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Portrait of a Foot-washer

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Learning what Jesus meant when He called His disciples to be foot-washers.

Text: John 13:10-17
Date: 02/03/2019, the Traditional service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 122

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When Jesus girded Himself with a towel and washed His disciples' feet on the night of their Passover meal, it was one of the most profound acts of humility and condescension the world has ever seen. But what did He mean for His disciples to take away from His actions? What kind of an example is He setting? What were the symbolic implications? How exactly did He expect the church to emulate Him? In this study we will answer these questions and find three very powerful applications for the would-be disciple. After painting the portrait of a foot-washer, we will come to understand how important it is to both "know" what a foot-washer is, and "do" what a foot-washer does!

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I. Introduction, Phil. 2:5-7.
II. Exposition of the text, John 13:10-17.
A. Context
B. Explaining the principles of foot-washing.
1. Answering Peter's exuberance, vs. 10a.
a. Skipping the controversy.
b. A subtle expansion of the metaphor.
i. Re-visiting the context.
ii. A response to hyperbole.
iii. The continued need for confession and repentance, 1John 1:9.
iv. A third application.
c. The sanctification of the disciples, John 15:3.
2. Not all are clean, vs. 10b-11.
3. The explanation, vs. 12-15, Luke 22:24.
a. Probing understanding, vs. 12.
i. A positive approach.
ii. The Gospel-focus of a foot-washer, John 12:24-26.
b. The exalted One, vs. 13.
c. Mandatory Christian behavior, vs. 14.
i. Transcending a stratified society.
ii. An argument from the greater to the lesser.
d. An example in principle, vs. 15.
i. Establishing a way of life, Matt. 6:9.
ii. Ruminations on modern-day foot-washing.
4. Making it universal, vs. 16.
a. The relationship of Lord and servant, Phil. 2:9-11.
b. The relationship of sender and messenger, John 20:21.
5. The blessing of "knowing" and "doing", vs. 17.
a. The first condition.
i. The "things" Jesus refers to.
ii. The all-inclusive "you".
b. The second condition.
c. The blessing, Matt. 5:10.
III. Application
A. Jesus, our salvation.
B. Jesus, our sanctification.
C. Jesus, our example.
IV. Conclusion, Phil. 2:3.

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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