Summary: As the body of Christ, we are to minister to one another’s needs.
Our Purpose: Ministry
Text: Jn. 13:3-17
1. Read John 13:3-17
2. Illustration: The great violinist, Niccolo Paganini willed his marvelous violin to city of Genoa on condition that it must never be played. The wood of such an instrument, while used and handled, wears only slightly, but set aside, it begins to decay. Paganini’s lovely violin has today become worm-eaten and useless except as a relic. A Christian’s unwillingness to serve may soon destroy his capacity for usefulness.
3. We have said over the past several weeks that our purpose as a church is:
1. This morning we are going to talk about the final aspect of our purpose: ministry.
Proposition: As the body of Christ, we are to minister to one another’s needs.
Transition: There are three reasons we should minister to one another. First, we should minister to one another because...
I. Jesus Models It (3-5)
A. Began to Wash the Disciples Feet
1. Jesus, the Son of God, knew his origin and his destiny. He knew that he would soon be returning to his Father.
2. Being assured of his own destiny, he focused his attention on the disciples and showed them what it meant for him to become their Servant and for them to serve one another.
3. The immediate situation was that they had come to the banquet room directly from the street.
a. Ordinarily on such an occasion the host would have delegated a servant to the menial task of removing the sandals of the guests and washing their feet.
b. This task was so menial that according to some Jewish sources, Jewish slaves were exempt and the job kept for the Gentiles (Burge, NIV Application Commentary, 369).
4. At the time so near to the revelation of Jesus’ true identity and glory, he set aside what was rightfully his and expressed his character through an act of humility.
a. He got up, took off his robe, and wrapped a towel around his waist like an apron.
b. He then poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
5. What was unusual about this act was that Jesus, the Master and Teacher, was doing it for his disciples, as the lowliest slave would do.
B. Servant Ministry
1. Illustration: Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example. Mark Twain.
2. The reason that we should be involved in ministering to one another is because Jesus set the example, and if we are going to follow him, we have to do what he did.
3. If Jesus did it, so we also should do it.
a. If Jesus, even though he was the Son of God, was willing to serve, we ought to be willing to serve.
b. If Jesus was willing to do menial tasks, like washing someone’s feet, then we ought to be willing to do it too.
4. Phil. 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5. Again, we need to ask the right questions.
a. The question shouldn’t be "Am I willing to clean the church,? but "Would Jesus be willing to clean the church?"
b. The question shouldn’t be "Am I willing to help with VBS,?" but "Would Jesus be willing to help with VBS?"
c. The question shouldn’t be "Am I willing to call someone that I noticed wasn’t in church last Sunday and encourage them,?" but "Would Jesus be willing to call them?"
Transition: The next reason that we should be willing to minister to one another is because...
II. Jesus Shows the Necessity of It (6-12)
A. You Have No Part With Me
1. All the disciples accepted the washing until Jesus came to Peter, who questioned Jesus: "Lord, are you washing my feet?"
a. The response of Simon Peter may have been representative of the common feeling that Jesus ought not to demean himself by washing their feet. - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM
b. Peter felt that Jesus should not degrade himself by assuming such a position.
2. Jesus did not provide Peter with an explanation, other than that Peter would understand the significance of the washing some time in the future.
a. Later in the New Testament, Peter explains his understanding of what Jesus had done.
b. 1 Peter 5:5-6 Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.