Lord of Heaven, Washer of Feet
By Bobby Blakey on September 4, 2016
Lord of Heaven, Washer of Feet
By Bobby Blakey on September 4, 2016
This is a rush transcript.
[00:00:03] If you want to know who Jesus is, this is the book that's going to tell you right here, the Bible. And if you're studying the Bible and you want to know Jesus, you can just follow the names. For example, the name Jesus means he will save his people from their sins. The name Christ is the New Testament, where the Greek way to say in the Old Testament or Hebrew, what is Messiah, the anointed one of God.
[00:00:28] Jesus is the word of God. He is the image of the invisible God, the radiance of the glory of God, because Jesus existed from eternity, past and shared glory with the father.
[00:00:41] We know him as the son of God. He was never created. In fact, Jesus is the creator.
[00:00:48] He spoke the world into existence. Even now, Jesus upholds the universe that we live in by the word of his power.
[00:00:58] And yet Jesus is referred to as the son of man.
[00:01:01] He took on flesh. He was found in human form. He is the living one who died. And behold, he is alive forever more.
[00:01:10] He is coming with the clouds and every I will see him. All the nations of the Earth will mourn on account of his judgment. He is the name above all names.
[00:01:21] The only name given among men by which we can be saved.
[00:01:26] Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega. The first and the last. The beginning and the end. He is both the lion of the tribe of Judah and the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
[00:01:41] He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. He is the bright morning star. Jesus Christ is God.
[00:01:51] He's the faithful witness, the first born from the dead. The ruler of the kings of the Earth, and he is also the washer of feet. Will you grab your Bible and turn with me to John Chapter 13. And we are going to study here this morning something that might seem like a walking contradiction, a lord of heaven who is humble enough to serve men by washing their feet.
[00:02:18] So grab your Bible and turn with us to our passage, which we're going to spend a lot of time in this year, though the passage it tells us about the last supper from the eye witness of the apostle John.
[00:02:31] And we're seeing Jesus in his 12 disciples have this Passover meal. But even within that famous scene that we have captured, maybe the image of lirone Leonardo DaVinci in our minds, even within the scene of the Last Supper, the last meal with the disciples on the night before Jesus died, even in that scene, Jesus washing the feet stands out.
[00:02:55] And we're gonna read about that and study that this morning. Someone asked you would follow along with me as we go to John, Chapter 13, picking right up where we left off last week in verse two, John thirteen, verse two. I want to read all the way down, verse 17. Please follow along as I read it says during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him.
[00:03:18] Jesus, knowing that the father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God, he was going back to God, rose from supper, and he laid aside his outer garments and taking a towel. He tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet?
[00:03:48] Jesus answered him. What I am doing, you do not understand now. But afterward you will understand. Peter said to him, You shall never wash my feet.
[00:03:57] Jesus answered him. If I do not wash you, you have no share with me. So Simon. Peter said them. Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands in my head. Jesus said to him, the one who is bathed does not need to wash except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean.
[00:04:16] But not every one of you, for he knew who was to betray him.
[00:04:21] That was why he said not all of you are clean. And when he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me teacher and Lord, and you are right for so I am.
[00:04:40] If I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
[00:04:49] For I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly. I say to you a servant is not greater than his master, nor as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things. Blessed star.
[00:05:05] You if you do them.
[00:05:08] So we have to get in our our mind the scene here of the Last Supper, and they would have had dinner a little differently than than we do today.
[00:05:16] They would have been a bunch of men reclining at a very low table on thin mats, maybe maybe leaning on their arm there as they recline all around this table. And so their feet would have been out, but they would have been visible. It's not like their feet would have been under the table, like the way that we sit and the feet that they were walking all around in with with sandals on over the dirt roads as they traveled maybe many miles throughout a given day. I'm sure that their feet were very dirty, dirty in a way beyond what we can relate to.
[00:05:55] And so it was customary that when you went to a Passover meal like this in a place that they had secured this upper room, it would have been very common in this time. When you went into that room, there would have been a servant there and the servant, the slave would have washed everyone's feet.
[00:06:14] Except that didn't happen this time.
[00:06:16] So this is a little hard for you and I to relate to, and maybe you've been through some some interesting moments at church or when we get to this passage, like the pastor brings somebody up on stage and he starts washing their feet. Is anybody seen that before? I've been a part of that before. It was quite awkward.
[00:06:33] All right. Because that's not really we don't understand that. We're not used to when you enter a place, somebody is there and they're going to wash your feet because you just walked for miles in your sandals on the dirt road.
[00:06:46] So if you came over to my house for dinner tonight, there would be no servant to wash your feet.
[00:06:52] All I would have put out for you is some doormat where you could wipe your shoes. Right. Because we've we we think we've advanced maybe a little bit since Bible times because we've got these things called shoes now and we've got these paved roads going on and we've got these things called. Oh, yeah, cars. So we're not walking around as much. And so we don't really maybe relate to this custom. And but it would have been shocking when the Lord, the teacher, the rabbi, the curious, the boss, the one who were coming to see is the son of God, the Christ, the Messiah.
[00:07:29] When he starts to remove his outer garments. So he's now just dressed like what a servant would wear. What a slave would wear. And when he starts getting this towel and tying it around his waist and getting this water red. What an awkward silence. It must have been there among the disciples when Jesus started to wash their feet. It would have been shocking. In fact, it might have even been a little bit off putting. It might have even felt like, hey, you shouldn't be doing this. This is. This is it. Right. That's not something that the rabbi, the teacher would do with his disciples. No, this is for slaves. I mean, I'm sure the disciples were thinking that this is kind of beneath you Jesus as he was doing it, because they all thought it was beneath them, because none of them bothered to even offered a wash. Jesus his fee.
[00:08:23] This was this was something that would have been like, whoa, I can't believe this is happening, especially go to Leupp 22, just turn over one gospel to the left, because we know that every one of the gospels tells us about this Last Supper.
[00:08:37] And Luke puts in this interesting detail here in Luke 20 to start with me in verse 24, page eight hundred and eighty two. If you got one of our our books here as you were walking in Luke, 22, verse 24. It tells us a little bit more that John doesn't tell us about when the disciples were coming together to have this task over a meal. It says the dispute also arose among them as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.
[00:09:05] And he said to them, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them.
[00:09:11] And those in authority over them are called benefactors, but not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest and the leader as the one who serves for who is greater, the one who reclines it table or the one who serves.
[00:09:30] Is it not the one who reclines at table. But I am among you as the one who serves.
[00:09:39] Now, this just makes it doubly awkward when you're having a debate about which one of you is the most awesome right before Jesus starts to wrap a towel around and starts to wash your feet and starts to rebuke you in his gentle and so effective way that, hey, it's not about being the greatest. It's about being a servant.
[00:10:03] What an awkward silence.
[00:10:04] It must have been for the disciples as they watched Jesus move around from Ft. To Ft.
[00:10:11] All 12 of them, as perhaps they considered that the creator who formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him. The breath of life is now stooping down to wipe the dust off of the feet of the man he created.
[00:10:30] That's the humility of our Lord Jesus Christ. A humility that you and I are supposed to have ourselves. Go to Philippians, Chapter two, turn with the Philippians, Chapter two. We looked at this last week as we talked about the incarnation.
[00:10:48] Why would Jesus, who's enjoying perfect fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit in heaven above where he's being worshiped in a sinless environment? Why would he leave heaven and come down to earth? Why would God put on flesh and be found in human form? Well, we read that in Philippians, chapter two, verse six, as it describes the incarnation as it describes the kenosis of Jesus emptying himself. It says in Philippians chapter two, verse six, who though he was in the form of God. That's who Jesus is. But he did not count equality with God, a thing to be grasped.
[00:11:27] He gave up his God rights, so to speak, and he emptied himself. He made himself nothing by taking the form of a servant, a slave, and being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form.
[00:11:41] He humbled himself so completely. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
[00:11:51] And so we sing Jesus Loves Me, and we're so thankful to know that our lord in heaven is a compassionate and merciful savior who will come down on our level, live the perfect life that we should have lived, die the death that we deserve to die for our sin and will give us life. We're so thankful that Jesus loves to serve us.
[00:12:13] But then go back what it says in verse five before all of that description of Jesus Christ, it says, have this mind among yourselves. Which is yours in Christ Jesus. The mindset of Jesus Christ. Who the Lord, who will become a slave. The God who will be humble. That supposed to be your mindset here this morning. We don't often get as excited about that. Hey, who wants to serve? Who wants to be a slave? Anybody here humble?
[00:12:45] Please don't raise your hand at this moment. You know, see, we have. This isn't as exciting does.
[00:12:52] Oh, if we're going to sing more and you're going to preach another sermon about how Jesus humbled himself for me. I love to hear about that. But when it comes time for me to have the mindset and humble myself and consider myself the slave of everyone around me, not too eager for that sermon. And yet here we find ourselves this morning.
[00:13:12] Look, it goes on. I mean, go back even further to versus three and four of Philippians to clear instruction for us as believers in Jesus Christ. It says do nothing, not one thing, do nothing from selfish ambition. Don't do anything for yourself. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, thinking of yourself.
[00:13:35] In a proud way, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves. In fact, let each of you look not only to his own interests. Yes, except personal responsibility for your own actions. But don't just look to your own interests, also to the interests of all, as I say there, in humility. You count other people.
[00:14:01] As more important than yourselves is more significant than yourselves. Which means you have to find a way to put yourself lower than everybody else, that no one is beneath you, because as you interact with other people, you want to get beneath them.
[00:14:17] You want to have a low view of yourself as you lift others up. So you're going to have to get to the bottom level all the way down to the ground. You're going to have to be a doormat, is what it's saying right here.
[00:14:28] I think that's our modern equivalent of the shock that the disciples would have had to see Jesus acting like a slave and washing their feet. Is this phrase that we've all heard thrown around in our contemporary setting? Oh, well, I don't want to be a doormat.
[00:14:45] And I've heard that phrase a lot. In fact, I heard that phrase this week from multiple people here at this church that I don't want to be a doormat. Well, here's point number one in our sermon this morning. Consider yourself a doormat. That's point number one.
[00:15:01] OK, now.
[00:15:03] Now hear me out. Well, let me let me define that for you. Let's use the scripture to define this humility that we're going to have where everybody else is above us, where I have such a a low view of myself. That's not really even the point is to think low of yourself as much as it is to lift others up, in your estimation.
[00:15:24] Now, let me explain some of the settings where I find people using this phrase about the door. Man one setting is in a close family relationship.
[00:15:34] Maybe it's a marriage. Maybe it's a parent and a child.
[00:15:38] And maybe one person feels like they're giving and giving and giving in the relationship and they're going out of their way and they're doing this and they're bending over backwards. And the other person is just kind of taking and receiving and not really returning the love. Not really reciprocating. Not really giving anything back. And so the person starts to feel like, how long am I going to keep on giving when I don't feel like the other person is meet me in the middle or even meet me anywhere? How long am I going to keep on loving them when they're not loving me because I don't want to be a doormat? That's one scenario where I hear that phrase thrown out.
[00:16:15] Another scenario that I hear happens right here at church.
[00:16:19] And it's when people they have that compassion that we were talking about earlier, the compassion maybe for the lost or a concern for someone who they they think is a brother, but they're concerned they might be going away into sin. They might be turning down the wrong road, and they want to have that love. That covers a multitude of sins. And they want to see the sinner turned back towards the Lord.
[00:16:39] And so they reach out to somebody and they start meeting with somebody and they start investing in someone and they start giving of their time and giving up their prayers and really giving of their own soul by investing it in this other person. And after they've invested in them, sometimes for years, they just feel like, where's all of this investment going?
[00:17:01] I don't see this person responding, I don't see them repenting. I don't see them having this love for Jesus and wanting to zealously do good works in the name of Jesus Christ, even though I've tried and considered them for so long, how I could spur them on to loving good deeds. I don't see a response from them. And I wonder if they're just using me and kind of leeching off of me. I don't want to be a doormat here at church, we say.
[00:17:28] And it seems like there is a limit to our humility. There's a limit to our love that, yes, we will invest in people, but we're expecting some kind of return. And if we don't get a return from those people will maybe at some point we should withdraw our love from them.
[00:17:45] Go back to John, Chapter 13. And let's just take a notice here of some of the contextual details that John gives us before he before he tells us about what Jesus did. First thing he told us in verse one is that Jesus loves us. We looked at that last week. But look at verse two. This is John is being very intentional when he puts this in here. He wants this to be something we're thinking about as we read this account of Jesus washing the disciples the during supper when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him. Oh, just a little note here.
[00:18:29] Jesus started to remove his outer garments and took on the role of a slave, and he tied a towel around his waist and he got a water, a basin of water, and he started to rub grown man's feet and wash them like a servant would do. Oh, and one of the people he did that for, he knew was his betrayer.
[00:18:48] He knew was over here forming an alliance with Satan and with the religious leaders of the Jews to stab him in the back. And he was going to betray him with a kiss that very night that would lead him to his death. And what does Jesus do?
[00:19:03] He gets down on his knees and he washes his backstabbers feet. So you and I, we don't like the backstabbers. We like the back scratchers. You guys know what I'm talking about right now? We like quid pro wrote quid pro quo relationships. If you could say, right, because I'm going to scratch your back and then you're going to scratch, not stab me in the back. I wasn't really looking for that.
[00:19:31] And it's just a notice here that, hey, when we talk about being a doormat, every single person in this room is going to love people who will not love you back in years. Jesus showing you the way to do. I mean, we don't even know who's going to stab us in the back. Jesus knew it was Judas and he washed his feet in such a way. The disciples could not tell the difference. So your first little dash here under point number one is love those who don't return it. Keep loving it. It's not about what you're going to get out of it. You're considering yourself the lowest person in the room.
[00:20:12] You're putting them as more significant a love is about what you're giving, not about what you're getting.
[00:20:19] And so you need to love, even when it seems like there is not going to be a return for our love, and I feel like God wants me to give you permission to love people who will not love you back because the world is trying to tell you, don't be a doormat. The world is trying to tell you, hey, if people aren't going to treat you the way you deserve to be treated as if there's a way that you deserve to be treated with your own rights and your own self image, because the world wants you to have a very high view of yourself. Not a low view like we're talking about here.
[00:20:51] The world is pushing self-esteem and the Bible is pushing slave ASTM. That's the that's the options.
[00:20:57] And the world's gonna tell you, hey, don't be a doormat. Don't keep loving somebody who's not loving you. You make sure you deserve people to love you. No. That's not how Jesus Christ would exemplify to you here this morning. The world. I started to look up what the world's definition of being a doormat was. And of all places, I ended up on Pinterest, which I thought was this nice, cuddly, encouraging, beautiful looking place, Pinterest stray.
[00:21:24] I obviously I don't know much about it because the first thing I see on Pinterest when I get on there, you know, foreign territory for me is the problem with putting people first is they start to think of you as second.
[00:21:38] Hello. Hello, Pinterest. Isn't that charming? Right.
[00:21:42] And then there was this like A.I. doormat where there's like ten ways you can know you're a doormat here. What you're here were a couple of things I took from that insightful graphic. A doormat is someone who assumes responsibility for others. A doormat is someone who allows others to demean you by staying quiet.
[00:22:02] A doormat is someone who does not follow their own feelings, but accommodates the feelings of others. A doormat is someone who justifies unacceptable behavior.
[00:22:14] Well, praise the Lord. He was a doormat for us. Praise the Lord that when he was being mocked on the cross, that he was stayed silent. Glad he didn't start rebuking his mockers. Glad you didn't get down. I'm glad he didn't think about his feelings, I'm glad he considered our feelings when he was up there on the cross. I'm glad he justified are unacceptable behavior by dying for it. So, you know, if you're going to follow Jesus Christ, then to this world, you're going to be a doormat.
[00:22:46] And that's what we're being called to.
[00:22:49] Matthew, Chapter five with me, it says in Matthew Chapter five that we're supposed to not just love our friends or our family or people at church or our neighbors who we think are the good neighbors. No, look at what it says here in Matthew, Chapter five. Start with me in verse 43. Hear some words straight from Jesus Christ himself. It says, You have heard that it was said you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.
[00:23:13] Hey, love those who love you back and hey, hate those who are against you. But I say to you, here's Jesus Christ speaking to you and Matthew, chapter five, verse 44. I say to you, love your enemies, even if they live in your house, love your enemies, even if they go to your church, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
[00:23:33] Why? Because that's what your father in heaven does. You may be sons of your father who is in heaven, because here's how God operates. He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good. He sends rain on the just and the unjust.
[00:23:48] For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same. And if you greed only your brothers. What more are you doing than others? Don't even the Gentiles, the people who don't know God, who don't believe in Jesus, don't they greet those who greet them?
[00:24:06] Isn't the world full of back scratchers?
[00:24:11] So who's going to love those who don't love them back? Those are the people of God.
[00:24:16] Those are the slaves of the Lord Jesus Christ who follow his example when he humbled himself to serve us.
[00:24:25] So, yeah, we're going to love a lot of people that don't love us back. And when you love that way. I've loved people that way. I've been a doormat for many people as a pastor at a church. And when you love people that way, you're going to get hurt. And when you get hurt, you wonder, am I doing what I should be doing? Yes. When you love people who don't return love, you are exemplifying the love of Jesus Christ.
[00:24:49] That's what you're doing.
[00:24:50] And maybe they don't get it. But that's what he has called us to do. We're following his example in the way that he loved us and when we see his love for us. That's where the power comes to pass on the love of Jesus. It's not from how they're treating me. And then I can decide if I'm going to love them. No. I know how Jesus loved me and I'm going to love them whether they treat me the way I want or not. Second thing it says, go back to John, 13 seconds.
[00:25:15] Think thing it says before we even get into Jesus washing the disciples feet. It says here in verse three that Jesus, here's something Jesus was very aware of. Something he knew in this moment was he was knowing that the father had given all things into his hands at the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
[00:25:39] Can you imagine if you were the Lord of Heaven on earth?
[00:25:43] If you call the shots for the universe, if you are the one who decides who lives and dies, the Lord of all. That's Jesus Christ. So he knows he's about to go back and be with the father. He's about to be established that the right hand of God, he is about to be exalted to the highest place. The name that is above all names.
[00:26:05] Somebody tells you you're the Lord. How do you celebrate?
[00:26:10] Here's how Jesus thought he would be lowered to us. He thought he would give us a physical, practical example of service and he would wash his disciples feet.
[00:26:21] So even if you have a position over people, what Jesus shows us is that even if you have all the authority, the thing that you should do is you should humble yourself and consider those people even that you have a position of authority over them. You should still count them as more significant than yourself. So the second dash here is love those you are over.
[00:26:43] Love those. You need to go underneath and consider yourselves less than even people. You might be over. Maybe you're a boss at work and you have employees. Or are your employees there to serve you?
[00:26:56] Or do you have a level of thinking where you serve your employees? Maybe you're the husband, the head of the marriage, the leader of the family. Well, is this your house? Do you call the shots? Does your wife and kids live there to serve you or are you there to be the servant of all Jesus has this crazy idea about authority that when you're over people when you care for their souls, when you love them, you make yourself the least of them.
[00:27:24] That's how the Lord of Heaven and Earth acts.
[00:27:27] And that's what he's calling us to. To Matthew, Chapter 20 again. Let's hear straight from the words of Jesus Christ. If you have authority over anybody, if you have children, how should you think of them? Well, here's what Jesus says in Matthew Chapter 20 years 25.
[00:27:45] This is after John's mom, the guy who wrote our gospel, his mom once came to Jesus and asked that her two boys, James and John, could sit on either side of Jesus in his kingdom. So that tells us that the apostle John was a real momma's boy as mom's common and trying to give him a good seat next to Jesus in heaven. And Jesus took that moment to maybe do a little bit of teaching. And he said, Matthew, chapter 20, verse twenty five.
[00:28:10] But Jesus called them to him and said, you know, that the rulers of the Gentiles, Gentiles, when we say that, we mean the people who live like there is no God. People who don't believe in Jesus and have eternal life.
[00:28:24] So you know how it works in the world. The rulers of the world, they lorded over them and they're great ones. They exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you disciples, Christians, us here at church this morning. No.
[00:28:39] Whoever would be great among you, you would give the servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, because even the son of man who's gonna come riding on the clouds to judge the nations, even the son of man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life away as a ransom for many souls.
[00:29:01] So what we're here to do on this earth is the point of our life is to give our life away for as many people as possible. Not to try to get some position for ourselves.
[00:29:13] Is that how we think when we get home at the end of a long day, when we're tired, when we've been run ragged? Do we think I am here to serve in this home? When we go to work and we're stressed out and things are busy and deadlines are piling up, do we go to work thinking I'm here to serve in this workplace? When we come here to church and it's the weekend and we need to relax because life's too busy and things are getting out of control. And I feel stressed. We come here to serve at this church.
[00:29:45] Or do we come to be served? You come to church like Jesus would come to church, or do you come to church like a gentile would come to church? Says, here's greatness.
[00:29:54] You want to be somebody in the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Consider yourself a slave to all. Learn how to think that way.
[00:30:03] Be a doormat for other people. Now, it's easy to say I love you. It's a lot harder to live it out.
[00:30:11] Anybody want to say a Amen to that right there? I mean, sometimes I think, you know, if I had to die for my family and one heroic moment, you know, I think I could probably actually do that one moment of just pouring myself out.
[00:30:26] I feel like I could be good at that. If I had to write a speech to tell my family how much I love them. I feel like I could sit down and craft some words. But the problem with my family, maybe your family has the same problem, is they expect me to love them every single day.
[00:30:43] Like, we can't just live off the greatest hits. You know, enemy. I can't just, like, show the vacation pictures one more time. Or remember that one time we did this or the guy. I remember those flowers. Oh, yeah.
[00:30:55] They've died now, you know. Huh.
[00:30:59] I can remember the day, I can remember the moment, I can remember the look on my face when I said to my wife, because we clearly had a crush on each other for a while. And I said to her, I don't like you anymore.
[00:31:11] And she had this crestfallen look that came over her face. And I said, I love you. That's how you deliver a line right there.
[00:31:20] Now, it's a lot easier to deliver that line than it has been to live it out day after day for all the years of our marriage.
[00:31:30] So I'm not asking you if you would say you love people. I'm asking you, if you show that you love, see, humility is a hard thing for you to gauge about yourself. Oh, yes, I'm doing great. Humility.
[00:31:46] I don't know about that.
[00:31:48] You know what? You might have to do to really find out if your humble or not. You might have to ask people in your life.
[00:31:56] And you might even have to put it like this so they don't sugarcoat it. So there's no way that we can kind of lose the meaning in the cliche way that we sometimes talk to one another. Hey, do I serve you?
[00:32:07] Do you think that I'm a slave here at this house? Do you think that I am? But I think I am the least important person in this house. What if we started asking our spouse questions like that and we were open to the answers, like we were going to write the answers down, like we were going to go work on the things our spouse suggested we could work on, like we really had no lower. We could go, you can't beat me up because I'm already down there. That's already the way I'm learning to think of myself.
[00:32:42] But first, John, chapter three, verse 16, first John, chapter three, verse 62 with John 316 is perhaps the most famous verse about how God loved us by sending his son.
[00:32:54] But here in First John, chapter three, verse 16, page 1022. Everybody turn there. If you got one of our books, one thousand and twenty two, you might know John 316 about God's love for us through his son, Jesus Christ. But look what it says here in First John C.. The Gospel of John is written so that we would believe in Jesus, that we would have eternal life first. John is written so we can know we have eternal life, so we can know what eternal life looks like. Here's what it looks like to have the life of Jesus first. John, chapter three, verse 16. By this, we know love that he Jesus lay down his life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. That's what Jesus is going to say in our passage. I'm not just washing the disciples feet to show you what I did one time two thousand years ago.
[00:33:47] I'm washing the disciples feet as an example because I'm expecting my people throughout all of history to wash one another's feet.
[00:33:56] I'm laying down my life for you so that you want to lay down your life for one another.
[00:34:04] And then he says this.
[00:34:05] But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him.
[00:34:14] How does God's love abidin him? And then it says this little children. That is not love in word or talk. Don't just tell people you love them. Don't just think that you love them. But indeed and true. Let's do something about it.
[00:34:31] Let's show the evidence of our love through our actions and specifically it gets into here that I see a physical need that someone has. I see a a physical need that somebody has. And I have the resources to meet that need. And I decide to keep those resources for myself rather than giving them away. The question is here in verse 17, how does God's love abidin that person who can see a physical need?
[00:35:07] And and just ignore it.
[00:35:10] I mean, primarily what Jesus is meeting there is we're going to have this Passover meal and he's going to do a lot of teaching and we've got some stinky, dirty feet there in the room. And so just practically on the most basic human level, Jesus is doing something that needs to be done on. And there's a physicality to it's a point. Number two, we need to meet the physical needs. You can see. All right. Hey, here's the encouragement from the example of Jesus. Here's a straightforward passage that applies it to us. And first, John, three, 16 to 18 that you and I should meet the physical needs that. That you can see. OK.
[00:35:48] Now, there are all kinds of physical needs. And and you and I maybe don't have the resources to meet all of the needs that are out there. I'm talking specifically about Reavers 17 with me again. It says, when you have the world's goods, you have resources. You have money. You have a possession. You have time. You have something. And you see here a brother. You see another Christian. You see somebody who goes to this church, maybe even a physical brother. That's a part of your family. Maybe it's just somebody who's a blood brother or sister here in Jesus Christ. You see that you have something that someone else needs and you could give it to them.
[00:36:27] Don't close your heart. That's what I'm saying. Don't close your heart to that.
[00:36:32] And I think this happens to every one of us. I think it happens to us in ways where we see something and we think there might be a there might be a physical need that I could meet there, whom I wonder if I should do that. And then maybe we think of like, well, there's so many physical needs. Where would I where would I start? And we just let it pass by. No, if you see the physical need and you can meet it, I would encourage you to do it.
[00:36:52] That's what the scriptures say. And people got dirty feet around you and whatever that might look like. Right.
[00:37:01] Somebody somebody who just had a baby and, you know, hey, they could use a a meal or maybe they could even use somebody to go and clean their house or something like that. Somebody that, you know, is sick and maybe they could use some they could to use some soup, they could use an encouraging note on the front door. Maybe somebody is in the hospital and they could use a visit, somebody to sit there with them and pray forum.
[00:37:25] Again, maybe it's a family member. Maybe it's a church family member, maybe sometimes you see in the bulletin there's a little box with a heading opportunities to serve and you realize, oh, wow, this church has needs. I don't know if anybody looked at the bulletin, but it was in there today. Did you see that?
[00:37:43] And you see the need right there, it's in your bulletin, you read it.
[00:37:46] You think I could do that? And then you close your heart to. So what do we do that that's not the love of Jesus Christ?
[00:37:55] That's not the love of God, the love of God. Got got very physical. Got very real. He came into the world that he created and he started washing the feet of grown men in any said that we ought to wash one another's feet. Now, I don't personally need anybody here to get like a towel and to come up and try to wash my feet.
[00:38:16] I don't need that right. But I could use some prayer. I could use some encouragement. I got some needs that we could all. Path that we all need to be met. And sometimes you're in a fellowship group and you hear about one brother who's having a hard time and this is going on. And they just got in a car accident. And then there's this. And you think I could help them? And when you think I could help them, don't ask them how you could help them. Help them when you have a chance to do it. Don't close your heart to it. Let's meet the physical needs that we see. Let's go out of our way to serve others. Specifically, it says here. If you see a brother in need, do something about it. Don't just say you care about them. Show you care about. Now go back to John 13, because while we're washing the feet, right, there's this disciple who maybe you've heard of him before, the disciple with the foot shaped mouth. Right. The guy who's always open his mouth.
[00:39:12] The ringleader of the spokesperson, it seems like, of the disciples, like, I don't know how many pairs of feet we got around to until we came to Peter. But Peter, he ain't going down without saying something about it. Right. Which is why we kind of we kind of love this guy because we know Peter. He's just going to tell you what he really thinks. He's going to speak openly. And there's this fascinating conversation as Jesus is meeting the physical need there. Look at her. Sexy came to Simon Peter, who said to him, Lord, do you wash my feet? And Jesus answered him. What I am doing, you do not understand. Now, you're just going to have to trust me on this one. Afterward, you're gonna you're gonna get it later. Afterward you will understand. And Peter said to him, this is. Peter one on one right here, is it not? I mean, this guy, you got to love this guy. You shall never wash my feet. You're not washing my feet. This ain't happening. I know who you are. And I get to wash my feet. And Jesus answered him. If I do not wash you. You have no share with me.
[00:40:13] So, Simon, Peter does what Simon Peter does. Jumps to the opposite extreme. Lord, not my feet only.
[00:40:18] I need a bath. My also my hands and my head. That's do full immersion here. All right.
[00:40:26] I mean, that's how Peter is. No, you can't do this for me. Oh, I need to do it. I'm all in. Right.
[00:40:33] And you realize at some point here that what Jesus is saying to Peter. Now we're starting to get into the area of being symbolic here.
[00:40:42] Hey, we're having a conversation now between Jesus and Peter where we're not really talking anymore about dirty toes. We're starting to talk about the souls of men.
[00:40:54] We're starting to realize that Jesus washing the disciples feet has a larger symbolic spiritual meaning to it. So let's look at the conversation. If I do not wash you, you have no share with me. If you want to have a part with me, if you want to be one of my disciples, one of my people, you need to be washed is what Jesus is saying. And so then Peter's like, all right, well, then I'm all in. I'll wash everything. And Jesus said to him, No. The one who has bathed, the one who has now been washed, doesn't need to wash except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean. But not every one of you.
[00:41:32] So all of a sudden, in the masterful way that Jesus teaches.
[00:41:37] He you think he's talking about one thing, we've seen this throughout the gospel of John. He's talking about bread. He's talking about water. He's talking about light. He's talking about being born again. But really, he's talking about spiritual realities for our soul.
[00:41:51] Jesus is the best at painting pictures we can see about the things that can't be seen.
[00:41:57] And so really what he's talking about here is, hey, I'm not only here to wash the feet. I'm here to cleanse the souls of men. And once you are clean, once you get justified, declared righteous, once you are washed from your sins, forgiven. As white as snow. Your sins are washed away. See, then. Yeah. You might still need to get your foot washed. You might still need to have an account with me where you get cleanse. But you've already been made cleans.
[00:42:25] He's talking about regeneration. He's talking about being born again.
[00:42:30] You could write down of a few references here if you want. Ezekiel, 36, would be a good reference to write down every place it talks about us being made new.
[00:42:38] It also kind of references this washing, this cleansing that's gonna happen. So we get the Holy Spirit and we get cleansed. It's in Zeke Ziko 36, starting in verse twenty six. It's in John three where he's talking to Nicodemus that you have to be born of water and the spirit, the spirit comes in and gives you that new life that regenerated heart and the water is the cleansing from your old life of sin. In fact Titus chapter three, verse three to eight would be a great passage to just read. The Gospel is there. It starts with your sin. It ends with your complete transformation, your renewal, and then you end up living a life of good works. And it talks about how you get cleansed, washed from your old life of sin.
[00:43:22] So, yeah, it's symbolic for Jesus to wash disciple's feet because he came to cleanse us from our sins. The greatest need of humanity, the greatest need of every person that you and I know and love is for their soul to be cleansed from their sins.
[00:43:38] That's the symbolism here, and if you have been cleansed from your sin, even then, there might be times where you confess your sins to Jesus Christ and he is faithful and just to forgive you of all your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.
[00:43:55] So even if you've been declared clean once and for all your sins been forgiven, you've been washed white as snow.
[00:44:01] There still might need to be times in your life where you go to Jesus and you confess your sins and you get that foot washing that he's talking about here.
[00:44:11] And unfortunately, there was one there, among them, one of the disciples who will talk even more about next week, Judas, who unfortunately was not clean, who was still walking in the course of his sins. In fact, he was going to commit one of the most famous sins of all time to betray Jesus that very night. But you see here through what Jesus says in response to Peter's statements, that there is not only a physical need that we need to meet with people. There is also the need of the souls of men. Let's get it down like this for point number three. You need to see the needs of their soul.
[00:44:50] We need to learn how to how to see people beyond their skin. We want to see people like Jesus saw the crowds in Matthew nine, verse 36. We want to see people like God does with his eyes that are searching to and fro over the room right now as he looks. Not seeing you in your outward appearance in your physical body. No. God, he looks straight into who you really are inside of you as a soul man.
[00:45:17] If we could learn here at this church has to realize that we are not bodies. We have bodies, but we are souls that will last forever. That every single person you check out and buy something from at some store around here is not just a dispenser of you getting what you want, but that person has a soul that will last forever in heaven or in hell.
[00:45:39] If we could start seeing people like that, then all these people who are constantly driving on the four or five in front of me and slowing me down and ruining my flow. And in fact, even kind of messing up with my whole day. Those people have souls. They are souls. That's who they are. There's a soul in front of you. Next time you're gonna get angry on the road. God bless that soul going faster than me.
[00:46:03] I hope they know where they are. Go on. Right. And that's how we should be thinking about people.
[00:46:09] I mean, sometimes when you look at people, I would encourage you to consciously try to think of this person past their exterior.
[00:46:18] I mean, stop looking at the wrinkles or the freckles or whatever it is that you notice about the person and realize with in the.
[00:46:28] Is a soul that will live on after their body dies.
[00:46:33] And where is that person going to go? And really at the end of the day, isn't that what matters? And if I have to be a doormat for 33 years on this earth loving this person and I get nowhere for 33 years, but then at the end of it, their soul is saved by Jesus Christ. Then he'll be a doormat for 33 years.
[00:46:56] Because that's what matters.
[00:46:59] Is the souls of man, Jesus didn't come down and buy everybody icecream. Jesus didn't come down and give everybody perfect bodies that were healed all the time. No, I mean, he fed the crowds and I'm sure the food that he gave them was delicious.
[00:47:15] He yelled the people that were sick. Now he met the physical needs that were right in front of him. But the reason the Lord of Heaven became the washer of fee was for the souls of men to save them from their sins.
[00:47:28] And we can't say we love somebody unless we care for their eternal soul. Being cleansed from sin grew Ephesians Chapter five.
[00:47:40] Turn with me to Ephesians Chapter five and look at what it says here about husbands.
[00:47:47] All right, let's just watch this talk about marriage, because maybe that's a relationship where this really comes up, where you give and sometimes you wonder if you're if what you're receiving in return or maybe you're tempted to think, hey, you know, is this marriage a 50/50 marriage, I guess? Are we are or are we both equal in this or am I given maybe 75 and they're given maybe only 25? And you're tempted to start not having a humble view of yourself, but starting to be concerned about how you're being treated by others. Now, let me just let me just say this. If you're not married and you're dating somebody and you don't like the way that they're treating you. I would flee for your life, my friend.
[00:48:30] OK, but once you stand before God and these witnesses and you say I do to that person, however they treat you from that day on, you live to love and serve that.
[00:48:44] That's the commitment you made before a holy God, and he equips you to love your spouse because he loves you, it doesn't matter what your spouse is doing, the power to love them doesn't come from them.
[00:48:56] It comes from the way that Jesus loved you. And if you are basking in the glory of how Jesus loved you, you can love anyone.
[00:49:06] No matter what they do to you.
[00:49:08] And it says here, husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for.
[00:49:16] Husbands love your wives. Here's how. Not the way that she's treating you guys know the way that Jesus treated you.
[00:49:25] And maybe you think, well, yeah, if it was one moment of glory where I died for my wife and kind of my love went down like Romeo and Juliet, just endless love.
[00:49:37] I could do that. But no. Here's how it says verse 26. Unfortunately, this part gets left out. It says that Jesus. What did he want for his bride? The church for us. When he came to save us, that he might. What's the word there? That he might. What sanctified? What did Jesus care about for his people, particularly to set them apart from their sins?
[00:49:56] That they could be in a right relationship with God.
[00:49:59] Hey, husbands love your wives, and that might mean given of some things there in the home, but really what it's going to look like is you're going to be cared about the scene in your wife's life.
[00:50:12] And you're going to want to see her set apart pure.
[00:50:16] I mean, look at the description here.
[00:50:17] It says that he the husband who's trying to be like Christ, might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word and that word in the Greek there is Raima.
[00:50:27] It's the spoken word. It's like when the husband speaks to his wife in a loving way, full of grace and truth, representing Jesus Christ, where it's clear that you're here to serve your wife, but also you hold back nothing of the truth with your wife. When a husband washes his wife with his words, it has this sanctifying effect.
[00:50:51] All for a church full of husbands who do what the Bible says to do right there.
[00:50:59] So many wives, unloved, unsafe, defied by the words that come out of their husbands mouths. Some husbands can't even do it with their actions. They can't even do it with their words.
[00:51:15] And it says that the goal of Jesus Christ taught us in the church is that he might present the church to himself, that there is gonna be this splendiferous, this glorious uniting between Jesus in his people.
[00:51:27] And when we stand there because of how Jesus loved us, because of how he gave himself, because of the process that he does in our lives, where he cleanses us from our sin. And he sets us apart and he gives us a new way to live. Because of that, we're going to stand there in the presence of God.
[00:51:43] It says here, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, we're gonna be holy and without blemish in the presence of God one day.
[00:51:52] That's how Jesus loves us.
[00:51:56] And so that's what we're supposed to do in our closest personal relationship, the relationship the Bible calls one flesh a relationship that is supposed to show when a man loves a woman how Jesus loves us. That's really the point of marriage that we are putting the gospel love of Jesus on display. So when we do that, when a husband decides to love his wife in that sanctifying kind of a way.
[00:52:23] It brings glory to God.
[00:52:25] And it's the best thing you could do for his wife, it's the best thing he could do for his kids. It's really the best thing you could do for all the people around their family who see that relationship.
[00:52:36] So, yeah, if you have to be a doormat for the rest of your life to love your spouse, you should do that to the glory of Jesus Christ. And I'm trying to encourage. But you should think of yourself as so lowly that you don't even deserve different treatment from your spouse. But you're going to give them the love that Jesus has given to you. And I can stand up for your own rights. You're not going to fight.
[00:53:06] You're not going to suddenly start defending yourself. No, you are going to love them because hopefully someday what will happen is they will look past you and they will stop blaming you and you will stop arguing. And certainly they will see that the only reason you could ever love somebody the way that you're loving them is because that's the way Jesus has loved you.
[00:53:28] And they'll stop seeing you and they'll start seeing Jesus Christ instead. That's what you're going for. You have to remove yourself completely from the equation. So I heard a great quote from this lady, Elizabeth Elliott. She said somebody said to her when she was talking about being a doormat one time they. The lady said to her, oh, well, I don't want to be a doormat. And Elizabeth Eliot said, Oh, dear.
[00:53:56] Jesus wasn't a doormat. He made himself nothing. Is that what you've done in your marriage? So we've done with your kids.
[00:54:08] Can we say here today a compas HP that we consider ourselves. Nothing. Why would anybody want to do that? Why would anybody? Want to be nothing? Well, Martin Luther here, he has a great quote, too, he said, God made the world out of nothing.
[00:54:25] And when a man thinks himself nothing, guy can make something out of him.
[00:54:31] Why? Why would you want to be a doormat? Because then you get to welcome others into the House of the Lord. Let's get that for our last blank. You are. You get to welcome people into the love of Jesus Christ. That's why you want to be a doormat.
[00:54:43] They have had the privilege of talking to many people at church and some of those people I've talked to for years of my life, and and in the end, it doesn't seem like they really wanted to follow Jesus Christ. But some people.
[00:54:55] That have maybe even forgotten me. They're out there. They young people that I had the privilege of working with. They've moved all over America, go into colleges all over the nation. And in the end, they might not even remember me. But you know what they might do? They might love Jesus Christ for all of eternity. And I can't think of anything better than being able to welcome somebody into the love of Jesus. If we could just show them a glimpse of it, if we could just tell them a little bit about how good it is.
[00:55:23] If I could go with somebody through the gospel, repentance and faith to where they actually turn from their sin and believe in Jesus. And I get to see Jesus, save them and wash them from their sin and give them a new life in his spirit. What could be better than to be a doormat at the House of the Lord, welcoming people into his love?
[00:55:45] So that's what we're signing up for. When we sign up to serve with Jesus Christ, the point of your life is not to get people to love you. What do you have to offer those people? You are going to die. The point of your life, the purpose of your existence is to encourage people to love Jesus who can give them everlasting life.
[00:56:09] That's what we're here to do and to do that, we need to give our lives away. We need to be following the example of the Lord of Heaven, who is the washer of feed? God, I pray that you will teach us from this example. And God, I am so concerned that we will not understand God, that this will go so against who we are as we want to defend ourselves and we want to speak up for ourselves, God, in our selfish ambition and concede. I am so concerned that our hearts will want to be close to this message and reject it. God. That will want to argue with this message on the way home and saying, no, I should defend myself and God, surely there are times that we should call the police if someone's physically abusing us. God, surely there are times that in your wisdom, we decide that to not give someone money or or to not meet with someone. God, surely you give us wisdom and discernment. But I pray that we could say.
[00:57:03] That we have made ourselves nothing.
[00:57:06] And then we could say we consider others as more important than ourself, that we could walk into our home and say I'm here to serve. That we can walk into this church and say I'm here to serve. And we could see the point of our life is not to be served, but to serve it, to give our life away for the souls of many people.
[00:57:28] Got a pretty will use us to be welcome. That's. Here, here house now you will see many people.
[00:57:37] Because of the love of Jesus Christ, so humble USCA. God, please. When we think too much of ourselves humble us, God help us to think the way that Jesus thought when he washed the disciples feet and led us here at this church, wash one another's feet in the same way. God bless it are us. Not if we know this, but if we do this. God, please let us apply this to our lives in Jesus name.
[00:58:04] Hey, man, please stay.
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