So John chapter 13 from verse 1. It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress. And the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Escariot, to portray 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 round 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 gonna wash my feet? Jesus replied, you do not realize now what I'm 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, Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet. Their whole body is clean, and you are clean, though not every 1 of you. For he knew who was going to betray him. And that was why he had said, not everyone was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes, and return to his place. Do you understand what I've done for you? He asked them. You call me teacher and lord, and rightly so for that is what I am. Now that I, your lord and teacher have washed your feet, You also should wash 1 another's feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly, I tell you. No servant is greater than his master nor is a messenger greater than the 1 who sent him. Now that you know these things, you'll be blessed if you do them. Good evening.
Evening. I'm I'm very, very excited, actually, to to share with you from God's word tonight. If, as Ben said earlier, if you can keep a pen or a finger in Philipp 2 from earlier, that'd be really, really handy. We'll come to that later. But as I said, I'm I'm really genuinely excited tonight.
But before we start, let's pray. We need God's help. Let's come to him now. Heavenly Father, we praise you for your word We praise you for your goodness to us. And we pray now, father, help me to be clear to communicate these wonderful truths clearly to us and help each 1 of us further as we've been hearing in the the morning services help us to to have a soil in our hearts that is a good soil.
As the word is preached that we would let it take root. And that that seed as a result of your word being preached would produce fruit thirtyfold, sixtyfold, a hundredfold to your glory, Father God. So we pray these things, and we ask in your name, Jesus christ. Oh, men. Oh, men.
So we're in John chapter 13. And I think really, really helpful, actually. Ben showed us last week that this is going to be act 2. You know, you've you've had the interval that was last week. You've got your ice cream We're in act 2 now, where Jesus' public ministry has finished, and we see now the beginning of his private ministry, and then ultimately his last days.
So it's fair enough to ask the question at this point. We're halfway through. What has Jesus done? What's he done so far? And Ask your friend next to you.
What what do you think? Gonna do next, as we go to act 2. So, look with me, to verse 1. What's he done so far, What's he going to do? Next, verse 1.
It was just before the Pass of a festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the father. Having loved his own, who were in the world, He loved them to the end. I'll read that again. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Do you notice there? There's there's a look back that John does. He looks back having loved his own. This is what has done. This is what the first 3 years of Jesus' ministry has been about, having loved his own when he was at the wedding in in Kaina in Galile.
What was he doing? Loving his own. When he was feeding the 5000, what was he doing? He was loving his own. When he was preaching When he was raising, what was he doing?
He was loving his own. John's looking back at act 1. And John's looking forward too, look again. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. So we know that Jesus has done that so far.
He's loved his own. That's what he's been about. And what will he do next? He will love them to the end. That's what he's about.
That's Jesus' ministry. If if Jesus was to have a a banner that was across his ministry, across his life, It would be having loved his own. He loved them to the end. It's not a banner of education, education, education, It's not that banner. And we don't know what the the banner of the next prime minister will be.
But we do know the banner of the 1 who is above all things. The 1 who sits on the throne. And we know that Christ's banner is having loved his own. He loved them to the end. Having loved his own, he loved them to the end.
This was his banner back when he walked around on the earth, This was his banner when he carried that cross. This was his banner when he was hung on the cross. This was his banner last week when he cried out at Craxon. He loved his own. This was his banner.
Hear this. When you got that dream job, this was his banner. He loved his own. Or when you found out that your loved 1 had cancer. This was Christ Banner.
Having loved his own, he loved them to the end. So my immediate application for this passage here is if you are his own. Hear these words hear the words of Christ that having loved his own, he loved them to the end, and we'll see it applied in in these in these verses in the in the foot washing. Will see Christ loving his own. But, yes, see Christ doing it for the disciples, but see that it is a true thing for you as well.
Christ acts out an example in the life of the disciples. But what he does for them is true for you, if you are his own. And if you are not his own tonight, I want you to take seriously these things. I want you to consider the things that I'm saying that are true for Christ's own. Consider the things that are are therefore not true for you.
Consider it in your heart. And allow these things to penetrate your heart, be open to Christ, be open to his words, consider it as you're in your chair and I pray that you would come to him, that you would come to the lord Jesus as we see his example here, his example of love, So having loved his own, he loves them to the end. Now I've I've said that a couple of times, and I want to look at some evidence that Jesus does love his own. And we're going to look at that in in 3 ways. I've got 3 points tonight.
So the first being a humble Act, the second being a call to humble service and the third being the motivation to humble service. So the firstly, a humble act. It's a funny words Humble, humility. It's it's 1 that it's a funny 1 to Google. I'll tell you that, you can guess who comes up.
It's it's primarily examples of pride. People lacking humility. I'm I'm sure you can think of people who are coming to mind. But with humility, we often we often hear that phrase. Oh, It was a chance to grow in humility.
It was a humbling experience. I had a humbling experience of my own a couple of weeks back. Contacts to this I I regularly cut my own hair. Okay? I don't always, but I do cut my own hair.
But I intermittently go to the barbers so that it is nigh on okay. Okay? I always go by the phrase of If I don't care, no 1 else is looking at my hair, so far, isn't it? If I if I think it's fine, no 1 else is looking at it as much as I am. Anyway, I went to the barbers.
Barbara didn't know that I had kept my own here previously, and the barber was I I don't think I'm being dramatic. He was irate. He was fuming. He had no idea, though, that he was fuming with me. So he proceeded to move my head, to take my chair almost like I was at the dentist, to put me under the light, and to call his colleagues to look at my head.
He then He then took a picture and proceeded to show me my head. I couldn't see the problem myself. I thought I looked okay. But clearly, he was looking at his my hair more than I usually do. But it was a real humbling experience.
And it's like that in in the world around us. It's it's easier actually to see examples of a lack of humility. To see examples where where people don't show Don't show humility. Instead, show pride. I've got 2 examples, 2 men always men.
2 men who have shown a lack of humility. 1, just this week. 1, a a man, the the most followed person on on all of Instagram. A certain Cristiano Ronaldo, who just this week with his high status, multimillion pound player earning, I think, roughly half a million pound a week. That's not including any brand deals and all the rest of the things that he does.
He was asked to come on as a substitute, as Manchester United, were winning. Ronaldo's response to his manager was to say no, and he proceeded to walk down the tunnel. No. I'm not coming on. I'm not going on for the last fight.
Do you know who I am? Is essentially what he's saying, lacking humility. Now, another man, similar to this, I I actually find him a little more interesting myself, because because of where the story goes. But another man with immense status is a character from a series of books a Mr. Snuti from the Mr.
Men books. Former, mister Uppity. Mister Snuti, was the richest man in all of Dillydale. Okay? He had the longest, the largest, limousine in all of Dilly Dell.
He had a house that was the biggest house in Dillydale. It sat on the biggest hill in Dillydale, a little. So you can imagine that in Dillydale, this house is on the biggest hill, all the peasants must look at mister Snouty's house. This is his status. This is what he has.
I am mister Snuti. I am mister Uppity, he used to say. But The reason I say he's more interesting than Christina Ronaldo is because the book goes on to say that despite all of this status, this grandeur, He was miserable. He lived alone surrounded by shiny things, but he was miserable. His status had made it hard for him to go about amongst his peers.
He lived a life of pride lacking in humility, thinking he was better than the townspeople in Dillydale. That's mister Snuti. That's mister Ronaldo. Now let's look at an at an example here. Of wonderful, wonderful humility.
Look at verses 4, to 5. So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with a towel that was wrapped around him. It's quite a strange story actually to us. I don't know if if any of you have have been in in a place where you've had to wash someone's feet I unfortunately have had that experience.
I say, unfortunately, because I could have used that as being a real humbling experience, where I was in Moldova, I I had been there for a couple of weeks. I was an 18 year old boy. And at each time, they they practice washing of feet. So I thought, oh, gosh. I'm gonna watch other people do it, and then I joined my team.
I went to the back of the line, And what I didn't realize was the person in front of you washes your feet, and then you washed the person behind you. So I should have gone in the middle of my team. So I'd gone up to the back of the line. I had my feet washed. I didn't think they looked any different, to be honest.
I then went and kneeled down, and What can only be described as Shrek, sat down, and I you think you've seen the color yellow, but I'm telling you you haven't until you've seen this man's feet. And I thought, I I sat I knelt there, and I prayed, and I prayed, let me honor this man. Let me honor him, lord god. And I proceeded to, you know, get in between the toenails and all the crevices. And I was, you know, gagging.
It was horrific. I thought I've I've really done well here. That was really outside of my comfort zone. And I scrubbed his foot with a towel, and I went to wash my hands. And as I stood up, I noticed, this man Turn to his mates, his team, and just point and laugh actually, point and laugh at me because of how bad of a job I'd done.
Because I was I was so new to it. But here, we see Jesus who is used to this custom. Okay. The reason that they had this custom was because they didn't have, you know, your your Jordan high tops. They didn't have your nikes.
What they would wear on their feet generally speaking was sandals that were made of leather and rope. And the roads, they weren't tormacked. Instead, they were often quite thick with either dirt or dust. And you combine that instead of the temperate climate that we have in Britain, You combine that with the the heat of the Middle East, and you can imagine the state of of someone's feet after a long walk. So it was custom.
It was custom to when you're going into someone's home to have your feet washed. And you notice here in this story, that Christ hasn't had his feet washed and neither of any of the disciples. And it's It's actually the job of the servant to to do that. The job of the lowest of the low. Some Jewish rabbis would have said actually, that a Jewish slave or a Jewish servant was not allowed to do this job, was not allowed to wash the feet of people coming into the home.
Because it was so low, so demeaning. Such a humiliating job that rabbis would say they they're not allowed to do it. But here is Jesus. Taking off his coat, putting it to 1 side, tying a towel around his waist, and going around and washing the feet of the disciples. It's it's hard to imagine mister Reynolds or mister Snuti doing such a thing.
But here, we see the creator, the 1 who's created all things washing the feet of his creation. Jesus, who has power and authority over everything on earth, is free to be radically sacrificial and he's free to get this, act like a servant. Crawling on his hands and knees, Among filthy feet. Only someone with a sense that only the opinion of 1 matters could have this humility. So there we see Jesus, the creator washing the feet of his.
Create a humble act done for his own. Done by the 1 with the highest status imaginable. As well as this passage, though, being a lived out example of humility, it is also a call to humble service. We've seen the humble act of Christ as he becomes the servant for others. As he considers their greatest their needs is greater than his own.
Now we're going to look at my second point. A call to humble service. This is 12 to 14. When he had finished washing their feet, he put on clothes and returned to his place. Do you understand what I have done for you, he asked them?
You call me teacher and lord, and rightly so. For that is what I am. Now that I, your lord and teacher have washed your feet, you should also wash 1 another's feet. Essentially, in other words, he's saying, if I have this lofty, this grand state as your lord and teacher, I'm able to do this job as servant and wash feet for you. You can do likewise to others.
You're not lord. You're not you're not lord. You're not teacher. You can go and be a servant like I have been. A call to humble service.
Flip with me to Flippians 2. Verse 2. Where Paul says. Philippians 2 verse 2. Paul says, make my joy complete.
By being like minded, having the same love, being 1 in spirit and of 1 mind, do nothing after selfish ambition or conceit, rather in humility, value others above yourselves. We've seen Christ's example of humility. His bending low, He's becoming a servant to wipe the feet of the dirt for the sake of his own. Christ in these verses here is calling us to do likewise is calling us to humble service. I love the way, actually, that Paul puts it in the ESV.
No. He didn't write the ESV. I love the way that the ESV puts up Paul put it. They they instead of value others above yourselves, they say count others as more significant than yourself. The reason I like the ESV, It's not really anything technical.
It's just because you can't really get around that language. It's very simple. Count others are more significant than yourself. I can't make an argument for me to not do that. I can't say that Paul's not trying to tell me that.
It's very, very clear what Paul is saying for us to do. Count others as more significant than yourself. See how Jesus does it? With the disciples sat around a table. The job that is despised, the job that is so lowly, so demeaning.
As he gets the the water, and he gets their feet clean, and he gets in between the toes. See how Jesus does it? Counting others is more significant than himself. These there's there's your application. To those who are his own, Count others as more significant than yourselves.
Value them above how you value yourself. Now with with that comes valuing yourself lower than you currently value yourself. Doesn't it? That's a painful thing, I think. It's it is to count others as as greater than you currently count them, but Part of doing that is to say, I'm not as great as I think I am.
I'm not as great as I think I am. In all that you do, do it with a view of getting under others to lift them up. We should be about this, shouldn't we? We should be about considering the needs of us greater than our own. We should be about that There's there's a million ways that I could I could look to, probably not I.
There's a million ways people could look to apply that. I want to look at 2 ways 2 ways that we're going to apply, considering the needs of others as greater than your own. 1 being pray. I'm going to ask a question, and I'm I promise you, I'm asking it to myself. How in your prayer life?
Can you count others as more significant than yourself. Let me be honest with you. My prayer life is full of me, my mine, I, my prayer life is full of that. And that's not wrong. That's important.
That is important. I pray for my own sanctification, my own ongoing. Battle against sin. My own ongoing wanting to be more like Christ. But how there am I considering the needs of others as greater than my own.
How there am I considering my wife, my colleagues? Those who are not his own Turn a couple couple of pages onwards to to John chapter 17. We won't read the the the prayer there. But what you've got in John chapter 17 is you've got Jesus just hours away from from being killed. Jesus is just hours away from being killed.
What would I be praying if I was hours away from being killed? Lord, deliver me help me, be with me. That's what I would be praying. That's what I pray when I'm not being killed. What does Jesus pray?
Hours away from being killed? That first section, what's he praying there? He is praying that the father would be glorified. Look at Christ's example. Considering the needs of others is greater than his own, he is praying that the father would be glorified.
Look at the next section. Who is he praying for their hours away? Don't forget from being killed. Counting the needs of others is greater than his own. He prays for his disciples.
He prays for those near and dear to him. Those who are his his own, that when he is gone, that they would carry on, that they would carry on. He is counting their needs as greater than his own. Look with me at verse 20. My prayer is not for them alone.
I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. Hours before Christ died. He prayed for you. Hallelujah. Hours before Christ died.
He prayed for me. Praise God for that example. Wow. Thank you Jesus. Thank you that you considered my needs is greater than your own.
Oh, Jesus, praise you. Thank you. Oh, I I want to be more like Christ. I want to consider your needs as greater than my own. I pray that I would.
I pray for you as well. It's 1 way we look to to apply that the second being in enjoy. Look at this 17, flick back to to chapter 13, verse 17. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. So now that you know to be a servant, to respond to this call, to humble service.
Now that you know these things, what does he say, you will be blessed if you do them. That word bless there is not the word happy. It could be translated as glad, as joyful, or perhaps as deeply satisfied. That's the word that we've got there. Now, the world will tell you, and the world's not wrong, to be honest.
The world will tell you, it feels good to sit on the couch. It feels good to be served, to have someone bring you things, to have someone wash your feet. It does. It feels nice. It does.
It feels really nice to thank you, Rachel, for bringing me that cup of tea earlier. That was so lovely of you. It felt nice. But that was the extent of it. It felt nice.
Jesus here is telling you You respond to this call to humble service, and you will be deeply satisfied. You won't feel nice. You won't feel happy, deeply satisfied. So we've looked at a humble act We saw how Christ became a servant in a horrible, despised, lowly job for the sake of his own, and we've seen Christ calling his own to humble service. And now, thirdly, we will look at the motivation to humble service.
Just just notice that. First point a, humble act. Second point, a call to humble service. Third point, the motivation to humble service. Okay?
Some of you will have noticed that we looked at the first section first couple of verses up to verse 4, and then we we skip past the middle and looked at the end few verses. So so now we're thinking about verses 6 to 11. Here, in these verses, we see Peter reject Christ. Peter saying, no. No.
No. No. I don't want you to wash my feet. No. No.
No. No. No. That's that's not how this works. And to be fair to Peter and you might hear me defend him a little more often over the next few weeks now that the casting to mark drama has come out.
And to be fair to Peter, he he here is probably responding to Christ's status. You're the creator. You you made us your lord, your teacher, You you shouldn't be washing our feet? No. You're not washing my feet.
So how does Jesus respond? I I guess, as any as any preacher possibly would think, that Jesus might just turn to Peter and say, Peter, you are ruining the illustration. Stop it. Sit down. Let me wash your feet.
I'm giving you an example. Just watch. He doesn't do that. What does he do? Jesus says, if I do not wash your feet, you have no share with me.
What? If I do not wash your feet. If I do not wash you, you have no share with Why is Jesus saying that? You have no share with me. Why is he elevating foot washing to such a degree?
That's scary. Jesus, why are you making football in this massive deal? I tried to show you respect. Why are you saying I have no share with you? Jesus, why are you making it something that it's not?
Well, that's because the foot washing is an example of Christ's humility. Where does Christ go on? Peter's response, not only my feet but my hands and heads also classic Peter. He's over exuberant. Oh, fine.
I got that wrong. I'm gonna jump in. Footed. Brilliant. Not only my feet then, who I was saying no to a second ago, but my hands in my head also.
I've been absolutely desperate to get to this point ever since I stood up. Been desperate to get to this point. For a week. Look with me at verse 10. Jesus answered Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet.
Their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every 1 of you. Jesus's response to Peter's over exuberance. You don't need to wash every part of you. Why not, first 10, because the whole body is clean.
The ESV here Instead of the whole body is clean, it says the 1 who is bathed does not need to wash except for his feet that is completely clean. Completely clean. Remember that banner. Having loved his own, he loved them to the end. That's what Jesus is about.
Completely clean. If you are his own, if you are Christ's own. If you know the Lord Jesus Christ, you are completely clean. Marvel at that, I need to stop myself from getting carried away. Marvel at that.
Boo 10, though. There is 1 who's not clean. There's 11 clean guys and 1 dirty guy. There's 11, and there's judas, there's 11 who have passed from death to life, 1 who hasn't. The foot washing is not what made them clean.
This is an acted out lesson. It's not just that Jesus hasn't quite got round to Judas, and in a moment, we'll have 12 clean guys. It's not that. The foot washing is an enacted out example of humility. An acted out example of Christ taking on the role of a servant for the sake of his own.
These 11 are made clean, made completely clean, at the place where we see the fulfillment of Christ's humble servanthood. They are made clean because the 1 with the high status, the creator, the 1 who is from the father, He came. The 1 who made all things. He made himself nothing. That's what Paul tells us in Philipp.
He made himself nothing. He took on. He put on. The form of a servant. He became a servant by taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness, being found in the appearance of a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.
The foot washing was a despised job, but I'd have done it. Eventually, I couldn't have gone to the cross field. The foot washing is an acted out example of Christ's humility, the fulfillment of Christ's humility is at the cross of Christ. Where he once again takes on the form of a servant where the creator comes on takes on the form of a servant, and he stands punished for you and for I, so that he can declare us completely clean. Isn't that amazing?
It is pointing to the cross, where he takes on the form of a servant, where he becomes obedient to death, even to death on a cross. And it is on that cross that Jesus made you completely clean if you are his own. Hear that word completely. We we say to our young people, we were in Romans 8. God makes all things together.
That's not some things. That's all things. Completely means completely clean. Every single part of you is clean if you are his own. Don't let the father of lies deceive you and tell you that that 1 thing cannot be forgive forgiven by the blood of the lamb.
Don't let the father of lies do that. Don't tell yourself that when you did x or y, it was too much for Jesus to forgive. Too much for him to wash. Because Jesus has washed you completely clean. Completely hallelujah Jesus.
Thank you. You have washed us completely clean, and that is exactly our response. Hallelujah. A response to this is worship, is praise, is adoration. Thank you, Jesus.
That is why we sing because he has washed us completely clean. Worship him, and allow this this truth that you are completely clean if you are his own. Allow that to be the motivation behind why you go low. Behind why You want to be a servant, be what behind why you are willing to count the needs of others as more significant than your own. And to those of you who are not his own, come to Christ, In your chairs now, pray, pray in your hearts that you would know Christ washing you completely clean from your sins.
I pray that you would no freedom from guilt, from sins that you committed tens of years ago, that nothing is beyond the love of Christ To those who are not his own come to him. So very briefly, if we're completely clean, why wash feet? Why does Jesus wash feet. Now, the washing of our feet is our daily confession of sin. It is not what makes us clean.
Christ is what makes us clean. Our daily confession of sin is the application, is us applying that to our sin. The puritans were famous for for saying, have short accounts with God. Apply Christ cross, Christ's love for you, Christ's servant's hope for you daily. Keep short accounts with God.
1 John 1 verse 9 says, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and cleanses of all unrighteousness. Christ, yes, he took on the form of a servant. He put it on, so that we might be clothed We might put on the righteousness of Christ. We might be looked on by the father as if as if we were the lord Jesus Christ. Because we are without blemish.
We are without spot because of what Christ did for us. So, let me let me summarize. And we'll get on to the title in a moment. His own should go low, not only because Jesus did in washing feet, And not only because it is their most deeply satisfying way of life, but also because They are completely clean. So Christian, go low because we've looked at a humble act Jesus' foot washing.
Go low because he has called us 2, and this is our deep satisfaction. And finally, go low because of the cross of Christ. He became a servant to make you completely clean. So go low. And the title of of this so that Bradess doesn't have to text me tomorrow, tied with saying something like how low can you go.
The title for this is is 2 words. When someone says to you, what was that sermon about? 2 words, go low. Go low. So to the elders, go low.
To the heads of households, go low. To the small group leaders, Go low. To the kids' leaders the youth leaders go low. It feels like saying, to the coffee dreamers. Go low.
To all of you, go low. Whatever your status Go low. Jesus went low, so go low. It is your satisfaction. So go low.
You are completely clean, so go low. Let's pray. Heavenly father, we we praise you for Christ's example. We praise you for what Christ achieved for us on that cross. That he is able to say that we are completely clean.
And this is not because of something that we have done, but it is because Christ took on the form of a servant so that we might be clothed. In the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Help us to look at your cross, your example, and would that be our motivation our reason for counting the needs for others is more significant than our own. Help us we pray, but help us for your glory. In Jesus' name, amen.