Summary: Jesus invites us to follow Him - this means doing what He did.
Following Jesus into Service
Recap from Last Week
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
We are the rich – we need to be rich in good deeds
“Let’s be honest. It’s easy to go to a church service, it’s easy to discuss who believes what and who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s easy.
But when Jesus talks about his followers, he talks about people who are generous, people who clothe the naked, take food to the hungry, take water to the thirsty, people who visit the prisoner, people who invite the stranger in, people who give their time, people who give their energy, people who give their money. – Rob Bell
Ephesians 2:8-10 (Today’s New International Version)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are saved, not by doing good, but because of God’s grace – but we are saved for a purpose – to do good works.
Rob Bell uses the word “followers” for “Christians.” It is actually Jesus’ word. I like it better, because the idea of following Jesus is different that what we have often begun to mean when we have said “Christian,” or “saved,” or “Believer.” Following Jesus gives the sense that we are talking about much more than a set of beliefs that we agree with. It gives the sense that we are trying to be like Jesus – to do what he did, to be, as the word “Christian” means, “little Christs.”
If we are told to follow someone & just watch them walk away, are we following them?
One of the places that Jesus invites us to do what he does is at the last supper in John’s Gospel
Follow Jesus’ example in serving others
Washing the feet – lowest job for a servant – very little to compare in with today. What chore did you argue with your siblings over who had to do it when you were young?
What do your children argue over?
I think it is good for us to do the liturgical act of washing feet.
But we also need it to be practical as well – to serve in tasks that we believe are below us.
Motivation – not serving in the lowest capacity because he feels like he is the lowest person, but because he knows that he is the highest!
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God.” – verse 3
Jesus knows his position in the group as well – he doesn’t say, “oh know I’m just a lowly servant – he says, I’m the teacher and the Lord….”
We serve in the lowest capacity because of our high position!
Ephesians 2:6,7 (Just before passage we looked at last week)
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
It is the “upside down kingdom” – not worm theology.
Washing of feet is also very intimate – we are to follow Jesus into relational service – not just giving our money to a large faceless charity – Shane’s relational tithe.
Serving during service week – serving in community, in relationship…
This is not about assuaging our guilt, it is about being like Jesus and relating to those less fortunate that we are. Of course Jesus did this – we are all less fortunate than He is!
Gandhi clip – making his wife join in cleaning the latrines 22
Jesus is different than Gandhi
Jesus doesn’t force his disciples, he invites them.
The argument isn’t over Peter lowering himself to this slave position, It is over Jesus doing it!
Jesus shows us what God is like – that he comes to serve in the lowliest of ways & then he invites us to be like God – to serve.