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And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us.
And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
It is observable, that though our LORD was well apprised of the infamous proceedings of JUDAS and the chief priests, he continued his heavenly work with the utmost composure: but, to shew that nothing relating to his sufferings was hidden from him, when he had finished his public teaching, he informed his disciples of the very day he should be betrayed, yet declared his determination to keep the passover once more at Jerusalem; and to encourage them to prepare it, he foretold a variety of circumstances which tended to confirm their faith in him.
Judas Iscariot was a man of a very covetous disposition; his reproof of Mary for her late liberality in anointing JESUS with costly ointment, shewed that he neither loved nor honoured his divine MASTER. He had also very dishonest principles, was destitute of charity to the poor, and a great hypocrite. In such a heart as his, divine grace would not abide. JUDAS had been indulged with the fairest opportunities of learning his duty, for he was of the number of those who were chosen friends and companions to our blessed LORD; but as he slighted these advantages, he was left to follow his own wicked inclinations, and exposed to the temptations of the great enemy of mankind, who suggested to him the horrid design of betraying his MASTER, which he immediately résolved to put in execution. The price offered to Judas by the Sanhedrim
amounted to about three pounds fifteen shillings of our money; a sum fixed by the law of Moses to be paid by the owner of a beast which had accidentally killed a slave belonging to another person. This trifling sum they proposed, to shew their contempt of JESUS; and JUDAS, with astonishing meanness, accepted it. The prophet Zechariah predicted this circumstance, as we shall have occasion to remark in another place.
A DISPUTE AMONGST THE APOSTLES--JESUS WASHES THEIR FEET.
From Luke, Chap. xxii.-John, xiii.
AND in the evening JESUS cometh with the twelve. And there was also strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them, are called benefactors.
But ye shall not be so; but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat? or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me:
That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Now before the feast of the passover, when JESUS knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out
of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end;
And supper being ended (the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him ;)
JESUS knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from Gop, and went to GOD,
He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and girded himself.
After that, he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.
Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, LORD, dost thou wash my feet?
JESUS answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. JESUS answered him,. If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
Simon Peter saith unto him, LORD, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.
JESUS saith to him, He that is washed, needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all..
For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he; Ye are not all clean..
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
Ye call me master, and LORD: and ye say well: for so I am.
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
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.
When Peter and John were gone to make the requisite preparations, we may suppose our LORD retired, and spent the greatest part of the day in prayer, and afterwards followed them to Jerusalem with the rest of his apostles. It seems that during his absence, his apostles fell into discourse concerning his prediction, that he should suffer death in two days, and that this led to a conversation on his glory which was to fellow : hence might arise the contention respecting their preeminence, in the kingdom of heaven. It is probable, that our LORD joined them before the dispute was ended; and reconciled them to each other by remind❤ ing them, that the exercise of power and authority, under the name of benefactors, was the character of Gentile kings; but that the greatest honour his disciples could attain, would be by doing all the good in their power, which would make them real benefactors. It was never intended that his disciples should rule, but serve, others; he intimated that he, though deservedly called their LORD and Master, had never affected state and grandeur; on the contrary, he was always ready to do any office of kindness and service for them. Thus did our LORD, with the utmost mildness, correct their error; and, unwilling to make them sorrowful with the fear of his displeasure when he was so near leaving them, he kindly added, that although he forbad them to aspire after temporal power, they should in the kingdom
dom of heaven be exalted to thrones of glory, ás a réward for their stedfast adherence to him in all his trials.
When our LORD arrived at Jerusalem, he was at no loss to find the house, where he was to eat the passover; and we may conclude, he eat the paschal lamb in the usual manner with his disciples: he then rose from table before the ceremony concluded, and prepared for the institution of that rite which was to supersede the passover, and keep up a spiritual communication betwixt him and his faithful servants till the end of the world. We are told, that before the passover (that is, through the whole course of his ministry) JESUS loved his apostles: and his behaviour afterwards evinced, that he retained his affection for them to the end of his life. While our LORD was celebrating the feast with them, his mind seems to have been occupied with various meditations: he knew that Judas was about to betray him; he knew also that Gon the FATHER would, notwithstanding he should be delivered up to his enemies, commit to him the government of all things, both in heaven and earth, on account of his union with the DIVINE WORD, who had, from all eternity, been the visible governor of the universe, and would never separate from him, as he had resigned his soul to do the divine will. That he might therefore fulfil this to the utmost while on earth, our LORD resolved, before he left the world, to give the most striking example possible of that humility and brotherly love which constitutes the very spirit of his Gospel; especially as, notwithstanding he had frequently recommended these virtues, he had so lately had occasion to reprove his dis ciples for the want of them, nothing could answer this purpose so well as the method he made use of.
Simon Peter, who certainly had a high degree of ve neration and respect for our LORD, was greatly affected