Commanded to Love – March 3, 2018
Introduction: Following Jesus -> John’s account of the Last Supper (ch13-17)
Big Idea: If we love Jesus, we must love each other.
Scripture: John 13:1-14:24 (CSB)
John 13:1-11 (CSB)
Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Now when it was time for supper, the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray him. Jesus knew that the Father had given everything into his hands, that he had come from God, and that he was going back to God. So he got up from supper, laid aside his outer clothing, took a towel, and tied it around himself. Next, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who asked him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus answered him, “What I’m doing you don’t realize now, but afterward you will understand.”
“You will never wash my feet,” Peter said.
Jesus replied, “If I don’t wash you, you have no part with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.”
“One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” For he knew who would betray him. This is why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
Point One: Live to Serve
- As the disciples gathered for the Passover meal, Jesus is moved by love to wash their feet
- Washing feet was something only done by the lowliest of slaves (open sandals, dirt roads, etc.)
- He did this to set an example (especially since He also washed the feet of Judas, His betrayer – we are to love and serve all)
- As Christians, we have been washed clean by the blood of Christ (we don’t need to perform ritual cleansing or jump through a bunch of religious hoops in order to please God)
John 13:31-35 (CSB)
When he had left, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Children, I am with you a little while longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so now I tell you: ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
“I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Point Two: A New Commandment
- After Judas excuses Himself, Jesus begins to explain the bigger picture
- Instead of focusing on the agonizing pain to come, Jesus describes how the glory of God will be manifested in love via the cross
- The new commandment is to love one another as Jesus loved them (wash feet, take up your cross, lay down your life, etc.)
- This is the absolute foundation of the Christian faith (to love as Jesus loves)
John 14:15-24 (CSB)
“If you love me, you will keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive him because it doesn’t see him or know him. But you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.”
Point Three: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
- Jesus continues by telling His disciples that, though He was going away, He would send them the Holy Spirit to help and guide them
- The Trinity is on full display here (The Father sent the Son, the Son sent the Spirit and the Spirit connects us with the Father)
- If you love Jesus, keep His commands (to love one another as He loves us– love is the key to knowing God)
- Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus is alive in us today (the resurrection of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit is what sets Christianity apart from every other religion – we don’t go to church to honor a dead teacher but to celebrate the living Christ)
In what ways can we better serve the people in our lives?
Compare the love of Christ versus multi-cultural tolerance.
In what ways have you experienced the living Christ?