Summary: The little word, "if," is the key to many blessings as seen in John 13.1-17.
1. St. Augustine Lighthouse, FL
I am a bit of a lighthouse enthusiast. I started collecting and visiting them way before it was popular (kind of like "I was country when country wasn't cool").
One of the "lights" I have visited is in St. Augustine, FL. The lighthouse is very similar to the Cape Hatteras light in its design, but the top is red instead of black. Climbing the spiral staircase on the inside is quite a challenge. However, when it was constructed, they built in landings every few levels, which give you a chance to rest before taking the next stairs.
The gospel of John has levels, too. In John 13-16, Jesus repeats some key themes like: love, obedience, the Holy Spirit, his relationship to the disciples, and to the Father. Each time he repeats, he takes them to a new level.
2. In John 13.1-7 he reminds us of some great truths
3. Just as great doors hang on small hinges, these great truths hang on a small word -- IF
4. Note the IF of:
I. Holiness (v. 8)
A. The idea of Partnership or Fellowship with the Holy One of Israel
B. There is a Washing at Salvation
1. Ceremonial washings
2. Baptism for us
C. There is a need for Constant Cleansing (feet)
1. Uncleansed feet can hinder our walk
2. There is a way to have continual washing -- 1 John 1.9
II. Humility (v. 14)
A. Jesus Clothed himself in Humility
1. At the Last Supper
2. At his birth
B. Humility is for us, too -- 1 Peter 5.5
1. We are servants, not masters
2. Displayed in our Rabbi -- v. 15
3. Humility brings blessing from God -- James 4.6
III. Happiness (v. 17)
A. Knowing the word of God is important -- hide in heart -- treasure -- sweet as honey
B. Know in order to do -- "Shema" (Deuteronomy 6)
C. Obedient action produces joy within
1. Rudyard Kipling wrote a famous poem based on the word, "If." It describes a way to maturity.
2. A Newspaper reporter once estimated that Kipling had earned about $100/word that he had written. He challenged Kipling during an interview by holding up a $100 bill and asked him to give him a hundred dollar word. Kipling said, "Thanks," and took the bill.
3. IF is a small word that leads to great blessing.