Waynedale United Methodist Church
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!
   

April 2, 2015 Sermon (Maundy Thursday)

“A Divine Touch”

John 13:1 – 17

Ted Jansen  April 2, 2015  Waynedale UMC

 

1.)        Mark was walking home from school one day when he noticed the boy ahead of him had tripped and dropped all of the books he was carrying, along with two sweaters, a baseball hat, a glove and a small tape recorder. Mark knelt down and helped the boy pick up the scattered articles. Since they were going the same way, he helped to carry part of the burden. As they walked Mark discovered the boy's name was Bill, that he loved video games, baseball and history, that he was having lots of trouble with his other subjects and that he had just broken up with his girlfriend.

They arrived at Bill's home first and Mark was invited in for a Coke and to watch some television. The afternoon passed pleasantly with a few laughs and some shared small talk, then Mark went home. They continued to see each other around school, had lunch together once or twice, then both graduated from junior high school. They ended up in the same high school where they had brief contacts over the years. Finally the long awaited senior year came, and three weeks before graduation, Bill asked Mark if they could talk.

Bill reminded him of the day years ago when they had first met. "Do you ever wonder why I was carrying so many things home that day?" asked Bill. "You see, I cleaned out my locker because I didn't want to leave a mess for anyone else. I had stored away some of my mother's sleeping pills and I was going home to commit suicide. But after we spent some time together talking and laughing, I realized that if I had killed myself, I would have missed that time and so many others that might follow. So you see, Mark, when you picked up my books that day, you did a lot more. You saved my life."   (Story by John Schlatter – Chicken Soup for the Soul, 1993)

 

2.)        The Amazing Love of God is being revealed in the Upper Room.  The love of Jesus will save our lives in ways we might never fully understand.  I want to share several phrases to focus our faith and offer a challenge to you.    

 

a.)        Jesus loved His disciples.  Verse 1 says, “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” 

            The full “extent” of the love of Jesus is going to be expressed.  When I think of the word extent I think of the word extend.  I think of extension cords, or an extension of a ladder.  When you extend something you want to go farther.  You want the power from an outlet to reach an appliance that needs power.  When you use an extension ladder you want to go higher.      

            When you extend love you are seeking to reach someone you cannot reach right now.   Jesus loved His disciples and is ready to fully extend!  

 

b.)        Jesus was Divine.  Verse 3 says, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.” 

            This is what we believe based on the scripture.  Jesus was a part of the Trinity.     

 

c.)        Jesus’s love is extended in serving.  Verse 5 says, “He poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” 

            This act was Jesus extending the love of God to the disciples.  This practical act was a touch by the hand of God on the disciple’s feet.   Their feet connected them to the earth. 

 

d.)        Jesus’ disciples must understand how to extend love.  Verse 12 says, “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?” 

            Jesus wanted them to have a grasp of what just happened to them and why He washed their feet.   It was vital for them to understand how this act was central to being a disciple.  

 

e.)        Jesus’ desire is for disciples to be blessed.  Verse 17 says, “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” 

            Jesus wants them to put into practice serving one another as a way of expressing their faith in the Son of God.  The term, “blessed,” is the Greek term, “markarious.”   This term has the sense of well-being, of happiness, of a good feeling, of joy in the heart.    Jesus is saying that you will “feel good” when you serve others in my name.  There is a different term from the Greek for blessed, which is the word eulogeo.  This means to bestow goodness or have blessing revealed from a person.

            Blessing will come to you when you do something active for another person.  If you wash others feet, doing something practical in love for others, you will be happy.      

 

3.)        As we picture Jesus in the Upper Room and hear His words we are challenged to be His disciples. Here is how I apply Jesus’ words to the church.        

 

            a.)        Our mission as the church is to show the full extent of Jesus’ love to those around us.   We are to be a church of extension cords, of extension ladders and extension hearts to show the love of Jesus.  We want to reach farther, deeper, higher.     

 

            b.)        We are to be confident in our faith in Jesus Christ as God as the church.  

 

            c.)        We follow a leader who served others in love.  We follow together, not alone.   

 

            d.)        We seek to understand and teach others as the church how serving is vital in faith.    

 

            e.)        We love others in and as the church and receive “blessing, joy, peace, fun.”    

 

4.)        Jesus met a need for food and grace in the Upper Room.  He ate a meal with them, He shared the bread and wine and He washed their feet.  Jesus met a need and shared grace.  The love of Jesus linked all that they experienced in that Upper Room together. 

What would it look like if you met a need with food and allow God’s grace to be linked to that act of love?  Perhaps it would look like these examples. 

*You can fix food for a person and bring it over to them.  *You can go out to eat and pay for a person’s dinner.  *You can buy some gift certificates for a restaurant and give it away, either personally or anonymously.   *You can go through the drive through and pay for the person next in line.  *You can fix some food and invite a person to come over to your home.  *You go to the grocery store and buy several bags of food to give to our food bank.  *You can volunteer to work in the food bank.  Perhaps there are other ways you can love through some food.           

            Would you be willing to extend the love of Jesus by feeding another person? 

5.)        I decided to live out my faith by feeding someone by going to the drive through and paying for some food for the persons behind me.  I felt funny, like I was doing something illegal, but it felt good.  I wonder what the person was thinking knowing their food was paid for.  I remember hearing Carol Goeglin tell me that someone had paid for their dinner one night.  She shared it with joy.  When I told Sue what I was going to do this week she said, “I want to be the person behind you in line!”    

 

6.)        We have love given to us through Jesus Christ who extended the love of the Father.  As we celebrate Communion we remember that Jesus invited the disciples to take the bread and remember His body that would be broken for them and to take the wine and remember His blood that would be shed for them. 

            We offer our thanks, we confess our sins, we repent, and we receive anew this gift of grace.  We don’t deserve the love of Jesus in our hearts but since it has been extended to us we are gladly and humbly receive it. 

 

 

7.)        You will never know what a simple act of love, like picking up someone’s book, or paying for a meal, or giving love away will in a person’s life.