13:1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL
VERSION ®. NIV®. COPYRIGHT © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- Jesus knows that he is about to leave to return to his father. How does knowing that these are the final things he’ll do and say influence how we should pay attention to the lesson? Explain.
- What is the Passover meal and what does foot washing have to do with supper? Explain.
- Why is everyone surprised that Jesus began washing his feet?
- How does this act help us understand the gospel? (the saving work of Christ)
- He instructs us to follow his example. What are some ways that we can bless and serve others?
- Why do we often struggle to serve others? What are some of your go-to excuses for why you don’t serve others?
The Heart of Christ
*This transcript is generated from the sermon audio. This document has not been edited for spelling, grammar, or exactness.
Well, do me a favor and locate a Bible if you’re able, and get with me to John chapter 13. In the Bibles that we have in the chair rack in front of you. John chapter 13 is located on page 926. 926. We’ll also put the verses up on the screen. You can follow along there as well, but we’re in John chapter 13. This morning I’m going to read verses one to 17 and I’ll pray and we’ll get to work.
John chapter 13, starting in verse one, reads like this: It was just before the Passover festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, lord, are you going to wash my feet? Jesus replied, you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. No, said Peter, you shall never wash my feet. Jesus answered, unless I wash your feet, you have no part with me. Then, Lord, Simon Peter replied, not just my feet, but my hands and my head as well. Jesus answered, Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet. Their whole body is clean, and you are clean, though not every one of you. For he knew who was going to betray him. And that was why he said, not everyone was clean. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. You understand what I have done for you? He asked them. You call me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you, very truly. I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Let’s pray. Lord, we thank you for your word. We pray that by your spirit, through your Word, you would speak to us. We want to hear your voice loud and clear, and we want you to instruct us on the things that are essential to you, the things that are important to you and we pray, Lord, that as a people we would be receptive to hear what you have for us. And we pray this in the precious name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Amen.
John chapters one to the end of chapter twelve cover a period of time that’s roughly three years. It’s the earthly ministry of the Lord. And then what happens in the narrative is it slows down. From chapters 13 to the end of the book covers roughly a week. And in chapters 13 to 17, it’s really just one event. It’s a supper party. And so we’re camped out in this location, listening to what the Lord has to say. The technical term for this section that we’re going to be looking at together is called the Farewell Discourse, meaning it’s a portion of scripture where the Lord recognizes he’s about to leave. And so he’s going to give some final lessons to his disciples, to his students, and he spends some time being very strategic and intentional here. This Farewell Discourse is really Jesus saying, okay, everything that I’ve been doing to this point, I want to try to remind you of what I’m all about and give you some final words to help you along the way, because I’m leaving and you’re going to need some help in my departure. So he’s making preparations, he’s telling them what to expect. He’s telling them what they need to do. He’s consoling them. He’s trying to help them recognize that he will not always be here. So he’s going to try to give them some words of encouragement and he’s giving some profound instructions. He’s telling them, these are the lessons I really need you to take to heart so that in my absence, you are able to carry my ministry and my mission forward with success. So we are spending time as a church looking at this final episode of the earthly ministry of the Lord, the final lessons that he has for us. Now, I was thinking this week about the only comparable experience that I have to a Farewell Discourse, and it was actually the final week of my grandfather’s life. So my grandfather, I grew up on the tree farm and Grandpa lived on the farm as well, so I would see him all the time. He came with us on trips to Canada. He was a Boy Scout leader when Brad and I were in Boy Scouts. And so we would do camping trips and different things with him. He would take us canoeing at the back of the farm on the creek to a cabin that he built. And we would go out there and we would stay there with him. And I heard him say all kinds of things over the years. I mean, really strange things too. He was an interesting dude, a lot of fun, but he said all kinds of things. But then when he at the end of his life and we knew that he wasn’t doing well, that his health was fading. He was hospitalized for a minute there, and I went and visited him and I sat with him and prayed with him. And the things that he shared in those meetings stand out to me in a way that everything else that he ever communicated to me doesn’t carry the same weight. The stuff that he said at the end of his life had a tremendous gravity to it. And that’s the kind of thing that we’re looking at here. John 13 to 17 is the Lord underlining what it is he wants his disciples to be all about. And here on the front end, he washes their feet. It’s a precursor to everything that will follow. It sets the tone for the entire meeting. The Lord Jesus Christ with his disciples at a table, gets up from the table, puts a towel around his waist, he gets a basin, and he begins to wash the feet of his disciples. And from there, he launches into the farewell discourse and teaches them the lessons that they need to learn.
So we’re going to look at chapter 13, verses one to 17, and I want to show you four different aspects here the priority of the Lord. Now, this is five I can’t do math, by the way, five different aspects. The priority of the Lord, the love of the Lord, the humility of the Lord, the example of the Lord and the Lord’s good news or the Gospel. So let’s get to work.
THE PRIORITY OF THE LORD
The priority of the Lord. It’s interesting to me to think through the fact that he was fully aware of his departure and this is how he chose to spend his time. If you were to get a diagnosis and you were told you have months to live or weeks or days or hours, if you were told you have a limited amount of time, what are the things that you would give yourself to? What’s your bucket list? What are the things that you’re like, I have to do this before I depart. Well, it’s fascinating to me that with a limited amount of time, the way that Jesus decided to spend his time was to get together with his disciples and share a meal, and not only to share a meal, but to get down on his knees and wash their feet. This is a fascinating thing for me to consider, but I recognize that Jesus is thinking through his coming departure, and he’s being very intentional with his time. Look at verse one again. It says, it was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew. He’s fully aware. He knew that the hour had come for Him to leave this world and go to the Father. So he knows. He knows what’s about to happen. He has been telling the disciples all along, we’re going to Jerusalem. I will be arrested. I will be handed over. I will be executed. So he’s aware and he’s like, this is that hour. The hour has come. I’m going to depart and return to the Father. And he chooses then to use his time quite wisely. He chooses to get with his friends to give them some final words. And I was thinking through what would motivate him to do this, and obviously love, which we’re going to camp out on here momentarily. He loves them. He wants to be with them. He wants to give them instructions because there are certain things that they need to know. He’s also setting an example. He’s saying, this is what I do and this is what you need to do to be one of my followers. But he’s being strategic with his time in order to communicate. These are the things that ultimately matter to him. In other words, as one puritan writer calls this section, this is the heart of Christ. This is where we get to see what he’s really about. So, again, back to us. If you were given a brief amount of time, do you know how you would spend it? And some of you are like, oh, yeah, I got all kinds of things that I would try to do real quick. But this reminds us of the importance of a few different things. It reminds us of the importance of relationships. I think there are people that if we were to share the heart of Christ and we recognize, I only have this sliver of time that’s remaining, I want to use it with these people. And I think the Lord would be very pleased with that. I think it’s important that we would consider, if we had a sliver of time, how we might love other people, how we might communicate the love that we have for them, how we might invest in them. Because that’s what the Lord was doing here and how we might be found doing things that communicate the good news of the gospel and the heart of Christ himself. So are your priorities aligned with the things of God? We know that life is brief. The Bible tells us repeatedly. Last week’s sermon highlighted that point. There’s a brevity to life. So here’s my question. Are we willing to evaluate the time that we have and try to strategically use it for God’s glory and for the good of others?
THE LOVE OF THE LORD
Well, the second point that I have here is the love of the Lord. This story communicates the love of the Lord. Look at verse one at the end there. It says, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. So whatever is going on here, as John reflects on it, he says, the Lord loved us. He loved us who were in the world, and he loved us to the very end. And this act itself was an expression of his love. He was showing us what love really looks like. And I’m going to spend some time trying to explain the difference between what culture says love is and what the Bible seems to say that love really is. But the Lord was loving his disciples and his love was indiscriminate. And one of the things that’s really fascinating about this account is that John reflecting on it and writing about it. He takes extra care to point out Judas was there. The bum Judas who betrayed our Lord was present at this supper and the Lord loved him too. So look at verse two. It says the evening meal was in progress and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. So there’s an awareness and John’s pointing it out, judas was here. And then as you read through the narrative, you recognize, oh, he didn’t skip over him, which would have been a very understandable thing to do, washing your feet and washing your feet. Not you dude, going to the next person. But he loved Him and he served Him, and he knew verse eleven, for he knew Jesus knew who was going to betray Him and that was why he said not everyone was clean. So he was fully aware Judas was there and he loved him. Here’s the point that I’m trying to make. Jesus was practicing what he preached because Jesus taught us to love our enemies, to pray for them, to do good to them. And he was actually willing practice the application of his own sermons. Jesus loved Judas. He served Him, he blessed him, he washed his feet. And I was beginning to think through just the fact that we are so quick to excuse ourselves from love. And we can find reasons why. We say, you know, I love people that I like, but there are certain people that I find a creative way to get me off of the hook as to actually loving them. Jesus doesn’t allow that. But we might say, look, this guy was prompted by the devil. And you might think, in my opinion, that’s a pretty good excuse. Like if there’s ever a reason where you say, I’m not going to love this person because the devil is pulling the strings here, I’d be pretty understanding with you. But not in this case because Jesus is showing us here all of us are able to fall woefully short of what God wants. In fact, another dude who got his feet washed peter. We’ll spend some time on him in a minute. Peter do you guys remember the field trip that they took in Matthew 16? They go off on this journey and they get to a location and Jesus says to them, he asks them a bunch of questions. He says, who does everyone say that I am? Who do they think that I am? They give a handful of answers. They say, well, some say this and some say this you could be a prophet, you could be Elijah, you could be John the Baptist. Back from the dead. People are saying all kinds of wonderful things about you and how incredibly powerful and spiritual you he says, okay, who do you guys say that I am? And Peter says, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus says a plus. You got that one right on, right on the nose, dude. In fact, you didn’t even get that answer. God gave it to you, Peter. Well done. He says, but here’s what’s going to happen. We’re going to Jerusalem and I’m going to be arrested and executed. And Peter is the he’s the kind of dude who has no filter, right? He just says whatever’s going through his brain. And in that moment, what’s going through his brain is, I don’t want you to die and I will fight for you. I’m your guy. I’ve got your back. So Peter, after confessing Jesus as Lord, as Messiah, as the Son of God, immediately right after, when Jesus says, I’m going to do this thing, this is how it’s going to unfold. He says, not on my watch. No way. And Jesus looks at him and says, get behind me, Satan. You see, you could look at any of the disciples that were there and you could actually come up with an excuse as to why the Lord shouldn’t wash their feet. They’re all a bunch of bums. They all have these issues and shortcomings and they all make mistakes along the way. But the Lord is indiscriminate with his love. He’s willing to wash the feet of Judas. He’s willing to wash the feet of Peter. He’s willing to wash our feet because that is the heart of Christ. He looks at us and he understands the frailty of the human condition. He understands the inconsistencies that we have. He understands the sin that we routinely commit, and he still loves us. And here’s what’s incredible. By this act, he’s communicating the significance of love. Love is not just a feeling. It’s not just something that you can fall into or out of. It is the willingness to do what is best for other people, even the things that everyone else will find reasons why they don’t want to do it. Footwashing in the ancient Near East in the first century was a normal thing. When you would go to somebody’s house, we have closed toe shoes, so we’d get to somebody’s house, we might take our shoes off. They didn’t have that advantage. They had sandals. And they walked through the arid Mediterranean area and they would get to a location and they would maybe take their sandals off, but then somebody would come along, a servant would come along and wash their feet and get all the dirt and the grime off of the feet there. And this was done ordinarily by the lowest of the low. So the servant, servant like the person who has the least clout, the rookie like the newbie, this person’s going to do this, but a person higher up with social status would not normally do this. And so that’s why it’s so surprising to everybody that the Lord gets up from the table and puts a towel around his waist and he begins to do this. And I was thinking through what love demands and I was thinking through how significant this is. If we’re going to say that we’re following the One who has loved us to the uttermost, and we’re going to say that we’re his representatives and we’re going to go out into the world and love people, would people be willing to say that of us? And I’m talking about real people. I want you to think through your acquaintances. I want you to think through your coworkers and your extended family members. Do they look at you and experience the love of Christ? Do they look at you and think, this person is always serving people and doing things that other people are unwilling to do? This person has the heart of Christ and is actually performing acts of service and love. And I hope that we could say with honesty, not perfectly, but we’re moving in that direction, that as a church family, that’s an ambition that we have. We want to love people like we have been loved, and I hope that that is the case. Secondly, the love of God.
THE HUMILITY OF THE LORD
Third, we see the humility of the Lord. One of the things about this narrative that stands out is the fact that there is a contrast between the glory of who this person is, Jesus of Nazareth, and the lowliness of the activity. So he’s glorious, but he’s willing to humble Himself and do this very base task. We see this. This is the humility of the Lord. Look at verses three and four. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power. It’s saying he recognizes who he is. He’s self-aware, fully aware of his authority. Everything is under his power. He had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist. Those sentences, those different aspects, verse three and verse four don’t seem to go together, right? He has all authority, so and you would expect something glorious to happen, but instead so he gets up, puts a towel around his waist and serves. It’s an interesting thing. So he’s self-aware of his glory, yet he’s incredibly willing to serve. Now this is confusing. It’s confusing to the original individuals having their feet washed. Look at the dialogue between Peter and Jesus. So Jesus came to Simon Peter, and Peter says, Lord, are you going to wash my feet? It just doesn’t register. He’s like, I don’t know what’s happening right now, but this is inappropriate. You’re our teacher, you’re our Lord, and you’re doing the job of a servant. So Jesus replies to him, you do not realize now what I’m doing, but later you will understand this doesn’t make sense to you. I get it. I’m fully aware of that. It’ll click a little later on. And Peter says, no, again, it’s the dude without the filter. So he’s looking at this situation. He’s like, you could wash all these other guys’ feet. Not going to happen. You’re not going to wash my feet. I know that this is inappropriate. You’re my master. He’s kind of like John the Baptist when Jesus came to be baptized. And John says, I should be getting baptized by you because you’re the guy and I’m just some little peon. And Peter is kind of having that same experience where he’s going, this is not right that you, my superior, would do this inferior task for me. No. Jesus says, Unless you do this, you will have no part with me. So there’s a confusion here, and the confusion is tied to the fact that the glory of the Lord is being undermined supposedly by the task that he’s performing. The greatest person in there is doing the lowliest job possible. Now, later on, one of the apostles, the Apostle Paul, writes about it. So the event narrates what this humility looks like. Well, later on in the New Testament, Philippians chapter two, the Apostle Paul gives an explanation. I’m just going to read it to you briefly. We’ll put it up on the screen as well. But this is Philippians, chapter two, and it’s describing the humility of the Lord. So Paul says, in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather, he made himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God exalted him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth. And every tongue acknowledged that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. But what is he saying? Jesus, though the Glorious One, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his advantage. Instead, he goes low. He humbles himself. He becomes a servant. He becomes a servant to the point of dying on the cross, and therefore God exalts him. But what we see here in the narrative of the footwashing in the description by the Apostle Paul is this is who Christ is. He is a humble servant king. He is willing to go low, and the Father exalts him to the highest place. Now, notice, too, this is a section of application. Paul says, in your relationships, do that in your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ. You, if you’re following him, also need to be humble and you need to be willing to serve and bless other people and assume the lowly position for the good of others. So humility is such an important feature of the person of Jesus Christ. And honestly, I would say it like this. It is an essential aspect of being his follower. St. Augustine, when he was writing about Christianity, he was writing to a friend and was saying, if you were to ask me what Christianity is all about, I would reply like this the first thing to say is humility. Second, humility. Third, humility. And however often you should ask me, I would say the same. Not because there are not other precepts to be explained. But if Humility does not proceed and accompany and follow every good work we do if it’s not set before us to look upon and beside us, to lean upon and behind us defense us in pride will wrestle from our hand any good deed we do while we are in the very act of taking pleasure in it says humility is such an essential component of Christianity. And for me, at a personal level, this has become kind of the litmus test that I look at my own heart and the lives of people around me and I can evaluate the spiritual maturity of people based on the presence or the absence of the quality of humility. I think it’s that incredibly important. And the Lord shows us his humble heart here.
THE EXAMPLE OF THE LORD
Fourth, we find this example, the example of the Lord. Look at verse 15. I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you. So this is not just theory anymore. It’s not just talking about Christ. He’s saying, I’ve done these things. The expectation now is if you’re my follower, this is also how you live. I’ve set an example for you. Now you have a paradigm from which you can live. This is how you display the heart of Christ to a watching world. I’ve set an example that you should do as I have done for you. And he explains verses 13 and 14 you call me teacher and Lord, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet, saying, if this is what I do, then it follows that if you’re going to be in my school as my pupil, you’re going to do the same sort of thing. You’re going to wash the feet of other people around you, that you’re going to be willing to serve and bless and meet needs that nobody else is willing to do because you have the heart of Christ. He gives us two reasons here. He says, first off, you’re not above me, so if I’m doing this, you can’t expect to get an exemption like you get a hall pass. You don’t have to do this one says no if I did it, you also need to do it. Verse 16 very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. He’s saying if I did it and I’m the master, this is what I expect my followers to do as well. And then the second reason why we see in verse 17, it comes with a blessing. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. If you practice the way of Christ, the humble service and love of other people, meeting their needs and doing what no one else will do, it is a blessing. To serve is a blessing. And that’s what Jesus is inviting us to do. He’s saying this is an expectation. You don’t get to leave today and just go, oh, that was a fun message. I like these different points. I like core’s story about whatever no Jesus is saying this is the way that I lived and this is what I expect you to do as well. Humbly serve other people.
THE GOSPEL OF THE LORD
Well, finally we see the good news of the gospel on display through the event of the footwashing. The footwashing experience points well beyond itself. It is not just an issue of hygiene. It is not just a performance of a normal activity. In the first century to wash somebody’s feet, to prepare them for a meal, it was much bigger than that. It wasn’t even just a kind gesture of the Lord to his servants. In some ways it was a parable of what Jesus was about to do. In some ways it points beyond itself to the reality of his saving love that we find at the cross. It points to the cleansing work of the blood of Jesus Christ to take away not the filth of our feet, as dirty as they may be. My son Harrison, I have washed his feet three times this week and I just thought, wow, this is kind know ironic because he makes a mess, he’s a boy for whatever reason. Shoes are off, he’s running know, dirt and mud and all these different things and before bed we have to wash his feet. It’s not just that. It’s not just washing the way of dirt. What Jesus is doing with the footwashing event is he’s preparing his followers for what’s to come, the cleansing that all of us ultimately need. He knows what’s going on and he knows that the event itself is communicating the priority of his heart and the love that he has for them and the humility that is his character, the example that he wants them to follow. But even more so, what is communicating is the good news of the gospel, that he’s going to love them to the end, that he’s going to love. Them by doing exactly what they need most cleansing from sin. And I’ll point out in the text some of the clues to read it in this way. In verse seven, he says to them, you’re not going to understand this right now, and honestly, washing feet is not a hard thing to understand, right? It’s just a very routine task. Verse seven, Jesus replied, you do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand. And it’s interesting, because what Jesus seems to be communicating here is this stuff is not going to click until much later on. The shoe’s not going to drop until later on. And in fact, in the farewell discourse, he tells them, the Holy Spirit’s coming, and the Holy Spirit will lead you into all truth. You might not get these things right now, but when the Spirit comes, one of his ministries is to help you apprehend what it is that I’m doing. You might not understand it right now. Later on you will. And they did. They came to see the work of Christ as the central event in human history, the saving work of God. So he, by the footwashing is pointing forward to the death, burial and resurrection that will ultimately clarify what the footwashing is all about, the cleansing that only he can perform. Which is why, when you look now at the interaction between Peter and Christ, you understand the significance of what’s really going on here. Peter, verse eight, says, no, you will not wash my feet. You shall never wash my feet. And Jesus answered him, unless I do this, you have no part with me. He’s not a stickler about having clean feet at the table. I’ve said to my kids, sometimes you have to wash your hands or you’re not eating right? You’ve been playing with worms and weird things, so you’re going to wash your hands and then we’re going to eat. Jesus is not saying something like that unless I wash your feet, you can’t sit at this table with me. He’s not saying your dirty feet are the problem. What he’s doing is he’s communicating that there is a washing that all of us need and without which we have no part in what Christ has done. There is a washing that he alone can perform and without which we have no saving grace. Jesus is pointing beyond the event to the reality of the crucifixion, his death, burial and resurrection. And he is pointing to the exclusivity of the saving work that he alone can perform, the cleansing from the blood of Christ that we need. In fact, in the farewell discourse, he will later on say things like this I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. And that’s echoing what he said to Peter. He’s saying, I’m the way, the truth, and the life. Nobody has access to the Father except through me. He’s saying, unless I cleanse you, you have no part in my ministry. And we’re reminded here of the importance of what true Christianity is. The good news of the Gospel is that God so loved the world that he sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die in our place, to take away the sins of the world so that we could look at ourselves with honesty and we can recognize we fall short of what God wants for us. We sin against God. We offend the grace of God. We do things that we know we should not do. But God sent His Son to reconcile us, to make us right. And the way in which we come into a right relationship with God is through the cleansing work of Jesus Christ. We place our faith in Him for our salvation. We experience the saving work of God because he went to Calvary and died in our place. There are many people who come to church and sing songs and do Christian activities, but this is such an important thing that I need to clarify. Unless you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, you are not one of his followers. And Jesus is making an invitation even today. And he’s saying, if you want to experience the saving power of what I have done for you, the cleansing work of My blood, you can have that. But you have to receive it by faith. He is the way that we are made right. Unless we receive Him, we have no part with Him. But today he says, you can have full access to the work that I’ve done for you. Receive it by faith. Now, what we find then, in the footwashing event is that Jesus is showing us his heart. He’s showing us the love that he has for us and the willingness that he is able to go to the uttermost to show that love. At Calvary, we see the humility of the Lord. Though glorious, he was willing to humble Himself to the point of death on a cross. We see the example that he has set for us, a we if we’re going to follow Him, we live in a shape that is cruciform. We live with a towel around our waist. We live in a way that says, I’m looking to do good to other people, and I’m willing to do whatever, even the things that people might excuse themselves from doing. I’m going to love and serve and bless, because God has loved, served and blessed Me in the sending of His Son. May we be a kind of church that displays the love of Christ to a watching world.
Let’s pray. Lord, I ask right now that you would help each and every one of us to, by faith, lay claim to the work that Christ has done for us, the cleansing work that he has performed by going to the cross and suffering and dying in our place to take away the sins of the world. And to take away our sins. Lord, I pray that people today would express faith in Christ and experience his saving work. Lord, may we be a church that displays your love to a watching world. Help us to love and serve and bless this world because you have loved and served and blessed us. We pray in your name. Amen.