Humility a smelly Christian
Open you bibles with me to the book of John Chapter 13, the Book of John chapter 13.
Let me know when you get there by saying AMEN.
Place your finger there so we don’t lose our place.
I don’t know if you have ever wondered this before or not, but I wonder if God looks at us and thinks to himself, this is not what I imagined that I was going to create.
Not physically, but spiritually. I also often wonder why people take the scripture and turn it into what we want--- verses ----what actually God’s Message truly is for us.
I don’t know about you but, I am in a part of my life where I want to see truth as God reveals to me through His word. And yet I see people who take His word and change it all around so that it seems like they can be glorified.
You know The Disciples where faced with that very situation when they argued which would be greater in the kingdom of God- and my point is, people often use God as a way to get their own status in life which, they like to change the word of God around to suit them and their pleasures which really stinks.
But Jesus, being in this great position of Authority, Jesus Being in this greater position of power, this greater position of Deity than Mankind- In His greater Position of Grace- Humbled Himself to become like us, God became the created- so He could bear the sins of mankind and ultimately HE becomes glorified.
And I am speechless most of the time when I see and understand what God has done for me;
And Really to be clear with you that is what today’s work ahead of us is all about- it is about The Christ who, who not only took on the appearance of a salve, but did the duties, (when no one else would do them) HE did the duties of the slave and thus becoming the slave He washes us clean.
I want you to understand this part even before we begin to get into the Scripture today, God wants us to understand this.
And that brings us to our Big Idea for today is:
It’s a smelly Job, but some has to do it.
I want you to write that down today:
It’s a smelly job, but someone has to do it.
Now, theologically this may not be very exciting for you, but when it comes to our lives it is right on point.
People have a tendency to walk away from the dirty jobs.
Have you ever been in a situation where you see that maybe something is less desirable needs to be done? Maybe it is as simple as taking out the garbage, Maybe it is cleaning up something not quite so nice. It doesn’t smell that Great.. Maybe it is something that you might think that could honestly be beneath you… You might be better than that. OR its something that you did when you were a kid, so you won’t do it as an adult. Have you ever been in that situation??
Muhammad Ali was quoted by saying: “It’s hard to be humble when you’re as great as I am.” I think deep down inside, most think like that.
And, I have been in situations where I have seen something that needs to get done and refused to do it because I thought either I was too Good, or I wanted to wait to see if anyone else would do it first, at times I even thought It wasn't my JOB, or I decided It wasn't what signed up for, so someone else could do it.
Here is the root of the problem, humility smells bad to us. That what we often see in the Birth of Christ? Many critics, many preachers, even I do it, we get stuck on the dirtiness of it all, the smells of the manger, but God humbled himself to those smells, the dirty animals of a manger of what He created. Because of what we have heard from others we equate humility as less desirable, often as the smelly situation in our life. And that is what we are going to see in our scripture today. We are going see twelve men who stood by when an important Job had to be done, when the job may have been a little smelly, but the job took humility-- so Jesus takes the time to teach them and us a valuable lesson on humility. You know humility is something that we as Christians should strive for and on the other side of that coin is pride, Pride is something we should strive to get rid of.
And that is my prayer today for us, that in this lesson that Jesus has for us, we learn to let go of the pride in our lives and open up to being more humble. But that sometimes requires us to be in situations that maybe don’t smell too good for us.
Jesus death is coming quickly, this time is now short for the arrest, the beating, the trial and the death on the Cross of Christ, but before this all takes place in John chapters 13 AND 14 we find the most comprehensive conversations between Jesus and His Disciples. He is getting them ready. And it begins at this supper, it begins at this meal. You wouldn't think anything about this supper unless you happen to know of the pending death of Jesus and of-course the customs of times. When a guest enters into your house, their sandals would be removed and their feet would washed. That was custom—the washing of the feet was not done by the Master of the house- This work was not done under no circumstances by the host of the party. The master would never stoop so low as to wash the feet of those who were beneath him. The custom is shown to us from the beginning in the first book of the bible Genesis chapter 19 verse 2 Lot saw two angels at the gateway of the city, scripture tells us that he bowed down to them and offered for them to come to his house where they could wash their feet and spend the night, again in chapter 24 So the man came to the house and unharnessed the camels, and gave straw and fodder to the camels, and there was water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.
But here in the NT we find the task of washing the feet of the guests who entered your home would fall on the lowest of slaves. The lowest of servants.
So if no one offered to wash the feet of a guest it was wrong. It was a sign of disrespect of the master the house.
We see that in Luke Chapter 7, where Jesus visits the home of Simon, a Pharisee,, The dinner that Jesus was invited to was interrupted by a prostitute who comes and kneels at Jesus’, weeping on His feet because of her love for him, and then drying his feet with her long hair. Simon the Pharisee was shocked and outraged by her behavior was thinking about what to say, But Jesus knowing he was thinking, rebukes Simon by saying:
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. (V44).
It was a sign a disrespect.
So here at the beginning of Chapter 13 where Jesus begins to spend His last days with His Disciples during a supper and again with unwashed feet. We begin at verse 1
“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” 9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (You know folks Jesus never tells us to do something without first doing it himself). 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Amen and Amen
I don’t know about you but I don’t dream about messing with someone else’s feet. Feet dirty, nasty smelly and let’s face it, feet are the most unattractive part of the human body. And well in the days Jesus walked the earth the roads where dusty and filthy from the animals and all the business they did. The only shoes they had where sandals so as the people walked the dust and dirt and filth would get on their feet.
So here Jesus is with His 12 Disciples and the supper had begun and no one washed their feet as is the custom.
Now There are three principles that Jesus teaches us about humility- in a smelly situation of life.
The First principle Jesus teaches us is:
You have to know the direction you’re headed
Look at verse 1 with me “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The meaning that Jesus Loved them to the end, means His love is complete for us.
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
What this is telling us is that Jesus knew that He was from God and He knew that God had given ALL THINGS into His hand and He knew that He was going back to God-
That is an important thing to remember because
We must know where we are going folks you cannot serve like Jesus if you are not going to be with Jesus……Jesus got up from the supper laid aside His outer garments, This term “laid aside” means that he laid aside His “Deity” or His Godliness so that He could serve.
This is what Jesus’ whole Mission was about humility and service- He Said In Mark Chapter 10 verse 4 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
So in this very moment scripture show us that Jesus was about to go back to the Father- in fact it says, Jesus Knew that the hour had come to depart this world.
Jesus knew that He was going back to the father.
The problem with most people who think they are serving is that they don’t know where they are headed and they believe that serving will get them where they want to go.
The point is when you realize that your life is about serving God and one day returning back to God, it’s then we can lay aside our pride, or authority, we can lay aside all the things that prevented us- or excuses that stop us from serving to began with. You see we can lay aside the thoughts of the world, we can lay aside the problems of this world, we can lay aside the issues that come from every other person with serving, why because as Christians we should know where we are going. Jesus laid aside His Deity to serve the world- the question is; What will you lay aside?
John 14:2 Jesus tells us “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you”
Everyone who dies will live in eternity, the question is will you spend eternity in Heaven or in Hell?
First - you must know where you are going.
Second the Second principle that Jesus teaches us about humility- in the smelly situation of life.
Is this: you can’t just look the part, you have to live the part.
One day I went to my church with a brand new pair of jeans on and you know I figured that I wasn’t going to do much. But I got involved in painting project. I thought well as long as I am careful I won’t get paint on my jeans. So I do what I usually would do I take the paint and I kneel down and begin to shake the can… Well the last person who opened the paint can did not close it all the way, so the top opened and the paint went all over my new jeans. Now I wear those jeans after that each time I am painting. - if you are going to work on a car with grease you should wear something that is for that, if you are going to paint you should wear your painting clothes. You have to dress the part.
This Supper that Jesus is with His 12 Disciples begins with everyone’s feet still un- washed
The Disciples knew that no one had washed their feet but, each of the 12 waited for someone else to take action..You know I have found that often times in life we would rather smell the feet, then to be ones to clean them. We would rather smell something or see something that needs to be done and say well someone should do something about that, than doing it ourselves.
Someone had to step up into the role of being the servant.
So Jesus Got up and in verse 4 He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Do you see what Just happened?
The thought of what Jesus did is so amazing – He just did not get up and begin to wash the disciple’s feet, He didn't just dress for the part, He lived the part. He got up and He laid aside his outer garments- he set aside who he was as God- and then and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. In another scripture it says He girded himself----another words He made himself the slave- so He could do the duties of the slave so the disciples could become clean.
DO you see that with me?
Jesus Laid aside who He was as God, dressed himself as a servant, to become the slave, to wash the disciples feet, so that they would be clean.
This is something that we must realize that Jesus did for least of us.
Matthew 20:28 says this:
Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."
What Jesus is teaching us is you can’t just look the part, you have to live the part.
When you look the part- the outside appearance can be false- it can be fake-
But when you live the part- it doesn't matter how smelly the job is- you do it because of you are in Christ as a servant.
IF you are going to be a Christian, Jesus is showing us that we are to be a Christian at every part of our lives even when there are times when it is going to be smelly.
One day I heard God say Go pick up that Garbage.
In Missouri there are some places with Garbage can off the highway exit: Driving by one day, I thought someone ought to do something about that.
At this exit, many people just through their garbage at the trash can- not in the trash can. So garbage is all over the place on that exit.
So I said to myself someone should do something about that, someone should clean that up, And I should know by now that when I way something like that God is going to have me do it. So in the rain there I was picking the Beer cans and bottles, half eaten food, all that garbage- you see it wasn't a place where I love to be, it wasn't a place where I would have seen myself being or doing –it wasn't something what I love to do- but you can’t just look the part, you have to live the part.
If you are going to be a Christian, be the Christian, because there are going to be smelly parts of the job.
First - you must know where you are going. (Heaven or Hell)
Second you can’t just look the part, you have to live the part. (There is no pretending)
Third principle that Jesus teaches us about humility- in the smelly situation of life,
You can’t Just do it
You cannot be a servant and expect to make it to heaven without a relationship with Jesus.
Jesus gets to Peter with the water and Peter doesn't want Jesus to wash his feet, but Look at Jesus tells him in verse 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
Jesus said I know where I am Going, I am living the God- you cannot do my work unless, I have washed you cleaned.
Jesus’ words mean that only those who are cleansed by Him have a relationship with Him.
Only those who are cleansed by Him have a relationship with Him.
Jesus even goes as far as to say that there was one who is among them, who what? Does not do the work of the Lord. And the one who would betray Him. There are people in the church who fit this description, who are among the church but, Do not do the work of the Lord.
Paul wrote “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the Law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)
But without the Lord’s cleansing, you’re not a follower- a servant- you’re just a church go’er.
It is the Lords freedom to humble Himself to a lower position for the purpose of meeting other people’s needs. His motives were not legalism, guilt, a sense of religious obligations, but it was meeting the needs of others because of the Love He has for us. The beginning of the verse said He loves us completely.
Galatians 5:13 tells us:
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Jesus goes on to tell us “a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him”.
What did Jesus do with the impossible Peter who always fought him- He washed his feet
What did Jesus do to Thomas the one who said at the feeding of the 5,000 that it could not be done- Jesus washed his feet.
What did Jesus do to the second guessers- the ones called the son’s of thunder- the ones where the mother wanted her son’s premium seats in heaven?
Jesus Washed their Feet
What did Jesus do when the disciples thought they were better than washing each other’s feet?
He washed their feet.
What did Jesus do when the betrayer was sitting at the table?
He washed his feet.
The Servant hood of washing the feet should be taken as an act of lowering oneself to meet another’s need, In the upper room that evening the need was the washing of the feet, in your life the need could take on many different forms of service. Where are you washing the feet of others?
First - you must know where you are going.
Second you can’t just look the part, you have to live the part.
Third principle that Jesus teaches us about humility- in the smelly situation of life,
You can’t Just do it
You cannot be a servant and expect to make it to heaven without a relationship with Christ Jesus.
Jesus is waiting to cleanse you today. He is ready to wash you clean. Jesus is ready for you today!
Are you ready for him?