Service means suffering. Last week it meant physical suffering and death. If you want to be great for God then you must be a slave and be willing to die for him.
Now Jesus shows that service is empowered because of what he gives us. He gives us life and an example. Let us now look at Jesus example.
- We can serve because of the example of Jesus'
- First, he knew what time it was and who he was
- It was his final time with his disciples. He would be crucified in just a few hours.
- Notice his love for the disciples was to the very end, he never once exercised selfishness
- He got up in the middle of the meal and began washing the feet of the disciples, a task they would have done for him but not for each other.
- Foot washing was a menial task
- Sometimes I think we are too much like the disciples, we will do anything the Lord asks us to do but if my parents, teachers, boss or even a friend asks me to do something that is "beneath" me I will resist. Do we sometimes expect others to serve us instead of looking to serve others?
- Jesus' example had theological significance v. 6-11
- Peter did not understand the significance of the foot washing. If they bathed at their house then when they arrived only their feet needed to be clean. What Peter did not understand is that Jesus was showing them a picture of the cross, the place where he would completely empty himself. Once we are washed clean of sin we need only to confess our sin to Christ and that is like washing our feet. We will get dirty, but as we walk with him he will cleanse us.
- This was Jesus living a parable before his disciples. He showed them a picture of the cross
- Jesus' example was for them to follow v.12-15
- It was obvious they did not understand. They wanted to be greater than each other and here their Leader just washed their feet. He tells them to wash one another's feet. He has given the example.
- Teacher, Lord = Lord, Teacher
- The disciples were all trying to be the greatest, is it Peter? Is it James, John, Andrew or one of the others? What about Judas, he is in charge of the money?
- Jesus' example shows us that we are to serve others and not be worried about status. Let's look now at the power by which Jesus served.
- We can serve because of what Jesus gives us
- Jesus could do the most menial task because of what he was given and what he gives to us. Service is taken in two realms.
- Service is done as a means to gain. Like a mechanic servicing your car for money. He is serving you but he is doing so he can get money. I serve tables so I can get a tip. This is where the disciples were thinking. They wanted to be the greatest and were tying to do acts of service to gain prestige. Sometimes, we do these types of things for God. We serve him so he will love us, accept us or forgive us of our sin. We will do something for God if he will do something for us.
- The second act of service is when you serve because you have all you need and you do so without any expectation or need of gain. When you serve food at a Soup Kitchen for the homeless, you do so because you have all the food you need. And you want to give of yourself to people who do not have as much as you. You go to Atria not because you don't have friends or are dying to play some BINGO but because you want to offer friendship and social interaction to people who do not have as much as you do.
- Jesus served out of the second type of service and he did this as an example for us.
- His example shows us we are to serve one another in humility, not as if we are better than anyone in here (Phil 2)
- More importantly, Jesus' example of washing the feet of the disciples was a picture of the cross (Phil 2). His example of service gives us life, it is the CROSS
- If we have been washed by him, that is, if I have given my life to him then I have his life in me (Gal 2:20)
- Because he has been given all things and his life is in me , I am free to serve because I have been given all things. There is nothing left to earn, therefore if I am asked to teach SS or run the PPT then it doesn't matter because there is nothing I can gain. Christ has given me everything and there is nothing left for me to earn because he has it all already.
- I serve because it is an example of the cross. I serve because I live as one who has received everything. Christ gave his life for me and I give my life for others. I will do the most menial tasks because there will come opportunities for me to tell others about the cross. There is something about service and humility which is counter cultural and says, "Hey I am different." It opens the door for you to tell people about all you have been given. If you survey most of the world and ask them what you have to do to go to heaven they will say, "You have to be a good person." These people are living in a cloud of darkness and are trying to serve God by good deeds to gain something they are freely given. Your service will show them the error in their ways. Conclusion:
So lets go wash some dirty feet. Lets go and look for opportunities to serve people who need to know about Christ. Lets consider others better than ourselves and Christ greater than all.