As we should know, God is the head of all things and should be the head of our life.  Many love to say that they love the Lord, but in truth they are far from God.  How can you say that you’re following God down the pathway to glory but be far from God?  This is a thought that I must talk about today.

In John 13:1-11, we will see that there was one that walked with Jesus, but in actuality, he was far from Him.  In John 13:2, scripture states, “And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray [Jesus].”  As Paul said, we wrestle against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph. 6:12).

Scripture shows us that Jesus knew what was set to take place but He continued forward.  From John 13:3-7, we will see that Jesus rose from supper and began to wash the disciple’s feet.  In those verses you will see where Peter tried to stop Jesus from washing his feet.  Jesus said to Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

This brings me to my two key verses for today where Jesus continued to speak to Peter about being clean.

10 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.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”


The Tragedy of Judas Iscariot

To see Jesus say to Peter, “you are not all clean”, makes me feel bad.  I feel bad because Jesus sounds so disappointed that they weren’t all clean.  Let us remember that Jesus chose the disciples so that they could be fishers of the souls of men (Matt. 4:19).  The twelve disciples were supposed to closely follow the lead of Jesus so that they could learn from Him.

As we have seen, when you closely follow Jesus, He will lead you down the pathway to glory.  As you go down that path, Jesus will teach you of the ways that are holy and righteous.  Jesus wants you to become holy and righteous so that you can enter the heavenly kingdom and dwell with Him.  Jesus does this because He loves us.

So, Jesus loved the disciples and desired for them to be like Him.  Jesus said to them, “you are my friends, if you do whatever I command you (John 15:14).  One who says they are a friend of Jesus but aren’t heeding His word, aren’t a friend of His— they don’t love Him.

So, yes, it’s rather sad to see Jesus say that not all the disciples were clean.  It’s sad because we know the will of God is for everyone to have everlasting life and be raised up at the last day (John 6:40).  I often wonder how disappointed the Lord is with those that love to say they love Him but go down the path of Iscariot. 

Who was Judas Iscariot?

Iscariot was one of the twelve that were chosen by Christ.  Since he was one of the twelve, Judas witnessed the miracles and heard Jesus’ public teachings.  Iscariot was also present for the private teachings of Jesus to the disciples (John 18:2).  Iscariot even went out on the missions of  the twelve ministering and healing people (Matt. 10:5-8).  

The other disciples had a wonderful change during their time with Jesus.  Judas Iscariot, on the other hand, was present with God but the nature of his spirit never changed!  It truly takes a special person not to change when they’re in the presence of the Lord.

Iscariot is the example of those who love to outwardly profess their love of Christ but inwardly have the heart of a sinner.  These are those that love to say they love Jesus but their actions present their true nature.

Judas’ true heart is shown on a few occasions in scripture.  In John 12:4-7, after Mary had anointed Jesus’ feet with oils, Iscariot commented that the oils could have been sold for 300 denarii.  Judas then tried to hide his nature by saying the money could have been given to the poor.

John called Iscariot a thief in John 12:6.  Why did John call him a thief?  John wrote that Judas would steal from the money box that the disciples would put their money into.  Judas was doing what would be equivalent to stealing money out the collection plate!  What kind of person steals from their own brothers?

So, Iscariot’s heart never changed as it was for itself and nothing else.  We know this because his greatest act was to betray Jesus over thirty pieces of silver (Matt. 26:14-16).  Again I ask, what kind of person betrays the one they say they love?

Iscariot was around Jesus for three years but didn’t learn anything and never changed!  What a terrible statement to make!  Nobody that says they are a follower of Christ should be the same person today when they began to follow Him.  We sincere believers should always be growing!  We should always be changing from that sinner to that who is holy and righteous.

Neglecting Salvation

Judas’ story is one of tragedy and great disappointment.  In his tragic story there is a warning that all who love to profess they love Jesus need to heed.

So, what is the warning of Judas Iscariot?  The warning is that you can say you love Christ all day long and still be far from Him.  You can profess to be a Christian and not truly be a child of God following His path.  You can say that you are a child of God and not enter the kingdom of heaven.  As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt. 7:21).  

Iscariot’s story is of a pretender (a liar).  Iscariot’s story is of negligence as he neglected the great opportunity before him.  Are you a pretender?  Are you neglecting the great opportunity before you?  Are you neglecting the love of God— His salvation?

The first great warning

If you have been following my bible study series – The Six Great Warnings – then you know that neglecting the gospel is the first step down the path of condemnation.

In Hebrews 2, the writer of the epistle warned about neglecting salvation.  The writer advised his people to give the more earnest heed to the things they had heard (Heb. 2:1).  If the people didn’t heed the things they heard, they’re warned they would drift away from salvation.

This writer asked, “how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation (Heb. 2:3)?”  The writer was speaking about escaping the judgment of neglecting salvation.  The judgment of neglecting salvation is eternal condemnation.  You see, it is impossible for anyone to escape eternal condemnation if they aren’t in fellowship with Christ.

The children of Israel had a way of escape from condemnation that they received from God through Moses.  If the children of Israel were able to keep the law, they would become a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to God (Ex. 19:6).  Sadly, the children of Israel chose a calf of gold over waiting to hear from God (Ex. 32:1-4).

In their disobedient ways, God still loved Israel, and sent them prophet after prophet.  All of God’s prophets called on Israel to repent from the way of wickedness and turn to the way of righteousness.  God’s prophets were either killed or ignored (neglected) by the people.

When they neglected God’s call of repentance through the prophets, God sent His only begotten Son.  Jesus called on the people to turn from the path of wickedness and to follow Him on the path of righteousness.  A few heeded His voice, but others neglected and despised Christ. 

After Christ, when the apostles and others shared God’s call of repentance, a few heeded their voice.  Sadly, many still had to be urged to heed the gospel.  Why?  Because they were still neglecting salvation.  To neglect:  to give little attention or respect to; to disregard.

Why did they continue to neglect God?  Why do so many people today pay the gospel little attention?  Because they think the way they are going is right in their eyes.  We should remember that the proverb says there is a way that seems right to a man but it leads to destruction (Prov. 14:12).  This frightens me today because many people still move in a similar fashion.

To Be Close to Jesus

So, in order to escape condemnation, one must choose the right path out of the two presented paths in life.  One path is taken with Christ while  the other is a broad path taken by many without Christ.  The path taken with Christ is the path to glory.  The other path is far from God and its a path of calamity— the way to destruction.

A spiritual cleansing

To have part in Christ, Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.  He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet.”    What did Jesus mean by saying that to Peter?  Let’s take a look at what Jesus taught Nicodemus in John 3:1-8.

Jesus said to Nicodemus, “unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God (John 3:3).”  When Nicodemus asked Jesus what he meant by being born again, Jesus explained that one needs to be washed anew.  Jesus said, “unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).” 

There are a couple of things to note from what Jesus said to Nicodemus.  First and foremost, Jesus was speaking about spiritual cleansing.  In 1 John 1:6-7, John wrote that in order for one to walk in the light, the blood of Jesus must cleanse all sins.  If one says they are in fellowship with Christ but walk in darkness, John said that they lie and do not practice the truth.

So, when we take a look at Jesus washing the disciple’s feet, we see an illustration of spiritual cleansing.  Let us notice in John 13:10 that Jesus said to Peter, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet.”  Bathed is past tense which means that someone has already taken a bath, right?

During that day, when the people would take a bath, they would leave their homes to go to the public bath (pool/fountain).  When they were done with their bath, they would walk back home and get their feet dirty.  So, when they would get back home, they would wash off their feet with their watering pots.

Peter’s soul was already clean because he had already confessed in his heart that Jesus was the Son of God (Matt. 16:16).  Peter’s confession meant that all his sins were washed away in the bath of Jesus’ shed blood.  Though he was not perfect and could still fall into temptation, Jesus said he didn’t need to return to the fountain.  All Peter needed to do was let Jesus wash his feet!

We often sing about the fountain filled with the blood, but you only have to go to that fountain once (Heb. 10:14)!  However, we are on a spiritual journey where our feet are going to get dirty from sin.  So, as we walk with Jesus, we need to let Him wash our feet rather than walk around with dirty feet.

When we acknowledge our dirty feet, it keeps us in fellowship with Christ who will wash our feet.  As John said, God is both faithful and just to cleanse you from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  When we let Jesus wash our feet, it shows our love and appreciation for Christ!

Don’t Go the Way of Iscariot

Iscariot, though he walked with Christ, remained a sinner.  Judas never made a confession with his heart which meant he never took his bath.  So, everywhere he went, Judas was a filthy mess from head to toe in his soul.  Iscariot was too blinded by his love of the world to recognize how filthy his soul was.

I feel the reason why many neglect God is because they’re ignorant of the condition of their soul.  Many, out of their ignorance, don’t think their soul is a mess because they believe their way is the right way.  These are those that Paul said are ignorant of God’s righteousness as they seek to establish their own righteousness (Rom. 10:3).  This is the way of calamity— a path to destruction.

Like Iscariot, some think that because they can profess to “walk with Jesus” and are “Christians” that all is well.  There’s ignorance on their part because this profession neglects the truth that they fall short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23).  

Others neglect the path to glory because of what they cannot see.  Because we cannot see the spiritual realm, its affects, and consequences, many chose to live ignorantly of it.  There is a great danger to ignore what you can’t see and have been warned of by God. 

In Hebrews 2:2, the writer referenced how God’s word proved to be steadfast in the past.  In the past, every transgression was witnessed to receive a just reward.  For example, the writer could reference how Abraham witnessed the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.  Several witnessed how the Assyrians conquered the northern kingdom.  Several also witnessed how the Babylonians conquered Judah.

The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah came because of the wickedness of those places.  Israel was conquered by the Assyrians because they neglected God.  Judah was conquered by the Babylonians because they neglected God.  Our world is not in the shape it’s in today by happenstance!

The will of God is that everyone be raised up at the last day having everlasting life through Chris!  God has loved us and given us His only begotten Son to make salvation – everlasting life – possible for all people.  The question you must answer is this:  Do you love yourself enough to save your life by taking part in Christ?  Do you love Jesus?

Like Iscariot, many are losing their way because they don’t love Jesus.  We know that there are many that know of God but choose to sin willfully – they will have their reward.  Sadly, there are others who were once in the church but turned away from the church because their heart was never for Him.  Even worse, there are several more that attend church every Sunday who have yet to be washed by Christ!

My message today is to the professed believer:  stop professing faith and actually walk with Christ!  Learn from the downfall of Iscariot!  We should all desire to have part in Christ— to be in fellowship with Him.  If you desire to have part in Christ, take advantage of being able to draw near to Christ today.  Fall in love with Jesus and truly walk with Him.

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