METAPHYSICAL INTERPRETATION OF JOHN CHAPTER 13
13:1Now before the feast of the passover, Jesus knowing that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto his Father, having loved his own that were in the world, he loved them unto the end. 13:2And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 13:3Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all the things into his hands, and that he came forth from God, and goeth unto God, 13:4riseth from supper, and layeth aside his garments; and he took a towel, and girded himself. 13:5Then he poureth water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
WE HAVE PROOF on every side that through our mind we are unified into the one Mind. Through the interflowing of mind and Mind we act and react on each other, and "no man liveth unto himself alone." By this mind contact we all become responsible for the good or bad conditions in our neighbors and remotely for that of the whole race. Christianity teaches that sin came into the world through the sin of one man, Adam, and that it is cast out by the righteousness of one man, Jesus. This was demonstrated by the projection into the race consciousness of the blood or spiritually quickened life energy of Jesus as a solvent for sin.
Satan represents the adverse ego in the race that opposes and resists the divine law, and Judas is its personal representative. Jesus purified all the elements composing His blood, smashed the atoms and released the electrons into the race consciousness,
subjecting them to the will and appropriation of anyone who exercises sufficient faith and the desire to attain that end. Giving up this life essence was a great sacrifice on the part of Jesus; it was trusting to others His very life essence to be appropriated by them and restored to Him when all have attained the purity of the principles that it represents.
In this episode Jesus is about to make the great sacrifice; the passing over from one state of consciousness to another is about to take place. Then He ceases to be the great leader of men and through surrender of the most precious possession of man, his life, Jesus becomes the lowly servant of us all.
By His acts Jesus taught as many lessons in soul unfoldment as by His words. Soul unfoldment means the bringing forth of divine ideas in the soul or consciousness of man and the bringing of these ideas into expression in the body. Jesus told His disciples that those who would become truly great must serve. Those who have become great have first learned, as a matter of course, to serve and in so doing have found their own good.
The undisciplined disciples had disputed about who should have the higher places in the kingdom, who should be the greatest, who should sit at the right hand of the Master and who at the left. Jesus cited to them the little child's guilelessness and trustfulness and willingness to learn. He also showed them the difference between divine greatness and the human idea of greatness. Finally He told them that whoever would be great among them should be
their minister or servant, even as the Son of man came to minister and to "give his life a ransom for many." To have everything done for one is to remain a child, but to do for others is to reach man's estate. Jesus gave His very life in service to the world, and He left us an example that we should follow. We should be eager to become as unselfishly humble and willing to minister to others for their eternal good as He was.
13:6So he cometh to Simon Peter. He saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 13:7Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt understand hereafter. 13:8Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 13:9Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 13:10Jesus saith to him, He that is bathed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. 13:11For he knew him that should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
13:12So when he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13:13Ye call me, Teacher, and, Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 13:14If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. 13:15For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you. 13:16Verily, verily, I say unto you, a servant is not greater than his lord; neither one that is sent greater than he that sent him. 13:17If ye know these things, blessed are ye if ye do them.
Spiritual consciousness puts all men and all things
on a common level. In the sight of God there is no great, no small. The principle of life (that is, God immanent in the universe as the great underlying cause of all manifestation) supplies the humble, unlearned laborer as fully and as freely as it supplies the most cultured person. Those who "put . . . on . . . Christ" (develop a consciousness according to the Christ standard) disregard rank and title.
Some years ago two humble missionary workers who had been in China were received into the home of a wealthy woman in America who was interested in foreign missions. When the hour of departure came, they walked two blocks to the elevated train to save taxi fare. Their hostess, who lived simply and did not even keep an automobile, insisted on accompanying them to the station and helped them carry their hand baggage. She had given millions to the cause of health and education in India and China, yet she was completely democratic and simple.
The feet are the willing and patient servants of the body. They go all day at the bidding of the mind, and upon them rest many of the burdens that result from material thoughts. The more we believe in the false importance of matter the greater is the burden laid upon our feet and the more tired they become.
By washing the feet of His apostles Jesus denied the race idea of matter as all-important and taught the value of service. Even Peter (spiritual faith) had to be cleansed of his belief in the seeming reality of material conditions. It seems a menial thing to wash another's feet, but Jesus taught and exemplified
the willingness of divine love to serve in humble ways and thus redeem man from the pride of the flesh.
As through His great love Jesus cleansed our understanding, so should we cleanse the understanding of our fellows. He delegates to His disciples and students of every age and land the power to cleanse man's mind of false standards of life. This Christ cleansing through love is not only a teaching; it is also a life to be lived. The true teacher of practical Christianity must be a Christian, a follower of Jesus in all His ways. Those who, like Judas, are possessed of the adverse mind should receive the same humble service, the same lesson that is given to persons who are true and faithful.
13:18I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth my bread lifted up his heel against me. 13:19From henceforth I tell you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. 13:20Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
13:21When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in the spirit, and testified, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me. 13:22The disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake. 13:23There was at the table reclining in Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. 13:24Simon Peter therefore beckoneth to him, and saith unto him, Tell us who it is of whom he speaketh.13:25He leaning back, as he was, on Jesus' breast saith unto him, Lord, who is it? 13:26Jesus therefore answereth, He it is, for whom I shall dip the sop, and give it him. So when he had dipped the sop, he taketh and giveth it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 13:27And after the sop, then entered Satan into him. Jesus therefore saith unto him, What thou doest, do quickly. 13:28Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. 13:29For some thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus said unto him, Buy what things we have need of for the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. 13:30He then having received the sop went out straightway: and it was night.
The Christ symbolized by Jesus is eternally the I AM, though the disciples may not fully understand. The Judas faculty, the sum of the unredeemed life forces, is bound to betray until it is spiritualized. Jesus (the Christ) knew that this unredeemed condition was bound to bring about tragedy. The physical life represented by Judas may be ambitious, selfish, proud, tyrannical, but we cannot do without it. The false must be overcome. When faith and love ask questions the way for illumination and revelation is opened.
13:31When therefore he was gone out, Jesus saith, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; 13:32and God shall glorify him in himself, and straightway shall he glorify him. 13:33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say unto you.13:34A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 13:35By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
When a soul makes complete union with God-Mind
there is always an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon it. This is true glorification, the acknowledgment by the Father that the Son is indeed lifted up (glorified). Jesus at this point was in a high spiritual state of consciousness; in fact, He had made a perfect at-one-ment with the Father. He was aware that even His apostles had not attained His glory. In the meantime love is the great harmonizer, and finally love is the fulfillment of the law.
13:36Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered, Whither I go, thou canst not follow now; but thou shalt follow afterwards. 13:37Peter saith unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee even now? I will lay down my life for thee. 13:38Jesus answereth, Wilt thou lay down thy life for me? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
When Jesus said that He was going away, Peter said he wanted to go with Him. He said he would lay down his life for Jesus. But the Master's insight into the state of consciousness represented by Peter gave Him foreknowledge of what would happen. He warned Peter of his coming failure, and He was prepared for the confusion and scattering of the disciples. He knew that eventually Peter would regain and express the Christ faith and that His band of followers would preserve Christianity for posterity but first they must be spiritually unfolded as He was.