The Divine Love and Humility of Jesus

Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 20 Aug 2017

John 13:1 – 12
1 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

12 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.

Here we read about the love of the Lord Jesus, His love towards all men, His own and the world. The apostles were with Him. But he also demonstrated His love to those that would believe on Him afterwards, that is you and me.
These 5 chapters, from chapter 13 to 17, is where the Son of man demonstrates His love for His people, the Divine Love of God, His “Agape” Love. His love is inexplicable. He loved them right to the end. In this chapter he explains to us what the true Love of God really means. He is an example to us that we should love one another in the same manner. No one can have this love of the Lord Jesus unless they have been forgiven of their sin, like that woman who washed the feet of the Lord Jesus with her tears because she was forgiven much. Simeon who had invited Jesus, criticised Jesus in his heart because everyone knew she was a sinful woman. But Jesus knew his thoughts and answered Simeon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:36 – 50)

When you have been forgiven by God, you no longer think only of yourself, but also of others that they also may experience the forgiveness and love that you have experienced. By denying yourself for the sake of others you are uplifting them. Bless them even if they should curse you. The Love of God doesn’t seek its own, but also considers others. We read of that in Philippians 2. We cannot comprehend its height and depth and width. It exceeds our human imagination, even as that song says that His Love is as wide as the ocean. The land only makes up ⅓ of the surface of the earth while the ocean makes up ⅔. We also read that Jesus is lowly and humble in spirit. He came into this world to die for us, a death that was despised. He was without sin. He died the death that we should have died and took it upon Himself, and then He returned to His Father where He was before He came to the earth. Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”.(John 15:13).

The Bible says that if you hate your brother, you’re a murderer (1John 3:15). Your love towards God is known by your love towards the brethren. Yes you also love those in the world, but you hate their sin.

To wash someone’s feet was the work of the lowest in society. Yet Jesus stood up and performed that task.

In order for us to always be one with Jesus our feet also need to be washed regularly. Even though we have been saved, we are walking in this world and our feet get dirty. We must not enter the house with those dirty feet but have them washed. Do not let the sun go down on your anger.

Why did Jesus say to Peter, “unless I wash you, you have no part in Me”? When we are born again we are washed and bathed. But along our journey, as we walk along, there is dust that defile our feet. We need to be washed from that, so that at all times we may have fellowship with God.

As His children, we must keep His commandments. What kind of a life do we lead? We read in 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness”. That is the mark of a disciple of the Lord Jesus. We should wash one another’s feet and not the other’s head as the saying goes, when you lord it over others. Jesus said that now that you know these things you will be blessed if you do them (John 13:17).

Sermon audio in other languages:


KwaSizabantu Choir:

KwaSizabantu Choir: