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Feet Washing Brings Happiness

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John 13:12–20 KJV 1900
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? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.


A Reminder of His Humility
So Christ has just demonstrated for us the ultimate in humility, he has condescended to the lowest degree. He has bowed down to the ground, girded himself and washed the disciples feet!
A Reminder of our Need - continual cleansing
Of course we can be reminded that as we walk this world below our feet will get dirty and dusty. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning and we can rise from our beds and experience that mercy. We can call to remembrance that mercy and rejoice! We can then walk out of our door and be confronted with a world that hates Christ and is infected with the disease of sin. It will not take long for the Christian to be infected with such filth.
So we are instructed to come to the Savior and as an advocate he will cleanse us with his Word. The blood cleanses us from sin completely and positionally we are clean, but practically clean is another matter. For that we must constantly go to Christ and to his word!
1 John 1:7 KJV 1900
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
Psalm 119:9 KJV 1900
BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.

I. Christ’s Concern

John 13:12 KJV 1900
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?
“know ye what I have done to you?”

His Question:

What had he done unto them? - he had demonstrated humility and servitude and lowliness
The Lord was concerned with what these disciples had learned from the experience they had just participated in. How often do we experience a lesson from the Lord and we fail to comprehend its significance?
What is a Disciple?
Disciple - Websters 1828
1. A learner; a scholar; one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another; as the disciples of Plato.
2. A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.
A Disciple is simply a student.
Acts 11:22–26 KJV 1900
Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord. Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.
I believe the Lord is asking the same type of question to us today - Do we pay attention to his teachings, do we attend to his voice and listen to his gentle instruction?
Illustration: The Hazards of Going on Auto Pilot - The New Yorker Sep 4 2014 - By Maria Konnikova
At 9:18 p.m. on February 12, 2009, Continental Connection Flight 3407, operated by Colgan Air, took off from Newark International Airport. Rebecca Shaw, the first officer, was feeling ill and already dreaming of the hotel room that awaited in Buffalo. The captain, Marvin Renslow, assured her that she’d feel just fine once they landed. As the plane climbed to its cruising altitude of sixteen thousand feet, the pair continued to chat amiably, exchanging stories about Shaw’s ears and Renslow’s Florida home.
The flight was a short one and, less than an hour after takeoff, the plane began its initial descent. At 10:06 p.m., it dropped below ten thousand feet. According to the F.A.A.’s “sterile cockpit” rule, all conversation from that point forward is supposed to be essential to the flight. “How’s the ears?” Renslow asked. “Stuffy and popping,” Shaw replied. Popping is good, he pointed out. “Yeah, I wanna make ’em pop,” she assured him. They laughed and began talking about how a different Colgan flight had reached Buffalo before theirs did.
As ground control cleared the flight to descend to twenty-three hundred feet, the pilots’ conversation continued, unabated. There was the captain’s own training, which was, when he first got hired, substantially less than Shaw’s. There were Shaw’s co-workers, complaining about not being promoted quickly enough. There was the ice outside. Renslow recalled his time flying in Charleston, West Virginia, and how, being a Florida man, the cold had caught him doubly off guard. As the plane lost altitude, it continued to decelerate.
At 10:16 p.m., the plane’s impending-stall alert system—the stick shaker—kicked in. Renslow was alarmed and in his panicked confusion, he pulled the shaker toward him instead of pushing it away from him. Seventeen seconds later, he said, “We’re down,” and, two seconds after that, the plane crashed, killing everyone on board and one person on the ground.
In its report about Flight 3407, the National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.) concluded that the likely cause of the accident was “the captain’s inappropriate response to the activation of the stick shaker, which led to an aerodynamic stall from which the airplane did not recover.” The factors that the board said had contributed to Renslow’s response were, “(1) the flight crew’s failure to monitor airspeed in relation to the rising position of the low-speed cue, (2) the flight crew’s failure to adhere to sterile cockpit procedures, (3) the captain’s failure to effectively manage the flight, and (4) Colgan Air’s inadequate procedures for airspeed selection and management during approaches in icing conditions.” All but the fourth suggested a simple failure to pay attention.
Its not enough to simply show up. We must be paying attention and concerned about what the Lord is teaching us. Far to many Christians are simply on auto-pilot.
We have looked at Christ’s Concern, now notice...

II. Christs Credentials

John 13:13–14 KJV 1900
Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
It is quite amazing that our Lord would spend time teaching us. If you think about it, what business do we have learning anything from a Holy God? ....we must remember who it is that is doing the teaching.
Illustration: Have you ever had a teacher that you did not respect?

A. Notice the Initial Order

“Ye call me Master and Lord”
This was what they called Him - it was the confession of their own lips
We must first be taught who He is before we can call him Lord
This is the initial order

B. Notice the Experiential Order

Why does the Lord reverse the order here?
Because now that he is Lord, we must bow and surrender before he can teach us anything
Simply… we say He is Lord and Master.. are we listening to him? Are we learning from him? Is your heart surrendered to Him?
We have looked at Christ’s Concern and Christ’s Credentials, now notice...

III. Christ’s Command

John 13:14 KJV 1900
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
“ye also ought to wash one another’s feet”
What is foot washing - is it a church ordinance?
Feet washing in this instance simply pictures ministry toward one another. There are some who have turned this into a literal church ordinance and for the following reasons we believe this to be misguided.
The Lord’s words to Peter “thou knowest not now” - certainly Peter knew his feet were literally being washed
The Lord’s words to the disciples- “know ye what i have done unto you” - certainly there was a more profound spiritual meaning
The Lords words in verse 15 - He did not say “ye should do what I have done unto you” - He said....”as I have done unto you”
Johns Gospel is primarily the one which treats spiritual relationships under various figures - bread, water, Shepherd and sheep, vine and branches, etc...
As a picture of our ministry to one another, there are several important aspects we must consider:

A. Consider the Posture

In order to wash another’s feet we must be on our knees, we must lower ourselves to the ground. Humility is a constant theme in the Word of God and one that cannot be overstated. The only thing God does with pride is resist it.
James 4:6 KJV 1900
But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
Arthur Pink-
An Exposition of John Chapter Forty-Six: Christ’s Example for Us (John 13:12–20)

Yes, a most needful word is this for us all, ever ready as we are to lift up the skirts of a brother and say, “See how soiled his feet are”! But much exercise of soul, much judging of ourselves, is needed for such lowly work as this. I have to get down to my brother’s feet if I am to wash them! That means that “the flesh” in me must be subdued.

Galatians 6:1–2 KJV 1900
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
A Spirit of meekness-
Considering thyself - it will always do us well to consider ourselves - Paul said he was what he was by the grace of God!
Bear One Another’s Burden- To bear a burden one must be under it not above it!

B. Consider the Plan

The plan is the Word of God
Psalm 119:9 KJV 1900
BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed thereto according to thy word.
John 7:38 KJV 1900
He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
We need to be reminded that the washing is done by the Word of God and not our own ideas or opinions. So it would make sense that we must be intimately familiar with the Word of God before we can attempt to wash another mans feet. How can we minister apart from knowing God’s Word. It is the source of all wisdom, it contains the answers to every problem! How comforting to know that God has left us His Word to follow and not the devices of man!
Are you familiar with God’s Word?
Psalm 119:97 KJV 1900
MEM. O how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day.

C. Consider the Point

To point men to Christ!
John the Baptist
Luke 3:15–18 KJV 1900
And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.
Prior to these statements by our Lord we learned that he is ever living and abiding for us and is seated at the right hand of God interceding for us. It is with this thought in mind that we must conclude that our ministry to other men must consist of pointing them to His Word and to Christ himself. This may seem obvious, but we must remember we are but channels for the Holy Spirit to work through.
How can we wash another’s feet if we don’t point them to the Savior
Christ’s Concern, Christ’s Credentials, Christ’s Command and finally...

IV. Christ’s Conclusion

John 13:17 KJV 1900
If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
What does it mean to know
if ye know these things”
To really know and understand is to do and to obey. We do not truly understand anything we do not do!
I understand the importance of being in church - are you faithful to the house of God?
I understand the importance of reading God’s Word- are you in it daily?
I understand the importance of prayer - Are we on our knees regularly?
I understand the importance of tithing- Do we rob from God?
We could go on and on and on…but the reality is, when we know, we do…we simply obey the Lord!
True Happiness
“happy are ye if ye do them”
The source of happiness for the Christian is in doing. Specifically in this context it is ministering to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. The would and even many Christians are looking for happiness. Thousands of books have been written on the subject, countless lectures have been given and many methods have been employed. However, the truth still remains that happiness is found only in giving our lives to others.


What is the purpose of this lesson on “foot washing”?
An Exposition of John Chapter Forty-Six: Christ’s Example for Us (John 13:12–20)

“For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” We take it that the force of these words of Christ is this: I have just shown you how spiritual love operates: it ever seeks the good of its objects, and esteems no service too lowly to secure that good. It reminds us very much of the Lord’s words following His matchless picture of the Good Samaritan who had compassion on the wounded traveler, dismounting, binding up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, setting him on his own beast, bringing him to the inn and taking care of him—“Go, and do thou likewise” (Luke 10:33–37)

Christ’s Concern - how amazing that he cares enough to teach us
Christ’s Credentials - He is Lord and Master - we need to remember who we are learning from
Christs’s Command - We must minister to one another in absolute humility, taking the Word and pointing men to Christ
Christ’s Conclusion- Happiness comes only through obedience not simple intellectual discovery
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