In this negative and jaded world we live in, it sometimes feels like Mission: Impossible to try to spread the Good News of God’s love and guidance for the human beings He created. It seems many people have already written off the possibility of God and have an image of Him, and His followers, that isn’t really accurate. In August and September, Pastor G is going to walk us through eight key passages in the Gospel of John that show us that sharing the Good News of Jesus with our village is actually Mission: Possible.
In this message, from week six, Pastor Greg introduces walks us through the story of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples and talks about what this means for us. He challenges us to be “Servant Leaders” with “Servant Hearts.”
Elders who provide effective leadership must be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard in speaking and teaching. For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker deserves his pay.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:17-18
Then an expert in the law came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever You go.” Jesus said to him, “Foxes have dens, and the birds in the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” ~ Matthew 8:19-20
But Jesus called them and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions use their authority over them. It must not be this way among you! Instead whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” ~ Matthew 20:25-28
Just before the Passover feast, Jesus knew that His time had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, He now loved them to the very end. ~ John 13:1
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, that he should betray Jesus. ~ John 13:2
Because Jesus knew that the Father had handed all things over to him, and that He had come from God and was going back to God, He got up from the meal, removed His outer clothes, took a towel and tied it around Himself. ~ John 13:3-4
… love your neighbor as yourself … ~ Mark 30:31
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. ~ Matthew 5:43-45
He poured water into the washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel He had wrapped around Himself. Then He came to Simon Peter. Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” Jesus replied, “You do not understand what I am doing now, but you will understand after these things.” Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” ~ John 13:5-9
Jesus replied, “The one who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean. And you disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” (For Jesus knew the one who was going to betray Him. For this reason he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”) ~ John 13:10-11
So when Jesus had washed their feet and put His outer clothing back on, He took his place at the table again and said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you? You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and do so correctly, for that is what I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you too ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example—you should do just as I have done for you. ~ John 13:12–15
Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. ~ Philippians 2:3
You never accept help from anyone. You are a self-made person. You pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.
You never take any initiative to help anyone else. Everything is all about you.
You are willing to BOTH give and receive. You actively participate in a symbiotic relationship.
So now there are many members, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I do not need you,” nor in turn can the head say to the foot, “I do not need you.”~ 1 Corinthians 12:20-21
I tell you the solemn truth, the slave is not greater than his master, nor is the one who is sent as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand these things, you will be blessed if you do them. ~ John 13:16-17
ALOHA GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
READ: Matthew 8:19-20
1) Why Jesus have no place to lay His head?
2) Why do you think He answered the lawyer who offered to follow Him this way?
READ: Matthew 20:25-28
1) How does becoming someone’s servant make you first and great?
2) Why does Jesus command us to have servant hearts like this?
READ: John 13:1-4
1) Verse one says Jesus “loved them to the very end.” What does this phrase suggest to you? What kind of emotional response do you have to this phrase? Have you ever loved someone to the very end? Have you ever felt loved by someone to the very end? Are their people in your life that you will love to the very end in the way it is meant in this passage?
2) Verse two says the devil put the betrayal of Jesus into Judas’ heart. Does that mean Judas is not responsible for his actions? Was he just someone being controlled, or possessed or manipulated by the devil? Or was he fully accountable for betraying Jesus himself? Explain your answer.
3) John says the reason Jesus got up from the table and prepared to wash the feet of the disciples was because He knew the Father had handed all things over to His control, that He had come from the Father and was returning back to the Father. If you had to teach a non-believer or new believer what this means, how would you explain it in your own words?
READ: Mark 30:31 and Matthew 5:43-45
1) Do you find it easy to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you? Why or why not? Does this feel like an optional choice Jesus is giving us or a command Jesus is giving us?
2) What reason does Jesus give us for following this command? What will be the result for us if we follow it?
3) In what way is living our enemies and praying for those who persecute us similar to the way God cares for all the people of earth.
READ: John 13:5-9
1) Why do you think Peter reacted so strongly, so negatively at first, to the idea of Jesus washing his feet?
2) Why does Jesus tell Peter if he does not let Jesus wash his feet he will “have no share” with Him? Do you have some other translations of this phrase? Do they shed more light for you? What does Jesus mean and why is it such a big deal to get your feet washed.
3) Why does Peter react so differently after his brief conversation with Jesus?
READ: John 13:10-11
1) When Jesus says all the disciples except Judas are clean, what does He mean? If Judas is being possessed or compelled or manipulated by the devil is it still his fault that he is not clean? Why or why not?
READ: John 13:12-15
1) Some denominations have chosen to view “foot washing” as a sacrament like Communion and Baptism. They feel this was a regular, literal ordinance that Jesus was instituting for the church. Do you think they are right? Should we be engaging in literal “foot washing” services here at the church or was Jesus using this more as a metaphorical object lesson? Explain your reasons.
2) Assuming this was meant as a metaphorical object lesson, what would Jesus’ expectations be for us if we are to follow the spirit of this command to wash each other’s feet? Explain your answer.
READ: Philippians 2:3
1) How does this verse relate to Jesus’ command to wash each other’s feet?
READ: 1 Corinthians 12:20-21
1) Did Pastor G’s descriptions of independence, dependence and interdependence make sense to you? Do you agree or disagree? Why? Which of these best describes how you are currently living your life?
2) How does this passage from 1 Corinthians relate to this idea?
READ: John 13:16-17
1) In the context of the rest of this story, what is Jesus’ point about slaves not being greater than their master and messengers not being greater than the one who sent them? What must we do because of this passage and why?