Summary: Serving God with everthing you have and with all you are can bring you joy. Especially since you see that Jesus did the same.
The Scene: 12 Men lined up at a table (they would be laying …)
Jesus: roles up his pant legs and wraps a towel around his body to use... pours water into a basin and begins washing his disciples feet. Slowly and diligently wash each persons feet and when you get so far begin speaking… “Peter, don’t say that I shouldn’t wash your feet. You have no idea what I am doing and how significant it really is. Just sit down, watch and listen and you will understand soon enough.”
Jesus: “If I do not wash your feet, you have no part in me.”
Peter: “Then wash my hands and even my head as well.”
Jesus: “You have already had a bath and do not need another. Your feet are dirty from the journey. You need only clean them to make yourself completely clean. Most of you here are clean but not all of you. One of you is not clean at all.”
Once you have finished washing their feet. Get up and sit down on a chair next to them and begin talking to them. “Do you understand what I have done? You call me teacher and Lord; and you are right for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you.”
Stand up and turn around to the audience and begin speaking.
“Truly, Truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
Jesus asks his disciples if they understand what Jesus was doing. Do you understand the great significance of the Son of God getting down on His hands and knees to serve a bunch of men who didn’t deserve it? Jesus just did one of the most profound acts in His entire ministry. He did not come to earth to become a king over Israel or to rule the people in the synagogues. Many would have liked to have made him into a king, wearing big crown and leading the people in open revolt against Rome. They even tried to crown him once. Jesus would have none of it. He did not come to be a king but to serve. What does that say to us? If God himself came to earth and subjected himself to humiliation as a servant, what should we do with our lives? Let me give a phrase to catch on to this idea; You will find joy in service.
We are continuing our short series on stewardship. Today we are covering the idea of finding joy through being a good steward of yourself. Last week we covered finding freedom through financial stewardship. The whole key to the ministry and life of Jesus was service. He loved to serve people and see the effects it had upon their lives and in turn he received joy from seeing how much they benefited. However, there are at least two major opponents to a servant mindset; selfishness and pride. These two are the arch nemesis of finding joy in service. Let’s look at these opponents first to see how we can avoid any pitfalls.
Selfishness: “I shouldn’t have to do it.”
This is my favorite one when it comes to children. You know what I’m talking about. “Well why don’t you have the other child do it?” To pick on the Lee kids for a second, I can hear Meagan at one point or another saying something like “Why don’t you have Eric do it?” You can even find this type of attitude in the Bible. John 21:20 is where you can find it. Jesus is giving his last commands before he goes to wait in heaven until his second coming. He then tells Peter about his fate. Peter will be clothed by someone else and led somewhere he does not want to go at the end of his life. We know that Peter was killed in A.D. 68 and according to tradition he was crucified upside down. After hearing of his fate, Peter then asked Jesus in verse 20; What about John? What’s going to happen to John? Will he die a similar fate? Peter isn’t the only Biblical example of selfishness but a good short example none-the-less.
No joy can be had when selfishness abounds like this. Selfishness wraps you up in a game of how can I get out of this. Seriously enough, I think our marriages suffer the most from this syndrome. I am not sure we do it intentionally but we end up drawing battle lines around what we should and shouldn’t have to do. For instance, there are many activities which I hate. The top one on the list is dishes followed closely by doing the laundry and then in third place is paying the bills/ paper work. Answering the phone makes a close fourth. Come on seriously, have you tried to wash dishes in a normal sink. The sink is always two feet off the ground and so you have to bend over and get severe back pain and cramps from trying to reach the dishes. Oh wait, if you have those special deep sinks, you might as well learn to touch your toes to do the dishes. If you didn’t get it, I really don’t like doing the dishes but sometimes I have to anyway. Sometimes Amy is sick or in pain or pregnant for nine months. Stuff happens and sometimes you have to fill in. Selfishness says, “I’m gonna do what I want to and I am not going to do what I do not want to do. It is not my job and I will have none of it.”