Sermon #162††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† Luke Sermons

 

†††† Title: †††† ††† Our Saviorís Last Lesson

†††† Text:††††† ††† Luke 22:27

†††† Subject: ††† Christís Example of Love and Service

†††† Date:†††† ††† Sunday Evening ó January 15, 2006

†††† Tape #†† ††† Y-86b

†††† Readings:†† Bob Pruitt and Rex Bartley

†††† Introduction:

 

Nothing is of greater value to a loving wife than the last words of her beloved husband. Nothing is of greater importance to a faithful son or daughter than the last words of love and instruction given by their dear father, as he was departing from this world. And, I think that there is nothing more important to us who believe than the final words and acts of our Lord Jesus Christ. Those things, which he said and did just before he was crucified, were intended by him to carry special weight with us.

 

       He washed the disciples feet.

       ďBy this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another

       He gave us the discourse on the office and work of the Holy Spirit.

       He showed us the necessity of abiding in him.

       The Lordís Prayer (John 17).

       The Lordís Supper

       Gethsemane

       The Trial

       His Crucifixion Ė Those memorial seven sayings.

 

Because we place such great importance upon those final acts and words of our Lord Jesus Christ, I know that my subject tonight will be of great importance, and that it will carry great weight with you who know the Lord. My subject is Our Saviorís Last Lesson. I want to remind you of that last lesson which our Lord gave to his disciples on the night before he laid down his life for us.

 

(Luke 22:27)† For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.

 

Try to get a picture of the things that were taking place. All of the disciples were together in ďa large upper room.Ē Our Lord had many things on his mind. His heart was heavy.

 

       Judas had already made arrangements to betray him.

       Soon Peter would deny him.

       All of his disciples would, for a while, forsake him.

       He must be made sin for us. He must be forsaken of his Father. And he must suffer the terrible vengeance and wrath of God alone to redeem his people.

       But, above all else at this time, our Lord was concerned for the spiritual welfare of his people (Ps. 69:5-7). How desperately we need him to guide us, protect us, and teach us, because our hearts are so naturally full of pride and sin. Without him, what would become of us?

 

(Psalms 69:5-7)† O God, thou knowest my foolishness; and my sins are not hid from thee. (6) Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord GOD of hosts, be ashamed for my sake: let not those that seek thee be confounded for my sake, O God of Israel. (7) Because for thy sake I have borne reproach; shame hath covered my face.

 

Even at this time, as our Lord broke bread with his disciples and gave out the wine, establishing the Lordís Supper, they were striving among themselves. Two questions were troubling them: (1.) They disputed about who among them would betray the Master. (2.) And they were quietly arguing about which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. These men were still fuming over the request made by the mother of James and John!

 

Where humility should have abounded, ambition intruded. Where reverence should have been evident, pride was dominant. When all should have been seeking to serve Christ, honor Christ, and show love to Christ, they were all seeking to secure a place of prominence for themselves! This evil of self-seeking pride was the last thing our Lord dealt with before his crucifixion.

 

Then, in verse 27, the Lord Jesus gives us a picture lesson, using himself as an example for us to follow ĺ ďI am among you as one that serveth.Ē Our Savior is saying to us ĺ If I have made myself the least, you should not seek to be greatest. If I have served you, you should seek to serve one another. Have you already forgotten how that I washed your feet and told you to follow my example?

 

Proposition: The lesson, which our Lord here gives us, is repeated again and again throughout the New Testament. We who have been saved by the grace of God and redeemed by the blood of Christ should imitate our Lordís example of humility and service toward one another (Phil. 2:1-9).

 

Christís Humility

 

First, let me remind you of our Lordís position. He willingly assumed the position of greatest humility. ĺ ďI am among you as he that serveth.Ē

 

In order to redeem us, our Lord Jesus Christ assumed our nature and came into this world; and he voluntarily assumed the position of a servant. He was not one of the refined and cultured few, who are waited on and served by others. Our Lord was numbered among the common working men of his day. And among them he was the Servant of servants (Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45).

 

(Matthew 20:28)† Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

(Mark 10:45)† For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

 

In the circle of his own disciples, our Lord always assumed a position of servitude. Where he was most Master, he was most Servant.

 

       He was like a shepherd, the servant to the sheep.

       He was like a nurse, the servant to the child.

 

In the whole course of his life on earth our great God and Savior took the place of a servant, or slave.

 

When our Lord Jesus Christ voluntarily agreed to be our Surety in the covenant of grace, he became Godís Servant (Isa. 50:5-7; 42:1-2; Ps. 40:6; John 10:16-18).

 

(Psalms 40:6)† Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.

 

(Isaiah 42:1-2)† Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. (2) He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.

 

(Isaiah 50:5-7)† The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. (6) I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (7) For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.

 

(John 10:16-18)† And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (17) Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. (18) No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

 

NOTE: The subordination of our Redeemer to his heavenly Father is not due to any natural inferiority. He is God in every way equal to the Father. But he willingly agreed to become the Servant of God in order to redeem and justify his people (Phil. 2:5-9).

 

(Philippians 2:5-9)† Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 

In every aspect of his life and work our Lord showed himself to be Godís faithful Servant. As he was coming into the world, when he assumed our nature, the Son of God declared to his Father that he was coming not to do his own will, but the will of his Father (Ps. 40:7; Heb. 10:5-9).

 

(Psalms 40:7)† Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,

 

(Hebrews 10:5-9)† Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: (6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. (7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. (8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; (9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

 

       Righteousness

       Redemption

       Restoration

 

When he came into this world he took on him the form of a servant. While he was here, our Lord assumed the lowest place among men (Ps. 22:6; Isa. 53:3).

 

(Psalms 22:6)† But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

 

(Isaiah 53:3)† He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

 

As he walked upon the earth, our Savior cared for and ministered to the needs of others. Patiently, our blessed Redeemer endured reproach and affliction, submitting to the will of God (1 Pet. 2:23-24).

 

(1 Peter 2:23-24)† Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

This is truly the position of humility. It is bending to the will of God.

 

Christís Condescension

 

Second, I want us to meditate upon the wonder of our Lordís condescension. The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ stooped to be the Servant of men, the Servant of his servants. The angels must have marveled! We might sooner expect a king to spend his life serving worms. But the King of kings lived upon this earth to serve such worthless worms as we are.

 

       He who is the Lord of all and the Creator of all became the Servant of men (Col. 1:15-19).

 

(Colossians 1:15-19)† Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: (16) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: (17) And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (18) And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. (19) For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

 

       He who was superior, infinitely superior to all, in holiness, wisdom, and power became the Servant of men (Matt. 8:23-27). ó (Loaves and Fishes ó Healings ó Resurrections ó Forgiving Sin) ó He healed as many as had need of healing.

 

(Matthew 8:23-27)† And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. (24) And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. (25) And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. (26) And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (27) But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

 

       Christ Jesus, the Son of God, is our great Benefactor (John 15:16).

 

(John 15:16)† Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

 

Those disciples, like us, were all poor, worthless creatures. Without him, they were nothing; they had nothing; and they could do nothing. He chose them. He supplied all their needs. And he served them.

 

Why? How is it that he who is the sovereign Creator, God and King of the universe stooped so low and bowed to be the Servant of men? What caused him to do so?

 

Christís Grace

 

That is the third thing I want us to see. Our Savior took this place of unparalleled humility because of his great grace toward us (2 Cor. 8:9).

 

There are but two things which will explain our Lordís condescension, his humiliation, and his servitude.

 

(2 Corinthians 8:9)† For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

 

1. Our blessed Savior was and is truly great (Heb. 1:2-3).

 

(Hebrews 1:2-3)† Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (3) Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

 

A little man is always jealous, and fearful of being treated as little as he is. The selfish, self-seeking person always tries to get people to notice him. He will serve, but only if he can be seen and applauded. He is not likely to wash another manís feet.

 

2. Our Lord was among men as one that serves, because he truly loved men (John 15:9; 1 John 3:16).

 

(John 15:9)† As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

 

(1 John 3:16)† Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

 

Love is always happiest when it can do something for its object. It is not toil for love to labor for the one it loves (Gen. 29:20).

 

(Genesis 29:20)† And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.

 

Our Lord is so full of love for us that nothing seems humiliating or condescending to him. ĺ ďFor the joy that was set before him (He) endured the cross, despising the shame. Because our Lord so willingly and anxiously humbled himself, God has highly exalted him as King of the universe (John 17:1-2; Rom. 14:9).

 

(John 17:1-2) †These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: (2) As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.

 

(Romans 14:9)† For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

 

This was not his motive. He was already King, because he was and is God. But this was the reward of his love and obedience.

 

Imitate Him

 

In the last place, I want to admonish you and myself. We who are the children of God ought to follow our blessed Savior by imitating of his love (Eph. 4:32-5:2).

 

(Ephesians 4:32)† And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

(Ephesians 5:1-2)† Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

 

Throughout the course of his life, our Lord left us an example of love, and he has told us to do as he has done.

 

(John 13:12-17)† So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? (13) Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. (14) If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. (15) For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (16) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. (17) If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.

 

The thing that I am driving at is submission, a Christ-like submission, a submission that arises from a heart of love. This submission reveals itself in two areas.

 

Let us conscientiously submit ourselves to the Lord our God and the hand of his providence (James 4:6-10; 1 Pet. 2:21-24). I am not talking about a sullen submission, as a slave submits to his master because he cannot do otherwise. I am talking about the willing, voluntary submission of love.

 

(James 4:6-10)† But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

 

(1 Peter 2:21-24)† For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

And if we love Christ and love our brethren, we should willingly submit ourselves to one another (Eph. 5:18-21).

 

(Ephesians 5:18-21)† And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; (19) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; (20) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; (21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

 

If we would be like Christ, if we would honor Christ, if we would do good for Christís people, we must imitate him. Let me give you a few examples of what I mean.

 

       Willingly choose for yourself the most lowly offices, cheerfully doing anything you can for the good of the Lordís people and the honor of his name. Donít seek greatness and recognition. Rather seek to serve.

       Make love and self-sacrifices the rule of your life (2 Cor. 12:15).

 

(2 Corinthians 12:15)† And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved.

 

For the glory of Christ and for the cause of Christ, walk in love, lay down your life for the brethren.

 

       Look upon one another in love and high esteem.

       Forgive one another.

       Be willing to bear injustice, rather than break the peace of Godís family. Do not avenge yourselves, or grieve others (1 Pet. 2:19-20).

 

(1 Peter 2:19-20)† For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. (20) For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

 

       Select for yourselves that place and position in which you may receive the least and give the most.

       Make it your business to minister, not to be ministered to.

 

Application

 

If ever we realize who and what we are, and realize who Christ is and what he has done for us, we might begin truly to love and serve one another.

 

       The only great One in the kingdom of heaven is He who became least ĺ Christ.

       Let us earnestly endeavor to be like him (Phil. 2:1-9).

 

(Philippians 2:1-9)† If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, (2) Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (3) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. (4) Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. (5) Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: (6) Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: (7) But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (8) And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (9) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

 

When we have done all that we possibly could for Christ and his people, we have only begun to do that which it is our duty to do. May God give us grace to honor one another and, thereby, to honor him, for Christís sake.

 

Amen.