Intro: Jesus' final night on earth was filled with a lot of drama. He prayed the great High Priestly prayer, shared the Passover meal with His disciples, and was betrayed by His enemies. He also shared a lot of useful information with them. Jesus is aware that in the morning, He will go to Calvary and die on a cross for humanity's sin. His cup is bitter! Jesus, on the other hand, takes some time to teach these men a lesson in servanthood that is still relevant to us today before He begins the events of the evening and before they come to the table to eat their final meal together. Jesus reveals His heart and mission in these verses. According to Mark 10:45, He demonstrates to these men that He came to serve rather than serve himself. Jesus painted a vivid picture for us of the kind of heart we should have for other people by demonstrating that He was a man's servant. We will discover, among other things, in these verses that God wants us to learn to give ourselves to others in service. I challenge you to listen to the Lord as we examine these verses today. You might be able to see yourself as you really are right now, and if that happens, you can go to the Lord and let Him fix whatever is wrong with your life. Consider Jesus for a few minutes in the following: The Servant of Honesty.
I. V. 1-5; 18-20 THE WORK OF THE HUMBLE SERVANT A. V. 1 The Love OF THE HUMBLE SERVANT - This verse reveals that Jesus is aware that He is approaching the end of His incarnate ministry. He is aware that He is about to die for sin on the cross. He is aware that the end is near. Nevertheless, His love for His followers endures through it all. He loved them "until the end," according to the Bible. That is, Jesus loved them perfectly, with no strings attached, and for ever. Even when He was going through his own crisis, His love never wavered. (Ill. What a tremendous source of inspiration this is for both of us! You have to understand that Jesus loves us in the same way that He loved His disciples. According to Jeremiah, it is a love that endures forever, Jer. 31:3. In Romans 8:38–39, Paul reassures us that nothing will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. We are loved perfectly, unconditionally, and eternally by the awesome, agape love of Almighty God, regardless of what happens in your life or mine! B. V. 3, "The Humble Servant's Life": This verse describes Jesus' life. 2 Cor. says that when He entered the world, He did so as a person sent by God to live a sinless life and become sin for fallen people. 5:21. He knows that after the cross, He will return to His Father and once more share in the glory of Heaven because He has accomplished everything except the cross. (Ill. According to Luke 19:10, Jesus came to this world with one goal in mind: to die for our sins. John 18:37. Note: He carried out His plan for the benefit of every man! He did this out of great affection for you. In point of fact, the cross is the sole, undeniable evidence of His love—Rom. 5:6-8! You might dismiss everything else that God has done for you and attribute it to chance or something else, but you will never be able to ignore the fact that Jesus died on the cross to pay for your sins! The cross is a reminder of God's incredible love for you and me.) C. V. 2, verses 4–5, "The Work of the Humble Servant"—In these verses, we observe the Master working as a slave. Visitors' feet were typically washed by a slave in those days. It would be considered uncivilized and unwelcoming to not show this kindness. Jesus Himself gets up from the table, takes off His outer garment, pours himself a basin of water, and begins to wash the feet of His disciples because it appears that there were no servants available to do this for them. As their Lord washed each of their filthy feet one by one, I can only imagine how amazed they must have been. Even though this scene is incredible, only one of the disciples knew what Jesus was doing here. He was washing the feet of the man who would later that evening lie to His enemies and betray Him. (Ill. Judas' heart was known to Jesus! John 6:64: He was aware that this man had never been saved; 70. The fact that Satan "put the thought in Judas' heart to betray the Lord" does not imply that Judas was a saved person who later lost his salvation. Judas was not one of Jesus' true followers, as Jesus had already stated! (Ill.) Rather than focusing on a minor doctrinal point, we ought to focus on the great truth presented here. This is the truth: despite the fact that Jesus knew Judas' heart, his motives, and his plans, He still loved him and gave him several chances to repent before it was too late. Judas could have been saved at this point if he had been saved earlier. Take note of verses 18 and 20 to 27. Jesus repeatedly demonstrates to Judas in these verses that He is aware of what he is doing. Judas has the chance to give his life to Christ thanks to Jesus. Even as a slave would his master, Jesus served Judas. His devotion never wavered!) (Ill. What a valuable lesson for all present, but especially for those who do not follow Jesus Christ. Please know that His affection for you will never end! It doesn't matter how many times Jesus tries to call you to Himself, you will never be able to turn off His love for you and your soul. You can choose to reject Jesus' attempts at calling you to Himself. In fact, when He died for you on the cross, He already humbled Himself in your place! I. The Deserving Servant's Work II. V. 6-11: THE HUMBLE SERVANT'S WORD A. V. 6-9: A COMMENT FOR SIMON 1. V. 6-7 Simon Peter's Surprise: When Jesus approaches Simon Peter, Peter is astonished! He simply cannot comprehend the Lord's desire to serve him. (Ill.) When I think about everything the Lord has done, is doing, and will do in my life, I am astonished. I have no idea how He could love me so much. In the end, none of us merits to be recommended to God. We would all be in Hell today if we received what we deserved, but thank God that He does not give us what we deserve; rather, He gives us what we do not deserve! God's grace is the source of salvation and all of its benefits. Eph. says that we enjoy what we do because God gives it to us even though we don't deserve it. 2:8-9. It's important to note that no one is too bad for grace - Rom. 5:20.) 2. V. 8: Peter's stubbornness Peter responds with a triple negative when he learns that Jesus is really planning to do this. "You will never, no, never wash my feet!" he says to the Lord. This is the same as being irreverent. Obedience is, after all, the first requirement for discipleship. Peter is just refusing to submit to the Lord, and he does so by putting on a false air of humbleness. However, Jesus points out a significant fact to him. John 14:15 says that a man cannot have fellowship with the Lord unless he is willing to follow the Lord's commands. 21. Love is demonstrated by obedience. (Ill.) Because we are aware that we do not merit the goodness and grace of the Lord, we may have a tendency to feel ashamed when He blesses us. However, at the same time, we ought to praise and accept His gifts with gratitude. The only way to truly connect with Jesus is to humblely accept His plan. even if that strategy appears to contain the antithesis of humility.) 3. V. 9: Simon Peter's Submission When Peter hears this gentle rebuke, he prostrates himself before the Lord and prays, "Don't stop there, but wash all of me!" (Ill. God can bless an attitude of surrender like this! He wants us to be in a position where we prioritize His will and His ways over all else. Give it some thought for a moment. What drives you to do what you do? The desire to get closer to the Lord inspired Peter. Is that affecting you? It will if you are in accordance with God! If it does not, that is a clear sign that your relationship with God needs to be improved.) B. V. 10-11, A Word to All Saints: Jesus is telling Peter that when a man has washed his entire body, louw, and walks through the streets and gets his feet dirty, all he needs to do is wash his feet, niptw.) For the believer, this image is crystal clear. According to Rev. 1:5, when we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, He cleansed us forever from our sins; 1 Pet. 1:18-19. By means of His cleansing blood, we have already been eternally cleansed from head to toe. However, as we go through life, we are prone to sin and require repentance. Not for the entire individual, as that was done when we were saved and cannot be done again. However, we only acquired that particular mark when we sinned during our daily walk. This is where 1 John 1:7–2:2 comes into play. According to 1 John 1:7, "If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin." 1:8) If we claim to be sinless, we deceive ourselves and lack the truth. 1:9) He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness if we confess them. 1:10) We make him a liar if we say that we have not sinned, and his word is not in us if we say that. 2:2) I write these things to you, my little children, so that you will not sin. And if anyone sins, we have a righteous advocate with the Father in Jesus Christ: 2:2) And he is the atonement for our transgressions: and not just for ours, but also for the sins of everyone else. (Ill. Jesus is demonstrating to us that we do not need to be re-saved each time we commit a sin; rather, we do need to approach Him in order to receive forgiveness and our fellowship restored. You see, if you allow yourself to continue in sin, the gap between you and the Lord will continue to widen. The practice of immediately confessing one's sins and failures in front of the throne of grace is the key to genuine spiritual joy. See, Jesus is still doing the foot washing this afternoon!) (Ill.) We need a heart like David's: "I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and my iniquity have I not hid" (Psalm 32:5) I declared, "I will confess my sins to the LORD;" and you forgive my sin's wrongdoing. Selah.") (Ill. While Jesus claimed that the Disciples were clean, He was aware of Judas' condition as well! It is impossible to conceal your condition from the Lord Jesus Christ's all-seeing eyes. He understands who we are and when we are merely religious. He recognizes when we are dishonest in our faith and when we are being hypocritical. He knows whether or not you are saved. You might deceive the rest of us, but you will never mislead Jesus! I. The Deserving Servant's Work II. The Humble Servant's Third Word. V. 12-17 THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE HUMBLE SERVANT A. V. 12-15 Jesus Set an Example - Jesus set an example for His servants to follow. Jesus is demonstrating to His followers that we are all expected to serve one another by performing this action. (Ill. His disciples had argued about who would be first in the Kingdom of Heaven—Luke 22:24) Everyone was worried about who would be the greatest in heaven, but Jesus reminded them that true greatness is a great paradox. Mark 10:42-44: "But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;" 42 "But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them;" and they are ruled by their mighty ones." 43 "However, this shall not be among you: But your minister will be whoever will be great among you:" 44 "And whoever among you will be the chiefest, shall serve all." Jesus says that humility is the way to greatness. One of the great faith's paradoxes is this! There are a few more. Death is the only way to live again. Giving is the only way to gain. Being a servant to others is the path to greatness. Let's face it: these days, there are few genuine servant ministers. It would appear that everyone wants to get everything they can. However, this attitude is in complete opposition to our Lord's. Because he was willing to become the servant of all, God elevated Him and gave Him the name Phil, which stands above all names. 2:5-11! B. V. 16: Jesus Advised: The point of this passage is straightforward. All of Jesus' followers ought to be willing to serve if He was willing to be a servant. (Ill.) Observe that Jesus simply did not serve the people He favored. Washing John's feet might have been simple. John was, after all, the "Beloved Disciple." But John and James, his brother, were always trying to get ahead of everyone else. What about Peter Simon? Before the dawn, he would deny Him three times. Thomas, how about you? He was the one who would question the claims of the others and reject Jesus' resurrection. What happens to Judas? He was the one who would sell His Lord to the adversaries for thirty silver coins. Jesus didn't let anything get in the way of His love or His service! He taught us a difficult lesson by treating them all equally.) Ill. We all have people with whom we seem to connect, and we find it easy to serve them. The true servant, on the other hand, quickly realizes that he must serve everyone equally. The true servant must have the Christ-like heart and be willing to serve his enemies as well as his friends!!) The true servant cannot favor anyone. Matthew 5:43–48 43 You are aware that the phrase "Thou shalt love thy neighbor and hate thy enemy" has been spoken. 44 On the other hand, I say to you, "Love your enemies," "Bless those who curse you," "Do good to those who hate you," and "Pray for those who unfairly use you and persecute you." 45 So that you may be the children of your Heavenly Father: because he sends rain to the just and the unjust and makes his sun rise on the evil and the good. 46 After all, what is your reward if you love those who love you? Aren't the publicans all the same? 47 And if you only salute your brothers, what do you value more than anyone else? Do not even the hoteliers agree? 48 Therefore, strive to be as flawless as your heavenly Father. (Can we honestly say that we serve all men equally this morning? Not if we have resentments. Not if we recall any insults. Not if we think we are superior to others.) C. V. 17: Jesus Expected Us to Do These Things: Jesus tells us that if we know these things, we will be "happy" if we do them! "Blessed" means "happy." We can be sure that the Lord will bless our lives if we follow in Jesus' footsteps and put it into practice. In fact, there will come a time when serving another person in the name of the Lord will bring you the most joy! (Ill.) On the other hand, failing to serve when we know we should does the exact opposite. James 4:7 says, "For if you know to do good, you are sinning when you do not." (Ill.) Why do we seem to find serving another human so difficult? Why does it seem to put such a strain on us? Serving others was never a problem for Jesus. It came to Him as easily as breathing does to us. God, help us cultivate a heart of service. That is to say, Phil, we need to get to the point where we care more about the well-being of our neighbor than we do about our own. 2:4. We need to get to the point where our brother's advancement is more important to us than our own. I have a lot of work to do in this area, and I don't know about you!!) Conc: We have a wonderful model to follow in Jesus. His life was lived for the benefit of others. If you had to sum up your life this morning, could you honestly say that helping and thinking of others comes first? Can you honestly say that you are doing your best to follow the Lord's example? Or, like the Disciples, you might have to admit that you frequently favor yourself over other people. Dear brothers and sisters, no matter what your need is this morning, there is hope and assistance in the Lord Jesus Christ. It's possible that some people here are like Judas. Even though you are in the church this morning surrounded by all of Christianity's adornments, you have never truly been saved by faith in the Lord Jesus, just like Judas. You are identified by your name as belonging to His, but you are aware deep within that you do not actually know Him. Even for you, there is hope! Jesus, like Judas, loves you and will save you if you come to Him immediately. Will you follow the Lord's direction this morning and respond?

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