Summary: Jesus is always our example. At the last supper, he showed us service -- even to the one who would betray and the one who would deny. Here we see the Servant; the Served; and the Significance so we can do likewise.
1. Aim High!
There is a story about two friends who went coon hunting. It seems that Jim prided himself on getting a treed coon down with a single shot from a 22. Tony decided to play a trick and adjusted the sights so it would shoot a little low.
One night they were out hunting and pretty soon the dogs took off. They ran and ran until they gave the signal that a coon had been treed. Jim took the gun and set the sights on that old coon. When he shot, nothing happened. Jim couldn’t believe that he had missed. He shot again, and hit the branch the coon was sitting on. He shot a couple more times and missed each time. Jim simply couldn’t believe it.
About that time, as Tony told the story, that coon got real nervous and started running down the tree. All the time the dogs are barking. It ran across the ground toward Tony and ran right up his legs and perched himself on Tony’s head. Jim said, "Don’t move. I’ll get him!"
Tony saw the 22 aiming right at his head. He began to scream, "Aim higher! Aim higher!"
2. A paradox of Yeshua (Jesus) – Go low to go high!
3. John 13.1-17
I. The Servant (John 13.1-5)
A. In Yeshua (Jesus) We see the Heart of a Servant
1. His Job Description – 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. Matthew 23.8-11
2. A Serving God – the Exodus
3. He could not NOT Serve
B. In Yeshua (Jesus) We see the Humility of a Servant
1. Humility is Trusting God – Psalm 131 (READ)
[Ancient Sages: “As water leaves a high level and goes back to a lower level, so the Torah abandons him whose mind is haughty and proud, but cleaves to him who is humble.”
2. Humility is the Antidote to Iniquity (avon in Hebrew)
a. “I” is the beginning of Iniquity -- but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. James 1.14
b. The Power of Iniquity –
Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,
or his ear dull, that it cannot hear;
2 but your iniquities have made a separation
between you and your God,
and your sins have hid his face from you
so that he does not hear. Isaiah 59.1-2
c. Role of Humility –
While visiting Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House, Wendell Wilkie asked him, "Mr. President, why do you keep that frail, sickly man, Harry Hopkins, at your elbow?" Roosevelt replied, "Mr. Wilkie, through that door flows a stream of men and women who, almost invariably, want something from me. Harry Hopkins wants only to serve me. That’s why he is so near me!"
• For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; John 6.38
• Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to accomplish his work. John 4.34
• “I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5.30
d. The Power of Turning from Iniquity – 30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent and turn from all your transgressions, lest iniquity be your ruin. 31 Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit! Why will you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of any one, says the Lord GOD; so turn, and live.” Ezekiel 18.30-32
II. The Served (John 13.6-11)
A. Jewish Baptism
1. Not new with John the Baptist
2. Involved ceremonial purity to worship in temple
3. Part of Proselyte Conversion – Circumcision; Sacrifice; Baptism – “Born again”
4. New application – cleansing from sin
B. Priests and Baptism
1. Ceremonial Purity to serve – Reason the Good Samaritan story is significant; wealthy Sadducees had mikvehot in their homes and ways to get in the temple apart from the common people – no danger of impurity
2. In the temple – washed as needed in laver by the altar – not additional baptisms