John 13:12 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentIn these words our Saviour declares to his disciples his intention and design in washing of their feet: namely, to teach them, by his example, the duty of humility: that as he had performed that act of abasement towards them, so should they be ready to perform all offices of love and humble condescension one towards another: Behold, I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done unto you.
Learn thence, That humility and mutual condescension amongst the members and ministers of Jesus Christ, is a most necessary grace and duty, which the Son of God not only taught by his doctrine, but recommended and enforced by his example.
Observe farther, The argument which Christ makes use of to press the imitation of his example upon them: and that is drawn from the titles given to him by his disciples: Ye call me Master, and Lord, and so I am. Now servants ought to imitate their masters, and subjects to obey their Lord and king. Christ is a Master to teach and direct; a Lord to govern and protect. As he is a Master, we are to learn in his school: as he is Lord, we are to serve in his house: he must be submitted to as a Prince, as well as relied upon as a Saviour. It is in vain to expect salvation from him, if we do not yield subjection to him. Another argument which our Lord makes use of to press his disciples to imitate his example, is drawn from his dignity and superiority over them: The servant is not greater than his Lord.
As if Christ had said, "Though you, my disciples, are to have a very high and honourable station in the gospel church, yet let not this swell you with pride, but be you mutually condescending to each other, remembering you are yet but servants to myself, and ought to be so to one another; and the servant is not greater than his Lord.
Learn hence, 1. That whatever dignity Christ confers upon his servants and officers, yet he is over them all, superior to them, and above them.
2. That the consideration of Christ's dignity, and his minsters meanness, ought to keep their minds humble and lowly, and far from affecting superiority over their brethren; The servant is not greater than his Lord; nor he that is sent, greater than he that sent me.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.