Faithlife Sermons

Sermon Tone Analysis

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He. . .
Took a Towel!
I’d like to ask you to turn in your Bibles to
He took a towel.
As if someone took a towel that didn’t belong to them.
He took a towel?
As if someone took a towel to accomplish a job that required a different tool.
OR
He . . .
took a towel.
That is how I intend for us to look at this topic today.
He. . .
took a towel.
I’d like to ask you to turn in your Bibles to
As you are turning there, I want to set the context for you, as our minds may very well be on the designated title for the particular Sunday, Palm Sunday.
Christ has been becoming increasingly known and identifiable by the people of Israel.
At the point of His life, which we are going to be looking at this morning, he has already made His way into Jerusalem, as people shouted "Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Hosanna!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!”
Jesus was with His disciples, we are told in Luke’s account of this evening, that some of the disciples were wondering, who of them, would be the greatest in the Kingdom.
Each of the disciples had their own particular way of showing their allegiance to Christ throughout the months and weeks leading up to Christ’s crucifixion.
But this morning, I want to look at one particular event that took place as He was reclining at the table with His disciples, during, what is now referred to as the last Supper.
Please follow along as I read from the Gospel of John.
HE, took a towel
Jn 13:
Who was this?
What is the expectation?
Certainly the disciples did not expect Christ to wash their feet.
We can certainly relate to the concept of respecting an elder, honoring a special guest or distinguished person in our midst.
On Wednesday, an article by FOX News reported, that an American Airlines flight attendant was 'mortified' after spilling tray of drinks on the company’s CEO.
The article read:
“An American Airlines flight attendant said she was "mortified" after a passenger bumped into her and she accidentally sprayed her company's CEO with a tray full of drinks on a flight recently.
"Luckily he was super cool, and a good sport about it.
He later came back and we chatted for a little, and joked about it the rest of the flight," Maddie Peters said on Instagram about her interaction with CEO Doug Parker on the flight from Phoenix to Dallas.
The two of them even took a photo together.
"When he was getting off the plane he told me he'd never forget me.... guess that's a good thing right?"
she added in the post.
Peters says she's never spilled a drink on a passenger in her four years on the job.
"Accidents happen," she wrote.
This passage in the book of John however is not about a CEO of an American Corporation.
Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines, I would have to admit is a fairly powerful and influential person in comparison to most people I know, but . . .
I think that even a CEO in a major American corporation doesn’t have anything to be proud of in comparison to Jesus Christ.
Let’s stop and think about who we’re talking about.
The Son of God
When we speak of Jesus Christ it is important for us to recall that He is not merely a great man.
He is and was not simply a wonderful teacher, preacher and leader.
He was and is not merely a marvelous caregiver to those He interacted with.
He is God!
He was eternally the Son of God, He was the person of the Trinity that was active in the creation of the World and He is the Redeemer of all who believe in His personal, perfect sacrifice for the payment of our sin.
God, Incarnate
It is virtually impossible for us to comprehend the condescension of Christ, to come and assume a human nature.
John Owen, said this when considering our attempt to grasp the depth of Christ’s condescension, “We speak of these things in a poor low broken manner- we teach them as they are revealed in Scripture- we labour by faith to adhere unto them as revealed: but when we come into a steady, direct view and consideration of the thing itself, our minds fail, our hearts tremble, and we can find no rest but in a holy admiration of what we cannot comprehend.”
We need to regularly gaze upon the Incarnate Son of God, in all His glory and majesty, and allow our hearts to tremble in holy admiration.
It was clear, however, that Christ’s mission was not to be served but instead His mission was to serve.
To do the Father’s will and to serve those whom the Father had given to Him.
He served us through His death, burial and resurrection.
Wash one another’s feet.
It was clear that Christ’s mission was not to be served but instead His mission was to serve.
To do the Father’s will and to serve those whom the Father had given to Him.
He served us through His death, burial and resurrection.
And said go and do likewise.
Jn 13:1
Matt
In D.A. Carson’s book Scandalous, Carson points out the incredible level of irony surrounding the final days and hours of Christ’s life just before His death on the cross.
Irony of the One who healed so many, was by God’s plan, unable to heal Himself.
The One who saved so many lives, was by God’s plan, unable to spare His own life.
The One who was the only perfect spotless One, would become sin, for those whose even righteous deeds are as filthy rags.
This is the irony of the cross.
This is the irony of Jesus’ life and the irony of His death.
And as He, Himself said rather ironically, He came to SERVE, not to be served.
Do you see the irony of this interaction with the disciples (including Judas).
The One who was most worthy of being honored, showed that we must not be concerned with position or status.
He took a towel, and stooped to clean the disciples feet.
touching feet was regarded as menial slave work and as such was primarily an assignment given to Gentile slaves and women.
You and I need to be willing to take off our outer garments, roll up our sleeves, so to speak and to serve one another.
To serve the least of these.
When we gaze upon Him long enough to discern, what He has revealed about Himself to us, we cannot help but find ourselves willing to rise up to wash one another’s feet.
Wash one another’s feet.
Serve One another, as Christ did.
John 13:14-
Love one another in humility and kindness.
John 13:6-11
This section of verses gives us more insight about what exactly the washing of the feet signified.
There was more to this action than the cleansing of their feet.
The disciples only needed their feet washed.
They did not need to be bathed, except one.
The one who would betray Christ was not yet clean according to verse 10 & 11.
That being said, I believe we have a clear understanding of what Christ was referring to.
When talking about washing feet, He was not referring to the forgiveness of sins or salvation.
We know that because we are told to serve one another- in Verse 17 He states that it isn’t merely a matter of us knowing how He lived and how we should live, but we should actually do it in the same way He did.
Nor was
Second, I believe that Jesus wasn’t just making a point about cleaning one another’s feet or serving one another in a physical sense, because he made the point that not every one of them was clean, referring to Judas, who was about to betray Him.
His act of taking a towel and washing their feet was a symbolic act, an analogy of our need for spiritual cleanliness (progressive sanctification) and he goes on to communicate the importance of assisting one another in that process.
This “washing of our feet” happens as we lovingly and graciously, offer to serve one another by encouraging others to walk in holiness, righteousness, contentment. . . in peace, joy and gentleness.
It wasn’t that the disciples couldn’t wash their own feet, rather Christ’s act was a humble act of love.
It is not as if we are to neglect our own holiness, but as the body of Christ we are commanded to help one another even as we strive for our own personal holiness.
When we approach another believer about a certain “uncleanliness” in their life, it should be done is such a way that they know we are seeking to serve them, to love them and to care for them.
How did they perceive your input?
What was their perception of your attitude and your observation?
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