“The Nature of Love: Humility”
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 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? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Pastor Thom Rittichier:
Father in Heaven, it is so good to have access to you. It is so good to sing these songs of recognition to your name. Father, you are, you are my God and my King, you are the reason I sing. You are the reason we make this offering. And your statement to us is to present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto to God which is our reasonable act of worship towards you. We thank you for that grace, we thank you for that love, we thank you for the truth, we thank you that you have not left us unaware. But you have spoken to us clearly, you came down and lived among us in your Son. You rendered the propitiating, the satisfying payment for our sin, to make us blameless before you in love, fully accepted in the beloved, with a destiny to inherit everything that you possess, everything that you are. And Lord, the greatest thing that will be for us is the always available presence of God when we live in a city that is transparent gold, keeping us always in the presence of the one who is the light of that Eternal City, the Lord God and the Lamb. What a privilege that is, something that we shudder to think of now, the glorious holiness of your person, us always being in that presense but being made like him, when we see him as he is. Father, we rejoice in these truths today, we are grateful that when your son is here, he has presented to us what we need to be carrying out in this world where, due to the flesh, the glory of God is somewhat masked to us, this glory of God being shown, but you call us to glorify you. So help us this day and what we look at from John 13. In Christ’s name I pray. God’s folks said, Amen. Hey, that was a little longer prayer than what I anticipated. I’d like you to take out the sheet that is our connect this morning. This is another Asian nation. This Asian nation is right next door to Nepal, which we had been focusing on before we took our year end focus on Israel. This nation is a Buddhist nation and this is Bhutan. This is our prayer focus. This is number 33 in the nations around the world that are the most persecuted. So I’d like you to look over what this has for the next two weeks, we’ll be focusing on them and seeking God’s face to be an aid to us. This morning I’m going to turn it over to Dr. Stewart. And then I’ll have a closing announcement.
Beautiful morning, snow in the trees, a little slick. But let’s change gears to humility, the nature of love. John 13, 1-17. Society is obsessed with love. John MacArthur says this, From romantic movies to popular songs to cheap paperback novels, romance is a primary theme in both entertinment and in everyday conversations. But despite all the world’s talk about love, very few people actually understand the real thing. The modern world’s version of love is unashamedly narcissistic, totally self-focused, and shamelessly manipulative. It sees others merely as a means of self-gratification. Not surprisingly, relationships between selfish people usually do not last very long. People are takers, not givers. Humility is considered a weakness, selfishness a virtue. In sharp contrast to that self-centered kind of love, the Bible teaches that the essence of love is self-sacrifice. Instead of tearing others down, biblical love seeks to build them up, 1 Corinthians 8:1; instead of first pursuing its own good, it pursues the good and the interests of other people, 1 Corinthians 10:24; instead of seeking to have its needs met, it seeks to meet the needs of another, Galatians 5:13. I sought to find examples of gentleness and humility. I googled that. And you know what, it’s all biblical. I was trying to find examples from 2020 of this. And I couldn’t find any that were really useful. I know that they’re out there. There’s good examples, I’ll share a good example with you. But it probably didn’t make the internet, maybe partly from my cyber-ineptness. Or it could be that there’s no market for this. So I went a few years back. William Tyndale, born 1494 and died 1536, raised in England. He was a contemporary of Martin Luther. When Martin Luther translated the Bible into German, William Tyndale was in England. And he had one goal. One goal for his life, he kept hitting this note over and over and over again. This note is that he wanted to translate the Bible into English so people could have the Bible in their own language, because that didn’t exist. For a thousand years, the only way to read the Bible was to learn Latin. And that would be Catholic clergy. They learned Latin and they could interpret this. But everyone else was out. They couldn’t read the Bible for themselves. Only the clergy in the Catholic Church, they could read it. They wanted to keep it that way. Because there’s certain doctrines in the Catholic Church that were not in Scripture. For example, the three P’s…priesthood, not biblical the way the Catholic Church sees it, Purgatory, not in the Bible at all, pennants, not there at all either. Tyndale had an argument with a learned clergyman who answered, “We had better be without God’s laws than the Pope’s”, to which Tyndale responded, “I defy the Pope and all his laws and if God spares my life, for many years, I will cause the boy that drives the plow to know more of the Scriptures than you do.” That was a prophecy. Tyndale was brilliantly gifted in language study. He attended Oxford and received a master’s degree. He spoke 8 languages and was a master at putting words together. Arguably he and Shakespeare, who were products of that time and that intense study of language, have changed our language for the better. Tyndale went to his superiors and asked to translate the New Testament Greek into English. And he was told no, you can’t do that. He was forced into exile for 12 years, he fled to two different European countries, Finland and the Netherlands. Tyndale continued his studies and became convinced that justification was by faith alone, just like Martin Luther. They were contemporaries and they probably knew each other. He translated the Greek New Testament into English. And some of these found their way back to England. The King wasn’t pleased. The catholic church leadership, out of the whole Greek New Testament, didn’t like five words. I won’t share all of those with you. But here’s three of the five words they didn’t like. He translated instead of priest, elder and instead of church, congregation and instead of charity, love. Believe it or not, these five words would undermine the teaching and the practice of the Catholic Church. He was charged with errors of translation. He was later declared a heretic. But he continued to write. He finished a good part of the Old Testament as well, until he was martyred. At the time when Tyndale lived, it was a crime to read the Bible in English. This is just amazing to me. If you read the Bible in English, they would burn you at the stake. People were burned at the stake because they taught their kids to read the Lord’s Prayer in English. So they set a trap for Tyndale in a castle near Brussels. He was taken to his execution and his last words were, “open the King of Enland’s eyes”. He was strangled and burned at the stake in 1536. He never wavered from his goal, he must see the Bible translated into English so every man could read it for himself. And within one year, after his death, the Matthew Bible was printed using Tyndale’s translation for most of it. The Word of God in English was a reality. About 80% of what’s in the King James Bible is Tyndale’s translations. You would recognize many of the phrases that he used like…let there be light, fight the good fight, now you see in a glass darkly…this is only a few examples of hundreds. His persistence and sacrifice have given us the scriptures in our own language. And I would suggest to you, that is love. I thought of our missionary who’s working on a translation of the bible for a people group who have not had one in their language. That is love. He wants to see it completed to its end, he loves those people, he wants to see that. I thought of my good friend, Mike. I knew Mike early on as a Christian, he’s been a good friend. He ended up becoming a veterinarian, and then eventually going with Wycliffe. He and his wife went to northern Iraq to translate the Kurds language. And they completed that, he spent most of his entire adult life doing this. I now hold his completed work, this book, the New Testament in Kurdish. There was a ceremony in northern Iraq. And they invited more than 100 people. There was a Kurdish guy who had started working on this translation in 1970, before Mike, he wasn’t able to complete it. But he came with tears in his eyes as he saw for the first time, the New Testament in Kurdish, in his own language. That’s love. This is love. I share that because the Word of God is so intimately tied in with this message that I’m going to speak to you. You’ll see why later.
We’re going to read John, chapter 13, verses 1- 17. “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon son, to betray him, Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments and taking a towel, 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?” Jesus answered, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feed only but also my hands and 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 were clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him, that was why he said, “not all of you are clean.” 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. And if I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I’ve 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 is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
We’ve been studying the promises of God. And that last verse is the promise. You’ll be blessed, if you do them. In verse one, they’re about to sit down for the Passover meal. It’s the third Passover in the time of Jesus public ministry, this will be the last Passover that’s ever going to happen actually, wasn’t for the Jews necessarily, but it was in God’s economy. It’s going to move from blood on the doorposts, remembering God protected them from the Angel of Death, to the blood of the Lamb of God spilled for them. The first 12 chapters of John are about Jesus public ministry and it talks about how he goes to people, in every conceivable way, to preach the gospel to everyone, that they might be convicted of their sin, that they might know Jesus as their Savior. He came to the Jews and they rejected him. In John chapters 13 through 17, he spends time with his disciples to give them their last instructions before his departure. Verse one, Jesus knew that his hour was come to depart out of this world. He wasn’t blindsided, he knew what was coming. The hour speaks of his suffering and his death on the cross, his sacrificial death for sin in our place. He loved his own who were in the world. These disciples were lost, just like us, caught in their sin when Jesus found them and rescued them. He loved them. He spent time with them. He was patient with them, even when they didn’t get it, which was often, they fought, they were hateful. They said, Jesus, call down fire on those guys. And those children, get rid of them. But no, Jesus said, Don’t hinder the little children. Jesus loved them even when they were sinful. Notice the nature of His love. It doesn’t love you when it’s convenient. It doesn’t love you when you deserve it. Like, when do we deserve it? Like never. Yeah, exactly. It doesn’t love you for a day or a month or a year or a decade or even a century. No, it loves you to the end. Telos, a Greek word which means completeness or perfection. MacArthur says this, there’s a general sense in which God loves the world, John 3:16, of lost sinners, but he loves his own with a perfect, eternal, redeeming love, a love which surpasses knowledge, Ephesians 3:19. But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord, Romans 8: 37-39. Even his own death could not separate his disciples from his love. Verse two, there’s a great contrast between divine love and satanic hatred here. Notice the forces of good and evil run side by side, Satan is actively tempting and setting up betrayal. At the same time Jesus is actively preparing his disciples for his death. Even before the supper, Satan had already put this in Judas Iscariot to betry Him. Black darkness compared to brilliant light of Jesus love for his disciples as he washes their feet. Judas, you would think, would have broken down, you think this would have brought him to repentance, this humble show of love, but he was unmoved. He was hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. His conscience was hard, his goal was the same as Satan’s. Jesus death, nothing less. Soon Judas would be under Satan’s complete control, that happens in verse 27 of this chapter. And he would carry out his plan to betray the Son of God in verse 30. He would continue on to self destruction. Notice the end of giving yourself over to Satan. You won’t win, you won’t get what he promised you, he’s deceitful. You will be destroyed. Thank God, for the love of God, who gets us out from under Satin’s thumb. Verse three, a statement of divine position and authority is given here of Jesus. It’s kind of an interesting place to put it. He sets us up for another huge contrast here.
This time between Jesus position as the one who has all authority given by God the Father, verse three, who has given all things into his hands, divine sovereign authority in Jesus hands, he came from God. And this is the Incarnation we’ve just celebrated. At Christmas we take extra time to look at Jesus stooping low to be born in a stinking stall and be raised by a poor family in a small town. Verse three, he was going back to God the Father, to enter the joys of heaven to be seated at the right hand of God, in that place of power and authority. This high and glorious One is about to wash, dirty, stinking feet. What a contrast, it shows us the depth of his humility. It would be one thing for us to do this. It would be another thing for a king or the pope to do this. Lowering, significant, but this is the God of the universe that stoops down to wash stinking feet. The greatest of humility, becoming a slave. Then Satan shows up with a plan to destroy him. You think at this time, Jesus would have, he had the power, he could have, just obliterated Satan and Judas In a word, taking them out. But instead of directing his divine wrath to blast them both, instead He takes the form of a slave. This is profound. This is the weapon. The weapon against Satan’s evil plans. How do you battle Satan? Humility. He didn’t see it coming. D. A. Carson says this, having walked through the dirty streets of Jerusalem to the upper room, the disciples feet, protected by sandals, would naturally have been dirty. And while they were reclining for a long meal, offensive, stinky feet, since there was no servant there to do it, one of the 12 could have volunteered to wash the feet of the others. But the Lord’s admonition, the greatest among you shall be your servant, Matthew 23:11, had fallen on deaf ears. Instead of humbling themselves, the disciples were continuing their ongoing debate over which of them was the greatest. We see that in Luke 12:24, at this very supper. Finally, in a stunning display of humility, that was also a pointed rebuke of the disciples prideful ambition, verse four, the Son of God got up from supper and laid aside his garments and taking a towel, he girded himself. The rebuked, embarrassed and chased disciples watched an awkward, painful silence as the Lord dressed as a slave, knelt before each of them in turn and washed their dirty, stinking feet. Now, I don’t know about you, but I have some experience with dirty stinking feet, I have an opportunity to take off shoes, to do some different procedures and things on feet. I have a colleague that I work with, who is very good at many, many things. But this particular person is repulsed by feet. And actually was physically retching once when we were taking care of some really nasty feet. It can be really repulsive, you know that dirty caked on toe jam that’s there. It’s really awful. Not surprisingly, Simon Peter was the first to protest when Jesus came to him. Peter displaying this embarrassment of them all, asks the Lord, do you wash my feet? Are you kidding, Lord, really? The disciples were still expecting an earthly kingdom, Acts 1:6. And Peter was appalled at this act of self abasement on the part of the Divine King. Why is he doing this? For a superior to wash the feet of an inferior was unheard of in Jewish or Roman culture. The Lord replied, what I am doing you do not understand now, but you will afterwards. Only later after Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension, would Peter and the rest of the disciples finally realize that the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many, Matthew 20:28. Verse eight, Peter says, You shall never wash my feet. It’s a double negative. No, Lord, you will not do this. He’s emphatic. Never! Problem? Who’s he correcting? The Lord. What were you thinking Peter? Christ knows us. He knows what is best for us.
You know this washing feet that’s going to happen. It’s been spoken about as a visual parable. So he’s given you so many other parables in words, but here he’s going to give you a visual. And he really wants this to stick in their mind, in our mind, a visual parable and that’s what he does. So, we need to get this. Peter needs to obey. Jesus rebukes him, faithful are the wounds of a friend. Verse eight, if I do not wash you, you have no share with me. He’s not telling Peter he will lose his salvation. He is telling him that their fellowship will be broken if he doesn’t obey. Impulsive Peter, that guy that he is, how does he respond? Lord, don’t just wash my feet but all of me, my hands, my head, do it all. Peter wants full bath. Jesus corrects him. This isn’t needed. You’ve been bathed already, cleansed already. What does Jesus mean by that, you’ve been cleansed already? How was Peter cleansed? He believed in Jesus and what happened as a result of that? He was saved, he confessed his sins. And what happened to those sins as he believed and trusted? He was washed clean by the blood of Jesus. He’s been cleansed completely. And every believer who comes to God is cleanse completely. Salvation. You and I were completely black with sin, we recognized our sinfulness by the word of God and the conviction of the Holy Spirit, we recognized our need for God’s forgiveness. We trusted that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross, to provide cleansing by his blood. That was our bath. We were washed clean and more than that. Do you only get the cleansing of your sins at salvation? We get more. What else do we get? The righteousness of Christ put in our account. He gives us his own righteousness. We’re washed white, every one of us that’s trusted in Jesus sacrifice. So verse eight, even though we’re clean, we still need our feet washed. As we walk through this world, what happens? We sin. And do we sin just on Tuesday of next month? No, it’s like daily, sometimes hourly. We sin in this world. We don’t lose our salvation when that happens, but our feet get dirty. And we need to have our feet washed. That’s sanctification. As we choose to put off the old man, our sins, the flesh, and put on the new man, we’re changed to become a little more like Jesus. That’s footwashing, Ephesians 4:22-24. Why in the earlier stories, did I emphasize the word of God so much? It’s essential to this process. Ephesians 5:26 says this, speaks to husbands, they’re to love their wives, part of that love is sanctifying them by the washing of the word.
washing with the Word of God, it cleanses us, it changes us, by the word. Verse 10, You are clean, but not all of you. That speaks of who? Judas. He was the son of perdition. Even though he walked with believers. He was never a believer. He had never been washed. He had never come under the blood of Jesus, even though he was one of the 12. Verse 11, for Jesus knew who was to betray him, this must have been painful for Jesus. Even though he knew, as a human, he suffered rejection. It must have been really painful. You know, have you suffered rejection? Jesus has been there, he understands completely what that’s like. He understands your suffering. He can walk with you through it. We’ve all suffered rejection. He even washed Judas’s feet knowing that he would betray him. The Lord Jesus is a good example of those who love their enemies. Doing good to those who hate you, Matthew 5:44. Verse 12, there is some controversy about whose feet Jesus washed, it appears in verse 12. Who’s feet did he wash? He washed all of his disciples feet, even Peter. He puts back on his clothing that he had removed in verse four, and he resumes his place at the table. He will teach them. He asks, Do you understand this? A rhetorical question, right? Because he’s going to explain more. The disciples don’t answer. Verse 13, You call me teacher and Lord, and you’re right, for I am. Jesus is in a position of authority over his disciples. And they should show respect for his position. He says, verse 16, the student/the servant, they’re not greater than the teacher/master or the one who’s sent. If Jesus, the teacher, washed feet then what are we to do? Wash one another’s feet. If we don’t, we arrogantly put ourselves above Jesus, just like Peter did. We also ought to wash one another’s feet. And what does that mean? To wash one another’s feet? You know, I’m going to spend some time with that. So treat this as a rhetorical question for now. And we’ll come back to that. Well, let me ask this. Is this the third ordinance? I mean, we have the Lord’s table, that’s communion. We have baptism, is this the third ordinance? I would suggest to you, no. We don’t see any disciples practicing this in the book of Acts. We’re not commanded to do it in the epistles. There’s nothing really spoken of that practice later. So did they disobey Jesus? We’ll see. Jesus said, I’ve given you this as an example. MacArthur says this, to elevate the outward act of footwashing to the status of an ordinance is to minimize the importance of what Jesus was teaching. The Lord gave us an example of humility, not of footwashing. His concern was for heart attitude, not outward ritual. There are instances where the pope or other world leaders have practice this with the poor, they brought the poor and have gotten down and wash their dirty feet. It’s a more of a photo op, though, than it is a life change for them. Usually practiced once a year.
But in verse 17, it says if you do this, and if you look at the Greek that is in the present active subjunctive, that means ongoing, not once a year, it means that we’re to keep on watching your brothers, your sisters feet. And don’t they need it? Right. What’s the need there? Do our feet get dirty? Yeah, pretty regularly. Mine do. Do yours. Help me out here. Do your feet get dirty? Not once a year, ongoing. Daily. Verse 17, Jesus said, If you know these things, you’re blessed if you do them, that’s the promise. You’ll be blessed. You’ll be happy as you humbly serve your brothers and sisters. Is there any kind of happiness deficit in the church? Yeah, I think so. He promises here, we’ll be blessed. We’ll be happy as we follow his instructions. It’s a joy. So let’s take a minute to learn more about humility, then we’ll ask what it looks like in your life and my life. Humility in Hebrew, it means bowing low or crouching Does that sound familiar? Sounds like Jesus getting down to wash feet, doesn’t it? Humility in the Greek , gentle and yielding. That sounds like Jesus too doesn’t it, the mind of Christ. That’s humility. Philippians 2, if you want to study about humility, Philippians 2 is a great place to do that. See what Jesus did for us. He, Jesus, focuses on exalting God and serving others in spite of his own desires or feelings. A desire to glorify God and make Him famous in all things that he’s given. Jesus tells us what his heart is like in the New Testament, there’s one time Jesus tells us about his heart. What’s in his heart? What does he like? I’m gonna read from this book. This is an interesting book by Dan Ortlund, Gentle and Lowly. You can imagine what Jesus heart might be like. In the book, he comments on John 13:1, and he says this, And it is the very first verse that kicks off this final section of the gospel. John’s statement, Jesus loved his own to the end, launches the passion narrative, and the trial and crucifixion of Christ as a historical demonstration of what is put in a nutshell in verse one. John’s point is that in going to the cross, Jesus did not retain something for himself, the way we tend to do when we seek to love others sacrificially. He does not love like us. We love until we’re betrayed. Jesus continued to the cross despite betrayal. We love until we’re forsaken. Jesus loves through forsakenness. We love to a limit. Jesus loves to the end. John pauses in a moment of reflecting and looks back. John says, Jesus had loved his own who were in the world looking forward, he loved them unto the end. His ministry to this point had been utterly demanding. He was tired, hungry, physically; misunderstood and mistreated by his family and friends, relationally; cornered and accused by the religious elite, politically. But what is all this compared to what lay before him? What is a cold drizzle compared to a drowning? What is a shouted insult on the way to the guillotine?
For considering exactly what was impending. Jesus had done his father’s will unwaveringly. But throughout it all he knew he had the pleasure and favor of his father. It had been pronounced over him, Matthew 3:17 and 17:5. Now his worst nightmare was about to wash over him. Hell itself, not metaphorically, but in actuality, the horror of condemnation and darkness and death was opening its jaws. What happened at the cross for those who are its beneficiaries. Who are the beneficiaries of the cross? That’s us, who’ve trusted Jesus, who believe in him. It’s beyond our comprehension. It’s like trying to tell a three year old…in your marriage, your spouse cheated on you…they just don’t get it. They don’t comprehend it. How much less can we comprehend what is meant for God to funnel the cumulative judgment of all the sinfulness of his people, down onto one man, Isaiah 53:6, the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all. What was it for Christ to swallow down the cumulative twistedness, self enthronement, self righteousness, natural God hatred of the elect? What must it have been for the sum total of righteous divine wrath, generated not just by one man’s sin but the iniquity of us all. A mountain of sin judged by an ocean of wrath to come crashing down on a single soul. Jesus died for us. He loved us to the end.
Ortlund, speaking about Jesus heart, Matthew 11:28-30 is where you find that. One place in the Bible where the Son of God pulls back the veil and lets us peer way down into the core of who he is. We’re not told that he is austere and demanding and heart. We’re not even told that he’s exalted and dignified and heart. We’re not even told that he’s joyful and generous of heart. Letting Jesus set the terms, his surprising claim is that he is gentle and lowly in heart. His yoke is kind and his burden is light. His yoke is a non yoke and his burden is a non burden. What helium does to a balloon Jesus does to his followers. We are buoyed along in life by His endless gentleness and supremely accessible lowliness. He doesn’t simply meet us at our place of need, he lives in our place of need. He never tires of sweeping us into His tender embrace. It is his very heart. It is what gets him out of bed in the morning. This high and Holy Christ does not cringe at reaching out and touching dirty sinners and numb suffers. Such embraces exactly what Jesus loves to do. He cannot bear to hold back. We think of Jesus, like this. Jesus is like a little boy who reaches out to touch a slug for the first time, face screwed up, gives a yelp, disgust upon contact and instantly withdrawing. Jesus embraces us but with no cringe. Even though we’re frequent sinners. Considering Jesus’s response to us, we should be willing to serve anyone in need, anyone in need. So let me ask you the question, what does it look like for you to wash feet? One thing we’ve talked about a lot is this pandemic. And we’ve been kind of encouraging people to do what towards God during the pandemic? To trust him, to trust God in a pandemic. That’s humility. That’s footwashing. Our pastor, does he wash feet regularly? People don’t really come into his office and he doesn’t pull out a basin and wash their feet. But he does that, does he? How does he do that? It’s counseling and by using the word of God, what does he do? He’s washing their feet, focused discipleship, right? He’s helping them with problem areas, taken off the dirt, encouraging them. In humility, because he knows he’s not above the simpleness that he sees. What about when we pray? What position do we take when we pray? We don’t come to God saying, you know, God, I’ve got the answer. And I want to tell you about it.
We come to him bowed in need. And that’s humility. And as we come for our brothers and sisters, and their needs, that’s humility. Yes. And we heard of this humility that I’m going to talk about, it’s living in a state of repentance, like during your life of repenting, ongoing and helping others, Galatians 6:1, lest we also be tempted, that we come to them in gentleness to help them to come closer to God. Those are all ways we wash feet, giving thanks for what he’s done for us. What else? As Jesus to the point of the cross, he comes to the Father begging, please take this cup from me if it were possible. Nevertheless, not my will but Thine. He gives himself over. Other ways of humility, listening well, talking about others only when it’s good not to run anyone down, being teachable and minimizing other people’s sins or shortcomings in comparison to your own. Spurgeon said this, every Christian has a choice between being humble or being humbled. One or the other is going to happen. Make your choice. So let us pick up the towel and the basin and serve one another. You’ll be blessed. You’ll be happy in the serving. It’s a great start to 2021
Let’s pray. Lord, we’re thankful for these words. We’re thankful for this visual picture Jesus gives us of humility. We pray that you’d help us to be servants. Help us to look to you, to trust you. We know we sinned often, we have need of having this dirt washed off and we know at times we have to help others do that, we pray that you give us opportunity. Pray that you build our body. Help us to love you and serve you and exalt you as God overall. And we thank you for the sacrifice of your son that makes it possible for us to be cleansed in salvation and to cleanse in sanctification on a daily basis all through him, your son Jesus who died for us his name, amen.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai