SERMON: SERVING ONE ANOTHER
READING: MATT. 25:31-46
INTRO: Be thinking of last Sunday as a door. We closed the door on I Cor. 13:13 behind us but entered a much larger room in the same house- the house of “one another.”
The emphasis was on loving one another and that means I must love you and you must reciprocate to be like Jesus, to obey God, and to be able to carry the Christian I.D.
But love, when it is found in Bible lists, is always in one of two conspicuous places: on the top, where it is recognized as the apex of characteristics or on the bottom where it serves as the foundation upon which all other attributes or spiritual gifts are built.
So we will venture into some other traits which, if we look carefully, we will NOT practice if we don’t love one another.
Paul writes after the spirit of Jesus, “be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you… live in love, just as Christ also love you and gave himself for us” Eph. 4:32-5:2
Not only do these verses share “one another” with us, they also point back to our starting place last week- John 13:35. This is the amazing chapter where Jesus is attempting to prepare his disciples for a future without Him. The scene is simply the washing of 24 dirty feet.
TREMENDOUS MESSAGE IN THE FOOT WASHING EVENT
I) JESUS NEVER SUGGESTED THAT BODY CLEANESS WAS THE ISSUE
A) The Way The Chapter Begins Points To The Spiritual- v 1
B) He Is Simply Going To Wash Their Feet! Yet Showing More
II) HE WAS PREPARING THEM FOR A LIFE OF SERVICE TO OTHERS
A) Service Of This Kind Begins With An Object Lesson
1) If the 12 were UNABLE to see that the lesson
2) Or if they were UNWILLING to submit to one another
3) Then, they would be UNWORTHY of the I.D. of Jesus
B) Service That Passes The Test Incorporates Humility
1) A towel, basin, water, kneeling spelled servanthood
2) And servants did this job, not master or hosts
3) Jesus’message: “Love includes serving one another”
III) HE TOOK A TOWEL AND TAUGHT HOW TO LAY DOWN ONE’S LIFE
A) A “laid down life” is at other’s disposal.
B) Jesus “laid his life down” long before his death
C) John was there and remembers- I John 3:16-18
1) Transition: The 12 were the church in miniature
2) So, this is us humbly coming to a sister’s rescue
IV) WHAT KINDS OF THING HINDER US IN CHRIST-LIKE SERVICE?
A) Failure To Communicate: servant or served.
B) Going Through The Motions With Out A Laid Down Life.
1) Would they have been ready a day earlier? Arguing over who is the greatest, who should sit with Jesus, Peter-v. 37
2) Or us- baptized, attends church, never gave Jesus control
3) ILUST: Grumpy the Servant
C) Pride As The Opposite Of Humility. ILLUST: 2 APPROACHES
D) Not Knowing The Bible Says About Servants.
1) “The 12 were were quick to fight for the kingdom, but none were vying for the towel.”
2) If you don’t read the Bible it may take years to hear a sermon on serving one another- the word of a preacher.
E) Inability to Identity A Good Earthly Example. We may know the foot washing story, but who knows a real servant like this?
V) HOW CAN WE SERVE ONE ANOTHER IN THIS CHURCH?
A) A Servant Is One Who Ministers To The Needs Of Others.
1) Physical- transportation, money, moving, fix broken stove
2) Social- visit, advice, concern
3) Psychological- open ears/closed mouth= confidentiality. Serving out love for one another you may seek to console without judgment or condoning a sin. Maybe share story.
4) Spiritual- again, listen, show concern, try to help. Never go to one person and then use them as example to another.
B) A Servant Works In The House Of Another. Slave or Servant
1) We go out of our place to his familiar surroundings. This may be awkward and you might say the wrong thing.
2) Go to try and help. Never go information-seeking!
C) A Servant Ministers At The Other Persons’ Convenience
1) He or she agrees, sets the time, place right for him or her.
2) Never, “Wait a minute, Don’t I have a say here?” NO!
D) A Servant Does Not Wait To Be Thanked or Reimbursed. You are the servant seeking to be worthy of Jesus’ I.D.
The wonderful truth of the importance and reward of serving God through serving one another comes home to us in the conversation at the judgment day found in our reading for this morning\Matt. 25
EXTRAS USED IN THIS LESSON
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
I John 3:16-18
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 17 But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? 18 Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
GRUMPY THE SERVANT
A man and his wife went to a restaurant where the meanest waitress they has ever encountered was “serving!” She waited on them with the attitude, “My name is Grumpy, and I will be your waitress today. If you need anything, you are just going to have to wait your turn. So don’t push me!” She was in a servant’s position but did not have a servant’s heart.