Summary: Before Jesus went to the cross, he lowered Himself to serve those around Him.
Intro. In the 13th chapter of John’s Gospel, we find that the Lord begins to open His heart to those closest to Him. As we come to our text, it is Tuesday night, the time of the Last Supper. Jesus celebrates the Passover with His disciples. It is a day early because the Lord is crucified on the day of Preparation. Many reasons are given for this, but one thing must be noted, Jesus is God and did this as a means of changing the way they would look at the Passover - it was the last official one!
It would now be changed to the Lord’s Table. We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper on this coming Wednesday night. We will remember the Lord’s death, unless He has returned for us before then, and then we will celebrate it in Heaven!
Vs. 1-3 we see the Backdrop of our story.
1. The Direction - Vs. 1 - Jesus knew that his hour was come - it is declared that He was about to perform the task that had been established before time began!
2. The Desire - vs. 1 Loved them to the end (finish - Teleho - It is finished).
3. The Devil - vs. 2 - Judas, possessed by Satan would betray, that is, turn over to the hands of another. Judas would kiss the door of heaven and go to hell.
4. The Death - It was time to Die - Nothing could bring this upon Him, He would surrender. (Heb 2:9)
I. The Washing - Jesus bowed -
A. The Action of His Heart- vs. 4-6 He laid aside His garment. (Position)
Jesus and his disciples had come in hot and dusty from their walk from Bethany; their sandals had been laid off according to custom. It was the custom of the host of the home to station a servant at the door to wash the feet of the guests as they arrived, but no servant was there. In a home that could not afford a servant, it was customary for one of the early arriving guests to be gracious and take on the role of servant. But not one of the disciples moved. Then it happened. Jesus rose, and lowered himself to the floor. Took off his outer robe, and girded himself with a towel, and began to wash their dry and dusty feet. No apostle had volunteered to attend to the office, the duty of a servant. But then the Lord, the Son of God, full of conscious divinity, arose, girded on the towel, and began the lowly office of washing the feet of twelve men, without a word of explanation. When none of the other disciples would, God lowered Himself a little farther!
B. The Action of His Hands - vs. 5 “He poureth....He began to wash....He wiped”
1. The Same Hands - As we saw last week, the Hands of Creation.
2. The baby hands that touched a mother’s face.
3. Hands that made mud and put on a blind man’s eyes.
4. Hands that took Jarius’ daughter up.
5. Hands that could touch a leper and the plague run from his touch.
6. Precious hands, soon to be crucified. Those hands began to caress the feet of each disciple, washing the dirt away.
II. The Wonder - vs. 6-9
A. The Conflict that was Raised - Lord, dost THOU was MY feet? - vs. 6
No one else said anything, but something was not right. He may have come to Peter first. Peter’s response was one of adamant repulsiveness. He probably thought one of the lower disciples should get down there, but not Jesus! Even with his attitude, he had great experiences with Jesus! He knew he was unworthy! If we approach Jesus with the right heart, we will know we are unworthy!
B. The Confusion that was Revealed - Peter had seen the glory of the Lord!
How could Jesus come down to where Peter needed? How could God, so high above us - come down to where we are?
1. Peter Watched the Transfiguration- Mark 9:2 "And after six days Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them". His association became Amazement.
2. Peter Walked on Water - Mt 14:28 "And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus". His Fear became Faith.
3. Peter Witnessed of His Diety - Who do you say that I am? - John 6:69 "And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God".