John covers ground found in none of the other gospel accounts.
While Matthew, Mark and Luke cover the Passover supper and the institution of communion as an ordinance for the church, John passes over all those happenings and goes right to the rest of the story not found in any of the other gospels.
For the next five chapters in John’s gospel, we will look intently at the last evening and early morning of Jesus’ life in very detailed fashion. We will travel these next 24 hours experiencing much of what the apostles went through as they followed Jesus to the cross. We will see a very close a personal view of Jesus it is very difficult to imagine not having. Where would we be without this content?
Sometimes people wonder why John’s gospel is so vastly different than the other three gospels – but that is exactly the point. John looks back from the vantage point of time, (all the other gospels having already been written and distributed in the early church,) and he covers portions of time the other gospels did not. John’s point over these next five chapters is to bring us into intimate fellowship with all that happened during that one day of history, from Passover evening to Passover evening. These were the 24 hours that changed everything about the world and our lives.
It begins with Jesus demonstrating the principles of servanthood, and how true servanthood equals love. Jesus shows us love is not primarily an emotion but action. Further – no action of servanthood is beneath even the greatest of men.
In beautiful narrative John sets the surprising scene that begins to capture the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth. The apostles have gathered for an intimate time of fellowship. The Passover supper has been prepared, and surprisingly, shockingly, Jesus removes His garment and takes a basin and a towel and begins to wash the filthy feet of the apostles. Here is the King of Kings lowering Himself volitionally to the position of the lowest house slave – whose job it was to wash the feet of all those who entered the house. This was NOT a glorious enactment, it was a humiliating expression of indignity.
This is made obvious by Peter becoming indignant by what he saw Jesus doing. As the spokesman for the group of followers, Peter took it upon himself to share his reaction to the impropriety of what he saw Jesus doing. This was too much for Peter to bear. Oh, how things are about to change in Peter’s life, and comprehension of events about to unfold!