Sunday Sermon, March 12, 2017
Read: John 13
John 13:1–17, 34–35 / A New Command: Love One Another
During the Passover meal, Jesus, the master and teacher of the twelve disciples, got up, wrapped a towel around his waist and began to wash the disciples’ feet. This was a dirty job normally reserved for a lowly servant. But Jesus, the obvious leader of this group, decided to wash feet to serve his disciples and make a profound point. While it’s true that the disciples had dirty feet, Jesus’ motive was far beyond the circumstances. The disciples knew this was an important night, yet none of them had bothered to wash their own, much less the feet of others. Jesus realized this was the perfect opportunity to show them that the way of his kingdom is very different from the way of earthly kingdoms.
Jesus came to serve and love, and so he gave his disciples a new command: “Love one another”; he then went on to say, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (13:34–35). It’s this kind of aspiration that Jesus wanted his disciples to pursue; its counter-cultural nature is just as radical today. God’s love in believers’ lives is to be evident as they show his self-sacrificial love to a lost and broken world today, pointing toward a kingdom that is not of this world (Jn 18:36). But, even though Christ’s love is not OF this world, it is a love that is designed to come into the world – a love that calls us to lay our lives down, for the sake of the gospel, and for the ultimate benefit of others.
John 13:34-35 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”