In our culture, whenever we get involved with a new task or activity, we seem to enter an unspoken competition. We have to win, have power, be first, find the strongest mate, get our preferred parking space, and be the best. This is natural to us because the ruling principle on earth is control. It’s part of our sinful nature to put ourselves first, and if we want to get ahead in the world, we must have power. But in contrast, the ruling principle of heaven is peace. Everything is in place, and everything is as it should be. If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must become a servant.
If you want to be great in God’s kingdom, you must become a servant.
The Rock’s mission is to Save, Equip, and Send. Being Saved means asking Christ to be your Savior and establishing a life-changing relationship with him. Life Class and Life Groups Equip the saved to be Sent out to do the work of the ministry, reaching the community around us with the love of Christ.
We want to add to the army of outreach ministry today. Each Rock campus is set up with information booths for the various ministries available to you. There are 180 ministries servings all kinds of groups of people in our communities, but if you can’t find something appealing to you, then maybe God is calling you to start new ministry!
Today’s scripture is a story about service. Pastor Miles emphasized that you will not grow in your relationship with God as much as you should until you incorporate service - denying yourself and doing for others.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
And supper being ended, the devil having 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 to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, 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 should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:1-17
In Jesus’ time, people wore sandals that consisted of a piece of leather covering the bottom of the foot and straps above so that the whole foot was exposed. The roads were dusty and muddy, and people walked most everywhere. When a visitor arrived at a house, a servant would usually meet him/her at the door to wash the visitor’s feet before entering. But at the Last Supper, no servant was present to wash the feet of the disciples, so Jesus did the duty of a servant.
As followers of their rabbi, Jesus’ disciples would have been expected to tend to his needs, but feet washing was below even what they would have been expected to do for Jesus. That’s why it seemed so inappropriate to Peter. But Jesus is clear: He wanted His disciples to learn the lesson of sacrificial service and see it modeled for them in a profound way because it is central to a life of walking with Him.
Think about the people in your sphere of influence right now. Is there someone with whom you currently have conflict? What would it take internally for you to “wash the feet” of that person?
Take some time to ponder the things that God does for you every day. You may think you are doing things all on your own: going to work, earning money, buying a house or car, meeting people, building relationships. But God keeps you alive, protects you, empowers you, provides opportunities for you, and enables you. What are some specific ways He has served you?
1. Jesus washed my feet by:
Are you likely to complain when you don’t get what you want? Be mindful of what God has already done for you and the things you may take for granted. He forgives you of your sin, blesses you beyond what you deserve, gives you food to eat, provides a roof over your head and access to electricity, etc. And, don’t forget that anytime He wishes, He can call you home.
2. The closer you get to Jesus the more you are willing to serve others.
Some people think that the closer you get to God, the more you deserve. But in reality, the closer you get to Jesus, the better servant’s heart you should have. This is why, at the Last Supper, Jesus says that when we break bread together, we should remember His death - His service. That’s the kingdom of God.
3. The easiest type of person for you to serve would be _____________________.
You don’t need to have it all figured out to get started serving in a ministry. Just get started! One question you can ask yourself is: what group of people inspires me to serve? Children? Elderly? Homeless? The possibilities are endless. Just take a guess, start there, and God will direct you as you move.
In closing, Pastor Miles washed the feet of one of our ministry leaders and prayed for her. His challenge to you is to know that wherever you are and whatever you’ve done, God has not forgotten you. He loves you and has a great plan for your life. Ask Him, “God, what do you want me to do?” Then find a ministry - or start a new one!