Summary: To serve like Christ is love, serve and seek out people.
What’s our mission statement in Makati Gospel Church? “Glorify God by Multiplying Biblical, Committed and Loving Followers of Jesus Christ.” This morning we will look into the “committed” aspect of our mission statement through John 13:1-5, where Jesus washed the feet of His disciples.
I once read a book about the leadership style of the Lord Jesus. And I was surprised to discover that it did not even talk about Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. That is sad because here we find His concept of leadership. In the business world, we hear a lot nowadays about being a “servant-leader.” But the emphasis is more on the “leader” rather than the “servant.” Stacy Rinehart points this out in his book Upside Down, “Viewed with this emphasis, serving is simply a means to an end: ‘I’ll serve you, so you’ll respect my leadership and follow me.’ This is just another subtle form of power leadership. In servant leadership, serving is an expression of leadership, regardless of how people follow. Serving is both the end as well as the means.” I pray that MGC will truly have a true servant-leadership mentality.
Verse one says that this event took place “just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.” The Lord knew that in the next 24 hours people will betray, arrest and crucify Him. Before serving the evening meal, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet. Verse one gave us the reason why He did it: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” Note that Jesus expressed His love through that act. Thus, to serve like Christ is to LOVE like Him.
So, what is it like to love like Christ?
First, it is UNCONDITIONAL. He commanded us: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Our enemies may not deserve our love for they hate us, curse us and mistreat us. But still we are to love them. We express that love by doing good to them, blessing them and praying for them. Now keep in mind that love is not just a noun but it is also a verb. That means we act upon it.
Second, it is SACRIFICIAL. Jesus declared, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” We saw last week that in The Message translation it goes like this: “This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.” Yes, sacrifice may mean dying for others. But it is easy to die. It is hard to live. You only die once. But living is daily. And we will only be ready to die for others if we really live for others.
Also, it is LOYAL. Jesus drew the battle lines when He declared, “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” Note that “love” is contrasted with “hate” and “devoted” with “despise.” That also means that we can connect “love” with “devoted” and “hate” with “despise.” So, to love is to be devoted or to be loyal. Now, circle the word “serve.” If you are loyal, you will serve.