Sent in Love – Gospel in Life

Sent in Love

Tim Keller |  October 9, 2016

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John 13:1-5
RS 370-05


On the night before he went to the cross, Jesus was about to send his disciples out into the world in a new way, and so he trained them. He started with this remarkable act of foot washing.

Jesus has just finished talking about who he is and what he came to do. And then he gets up and begins to wash the disciples’ feet. So the foot washing is clearly a sign, a symbolic act.

In the foot washing, we’re going to learn something about Jesus. This act shows us 1) his person, 2) his power, and 3) his pattern of life for us.

Sermon Summary

Jesus, aware of His divine origin and destiny, humbly washes His disciples’ feet in a symbolic act of service. This act punctuates His character and the nature of discipleship He advocates. It’s a profound lesson in humility and service, demonstrating the kind of followers Jesus seeks.

1. His person

Jesus, despite being the Creator God, humbly washes the disciples’ feet, a task deemed menial and offensive. His life, marked by interactions with outcasts and the marginalized, showcases His humility and sensitivity. This paradox of infinite divinity and profound humility encapsulates His servant-hearted existence.

2. His power

Jesus’ divine nature is brought to attention by his humble actions, particularly his act of washing his disciples’ feet, demonstrating an unwavering, selfless love. This love, which remains steadfast even when faced with betrayal and denial, contrasts with the human tendency to love only when it is reciprocated. The enduring message is the eternal and sacrificial nature of Jesus’ love, deeply rooted in the doctrine of the Trinity.

3. His pattern of life for us

True selfhood is achieved through self-giving, as self-absorption only leads to destruction. Jesus Christ’s love, demonstrated through his act of washing the disciples’ feet, redefines greatness as service to others and overturns the cost-benefit relationship, enabling us to serve without expectation. Recognizing the depth of His love satisfies our deepest longings and reminds us of our eternal richness, accentuating the importance of respect and kindness in our interactions, even with those who oppose us.



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