What is the truest definition of love?
Listen to Adrian Rogers. Perhaps our greatest human need is to be loved and to be able to show and to give love, and that is so true. Now, we're going to look right now at the last commandment that Jesus gave of all of his commandments. This is the last one that he gave before he ascended the high hills of glory, at least before he ascended the high hills of glory. He gave another commandment after his arrest, his trial, and his crucifixion.
He gave another commandment after that, and that was what we call the Great Commission. But our world is starving for love. And this is what Jesus said here in John chapter 13, verse 34. We're going to be talking today about Christ-like love.
Now, Jesus has given us an example also of this love. So, go back to the beginning of this chapter, and you're going to find out that Jesus, the great teacher, gave a glorious and a wonderful example. And the example is the washing of his disciples' feet, chapter 13, verse 1. Now, before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come, that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end, and supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God, he riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments, and took a towel, and girded himself, and after that he poured water into a basin, and began to wash his disciples' feet, and to wipe them with a towel wherewith he was girded.
Now, let's just stop right there, and let me talk to you a little bit about the custom in Bible times, and I think a wonderful custom. In Bible times, people wore sandals. They didn't wear the kind of lace-up shoes primarily that I'm wearing today, but they wore sandals, and they did not wear socks as we wear socks today, but they opened sandals.
And of course, the roads were not paved as our roads are paved today, and with asphalt and concrete, and so there was a lot of dust and a lot of grit and a lot of dirt. Now, if you were to come into a well-to-do house of that particular day, there would be a pot full of water and a basin, and a little bench there, and generally there would be a server. And when you would come into the house, you would slip off your sandals, kind of let your toes do that a little bit, and then you would put your foot down into that basin of nice, cool water. A servant would get down there and wash your feet, and then massage your feet like that.
A wonderful touch. Well, now, Jesus is there instituting what we call the Last Supper, this memorial feast. And remember, Jesus is going to be crucified just before the Passover. And remember, Jesus, knowing that His hour has come, that He's going to be crucified, that Judas is going to betray Him, knowing all of this, when they came into that house, there was no servant there to do that.
And not one of those others volunteered for that task. And so Jesus, He takes off His outer garments, and He lays them aside. He takes off His clothes, He takes a towel, ties it around His waist, fills a basin with water, and Jesus, Jesus, the Lord of glory, knowing that He's come from God, that He's going to God, that the Father has committed all things into His hands, He takes the feet, the smelly feet of fishermen, tax collectors, and others of this motley crew that were His servants, washes their feet. And later on, He's going to say, if I, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. Then He says, as I have loved you, I'm going to give you a new commandment, that you love one another. What a wonderful, wonderful lesson on love. Now, I want us to see four things about this kind of love, and I want you to check up and see if these four things are true in your heart and in your life. Number one, Christ-like love is selfless love. Christ-like love is selfless love. Now, so many of us are so preoccupied with ourselves, and going to any bookstore.
And what are the books all about? Self-love, self-esteem, self-glory, self-fulfillment. Our society is based on that. And yet, we see the Lord Jesus Christ humbling Himself, and actually doing the labor of a slave or a servant. It is not without significance that verse four says, He riseth from supper and laid aside His garments. Now, that is what He did, actually, literally, physically, but it is symbolic of what He did when He stepped out of glory, when He laid aside the garments of glory that were His in heaven and came into heaven. Jesus came down to this earth. Jesus is coequal, coeternal, coessential with God the Father.
Never forget that. That, friend, is basic Christianity. We sang the doxology, praise God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
We serve one God who has revealed Himself to us in three persons. But Jesus stepped out of heaven, and He came from sovereignty to slavery. He humbled Himself.
He became obedient. And the Bible says, Therefore God hath given him a name which is above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow. Now, many of us fight for reputation. Jesus laid aside His reputation. We like to talk about how we came from nothing to something, but Jesus came from something and made Himself of no reputation. Now, let me say this. Humility is not thinking lowly of yourself. I've said this so many times.
Jesus, knowing that He had come from God and was going to God and that the Father had committed all things into His hands. Do you think He's thinking lowly of Himself? No. Get the context. Knowing all of that, knowing that, knowing who He was.
Then laid aside His garments, took a towel, and washed His disciples' feet. That, my friend, is humility. Well, you say, what does that have to do with me? Friend, you're somebody.
You have been born of God, and if you've been born of God, you're going to God also. I mean, you're somebody. Now you can be a servant. Now you can lay aside your pride. Real love is selfless love. May I tell you that unbounded love and pride can never dwell in the same heart. Only in pure humility can there be genuine love. All right, now, not only is Christ-like love selfless love, but Christ-like love is steadfast love. Look in verse 1 of this chapter.
Now, before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour was come, that He should depart out of this world unto the Father, watch this. Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end. He didn't stop loving them.
He just kept on loving them. May I tell you that if you examine the lives of these people, they were not all that lovely at that time. Peter's going to curse and swear and deny him.
James and John are talking about who's going to be the greatest in the kingdom, and they were filled with fear and all of these things, but He just kept on loving them. Now, many times we excuse ourselves. I've done this, and you have too. We excuse ourselves when we're irritable, if we're, what, tired, worn out, had a hard day, people have mistreated us, and we bark at people, and we swear and deny them. We snap at people, and we say, well, after all, if you knew what I've been through, you'd understand that. No, listen, if you want to know what you're full of, just see what spills out when you get jostled. That's what you're full of. Now, if when you get jostled, all that stuff comes out, you're just full of all that stuff. But if you get jostled and love comes out, then you're full of love.
Now, what am I saying? That Jesus in the midst of extreme duress, extreme pressure, knowing that He's about to be crucified, is steadfastly loving His disciples. Real love, Christian love, loves steadfastly and loves unto the end. Real love will never let us go. What can separate us from the love of Christ? I'm persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You are loved, my friend. You know what the devil tells some of you? And he's telling some of you right now. You've messed up. You've blown it. God doesn't love you anymore.
You've had it. That's a lie out of hell. He does love you. Nothing you can do will make Him love you anymore, and nothing you can do will make Him love you any less. He doesn't love us because we're lovely. He loves us because of His grace. And having loved His own, He loves them unto the end. What is Christlike love? It is selfless love.
He laid aside His garments. It is steadfast love. He loved them unto the end.
Thank God for that. Number three, Christlike love is serving love. You know what the apostle John said?
He said, That's not just love in word, but in deed and in truth. Look in verses four and five of this same chapter. He, Jesus, riseth from supper, laid aside His garments, took a towel, and girded Himself. And after that, He poureth water into a basin, and began to wash His disciples' feet, and to wipe them with a towel, wherewith He was girded.
Did you know that real love knows no job that is so lowly to do? Do you know the feet that He washed? Do you know among who were in that crowd? Judas was there. Jesus, knowing soon that Judas is going to betray Him with a kiss of infamy, a kiss that would burn like a coal from hell on His cheeks, Jesus washed Judas' feet. You see, didn't Jesus say, Bless them that persecute you? Do good to them that despitefully use you? You see, Jesus didn't practice what He preached. He preached what He practiced.
I mean, Jesus is serving. Now, let me give you a definition of love. Love is not giving to someone else what they deserve. Love is giving to someone what they need.
That's what real love does. I may have told you this before. I sat down in the restaurant in the airport. It was early in the morning. I wanted breakfast. The waitress came out, and she was kind of sassy.
Have you ever had kind of a sassy waitress? She said, What do you want? He said, Well, I'd like some breakfast.
She said, You want a menu? He said, Yes, ma'am. Do you want some coffee? Yes, ma'am.
Do you want some orange juice? Yes, ma'am. She said, Yes, ma'am, yes, ma'am, yes, ma'am. Is that all you can say, Yes, ma'am? He said, Yes, ma'am.
So he gave the order. She went back into the kitchen, came out again with his ugly look on her face, slapped the food down there and said, Do you want anything else? He said, No, ma'am.
That's fine. Thank you, ma'am. She turned and went away. He ate his breakfast. Filled out the check and left, as I remember the story, a $20 bill on the table. Turned and started to walk out. Said, Hey, you!
You left some money on the table. He said, Well, don't they tip around here? He said, Wait a minute. You left a $20 tip for me the way I treated you? He said, Yes, ma'am.
Do that. He said, I was watching you. I could tell you were hurt. I could tell you had some real problem. I could tell that things were bothering you. You must have some problem.
And I just thought I would show you some love. She began to cry. She said, You don't know the problems I've had. My boss got all over me for being late.
Yes, I've had some problems. He said, Well, I thought maybe so. I thought maybe this would cheer you up. And it wasn't very long until he led her to Christ right there in that restaurant. And she got saved.
You know what that is? That's Christlike love. That is not giving her what she deserved. It was giving her what she needed. And what she needed right then was love. What did these disciples deserve? They didn't deserve to have their feet washed.
They needed a kick in the pants in human terms. But Jesus knew the love that these needed. And so Christlike love, it is serving love. 1 John 3 verse 18, My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
When you have Christlike love, there is no job too small for you to do. Jesus, the Lord of glory, is serving, washing, dirty feet. Now let me give you the fourth mark of Christlike love.
Christlike love is also sanctifying love. Jesus is now moving from the physical to the spiritual and from the literal to the symbolic. And so after he had washed their feet and had taken his garments and was sat down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done unto you? Ye call me master and Lord, and ye say, Well, for so I am. If I then your Lord and master have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you. Now, this is the last point and the final point and the sanctifying thing. Christ's love is sanctifying love.
Jesus now is turning the conversation to symbolism. No longer is he talking about literal dirt. He's talking about spiritual defilement that comes into lives because all of us get contaminated by sin. All of us get our spiritual feet dirty because we live in a dirty, grimy, and dusty world. Now, Jesus is saying, Peter, I need to wash your feet. And Peter says, Well, no, you can't wash my feet. Jesus said, Now, if I don't wash your feet, I have no part with you.
That means I can't fellowship with you. Then Peter says, Well, wash me all over. He said, You don't need to be washed all over.
You just need your feet washed. Now, what is all of this a lesson about? Well, salvation is called the washing of regeneration. When we get saved, we spiritually, we're bathed and cleansed from the defilement of this world. But we still live in this world, and we still get our feet dirty. Is there anybody who hasn't sinned after you've gotten saved?
No one. I mean, even though we've been saved, even though he has washed us and made us white as snow, we still walk in an old, dirty world, and we need to come and get our feet washed. That is, day by day, we need to kind of get our spiritual feet washed. Right?
Got it? Now, Peter, when he saw this, he said, Well, wash me all over. Jesus said, No, you've already had a bath. You've already had a bath, and you're clean.
You just need to have your feet washed. What is the lesson there? The lesson is very simple, very plain, and very clear. Once you get saved, you're sanctified. When we're saved, it is once and for all, but we still need to get our feet washed because we need to come to him for daily cleansing and daily foot washing.
So what he's talking about now is not some sort of a ceremony. When he says, If I, your Lord and Master have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another's feet. What is Jesus saying? Jesus is saying, Peter, you are going to get your feet dirty in a little while. You're going to betray me. But, Peter, I'm going to wash your feet. Peter, I am going to forgive you.
And Jesus did. Remember that episode after the resurrection? Simon, do you love me? Well, Lord, you know all things. You know I love you. Now, Simon, do you love me more than he is?
Oh, Lord, you know all things. Peter, do you love me? Three times Jesus asked that question.
Why? Because three times Peter had denied him. What is Jesus doing now? He's washing the feet of Simon Peter.
At that day, Jesus said, Peter, you don't understand, but you will understand later on. I'll guarantee you that day on the seashore, he understood what Jesus was talking about when he had his feet washed so many times. I was saved as a teenage boy, but so many times, thank God, hallelujah, he's washed my feet.
And he's never stopped loving me, and he'll never stop loving you. Do you know somebody who needs their feet washed? Somebody who's done you wrong? They haven't done you as wrong as the disciples had done Jesus wrong. Peter was going to curse and swear and deny him, and yet Jesus washed Peter's feet. And I'm telling you that the church will be a wonderful place when we allow Jesus to wash our feet and to keep us clean day by day, and when we, with Christlike love, wash one another's feet. Well, after listening to the message today, maybe you have questions regarding your faith in Jesus, how to place your trust fully in what he did for you on the cross. We have an insightful resource on the website.
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Simply go to lwf.org slash radio and click on the tab that says, Grow Your Faith or Find Answers. We can't wait to hear from you today. Now, if you'd like a copy of today's message, you can call us at 1-877-LOVEGOD. Mention the title, Christlike love when you get in touch, or you can order online at lwf.org slash radio or write us at loveworshipping.org. Do you exhibit selfless, steadfast, serving, sanctifying love to others?
As you study scripture today, ask God to reveal ways for you to show Christlike love to others. And we hope you'll join us next time for more timeless truth from Adrian Rogers, right here on Love Worth Finding. Did you know Love Worth Finding has an app?
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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-25 10:01:48 / 2023-04-25 10:09:43 / 8