Serve: We Embrace

January 29, 2023   /   Faith Alliance Church

Serve: We Embrace

 

The Church is a Noun, Verb and Adjective / John 13:1–20

 

We serve because we know what God is like. We serve to show what God is like.

• We see an incredible definition of what it means to serve in the Gospel of John. We see Jesus, God incarnate, serve in the most humble of ways.

Find God as God has Found Us

John 13:2–4 ESV

During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.

• This passage is interesting because we see that it doesn’t start with Jesus acting, it starts with His understanding of God.

• One, in verse 1, we hear that this act is a full picture of the love of God. It shows us how much Jesus loved his disciples.

• the second is in verse three where we read that Jesus has come from God and is going to God. There is no direction that does not belong to God.

• The concept of serving as a Christian doesn’t start with doing good things or working within your spiritual gifts or even meeting needs.

• The place of service as a Christian comes with the primary understanding that we belong to God in Christ.

• It’s not really primarily what we can do, it is primarily who we belong to.

Go First as God has Already Gone First

John 13:4–9 ESV

rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”

• Jesus is providing a service that would have been absolutely normal.

• This was deferred to the lowest servant in the room.

• Only the most menial of servants would have done the job. The new guy with no experience. The child. the smallest of the small.

• Jesus took the role of the most menial of servants.

• Jesus went first because He understood the assignment.

• He understood what God was doing and understood what was most needed

• And the same goes for us. We don’t have to wait for what’s going on around us, we can begin by serving.

• But for the Christian and service, we are called to follow God, and so in doing so we go first in serving.

Embrace others as God has Embraced us

John 13:13–17 ESV

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

• This is important because our relationships normally begin with accounting for what the other person can do for us.

• That is our constant relational struggle.

• For the Christian that view of humanity is way too small.

• One of the things I love about Christ and the church is that we take a high view of humanity.

• So when we think of relationships we can’t do so through the lens of what someone can do to contribute to my identity, but rather, what can I do for the other person?

Christ came in the middle of rejection and riot, he came into the middle of anger (give us barabbas) and hate. He came into sin and ugly. Into shame and murder. He came into everything that breaks us apart in order to offer renewal. And He did so through love and through sacrifice.

We serve because we know what God is like. We serve to show what God is like.

• This morning we need to be served by God through Christ’s sacrifice. That is how we know what God is like. Then we serve one another and the world to show and remind one another what God is like

 

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