Sermon Outline Based on John 13:1-8

Introduction
a) this is the only Gospel with this account of Jesus washing the feet of the disciples
b) why? Because John’s Gospel portrays Jesus as the Servant-King
c) and this is one of the most beautiful examples of servanthood
d) Jesus commanded his disciples to do likewise; and so that command is also brought down to us
e) the washing of one’s feet is the lowest act a servant can do for his master, which is why Peter protested
f) yet Jesus demonstrated that there should be nothing too low for us to do in service to one another
g) he took a towel and wrapped it around himself; he was fit for royal robes, a kingly cloak; yet he took a towel so he could serve his disciples
h) I call it the Towel of Service and let me share with you what it’s made of

1. It a towel of LOVE -v. 1
a) how did he show the full extent of his love? By washing their feet
b) it was a selfless act; Jesus was called Rabbi, Lord, Master; yet here he was doing the lowliest thing a servant could do
c) he could have just served them food or went around pouring water or wine into their goblets
d) he didn’t have to go to that extent; but he did, because he wanted to show the full extent of his love
e) what can this tell us? Our love for others should not be dictated by what we feel or what condition we’re in; it should be dictated by God; that’s where love should emanate; because on our own our love is worth anything
f) look at what Paul says: For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. -2 Corinthians 5:14
g) the towel of love is the love of Christ and not our own

2. It is a towel of POWER -vv. 3-4
a) how did Jesus demonstrate his power? By washing the feet of his disciples
b) the devil was showing his power by taking control of Judas; Jesus shows his power by serving others
c) power is not about control; it is not about lording it over; it’s not about how many people you can command; it’s about service
d) we need the power to serve because so many things can get in the way – I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. – Romans 7:18-19
e) then he later says, What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 7:24-25
f) to serve we need the power of Christ

3. It is a towel of CONSECRATION -vv. 5-10
a) what did Jesus mean by this? He was, in fact, consecrating them
b) what does this mean for us? our service is to bring people closer to the Lord
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7

The Apostle Paul echoes this in his letter to the Romans:

And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” – Romans 10:15

c) our service prepares fellow believers to do the work of his kingdom and, at the same time, bring non-believers to the Lord
d) it’s a service of consecration

Conclusion
a) we read that Jesus put the towel around his body; he didn’t just threw it over his shoulder
b) we are his body; and even today the towel of service must be wrapped around us; the Bible exhorts us to clothe ourselves in Jesus – Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ… - Romans 13:14
c) I believe it should begin with wrapping ourselves with the towel of service, so we may serve in Love, in Power and in Consecration

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