Meekness Personified

Meekness Personified

Pastor Don Carpenter

2021 Bible Reading Challenge

A large group of European pastors came to one of D. L. Moody’s Northfield Bible Conferences in Massachusetts in the late 1800s. Following the European custom of the time, each guest put his shoes outside his room to be cleaned by the hall servants overnight. But of course this was America and there were no hall servants.

Walking the dormitory halls that night, Moody saw the shoes and determined not to embarrass his brothers. He mentioned the need to some ministerial students who were there, but met with only silence or pious excuses. Moody returned to the dorm, gathered up the shoes, and, alone in his room, the world’s only famous evangelist began to clean and polish the shoes. Only the unexpected arrival of a friend in the midst of the work revealed the secret.

When the foreign visitors opened their doors the next morning, their shoes were shined. They never knew by whom. Moody told no one, but his friend told a few people, and during the rest of the conference, different men volunteered to shine the shoes in secret. Perhaps the episode is a vital insight into why God used D. L. Moody as He did. He was a man with a servant’s heart and that was the basis of his true greatness.”

(Gary Inrig, A Call to Excellence, (Victor Books, a division of SP Publishing, Wheaton, Ill; 1985), p. 98.

From a sermon by Eric Lenhart, Are Your Feet Dirty? 8/12/2010)

One of the reasons I believe that God used D.L. Moody in a mighty way was not only because he could preach but also that he understood Christlike meekness. His story reminds us of the one we just read where Jesus washed the disciple’s feet.  The Bible tells us that Jesus is the living demonstration of the character of God, and the character we are to emulate.

John 1:14 KJV

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Matthew 11:29 KJV

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Albert Barnes gives us the following insight on understanding meekness:

“Meekness is patience in the reception of injuries. It is neither meanness nor a surrender of our rights, nor cowardice; but it is the opposite of sudden anger, of malice, of long-harboured vengeance.”

“Meekness is the reception of injuries with a belief that God will vindicate us. “Vengeance is his; he will repay,” Ro. 12:19. It little becomes us to take his place, and to do what he has promised to do.

Meekness produces peace. It is proof of true greatness of soul. It comes from a heart too great to be moved by little insults. It looks upon those who offer them with pity. He that is constantly ruffled; that suffers every little insult or injury to throw him off his guard and to raise a storm of passion within, is at the mercy of every mortal that chooses to disturb him. He is like “the troubled sea that cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.”

1 Albert Barnes, Notes on the New Testament: Matthew & Mark, ed. Robert Frew (London: Blackie & Son, 1884–1885), 44.

While it may take some work to dig into the meaning of “meek and lowly in heart”, our story before us this evening gives us a living breathing example of what Grace living looks like. Let us get ready to renew our minds as we discover together the picture Christ gave of meekness personified.

Jesus Knew

That His Hour Was Come

John 13:1 KJV

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Who He Was in God – No Identity Crisis

John 13:3 KJV

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 KJV

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

Who Would Do What to Him

John 13:37–38 KJV

Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. 

Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

John 20:24–25 KJV

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. 

The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

John 13:2 KJV

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;

John 13:11 KJV

For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

John 13:26–27 KJV

Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. 

And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

If Jesus knew the grievances committed against Him, yet showed love and grace in humility, all our excuses for withholding grace and kindness are gone. This should affect how we treat:

 • Our cut throat coworker

 • The bully in our life

 • Those whose lifestyle is opposite your own

 • LGBTQ community that may visit our church.

Jesus Loved

 John 13:1 (KJV)

 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

The Sheep

John 10:11–14 KJV

I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 

The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 

I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

The Lost

Luke 19:10 KJV

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

So he used this act of Grace to teach the sheep and to perform one more little act of kindness before Judas was sentenced to Hell for eternity.

Jesus Demonstrated

Matthew 11:29 KJV

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

The Look of a Servant

John 13:4 KJV

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

his outer clothing First-century Jews typically wore two layers—an outside robe and an inside robe against their skin. Here, Jesus takes off his outside robe either because He doesn’t want to get it wet or, more likely, to demonstrate His vulnerability to His disciples, which suggests that love requires a person to be vulnerable. Jesus then ties a towel around his waist, likely to use if for wiping the disciples’ feet.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jn 13:4.

The Action of a Servant

John 13:5 KJV

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.

wash the feet This is an act that only slaves performed. When the master of a wealthy household returned from a journey or, at times, a day of labor, a slave would wash his feet. People wore open-toed sandals in the first century, which would have made this an unpleasant task.1

1 John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Jn 13:5

The Identity of a Servant

John 13:12–13 KJV

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 

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

Philippians 2:7 KJV

But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

Jesus Taught

John 13:15 KJV

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

By Example

John 13:15 KJV

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

1 John 2:6 KJV

He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Philippians 2:5 KJV

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

By Word

John 13:12 KJV

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

1 Peter 5:5 KJV

Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

By Position

John 13:16 KJV

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.

Luke 6:40 KJV

The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.

HE WASHED MY FEET – GREATER VISION

The moment our eyes met

I knew this was the night that I would betray him The precious Lamb of God

No other disciple was aware if my plan

Til He rose from the table with something in His hand

His holy eyes pierced through me

Revealing all my sin

I knew His wrath was coming

And this would be the end

But He bowed and He washed my feet knowing that I was the cause of His grief

When He should have scolded

He whispered peace

As He bowed and He bowed and He washed my feet

Judas would fail Him But he’s no worse than I

The moment I gave into satan’s compromise

Ungrateful that Jesus had saved me from hell

I was walking so proudly and that’s when I fell

His holy eyes pierced through me

Revealing all my sin

I knew His wrath was coming

And this would be the end

But He bowed and He washed my feet knowing that I was the cause of His grief

When He should have scolded

He whispered peace

As He bowed

The king bowed

Jesus washed my feet

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:44 PM November 10, 2021.

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