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Text Sermons : Erlo Stegen : Wash one another's feet

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Summary of sermon by Rev Erlo Stegen, 17 March 2013

John 13
1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
2 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

10 Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

11 For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Let's touch on a few points.

1) "having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end".

feet2.jpg (16624 bytes)

He loved them even though they deserted Him and denied Him. Another would have said that they deserted me when I needed them most, but we don't find any of this with Jesus. A mother loves her child. Jesus' love is far greater.

In Isaiah it says even though a mother might forget her child, yet I will never forget you (Is 49:15). As a child I couldn't understand how a mother could forget her child. But then we experienced something shocking. My father had a shop near Applesbosch. One day as we went to open the shop we got a message about a girl who had a child secretly. She took a bowl of water and drowned her child and went and buried it in the field. But the following morning their dog went and dug up the baby and brought it home, and the whole matter came to light! Then I understood why God used this as an example.

But God said that even if a mother could be so cruel to her child, yet He won't forget us.

The Hindus illustrate a mother's love with the following story. They say a young man took a new bride and his mother was very happy he got a wife; she even prepared and took part wholeheartedly in the festivities. But his wife was very jealous and continually complained about his mother and that he loved his mother more than her. Eventually he was influenced by his wife's nonsense. In stead of correcting her sharply for her evil tongue, he tried to convince her with sweet talk. One day when he again told her how much he loved her she said, "if you really love me more than your mother, go and kill your mother, cut out her heart and bring it still warm to me". At first he didn't want to listen to her but eventually went and did it and ran back to take the warm heart to his wife. On his way he tripped and fell and then the heart spoke to him, "my son did you get hurt?" This is the story they use to show a mother's love. But the love of Jesus is far greater than even that!

A mother standing before death would forget her children and think about her entering eternity, but Jesus loved His children, His own, even in death, and thought of them first.

Love has no grudges, no hatred etc. Read 1 Cor 13 to see what godly love is all about. You will even love your enemy and not return evil with evil. If someone curses your, you will bless him.

The Bible says if you claim to love God but hate your brother, you're a liar.

One cannot describe fully the love of God; it's like the ocean.

2) "And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him"

It's terrible that the devil can enter a person's heart and someone allow him in his or her heart. The Bible says, "do not give the devil any room". If you do give the devil room you don't know where that will end!

Think of what happened to Judas Iscariot and what he did and what his end was. Also think of Ananias and Sapphira and what their end was because they gave the devil room.

Don't give the devil your tongue, your little finger or any room. Go and do some soul searching and if you did give the devil room, repent from it!

3) Do you understand what Jesus was doing when He washed their feet, even as Jesus asked them if they understood what He was doing.

Jesus was their servant, in spite of His greatness, and we should do likewise.

But Jesus also said to Peter, "if I don't wash you, you have no part in Me".

Peter jumped from one extreme to another, typically as we do. At first he didn't want Jesus to wash his feet and then he wanted Jesus to wash his hands and head too!

But Jesus said to Him, if I say it's enough to wash your feet then it's enough. feet7.jpg (13237 bytes)

There are people who are not satisfied with what the Lord Jesus has done for them but want what others have. But Jesus says, "my grace is sufficient for you", and that should suffice. Be thankful for what Jesus has done for you and use what Jesus has given you and be satisfied.

Don't be dissatisfied with the gifts God has given you. He also taught us to pray, "not my will but Yours be done", and so we should be satisfied with His will for us.

Jesus asked them if they had understood what He had done for them. They didn't understand. They only saw that He was so great and yet He humbled Himself to wash their feet.

Peter missed the point and Jesus had to correct him, but do we understand?

Jesus showed Peter that if a person is born again he doesn't need to be born again, again and again. No he is clean and needs only his "feet" to be washed, for we do walk in the dust on the earth, and our feet get soiled. They need to be washed.

Every day we meet up with many things spiritually and get defiled and so need daily cleansing. You can sin a few times even per day and you need to be cleansed. If you don't then that dirt will get hard on you and eventually harden your heart.

We also need to wash one another's feet, not the other's head.

Ezekiel explains this matter at length.

You can observe that a person who sins and doesn't go for cleansing gets hardened and eventually he sins without even realising it and in the end won't have any part in the Lord Jesus anymore. Such a person also turns against his brothers and sisters in Christ.

If you see someone else sinning you should go to him and help him, otherwise you are guilty of his blood.

A certain lawyer didn't want to allow his family to follow the Lord or go to church, even though things went bad in his home. One night he had a terrifying dream. He dreamt that he stood before the bottomless pit of hell and heard screams continually. Then he heard voices of people accusing each other that the reason they were there was because of their father who refused to show them God's way or to allow them to go to church. With a shock he recognised the voices as his own children and wife! He woke up perspiring and awoke his wife and told her everything. That Sunday they went to church and the whole family got soundly converted.

Have you come to the Lord Jesus to be washed? And did you go to others and tell them so they too can be washed, or will their blood be required of your hands?

Have you allowed Jesus to wash your feet. Have you allowed your brother to wash your feet or do you feel hurt when you're corrected? Rather thank him for helping you.

Many will end up in hell because of that, that they saw their brother or sister do wrong but they didn't go to help them.

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