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Dr. Walter D. Huyck Jr. D.Min.

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To Seek And To Save

 Who Is Greatest?

Luke 22.24-30

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[Leonard Bernstein, the celebrated orchestra conductor, was once asked, "What is the hardest instrument to play?"

   Without a moment's hesitation he replied, "Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists. But to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm, or second French horn, or second flute, now that's a problem! And yet if no one plays second, we have no harmony."] [-- Ben Patterson, "A Faith Like Mary's," Preaching Today, Tape No. 87.] 

A.     What Jesus Declared Himself To Be (vs 29-30, John 13.3, 13; Col 1.16-17; John 5.22,27; 17.2; Eph 1.20-22; Acts 2.36; Philip 2.9-11; John 1.1; 1 John 5.7; Eph 1.20) - The Sovereign [–And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. – Make no mistake about it, Jesus knew who He was and He openly declared it.  He knew He was God and He knew what His authority and power consisted of.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the sovereign Lord of all things, Almighty God.  We are told in,] 

[John 13:3 3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;]

[John 13:13 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.]

[Jesus was fully aware of,]

1.      [His Authority - All things were and are in His hands.  If you question the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, then you need to understand that the Word of God indicates that Jesus has,]  

a.       [All Judgment (John 5.22,27)] 

[John 5:22 22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: ]

[John 5:27 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. ]

b.      [All Life (John 17.2)] 

[John 17:2 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. ]

c.       [All Power (Eph 1.20-22)] 

[Ephesians 1:20-22 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, ]

d.      [All Authority (Acts 2.36; Philip 2.9-11)] 

[Acts 2:36 36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. ]

[Philippians 2:9-11 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ]

2.      [His Augmentation - He came from God.] 

[John 1:1 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. ]

a.       [To Augment means to make greater.] 

b.      [Christ is one person of the triune Godhead.  He never stands alone.] 

[1 John 5:7 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. ]

3.      [His Authentication - He went to God - Seated at the right hand of the Father] 

[Ephesians 1:20 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, ]

B.     What Jesus Demoted Himself To Be (vs 27, Heb 2.9; Philip 2.5-8) - A Servant [– 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. ] 

1.      [He Humbled Himself – He became lower than the angels] 

[Hebrews 2:9 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. ] 

2.      [He Humiliated Himself - The kenosis (humiliating, lowering) of Christ - Took upon Him the form of a servant.] 

[Philippians 2:5-8 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.]

C.     What Jesus Demonstrated Himself To Be (vs 28, John 13. 5, 15-17; James 2.20,26; John 13.17; Col 3.17,23) - Our Standard [- Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations.  To continue with our Lord in His temptations means that we take upon us the struggle that He bore.  The Apostles were wrestling for preeminence, Christ called them to walk in surrender and submission.  But our Lord did not ask them to do anything that He had not already done.  Our Lord was their Standard, as He is ours.] 

[Jesus is our example for,] 

1.       [Action (John 13.5,15-17; James 2.20,26) - He washed the disciples feet.  Jesus became their servant.] 

[John 13:5 5 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 13:15-17 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. ]

[One is not a servant because he proclaims himself to be a servant, one demonstrates he is a servant because of what he actually does.]

[James 2:20 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? ]

[James 2:26 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also. ]

2.      [Attitude (John 13.17; Col 3.17,23) - Happy are ye if ye do them.  Our Lord was not a sad servant, He did not serve grudgingly.  Our Lord served willingly and with joy.] 

[John 13:17 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. ]

[Colossians 3:17 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. ]

[Colossians 3:23 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; ]

3.       [Altitude (John 13.17) - Happy are ye.] 

["Attitude determines our Altitude."] 

D.    What Jesus Devoted Himself To Be (John 13.6-10; 1 John 1.9) - Our Savior [– Jesus did not humble Himself and humiliate Himself so you could abuse Him and take advantage of Him. Jesus became a servant so that He could become your Savior.] 

[John 13:6-10 6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? 7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. 8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. 9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. 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. ]

1.      [We must be Washed by Jesus (John 13.8).] 

2.      [Then we are cleansed by Jesus (John 13.10; 1 John 1.9).] 

[1 John 1:9 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ]

E.     What Jesus Desires For Us To Be (vs 29-30; John 13.14; John 1.12; Rom 8.16-17; 2 Cor 5.20; Matt 18.4; 23.11-12; 1 Thess 5.14-15; Prov 27.17; Isaiah 35.3-4; Heb 10.24; 1 Cor 9.22; Matt 28.19-20; Rom 1.16) [- And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; 30 That ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. ] 

[John 13:14 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. ]

1.      [Declared by God (John 1.12; Rom 8.16-17; 2 Cor 5.20)- To know who we are, Joint Heirs with Christ.] 

[John 1:12 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: ]

[Romans 8:16-17 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. ]

[2 Corinthians 5:20 20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. ]

2.      [Demoted by choice (Matt 18.4; 23.11-12)- To be the Servants of one another.] 

[Matthew 18:4 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ]

[Matthew 23:11-12 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. ]

 [You can tell whether you are becoming a servant
 by how you act when people treat you like one.
-- Gordon MacDonald at a Mastering Ministry Conference(January 1993). Christianity Today, Vol. 37, no. 5] 

3.      [Demonstrators of Grace (1 Thess 5.14-15; Prov 27.17; Isaiah 35.3-4; Heb 10.24) - Cleansing one another in love.] 

a.       While preaching on John 13:14, the duty of disciples to wash one another's feet, Mr. Finlayson of Helmsdale observed, "One way in which disciples wash one another's feet is by reproving one another. But the reproof must not be couched in angry words, so as to destroy the effect; nor in tame, so as to fail of effect. Just as in washing a brother's feet, you must not use boiling water to scald, nor frozen water to freeze them." [-- Charles Haddon Spurgeon, The Quotable Spurgeon, (Wheaton: Harold Shaw Publishers, Inc, 1990)] 

[1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men. ]

[Proverbs 27:17 17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. ]

[Isaiah 35:3-4 3 Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.]

[Hebrews 10:24 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:]

4.      [Devoted to the Gospel (1 Cor 9.22; Matt 28.19-20; Rom 1.16) - Leading all into a closer relationship with Christ.]

[1 Corinthians 9:22 22 To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. ]

[Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ]

[Romans 1:16 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ]



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