Passage: John 13:1–13:17
What does greatness look like?
“But Jesus called them to him and said, 'You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.'” (Matthew 20:25–28)
What A Servant Looks Like
1. Servants Love (1)
- Without love, service is merely Duty
- Without love, service always sours into Bitterness
2. Servants are Strong (2-4)
- Strong Direction
- Strong Authority
- Strong Identity
These all add up to genuine Security
3. Servants serve Imperfect People (5-11)
Think of the feet that Jesus washed!
- The Disciples' feet.
“A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest.” (Luke 22:24)
- Judas’ feet
- Peter’s feet
4. Servant’s aren’t Showy (12)
The Greek word for “humility” means to stoop low.
5. Servants Meet Needs (13-17)
Jesus tells us that there is only one kind of greatness, the greatness of service.
Why did Jesus wash their feet?
- Their Feet were Dirty
- Their Hearts were Proud
A Spiritual Lesson from a Physical Act (6-11)
Two words indicating a washing:
- (louo) – “to bathe all over”
- (nipto) – “to wash a part of the body”
Jesus used this word play to distinguish between our:
- Union with Christ – “to be bathed all over”
“For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3–7)
- Communion with Christ – “to have our feet washed”
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
Questions To Consider:
- Am I truly united to Jesus Christ? Have I personally repented of my sin and placed my faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and surrendered my life completely to Him as my Lord?
- Am I living in a vital communion with Christ? Is there any area of my life where I need to confess my sin, adjust my will to God’s will and receive the cleansing work of Jesus Christ anew in my life?
- Am I experiencing the blessing of living life according to Jesus’ definition of greatness as a servant? (13:17)