Summary: At the Last Supper, Jesus showed us how being a servant changes our lives

Servanthood will Change your Life

What would Jesus do if he came to our town? Who would he see? What plans would he have? What exposure would he get---or seek? What things would he complain about? What things would he strive to change?

I hope we get a frame of mind for anwerig this by how Jesus spent his last few hours with his disciples

Setting: (I hope we get a frame of mind for answering this by how Jesus spent his last few hours with his disciples)

We are getting close to the time we celebrate Jesus’ death and resurrection: Good Friday and Easter.

The Bible gets very detailed about Jesus last week, and we often think of Palm Sunday, exactly one week before Resurrection Sunday. Looking at an event that happened on Thursday, one day before Jesus’ crucifixion:

The Last Supper: Passover Meal

The day on which Christians remember the Last Supper is also known as Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy comes from the latin word maundatum which means "command".

When Jesus and His disciples ate the "Last Supper" it was on the first night of the Passover festival, or during the Seder Meal.

During this meal Jesus explained to His Disciples that The Bread was His body and the wine was His blood of the new covenant, shed for the remission of our sins. Jesus instructed us to "Do This in remembrance of Me" (Luke 22:19)

The example Jesus set in washing the feet of His disciples is sometimes still done today on Maundy Thursday before the Passover supper. Most Churches offer a Maundy Service in which they end the service with Communion, Breaking the Bread and Drinking the wine in remembrance of Jesus’ death.

LET’S LOOK a little closer at the footwashing ceremony, and What Jesus Taught Us About Being a Servant:

Jn 13:1-17

Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet

The context of our sermon: disciplines and what WE can do to change.

“More than any other single way the grace of humility is worked into our lives through Discipline of service . . . Nothing disciplines the inordinate desires of the flesh like service, and nothing transforms the desires of the flesh like serving in hiddenness. The flesh whines against service, but screams against hidden service. It strains and pulls for honor and recognition.” (John Ortberg, Life You’ve Always Wanted, p. 113 Foster quote)

Transition: but in contrast to what we perceive about the value of serving:

Big Idea: At the Last Supper, Jesus showed us how being a servant changes our lives

As a preacher, it is pretty safe (other than occasional stage fright) to stand behind the pulpit and preach. But I am much more vulnerable when coming out from behind it to wash feet (literally or metaphorically). [At this point I had a mini illustration with my young daughter who was on stage and I “washed her feet.”]

I think it is instructive and breathtaking to see how Jesus spends his last few hours on earth that he has with his disciples.

The first way being a servant alters our lives is that it

1. Change our usefulness to God

v.1, 3

Jesus submitted to God’s request at his own personal cost: therefore God worked through him the greatest act in history: but one that didn’t look great to the world. Pride (but think of Assyrians)

What does God want to do in this community?

Is it our idea or his idea?

As his servant we do his bidding

2. Change our quality of Love


Not when it is convenient.

Not I love you when I get something from you

Ongoing. To the end. Complete


V.1 Loved them eis telos: either temporal (until the end) or qualitative (to the fullest extent). Schnackenburg (v. 3 p16) thinks both are meant, with emphasis on the qualitative.

Also, he believes the way he loved them refers ultimately to the cross, which the hour for that was nigh, but it certainly doesn’t overlook the footwashing at which the cross was “made symbolically present.” He further says it points to the community founded on him (and in his death). I would say it would characterize not only their standing (washed/served) but also their demeanor/identity: servants

Sweet, p. 113, 114

Early disciples of Jesus were more compassionate than other around them. They outloved others. They outseved others.

Stark’s quote, middle of page “To cities filled with the homeless . . .”

Our love comes at a cost to US

We are people that love when love is called for (when it is not?!). As such, being a servant who loves at a cost to ourselves necessitates that we also:

3. Change how we view others

v.8 unless I wash you . . .

Jesus knew that without his act on the cross (washing their sins) they were DOOMED people, forever cut off from God.

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