More Humble than You Thought

Notes & Details

Service Date
Sunday, January 7, 2024

Evening Conversations With Jesus

Scripture Featured
John 13:1-17

Speaker Preaching
Cody John Simpson

Sermon to come


        • Series Intro – We love hosting people and then having intimate conversations after dinner. John records the very intimate conversation of the Last Supper, where we are invited to sit down and learn about Jesus.
        • Sermon Intro – You learn a lot about people when you go into their homes, how they welcome and host you. As Jesus welcomes His disciples to eat their last meal together, He reveals that He is more humble than they ever thought. He begins by washing their feet. 
      • John 13:1-11
        • This is one of the most remarkable scenes we have of Jesus’ life. We’re culturally removed enough that we don’t intuitively sense the significance. 
          • Foot washing was common – You wore sandals in dirty, filthy streets. The task was considered very menial. It was a job for only slaves or children, and many rabbis of the day said that it was too demeaning to even allow Jewish slaves to do this. 
          • So we have this scene, and imagine the utter shock of the disciples. John records that only Peter speaks, so imagine that they are so taken off guard and dumbfounded that they’ve become frozen. They’re speechless. 
          • Peter is never speechless in Scripture; and appropriately so, he’s scandalized and tries to show honour to Jesus by refusing. 
        • Jesus’ response to Peter is revealing, but they don’t get it yet. In washing their feet Jesus is pointing to the very near future. He says if I don’t wash you, “you have no part with me.”
          • At this Peter goes over the top and wants to be cleaned extra. He has a zeal for Jesus, but misses the point. 
          • The foot washing prefigures the cross that Jesus will take in a short while and die on. The washing and cleansing of the water, with the washing and cleansing of sin that will be made available to all through faith in Jesus’ death. And the humbling nature of washing feet and being executed as a criminal. 
        • Jesus is showing the disciples more of who He is. The beginning of the chapter we read how Jesus was keenly aware of His identity as being sent by the Father, and the moment in His life and ministry; He was about to return. Jesus was filled with a deep perception of who He was, and in this moment chose to reveal this identity through an active display: washing feet. 
          • Philippians 2:6-7. It wasn’t just Jesus the great teacher who washed feet, but the Son of God humbled Himself to wash their feet, and not only the genuine disciples, but also the one who would betray Him. 
        • The humility of God is scandalous to our sense of dignity and importance. We never would be able to imagine it, see it, let alone believe it, if Jesus had not so blatantly revealed it. 
        • And what God reveals, He expects us to emulate.
      • John 13:12-17
        • Jesus doesn’t want anyone to miss the point. He affirms His identity again, rabbi and Lord (teacher and God) before the disciples: “If I can wash your feet, you ought to wash one another’s.” If our Master would do it, who are we to refuse?
      • Do we ever think that we are too good or too important for a certain task? That something is beneath us because of our status or skill set? It’s amazing how that mentality can sneak up on you. Maybe for years you felt like you were paying your dues and now it’s your time to level up. 
      • For some it might not be the task but the people. I’m pretty sure Peter would have washed Jesus’ feet unquestionably, but would have balked at washing the feet of his fellow disciples. The depths of our humility are quite shallow when we pick and choose who we’d be comfortable to serve and who we would deny. A humble posture elevates all others before ourselves. Seeks to meet the needs of others before ourselves. It’s not about ranking people and serving selectively. Jesus humbled Himself to wash the feet of a traitor, and enemy. 
      • There are hundreds of examples of how we could put this into practice in our daily lives. We’re talking about humility, and the battle between humility and pride is waged every waking moment. I challenge you to be thinking about where you refuse to humbly serve others in your life. 
        • But there’s one other link I want to add to our discussion. Humility is connected to love. Foot washing is a humble act, but it is generated out of love. True humility comes from love. After the shock of the moment wore off, how do you think the disciples felt? Perhaps loved. Cherished by their Teacher. Jesus sought to show them love, make them feel loved. It says so in verse 1: “He loved them to the end, or uttermost.”
      • Jesus indeed showed that love to the very end because dying on the cross was a display of love. The disciples didn’t deserve the foot washing, and broken sinners of the world, from these disciples to us today don’t deserve for Jesus to die on our behalf, to save us and win us forgiveness. Yet that’s what Jesus does, because Jesus loves. He loves us broken sinners, us destitute and undeserving.
        • If you’re looking for that unconditional love in the face of your own personal brokenness and guilt, look no further than Jesus. All He requires is to turn to Him in faith and then to follow Him into a new life. 
      • We embark on this new life together as we continually learn from the Holy Spirit. How well are we following Jesus? He gives His life as an example for us – before we ask how humble we are, we ask, “do we love others like Jesus?” Do we love the broken, the undeserving, the unwanted? 
      • That’s a big part of what being a Christian is all about. Learning to love others more each day, so that like Jesus, we can joyfully wash feet. And we look forward to this with confidence, as the Apostle says: I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Phil 1:6)


      This week, plan and perform a humble act of love for someone you struggle to love.