Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

02/18/2018 P.M.


Do As I Have Done –Wash Feet

John 13.1-5 & 12-17


Tonight...I want us to become more like Jesus... We do that by serving others.


In fact it was Jesus who said... You serve Me by serving others... As often as you do it to the least of these... You do it unto Me.


Go with me to John chapter 13... We’re in the Upper-Room with Jesus... It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him.


When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place.“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him... Listen now church... Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.


I gotta ask the question... How can we miss the message?... How can we miss the message?

I believe Jesus is... Teaching... Exemplifying... Three concepts...


One... I came to serve not to be served...Let me show you how that’s done.


Two... Greatness in My Kingdom is not found in ruling and reigning... But in serving.


Three... Your life will be blessed... You’ll find… genuine… God-supplied… Happiness in serving others.


Church are we listening?... Are we really?...


First... Leadership must be willing to serve. Elders... Preachers... Teachers... Ministry Leaders... Are we listening?... REALLY?!… Or are we just wearing a title?


Are we willing to get out of our preacher’s study... Out of backroom meetings and planning sessions... And serve the Jesus in this church family?


Why are people not following us?... Why are they not responding to our Teaching and Preaching?...  Is it because we are trying to rule instead of serve?... Sobering question... Right?


I mean... Look at the Bible... Scripture always pictures leadership being about servant leadership.


Secondly… Jesus speaks to people of the pew.

Let us not make the mistake that leadership is the only ones Jesus is speaking to here... He’s talking to those in the pew... Those in the Apostleship who would never be seen as great church leaders... Apostles on the fringe... Ordinary Kingdom people.


You remember Matthew chapter 25?  Here Jesus gives us a parable about servAnthood... How that everybody in the Kingdom will be judged on how they serve the Jesus in others... I was hungry and you gave me something to eat... I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink... I was a stranger and you invited me in... I needed clothing and you clothed me... I was sick and you looked after me... I was in prison and you came to visit me... As often as you do it to the least of these you’ve done it to me.


God’s Kingdom... The church of Jesus Christ... This church... Is to be... Must be... About serving others... Amen?


Let me suggest that there are two basins of water... Two towels to be found in the gospel narratives... And… And… There are two basins of water... Two towels in my life and yours... Let me explain...


• One basin and towel is found in Pilate’s hall.

Pilate reigned... So we find him using these God-given implements to wash his hands of Jesus.


• The second basin and towel is found here in the Upper-Room.

Jesus uses it to serve His disciples... To wash feet.


You see... Each of us here tonight has his or her own towel and basin of water.  The question becomes... What will we do with them?... Will we reign?... Or wash?


Will we wash our hands of Jesus?... Or will we wash His feet in genuine service to the Jesus in others?... Sobering question.


I think Paul is addressing this very issue in Romans chapter 12... When he speaks of us being... God’s instrument of righteousness... His living sacrifice... In verses 4-8.


As I read this... I want you to listen to how much of it is about washing feet... Serving others... With the gifts God has given us... Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.


Question... How much of this passage is about ruling... How much of it is about serving?


Wow... There is no doubt about it... When you put…John 13... Matthew 25... Romans 12… Together... We can’t miss the message... We are here to serve!!


Come... Let’s see what we can learn...


First... We learn the motive for serving is because of what Jesus has done for us.

We love and serve because He first loved and served us... This is the point of John 13.


Church...When we genuinely understand... When we really come to a realization of what Jesus has done for us... We will serve Him... By serving others.


When a church... This church... Comes to this point in their existence... No one... NO thing... Can hold us back from serving the Jesus in others.


• Do you know why some of our members are not here tonight?

• Do you know why some of us will not be found serving the Jesus in others this week?

• Do you know why most of us are not visiting at Concordia, Village House, Highlands Health?

• Why hospital surgery waiting rooms are not filled when one of us is having surgery?

• Why more visits are not made to the sick... To those visiting our services... To those who are absent from worship services?


It’s simple... Because we have yet to fully comprehend what God has done for us...We’ve yet to grasp the message of John 3.16... God so love the world that He gave His only begotten Son.


Listen to these scriptures...

• 1 John 3.16... This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.


• 1 John 4.11... Since God so loved us... We also ought to love one another.


These verses are pretty plain aren’t they?

Can we really respond to the cross without serving the Jesus in others?


Jesus tells us that... We must take up our own cross and follow Him.

• That includes the basin of water and the towel.

• That includes washing feet.

• That includes serving one another.


There comes a time...

• When Leadership must lead beyond the walls of this building...

• When Teachers and Preachers must practice what they preach...

• When Ministry Leaders must be an example to those they are leading... Amen?...

Why will we all not amen this?


Genuine Discipleship is being like Jesus... We must get off the pew... And on our knees in washing feet... Serving others.


Secondly...Our love is expressed by serving.

Note verse one of our reading from the NIV... Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.


How do we tell somebody that we love them?

It’s not so much with the tongue... As it is with a towel.


John says... Jesus shows the full extent of His love by washing their feet... By serving.


Later...John will record Jesus saying... If you love Me, You will keep My commandments... You will serve Me.


Here it is church... We show...

• The full extent of our love for Jesus...

• The full extent of our love for one another...

• The full extent of our love for the sick... The shut-ins...

• The lost... Those straying...

• Our spouse... Our children... Even our enemies...

By the way we serve them.


A poet said it well when he wrote:

A bell is not a bell until you ring it.

A song is not a song until you sing it.

Love is not put in our heart to stay.

Love is not love until we give it away.


As I have washed your feet, you are to wash one another’s feet... I have set an example for you that you should do as I have done.


You see... We are the extension And representation of Jesus to the world... We are the second incarnation?


The world will see Jesus in His church... This church... To the extent that we serve.


The world will know we are His disciple when we love one another.


Yes it is true... We can serve without loving... But we can’t love without serving.


Serving Explains and exemplifies the extent of our love.


May God help us become MORE AND MORE AND MORE LIKE JESUS... Amen?


Thirdly... Like Jesus… Our serving should be indiscriminate.

I want you to consider whose feet Jesus washed that night...


• John...This is the same harsh... Hardhearted... John who earlier had begged Jesus to send fire down from heaven to destroy people for rejecting their teaching.


• James... He and John had just ask Jesus for special and discriminating positions of power and authority in the Kingdom.


• Thomas.... Basically... He’s going to call Jesus a liar... Saying... I won’t believe you and your resurrection until you show me your death wounds.


• Peter... In less than twenty four hours... Peter is going to deny Jesus... Not once... But three times to save his own pride and ego.


• Judas... He was there and Jesus washed his feet.


How about the rest of the disciples?... They’re going to forsake Him... Abandon Him in the garden before this night is over… And again tomorrow at the Cross!


Let’s compare the world to the Kingdom of God...


• The world says... Do it to others before they do it to you.

Jesus says... Treat others as you would have them treat you.


• The world says make them pay... Jesus says... Wash their feet.


• The world says me first... It’s all about me.

Jesus says... Place the interest of others  before that of your own.


• The world says... Hate your enemies.

Jesus says.... Love your enemies and do good to them that mistreat you.


• The world says... But they don’t deserve it... Jesus says... Neither do you.

When it comes to love and service... Jesus didn’t play favorites... Neither should we!


Number four... We are never more like Jesus than when we’re serving others.

Now that I... Your Lord and Teacher... Have washed your feet... You also should wash one another's feet.


This is exactly what Paul has in mind as he writes Philippians two.... Your heart... Your attitude... Your disposition... Should be the same as that of Christ Jesus... Who... Being in very nature God... Did not consider equality with God something to be held on to... But made Himself nothing... Taking the very nature of a servant.


Church...The nature of a servant is to serve.

The heart and nature of Jesuswas that of a servant.


Discipleship...Genuine Christian Discipleship... Is found in becoming more and more and more like Jesus... Using our wash basins and towels in service to others.

Paulinstructs us...

•To have a Jesus heart...

• Have His nature...

• His disposition.

Indeed...We are to be the second incarnation... We’re to be found washing feet... Amen?


Question...Let me suggest that… If Jesus were on this earth today... Where would He be?...What would He be doing?... Where would we find Him?...

• He would be in... Bella Vista... Bentonville... Rogers... Jane, Missouri...Feeding the poor with loaves and fishes.

• He would be visiting the sick.

• Preaching to the lost.

• Lifting up the fallen.

• Comforting the mourning.

• He would be found about the Father’s Business.

• He would be found... serving in the Kingdom... Washing feet.


Why is it... That the very thing Jesus would be doing... Is sometimes the last thing we want to do?


You see... We’ll never be more like Jesus... Than when we’re serving others.


In fact... While serving others... We might even be mistakenly... Mistook for Him.


I want to pay tribute to one of my favorite preachers... Bruce Thielman... A Presbyterian from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He’s dead now... But I once heard him tell this story about one of the worst ice storms in Pittsburgh’s history. It had closed everything down... Emergency services were hesitant to get out on the icy streets. That night Bruce got a call from a family whose little boy had Leukemia. The parents said, our son has taken a turn for the worse. He is running a high fever, we must get him to the hospital, can you come take us. They had called the ambulance, but they would not come. Bruce said, I can’t my car is in the garage for repairs. But he called one of the elders. The elder agreed to come pick up the boy and his parents... Making an attempt to get to the hospital.


After several fender benders, sliding through red lights and stop signs, over curbs and into a telephone pole, with an almost demolished automobile, they arrived at the hospital.


As they pulled up to the emergency room, the Elder reached over and pushed the boy’s hair from his feverish face and says... We made it. The little boy looked at him... His eyes wide with fever and fear... He said... mister, are you Jesus?


God help me... God help each of us in our church... To be mistaken for Jesus... Amen?


What do we need to do tonight to become more like Jesus?

• Do you need... Like Him... To become God’s child by... Faith and New Testament baptism?


• Maybe we need to find our... Place of service... Washing Feet... Within the Kingdom.


• Perhaps we’re ready to be mistakenly mistook for Jesus because we have taken on His nature... That of a servant.


However this lesson has spoken to you… Respond to the message... As we stand and sing this invitation song together.