Summary: A popular song once said its changes in latitudes that result in changes in attitudes. On the night before His crucifixion, Jesus showed his disciples exactly what that means.
Good morning! Please open your Bibles to John 13, as we continue our series called SHIFT. We are talking this month about areas in our personal lives as well as the life of our church where we might need to experience some shifts. Last week we talked about the need for our church to shift out of neutral, and how for that to happen, we have to be filled with God’s spirit, submissive to God’s Word, yielded to God’s sovereign rule and committed to God’s purpose.
Today, I want to drill down to the personal level. This morning, I don’t want you to disengage and think, James is talking about what the church needs to do. Instead, as we talk about SHIFTing our attitude, I want you to take this personally. So, turn to the person that is socially distant from you right now, and say, “This is for me.”
So how does someone go about shifting his or her attitude? What does it take for someone to have a change in their attitude? Well, it depends on whom you ask.
There is a professional wrestler named John Cena. His trademark move is called The Attitude Adjustment. It involves picking up an opponent, lifting them over your head, and dropping them onto the canvas.
You could ask Hank Williams, Junior. He had a song called Attitude Adjustment. For Hank Jr, an attitude adjustment involves a tire tool, a police dog, a night in jail, or some combination of all three.,
Jimmy Buffet has perhaps the most well known answer. His breakout album, the one with “Margaritaville” on it, was called “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes.” For Jimmy Buffet, Changes in attitudes are the result changes in latitudes. Go south. Find a beach somewhere. Charter a sailboat. Get into the sun with a bottle of rum, and you’ll experience a change in your attitude.
All of these made me wonder—is it possible to have a shift in your attitude that does not involve alcohol, a barroom brawl, or professional wrestling?
The answer is yes. Jesus actually gave his disciples an attitude adjustment on the last night He spent with them before his arrest and crucifixion. But he didn’t do it by raising His voice or brandishing the holy tire tool of the Trinity. He didn’t pick up Judas Iscariot and body slam him to the floor of the Upper Room. Instead, let’s look at what He did do. If you are physically able, please stand to honor the reading of God’s Word. This morning I’m reading out of the New International Version. Please follow along in your copy of God’s Word:
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God;
I’m going to stop right there, but keep your Bibles open. But you can be seated, and let’s pray together.
When we talk about shifting our attitude as Christians, it means shifting to be more like Jesus. In Philippians 2:7, Paul says that we are to “Have this attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.” And we’ll talk more about what that means at the end of the message. But the thing we have to understand is that being more like
Jesus means making a Shift from Powering Up to Empowering others
To me, one of the most amazing things about this passage is that it totally doesn’t go the way you would expect it to. We know from verse 1 that Jesus knew that the hour had come for Him to leave the world and return to the Father.
According to verse 2, Jesus knew that the devil had already put it into Judas’s heart to betray Him. This point is emphasized again in verse 11.
And he knew, according to verse 3, that the Father had put all things under His power. The ESV says, “the Father had given all things into his hands.”
On your listening guide, I printed verse three and just a small part of verse 4:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning
to God, so He…
Now if you didn’t know the story before hand, or if you don’t know the story, what would you expect to happen next?
Maybe you can imagine Jesus raising His hand and saying, “Guys, I have an unspoken prayer request. I’ve got a really big thing that’s happening tomorrow, and I don’t want to go into detail, but could you pray for me?” In other words, I need you to minister to me, because I’ve got a major crisis I’m dealing with.