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On the Threshold
pp. 219, 220
"Ye also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13: 14).
John 13: commences a fresh section. John 12: has concluded with the solemn
words of Isa. 6: and the rejection of Israel. The Lord now turns to His disciples. In
chapter 1: He came to His own and His own received Him not. Chapter 13: 1 shows us
another `own'. Almost the first recorded incident in this new section is the washing of
the disciples' feet. Verse 10 is full of blessed teaching. "He who hath been bathed,
(needeth not save to wash his feet) but is clean every whit."
The Lord now tells His disciples that what He did to them, they are to do for one
another. It is evident that He did not mean literally washing the feet by the question of
verse 12 and the statement of verse, for they knew the literal fact; it was the symbolic
meaning they may not then have grasped. Forgiveness of sins is a thing once and for ever
accomplished. Clean every whit, but the walk through life brings us into contact with
defilement when we leave the way of the Lord Psa. 119: 1. There are some who seek to
point out and to remove the sins of the child of God who forget that the Lord "took a
towel and girded Himself" that is humbled Himself as servant, not to dictate but to serve,
see Gal. 6: 1. May we do as He did and in the same spirit of meekness.
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. 21: 9).
Psa. 118: 20-26 should be read in connection with this verse, and it will appear that
its fulfillment is yet future. It speaks of the Stone rejected becoming Head of the corner,
which was the rejection of Christ by the Jews (cf. Acts and I Pet. 2:). Hence we find
that after the solemn words of Matt. 23: 37, 38, the Lord repeats these words in
verse 39, Israel are yet to say unfeignedly, those words which were then but empty
sayings. Verses 17-20 give the miracle of the fig tree. The fig tree is a type of Israel, and
how fittingly it comes in here, "He came to it and found nothing thereon . . . . . presently
it withered away". Israel's Hossanah's were leaves merely, for within a few days they
cried "Away with Him, crucify Him". The Stone was rejected, and will be so until,
having smitten the feet of the Great Gentile Image (cf. Dan. 2:), the Stone, i.e. the Lord
Jesus, accepted by the saved remnant of Israel, will fill the earth and rule from sea to sea.
May we in the interval, our time of grace, seek to please Him Who is at the right hand of
God, waiting for `that Day' of Matt. 23: 39.