What Christians Are Taught By Foot Washing
I. Study Texts: John 13:1-2; 13:12-20
II. Theme: No master wanted an arrogant servant. As arrogance grows, serving declines. Arrogance creates the justification for refusing to serve. Arrogance takes one's eyes off the master. Arrogance is the enemy of humility. Humility is a blessing; arrogance is a curse.
Consider Jesus' twelve disciples. Jesus gave them nothing physical. They did not follow for money; Jesus had none. They did not follow for prestige; the elite of Israel rejected Jesus. They did not follow for governing power; Jesus was not a ruler. They did not follow to climb Israel's "social ladder;" Jesus worked among the poor and outcasts. They stayed with him in good times and bad. They experienced the joy of appreciation and the sting of ingratitude.
But in less than two weeks they went from humble men who feared that their master would be killed to arrogant men who thought only of themselves. They followed Jesus in the conviction that he was the Messiah. They hoped someday he would rule as king over physical Israel. Often that hope was dim. But for one week [the last week of Jesus' life] Jesus' kingship seemed certain. That week they became arrogant men. They took their eyes off of God and saw only themselves. To rescue them from their arrogance, Jesus seized that moment to demonstrate His servant spirit.
III. Questions and Answers
1. How was Jesus able to serve the 12, and especially his betrayer, in the face of his death the next day? John 13:12-20
2. After washing their feet, what question did Jesus ask them (verse 12)? Why do you think that he asked that question?
3. What did he say they were correct in doing (verse 13)? Why were they correct to do this?
4. If he washed their feet, what should they do (verse 14)?
5. Why did he give them this example (verse 15)?
6. What point did Jesus make about the slave and the person sent on a mission (verse 16)? Why did Jesus make this point in these circumstances at this time?
7. The knowledge of what had happened would not bless them. What would bless them (verse 17)?
8. Did Jesus know that he would be betrayed by one of the twelve (verse 18)?
9. From this moment forward Jesus would tell them what would happen before it happened. Why (verse 19)?
10. What importance did Jesus attach to receiving someone that he had sent? (verse 20)
What should we learn from what happened when Jesus washed his disciples feet? If we ask and answer all questions but that one, Jesus teaches us nothing by washing his disciples feet.
Some Lessons to Consider:
1. A person is blessed before God when he or she humbles self to serve others, even if the persons he or she serves is arrogant.
2. Humbly serving others destroys arrogance.
3. Humble service defines life for the man or woman who places his or her trust in God.
4. Humility is God-like and righteous; arrogance is Satan-like and evil.
5. It is impossible for a Christian to understand Jesus and be arrogant.
6. The truth of humility is not seen in one's words but one's behavior.
7. The reality of humility is not seen in one's involvement but in one's attitude.
8. Humility is not a claim but a way of life that focuses on others.