Summary: The example Jesus gives us of humble servanthood
“Christ the Servant”
Intro: Last week, we talked about things that were of more value than they appeared. Remember the $100,000 Tiffany lamp? Remember this clay jar? Remember we talked about Christ as the Secret Treasure? We learned that we should value him. How how you shown that you valued Christ this past week? Hopefully we will show that he holds first place in our hearts this Christmas.
This week, for an object, I have chosen a dishtowel. I realize it’s something that not a lot of people know what it is anymore. And for those who know what it is, not everyone is experienced in using it. We live in an age of fast food, with disposable plates and cups. But when I grew up, the McDonalds’ stores were somewhere between their first and second million hamburgers. We didn’t eat out a lot. But we didn’t do a lot of dishes either. Let me tell you what Sunday afternoon was like in my family growing up.
Now, if you’ve forgotten, I grew up in a family of five boys. I was the youngest, the baby of the family. Sunday we would all come home from church, and we would diligently change out of our Sunday church clothes, and go into the living room to read the Comic section of the paper. We’d turn on the Sunday afternoon movie. And my mom would diligently do her best to feed that hungry pack of wolves. Well, after we had enjoyed a full meal--meat and potatoes, and two to three types of dessert, we would all faithfully do our part. Dad would go in to his easy chair and fall asleep. My brothers and I would faithfully flee to finish our paper and movie, and then go play. And my poor mom, bless her heart -- now, wait till I finish the story to pass judgment on me, I’m sorry for this -- my mom would clean up everything all by herself: clear the table, put food away, do the dishes, etc.
When I got married I determined that it would never be that way in my home. Ronda and I help each other freely. We both cook, clean, clear the table, wash the dishes. Sometimes she does it, sometimes I do it, sometimes we do it together. It all depends on what’s happening at the time. The key is this: It’s not a question of role or responsibility, it’s a question of service.
That’s what this towel represents: service. And as we think about Christ today, I would remind you that he came as a servant.
Let’s read Philippians 2: 4-11. READ TEXT!
Here is the example of Christ for us. This morning as we think about this baby in the manger, we want to remember this baby, born the King, foretold by angels, conceived by the Holy Spirit, worshiped by wise men, came to be a servant to all. How much more then, should we follow his example. Let’s consider
I. The Example of Jesus.
A. He was God. - You might say, “Some example - I can’t be God!” That’s right! But let’s look at what he did, even though he was God. It says being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. Really what that’s saying is that Jesus was God. Even as a human baby, he was God. But he didn’t use it as a trophy or something to hold over other’s heads. He didn’t have the Pharaoh syndrome: you know, lie down on the couch, someone fanning him, someone feeding him grapes. Jesus never said, “Hey guys, come on, get me something to eat. After all, I’m God’s son, you know. You don’t want to fish all day and not get anything do you?”
That’s what we might do if we were God. But remember what he did? He was concerned because the people had nothing to eat, and he fed thousands. He washed the feet of his disciples. John 13 - 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. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
So, he doesn’t show off his power as God. Next, it says he made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant. This was a choice he made. He was willing to be a servant. It’s all a matter of your will.
At holidays my family all gets together. After the meal, all the sisters-in-law help clear the dishes. Not because they enjoy doing it; but because they know if one does something else during that time, they will be complained about by the others. Jesus didn’t serve because he had to. It wasn’t something where if he didn’t become a man the Holy Spirit and the Father would look down on him. He served because he had a willing heart. Do we have a willing heart to serve others?