How To Roll Like Jesus
The Big Idea: Figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that.
The more you’ve learned about Jesus, the more you’ve grown to love Him, right? And the more you’ve grown to love Him, the more you want to be like Him, right? So what does that look like in practice? How did Jesus roll, and how can we imitate Him? We can learn a lot about how to roll like Jesus in the story about Him washing the feet of His disciples. Why did He do that? What is the discipleship opportunity for us? And what are some ways we can follow His example today?
Hanging Out With Jesus: How To Roll Like Jesus
Matthew 26:17-20, Mark 14:12-17, Luke 22:7-16, John 13:1-20
Good morning, men! Welcome to Man in the Mirror’s Men’s Bible Study, where we always have room for one more guy. Let’s go ahead and do a shout out this morning. I’m excited to do this particular shout out, it’s to a particular group at the Webster Assembly of God Church in Webster, NY. The name of the group is Rise and Shine, and I’m excited because Will Fox, Jr. is the leader of this group, an old friend of our ministry. They meet on Saturdays at 7:00 am using the video Bible Study and they open it up to the entire community and churches. So I wonder if you would join me in giving a very warm welcome to the men of Rise and Shine? One, two, three, hoorah! Thank you guys! We’re so glad to have you with us! By the way, how many of you guys come to the Bible Study just so you can say hoorah?
His name was Todd Beamer. He was in a small group of guys that met on Friday mornings doing The Seven Seasons for the Man in the Mirror book. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Todd got on a routine flight from Newark, NJ to San Francisco, he was in the software business. Before long, it became clear in the cabin that something had gone terribly amiss in the cockpit. Three hijackers had burst into the cockpit and taken control of the plane. Several cell phone calls that were made to the ground confirmed that the World Trade Center had already been under attack by two planes. The reason for the timing is that this plane had been held up for 42 minutes on the tarmac and had taken off late. Todd sprang into action, he became the leader of a small band on the plane who decided when they realized that their plane was going to be part of a terrorist plot that they were not going to let that happen. Todd got through to an operator, the FBI were listening in and he unveiled the plan that they were going to storm the cockpit and fly the plane into the ground rather than allow it to strike a target in Washington D.C. which is where the plane was now headed. Todd recited the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm with the telephone operator, and then he said well let’s do it. Are you ready? Let’s roll! Those were the last words ever heard from Todd Beamer. A dozen or so passengers lead by Todd stormed the cockpit and began to wrestle control of the plane. Somewhere in a field of rural Pennsylvania, 20 minutes from Washington D.C. where the hypothesized targets were either the White House or the Capital Building, Todd Beamer and his cohorts forced this plane into the ground at 580 miles per hour. Let’s roll!
It’s interesting, because a lot of people feel like our culture has been hijacked. In fact, most recent reports feel two thirds of all Americans feel like our nation is headed in the wrong direction. Wouldn’t you like to be a Todd Beamer to our culture? Wouldn’t you like to be a person who could keep our nation from being hijacked? But if you’re like most of us, you feel impotent to do anything about that. What could you do, you’re just one person? So this morning I want to have us take a look at a story about Jesus in which he begins to explain to the disciples how they could actually make a difference in the world. He’s been building into their lives. Certainly, if we feel like our nation is in trouble, think about how the disciples must have felt! Their world was closing in on them! Their leader was hated, he was being sought out by the authorities. They wanted to kill him, they ended up going into this upper room, basically nothing more than an off book safe house. So we’re going to look at this story this morning as Jesus begins to lay out his plan for how to take back the world. Total global conquest, which was his mission. In John 13-17, Jesus lays out this plan for total global conquest.
You know the story of how they got to the upper room. Jesus sent out a couple of his disciples to follow a man carrying a pitcher of water and then to tell the owner of the house we’re going to have dinner at your house tonight. So the owner of the house gives them this beautiful upper room. If you have been to Jerusalem, there’s this traditional site for it. When I went, we went to a non-traditional site, but a site that could be a little bit more humbling, sort of like the shepherds cup in the Indiana Jones movie. It could have been the kind of location where this last supper had taken place. The arrangements were made, they’re reclining at the table, and we pick up the action here.
Why Did Jesus Wash The Feet Of His Disciples?
First, the title of the message is How To Roll Like Jesus. In this text we’re going to look at this, why did Jesus wash the feet of his disciples? John 13:1:
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.
Notice he doesn’t say it was time for him to die because death is part of the journey.
Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
It doesn’t say Jesus showed them the secret of success. No, it says he showed them the full extent of his love! But that is the secret of success! He showed them the full extent of his love! That is how Jesus rolls! He shows people the full extent of his love, and loves them unto the end. Verse 2:
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.
We talked about that. We don’t know exactly how that was done. Verse 3:
3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing…
This was the custom. Foot washing was a cultural practice. People wore sandals. They may take baths but then when they walked someplace their feet got dirty. So it was a normal cultural custom to wash feet, to offer your guests foot washing. Some of you might remember the story of Jesus going to Simon the Pharisee’s house and the woman comes in and anoints his feet with her tears and wipes them with her hair. Simon is all upset about that and Jesus says Simon, she’s been forgiven much because she has sinned much. That’s the way it works. Those who think they have sinned little have been forgiven little, but those who realize they have sinned a lot have been forgiven a lot. She’s had many sins, and her sins are forgiven, but Simon I came into your house and you didn’t even offer me water to wash my feet. So it was a type of hospitality that would have been given. When somebody would do a labor, they would take off their outer garment, their robe, which is what Jesus did here. Verse 5:
… and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 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.
So it was servant’s work. What’s obvious in this passage is that Jesus was doing menial work. What he’s trying to communicate here is that my way, the way I roll, the way I do total global conquest, the starting point for all of this is sacrificial loving service, done in humility to one another. He’s setting an example, as we’ll see her in a moment, but first we have to do the Peter side bar. Verse 6-11:
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
10 Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
So Peter over reacts to both extremes, but what is the problem here? The problem here is Peter wants to tell Jesus how he needs to roll. Peter wants to dictate the terms of total global conquest to Jesus! Why? Zeal without knowledge. That’s why Jesus is giving this message over these next few chapters, so that the zeal of the disciples may be tempered. Jesus has fanned up our enthusiasm as his disciples through all these different feats and miracles, all these things he’s done. He has raised the dead and healed the sick, and so they are juiced up and full of zeal but he also wants to make sure they have knowledge. Peter here exemplifies zeal without knowledge, and that is not good. Proverbs 19:2 it is not good to have zeal without knowledge. Reading on at verse 12:
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
It says there now you know. This is how I roll! This is how I make disciples. This is how I want you to roll. I’m giving you an example to follow. So what does washing feet look like today? Well it could look like washing feet. There are many different denominations and religious groups that do ceremonial foot washing. Of course, that’s perfectly all right, but what Jesus is getting at here is something much more profound, something that’s part of the fabric of our life. He’s trying to change our DNA as his disciples because this was an example, but this was something that we were meant to do routinely with other people. Washing feet is a metaphor. Yes it was an actual thing he did, but it is also a metaphor for sacrifice, love, service, and humility.
So I decided to wash my neighbor’s feet. We live on a lake and we had this scum, this fibrous algae that looked like a wet blanket along our lake shore. So I went down with a rake and scraped it all out, my back was killing me, and then I noticed as soon as I got mine done that my neighbor’s lake area had it. I wasn’t just thinking that his scum might blow over on me, but I thought it would be a good idea to show them the full extent of my love and to follow the example of Jesus. So I scraped off theirs, too. They had more than I had and it took longer. I kept waiting for somebody to come out and say thanks for doing that, can I give you a little help? But they weren’t even home! They never even knew this algae was out on their lake. For years I’ve had to live with the humble feeling of having served them without ever getting any credit for it until now when I thought I could use it in this illustration and get some credit for having helped them!
So what is washing feet today? It’s whatever you identify that needs getting done. Here’s the Big Idea today, figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that. Why? Because I’m a Christian and that’s how we roll! I’ve talked to you about when you meet a stranger, and how you might want to think could this person be an angel? When you meet anybody and you’re trying to figure out how to disciple them by sharing my faith or by equipping them in some way or by serving them, this is one way of approaching that. What’s the equivalent of washing feet with this particular person?
What Is The Discipleship Opportunity?
What is the discipleship opportunity here in this text? There are a couple of things. First is to become this kind of disciple ourselves. It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, so get the knowledge of God that he is presenting here. Not only here but in these next few chapters we’ll be looking at as well. It’s to do everything in love, to avoid polemics. Jesus says love your enemies. So many people are angry these days and there are so many venues for people to let others know how angry they are about things in general. My dad used to scream at the TV during the evening news like that was going to change anything. He didn’t have social media, but I’m sure if he did he would have been on there just screaming and yelling about everything because he was so frustrated with the way the world was going, that it’s not turning out the way we thought it would! But Jesus would say no, don’t do that. Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you, don’t be polemic. Proverbs 51, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 22:11, which is one of my life verses, he who loves a pure heart, and whose speech is gracious will have the King for his friend. You want to have friends? Seek a pure heart, let your speech be gracious, avoid polemics and you will have the King for your friend.
The discipleship opportunities here are first, become the kind of disciple that would follow this example that Jesus has laid down here. Somebody who would consider others as better than themselves as it says in Philippians 2:13, consider others as better than yourselves. Second opportunity for discipleship here is for us to make these kinds of disciples. It’s for us as disciple makers to spread this message when we see people being mean spirited or setting up a pecking order, which is the way of the world. How many of you have ever been around a chicken coup? Everybody has heard of the pecking order and that’s where it came from. When I was in high school, I raised chickens for money. I never actually made any money, but that was the idea at the beginning at least. I had Rhode Island reds and I was going to sell the brown eggs because nobody else had brown eggs back then. So I had this chicken coup I built and I had all these chickens, and sure enough inside the coup there was a pecking order. There was the head chicken, the head rooster, and he could peck on anyone he wanted, and he did too! Then there were others. The number two chicken could peck on any chicken except the number one chicken. Then the number three chicken and so on until the last chicken. Everybody could peck on him! Just imagine how happy the second to last chicken was that he at least had someone to peck on! This poor last chicken had no one to pick on! That’s the way of the world. Jesus said no, you’re going to crash here. The way of the Gospel is that there are no pecking orders. It’s not that Jesus is inverting social relationships, it’s that he’s leveling them out. When you are discipling disciples, you don’t set yourself up as the teacher and the other person as the student. Jesus has already said a servant is not greater than his master, and this is the example he set up for us to follow.
There’s a lot more I could say about these discipleship opportunities, but the question is how do you want to roll? You want to roll like Jesus? If you want to roll like Jesus, this is how you roll. The Big Idea today, figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that. Why? Because I’m a Christian and that’s how we roll! In your own discipleship, with your own disciples, figure it out and then do that. So easy!
What Are Ways To Follow The Example Of Jesus Today?
What are some ways we could follow the example of Jesus today? Maybe you’re a husband. Figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that. What’s the menial work that your wife is doing that you could do that would be an expression of the full extent of your love for her? For me it was learning to take out the trash. For the first however many years of our marriage, she was the trash person. I believed it was a meaningful division of labor! It worked! Somehow the Marriage Prayer and some other things changed that.
What are some ways you could follow the example of Jesus today as a father? Did you know there are a lot of men today that have visited this Bible Study but they don’t come to this Bible Study because they drive their kids to school? Now, I think it’s okay to take a day off and come to the Bible Study, but they are doing this to show their spouse and children the full extent of their love, and what they’ve done is they’re figuring out the equivalent of washing feet for their kids and they’re doing that! This is menial work in driving or carpooling. Their wife could do it or perhaps their neighbor, but they’ve figured out that this is for them, washing the feet of their kids and they’re doing that.
Maybe it’s something like the way you drive your car. This is not a message for me, it’s a message for you. I’m the teacher here, so let’s get that pecking order back in place. No! I had the most unbelievable experience this week. My wife and I had been out to dinner and we came up to an intersection just a couple of blocks from here and there was a big, black Mercedes in front of us getting ready to turn right onto 17-92 off of a side street. We were right behind them and Patsy has a 12 year old Honda Accord and she loves it, and you’ve got to love a woman like that, that doesn’t need a new car all the time. Thank you Jesus! The whole Honda would have fit in the trunk of this Mercedes. But they stopped and didn’t need to stop. I thought why aren’t they turning right? I looked up and this big, black Mercedes had stopped because the driver had seen what looked like a poor, single parent family that had started to walk across the street from the other side of the highway. This car could have gone ahead and made it easily, but instead decided to stop and let these people cross that highway. It changed my life! That’s humility, that’s showing people love, that’s figuring out the equivalent of washing feet and doing it. Not a big thing, but for the few of us that saw it, I think it made a lasting impression.
Maybe you’re a salesman or a purchasing agent. Figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that. Maybe you’re a business owner, a repairman, an elected official, a doctor, or an educator, whatever! Figure out the equivalent of washing feet and then do that!
Maybe you’re a policeman. God I love policeman! Last weekend I took my sports car to a track day at Sebring. I spent the day on the track. Sebring is what I consider my home track, and every great track has at least one corner on the track where every time you go around it, you hold your breath, because you’re not 100% sure it’s going to work. That’s the definition of a great track. Sebring has three turns like that, turn one, the last turn, and then there’s a turn called Bishop’s Bend, and I got in to racing originally because I sat at the bleachers at Bishop’s Bend and watched Barry Ellis come around in a Porsche and it was so thrilling to watch this car go through this high speed corner. It’s a double apex left hander, and you come into it about 90-95 mph at the beginning of the turn. Then you begin the turn and by the end of the turn you come to the breaking point exactly at end around 110 mph. So driving my car through that turn at over 100 mph, that to me is heaven on earth! I left the track on Saturday, and the last thing the guy I was with said to me was now remember, you’re not on the track anymore. But I forgot, and all the way from Sebring back home it’s one little town after another and they all have their own speed limits. So next thing I know, lights and sirens are behind me and a sharp looking young police officer walks up to my window. I said did I just get busted? He said yeah, 66 in a 50. I was thinking well, that’s not so bad. He went back and checked my license, came back and he showed me the full extent of his love. He let me off, but that was for him the equivalent of figuring out what washing someone’s feet was and doing that. You don’t have to be mean spirited to everybody.
This is the Big Idea for the day. As you leave here today, if you want to be a disciple and make disciples, and you want to be involved in Jesus’ plan for total global conquest, you don’t have to out and balance the federal budget. Although if you could, that would be great! But the thing that you and I need to do when we leave here is that we need to go out and follow the example of Jesus. And the example of Jesus today would be figure out the equivalent of washing feet and do that. Why? Because I’m a Christian and that’s how we roll! Let’s pray!
Our Father in heaven, thank you for this powerful metaphor of washing feet that you have given us so that we might consider what the equivalent of that is in all of our encounters and then do that thing that will change the world as people see how we love them as you have loved us. We become messengers and servants of your love, Lord, so show us how we might respond to this passage today for your glory and praise, and we pray in the name of you Jesus, amen!