Summary: I ask the question, how well do we know our commander in chief, Jesus? Do we allow him to help in the many battles we face throughout our lives. How prepared are we to follow his example of servant-hood.
Servanthood: John 13 v1-16
At the American Revolution a man in civilian clothes rode past a group of soldiers repairing a small defensive barrier, their leader was shouting instructions, but making no attempt to help them. Asked why by the rider, he retorted with great dignity, "Sir, I am a corporal!" The stranger apologized, dismounted, and proceeded to help the exhausted soldiers. The job done, he turned to the corporal and said, "Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander-in-chief, and I will come and help you again." It was none other than George Washington. (Today in the Word, March 6, 1991.)
I ask the question, how well do we know our commander in chief, Jesus? Do we allow him to help in the many battles we face throughout our lives. Do we fully understand the amount of other titles he has and the ability and desire to fulfil them? For example just to name a few. Jesus the Good Shepherd, Jesus The Redeemer, Jesus the provider, Jesus the healer, Jesus the Bread of life and Jesus the Servant King our theme tonight. Today’s reading is probably a very familiar passage for us. This week I’m sure that soap manufacture’s profits rise as many churches re-enact this feet washing event. Most of the sermons I’ve heard on this subject place an emphasis on the humility of Jesus. However his humility in this act is just part of the story. I believe our bible passage is more to do with rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty than cleaning feet!
Sadly Christians can be a bit like most politicians, they talk the talk but seldom walk the walk. Jesus is the perfect Servant King who kept his word, who always fulfills his promises.
A man and his wife are awakened at 3 o'clock in the morning by a loud pounding on the back door. The man gets up and goes to the door where a drunken stranger, standing in the pouring rain, is asking for a push. "Not a chance," says the husband, "It is three o'clock in the morning." He slams the door and returns to bed.
"Who was that?" asked his wife. "Just some drunk guy asking for a push," he answers. "Did you help him?" she asks. "No. I did not. It is three o'clock in the morning and it is pouring rain outside! "His wife said, "Don't you remember about three months ago when we broke down and those two guys helped us? I think you should help him, and you should be ashamed of yourself!"
The man does as he is told, gets dressed and goes out into the pouring rain. He calls out into the dark, "Hello. Are you still there?" "Yes," comes back the answer. "Do you still need a push?" calls out the husband. "Yes! Please!" comes the reply from the darkness. "Where are you?" asks the husband. "Over here! On the swing!"
OK it’s a funny story but seriously, it’s strange how often some of us conveniently forget acts of kindness or generosity bestowed on us when maybe we should reciprocate such deeds. At Easter we celebrate the greatest deed a man can give. What greater gift that a man lays down his life that we might live? However could we ever repay that deed? … maybe by acts of service?