Summary: The importance of believers to prepare their lives spiritually in order to be used by Christ.
THE FORWARD WALK – PART TWO
“THE WALK OF PREPARATION”
JOHN 13:1-11 - ©Larry L. Thompson (2003)
Last week we began the journey of the FORWARD WALK with Christ as He made His way to the Cross. The Forward Walk that culminates with the glorious celebration of Easter, the resurrection of our Savior and the joy that is ours in the assurance of our salvation today and throughout all of eternity.
In Last Weeks Forward Walk we examined the Forward Walk of Confrontation. We learned that to properly celebrate the resurrection that we should understand Jesus confronts our actions and attitudes that would hinder either our spiritual intimacy or would hinder others from having a personal relationship with Christ.
Today’s Forward Walk will focus on, THE FORWARD WALK OF PREPARATION. First we will examine the New Testament scripture for our focus and then an Old Testament parallel event that will help us understand the absolute necessity of taking this FORWARD WALK OF PREPARATION PRIOR TO OUR EASTER CELEBRATION.
John 13:1-11 (NIV)
“It 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.  The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.  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 got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist.  After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.  He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"  Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."  "No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."  "Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"  Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you."  For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.”
I. OUR PREPARATION FOR SERVICE (13:1-2)
“It 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.  The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.”
Three principles drove Jesus to this time of preparing His disciples for service by washing their feet:
1. HE MUST REDEEM THE TIME. The urgency He knew “His hour” had come. He was to die and His time was short. Whatever He hoped to teach His disciples had to be taught now, for there would soon be no more time.
2. HE MUST RENDER THE TRAINING. He loved His own, that is, His followers upon earth, those for whom He was responsible. His own includes both the heavenly host and all believers who have gone on to heaven. He is Lord, the Son of the living God to whom all has been given; therefore, His own includes all those in both heaven and earth who are followers of Him. And He loves them all. However, the present point is this: He loves “His own...in the world.” Therefore, He was compelled to zero in on them and to do whatever was necessary to help them, no matter the cost. He was compelled by love to wash their feet, no matter the humiliation and the degree of abasement required.
3. HE MUST RECOGNIZE THE TRAITOR. He knew His enemy, and He knew the enemy was about to strike and betray Him. He had to act before the enemy struck. The disciples had to be strengthened and fortified, shown and taught immediately. Once the enemy struck, it would be too late.
The same three principles should drive every believer as we take the Forward Walk in Preparing to emulate the life of our Lord as we prepare for Easter and prepare to serve others.
1) WE MUST REDEEM THE TIME. Knowing that our hour has come, our time is ever so short.
“Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.”