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Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx
Grace Bible Church - Gatesville, Tx

Episode 110 · 3 months ago

In the Upper Room: The Majesty of Humility

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In the Upper Room: The Majesty of Humility

John 13:2-17

Dax Bryant - Preaching

John Chapter Thirteen is where we'll be this morning. The year is eighteen, seventy eight. The place was London, England, and a man named William Booth had just reorganized his Christian mission into what we know now as the Salvation Army, and as a result, men from all over the world began to pour into London to serve in the Salvation Army, including one methodist minister, a man by the name of Samuel Logan Brngle, who had left his own lofty ministry ambitions behind in America, where he held a prestigious pastorate. He had dreams one day of being a bishop. He left all that behind set sail across the Atlantic to England in order to join Booth's Salvation Army, and when he arrived he met the founder, this man, William Booth, to offer his services, and booth was skeptical at best. He had doubts that this man bringle would be able to adhere to the the disciplines that were required to be part of his new organization. He even told him that he was a dangerous man because he had been his own boss for too long. After a while, he nevertheless accepted him, begrudging lye for training, but in order to instill some humility that he thought that bringle needed, he set him to work cleaning the boots of the other men who had signed up to serve. Brinle wrote of this experience, he said. I said to myself, have I followed my own fancy across the Atlantic in order to blacken boots? And he continues to write, he says. And then, as if in a vision, I saw Jesus Bending over the feet of rough, uneducated fishermen. Lord, I whispered. You washed their feet, I will blacken boots. We're back in the upper room here we we entered into this place last week, if you remember, just hours away now from the arrest and the trials and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. And as we came into the upper room last week we saw, as it were, the banner hanging over the doorway to that place verse one. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end, meaning Jesus's hour has never been closer. It did finally come and very soon now he will display the greatest expression of his love for his own by giving his life for them at the cross but not just yet. There's a sermon left to preach on this night. And before the sermon begins there comes an illustration, one that the men in this room, I'm sure, would never forget. You need a picture in your mind. First Century Jerusalem streets with animals and waste and dirt and garbage, and so when you arrived somewhere for a formal occasion, you would be greeted at the door by a slave who, because you were wearing sandals, would wash your feet when you came into the place. On this night, in this case, this formal occasion, Luke's Gospel tells us that Peter and John had been sent ahead into the city by Jesus to prepare this room for the Passover meal. And so later that evening, by the time the rest of the disciples arrive, they find everything is already in place. There's a low, you shaped table on the floor, with Matt laid around the...

...outside of that table for the men to recline on. There's food on the table, there's wine and, of course, in the corner there's a basin of water. There's a picture and a towel. But with everything in place, there's still yet something missing. There is no servant, there is no slave, for one thing, probably because Jesus and his little band of disciples couldn't afford such a luxury, but but perhaps more importantly, because this was intended to be a very private and intimate evening together. In fact, momentarily, Judas is scariot will be dismissed from the room. We'll see that next week more closely. But as the disciples come into this place, it's interesting to note that not one of them makes a move for the towel or the basin, and for good reason, to you to strip down and and tie that towel on in order to dry off the feet that you've washed. That was one of the lowest possible tasks in that culture. Later rabbis right that this was something reserved not only for gentile slaves, that even a Jewish slave would not be made to do this. So none of these disciples who, as you know, are notorious, by the way, for arguing amongst themselves who is the greatest. None of them. We're about to pick up that towel now. They may not have had much to be proud about, but that still doesn't mean that they're gonna stoop below the others. And so it is on this night, to these proud men, that Jesus is going to redefine the meaning of greatness. Elsewhere, Jesus says, the greatest among you shall be your servant. And we see here that the true greatness is not about power or wealth or status or influence or position. True greatness is expressed here with a basin and a towel. True greatness is displayed on this night in humble service. And what's about to happen in this room, you see, is just a foreshadowing of the greater scene of humiliation that is coming. Don't get so enamored with the foot washing that you miss what the foot washing is pointing to. There's much more going on in this room here than washing feet. But even so, this is still quite a scene, is it not? Here you have the Lord of Glory, whose hands made the heavens and the earth, preparing to wash the feet of these lowly yet prideful men. And this morning I just want us to notice two things from this text, and we'll make application as we go and I trust that all of that will come together towards the end to make the big idea of this passage clear, but just the two main points. First of all, we're gonna see the Ministry of humility illustrated right before our eyes here in verses four through eleven, and then we're going to see the Ministry of humility obligated, as this same kind of loving service that Jesus demonstrates is laid upon us in light of what Jesus has done. We'll see that in versus twelve through seventeen. So the Ministry of humility illustrated, then the Ministry of humility obligated. But before we dig into that, I want us to notice just three simple observations that really helps set the context for this passage. Verse Two, During Supper, and we can stop right there, because this is already odd. During supper.

You wouldn't typically wash feet in the middle of supper. You would have done that beforehand. To do it in the middle is out of custom, kind of gross. However, it points to the fact that the disciples had neglected to do this when it should have been done, and it's fascinating. Not only would they not wash each other's feet, we can understand that, but not one of them moved to wash Jesus's feet either. This happened during the supper. The second observation to take note of here is kind of an ominous one, which will see develop even more next week. Verse Two continues when the Devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, is scariot Simon's son, to betray him. Now, like I said, we'll get to this more next week, but this is already astonishing. Here the plot, the betrayal against Jesus and his life was already in motion even as this beautiful illustration of humility is about to unfold. In fact, just just look down at verse eleven for a moment. We'll get there in a in just a few minutes. But it says in verse eleven, for He knew who was to betray him, that that word betray it's a present participle, which simply means that Judas was in the active process of betraying him, even while he was allowing Jesus to wash his filthy feet. He was already, in his mind, moving that direction. And then a third observation, and this one is key, I believe, while all this is taking place, while while the whole scene is being set up, noticed verse three Jesus knowing that the father had given all things into his hands. That's a common metaphor, especially in the Old Testament. The hand of God, the arm of God. Last week, or a couple of weeks ago now, we saw in Psalm eight the fingers of God. All of that refers to God's power, his omnipotence, his almightiness. And the point here is at at this very instant in the upper room, Jesus is fully aware. He knows his own sovereign power over all circumstances, including to and leading up to what's going to happen this night that culminates in his own death. And that's not the only thing he knows. Noticed back to the verse. The text says there he knew that he had come from God and was going back to God. What does that mean? It means again, at the very moment that he rises from the table to kneel down and wash his disciples feet, he is fully aware now, not just that his hour had come, we saw that in verse one, not just that he is omnipotent, that we just looked at, but he is also fully aware of his own majesty as the second person of the Trinity. Whose rightful place was at the right hand of the father, the place from which he had come and the place to which he would soon be returning. He knows all this in this moment, the verse says. So why is that important to point out? Well, when Jesus humbles himself like this, fully aware of his glory, of His Majesty, of his greatness, and yet he rises to do what he's about to do, then what implication does that have for you and me? The next time you're tempted to think that that somehow you're exempt from serving others at the cost of...

...your own convenience or dignity, all you need to do is think of Jesus in this moment, stooping lower to serve than you can possibly comprehend. Now, with that context established, John is going to vividly recall how this sequence of events unfolded on this night. So we want to observe first here the Ministry of humility illustrated Verse Four. He rose from supper again. During the middle of the meal, at some point he laid aside his outer garments, notice the plural their garments, not just his outer robe, but presumably everything down to his loincloth. And I don't know if you can understand just how unnerving, maybe even offensive, that would be for his this apples too, to watch their Lord stripped down like this, to to take on the lowly position and appearance of a slave. We don't want to see Jesus like that. Then, the verse says, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. This would have been a towel long enough to be able to reach out and dry the feet of those people after he had washed them. Verse Five. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. And again, to get the picture in your mind here, you need to imagine this room as it was most likely laid out. Not a not a high table like we might be used to seeing, or even in Le Or Leonardo Da Vinci's famous painting of the Last Supper, a high table with men in a straight line sitting. Rather, this would have been a a table low to the floor, probably in a u shaped pattern, according to the custom of the day for this type of formal occasion, with Matt's laid out around the perimeter of the table for the men to be able to recline on, and you would recline on the Mat with your head towards the table on your left arm or elbow, because your right hand was your clean hand, that's the hand you would eat with your feet, then, would be pointing away from you, behind you, away from the table. Now Imagine Jesus, the Lord of all creation, getting up from the meal, disrobing to some extent, tying a towel around his waist, going to the corner of the room, picking up the pitcher full of water pouring it into the basin, something that his disciples we're not about to do it and never even crossed their mind. Their their pride wouldn't allow them to do this, and they certainly never expected Jesus to be the one to do this either. But he does, and as he prepares and then begins to move from man to man to man, I I just imagine that the room was probably shocked into silence as they take in what's happening and who's doing it. The only noise, perhaps, was the the soft sound of water trickling over dirty feet into a basin, followed by the rough scratching sound of a towel drying those feet. It is embarrassing for them, not only for what they failed to do but in recognition now of WHO's doing it. It's humiliating. I can't imagine that there was a lot of talk in this moment, that is, until he...

...gets to Peter. Never one short, onwards this Peter. I've heard it said quite often Peter seems like he opens his mouth just so we can change feet. He's notorious for this kind of thing, isn't he? In the Gospels? Can can you just see him here? Verse six, as Jesus comes to Peter, if he's he's reclined there. Maybe he draws his feet up away from Jesus. He says, Lord, do you wash my feet? Just just the very idea that Jesus, his Lord and Master, would stoop to wash his feet was unthinkable for Peter. And yet Jesus Expects Peter to submit to this in faith. Verse Seven, Jesus Answered Him. What I am doing, you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand, and we can look at that now knowing what we know, and real is that Jesus is saying something like Peter, one day after my death and resurrection and ascension, after I've sent the spirit of God to help you see these things clearly, to help you understand the full meaning of all of this, you'll get it. For now, you just need to submit to it. Peter's Response Verse Eight. Simon Peters said to him, and here's how it reads in the original, because it's emphasized in the original. No, you must never ever wash my feet. Peter giving the Lord Jesus a command, something he was also infamous. Four. Remember the scene back in Matthews six Jesus is talking about going to the cross and his upcoming death, and and the text says that Peter began to rebuke him. Here same kind of thing says to the Lord. Never ever should you wash my feet. Peter's a proud man, but one thing that's difficult even for a very proud man is to be served by someone whom he knows is greater than he is. The master dressed in this servants towel, washing his feet, serving him. This is not only absurd, this is humiliating. It's it's more than even Peter's pride can take, and so he objects. But the point is, Jesus says in verse eight if I do not wash you, you have no share with me. In other words, Peter, if, if you won't allow me to serve you in this way, if you won't submit yourself to me in something like this, then you have no part in the greater service that I'm about to offer the when the humiliation far exceeds what's happening in this moment at the cross. Now, Jesus did this kind of thing a lot, didn't he? We've seen it in in John's Gospel, where he starts with something physical and then uses that to make a spiritual point. We saw that in John Chapter Four, with the woman at the well. He starts with asking for a cup of water and then pretty soon he's talking about living water. In chapter six, he miraculously feeds the masses of people with bread and then he starts talking about how he's the true bread who's come down from heaven. In Chapter Nine, he he opens the eyes of a man who was born blind and then he starts talking about spiritual sight. He starts with the physical, he moves to the spiritual. Right here in John Thirteen. The lesson is not the physical washing of the feet. He's using that as an illustration to make a greater spiritual point. Once again, he's using this...

...to point to the greater washing away of sin that will be happening in his work on the Cross and the greater humility that will be required to recognize one's need for that washing. Simply put here, as Jesus says, if you refuse his service in a simple act like this, then you have no hope for salvation, no hope for eternal life or, as he says, no share with me. It's it's really important to see what Jesus is doing here and tying together the act of washing feet and the act of dying on the Cross. These are linked together. One writer is put it this way. He says we are ready, perhaps to be humbled before God, but we do not want him to be humble in his dealings with us. We don't want to see his humility, is what he's trying to say. But he who is entitled to claim the service of all his creatures chooses first to give his service to them. Now that's illustrated here in the foot washing, but it's pointing US ultimately to the Cross. Now, this humility that's required here is something that we shrink back from in our natural state because of our pride. But, like I said, it's hard to be proud and stay proud and at the same time be served by one whom you know is infinitely greater than you, because that serves as a further rebuke to your own pride. You you realize that you haven't considered yourself low enough yet, that there is still more stooping, more low than you have already done. Well, so Peter, here he's not quite grasping all the implications of this yet. Verse Nine, Notice Simon Peter said to him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. The thought of having no part, no saving part, with Jesus is more than he can take, and so he swings from the one extreme of how dare you washed my feet too? Well then, Lord, wash all of me. He's still he's still not getting it yet. It doesn't doesn't matter which part of him gets washed. In fact, it's not even about the physical washing, is it? It's certainly not about whether it's his feet or his hands or his head that gets washed. It's not even that his whole body needs to be washed. The point is Jesus is asking Peter to submit himself to receive this act of humiliating service to him. And I want us to think about that for just a moment, because I think this is an idea that we often miss in our Christian life in order to break down our pride. Christian humility is not just about offering service to others. It certainly includes that, but that is not all that there is. It also includes a readiness, a willingness, to receive service from others. Have you thought about that? Because of our sinful nature, we can even make our humble service a point of pride. But to admit that you need something from someone else that you can't do on your own, that is a point of breaking down your pride to the extent...

...that now it leads you then to serve others in true humility. Back to the text here, verse ten, Jesus said to him the one who has bathed does not need to wash except for his feet, but is completely clean. So so what's he talking about here? Well, if we try to follow Jesus's pattern and start with the physical and then move to the spiritual, I think we can see this. So again, imagine yourself back in first century Jerusalem. You've you've been invited to a formal dinner party. You've taken a bath, you've cleaned yourself, but you still have to walk to this place, wherever it's happening, and on the way, of course, the streets being what they are, the sandals on your feet, your feet are gonna get dirty before you get there, and so when you arrive you're going to have to have your feet clean before you enter the home of the host. You don't have to take a full bath again, you just need your feet clean. Simple enough. Here's the spiritual parallel that I think Jesus is getting at in the in the same way as that analogy, once you have been bathed, so to speak, in God's grace, once you have been washed thoroughly cleanse from sin, you are permanently clean, not because of your own goodness, not because you cleaned yourself up, but because of Christ's righteousness that is given to you at the moment of your salvation. It makes you clean in God's sight. But the thing is, since you live in this world and you have to walk around in your flesh that is still has remnants of it that are in rebellion against God, that means that from time to time, you're going to get your feet dirty. There will be those sins that you need to come back to God for regular cleansing from. To try to move out of the analogy and maybe speak a little more precisely here theologically, what Jesus is saying is is something like this. Once you have been born again, regenerated by God, once you've placed your trust in Jesus as a result of that grace in your life, then your sins are forgiven, you are justified, you have been declared righteous in God's sight. You are clean based on the finished work of Christ. That is a permanent reality in your life that nothing can undo. You have been made clean by Christ forever. At the moment you believe, but as you walk in this world, there is a need for God's ongoing process of salvation, what we call sanctification, which is a lifelong process. And as your feet get dirty, as you occasionally sin again, you must return to the forgiving grace of Jesus to have them washed as often as it takes. Jesus Continues Verse Ten. And you are clean, he says. And and the you that's used there is plural, and you all are clean, but not every one of you, for he knew who was to betray him. That was why he said not all of you are clean. Will unpack that, like I said, more next week. But before we move on, I am compelled to ask you, are you clean? Have you been made clean? Have you experienced the cleansed seen that only Jesus Christ can give? Have you been washed of the...

...filth of sin that stains your soul? Have you been washed thoroughly and completely in that saving sense, even though there will be times that your feet are going to get dirty and that you must return to Christ to have them washed off. But have you experienced this, what it means to be made clean? If you have not experienced his friend, then you have yet to experience what salvation is, and I would urge you to talk with me about that, talk with the person that you came to church with today about what that means, so that you can experience what it is to be clean, so that you can experience what it is to be loved by Jesus in this way. Look at how deep the love of Jesus is for his people here. Look at this illustration of humility that takes place in the upper room, and yet this whole foot washing business is just a precursor to the greater humiliation that he's going to endure for his people on the Cross. In fact, turn for a moment to the book of Philippians. We're in John, so go to the right past acts and Romans, first and Second Corinthians, Relatians of Pesians, Philippians chapter two. Ed referred to this passage a couple of weeks ago, and I want us to look closely here, with the upper room in mind, at verses five through nine. Speaking of humility, Paul writes in Philippians two. Will pick it up in verse five. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours. In Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant. Being born in the likeness of men and being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly Exalted Him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name. As you look at that passage with the upper room in the back of your of your mind, do you see the parallels here. In Philippians two, Jesus's whole life, his his birth, his death, his resurrection, his ascension. It's illustrated in this act of service in the upper room. I wonder if you've considered this before. Let's try to make it more explicit. In the upper room, Jesus rises from the supper, just as in the incarnation he rose from his perfect place of fellow ship with God, the father and the Holy Spirit. In the upper room he lays aside his garments, just as he had temporarily made himself nothing unveiled his glory. In the upper room he takes a towel, just as Philippians two says, he took upon himself the form of a servant. He wraps it around his waist, for he had come to serve. He pours water into the basin, just as he would later pour out water and blood from his side. He washes his disciples feet in that room, just as he would later cleanse his children from their sin. And then, in the upper room, he resumes his place at the table, just as he returned to his rightful place when God exalted him to Heaven and placed all things under his feet. The point I'm trying to make is what he does in the upper room on this night is all pointing to the supreme display of what John Calls Loving his own to the end. It's pointing us to the Cross.

And this is humility illustrated. And then suddenly the tables turn. It's no longer just humility illustrated. Now it's humility obligated, humility exhorted, humility that is laid upon us, because it's not enough to just provide an illustration without moving to application. Right and so Jesus does that very thing on behalf of his disciples in that room that night and for us, as those who get to read about what happened. Look at verse twelve, when he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, do you understand what I have done to you now? Obviously they knew that he just washed their feet, right, so they could never forget that. The real question, of course, that he's asking is, do you understand the implications of what I've done for you? Do you understand what this means for you? Do you understand the point I'm making and doing this verse thirteen, you call me teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. Notice that his humility is not a false humility. He doesn't need to deny who he is. He doesn't need to artificially put himself down, he doesn't need to pretend that he's something that he's not. He says, you call me teacher, and that's right, because he has revealed the mind of God to them. You Call Me Lord, the sovereign master of all things, and then he says, and you are right, for so I am. But here's the RUB. Since you rightly record, Nye, those truths about me, there are now certain things that you are obligated to do. In response verse fourteen, if I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet and you say I see where he's going with this, then that means you must wash my feet. Is that what Jesus says? No, why not? I'm not sure, but I thought about this. For one thing, it wouldn't require much humility on our part to wash Jesus's feet, would it? You would probably stand in a line a thousand miles long to wash Jesus's feet, and then you post on facebook about it to Brag. No humility required there. So instead Jesus throws them a curve. If I then your Lord and teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. That little word there ought, oh, you G ht. It carries with it a sense of debt. It speaks of a moral obligation. In other words, since Jesus has washed your feet, you are now indebted. You are now morally obligated to wash one another's feet literally. Is Jesus Establishing a new ordinance for the church here, right alongside baptism and the Lord's supper, is this something we are to literally do, be washing one another's feet? Why isn't this part of our regular church service together? Well, it doesn't seem like the apostles thought that this was the case, because we never read of this anywhere else. Not that it has to appear more than once in the Bible for it to be binding, though, no commandment to carry this out as given in any of the...

...other epistles in church history. It seems like this didn't become a practice at all until the third or fourth century. But tradition doesn't mean everything. But is it possible that we missed this, that that perhaps, on a regular basis, we should literally be washing each other's feet. If only Jesus had spoken clearly about this. Notice first fifty, first word four, tying this back to what he just said. Four, I have given you an UPO Dagma, a model of behavior, a pattern or, as your translation probably says, an example that you also should do exactly what I did to you. No, that you also should do Cathos just as like I have done to you. The point here is that Jesus is not establishing a new sacrament of foot washing that he's giving to the church. The point is that Jesus's illustration of humility displayed in the foot washing now lays a moral obligation on his followers to love and serve one another with the same attitude of humility that Jesus displays here. Are You with me? Now? Let's make this a bit more personal for us. First of all, to your encouragement and to God's glory, one of the things that makes this church, with all of its imperfections, a wonderful place to be is that there are many of you who wash the feet of others, you who make the coffee and change the lightbulbs and print off bulletins, you who set up tables and tear them down and set them back up and tear them back down again and again. You who cleaned the kitchen and care for the babies in the nursery and teach Sunday school classes and deliver meals and run the audio and video equipment, and I could go on and on and on. But do you know who these people are? Do you know what these people are doing? Their washing feet, they are humbly serving their brothers and sisters. And so I must ask, are you? Is this something that you are doing for your brothers and sisters in this church? And I wish I could leave it there, but since it is the Lord Jesus Christ himself who is our Hoopodegma, our example in this, I have to press even just a little further, because he spared nothing but gave himself up completely, even to the end. What about you? Are there some feet that you'd rather not wash? Have you decided that you've washed enough feet? Perhaps that you'll wash feet up to a certain limit but then no more after that? To drop the metaphor and get to the point, is there someone in this body whom you've decided you will no longer love, you will no longer serve, or perhaps even in your family, have you set limits on your love for your spouse or your children or your parents? Or what about in your friendships with other believers? Do you have certain demands is that you make that other people must live up to before you will...

...respond in kind to them? The problem is, if you are a Christian, you know that loving humility, as set forth in the example of Jesus Christ, doesn't set limits like that. And the point I'm trying to make, and I want you to feel the heaviness of this statement, it is the Majesty of Jesus Christ that obligates you to love one another. It is the greatness, the majesty of WHO Jesus is that then obligates you to love one another. That's really our big idea this morning. It's the greatness of Jesus Christ that ought to compel you to love other believers like this, not because other members of this church body are so great, or that you'll always get along with everybody. Right. In fact, scripture assumes that you won't, which is why, for example, Peter Instructs Christians to keep loving one another earnestly, because love covers a multitude of sins. It's assumed there will be sin against each other within the body. So the issue isn't sinlessness. The issue is setting limits on your loving humility and service to one another, regardless of your personal preferences, and the basis for that obligation in this context is Jesus's statement. If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, then you are now indebted, you are now under moral obligation to do the same for each other. Don't forget this. It is the Majesty of Jesus Christ, your Lord and Teacher, who has done this very thing for you. That becomes the basis for why you ought to do the same kind of thing for other believers, and to refuse to do so then, on that basis, is to spurn the Majesty of Jesus Christ. It's a simple argument from the greater to the lesser, isn't it? If I've done it for you, you must do it for others. It's the same point as he flushes out in Verse Sixteen. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, and his disciples have already confessed that he's the master. Nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. And there's no question about who's sending whom here. There's no question between the disciples and Jesus who is greater in this interaction, which means that it is the Majesty of Jesus Christ that obligates us to love one another and, beyond that, to to try to bring this obligation home. Verse Seventeen. If you know these things, blessed are you if you know them? No, blessed are you if you do them once in a while? No, blessed are you if you do them. That word do is in the present tense, active voice. The idea is, if you know these things, blessed are you if you continually, as the ongoing habit and practice of your life, do them meet one another's needs in this way consistently. So it is the Majesty of Jesus Christ that obligates you to love one another. But to really tie all of this together, notice this. It is the promise of Jesus Christ that motivates you to love one another. Promise, what promise? Look at verse seventeen again. It's the promise of blessing.

Blessed are you if you do them? That is a promise, a promise of deep, wide, wholehearted, rich, unshakable, firm happiness, fulfillment that comes only from God himself. Blessing here it's not found in complaining about how you're not treated like you want to be. Blessing is found in consuming yourself with serving other people without regard to your own reputation or desires. Blessing, according to Jesus, comes as a result of serving someone, loving someone other than yourself. Brothers and sisters, this is real love, love that imitates our Savior's love for us, not the cheap, knockoff, counterfeit version of love that is so often peddled in our culture. We're talking about the love of God, a love that is so awesome that it drops us to our knees, that it humbles us to silence. But again, that can be a relative, relatively easy thing to do, to humble yourself before a great God, to see yourself as lower. But to think that the god of the universe would lower himself and serve you like Jesus did, that that's more humility than we can take in our flesh. So we have this paradox that the love that Jesus models for us here in the upper room is beyond our comprehension, but it's also understandable enough to be the basis that he points to as to why we ought to love one another in the exact same way as he's shown. meaning. I take it, among other things, that we ought not to set hard and fast limits on our love and service to one another, not in your family, not in this church body. Close, this close with this poem. I couldn't find who wrote it, so I'll just read it. Great God in Christ, you call Our Name and then receive us as your own, not through some merit, right or claim, but by your gracious love alone. We strained to glimpse your mercy seat and find you kneeling at our feet, then taking the towel and breaking the bread, humbling us and calling US friends. Suffer and serve till all are fed, and show how grandly love intends to work, till all creation sings, to fill all worlds, to crown all things. Brothers and sisters, haven't been washed ourselves. Having seen this kind of humility illustrated by our Savior and then having recognized the moral obligation that we have to do. Likewise, may we indeed imitate the Humble Service of Jesus Christ, whose majesty obligates us to love one another like this and whose promise of blessing motivates us to love one another like this. Let's pray father, help us to see and then repent of our pride that has kept us from serving and loving others as we ought to. We know that we've loved ourselves more than we've loved you...

...at times, and more than we've loved our brothers and sisters. We can easily look back and recognize times where we've wasted our gifts, where we've neglected opportunities, where we have defied your commands, even when we have served other people, we have at times made even that a point of personal pride. so forgive us, Lord, and fill us with your love, in the light of Your Majesty, to obligate us to love others and pour out your blessings on us, to continue to motivate us to love others. Give us your grace to make us more humble, more thankful, more compassionate. Call us to imitate the humility of Jesus, who stooped lower than we can imagine to serve us, help us to not place limits on our love toward our brothers and sisters, and send us out to do these things for the glory of your name.

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