Tag Archives: service

The God of the Towel John 13:1-17

Jesus is aware that the time of his earthly ministry is over (John 12:23 READ)

The time had come for his supreme work to be accomplished (John 12:27 READ)

Here John says that Jesus “showed them the full extent of His love” (13:1 READ)

The full extent of Jesus’ love is seen in the cross, but He begins with a towel. (13:2-5 Read)

Luke 22:24 “A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest”

To Wash shows honor, respect and esteem

Abraham offered water to wash the three strangers feet (Genesis 18:3)

Abigail went to David and offered to his wash feet (1 Samuel 25:41)

Mary had just washed Jesus feet with perfume and her hair (John 12:3)


So maybe they were sitting back waiting to be honored by someone else

Maybe it never occurred to them that they should honor someone else

Jesus was Self-Aware of His Mission John 13:3

Read Philippians 2:5-11 (Pew Bible 1248)

He “existed in the form of God” (NAS) or “Though he was God” (NLT)

His equality wasn’t “something to be used for his own benefit” (NCV)

Simon Peter’s Response (13:6-9) He knew that something wasn’t right with all of this. He knew that Jesus shouldn’t be the one washing their feet.

Point: We should be looking to service and not for status (John 13:12-17 READ)

We could practice foot washing as a religious ritual, but that’s optional

What isn’t optional is humbling ourselves to serve one another (Gal 5:13 “For you were called to freedom, brothers.  Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” )

If Jesus humbled Himself to serve, then so should we (Matt 20:27-28 READ) Pew Page 1049

God will make sure we have the gifts we need to serve others (1 Pet 4:10 “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace;”)

Summary: Serving Takes Love

But we can be so distracted by the trivial and miss opportunities.

We assume that someone else will take care of it.

We are afraid some may take advantage of us in some way.

Some must deal daily with very real hardships and difficulties.

There are many reasons NOT to serve and one good reason to serve—Jesus.