Summary: This message encourages service.
During 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.
As we continue our discussion of living a life of purpose I want to linger a little longer on the purpose that each us are shaped to serve. Each of us are called to serve. With that in mind turn with me in your Bibles to one of the greatest examples of servant hood, Turn with me to John chapter 13 beginning in verse one. Once you’ve found keep your Bibles open for we will refer to this passage throughout the message.
When Jesus stooped to wash His disciples’ feet he showed us several important truths about serving others. The first thing that caught my attention is in the first verse, Jesus shows...
The Priority of Serving
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
What would you do if you knew you would die a violent death in about 12 hours? Would you want to be alone in prayer? Record some final thoughts? Would you spend time with those you loved? What would you want to emphasize?
Jesus, the Bible says, knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and so he took off his cloak put a towel around His waist and washed the dirty feet of His disciples. Who’s going to waste time on that when the end is so near? Jesus. Why? Because He wanted to show them how important it is to humbly serve one another. To show them the priority of serving
Mother Teresa visited Phoenix in 1989 to open a home for the poor. During that brief visit, she was interviewed by KTAR, the largest radio station in town. In a private moment, the announcer asked Mother Teresa if there was anything he could do for her. He was expecting her to request a contribution or media attention to help to raise money for the new home for the needy in Phoenix. Instead, she replied, "Yes, there is. Find somebody nobody else loves, and love them."
Serving others, demonstrating our love in tangible ways is of first importance. Jesus considered it a priority
The second thing Jesus showed us by washing his disciples feet is To serve in spite of rank or status
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
The Scripture says that not just in spite of but because He understood who He was, that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet.
The late Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s hamburger chain was known for his humble service within the multi-billion dollar empire he founded. When asked what made him so successful; he replied, "my MBA." But he didn’t mean a graduate degree in business education, he meant "a mop- and-bucket attitude." In other words, no work task was too insignificant for him to tackle; he simply jumped in and got the job done.
Jesus, was the Lord of the Universe. If anyone didn’t have to humble himself to wash the feet of farmers and fishermen, He didn’t. But because he knew he was Lord of the Universe, Because He knew, He was not diminished by showing his love in humble service, he took up the towel and basin and stooped to serve.
The third thing Jesus showed us by washing feet is
Our Need to Be Served by Him
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?"
Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand."
"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet."
Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me."
"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!"