Welcome


Take a Survey


Help support this site:


Sermon List
Search
About

Login or Register

Luther Sayings

Terms of Use

YAAG
(lectionary)

Newsletter Articles or other writings

BOC readings - 3 year

BOC readings - 1 year

Bible in One Year

Bible in Two Years

5 mins with Luther














Pericope

Sermon List       Other sermons by Rev Hering       Notify me when Rev Hering posts sermons
      RSS feed for Rev Hering       RSS feed for all sermons

You Are Clean

John !3:1-15,34-35

Rev. Kurt Hering

Maundy Thursday
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah

Play MP3 of this sermon

Thu, Mar 28, 2013 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

Like Peter and the rest of the twelve, less the one who betrayed our dear Lord Jesus Christ, "you are clean." This is what Jesus had done to them and what He is giving them that [they] also should do just as [He has] done to [them]." Here in our Gospel text, Jesus is preparing his disciples to go and make people clean, that is, to wash away their sins.

Not only has He given them an example, He has given them a command to do so. He sends them out with authority--the authority of His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to do what He has commanded them to do according to the example He has lived among them.

To hear the entire sermon preached for Maundy Thursday, click on the MP3 audio link provided above.

The audio begins with the Old Testament Reading. The sermon begins at the 14:15 point of the mp3 file.

A servant of the Word and His folk,

Pastor Hering

For those of you who prefer to read or read along while listening, the preaching manuscript follows below.

Nota bene: Sermons are meant to be heard. Some points from the manuscript are explained and filled out during the preaching, so you will need to listen to the audio file to get the full effect.

TEXT:10Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you." 11For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, "Not all of you are clean."

12When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you understand what I have done to you? 13You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you."

34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:10-15, 34-35

Dear Baptized,

Like Peter and the rest of the twelve, less the one who betrayed our dear Lord Jesus Christ, "you are clean." This is what Jesus had done to them and what He is giving them that [they] also should do just as [He has] done to [them]." Here in our Gospel text, Jesus is preparing his disciples to go and make people clean, that is, to wash away their sins.

Not only has He given them an example, He has given them a command to do so. He sends them out with authority--the authority of His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit to do what He has commanded them to do according to the example He has lived among them.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me." John 13:20

Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld." John 20:21-23

"Maundy" is "mandate" from the Latin (mandatum sum), "A new mandate I give to you."--that is, a new commandment. He bids His disciples--and those who would become disciples through their ministry of preaching, baptizing, and teaching--to love one another as He has loved us. That is, to forgive sins in order to make sinners clean.

But is this a new command really? Speaking to the Pharisees, who were once again trying to trap the Son of God, Jesus sums up the commandments this way: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38This is the great and first commandment. 39And a second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 4 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 22:37-40

Speaking also to a group of Pharisees who were seeking to lay a trap in order to kill Him on an earlier occasion, according to St. John, Jesus explained that the Law and the prophets of Scripture in fact speak of and are fulfilled in Him.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from people. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. 43I have come in my Father's name, and you do not receive me. John 5:39-43

So this Maundy Thursday mandate, or command, is really all about what Jesus, the Son of God, is doing and will continue to do with those He has washed clean of their sins, called to believe, and sent out into the world to do likewise. To prove His point, Jesus wraps a towel around His waist, gets on His knees and washes feet--icky, stinky, calloused, filthy feet.

But Peter refuses to allow Jesus to do it. His point? We should be washing God's feet—not the other way around--as if we sinners are supposed to be taking care of God.

But Jesus rebukes and corrects the ever impetuous representative of everyman, "If I don't wash you, Peter, you have no part of Me." Jesus didn't come to have His feet washed. He came to wash sinners, to cleanse them from their sins by His holy life and innocent suffering and death. The command is not about what Peter, or the rest of the disciples, or you or I, or any poor miserable sinner is doing. It is about what Jesus the Son of God is doing and will continue to do through those He calls and sends to do His work.

Jesus, your Savior, the very Son of God in human flesh, has washed you and marked you as holy with the waters of Holy Baptism. He has cleansed every spot, stain, sin, and bit of guilt from you. You are holy as He is holy. You are righteous, as He is righteous. You are the Father's beloved son, just as He is the Father's beloved Son.

Don't look at yourself now, or what you are doing. You aren't the reason you are a child of God. "Fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of your faith," Hebrews 12: towel around His waist, washing His disciples' nasty feet just hours before soldiers will take Him away to die.

This is love: not that you love God, but that He loves you. God doesn't need your loving Him. He's going to be just fine whether you love Him or not. True love is that God loves us and gave up His Son as a sacrifice for us. [1 John 4]

This love is the love that pays no attention to self, not even when that self is being sinned against, mocked, ridiculed, spit upon, cursed, tortured—even killed. It's the love of the Father who gave His Son over to those who did all of that. It's the love of Jesus that suffered all of that. It's the love that doesn't get even, but bears all and forgives all. And this is the sacrificial love He commands of His disciples and all the Baptized, including you and me. 

Of course, this is only possible as Christ lives in us and we live in Him. So when you fail, when you don't love others like Jesus loves you, when you don't fulfill His mandate, have your feet washed again by Jesus. A clean person doesn't need a whole bath, they just need to have what they stepped in scrubbed away. And that is where what Jesus, the Son of God, is doing comes in again.

Run back

• to Holy Baptism, where you are buried with Christ in His death and raised with Him in His resurrection to the life of this new command

• to Holy Absolution, where Jesus washes your feet to cleanse you of that sin you step in every day of your life

• to the Lord's Supper, where you [receive from the Lord what Paul and the apostles of our Lord also delivered to His church, and thus to you today—the new command and mandate fulfilled for you in the New Testament of His very body and blood so that He indeed does live in us and we in Him.

Flee to where Jesus is washing you and be cleansed again. In these things, God brings Maundy Thursday to you, brings you to Maundy Thursday and to loving one another as He has loved you—back to what Jesus, the Son of God is doing, instead of what you the sinner is doing—cleansing you, very last bit of you, and cleansing your neighbor too.

Yes, you are clean. Now go and love one another, and even all people, forgiving each other every sin as you have been forgiven—in the name of the Father, and of the + Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




Unique Visitors: