Summary: The final week of Jesus life was spent teaching his disciples of the need to love and support each other.
Title: “The Lesson From Maundy Thursday
Text: John 13: 1-17
I want to thank you tonight for inviting me to deliver the evening message. What you don’t know is that this is the first time I’ve ever spoken at a Maundy Thursday service. So tonight I’m making personal history I find that personally motivating. Jesus isn’t asking us to die for him is he, but he is asking us to live for him. And I’m going to say, it’s not easy to live for Jesus. I’ve spent over 25 years in the full time ministry; I know by personal experience it’s not easy to be servant of the cross of Christ. They’re so many things that need to be done that the mind becomes over-whelmed. For example, in the last week within Jesus life the disciples had situation after situation comfort them. I would say at this point and time keeping up with Jesus during that final week of his life must have been like trying to get a drink of at a fire hydrant. How do you take it all in? As I understand it, Maundy Thursday has to do with what took place in the Upper Room where Jesus instituted the Lord’s Supper, but also around that same time he washed his disciples feet, and it’s here that we learn that Judas is going to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, and it’s prophesied that Peter would deny his Lord three times, and where Jesus prayed that famous prayer in John 17 that his disciples would remain strong and endure the hours of testing that lie ahead of them by being sanctified by the truth of God’s word, and form that point on Jesus is taken away and arrested and he’s taken before a kangaroo court made of false witnesses, and so this and this and this happened. You see what I mean? It’s like trying to get a drink of water at a fire hydrant. How do we take it all in? Which event do you pick out from all that list and draw out its applicational significance?
I’m going to take you back to the event that I think got everything started. Even though that final week in Jesus life was filled with all kinds of activity, I think there’s at least one common thread that unites all these events together. Jesus was a master teacher and often he used everyday experiences in his own personal life as well as his disciple’s lives to teach about matters of servanthood. And you remember Jesus started off one of those evening’s years ago with these insightful words unto his disciples in the form of a commandment. He said, - “A new commandment I give you that you love one another and by your keeping of this commandment you will prove to all others around you that you are my disciples. Folks, I think perhaps the remainder of Jesus life was spent applying that teaching of loving one another. Let me show you what I mean.
Turn in your Bibles to John 13 this is where it all begins. I asked your minister for permission to speak upon this section of scripture found between vs.1-17, which is a section having to do with the washing of the disciple’s feet by Jesus. Let’s walk out of here tonight with one main thought we can apply together. What is this common thread woven throughout the final events within Jesus earthly life?
FOOT WASHING CEREMONY (We Can’t Pick How You We’ll Servant the Lord of Hosts)
Understanding Jesus Example of Love
I’m going to pick it up at V.1. (Read – The Message, Eugene Peterson) – “Just before the Passover Feast, Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end.” You see what I mean? A new commandment I give you that you love one another and by the show of this love you will prove that you are my disciples. Well, it was suppertime. The Devil by now had Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot, firmly in his grip, all set for the betrayal. Jesus knew that the Father had put him in complete charge of everything that he came from God and was on his way back to God. So he got up from the super table, set aside his robe, and put on and apron. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the feet of the disciples, drying them with his apron. When he got to Simon Peter, Peter said – “Master, you wash my feet?” Jesus answered, “You don’t understand now what I’m doing, but it will be clear enough to you later.” How much later? Well, I’m step out here and I’ll say since Peter is the main character of this message, it took him a life time to learn how to love in the way that Jesus needed him to love the other disciples as well as all mankind for that matter. Right now we’ll just say Peter has some dirty feet and he’s struggling over the idea of someone else doing something for him and he feels less deserving. Or, is that the real issue that needs to come to the surface in Peter’s life?