Rev. Trevor Johnston
Sermon Series: Up Your Game
Week 3: The Towel and Basin Way
- For the season of Lent, we’re focusing on “upping our game” in terms of serving others. Our catch phrase for this season is, “You down?” because Jesus descended from His high position in heaven to come down and humbly serve humanity, so that we could connect with God.
Describe what the word “humility” means to you.
- Take a few minutes to pray for our new strategic partnership with Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, asking God to work through this launching of a 2nd Community of Hope campus so that we can reach more people for Christ in Palm Beach County.
- Trevor showed us a statue of Jesus washing the feet of one of His disciples. Trevor received this as an award for being the student in his graduating year at Asbury Seminary who most lived out the servant heart of Jesus.
Who do you know who exemplifies the servant heart of Jesus? Describe that person.
- John was most likely the closest human friend that Jesus had, so he writes with intimate understanding of Jesus’ heart and words. Read John 13:1-5: 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.
Foot washing was basic hospitality in the ancient world. The lowest ranking servant in the house normally did this. What did Jesus communicate by washing everyone else’s feet?
- Continue reading: John 13:6-11: 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.
When Jesus says, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me” he was talking about being washed from sin. Being a sinner does not disqualify a person from being a follower of Jesus. It’s actually a prerequisite. Why is it important that Jesus wash each one of us, in this sense?
- Continue reading: John 13:12-17: 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. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Three things Jesus was teaching us about service:
- If the boss (Jesus) does it, you should do it too.
- Tell about a leader or a boss you know personally, who is a servant leader. Describe what they do to serve others and how it has impacted those who are under their leadership.
- If you do it, you will be blessed.
- What are some ways that serving others ends up blessing the one who serves? How have you experienced blessing when you’ve served others?
- Jesus was deliberately vague about it.
- Jesus was deliberately vague about this, because serving looks different for every person. What is your personal way that you enjoy serving God?
(If you don’t know what your gifting is and how you should serve God, you can look on our website and take our SHAPE survey at communityofhope.church/connections to learn more about your personal gifting. Then go to communityofhope.church/volunteer to learn about ways you could serve.)