Summary: Jesus taught us everything we need to know about the full extent of His love.
March 14, 2009
Text: John 13:1
Subject: The Love of Christ
Title: The Full Extent of His Love
The snow is gone. The temperatures are nicer. Robins are hopping around in yards everywhere. What else could it mean but that spring is drawing near? And with spring comes the thoughts of new life spring up out of the ground. Most of you have already noticed the crocuses and daffodils poking their chutes up, getting ready to announce that winter is over. There’s something about this time of year that creates a sense that everything is going to be OK.
There’s a story that tells about how someone put a sign at the end of their sidewalk in the middle of March. The sign was painted with butterflies and clouds and sunshine and it said, ”Think Spring”! The day after the sign was put up a March snowstorm blew in and dropped so much snow that it covered the sign. The next time the sign was seen someone had written, “Forget Spring. Think Summer!”
The thoughts of new life that comes with spring also reminds us of Easter – Resurrection Day – and how Easter is the day that brings new life.
I want you to go with me to one verse this morning. Turn to John 13:1. In John’s gospel, from the beginning of chapter 13 until the end of chapter 17, we see the time that Jesus spent with His disciples the night before his crucifixion. He had a lot to say to them and most of this time was spent speaking words of encouragement of what was to come later.
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
I want to show you today that the full extent of His love is directly related to the things that He has promised for your life as you continue His work on earth.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. HIS LOVE IN OUR CHURCH RELATIONSHIPS Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. Many of the footnotes and commentaries that I read connect the phrase the full extent of his love with what Jesus does in the role of a servant. I think that is only part of it. Yes, I believe that Jesus wants us to have a servant’s heart. I believe that our willingness to serve others more and please ourselves less will have a direct bearing on the effectiveness of our ministry as a church. I believe that is one of the ways Jesus showed the extent of His love. 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. Jesus was getting ready to do something that was reserved for the lowest of the lowly servants. Yet He never hesitated. Matthew 20:26-28, …whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus is setting an example for His disciples. It is an example that is reiterated in the writings of Paul. Philippians 2:3, 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. So is the love that Jesus showed His disciples completed in His act of service to them? John 13:13-15, 13“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.