Summary: Jesus gives instructions that applied to his disciples but still apply to us today.
He loved them unto the end. What a powerful statement. Because Jesus loved his disciples so much, He spent a very intensive 3 ½ years teaching and training them. As He approached the end of His days upon this earth, I believe He focused in on the things that were the most important lessons for them to learn.
As we look at a very brief overview of three situations in scripture, let’s apply these lessons to our life.
I. INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT WORSHIP. JOHN 12:1-13
A) Worship of the one that gives life.—Lazerus was there. Can you imagine?
B) Worship with the best that we have….Don’t give Jesus your leftovers.
1. God knows the motivation of our heart. Vs. 5-6
2. Three hundred pence was the annual wage of a laboring man in Christ’s day.
3. There is a sense of joy and satisfaction that comes from giving God our very best.
C) Worship that is not dependent upon circumstance. Vs. 13
1. The use of palm branches was their declaration that Jesus was the Messiah.
2. Yet most of this same crowd became the howling mob that cried “Crucify Him” when they realized that He was not setting up an earthly kingdom.
D) Worship that exalts Jesus. Vs. 32
During the tenure of the great orator Henry Ward Beecher, a visiting minister (Beecher’s brother) once substituted for the popular pastor. A large audience had already assembled to hear Beecher, and when the substitute pastor stepped into the pulpit, several disappointed listeners began to move toward the exits. That’s when the minister stood and said loudly, “All who have come here today to worship Henry Ward Beecher may now withdraw from the church. All who have come to worship God keep your seats!” Today in the Word, April, 1989, p. 22
II. INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT HUMILITY. JOHN 13:1-15
A) Humility that is based in the Love of God for others.
B) Humility that is exampled by Christ, the Lord of Lords.
C) Humility that is commanded by Christ.
1. He didn’t say “If your brother does everything the way you think he should….”
The young seminarian was excited about preaching his first sermon in his home church. After three years in seminary, he felt adequately prepared, and when he was introduced to the congregation, he walked boldly to the pulpit, his head high, radiating self-confidence. But he stumbled reading the Scriptures and then lost his train of thought halfway through the message. He began to panic, so he did the safest thing: He quickly ended the message, prayed, and walked dejectedly from the pulpit, his head down, his self-assurance gone.
Later, one of the godly elders whispered to the embarrassed young man, “If you had gone up to the pulpit the way you came down, you might have come down the way you went up.” The elder was right. God still resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Prokope, Vol. No. 3, July-September, 1997
III. INSTRUCTIONS ABOUT FAITHFULNESS. JOHN 13:21-27; 36-38
A) Matthew tells us that Peter said Lord, even if every one else turns away from you, I will not.
Yet we know that Peter did exactly what Christ said. He denied him not once but three times.
B) Faithfulness will only be as great as our love for Christ—Remember later Jesus asked Peter 3 times: Do you love me?
C) Faithfulness will be fragile when we base it on a comparison of what others will do or not do.
Keeping our eyes upon Christ, our ears open for His instruction, our feet on the paths of righteousness, and our mouths in daily communication with Him will strengthen our faithfulness.
Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a VBS because he was invited by some neighbor children. He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays. Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver. Week after week he attended church, but never made a commitment to Christ. Finally, during his senior year in High School, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ. What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395? What if the bus driver had said, “This kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?” God Came Near, Max Lucado, Multnomah Press, 1987, p. 133