Summary: Jesus did not just talk about servant-ministry: He modeled it for us. And as they say... a picture IS worth a thousand words.
I. A Picture of Renunciation (4a)
A. Renounced His prerogatives as Deity
1. Picture of His taking the form of a man
2. Philippians 2:7 (HCSB), “Instead He emptied
Himself by assuming the form of a slave,
taking on the likeness of men.”
B. Renounced His Position as their Master
1. Removed His outer (covering) garment
2. The attire of a slave (very little, so not to be
impeded in their work)
II. A Picture of Incarnation (4b)
A. God became a Man
1. See Philippians 2:7 above
2. F.B. Meyer: “He laid aside the garments of light
which He had worn as His vesture; took up the
poor towel of humanity, wrapped it about His
glorious person; poured His own blood into the
basin of the cross; and set Himself to wash away
the foul stains of human depravity and guilt.”
3. this illustrates John 1:14, “the Word was made
flesh and took up residence among us.”
B. The Master became a Servant
1. He didn’t just tell of servanthood
2. He modeled it; He became it
III. A Picture of Humility (5)
A. Actions of a Servant
1. Washing of feet was the job of the lowliest slave
B. Attitude of a Servant
1. He did not shrink from this duty
2. Slaves were used to working with defilement
IV. A Picture of Cleansing (5b, 10)
A. Bathing and Washing
1. ‘Wash’ is a word for singular washing, like the hands
or the feet (cleansing from daily defilement)
2. ‘Bathed’ is used for a complete washing of the body
(initial washing from the stain and penalty of sin)
B. Do you need to be washed?
1. Have you ever been ‘bathed’ from your sin, once for all,
by the blood of Christ’s sacrifice?
2. Do you need ‘washing’ from the defilement of this world?
3. Verses 14-15 show us that these actions and attitudes
should be our own. Do you need forgiveness for
neglecting to serve others?
4. What a difference it would make in the world if we
approached people with a basin and a towel instead of
words of criticism and anger!