A Ministry Defined (John 13-14)

A Ministry Defined (John 13-14)

Where love, reality, and purpose collide … this is what we find in John 13-14.

After following Jesus through the Gospel of John, we reach an interesting sidestep … or is it a sidestep? Because what we see Jesus do in these chapters will accentuate the essence of what it means to follow Him and His ways; only this time, it catches everyone by surprise because what He is about to do for His disciples is unlike anything they would have expected from the Messiah. He would lead and save the masses by … washing their feet?

What an unexpected concept.

If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me. … You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (Jn. 13:8, 13-15, ESV)

Astounding. Now this makes a little more sense.

In other words, what Jesus does, we should do also. But wait … there is more.

Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Jn. 13:16-17, ESV)

As becomes so clear throughout John 13-14, Jesus calls us to something far deeper than what we think. For those of us who follow Jesus, this means we do not just walk straight and follow His path, but serve diligently along the way. And in these two chapters, we see what that looks like firsthand. We are to love well by serving well.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (Jn. 13:34-35, ESV)

I think I got it, but what about you Jesus? Where does this lead for you, and how can we keep in step with where you are going?  

Jesus gives us the answer in John 14.

You know the way to where I Am going. … I Am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him. (Jn. 14:4, 6-7, ESV)

This is where we turn, once again, for John. He wants to show us who Jesus is, and what He came to do all along. He wants us to see that Jesus is God, and He is worth following all the way to the Cross and beyond. How we get there, though, will continue to unveil itself as we turn more pages in John and see what else Jesus has in store for those who believe in Him. Jesus has more to teach us, and it will continue to get personal as we go along.

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. … I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (Jn. 14:16, 18, ESV)

And upon this rock of promises that Jesus gives to us, we begin to see even more specifically, how everything He does works together for the good of those who love and follow Him.


  1. Why is both our willingness to let Jesus wash our feet and our call to wash the feet of others so important in our walks with God?
  2. What is it about our ability to love others that shows we are disciples of Jesus?
  3. Why does Jesus tell us we do not have to be troubled? What does He mean when He tells us, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you (Jn. 14:27, ESV).”
  4. What are some of the things we learn about Jesus in these chapters, and how He is God?
  5. What does the Holy Spirit provide for us as followers of Jesus?


Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review:

JOHN 19-20 – Watch message / Read: “The King’s Path to Peace

JOHN 18 – Watch message / Read: “A Portrait of a King

JOHN 16-17 – Watch message / Read: “After the Helper Comes

JOHN 15 – Watch message / Read: “Abide and Grow

JOHN 13-14 – Watch message / Read: “A Ministry Defined

JOHN 12 – Watch message / Read: “The Glory Commences

JOHN 11 – Watch message / Read: “A Certain Man Was Ill

JOHN 10 – Watch message / Read: “The Good Shepherd’s Task

JOHN 8-9 – Watch message / Read: “Life-changing Light on a Longstanding Truth

JOHN 7 – Watch message / Read: “The Festival of Truths”

JOHN 6 – Watch message / Read: “No Ordinary Type of Bread

JOHN 5 – Watch message / Read: “A Dichotomy of Belief

JOHN 3-4 – Watch message / Read: “Jesus Surprises on the Margins

JOHN 2 – Watch message / Read: “And So It Begins…”

JOHN 1:19-51 – Watch message / Read: “A Revealing Voice in the Wilderness”

JOHN 1:1-18 – Watch message / Read: “A Prologue to Deeper Beginnings”