Caring for the Brethren – Part 2

How to ‘Love the Brethren’

John 13:34


Aug 24, 2014 AM

Pastor Craig Ledbetter

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.       Introduction (Galatians 6:10; John 13:34)


A.    Our memory verse this month is Galatians 6:10

B.     Trying to learn HOW to do good to the household of faith… How do you “do good” to people who are fellow followers of the Lord Jesus Christ?


1.      Do just go around giving people money?

2.      Or feed them food?

3.      What good should we all be doing for one another?


C.     Now… The World doesn’t mind if we do good to them… feed the poor, tend to the sick, build homes for the homeless – it is a great testimony to them of the love of God

D.    But there is a greater good we can do, when we care for each other – when we demonstrate just what Christ’s love really is like – and it is shown when we love each other, as Christ loved us!


1.      It helps homes – a church is an example TO homes

2.      It helps people, especially those who have never experienced unconditional love

3.      It helps our cities to know what is REAL love  - instead of only seeing fake love on TV and in the movies, and sung about on MTV!


E.     But in order to love the brethren, we need to learn HOW


1.      It is NOT something we will do naturally

2.      We may THINK we are loving people, when we may in fact be SPOILING them, or ruining them, or hurting them

3.      So, God not only commanded us to love, but He tells us exactly HOW to do it in this Book!

4.      And it is more than I can ever hope to summarise into a message, and it is more than I can ever hope to accomplish

5.      But I will attempt both, by God’s grace!


F.      Our pattern to follow is “as Christ has loved US


II.    Last Week


A.    We learned about BROTHERLY Love – not just ‘love’ in general


1.      Believers, born again Christians are all in the same family now, by the new birth

2.      So, Love AS brethren - like families are supposed to! Love each other like they are a brother, or a sister, a Mom, or a Dad


B.     We Learned that Loving the Brethren, Loving Other Christians, is a Command!  It has been called, the Eleventh Commandment, and for good reason!

C.    We Learned that HOW We Love Each Other is a Command Too!


1.      Jn 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

2.      We may believe we are loving someone, but rarely do we take time to learn the right way!

3.      God took the time to fill this Book with all the ways to love the brethren!


D.    We Learned that Loving the Brethren is Our Greatest Testimony to this world!


1.       John 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, IF ye have love one to another.

2.      All people, everywhere, no matter the culture, no matter the differences, will notice Christians loving each other like a family!

3.      It proves to the world that we are following, living like Jesus taught us to live

4.      And that we are loving each other as Christ taught us to love!

5.      It proves that Christ’s way to live is the best!


E.     We Learned that Loving the Brethren is a Test of our love of God


1.      We SAY we love God… But have no time or affection for the people in this room?

2.      We say we love God… But still harbour hatred towards a brother or sister in Christ? A family member?


F.     We Learned that Loving the Brethren is an opportunity to prove our love for the Lord Jesus!


1.      Mat 25:40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


G.    We Learned that Loving the Brethren is Proof that we have been Truly Converted


1.      1Jn 3:14  We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

2.      Not because we have conquered every sin in our lives

3.      NOT because we are so theologically correct – which we should be

4.      But because we amazingly LOVE being around other Christians!


H.    We Learned that Loving the Brethren Restrains Satanic Attack!

I.       We Learned that Loving the Brethren keeps you young and healthy


III. This Week – Part 2 - HOW to Love the Brethren

IV. Background (Philippians 2:5-7)


A.    Philp 2:5-7 Jesus “took upon himself the form of a SERVANT…”

B.     What a statement!

C.     You see, there is a caste system in the kingdom of heaven! A way that society is divided in God’s eyes!


1.      It is the opposite of the way things operate HERE in THIS kingdom!


a.       This world, our culture, applauds wealth and success, and talent

b.      This world’s measure of greatness is fought for, striven for, and earned!

c.       The world’s kind of love is given, in order to get something in return


2.      But that is NOT how God’s system works!


a.       The GREATER you get here, in THIS kingdom, the lower the position God honours you with in His kingdom!

b.      The more you love, the less you are loved back!


3.      Do you realise that… in God’s kingdom…


a.       The greatest people are NOT those who live well, and preach well, and accomplish all their goals in life?

b.      But rather, the special ones are the weak ones, the ones who can’t fight for themselves?

c.       The greatest lovers are those who love the unlovely, and the hard to love?

d.      And the greatest leaders, are the servants of all?


D.    It is the Last Supper (John 13:1)


1.      Jesus is gathered with His disciples for the Feast of the Passover – a 2 hour meal!

2.      They ate the roasted lamb, and bitter herbs, and retold the Passover story

3.      They sang the Psalms, praised God for all His protection and goodness


E.     But, In the midst of it all (John 13:1-3)


1.      In the middle of all the singing, feasting, celebrating of this highlight of the year…

2.      The disciples were arguing, and fighting over who would be the greatest in the kingdom…

3.      Judas was becoming totally possessed by Satan…

4.      And with the long night in the Garden of Gethsemane facing Him; with the mockery of the Sanhedrin; and the beatings in Pilate’s Judgment Hall; and ultimately, the crucifixion of the cross, all ahead of Jesus…

5.      These words are written…


a.       He loved His own

b.      And He loved them to the end!


6.      Jesus Loved His Own (Mark 3:31-35; John 1:10-12) – Thank God Jesus claims them!


a.       Jesus loves those who believed on Him, not just “IN” Him – everyone claims to believe IN Him, but they do not TRUST Him and follow Him!

b.      Jesus loves those who are born again into His family

c.       Not all people.


1)      God so loved this world John 3:16 says

2)      But if you are not born again, He will not love you to the end – there WILL come a day where you will be judged for your sinful lifestyle and rebellion against God


d.      You better become ONE OF HIS OWN! That’s why Jesus said ye MUST be born again!


7.      What KIND of Disciples did Jesus Love?


a.       Think about it – we imagine they were all saints, with orbiting halos over their heads…

b.      None of them were “great men” – they came from all backgrounds – fishermen, carpenters, political zealots, farmers, tax collectors, and mostly unknown men from tiny communities from the back of beyond!

c.       Some were married, some were not

d.      Some had great faith – some had no faith at all!

e.       They constantly argued selfishly about their own future positions and power

f.       Ended up denying knowing Him

g.      One cursed His name

h.      They ALL forsook and abandoned Him when He needed them most

i.        They ALL misunderstood Him

j.        THESE were the family members Jesus LOVED to the end!


F.     Jesus then demonstrated HOW He loved them! As OUR example of how to love each other


V.    Message


A.    Jesus, the Lord of Heaven, WASHED 24 Feet (John 13:4-5)


1.      While everyone was still talking, and eating, and laughing

2.      Jesus Rose Up Alone

3.      Laid Aside All That He Had – all that He owned (His clothes)

4.      Took on the Form of a Servant


a.       Put on a simple towel around His waist

b.      Filled a basin with clean water


5.      And He Began to Wash Feet


a.       He lowered Himself, to the level of a person’s feet

b.      He lifted each foot, and began to wash each with His own hands, rubbing out soil and dirt, and sand

c.       After cleaning each foot, He would wipe them with the towel that He was wearing – that very same towel!


6.      Think about this!!!


a.       Normally, NO ONE EVER DID THIS!


1)      If you entered someone’s home, there was usually a bason at the door filled with water for you to dip your feet in when you entered – you washed your OWN feet

2)      Only the VERY RICH might have someone standing at the door to pour water over someone’s feet and dry them – but this was a luxury almost no one had!

3)      Today, this custom, of washing feet is still seen in Asian homes where people automatically take off their shoes when entering a house


b.      And yet here was Jesus, the Lord from Heaven, the Creator of the universe, the promised Messiah, King of kings and Lord of lords… washing people’s filthy, dirty, stinking feet with His own bare hands!


7.      What kind of a God would wash and wipe the FEET of mere mortal sinners with the very towel that He was wearing?

8.      OUR kind of GOD! AMEN!


B.     Only ONE of His Disciples Resisted – Peter Obviously! (13:6-9)


1.      Around that Passover table Jesus slowly moved, washing foot after foot

2.      There was only silence – absolute shock and awe by everyone in this room

3.      No one moved; no one said a thing

4.      That is until Jesus knelt at PETER’S feet!

5.      That’s when Peter Stopped Jesus!

6.      He questioned Jesus – what are you DOING Lord?


a.       Are you actually going to wash MY feet?

b.      This is not right – AND IT WASN’T, if you are going to like by the rules of THIS world’s kingdoms

c.       I am a sinner, and YOU are LORD (Luke 5:8) – a good attitude to have


7.      He hinders Jesus - Peter forbids Jesus – THOU SHALT NEVER WASH MY FEET!


a.       “It just ain’t right!”

b.      Peter was not mainly interested in what he could get OUT of Jesus

c.       He was willing to give His life for his King

d.      Peter was ready to wash Jesus’ feet, but could not ever imagine allowing his Lord to wash his own!


8.      But, Jesus HAS to Do This – He was Compelled! And it is THAT Important


a.       This was something new

b.      What I do, you cannot understand right now

c.       But you will soon enough

d.      But if I am not allowed to do this for you, then you cannot be my disciple!


9.      He LOVES Jesus! With those words, Peter accepts it completely, and says, “wash every part then!


a.       Peter SO wants to follow Jesus

b.      I wish all of US wanted such as well!


C.    Jesus Finally Explains (13:10-16, 34,35)


1.      Christ’s family members are already washed – cleansed – forgiven


a.       Not by water, but by the blood of the Lamb of God (John 1:29)

b.      Not by works of righteousness which we have done – not by all the prayers, the giving, the sacrifices

c.       But by Christ alone, taking yours & my sins upon Himself and nailing them to the cross


2.      All of the disciples were clean – “every whit” – every part – completely!


a.       That is what salvation does for a person

b.      It CLEANS them completely – nothing left to do, but accept it


3.      Except for 1 person – Judas – never was saved! Water will never do him any good at all!

4.      We just need our “feet” cleaned from time to time

5.      What a truth!


a.       A person gets saved by believing on Jesus Christ

b.      But a Christian still gets dirty, soiled, affected by the world in which they walk from day to day – what they see, hear, feel, struggle with

c.       And often, then should keep their own feet clean, shouldn’t they!

d.      But Christ calls ALL believers to make sure they are keeping each other walking, in fellowship, right with each other and with God


D.    Jesus Commands Us (13:13-17)


1.      Jesus is our Master, Lord – He OUGHT to be! He has EARNED that title!

2.      Now, IF Jesus, who is the Lord, the King of everything; if HE has washed your feet…

3.      Then you should all wash each other’s feet!

4.      It is THAT simple!

5.      Jesus is our example – no one else


a.       Jesus said, Do as “I” have done unto you

b.      In the same WAY, and for the SAME reasons


6.      Jesus says, I command you to wash each other’s feet

7.      You CAN’T get out of this – none of us can


a.       Some of you excuse yourself from soul-winning (too busy, too tired, not good at it)

b.      Some of you excuse yourself from tithing

c.       Some of you excuse yourself from serving

d.      But if Jesus, as our LORD has commanded us ALL to do these things, then there is no excuse – no way out of it

e.       Especially when it comes to LOVING, CHERISHING, PREFERRING one another!

f.       NONE of us are greater than Jesus

g.      Whatever the MASTER does, whatever the King does, must be done by all


1)      When a king stood, all stood with him

2)      When a queen laughed, everyone laughed with her

3)      When a king entered a room, everyone stood

4)      Everyone had to wait to eat until the king had reached for his first bite

5)      The same ought to be today when an older person enters, when a woman who is a guest stands, when a woman enters a room, when we sit down to eat


E.     Jesus Reveals the Greatest Benefit of this Attitude towards each other – JOY! (John 13:17) So, in other words, you will never know real JOY until you love this way


VI. Application


A.    What will you do now? What will YOU do now?


1.      Go on in life, without any sorrow for the hardness in your own heart? For how uncaring you are?

2.      Try to live ABOVE the Master and think being a SERVANT is beneath someone like you?


B.     What will you do with other believers? Let me tell you what you SHOULD do!


1.      Claim them as Jesus did – they are family – none perfect, all needing to be loved, prayed for, and sacrificed for

2.      Love them – as Christ has showed us

3.      To the end (Heb 13:1) – quit finding al the faults and reasons to stop loving one another


C.    How Should we love one another?


1.      By Rising up – even if you are the only one – up from the world’s way

2.      And then Go Low –take on the form of a servant


a.       Lay aside all that you own and claim to own

b.      Take the form of a servant – an attitude we all need to constantly have


3.      Then, DO the lowest things – the HARD things


a.       Not sinful things, but possibly the most embarrassing

b.      Wash people’s feet

c.       Cleanse their daily walk – pray for them, encourage them with Scriptures

d.      Husbands – instead of washing your car, wash your wife’s feet (Eph 5:25,26)

e.       Wives, instead of just washing your husband’s clothes, wash his feet – keep them encouraged, keep them trusting God, and walking with God!

f.       Teens – wash your parent’s feet – they giet dirty just like you do, and need some encouragement, and kindness by your towards them that MIGHT help them in a big way! You NEED them to stay right with God!

g.      Hey CHURCH! Wash your pastor’s feet. He is flesh and blood just like you, and needs to be prayed for, and encouraged, and kept right with God!

h.      Hey! When people are in YOUR presence, they should come away knowing their feet have been washed!

i.        Listen to someone, go shopping with someone, help and bless them in the way that THEY want or need to be – walk along side, keep them going

j.        Keep your own mouth shut – stay humble, instead of so opinionated!


4.      Take Christian’s dirt on you


a.       Get dirty trying to keep other believers walking with God

b.      Allow people to wrongly affect you, to hurt you, to misuse you

c.       Just make sure you are making THEIR lives better


5.      Do this to everyone who claims the name of Christ


a.       First to this local assembly of believers

b.      Especially to those who you see as lower than you (Philp 2:3; it is easy to honour those who you see as ‘above’ you)

c.       Even to those who hate you, or have hurt you

d.      Knowing that they will probably hurt you again in the future

e.       Love those who are NOT born again – like Jesus did to Judas

f.       Everyone needs this in their lives


6.      Don’t expect people’s understanding or appreciation at first – maybe never!

7.      And, No one is exempt! Not if you are a follower of Jesus!


D.    There are actually FIVE benefits of loving one another this way


1.      It shuts people up – stops the infighting, the arguing – focuses people on the reality of Christ’s kingdom

2.      It cleans up a lot of people’s daily lives

3.      It proves our love for Christ, and for His Church

4.      It earns perfect rewards in heaven

5.      It produces GREAT joy in everyone who just loves other believers


E.     Only God’s kind of love, can change anyone! Has it changed YOU? If it has, it will show


1.      You and I need to seriously Grasp the love of God – ponder it for a week!

2.      Get to the place where you receive it, like a thirsty man accepts a cup of water

3.      Allow it to change you first

4.      And then start to love the people that Christ so dearly loves!