corrected and nothing gets accomplished.
John 13:17 (KJB)
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Happy - Blessed
Here Jesus states that if they know and practice these things, that is, do their Christian walk in humility, then they will be much happier. The servant is normally happier than his master because the master has to worry about all his earthly possessions but if we seek God’s kingdom in all that we do, we will be blessed and will be able to do our part without much hindrance. A Christian who drives a forklift is actually in a better position than the Vice President of a company. The forklift driver puts in his 8 hours but the Vice President has to put in many more hours. The Christian forklift driver is able to devote more time to ministry than the VP who will be stuck in their office for many more hours doing the work of the company. There may be higher financial rewards being a VP but the world always rewards those who can divert their lives from ministry. One must determine whether they serve the world or the Lord. This is not to say that a Christian who holds a high position in a company is sinning but they must give the greater portion of their hours to the company and when they are done for the day, they are too tired to do anything else. Those who hold high positions and are paid very well should live simple lives and give greatly to missions.
John 13:18 (KJB)
I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Here Jesus once again speaks of the fact that not all have been chosen and he is referring to Judas. Judas was not named before the foundation of the world for salvation so therefore he was not saved. Jesus knew those whom were saved and he makes a distinction between the saved apostles and the unsaved apostle. Then Jesus quotes from Psalm 41:9. (Psa 41:9 KJV) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. In ancient times, it was reprehensible to betray a person who had a meal with you. This shows how despicable Judas was in his betrayal of Jesus. He not only violated social custom but he betrayed the Son of God for perishable money. Before we condemn Judas, let us ask if we have betrayed the Son of God for money? Do you turn down overtime on Sunday or do you go to work instead of church? Do you work many hours during the week and never pick up your bible or do any forms of ministry? You see betrayal, need not be so crass as the way Judas did it. It can be very subtle with a layer of excuses piled on top of it.
John 13:19 (KJB)
Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he.
Jesus is informing His disciples that His betrayal and crucifixion are imminent. He does not want these events to shatter their faith in Him as being the Messiah. If He tells them everything which is about to happen and when it happens that way, they may take comfort that Jesus had warned them and everything He said precisely came to pass. What He explained to them was to help build their faith during the next three days because it would be time of confusion and faith displaces confusion. Jesus even used the term for God “I Am.” He wanted them to know that they were dealing with someone who was God on Earth. If they understood that, then they would know that it was Jesus who would be in charge of all the situations which were about to happen.
John 13:20 (KJB)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
Here is another important truth that Jesus is about to give. He is giving the order of acceptance. Those Christians who are sent to minister to others and they receive Christ as personal Savior are receiving the Christians that are sent, then they are also receiving the Lord Jesus Christ who sent them and they are then receiving the Father who sent the Lord Jesus. Now on the other side, if they reject the Christians who are doing ministry, they are then rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, and are rejecting God the Father. There is no such thing as having the Father without the Son. Religions like Judaism who reject Christ, believe they are still serving God the Father. They have a dead religion because if you do not have the Son and the Father, then what do you have? Nothing and no one! (1 John 2:23 KJV) Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. A religion is determined to be either true or false by how they view and treat Jesus, not by how many good works they do.