Article based on a sermon given 25 March 2006

Christ and the Footwashing

by Jon Bowles

(PLAY FROM START)

I don't know about you, but there are some quite unusual things that are found when you are deleavening. Things down the back of the sofa, for instance. I think we came across one of the most unusual we have had so far; in one of our ornaments, one of our vases on the window ledge, there was a dead bat! I don't know how long it had been there, but it looked very, very dry.

We have bats that roost in the eaves of the house right up near the chimney, and we also have some skylights which we leave open during the summer, and these things fly in every now and then. They get themselves confused, and they fly in, and you're ducking your head while they're flying round the room and you're opening the door and trying to drive them out. Obviously one must have got in when we didn't know about it. We might have been away, I don't know. I have no idea how it got in there. But it met a sticky end in one of the vases.

Turn over to I Corinthians 11:26. We find here this instruction that applies to this time of year, where it starts:

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." (I Corinthians 11:26)

This is the essence of the Passover. This is why we have the two emblems that are for physical and spiritual sin because it's showing the death of Christ; and the death of Christ was for sin. It wasn't 'Christ in us', it wasn't all these other elements that people tend to bring in there. But the emblems themselves are a memorial of His death:

"Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily [or in an unworthy way], shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup." (I Corinthians 11:27-28)

So the examination that we are supposed to do is something which allows us therefore to eat and to drink. It is not something to stop us. It is not something to see whether we are worthy ourselves, but in fact it is the way in which we are to partake of the emblems.

"For he that eateth and drinketh [in an unworthy manner - is probably better translated], eateth and drinketh damnation [or judgement, Strong's G2917] to himself, not discerning the Lord's body." (I Corinthians 11:29)

Then it goes into the section regarding the Lord's body. Now regarding the booklet 'Passover Examination' - you can download it on the website. It is a transcript of a sermon Mr Armstrong gave back on the 4th of March, 1982 on Passover Examination. In that sermon, he goes into the subject of examining ourselves. If you haven't heard it for a little while, it's worth listening to it. If you've got the booklet, it's worth going through the booklet and reading it and taking notice of what he explains there.

But the key area that we need to be examining is repentance, as he brings out. He goes into the fact that even Simon Magus, the head of the very false church - he was nothing to do with the Church at all - but he believed and was baptized. That's what it says over in Acts 8:13, and yet he had not repented.

And it was the repentance; have we actually turned to the way of God? Turn over to John 13:12. This passage - certainly we will be reading it in the Passover itself - and in addition it describes an event which forms part of the Passover:

"So after he had washed their feet [the footwashing is being referred to], and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you [do you understand what this is that I have just implemented, or just actually done]? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (John 13:12-15)

Now we look at that in today's language and we look at this section where it says; "You call me Master and Lord, and you say well, for so I am." (John 13:13). What does that convey to you? What does that mean? It means, "I'm high and mighty"; that is basically what it conveys to me. But in fact, it is probably best to put another word in there, to get the real meaning of what it really means. If you said; "You call me [Headmaster, Strong's G1320] and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am." (John 13:13). That puts a totally different twist on it. It puts the fact that He is a teacher. The word for master is a teacher, somebody who instructs, that's what it comes from originally. And it is the fact that we are disciples, and these were disciples here, disciple means student. Here are students and here is the Master, the Teacher doing something which is part of the curriculum, part of the actual lesson. That is what is being explained and expounded here:

"Ye call me [Teacher] and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and [Teacher], have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you [like an apprentice; Here, let me show you how to file this particular piece off, now you have a go]. 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 [these were apostles here that were sent]. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." (John 13:13-17)

Now that forms a basis of the foot washing ceremony that we will go through in Passover, just a few weeks away. What I want to do is, I want to examine this aspect. It is part of the examination process. It is really the aspect of turning to Christ's example, because there are things that Christ did, things that Christ implemented that we can look at. We can look at Christ's example; one of which is this foot washing certainly. It will all revolve around the foot washing because that is the first element of the Passover that we actually come into.

Those of you who want to, can download this file from the website; 'Discerning the Stages of Passover' that goes through each stage of Passover, which I gave 5th April 2003. This is the first stage, but there is much, much more to this stage, than purely foot washing. It is what is the example of Christ? Because Christ was using this particular example as an instructor, as a teacher to the disciples, of which we are students also, and teaching us certain lessons through it. So, as part of our preparation for Passover, I would like to do today, just examine this aspect of looking at Christ's example. There are five areas that I want to go into are:

Humility (PLAY FROM 09:41)

When we are looking at the subject of humility, certainly John 13 and the foot washing itself is a lesson in humility completely. The fact that He gets on His knees and He washes the feet. There is not much else, without being rude, that you can wash that is more degrading than to go and wash somebody's feet in a normal situation. So as far as foot washing is concerned, it is a lesson in humility. If you want to put in your notes, where Christ says; "...learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart..." (Matthew 11:29).

It's the lowliness of heart. It's the fact that His heart was different from the normal human heart. It was something which was subject to God in all respects. He says; "If you get this right, this meekness, this humility correct then He says; it will give you rest." He will allow you to be released from the problems we do have.

Let's go back to Mark 9:30 because this occurrence here in John 13 wasn't just a one-off incident. Note that in Luke 22 we find that while the actual foot washing was going on, there was a contention amongst the disciples, amongst the students, who was going to be greatest. Here in Mark 9:30, this is something that had been going on for some considerable time:

"And they departed thence, and passed through Galilee; and he would not that any man should know it. For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day. But they understood not that saying, and were afraid to ask him." (Mark 9:30)

So He made it quite clear what was going to happen when He got into Jerusalem. Here He was walking through Galilee, which is several miles north of Jerusalem. He was walking through Galilee on His way to Capernaum, and was talking about this to them:

"And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest [so even here they were arguing amongst themselves, this was the big argument]. And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all. And he took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when he had taken him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me." (Mark 9:33-37)

It's interesting - just as an aside - here is a man with a whole bunch of other men there, picking up a child, sitting him on his lap and explaining something, with the child in his arms. That is natural. In today's society, we have an unnatural society. It's just a casual mention here, there is nothing unnatural about it at all. But you know, we are in a warped society, I'll comment on that a little bit later on. But here Christ is explaining to the twelve that "No, there is a certain attitude of mind, an attitude of humility". It would have been a young child mentioned here; "Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me." (Mark 9:33-37).

In Mark 10:35 we can see this same thing going on yet again. Again, the context in around verse 32, as they were on their way going up to Jerusalem and Jesus went before them. Before they had been going down into Capernaum, going back to the house. . He is talking there about how they are going to condemn Him to death, deliver Him to the gentiles who will mock and scourge and spit on Him and kill Him, and on the third day, rise again. So there is the context, and in that context:

"And James and John, the sons of Zebedee, come unto him, saying, Master, we would that thou shouldest do for us whatsoever we shall desire. And he said unto them, What would ye that I should do for you? They said unto him, Grant unto us that we may sit, one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left hand, in thy glory." (Mark 10:35-37)

That's all, nothing else! That's all we want! Skip over to Mark 10:41:

"And when the ten heard it, they began to be much displeased with James and John. But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister [now minister being a servant, a slave, somebody who ministers, somebody who goes in there and serves at tables or whatever]: And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many." (Mark 10:41-45)

Now why is He saying that? Because just before, that is what He was discussing with them. He was saying; "Look, I am going to go to Jerusalem, and on the way to Jerusalem, I'm going to die." It's all to do with paying the price.

As I have brought out before, this concept of when you have children older than a very young age, and for example you've got a cake, or gateau or something that they really, really like; and they want to go ahead and have a piece. You can make life totally miserable, by giving one child a slightly larger piece, just minusculely larger than the other child's. The one that gets the smaller piece, you can guarantee he will not enjoy a mouthful, at all, because there is contention there. It is foolishness. Can he not enjoy that? Can we not enjoy what we have? But because someone has a piece bigger than me, I'm going to go ahead and be miserable.

You can see it also in the cars that we drive. You can see it in human nature generally. You can see it here laid out, even within the disciples, that were being students for the Kingdom of God. They were going to rule in the Kingdom of God. He certainly brings this out over in Luke 22. Will that attitude of mind be something that goes into eternity? You see that attitude of mind has got to stop. That frame of mind has got to be put to one side. Every single one of us, that's not just children fighting over a piece of cake. That is not the case. Every single one of us has that same proclivity, that we want to go ahead and appear to others to be a certain way. We will try and protect this image of ourselves. That is something that every single one of us does. Turn over to Philippians 1:29, he is talking here about their adversaries:

"For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;" (Philippians 1:29)

Talking to the Philippians, because they were going through trials at that time, Philippians 2:1:

"If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind [the whole Church is to be of a unified approach, and the way that happens is;]. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory..." (Philippians 2:1-3)

He was talking earlier on; "Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:" (Philippians 1:15-16). It doesn't make any difference. The fact that Christ is being preached, that's sufficient. He then moves on. He goes on into something else. But here in Philippians 2:3 it says:

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves." (Philippians 2:3)

Now that is something that we don't do naturally. It just isn't done. We don't do that. We try and protect the image that we have.

I was reading an article in Readers Digest about orange peel. It's a really old edition back from the 1960's or thereabouts. This lady said that she always remembers this time when her ex-boyfriend came round with his wife that he just married and she was was immaculate and they arrived at the wrong time - the dog had just been sick on the floor, and in the middle of the floor was this old orange peel. It just kind of stood there. She tried to surreptitiously kick it away with her foot. You know how an orange peel curls. Well, it got clamped onto her foot, and she was trying to shake this thing off. What her husband said, when he finally got home was; "Don't worry, you probably made their day! The new wife will feel she doesn't face any competition - because obviously he had been dating her before - and the husband is probably also thinking about the same." As long as you put yourself to one side, you can just kind of cope with that. So the standing joke at the household from then on was; "Think of orange peels." Philippians 2:3 says:

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves [get the mind off of ourselves]. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:3-5)

His mind was on others, it wasn't just on Himself. As we will go on and see, even while He was actually being arrested, His mind was on other people. His outlook was different. It wasn't a normal human outlook. When we are looking at the subject of repentance - which is turning from one way to another way - and you are turning to the way that Christ was, because He is the example, this area of humility is a crucial area for every single one of us.

"Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God ["In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1). He is part of the very Godhead. His life was a spirit life]: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a [slave, a] servant, and was made in the likeness of men:" (Philippians 2:6-7)

So instead of having life inherent, He actually became flesh. Don't ask me how it all worked, I don't know. But He literally became flesh. It wasn't just a case of some kind of 'theophany' that kind of floated around down here, which is the heresy of Simon Magus. That is not what happened, He literally became flesh. What He was before became flesh and instead of a spirit existence, He had a physical existence. Philippians 2:8:

"And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8)

Now that really does take some doing when you think about it. When you think about what He gave up; and He put Himself down for you and for me and we are going into Passover. We will be taking the Passover and we need to keep these things in mind.

When we get on our knees and we wash somebody else's feet, we need to make sure that this turning to Christ's example is part and parcel of that. That is what we are doing. It is a repentance. That's what we're doing with foot washing. We're showing that repentance, that we have turned. I am not saying we have done it perfectly. Paul mentions, not that he has actually succeeded, but he; "...[press] toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ." (Philippians 3:14). That is what he is looking for. Because of that, because of becoming obedient to death Philippians 2:9 says:

"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."(Philippians 2:9-11)

So what He did, this attitude of mind, allowed the Father to say; "Right, He can be completely and totally in charge over everything else", under the Father Himself. That same attitude of mind is something that we also need to have.

A Living Word (PLAY FROM 23:55)

And the attitude of mind comes from a Living Word. We find that attitude of mind within this Book. We find the words, but it is a Living Word. This is the example of the foot washing. This is why He is the teacher that is giving an example to His students, His disciples of a certain key principle at the evening of the Passover, which we go through every single year. And it is something that every single one of us needs to look at, certainly at this time as part of examining ourselves.

As far as this Living Word, He is described as The Word; "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God..." (John 1:1). The Word, the Logos, the One who gave all these Words. If we turn back to John 8:30 we find how the Word is literally crucial, it says:

"As he spake these words, many believed on him." (John 8:30)

We've got that, not just within the churches outside, we've got it within what used to be the True Church. It is interesting, I actually went onto a website that somebody sent me, with a link to an outside church with all these happy-clappy type of people with their hands all up in the air, yelling and everything else inside the Ambassador auditorium. This is what is going on, this charismatic sect. "As he spake these words, many believed on him." (John 8:30). A lot of people profess that - they believe on Christ, they believe in the person of Christ. John 8:31:

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my [students] indeed ;" (John 8:31)

You see, when you are looking at the foot washing, you are looking at an example there of Him giving instruction by example. Look at what He had actually done. It says here; "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my [students] indeed;" (John 8:30). Remember what He said in the beginning of John; " "In the beginning was the Word..." (John 1:1). It's not just the Word here in the New Testament, it's the Word way back, right back to Genesis as well. John 8:32:

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. [Verse 43 now;] Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word [you can't understand what I am saying]. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do [there is an obedience necessary there]. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it." (John 8:32,43-44)

Why couldn't these people understand the Word that Christ had for them? Because they were doing, acting in a different way. They were acting in a way which was contrary to it. Therefore the understanding would not be there. God is not going to grant understanding to people that go away in a diametrically opposite direction.

It has got to be a Living Word. So when we come to services, when we sit down and get our Bibles out and read these Words, reading them isn't sufficient. It's taking them and putting them in our lives as well. This is what Christ was doing. He was saying; "Look, I'm going to give you an example," and the example was the foot washing. John 8:47:

"He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God." (John 8:47)

There are two different trees, two ways, two completely alien, opposite ways. Turn over to John 15:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. [Verse 3] Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. [Is that all that's necessary? No, there is the doing as well, notice verse 7] If ye abide [live, stay] in me, and my words abide [stay, live] in you [it is a Living Word that is necessary. Just having the words, knowing them, parroting them off, learning great swathes of scripture isn't enough], ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my [students]." (John 15:1,3,7-8)

That is how you will be my students. Here is the Master, the Teacher, instructing students, and it is the Words that He is giving that are giving the instruction to the students.

It's interesting that when you are looking at education today - what is happening in education today? My wife was talking to a shop assistant and there was a reel of ribbon there, I think it was a hundred foot reel, and it was two pounds. One of them had been used and there was only sixty foot left, making sixty percent left on this reel. So my wife thought; "Well fine sixty percent of two pounds, that sounds fine." "Oh no, that's four pounds." "Four pounds, why?" "I'm only allowed to sell part reels by the yard." "You're selling that complete reel at two pounds, why are you going to sell this one at four pounds?" But no budging, absolutely no budging. That's education today - you get somebody to go and tick the boxes off, go along their little path, and that's all they know, that's all they think. They don't use the brain at all. The brain seems to be missing from the process in some way.

Let's turn back to Deuteronomy 6:20 and understand something about God's method of education. When I say God's method of education, remember who we are talking about here:

"And when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies, and the statutes, and the judgments, which the [Eternal] our God hath commanded you? Then thou shalt say unto thy son, We were Pharaoh's bondmen in Egypt; and the [Eternal] brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand: And the [Eternal] shewed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Egypt, upon Pharaoh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers. And the [Eternal] commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the [Eternal] our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the [Eternal] our God, as he hath commanded us." (Deuteronomy 6:20-25)

So the righteousness was to keep the Word of God. But how was the instruction given? How was the child trained in that righteousness? How did that occur? What did God say? You have to go back a few verses into Deuteronomy 6:4:

"Hear, O Israel [Shama, Strong's H8085]: The [Eternal] our God is one [Eternal]: And thou shalt love the [Eternal] thy God [remember the One that dealt with them was the One that became Christ, He was the Logos, He was the One that gave this Word] with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart [this is the aim, this is what is looked for]: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

That is how teaching is done. This is what Christ was doing. He said, "Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me a teacher, You call me Lord, and so I am. If I have done this to you, then you should do it to each other." You should apply the same principle. Within the Passover service, when we are looking at the first part of the Passover service, when we get on our knees and wash somebody else's feet, that is picturing the repentance. It is picturing this turning. Have we turned? I'm not saying we've done it perfectly. As I say, we examine ourself. We look at the way we are growing in this grace and knowledge; it is a growth process.

God's method of teaching is certainly by example. It is certainly, even from these early days, back in Deuteronomy 6, you do it when you talk, when you sit in your house, when you walk in the way, when you lie down and when you rise up; day in and day out. In our own case, with our children, that is how we should be teaching. We should be teaching God's Way. We should be applying the Way of God to whatever situation we happen to come across.

That Way of God is a way of outgoing concern . Certainly, when we are looking at it, it's not just a humility, not just going into the slums in Calcutta, and like an ascetic which certain religious groups do. They will put themselves into some horrendous positions like that, because they are ascetic in nature. They will try and serve in that way to get 'Brownie points' because of the asceticism. It's a form of Gnosticism. It's a form of the division of soul and body, the division of this immortal soul and body. You punish the body in order for the soul to be righteous; this kind of nonsense. That is not the way of Christ. In Luke 22:47, we see Christ didn't have any 'Brownie points' for doing this, it was just the way He was:

"And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear [he must have taken a swipe at him and when he ducked or whatever, the right ear came off; and Jesus said 'Enough's enough']. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him." (Luke 22:47-51)

So He told Peter to put his sword away. "Don't you realize that I can get twelve legions of angels." How many is twelve legion of angels? Well, a legion is about six thousand, so that's seventy two thousand angels. "Couldn't I go ahead and get that if I wanted it?" He touched the ear and He healed the ear. Again, it was something He didn't have to do. Luke 22:52:

"Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness." (Luke 22:52-53)

They came out when it was dark. They wanted to keep it undercover, because the things were illegal. Remember Mr Pippy's sermon that he gave, explaining that these trials, and there were a series of trials that He went through; each one of which was illegal. It was all an illegal a set-up job. Christ knew that and yet within that same context, His concern was this guy who just had his ear chopped off. Whether He just healed the area, or whether He put the ear back on, or how it actually worked, it doesn't say; but He did heal him. It was part and parcel of the way He was, His outlook on life. We find also in Luke 23:33, if we notice it says:

"And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary [or place of the skull] there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots." (Luke 23:33-34)

You might think looking at that, that He just said; "Father forgive them." No, that's not what it says; the actual tense being used on the word 'said' is a progressive tense. It is that He kept saying that. Perhaps when each nail went in, He said that to try and get His mind focused on what in fact was important, on a certain Way of Life. Because again here it says; "...they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23:34). He was fulfilling the scriptures that you find in Psalm 22 and in that psalm it talks about many other things as well; "Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion." (Psalm 22:12-13) and the spirit world that He was up against.

So even in the position that He was, all the time His mind was one which was outgoing, which was love, which is the kind of mind that a God has. The kind of mind that we, if we are to become brothers and sisters with Christ also need. So that when we look at foot washing and the attitude of mind and the repentance involved, turning to this example, this is all part of it. It is a case of turning our life in a certain direction. It is the same type of life that Christ had. The same kind of mind that Christ had, as Philippians 2:5 says:

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" (Philippians 2:5)

Love Extending to Enemies (PLAY FROM 39:36)

If we turn back to Matthew 5:43, we find that Christ even in saying that, and continuing to say that, was merely doing what He had already instructed. You will find also that if you go back into the law, you will find the same thing being mentioned about being concerned for your enemies; "If thou see the ass of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldest forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him. (Exodus 23:5). That was written into the very Law itself, into the Torah. Here where He is giving the spiritual intent of the Law, we see:

"Ye have heard [so it is an oral law, it's not part of the Tanakh] that it hath been said [this is what the Pharisees and other people were saying], Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you [here is the interpretation, here is the Way in which the Spirit begotten mind of a potential God needs to look at this subject], Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father [that is the way God is, that is the way a God in human form is. And that is the command to us - to become a God in human form] which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?" (Matthew 5:43-47)

We've had a case where we had somebody locally who had a grudge against us; and every time they went past, they wouldn't wave. We just kept waving; we actually got a wave out of them the other day. As it says; " And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others?..." (Matthew 5:47). That is the thing we need to do if we are in a local community and somebody locally doesn't like us, for whatever reason. And many times it is because of religion, many times. We don't know what the reason is for this particular case is. We theorize, but we're not quite sure. Matthew 5:48:

"And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." (Matthew 5:47-48) That is the order. That is the way and direction which we are to be aiming, that is what we are looking at, that is what we are looking to.

Turn over to I Peter 2:18. When we go into the foot washing, this needs to be in our mind. This fact that we are turning from a normal reaction into the kind of reaction that Christ had, because that is what we are; He is the firstborn of many brethren, and we are to be the many brethren:

"Servants [or slaves], be subject to your masters with all fear..." (I Peter 2:18)

Interestingly - do you know what the word masters is in Greek? It is 'despotes', (Strong's G1203;) from where we get the word despot. That is not the word that is used for Christ. It is a totally different word being used where it says; "...I your Lord and Master [Teacher]..." (John 13:13-14). This word is different; (Strong's G1320.) I Peter 2:18:

"Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 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 [because that is what we need to do - we need to make sure that we react in the right way, whatever happens on the other side]. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin [so there was no justification for the execution and torture of Christ; none whatsoever], neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not [though we tend to]; but committed himself [or committed His cause] to him that judgeth righteously:" (I Peter 2:18-23)

This is the key, this is what we will come into in the next point. The key is that we have to make sure that our centre is right. That we are God-centred. Christ committed His cause to God who judges righteously.

Now these aren't academic things. This isn't just some academic exercise or some idle spiritual exercise. Let me just read something that I came across this past week. This is from an article in 'The Times' the 20th March 2006, which was last Monday. It says:

"You're a husband and your wife is in danger of burning to death. What would you be willing to risk? There is surely only one answer - everything. In December last year, David Collinson did just that. He rushed into a smoke-filled flat in a burning building and saved his wife. 'Fire Hero' was what 'The Times' actually called him, and rightly so." That was the headline in 'The Times'. There was a problem however:

"Three police officers tried to prevent Mr Collinson from entering the building, and he then threatened one of them with an imitation firearm that he happened to be carrying because he was woken up by the noise of the fire and he thought he might be hearing burglars. As soon as he had rescued his wife, he apologized to the police. Even so, he was prosecuted and jailed for one year."

Now there are certain things that are actually happening within the world. Another article as well. It is from Wednesday 22nd March 2006.

It says; "A police force has stopped investigating less serious crimes unless they are racist or homophobic. Theft, criminal damage, common assault, harassment, non-domestic burglary are among offenses being screened out due to manpower shortages. But officers are allowed to make an exception for any such incident judged to be motivated by race or gay hatred."

In other words, if you can make sure that it's something to do with somebody who is criticizing homosexuality, then you can go ahead and prosecute. But, if it's somebody who just got burgled, or somebody who has just been beaten up in the street or common assault or harassment or non- domestic burglary, or criminal damage - smashing some lady's fence - you don't go ahead and do anything about it.

"You would then classify as aggravated and qualify for the more serious treatment by police and the courts."

You see, what is happening is that there are laws being made - and what's our reaction to something like that? Our reaction to that is anger to say the least, and rightly so. But you know, where does the line get drawn? Do we allow the anger to overspill, to consume us against this? Or is it something that we start to understand, that God is allowing this to happen? He is allowing the world to go in a certain direction. But there is a deviant thinking which is on the increase. It is a deviant, twisted, mental process. And that twisted mental process is becoming worse and worse and worse in society.

Here - when we are looking at Christ - even when He was in an illegal trial, He had somebody who was supposedly His friend come up and kiss Him on the cheek to go ahead and betray Him. And He had washed the feet of that individual just before, and He was about to die for all of these people, and yet He behaved in a certain way. Can we do that? Have we turned? Have we really turned yet?

This is why when we come to Passover and we say; "Have we really repented? Have we really turned from our way to God's Way?" This is a yearly occurrence. This is not something we do when we are baptized. It is something that happens every year. We start the Passover with the foot washing, because it is a symbol, a symbolic gesture, that we are given to remind ourselves of the direction that we are to turn in. The direction is the very mindset that we see there personified within this individual, Jesus Christ. This mindset that He is the firstborn of many brethren. Many people that are going down that same route with the help of His sacrifice that allows them to then become very sons and daughters of God.

Another thing from the news - a child was drowned this past week. The child was in nursery, got out of the nursery and they found him in some kind of garden ornamental pond. There was a builder who saw that child wandering the streets alone and was about to go to help, and thought; "No because if I do that, I'll be charged for child abduction." You see how sick our society has become. That builder has now got to live with the fact that, that child died in the pond. Because of a deviant society.

We just read that incidence where Christ called the child, set him on His lap, gave him a cuddle, and there was no problem at all. That was an evil society; but we have no concept of how evil the society in which we are living is. We have no concept I think, and it is going steadily down further and further. There is a deviant thinking, a deviant mindset that is there that is twisting all natural affections.

Yet, how do we behave? Do we behave as Christ did; when He touched the High Priest's servant's ear, and healed him, even though the guy was coming out with swords and staves and everything else, to arrest Him? When He says in Luke 23:24:

"...Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do..." (Luke 23:24)

When He knew that He could have seventy two thousand angels if He asked for it. There was a reason; that the time had actually come. Or, do we go into fury when we see things like this? Do we leave things in God's hands, or are we politically active? We had better be careful, we had better be very careful. We should not be politically active. This is not our time. This is not our fight. We had better make sure that we don't try and fight and do something now, because Christ left it to the One who judges righteously. I Peter 2:22:

"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself [or committed His cause] to him that judgeth righteously:" (I Peter 2:22-23)

That is what we have got to do. We have got to do that.

God-Centred Human life (PLAY FROM 52:22)

It is a case of getting our centre right, getting our centre sorted out. This is all part of the examination process prior to Passover. Turn back to Habakkuk 3:17:

"Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat [no food]; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls [the very food supply is under threat, we are in absolute, abject, total chaos in this earth. That is coming on this earth, all the food supply is going to fail]: Yet I will rejoice in the [Eternal], I will joy in the God of my salvation [my rescue. Why? Because we are looking forward]. The [Eternal] God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places..." (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Or to tread down upon high places. He will give me a perspective which is different in this earth. That is what is going to have to sustain us. When we look at the things that are happening in the world, when we look at the direction that the world is going in, and we see a society that is more corrupt, by far than Christ's society was in a moral sense. Yet when we see that, we can see in this verse here, there is a view that we are going to have to have. We are going to have to get ourselves above it. A view as I said; in Ephesians 1 and going into Ephesians 2, where it talks about when He has granted us to 'sit in heavenly places' (Ephesians 2:6) It is the heavenly perspective. It is the perspective that God has on the situation, allowing us to have that same perspective.

The surrounding verses here in Habakkuk, talks about how Christ returns. This entire 'blues song' in Habakkuk 3 is to do with Christ's return, and to do with how He will put down the nations. He will just flatten them, completely flatten them. We have got to allow ourselves to have the heavenlies perspective. Let's turn over to Ephesians 1:1:

"Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in [heavenlies] in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world..." (Ephesians 1:1-4)

The sermon I gave on 'Predestination' 4th March 2006 goes into being chosen before the foundation of the world. Notice going into Ephesians 1:20:

"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the [heavenlies. So here is Christ having this perspective] Far above all principality, and power, and might [and so on]..." (Ephesians 1:20-21)

"The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." (Psalm 110:1). It goes into Ephesians 2:5 and says:

"Even when we were dead in sins, hath [made us alive] together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in [heavenlies, in this higher perspective on life] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 2:5-7)

So this perspective that we have now of looking at the world and being able to look at the world in the context of what is coming within this world, is something that is unique to God's true people. It is unique to have the full perspective that has been given to God's true people.

That allows us to look at ourself in the right way, it allows us to look at others in the right way, and also the world outside in the right way. It puts the whole thing into perspective. It allows us to see what is coming in the world and it allows us to read news articles like these and to see what is coming in this world now, and being able to look further down the line, understanding that, that has got to come before the very Kingdom of God arrives. So we can see, as it says; "...seen them afar off...and [we] embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth." (Hebrews 11:13). We are not politically active. We don't dabble in the politics of this society.

Christ when He was in the Garden, said over and over again; "...if it be possible, let this cup pass from me..." (Matthew 26:36-44). Here was this human life that was totally God-centred. He was focused on the Ways of God. It wasn't something that just happened when He was about to be crucified. It was something that goes right the way back, as we will go and have a look at. In the Garden of Gethsemane He says; "...nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. (Matthew 26:39). He continually prayed that over and over again, three times, for about an hour each time. By the time He had been there for about three hours, everybody else was asleep. He was then prepared to go through with what He needed to go through, and the people came out against Him with swords and staves and everything else.

But here in John 4:31, let's just look at some of the concepts that Christ had. The way that Christ was totally focused in God and His Way. Again, leaving us an example, so that when we come and look at this example of the foot washing, it's not just a case of doing it to another individual, another human being, it's doing it the way that Christ did. He was totally God-centred:

"In the mean while his disciples prayed him, saying, Master, eat. But he said unto them, I have [food] to eat that ye know not of. Therefore said the disciples one to another, Hath any man brought him ought to eat? Jesus saith unto them, My [food] is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:31-34)

Do we have that kind of perspective on the work that we have been given to do? As far as I'm concerned at this present time, it's to feed food in due season. That's why this sermon is being given right now. That's what I have got to do. That's why we've got the websites. It's so people can get up there on the websites and find material rapidly. Eventually it will be to other people outside because there may well be a case that it will go into highways and byways. That doesn't mean that we are going to go ahead and preach the gospel to the world as a witness. That's already been done. But it says here; "...My [food] is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work." (John 4:34). Do we have that view? Are we centred on that? Are we God-centred? Turn over to John 5:28:

"Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of [judgment]. I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:28-30)

That was His focus. That's where His centre was; the will of God that sent Him, the will of the Father. This wasn't just at the end. It wasn't just when He had to combat Satan, it was all the time. His focus - He would get up and He would pray. If He hadn't got His prayer in sufficiently during the day, He would pray into the evening. That's the indication that you get. When you find that He is very busy, you find that His prayer pattern was to go out to the hills somewhere. Do we?

My grandmother had a saying; "At the end of the day, when you've time to play you will find you are far too tired." In other words you get to the end of your life and you find you can't do all the things that you'd like. My mother used to turn it round and say; "At the end of the day when you've time to pray, you will find you are far too tired." That is true. Do we put a priority on prayer? Is it there? Do we get it in, when we can in the morning? But in John 5:30 it says:

"I can of mine own self do nothing [this is Christ speaking, of Himself, He can do nothing]: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30)

In John 6:37 it says:

"All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me [His entire aim was to do His Father's will]. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day." (John 6:37-39)

So the ones that He will call, that didn't include Judas Iscariot obviously, then He will raise them up. Go over a few pages to John 8:28. Again, I'm hitting some of the high spots here where Christ is talking about this subject, about the fact that He is centred, completely centred on God and His Ways and His Way of life. He is giving us an example that we should follow in His steps:

"Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things [He is totally centred]. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him." (John 8:28-29)

His entire life was completely centred on that. He looked upon the world that He was in as a stranger and a pilgrim. That's what it says over in Hebrews 11:13. Do we? Or, are we part and parcel of it? Turn over to John 12:27:

"Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour." (John 12:27)

Again, He recognized that this was the purpose of His life. This was why He had come to this particular time. John 12:44:

"Jesus cried and said, He that believeth on me, believeth not on me, but on him that sent me. And he that seeth me seeth him that sent me. [Verse 49] For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak." (John 12:44-45,49-50)

He was totally, completely and utterly dedicated. It wasn't just the time at the end of His life, it was from the very beginning, all the way through; "...How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" (Luke 2:49). He was twelve years old, and He was totally focused! He had this complete and total focus right the way through His life.

The Foot Washing Example (PLAY FROM 1:06:31)

This then - from here in John chapter 12 - flows into the foot washing in John chapter 13 which we will come back to. Turn back to Luke 6:12, and we will see the selection process, and here again we see Christ who prayed all night.

"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God [whatever it was, was important, the thing that was important, you find in the very next verse]. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples [His students]: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;" (Luke 6:12-13)

Those that have been sent. These apostles were the ones who are going to be sitting on the thrones of the twelve tribes of Israel with the replacement for Judas. Notice in that group in Luke 6:16:

"And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor." (Luke 6:16)

Christ specifically chose Judas. He knew who was going to be the traitor, unquestionably. He didn't chose a group that might possibly go traitor - might not. Ridiculous! He knew very well Judas' proclivity. What did He do? He gave him the money. He allowed him to be the treasurer. He gave him the money and allowed him to have the problems that were obviously going to come from that. You might say; "Well He set him up." Well; Judas was going in that direction anyway. He was carnal, but the others were also carnal. If you go back in John 13:1 it says:

"Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper [having occured], the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;" (John 13:1-2)

So all these things had taken place. All set up, and He was about to go into this section. If you notice over in John 13:18, it says:

"I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. [He knew one was going to betray Him and He knew who it was going to be. Verse 26] Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor." (John 13:18,26-29)

The others had no idea even though He had been talking about what was about to happen. It just didn't seem to register. John 13:30:

"He then having received the sop went immediately out: and it was night [Judas is gone, and He is talking to just the disciples]. Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment [this is a new way, it is the spiritual intent of the Law] I give unto you, That ye love one another [yes - ]; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." (John 13:30-34)

As I have loved you, that's how you have got to love one another. It's not just that you love one another. But you love one another as I have loved you. That's what is new. It is of a level that is far greater. As we come toward the Passover, we are looking at implementing this and seeing a repentance to this standard. When we get on our knees at the foot washing, we recognize who it is that's giving the instructions here, as the Teacher, as the Headmaster to the disciples, to us as students. John 12:35:

"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." (John 13:35)

It's that type of love, this kind of love. The same kind of love that Christ had for us as well. Turn over to Luke 22:24, which I have referred to before:

"And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors [they do it for selfish ends]. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at [food], or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at [food]? but I am among you as he that serveth." (Luke 22:24-27)

This was all in the same time when He washed their feet. All of that time there was this contention. He was explaining this particular contention and the way in which they had to handle it. Luke 22:29:

"And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:29-30)

If we get a handle on this, we too will be able to be ruling and reigning with Christ in the right way, because He is the One that instructs us. He is the One that we turn to as an example. So going back to John 13:2 again, we find how the washing of the feet included Judas. As it says:

"And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him [so Judas Iscariot was there]; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God [so here He was with this understanding of the position that He had within the very Kingdom of God;] He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded." (John 13:2-5)

Here was the example that was being given. We find in verse 10;

"Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all [so He had washed Judas Iscariot's feet, there is no question of that, Judas Iscariot was there;]. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. 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? Ye call me [a Teacher, you call Me a] Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and [Teacher], have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." (John 13:10-15)

Here was this example, and the example we are being given was an example of humility. Foot washing was the lower slaves job. It was the example of a Living Word. It was an example of applying the Word of God in a Living Way. That's what was being done. You could see that actually in action. It was an example of love to the point of loving your enemies> because here was Judas also having his feet washed. He didn't make any distinction between them. So, you could see that also. It was an example of a totally, utterly God-centred life. The culmination of a totally, completely God-centred life.

He did that for us as an example. He put it into the Passover service and allowed us to see that, and to see the difference between our way and this standard. This is why we have to do it every year. This is why as we grow, year by year, becoming more like Christ, we can then evaluate this and we can look at ourselves and say; "Well how have we grown? Have we turned? Have we repented," because repentance isn't just a one off.

Repentance is continual throughout our human life. We turn from our own human way, from a carnal way, from a normal way, from Satan's way. That's what we're turning from. We turn to this example of Jesus Christ so; "...that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29) as it says.

So it is not just Christ by Himself. But it is Christ and brothers and sisters with Him who are thinking the same way. So, we are looking at God reproducing Himself. It is the beginning of the Holy Day Season. It is the beginning of God actually reproducing His character in clay. That's what He is doing. That's what He is actually accomplishing.

So we should be examining ourselves at this time, and one thing that we have is this example. We need to meditate and think and go over the scriptures we've had a look at today, and meditate about just what this example is, and then partake of the Passover. Realize that it is not us being perfect -yet, but it is turning. It is turning to that perfection. Here is that perfection;

"Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord [Christ - our Lord and Teacher]; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him [the apostles were being sent at this time]. If ye know these things, happy [blessed] are ye if ye do them." (John 13:16-17)