“Do You Love Me Enough?

” April 17, 2014
(Maundy Thursday) Exodus 12 John 1 !1"17, 1#" $%

Some years ago, a coworker who sold Amway loaned me a book about people who had built successful businesses despite significant odds against them. The author believed that the thing that separates most of us from our dreams is not a particular obstacle, but our desire to reach them. e believed that while almost everyone had a dream, most people didn!t want it badly enough to reach it. Most people, he said, were simply not willing to make the sacrifices necessary to reach their dreams and the entire book was filled with e"amples. e told of people who emigrated from an Asian nation and who bought a small restaurant in the local mall. #hile that is impressive, what was even more impressive was how much they sacrificed to own it. They did not own a house, or rent an apartment and they did not own a car. $verything they had, they put into the restaurant. %or months, until the business had grown and they repaid their lenders, they secretly lived in the back of their little mall restaurant, cleaning up in the mall restrooms after hours, and hoping that they wouldn!t get caught by the health inspectors. The author!s &uestion was, 'ust how badly do you want to achieve your dreams( )o you want to achieve your dreams badly enough to do what must be done( * understand that telling this story in church is a bit odd. This is a blatantly capitalistic and materialistic sort of story. And yet, the &uestion asked by that author, is very similar to the &uestion that seems to crop up over, and over, and over again as we prepare for $aster. +ut the &uestion that we hear in scripture isn!t about capitalism, or materialism, or about achieving your dreams, or about money, it!s about love. *n the story of *srael!s e"odus from $gypt, -od commands the people to prepare themselves. They must insure that no food is left over from the night!s dinner, and they are to eat, dressed as if they were ready to travel with little or no notice. And although this may seem odd to them (and to us) the &uestion that -od seems to present to them is, .)o you love me enough to be ready(/ At the conclusion of the same passage, -od declares that .This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord—a lasting ordinance. !Exodus 12&14% A lasting ordinance, an annual celebration that they are to repeat forever, and again -od seems to be asking, .)o you love me enough to obey( )o you love me enough to endure(/ And as we read the story of the 0ast Supper in John 1 !1"17, 1#" $% we can hear 1esus asking the same sort of unspoken &uestions, It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus new that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. !aving loved his own who were in the world" he loved them to the end.
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The evening meal was in $rogress" and the devil had already $rom$ted Judas" the son of %imon Iscariot" to betray Jesus. & Jesus new that the Father had $ut all things under his $ower" and that he had come from 'od and was returning to 'od; ( so he got u$ from the meal" too off his outer clothing" and wra$$ed a towel around his waist. ) *fter that" he $oured water into a basin and began to wash his disci$les+ feet" drying them with the towel that was wra$$ed around him.

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And in this simple act of service, 1esus actions seem to ask the &uestion, .)o you love me enough to be humble(/ And 3eter really wrestles with this. There is a part of him that desperately wants to be important. e wants to #e somebody. +ut,
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!e came to %imon Peter" who said to him" -Lord" are you going to wash my feet./ Jesus re$lied" -1ou do not reali2e now what I am doing" but later you will understand./ -4o"/ said Peter" -you shall never wash my feet./

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Jesus answered" -5nless I wash you" you have no $art with me./
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-Then" Lord"/ %imon Peter re$lied" -not just my feet but my hands and my head as well7/

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Jesus answered" -Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. *nd you are clean" though not every one of you./ 88 For he new who was going to betray him" and that was why he said not every one was clean.
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:hen he had finished washing their feet" he $ut on his clothes and returned to his $lace. -;o you understand what I have done for you./ he as ed them. 8& -1ou call me <Teacher+ and <Lord"+ and rightly so" for that is what I am. 8( 4ow that I" your Lord and Teacher" have washed your feet" you also should wash one another+s feet. 8) I have set you an e=am$le that you should do as I have done for you. 8, >ery truly I tell you" no servant is greater than his master" nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 80 4ow that you now these things" you will be blessed if you do them. And again, as 1esus commands his disciples to do what he has done. As he commands them (and us) to serve one another, he asks us, .)o you love me enough to put others first(/ Jesus said" -4ow the %on of ?an is glorified and 'od is glorified in him. &# If 'od is glorified in him" 'od will glorify the %on in himself" and will glorify him at once.
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-?y children" I will be with you only a little longer. 1ou will loo for me" and just as I told the Jews" so I tell you now@ :here I am going" you cannot come.
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-* new command I give you@ Love one another. *s I have loved you" so you must love one another. &) Ay this everyone will now that you are my disci$les" if you love one another./ * am going to say that again because * want to make sure that you heard what * hear right there. Bveryone will now that you are my disci$les" if you love one another./ $veryone will know that you belong to 1esus i' you love one another. This is perhaps one of our greatest challenges, and greatest failures, as the followers of 1esus. )oes everyone in our neighborhood, and everyone in our schools, and everyone where we work simply (no) that

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we the followers of 1esus( *f not, there!s a good chance it!s because we don!t love like we should. *t!s easy to love ourselves, but 1esus has called us to love others. #hen 1esus says that they will know us by our love, he is asking us, .)o you love me enough to love others(/ As we share communion at the 0ord!s Table this evening 1esus asks us again. *n 1 *orin+hi,ns 11&2 "23aul said,
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For I received from the Lord what I also $assed on to you@ The Lord Jesus" on the night he was betrayed" too bread" #( and when he had given than s" he bro e it and said" -This is my body" which is for you; do this in remembrance of me./ #) In the same way" after su$$er he too the cu$" saying" -This cu$ is the new covenant in my blood; do this" whenever you drin it" in remembrance of me./ #, For whenever you eat this bread and drin this cu$" you $roclaim the Lord+s death until he comes. And like the &uestion that was asked of the *sraelites when they were commanded to remember the 3assover, today 1esus asks us, .)o you love me enough to remember(/ 1esus! disciples loved him enough to fight for him and one of them even drew a sword to protect him. They loved 1esus so much that they swore they were willing to die for him, and yet, when he was arrested, most of them disappeared into the darkness. $ven 3eter, 1esus! closest friend, three times, denied he even knew him. 0ike the disciples, we are good at proclaiming that we love 1esus, but we are not nearly so good at ,.+ing like we love 1esus. And still, * think the &uestion that 1esus asks his people is not simply, .)o you love me(/ e asks, .)o you love me enough(/

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6ou have been reading a message presented at Trinity 7nited Methodist 8hurch on the date noted at the top of the first page. 9ev. 1ohn 3artridge is the pastor at Trinity of 3erry heights in Massillon, :hio. )uplication of this message is a part of our Media ministry, if you have received a blessing in this way, we would love to hear from you. 0etters and donations in support of the Media ministry or any of our other pro'ects may be sent to Trinity 7nited Methodist 8hurch, 5;<; 0incoln #ay $., Massillon, :hio ==>=>. These messages are available to any interested persons regardless of membership. 6ou may subscribe to these messages, in print or electronic formats, by writing to the address noted, or by contacting us at subscribe?trinityperryheights.org. *f you have &uestions, you can ask them in our discussion forum on %acebook (search for 3astor 1ohn :nline). These messages can also be found online at http@AAwww.scribd.comA3astor 1ohn 3artridge. All Scripture references are from the Bew *nternational Cersion unless otherwise noted.

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