Summary: We need to learn from Jesus and be people that serve.
Once A Teacher Always A Teacher
Text: John 13:1-17
1. Illustration: In May of 1846 an evangelist, now mostly forgotten, named “James Caughey” (pronounced “coffee”) visited a chapel in Nottingham England and preached a sermon on the words recorded in St. Mark, “Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Caughey preached that the key to this verse was to learn to desire God’s desires, and that God’s foremost desire was that we develop the character of a servant, to help the poor, and to spread the gospel that souls might be saved. A gangly young man was present at this service. He’d been saved for two years but had been drifting. But that day in May, God spoke to this gangly young man through evangelist James Caughey. The Holy Spirit gave the young man a passion for desiring servanthood. The young man acted on God’s direction, and he devoted himself to starting an organization committed to the salvation of souls and service to the needy. A sermon on “desiring servanthood” inspired the young, gangly William Booth to fulfill his destiny and found the Salvation Army.
2. Servanthood is an essential characteristic of being a Christian.
a. It is one of the five purposes of the church.
b. It was so important that Jesus spent the last hours before His crucifixion teaching on it.
3. He spent time at the Last Supper teaching His disciples to:
b. Be Served
c. Lead By Example
4. Read John 13:1-17
Proposition: We need to learn from Jesus and be people that serve.
Transition: In Jesus last hours...
I. Taught Them to Serve (1-5)
A. Began to Wash His Disciples Feet
1. Our text begins with "Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father."
a. The word "knew" is a very important word in this text. It appears 3 times (vv.1, 3, 11).
b. The point in verse 1, is that He knew His time had come, and that He would only be with His disciples a little while longer.
c. He wanted to take this time to teach them things that were vitally important.
2. This shows the servant heart of Jesus.
a. Even though He knew what was waiting ahead of Him.
b. Even though He knew the painful and humiliating road that lie a head of Him.
c. Even though He knew, He would be separated not only from His friends, but most importantly, from His Father.
d. Even though He knew all these things, He chose to think about others.
3. Why was Jesus willing to do this? Simply because of His love for them. John tells us "He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end."
a. The NIV translates this portion of the verse "Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love."
b. He loved them so much that He was willing to lay aside His own concerns to focus on teaching them.
c. He put the concern of His disciples ahead of His own.
d. Phil. 2:3 Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
4. Another thing that shows the servant heart of Jesus also revolves around the word "knew." Verse 3 says, "Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God."
a. Jesus knew that all authority had been given Him by the Father.
b. This may seem like an unlikely place to talk about divine authority, but John didn’t view the cross the same way that the casual observer might view it.
c. To him it was the place that a divine work was done, and divine glory shown (Morris, NICNT, 546).
d. Although Jesus knew His authority was higher than any power on earth, He chose to take the position of a servant.
e. Phil. 2:6-8 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges ; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
5. John tells us that the next thing that Jesus did was "he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him."