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Jesus Demonstrates and Demands Humility

Jesus Demonstrates and Demands Humility

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



John, xiii. 13, 14.

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
ought also to wash one another's feet.
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.



John, xiii. 13, 14.

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
ought also to wash one another's feet.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 04, 2013
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JESUS DEMONSTRATES AND DEMANDS HUMILITYBY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.John, xiii. 13, 14.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; yeought also to wash one another's feet.Of all the words and actions of our Lord that havebeen recorded in the Gospels, there is none, per-haps, more remarkable, none more unlike everyother system of morals with which we are ac-quainted, than the action alluded to in the text.It was done deliberately and purposely for our in-struction ; to leave us a lesson of a particular kind,such as Christ well knew that we most needed.Indeed, it is a lesson which we all need, the oldand the young alike ; we need it at every time of life, we need it at every age of the world, we needit in every condition of society : but yet, if therebe one period of life, one age of the world, onecountry, and one particular condition, in which itbe particularly wanted, I may say with truth thatyours is that period of life, and that ours is that ageof the world, that country, and that condition.SERMON XVI. 149Some of you have heard me, on other occasions,dwell on the fearful contrast between the effectswhich Christianity ought to have produced, andwhich are spoken of in Scripture as its naturalconsequences, and those which have actually flowedfrom it. Our Saviour said, " By this shall all men
 
know that you are my disciples, if you have loveone towards another." This love of one anotherwas to be the mark and seal of Christians ; it wasto distinguish them from other men ; so that thosewho were not Christians, looking upon their lives,and seeing them free from the jealousies, the quar-rels, the violent and bad passions of other men,might confess that God was in them of a truth,and that so heavenly a fruit could proceed from no-thing else than the tree of life eternal. Now, if we look through history, or if, without going tobooks, we look round upon our own neighbourhood,nay, even if we come still closer home, and look round our own household, upon those with whomwe cat and drink daily at the same table, nay,if coining nearer still, we look upon our very ownrelations, the parents, the wives and husbands, sonsand daughters, brothers and sisters, between whomlove might surely be expected to reign, what isthe sight that we shall witness? But better andmore fitting is it to look into one place which willspeak more clearly and certainly to us than all thepest: lot us each look into our own hearts, and ask 150 SERMON XVI.our consciences what we find there. Alas, mybrethren, if he only dwelleth in God who dwellethin love, surely we are not in God, nor God in us.Even the kindest and most benevolent of us all,they in whom, to the eyes of others, nothing' un-gentle, nothing uncharitable is visible, even withthem the heart knoweth his own bitterness ; theyknow and God, who is greater than their heart,knoweth also how much that is harsh, and selfish,and violent, and unkind, mingles itself with theirinmost spirit ; how far they are distant from thatperfect love with which God loved us, and with
 
which we ought also to love one another.But the text speaks of one particular kind of love more especially, the love of our poorerbrethren. It must have been a solemn lessonwhich our Lord chose to teach so earnestly onthat last night of his presence with his disciples ;and which he not only gave in words, but expressedit in a most significant action, to impress it thedeeper on their minds and ours. Observe theconnexion of the words of the Evangelist : " Jesus,knowing that the Father had given all things intohis hands, and that he was come from God, andwent to God :" what did he upon this knowledge ?Did he reveal to them some high mysteries con-cerning the divine nature, such as kings, and pro-phets, and sages had long desired to learn ? No :41 he riseth from supper, and laid aside his gar-SERMON XVI. 151meats, and took a towel, and girded himself.After that he poureth water into a bason, and be-gan to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe themwith the towel wherewith he was girded. Thiswas what Jesus did, " knowing that the Fatherhad given all things into his hands, and that he wascome from God, and went to God." Surely nodiviner comment could be given upon the words of the Scriptures, that " God is love, and he win*dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God inhim!" A command so given and so enforcedmust surely have been of the deepest import-ance : " If I, your Lord and Master, have washedyour feet, you ought also to wash one another'sfeet."I call this text a command to one particular

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