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Summary: First message in a series leading up to Easter to compliment the Passion movie - This message focuses on the unique purpose of the washing of the disciple’s feet.

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The Passion – 12 - 24 - 1

March 7, 2003

John 13:1-38 Sunday AM

Context: Jesus has entered Jerusalem for the last time on the back of a donkey to the cheers and praise of the people – in the midst of the week he sends Peter and John (Luke 22) to make preparations for the Passover meal.

Insert: The greatest event in the history of Israel was the Passover. Every spring the Jews celebrated the event that occurred 1,400 years prior. The Jews were slaves in Egypt. God called Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the His people go – but he refused. God sent a series of plagues to warn Pharaoh, but it didn’t help. Finally, the death angel was sent to kill the first born in every household unless the people followed God’s instructions. He told them to slay a lamb and smear the blood on the doorpost. The family was to walk under the blood and partake of the lamb – when the death angel saw the blood applied to the doorpost, he would Passover and spare the family.

Trans: As we enter into the upper room w/ the disciples, they’re under the impression that they’re about to partake in the Passover – little did they know that this night would be unlike any other meal they’d ever experience.

Imagine if you would, Jesus and the 12 lying around a make shift dining area. 11 of the men are more concerned about who was going to be the greatest in God’s kingdom, while one was considering the offer to sell Jesus out for 30 silver coins – meanwhile Jesus is preparing to teach them His most important lesson – 12 Disciples – 24 Feet – 1 Message.

Trans: Often times when we think of this text, we understand the lesson to be one of humility and service, but I submit to you that the message is far greater.

Here in this room, after the meal, the Son of God washes His disciple’s feet and then gives them a new covenant to live by.

Why: The Bible says that He wanted to show them the full extent of His love.

Custom: It was customary on special occasions to have a servant to wash the feet of the guest – people would bathe in public bath houses and then travel dusty roads – their person was clean, but their feet soiled. As a gesture of friendship – a host would provide a slave to wash the feet of his guest.

Insert: There was no slave in the upper room – most assuredly, the disciples noticed this, but b/c they were more concerned about being first, thus not one of them considered humbling himself by taking on the role of a slave.

Note: This played into Jesus’ plan – He gave specific details to Peter and John intentionally leaving out this very detail – they had water but no servant.

Note: Jesus had planned to wash his disciple’s feet from the start – maybe he wanted to send a message to counter their thirst for glory – maybe he wanted to expose Judas and Peter and teach a lesson about salvation.

Note: The emphasis of the foot washing was that Jesus loved His disciples to the uttermost degree of His being – even Judas.

The footwashing was a shadow of the full extent of God’s love that would confirm His identity – clarify His message – and commission His followers.


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