Sermon:  Sign of Discipleship

Summary:  Jesus wanted to impress upon his Apostles what his love looks like by 
example.  God's love is a love that serves in the most menial ways and is interested 
not in personal gain (as in the case of Judas who became dark and hard and became 
a servant of Satan), but in sacrificial love.  The strength to obey the command to love 
even enemies comes from accepting Christ's love for you by allowing him to serve you 
and cleanse you.

Know:  A sign of true discipleship is love that comes ultimately from God and is given 
even for enemies

Feel:  The desire and inner strength to love freely as God does

Do:  Survey your personal attitudes toward different kinds of people in your life, and 
what it would mean to leave them as God loves.  Identify ways to change you inner self 
in such a way so as to have the emotional and spiritual strength to love even enemies 
as God does.  

Text:  John 13

Scripture Reading:  1 John 4:7-11

1.  What is a sign?  How many do you have in your life?
	a.  Some signs act as labels
	b.  Imitation Vanilla, Genuine Leather, etc.
	c.  Nutrition labels
	d.  Signs identify what something is, or what it is made of
2.  This morning's text is about an important sign

I.  The sign in Jesus (v.1-1)
	A.  Jesus "loved them to the end" or "to the uttermost"
		1.  Jesus had already talked about love
			a.  3:16 - God so "loved" the world, that he gave his son
			b.  5:42 - Jews who reject Him not have love of God in them
			c.  12:25 - If love your life, will lose it
		2.  What is "love" anyway?
			a.  I "love" apple pie, my car, my hair, golf, wife, girlfriend 
			b.  Mean the same thing for each?  No
		3.  Jesus will demonstrate what true love is
	B.  (v.2-10) - Jesus performs an act of love
		1.  Washing feet a low, menial task
			a.  For the lowest slave
			b.  Not even for Jewish slave, but Gentile one
		2.  There is nothing glorious about "feet"
			a.  In some cultures, it an insult to show soles of feet
			b.  Feet are dirty, stinky, often have athletes foot, etc.
			c.  When traveling, people take off shoe - "I do not want to 
			     see or smell your feet
			d.  What about touching them?  Washing them?
	C.  ILL:  Don't know if we can appreciate full effect of what Jesus did
		1.  Do you know of job no one wants?  Goes to new guy?
			a.  In Air Force - Clean Up Bird Droppings
				-  Big birds, they left a mess
				-  Job always went to lowest guy there, the new guy
			b.  Do you have a job like that were you are?
				-  A job no one wants because so menial?
				-  A job that goes to lowest person, the new guy?
				-  For some it is cleaning toilets, gutters, etc.
		2.  Now, imagine Jesus doing that job for you
	D.  Why did Jesus do such a thing?
		1.  v.1 - He "loved" them to the end
		2.  (v.12-17) - As an example for them
			a.  He is teacher, and Lord, yet washed feet
			b.  We are NOT greater than he
		3.  But if we think we are too good for a job..
			a.  We are acting as though we are greater than him
			b.  Is anyone here greater than Christ?
		4. His "sign" is love that serves

II.  The Anti-Sign in Judas
	A. Not everyone was accepting it
		1.  (v.2) - Judas was planning to betray Jesus
		2.  (v.21-30) - Judas went out in the night to betray Jesus
			a.  John mentions this detail that it was night
			b.  The "darkness" was more than physical
			c.  Judas was walking in darkness
	B.  What was wrong with Judas?
		1.  (v.10-11)  Judas was not clean
			a.  His feet were clean, but he needed more than this
			b.  His inner self was not clean
		2.  He was a man of selfish ambition
			a.  Mk 14:12 - Says he was "THE" one of the 12
				- Virtually all translations leave out "the"
				- May not seem significant
				- BUT, it could mean that he had a place of 
				  prominence - Had to be trusted to be treasurer
			b.  Jn 13:26 - Judas had to be reclining at Jesus' left side
				- John was on his right
				- Judas close enough for Jesus to give morsel to
				- Judas had to be on left, a place of honor
			c.  Jn 6:70 - I chose 12 of you, and one is a devil
				- Was an opportunity for Jesus to become "king," 
				   Judas would be the royal treasurer
				- Jesus refused, many left, Judas dreams crushed
				- Thus began small seed of betrayal - Jesus saw it
			d. Jn 12 - Triumphal Entry
				- Jesus did not come militarily, but on animal of peace
				- Instead, Jesus had been telling disciples that he 
				  would be crucified!  
				- Jesus accepted Samaritans, Gentiles, taught love 
				   for even enemies!
				- Judas not sign up to love enemies!  Jesus need to 
				   stop playing around!  Betray for 30 pieces of silver
	C.  Was Judas really after 30 pieces of silver, or was it something bigger?
		1.  Jesus is worth much more that this isn't he????
			a.  Judas has witnessed and seen what Jesus can do
			b.  Judas knows that Jesus is from God
			c. 120 days wages, not small, but not huge either
			d.  Not get rich off of this for sure
		2.  Maybe Judas thought so little of Jesus, now he was through?
			a.  Give him up for the money, and that's that
			b.  But why didn't he appear in trial against Jesus?  
			c.  One of the 12 would be a splendid witness against Jesus!
		3.  Maybe Judas try to force a military confrontation?
			a.  Afterwards, tried to return money, and hung himself
				- Not what he expected to happen?
				- They tried to kill Jesus before, Jesus got out of it
			b.  Perhaps he thought Jesus and followers defend self
			c.  Maybe thought this start the revolution
		4.  Lots of "maybes," we really don't know specific reasons why 
		     Judas did what he did…
 	D.  But we do know what the problem in his heart was
		1.  (Jn 5:42-43) - He did not accept Jesus as he was
			a.  He wanted a Jesus that would suit his ambition
			b.  Therefore did not have the love of God in himself
		2.  (1 Jn 2:15-19) - Do not love the world or things of it
			a.  If you do, love of God not in you
			b.  Suggests anti-Christs come from those who love world
		3.  (1 Jn 3:11-14) - Love one another
			a.  Love is a "sign" that you have life
			b.  If do not love, you are dead, in the darkness
		4.  Judas did not have the love of God in him
			a.  Filled with pride, ambition, perhaps even hate - Anti-sign
			b.  Even though feet clean, he was still filthy, dirty
			c.  He was walking in darkness, became servant of Satan
			d.  His sign is selfish ambition

III.  Our Sign (v.31-35)
	A.  Is there a lesson here for us?  What should our sign say?
		- Our sign should say, "Love of Christ"
	B.  But how can you "command" love?
		1.  We can learn from Peter
			a.  Why did he object? Jesus make self lower than Peter?
				-  WRONG -- Jesus did no such thing
				- v.13 - You call me Lord and teacher, you are right
				- v.16 - A slave is not greater than his master
				- Regardless of what Jesus do, they are less than him
			b.  Problem:  Pride (masks itself as humility)
				- Thinking of self more highly that he ought to think
				- Jesus lowered himself, but not lower than disciples
				- If Jesus lower self to here, disciples are even lower
			c.  ILL:  A song we sing:   "for such a worm as I…"
				- Many get offended, and not like that song…
				- A worm is pretty low.  Can't get much lower
				- If called a worm = Insult, step on pride and ego
				- Can't say, "I will be more lightly esteemed that this"
			d.  There are two ways of being a worm
				- Oh woe is me, I am just a worm = pride
					-- Don't like being worm, want to be greater
					-- Don't like being with other worms
					-- Don't really want to do worm things
				- I am a worm, (with joy)
					-- A beloved worm, but a worm nonetheless
					-- No pride to injure, no ego to threaten - old 
					    man put to death
					-- Don't mind being worm, doing worm things - 
					    no threat to my identity, self image, etc.
					-- Doing worm things no threat to Christ….
		2.  Learning from Christ
			a.  v.3 - Lowering himself was no threat to Christ's identity
			b.  His identity wrapped up in God
				- Not in being a good carpenter
				- Not building an impressive successful business
				- Not in accumulation of symbols of worldly success
				- But in the God to whom he was returning to
			c.  In addition, since he became flesh, had to minister in the 
			     power of the Spirit which descended on him at baptism
				- Spirit empowered him for his ministry
				- Fruit of Spirit is…. LOVE
		3.  Strength to love as God loves comes from God
			a.  Natural to love friends, unnatural/supernatural to love 
			b.  1 Jn 4:10 - In this is love, not that we loved God, but that 
			      He loved us  - Starts with God, not us
			c.  Jesus demonstrated love time after time
			     	- Had strength even to love Judas
				- Gave Judas ample opportunity to change course 
					-- One of you will betray me (said repeatedly)
					-- What you do, do quickly
				- Prayed for those who crucified him
		4.  There is no reason not to love brethren, or even enemies
			a.  Jesus demonstrated it
			b.  Jesus commands it
			c.  Jesus empowers us to love through the Spirit
				- Fruit of the Spirit is … LOVE
			d.  If NOT love, we dead in darkness, like Judas
				- Go through motions, but heart is dark 
	C.  ILL:  How do you demonstrate the Love of God?
		1.  Jesus did it by service, by washing feet
			a.  ILL:  We had feet washed by teachers and Mission Alive
			b.  In turn we washed each other's feet
			c.  Was a humbling, precious, almost sacred moment
			d.  I was surprised at the effect it had on us
		2.  Wayne Baker, president of York College
			a.  Has acted as a fill-in maid at the guest rooms
			b.  Others say, "No, he is the president"  
			c.  But Wayne is okay with that, he has heart of servant
		3.  Elders at Bono, AR at a potluck
			a.  They all going around filling drinks and serving people
			b.  Made a huge impression on me
			c.  No threat to them as elders in serving
		4.  Many of you have demonstrated this in your own life
			a.  Whether helping, serving, doing chores for someone, etc.
			b.  Showing acts of kindness
			c.  Do it behind scenes, without telling people, because it is 
			    not about recognition 
	D.  We ought to "wash other's feet" as Jesus did
		1.  But, it just doesn’t feel very good…
			a.  There are those you don't like, not going to serve them
			b.  Maybe it feels like a task that is beneath you
			c.  May not even get any recognition
			d.  This hesitation may come from pride
		2. Think of Jesus, on hands and knees washing your feet
			a.  He said, "slave is not above his master"
			b.  In effect saying, "Well, John, you feel like this is to menial 
			      for you somehow?  Boy, you must be somebody!  I get 
			      on my hands and knees to serve, but not you, you must 
			      be the great John, even greater than me!"
			c.  We are not greater than Jesus, so we must serve as he 
			     did and even more -- that is a characteristic of love
		3.  Jesus said
			a.  By this will all men know you are my disciples
			b.  It is a sign of true discipleship
			c.  It is what sets true Christians apart - selfless love

1.  God loves you…(inv.)
2.  God calls you to love others as Christ did
3.  This is a sign of discipleship -- What does your sign say?
	a.  Does it say - I am average citizen, I have done well for myself, 
	b.  Or does it say - I am a disciple of Christ, I am a lowly servant who loves 
	     just as Christ loved.
4.  Make a list of ways you can love a brother, and even love an enemy
	a.  But someone may get overlooked
	b.  More blessed to give than to receive
	c.  It is about giving service, not receiving it