The Last Lessons
Pastor Dustin Jessee | April 5, 2020
Today marks the beginning of Holy Week, with today being "Palm Sunday."
But today, I want to travel back to the last hours that Jesus was with His disciples before He went to the cross and note some of His final lessons He had for His disciples.
The same lessons He had for them can also apply to us, especially at this time.
Here in John 13, we're told that Jesus knew His "hour had come" (verse 1) and wanted to give His disciples some important lessons before His death.
Here are a few of the last lessons He left us with:
1. Jesus taught us the importance of serving others.
John 13:1-5 says,
"Now before the Feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
And supper being ended, the devil having already put it 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 had come from God and was going to God,
rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.
After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded."
Here in our passage, Jesus teaches them once more the importance of serving.
You see, the Gospel of John calls us to follow Jesus... and the more you read, the more you understand that following Jesus isn't easy, nor is it the path to human greatness.
Why in the world would Jesus, knowing that He only had mere hours left before His death, take time to stop and wash the feet of His disciples?
I believe there were 3 main reasons He did so:
He was teaching them (and us) that no one is too busy to serve.
"If you're too busy to serve, you're too busy."
He was teaching them (and us) that no one is above serving.
This wasn't how it was supposed to go down! Lowly servants were to wash their feet!
Matthew 20:25-28 says,
"But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall now be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave - just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Philippians 2:5-8 says,
"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross."
If our Master humbly served others, we as His followers are not exempt.
John 13:16 says,
"Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him."
He was teaching them (and us) that no one is below being served.
How many pairs of feet did Jesus wash that night?
12... that includes the feet of Judas.
If He could bend down and wash the feet of Judas, what's our excuse?
Serving others isn't easy, and it's not convenient, and it's not comfortable, but we are never more like Jesus than when we are serving!
2. Jesus taught the importance of loving others.
John 13:34-35 says,
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."
We make loving people a lot more complicated than Jesus ever did.
"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care!"
Jesus loved people radically - and He loves you!
3. Jesus taught how we can live in peace.
John 14:25-27 says,
"These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
In the world, peace is something you work for or hope for, but to the Christian, peace is God's wonderful gift that is received by faith.
You see, the lost enjoy peace when there is no trouble; Christians enjoy peace in spite of trouble because we have the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Philippians 4:6-7 says,
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."