John 13:16

Robert Hawker

My soul! dost thou want some sweet, some tender, some more than ordinarily interesting view of thy Jesus, this evening, to draw out all the finer feelings in love and adoration of thy Redeemer? Look at him then in the moment in which this scripture represents him, in his lowliness and meekness, washing the disciples' feet. Had I the power of drawing the most endearing portrait, Jesus should be my one and only object; and for a subject of the most finished kind, the humbleness and tenderness of Jesus, the Lord of life and glory, washing poor fishermen's feet, should be the picture. And what, my soul, tends if possible, infinitely more to endear and bring home to the heart this unparalleled condescension and grace of Jesus, is, that it was, as the evangelist relates it, at a time when Jesus knew that all things were given by his Father into his hands: that is, all things relating to his mediatorial kingdom; that he should give eternal llfe to as many as the Father had given him; and in due time take out of his kingdom all things that did offend. Was there ever a more lovely, a more engaging instance shewn, than by the great Redeemer of the world, in this condescending act? Well might the astonished apostle cry out, in the contemplation of it, "Lord! dost thou wash my feet?" – My soul! pause over the subject, and consider it well; and when thou hast duly weighed the matter, let it be asked, what condescension, what grace, what love, what mercy, will Jesus think too great for the salvation of poor sinners? Oh! that I had the power of persuasion, with any poor broken-hearted transgressor, to convince him that there is nothing to keep a soul from Jesus but unbelief. I would say to such an one, my brother, Oh! make trial only of Jesus's love. The greater your unworthiness, the greater will be the grace of Jesus, in his mercy towards you. And the lower the Son of God bends down to wash a sinner, the higher surely will he be in the sinner's love and esteem. Let it be asked, through the whole church of Christ upon earth, who loves Jesus most, but the sinner to whom Jesus hath forgiven most? Let it be inquired, through the realms of heaven, whose song of redemption is the loudest and the best? and the reply must be, the song of those who were most low upon earth when Jesus first stooped to wash them. Oh! thou blessed Immanuel! thou, the Lord our righteousness! never let me forget this instance of thy grace to poor sinners, but do thou cause it to be my daily encouragement to come to thee, and under the same conviction as the apostle, to cry out, "Lord, wash not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."


Robert Hawker

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