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A Servant's Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
March 24, 2022 1:00 am

A Servant's Heart Part 1

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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March 24, 2022 1:00 am

We may appreciate those who serve, but few of us want to be servants. Let’s chart a new course—becoming like Christ, the ultimate Servant. Jesus knew that His time had come, so he got down on His knees and washed dirty feet. In this message, we’ll find three facts upon which Jesus’ service was based. Through Jesus’ act of service, He showed us the path to greatness. 

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Looking to Jesus. It's a paradox. Everyone likes a servant, you want to be certain. Let's chart a new course course of becoming like Christ and then making a difference in our spheres of influence today.

Grab a towel for lesson number one in developing the heart of Jesus from the Moody Church in Chicago. This is going to win with Dr. Sir who is teaching helps us make it across the finish line take us to the upper room and outline where were going in this encouraging series day. You know I like to see the expression on the faces of the disciples as Jesus himself does what they should've been willing to do, namely to take that towel and begin to wash their feet.

What an amazing story. What an amazing story of the humility of Jesus Christ.

Now after he's done that and instructed them. This series is going to emphasize what he told his disciples in the upper room as you mentioned what he told them just before he died. I can't think of any passage of Scripture that is so heartwarming at the same time.

It is also a lesson in reality, Jesus predicts that a time is going to come when people are going to be persecuted for his namesake. The world is going to hate us. It's a story, actually.

And of course it's a true story of how Jesus is preparing the disciples for a new future future with many temptations the future with much persecution and a future that for them is very unknown. How do we face our own struggles.

How do we face our own future, which for us is very unknown. While there are lessons in this passage of Scripture in the upper room for all of us for all time. Because we always need the encouragement and the insight of Jesus. That's why I'm so excited about this series of messages. I hope that you will listen carefully as we introduce Jesus with the disciples in the upper room God on his hands and knees seems to be something strange about that that the creator without load to wash the feet of his creation story is in the 13th chapter of John's Gospel and in a moment were going to read some of the verses. But first of all I want us to understand the significance of this event. Nowhere else in history either in Jewish literature or Greco Roman literature. Is there ever an account of a superior washing the feet of an inferior remember the story as it opens in the 13th chapter of John's Gospel like Jesus and the disciples come to what we generally call the upper room. The disciples had been arguing as to who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, and even as they come into the upper room. No one takes the role of a servant because not even peers generally wash the feet of peers that was something that was relegated to servants and servants had the responsibility of washing the feet of those who are above them in society. I don't think they'd of had a big problem washing Jesus Christ feet, but when he pushed back from the table and walked over to the basin and poured some water and took off his outer garment and then put on a towel around his waist and began to wash the disciples feet and began to wipe them with the towel that he had. It was at that time that they felt very shamefaced and as we shall see in the next message Peter especially did not like it and began to react. But why is it that this is so important for us.

Why does this story have so much significance. Couple of reasons.

First of all because it shows us the path to greatness.

It is not wrong for you to want to be great as a matter of fact, greatness is encouraged, but Jesus said, he who will be great to let him learn to serve is not a matter of greatness being wrong.

It's how you expect to get that greatness. That's the question there's another reason why it is important and that is that if you and I want to see our homes changed. If we want to see our churches changed in our culture changed were going to have to learn to be servants. And that's a difficult lesson for us to learn so difficult that may be some of us have not even begun to learn what it really mean when we look at this passage. Why is it that we should be surprised to see Jesus on his hands and he well first of all, considering where he came from the came from the glories of heaven. When you read the sixth chapter of Isaiah where the Angels are around the throne, and Jehovah is around the throne and the Angels are singing a holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty. Remember that the person sitting on that throne is Christ is a old lady that's Jehovah as but Job is Christ John chapter 12. He makes it very very clear. John says that these things. Isaiah said, and it's referring to chapter 6 when he saw Christ's glory and spoke of him. Here is Jesus around the throne, and all of his glory and he could have stayed there. He could've stayed there simply to receive worship and praise and honor and adoration and bask in his relationship with the father and throughout all of eternity.

God could have simply remained beautiful and left us in our sins. Jesus came from the highest that's one reason why we should be surprised.

The other reason is, considering how low he came. Think of how far down he came in heaven. No one needed to ask his name. He was always glorious.

He was always adored. Now he comes to earth and he has to carry an ID and people shout at him move a Jew boy get on with it and then eventually they will spit on him and he laid aside his garments, the text says that is to say, he took off his outer garment and some theologians have seen in this picture really on the incarnation as he lays aside his glory. His visible glory. And he comes to the earth. He still has all of the attributes of God.

He has the glory of God. But it is veiled is so no one sees it. So he looks very ordinary in some respects and he comes to this earth and is as one of us here is the one who has all omnipotence, all power is under his command, and yet look at him there as he is weary on Jacob's well here is the one who has omnipresence. He can be everywhere simultaneously and is everywhere simultaneously but yet we read in the Gospels that he stayed two extra days away from Bethany when he heard that Lazarus died in impotence, omnipresence, omniscience, and yet he limited himself and said that he did not even know when the Son of Man would come get all of the attributes, but he said I refused to use them.

I'm going to live as man consider how far down he came. Someone is said that when Jesus was born in Bethlehem those hands that created the world's those hands would now have to be held the tongue that spoke the world's into existence would now have to learn Aramaic, and the feet of the one whose goings forth have been from of old and from everlasting those feet would now have to learn how to walk in the eyes that penetrated the universe and have seen all things, those eyes would now have to adjust to the dim light of the stable and the ears which avert all things throughout all ages those years would now have to adjust to the language of Aramaic and other expressions that would be given unpopular in that time. Think of how far he came.

We can't grasp it can wait because you and I are so accustomed to hanging onto prestige and power and money we hang onto it until our knuckles turn white. So it's hard for us to visualize Jesus coming from the glories of heaven even as it says in Philippians chapter 22 that shameful death of the cross. Think of how low he came. No one has ever come from that high undescended that low.

How did Jesus do it well. At this time we are going to read the text of Scripture John chapter 13 and this is the beginning of a series of messages titled when Jesus has your heart and today were going to talk about the heart of a servant. As we go through this passage of Scripture John chapter 13, 14, 15 and 16, usually known as the upper room discourse.

I'd like to suggest that the reason Jesus could do that and be a servant is because of what he knew he knew three facts that little word no occurs twice here in the text and will see when Jesus Christ knew it was just before the Passover feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave the world and go to the father having loved his own who were in the world he now showed them the full extent of his love the wonderful expression the full extent of his love.

The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the father had put all things under his power and that he had come from God and was returning to God, so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him did he know number one.

He knew his time. He knew his time. He knew that his time had come. I like the other translations at this point. He knew that his hour was gone. That's a literal translation into that hour was compress the darkness of Gethsemane. The treachery of Judas and the cruel, painful death of the cross and now the hour had come. It was here. What did that signify three times before this.

In the Gospel of John we read that they tried to take Jesus, but could not take him because his hour was not yet come signified. First of all, the protection of God.

There was no combination of men and of demons that could ever possibly put Christ on the cross until God says it's time there was no way that Jesus Christ could die young, old, he died at the age of 33 and that's young but he could not have died as a teenager because his hour had not yet come. And he had to fulfill the will of God and Jesus that so it reflects the protection of God. It reflects the approval of God and God's good pleasure in Christ. You see, before Jesus stepped out of eternity into time at Bethlehem, he and the father already prearranged what would happen here on earth. It was like writing a symphony. Maybe you're in a room somewhere in your your writing it and you put it together and then it is played at a later time on the instrumentation that you have worked out for it in the very same way. The father and the son agreed as to what was going to happen and the father said this is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. And part of that will of God was this moment to wash the feet of disciples, who apparently were to self directed to do it on their own.

Jesus received the approval of the father father whatever this hour involves since it's from your hand. I accepted his able pastor Luther but we are different than that number one. Jesus didn't commit any sin which is true, he did not. We sometimes sin. We mess up.

We leave scars behind us.

We leave a dirty trail behind us and Jesus never never did that. But I want you to know that as we ask God's forgiveness and as we put the past behind us there's a sense in which we also then come again within the protection of God and the approval of God and the knowledge that we are in gods hands and not subject to the randomness of fate or even violence. There is a woman in Michigan whose husband was crudely put to death, murdered. She was a Christian lady and he was a Christian man. She was telling me how she struggled with her. She could never accept it. She could not possibly see how this is something that you need to put behind you in some sense, of course, there's no sense in which it will never totally be put behind but she struggled with that because how could this possibly be God's will. These are cruel and evil people she read something that I had written on this topic in which I mentioned that if Jesus Christ the victim of violence could die under the hand in the Providence of God.

Why cannot believers were held in the same hands whose purposes. God also has for his own glory. They to die within his Providence. There hour comes and they cannot die before their hour come after you and I don't know are our duly is next week. Rebecca and I are going to be attending a wake for a friend of ours who died while walking in the back of the yard and suddenly put up his hands and had a massive heart attack and was gone. His wife was with him, but he could not be revived. He did not know when his hour was coming but listen to me very carefully. The fact that we don't know when or hour comes does not mean there hour is in any way less planned, less significant, less under God's protection than that of the Lord Jesus Christ, we too have in our before which we cannot pass that's going number two. He not only knew his time. He knew his mission. What was his mission.

Well I want us to see here two phrases together and this is why it's so important that you bring your Bibles and open them. I want you to see these phrases.

You'll notice it says in verse two. The evening meal was being served and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. They got the work of the devil going on. Later on, the devil actually enters into Judas that he might do the ghastly deed of the training Christ so you got that going on.

But notice that that statement stands direct lay in relationship to this one verse three. Jesus knew that the father had put all things under his power to a problem with seeing those two statements together. Here is the devil who put this into the heart of Judas. But here is Jesus who knows that the father had given everything under his own power, he simply could have squashed the devil he could have squashed Judas let me read the words of Don Carson with such power, we might expect him to defeat the devil in an immediate and flashy confrontation and to devastate Judas with an unstoppable blast of divine wrath. Christ could have spoken the word and the devil would've been put away and Judas would've been incinerated and gone. What does Christ do instead. He takes this basin and he begins to wash the disciples feet and he washes the feet of the trader.

Why did not Jesus coal those 10,000 angels. Why does Jesus not exert that awesome power that he has whole thing is under his feet, including the devil is because in this instance and in others as well.

If I had time to explain, I would. In this instance, it was because there was a different agenda going on. He said in the book of Luke is the people came to catch him and capture him in the garden of Gethsemane. He said this time this hour of darkness is yours right now, you win when permanently of course not.

These are but stepping stones to greater victories and to greater glories in Jesus's mission. You see, was not that he might be able to be exempted from the cross. His mission was that he might come to die and Judas and the devil was a part of that plan. It was a part of the purposes of God.

You'll notice it says in verse one. What a lovely statement at the end of the verse, having loved his own who were in the world. He showed them the full extent of his love, and the full extent of his love involved, the cross like the persons that I asked the Lord Jesus Christ. How much do you love me and he stretched out his arm and died. Now I want you to notice that Jesus then knew his mission it was to demonstrate the love of God and that was to go to the cross to demonstrate the love of God. It was also to glorify the father and what he was saying in the previous text.

Even in the previous chapter is now is the Son of Man glorified. Why is God was going to get glory because Jesus died. Your responsibility in mind. By the way is parallel.

It's the same thing.

Why do we exist is to give glory to God. Later on as we study this marvelous passage of Scripture will come to the 15th chapter where Jesus said.

Herein is my father glorified, that you bear much fruit, so shall you be my disciples.

How do we glorify God by being fruit bearing Christian and he says ask and you shall receive, that the father may be glorified when Peter was about to argue with Jesus about John in the 21st chapter of the Gospel of John. You'll recall that Jesus said Peter the time is coming when your you're going to go places that you don't want to go because others are going to take you and carry you where you don't want to go and then the text says this, he said, signifying the death by which Peter would glorify God, and it is said, as you know in tradition. I don't know that we can prove it that Peter was crucified upside down because he did not think he was worthy to be crucified in the same manner as his Savior. You understand what God is doing in our lives. He's clearly not committed to our happiness in the sense of giving us all the happiness we possibly can. He's clearly not committed to simply taking away all the detours and all the roadblocks that we find in life and giving us health and wealth and all of the other things we heard today. These missionary reports about people living in great poverty and, obviously, we should be helping them in their needs, but God is in heaven just simply saying now. I wonder how I can make my creation happier. I wonder how I can make the church happy happy happy. Listen carefully Jesus change the world, but he did not change it by his miracles.

He changed it by his suffering and it is in suffering that we glorify God and Jesus knew that that was his mission and washing the disciples feet was a part of the divine program will my friend. We don't like that word suffering.

Do we. It's a word that we try to avoid in every possible way that we can and sometimes we suffer because of health issues.

We suffer because of financial issues, relationship issues, all kinds of suffering in the upper room discourse.

Jesus Christ predicted that there would be suffering that would be endured for his namesake. I've written a book entitled the church in Babylon. I wrote this book to try to help us understand the culture and the way in which we should suffer in the midst of it for the cause of Christ. It deals with all kinds of issues, I'm just looking at a chapter now entitled five false gospels within the evangelical church. There compromises that are being made. I'm looking at another chapter on transgender is another chapter. By the way, on Islam immigration and the church. I believe that all of these issues are ones that we should be involved in, and if there is suffering for the name of Jesus Christ. We have to learn to endure that and to endure it. Well, we have to consider it as a badge of honor for a gift of any amount. This book can be yours.

It's entitled the church in Babylon sexually. Much of it is based on the book of Jeremiah, but it goes much more beyond that, to various issues that are the ones that we confront in contemporary culture. Here's what you can do. Go to RTW that's RTW and I'll be giving you that info again or if you prefer you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us. We want to encourage you on the way to the heavenly city so that you make it all the way to the finish line go to RTW or call us right now at 1-888-218-9337 thanks in advance for helping us because were making a difference. You can write to us at running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 Jesus turned the world on its head when he stooped to wash the disciples feet superiors don't serve inferiors do they in the kingdom of God. They do next time I'm running to win more on doing what he did and that is the practice servant leadership, running to win is all about helping you understand God's roadmap for your race of life for Dr. Erwin Luzerne this is Dave Callister running to win is sponsored by the Moody church

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