Sermons

Summary: Jesus shows us how to live our lives, with humility and servanthood.

Serving: Not Served!

Philippians 2:3-11

March 26, 2017

I remember going to so many Chicago Cubs games when I was a young kid. At every game I would get a pencil and scorecard for a whopping 25¢. Then I would walk, or sometimes run down to the side of the field and try to get autographs from my favorite players. It was always heartbreaking when they would somehow end signing right before they got to me. But many times I was successful and got autographs of famous Cubbies.

That was then! Now, many players don’t sign autographs, they charge you for them at sports memorabilia shows. Some don’t want to be bothered with autographs, and I can appreciate that. After all, most of the superstars can’t walk into a store or restaurant and not get mobbed.

Haven’t we seen pictures of and videos of Justin Bieber and others refusing to sign autographs and getting into arguments with his fans who want a picture of him.

Women over 50 will remember the real rock, Rock Hudson. When he was just becoming popular in Hollywood, his agent took him to lunch at an expensive high profile Hollywood restaurant. The purpose was to be seen by fans. When Hudson finished his meal, he placed his silverware on his plate and folded his napkin, and put it on the plate, so the waiter could easily take it away.

His manager rebuked him, saying ~ “It’s not your job to clean up after yourself. You’re not a busboy. You’re a movie star. You need to act like one.”

In a way, that’s what we expect from celebrities, to have the attitude that says, “I’m rich and famous, I’m a star, and it’s everyone’s job to serve me, to wait on me.”

We live in a culture that worships celebrity — whether they’re politicians, athletes, musicians, or actors and actresses.

Our fascination with fame distorts our perception of what greatness really is. And it distorts our perception of what kind of person we should admire and aspire to be.

We’re in the 2nd week of our series taking a closer look at Jesus. We’re looking at who Jesus is, what He was like, what He came to do, and what He expects of us – His followers.

Last week we were looking at the who of Jesus. We saw that Jesus was and is — God in the flesh. He was not created or some distorted illusion, but He really left the joy and perfection of heaven and lived among us. He suffered and died and rose again. He did that so we can find true life, eternal life, when we say YES to Jesus and eternal life when this life passes away.

Today we’re going to look at an aspect of Christ’s character that anyone can imitate. Of course, there are many things about Christ we can’t copy ~ You’re not pre-existent; you didn’t create the universe; you can’t die for the sins of the world; you’ll probably never walk on water, unless it’s frozen and so on.

But there is one aspect of Jesus’ character you can fully and completely imitate. To do this, you won’t be a celebrity, signing autographs, yet, if anyone deserved rock star treatment, it was Jesus. If anyone deserved to be treated like a celebrity, waited on hand and foot, it was Jesus.

But that’s not what happened. John tells us ~

10 Jesus was in the world, and the world was made through Him, yet the world did not know Him.

11 He came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. – John 1:10-11

Jesus could have demanded to live like royalty during His time on earth — but He didn’t. Instead, He came to show us what true greatness looks like — and what true greatness does.

When we look to Jesus, we get an idea of what our own lives should look like. In the final hours of Jesus’ life, He said to his disciples…

27 For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table?

But I am among you as the one who serves. – Luke 22:27

He also said …

28 . . . the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:28

Jesus’ ministry was a ministry of humility and humble service.

His disciples witnessed amazing things — more miracles than they could count, people healed of every type of affliction, including two who were raised from the dead. They saw the forces of nature obey Him, and the demons tremble at His name. They heard Jesus teach with authority and they saw the power of God at work through Him.

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