John 13:13 (part 1)

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Jesus served us to save humanity

“Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.” Jesus made this absolute unequivocalness in John 13:13. This is a categorical in asseveration, devoid of any scintilla of ambiguity. What does the denotative momentousness of this statement elucidate and what does it connote? Just follow my didactic piece and there will be an unravelling truth.

The word ‘call’ in Greek is phōneō (fo-neh’-o) ‘to emit a sound (animal, human or instrumental); by implication to address in words or by name.’ Master is didaskalos (did-as’-kal-os): ‘a teacher in the NT one who teaches concerning the things of God, and the duties of man.’ Lord is kurios (koo’-ree-os): ‘From κῦρος kuros (supremacy); supreme in authority, that is, (as noun) controller; by implication Mr. (as a respectful title).’ The word ‘well,’ is kalōs (kal-oce’): ‘beautifully, finely, excellently, well;’ while ‘am’ is eimi (i-mee’) ‘to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.’

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“But to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many (Matthew 20:28)

Jesus had done what tradition forbid. A master does not stoop low to serve his disciples. His following catechumens also addressed Him as kurios. How can Jesus, who has just displayed a prodigious humility, not dissuade them from addressing Him in a cognomen of the Supreme Being? I can hear Jesus telling them, “It is germane that you call me ‘Master’ for I teach you Kingdom truths. And it’s apropos to be called your Lord for its excellent correctness.” The pronoun ‘I’ is italicized, hence, is not in the original script. Translators applied it to make an English sense to its readers.

The ‘am’ or eimi is what lends credence to the gravity of the true definition of kurios. Eimi speaks of existence which gives no hint of time because it does not arise, in this context. Eimi, in this context, has no beginning and no ending. This eime takes us back to Exodus 3:14, “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.” The Septuagint translates ‘I AM’ as EGO EIME. This is the covenant name, Jehovah.

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So, when Jesus said, “for so I am,” the intimation here is simply, “for so Jehovah.” ‘Lord’, in the Greek, is the same as the Old Testamentary Yahweh. This is the grand revelatory import! The Lord Jesus did suffer them to address Him as ‘Lord’ just because, the wholesome truth is that He happens to be the ‘I AM’ of their forefathers. He is the Supreme Ruler of the entire universe! This was not a case of an arrogation of falsehood of identity. “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am” (John 13:13). Amen!

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How could the Sovereign Lord stoop so low to play the role of a mere servant? Food for humility thought, it is, no doubt. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” [John 13:14]. Washing of feet was purely a Jewish traditional way of life and it was the job for the servants. As their Master, tradition forbid the Lord’s serving stance. It did not, therefore, fail to ignite the brashness of Simon Peter.

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The Great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls

John 13:8, Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. The neuter ‘part’ is the Greek meros (mer’-os) ‘From an obsolete but more primary form of μείρομαι meiromai (to get as a section or allotment); ‘a division or share (literally or figuratively, in a wide application); destiny.’ Jesus has a Kingdom everlasting. None else boasts of such. Anyone who gets alienated from God’s Kingdom is doomed for eternity. Peter understands this fact but was incognizant of the Import of the cleansing of their feet. It is crystal clear that being with Jesus, in truth of spirit, is a cleansing agent. Having believed the spiritual efficacy of the word of Jesus, with one’s whole heart, makes one clean.

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            The condemnation that gave us justification

Judas Iscariot was not clean. Be clean to enable you walk with the LORD. Get born again. Say this prayer of salvation: Dear heavenly Father, I come to You now in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe in my heart that Jesus died for my sins and You raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord, and I receive Him as my Lord and my Saviour. I give God all the glory, Amen.                  (…to be concluded…)

READ THE CONCLUDING part 2 here