Series: The Gospel of John
Title: Do You Wash Dirty Feet?
Text: John 13:12-20
Purpose: By studying these verses we are reminded that: Jesus commands us all to wash one another’s feet.
Speaker: Bishop Jake Givan, Jr., D. Min
Date: January 12, 2020
History give us many great examples of selflessness. What sets apart this example of Jesus is not only that he is God (and therefore is the only one who
legitimately deserves worship) but that through his selfless service we are given the ability to serve others as well. In this act of humble service, we’re pointed
to a greater, more powerful act of service. Jesus was showing them he had come not to be served but to serve. In just a few hours he would humble himself
and serve them through his death on the cross. This becomes clearer in his conversation with Peter, in which he tells Peter they will understand “afterward”
(vv.6-7). Not after the act, but after the resurrection. Looking back on the foot washing, they would realize Jesus was portraying the necessity of humbling
himself in order to serve them. He had become a servant for them to have life.
The main idea in today’s text is:
Jesus commands us all to wash one another’s feet.
But that raises some questions: What do you mean, “wash one another’s feet”? How do we do it? And, why should we do it?
What does it mean to wash one another’s feet?
As you know, some churches take Jesus’ words literally by conducting a foot-washing service. You can always be sure that when they have such a service,
nobody actually needs to have their feet washed! Everyone washes their own feet at home just before the service and puts on clean socks! So those who take
it literally aren’t washing dirty feet! They’re washing clean feet!
There’s nothing wrong with having such a ceremony, but I don’t believe that is what Jesus was talking about. In verse 12, He asked the disciples, “Do you
know what I have done to you?” Obviously, they all knew that He had just washed their feet. But He was pointing to a symbolic meaning behind what He
had just done. If this is supposed to be a church ordinance, added to baptism and the Lord’s Supper, you would think that somewhere in the New Testament
it would be enjoined on the church. Paul commends widows who have washed the saints’ feet (1 Tim. 5:10), but he wasn’t referring to a church ordinance,
but to the widows’ humble service toward other believers. Peter is silent on this in his letters, but he does instruct us to clothe ourselves with humility
toward one another (1 Pet. 5:5).
1. Washing one another’s feet is a ministry:
A. Washing one another’s feet is a ministry of forgiveness.
B. Washing one another’s feet is a ministry of cleansing.
C. Washing one another’s feet is a ministry of refreshment.
D. Washing one another’s feet is a ministry of humble service in ways that may be unpleasant to you.
2. We wash one another’s feet by:
A. We wash one another’s feet by being humble servants of Christ.
B. We wash one another’s feet by being in close relationships with one another.
3. We should wash one another’s feet because the Lord and Teacher has washed our feet.
I heard about a successful doctor in Southern California who met Jesus Christ and left his lucrative practice to serve in a primitive country. His non-Christian
partner couldn’t believe that he would do this. On one of his trips around the world, he stopped by to see his former partner. The Christian doctor was
performing surgery on a poor woman in very primitive circumstances. The non-Christian said, “Don’t you remember how much you would have made doing
this surgery in Southern California?”
“Yes, many thousands.” “Then why are you doing it?”
“Several reasons: See her clenched fist? In it are several coins that she will give to our mission. See those kids in the other room? They will be forever grateful
if I can save their mother’s life. But there’s one more thing: I hope to receive from my Lord someday the words, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”
That’s why you should wash others’ dirty feet. You do it because the Lord and Teacher washed your feet. You do it for Him.
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