Summary: Two questions: 1) Who should be servants? 2) How are they to be servants? (Material adapted from Bob Tinsky's book, A Christian Is..., chapter 3, pgs. 41-49; and Rick Warren's book, A Purpose Driven Life, Day 33, pgs. 257- 264)
A minister was approached one Sunday by a man who expressed a desire to be a member of the church where he preached. In his conversation with the preacher he said: “I want you to understand that I am a very busy man and don’t want to be called on for any service such as committees, visitations, teaching in the Bible school or singing in the choir. I would like to be spared from anything that would require time. Then too, don’t expect me to be present for the worship services too often.” The minister thought for a moment and then replied: “You’re at the wrong church. The church you’re looking for is down the street a few blocks.” The man followed the preacher’s directions and soon came to an abandoned, boarded up, closed church. A church without active members is a dead church no matter how many are on the rolls.
Thesis: Two questions: 1) Who should be servants? 2) How are they to be servants?
Who should be servants?
Jesus is our servant, two pictures show us this:
1. Jesus bending to wash dirty feet at the Last Supper
“so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him.” “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:4, 5, 12-15
2. Jesus hanging on the cross, taking the punishment for our sins- “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”” Mark 10:45
Jesus washed the apostles’ feet and commanded them to do likewise, apostles are servants.
“For it seems to me that God has put us apostles on display at the end of the procession, like men condemned to die in the arena. We have been made a spectacle to the whole universe, to angels as well as to men. We are fools for Christ...” 1 Corinthians 4:9-10, NIV.
Because of their service, the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:20, NIV.
Elders are to be servants. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow-elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers--not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:1-3, NIV.