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The Paradox of Kingdom Greatness

by Rev. Kirby Williams

How Jesus uses humility to make His disciples great and accomplish His mission.

Text: John 13:18-20
Date: 02/10/2019, the Traditional service.
Series: "John: Encountering Love" Part 123

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In the aftermath of washing His disciples' feet, Jesus begins to explain to them (and thereby to us) the reason He has called them to humble servanthood. For it is only through such humility that true Kingdom Greatness can be achieved and the mission of the Kingdom can be accomplished. Three powerful themes that will dominate the years to come begin to emerge: humility, greatness, and mission. All of them were evident in Jesus' life and ministry, just as all of them will be evident in the Apostles as they boldly face the Gospel Age. And if we are to be the kind of disciples Jesus calls us to be, they must be evident in us as well. Humility that leads to greatness that accomplishes the mission of Christ-- this is the paradox of Kingdom Greatness.

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, John 13:18-20.
A. Context
B. Harmonizing humility, greatness and mission.
1. The exception of Judas, vs. 18.
a. An exclusive blessing, John 6:70.
b. Reasons for Judas' treachery.
i. A sovereign choice.
ii. A wretched heart.
iii. Scripture fulfilled, John 12:27, Acts 1:16.
c. Jesus' broken heart.
i. A "slap in the face", Psa. 41:9.
ii. Love in the midst of Providence.
iii. Thoughts on Communion, 1Cor. 11:29.
iv. The eschatological struggle of the two seeds.
d. A disturbing mirror.
2. Preparing for humiliation, vs. 19.
a. Precursor to faith, John 2:19, 22, 13:7.
b. Preparing for greatness.
c. The Christological objective of belief, John 8:24, 28, 58.
3. Learning the essence of greatness, vs. 20, Matt. 10:40.
a. Establishing the context.
i. The eschatological ministry of the Christ.
ii. Heading for a life-change.
b. Understanding the context.
i. The focus on "sending", John 20:21.
ii. Greatness born of self-less humility.
c. Understanding the basics.
i. The solemn truth formula.
ii. Analyzing the word "receive".
• Hospitality
• An emissary.
iii. Receiving the Word, Deut. 33:3.
4. The golden chain of Kingdom Mission, vs. 20.
a. The Words of God.
b. The Living Word, John 1:1,5,14, 8:37.
c. The "apostlers".
d. The "hearers".
III. Application
A. Humility
B. Greatness
C. Mission
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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