Summary: Will you choose the towel in life like Jesus?

Title: The Towel or Sword?

Glen B Madden

Ref: John 13


The Chief Executive of a large company has had some bad news concerning his health.

„« Calls a meeting

„« Squabbling among the executives

„« Shoe shining

„« Clean out your desk!

„« Stoop to serve¡Kraise your authority

Modern day parable of what happened that evening in John 13(Lets read it vs 1-17)

If you had a week to live what would you do?

„« Live life to the full!!

„« Wash feet?

It was a servant’s job to make sure that there was a bowl, water and towel available to clean people feet

„« None of the disciples made sure of it

„« Proof of their position?

The King of Kings stooped, washed and blessed every person there in humility.

It was Jesus willingness to love, serve and connect with people that made Him attractive

„« He served instead of condemning

„« He set the example to each of us

„« Didn’t bring the sword towel instead

Illus: Mother Teresa Find someone who isn’t loved

Jesus sets an incredible example of how we should love and how this leads us to serve.

The church for many years has picked up a sword when entering into evangelism and service

„« Quick to condemn

„« Turn our noses up

„« People need US to love them

We are told that we are NOTHING without love

How should we love?

1. Love is based on Power not on Feelings

John 13 1-3

Jesus was about to did how did He feel?

„« Every right to feel sorry for Himself

„« Attract sympathy

„« I would have¡K

Yet He gets up and washes feet why?

Jesus knew exactly who He was, where He was going and what power He had

„« In full control

„« His Serving came from that power not feelings

Jesus ability to love comes from who He was and is¡K.

„« We are the same

Service and love should not be based on what we feel but who we are

What if God only loved us for what we had done?

Rom 8:38

„« Jesus’ love is unwavering

„« Ours must be the same

Many times I put how I feel before what I know Jesus would have done

„« Rather pick up the sword and cut

„« Pick up the towel and sooth and serve

To Love like Jesus loved we need to take notice of who we are, not what we feel.

2. Love is not reserved for people just like us!

Vs 2¨ And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon¡¦s son, to betray Him,¡¨

It is easy to love each other or it should be

Loving people who are unlovable is the difficult thing!

There are many unlovable people in the world ¡V look around!

„« Can’t love them from feelings condemn

Matthew 5

"You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,¨

Jesus didn’t just say it

Jesus stooped and washed the feet of Judas Iscariot -

God is chasing me down on this at the moment!

„« So I’m a Christian now what?

„« What am I doing with it?

„« Put my feelings first?

„« Or stoop and wash the feet of people around me?

Jesus laid aside those things close to Him in order to serve and love

„« Fears

„« Doctrines

„« Feelings

„« Hurts

„« Traditions

„« Desires

„« Many more?

True love is loving the unlovable

3. Being Loved leads us to love and serve

Jesus is getting ready to wash Peter¡¦s feet and Peter protests

„« Humility? No - pride

He proclaims his unworthiness to be washed, He suggests that Jesus was making a mistake

We can learn two things from this

Firstly the King of Kings is kneeling in front of Him and offering love and Peter is refusing it

„« Sound familiar?

„« Refusal of God¡¦s love?

Also we need to accept love from other people

We have a wonderful opportunity to bless each other but we need to be honest and transparent

„« I find this hard

„« I need your help

„« You need mine

„« Designed that way

4. Love always demands action

Illus: David Cape¡Kspend his life washing people’s feet around the world...(God’s Secret to Greatness - Tenney and Cape)

Jesus took action:

„« He got up. That’s an action.

„« He took off His outer clothing. That’s an action.

„« He wrapped a towel around His waist. That’s an action.

„« He poured water into a basin. That’s an action.

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