Read: John 13
“Since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet.” (John 13:14, NLT)
If you are going to be a fully devoted follower of Christ, you will have to think, do and live like Jesus thought, did and lived—not the least of which is to take on the attitude, exhibit the actions, and live the lifestyle of a servant. Yes—you will have to serve as Jesus served!
Serving is what Jesus did because servanthood was at the very core of who Jesus was and why Jesus came. The Gospel of Mark, the first written biographical account of Jesus, sums up the life and ministry of Jesus with this simple, clear and compelling mission statement:
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Fleshing out this mission statement, John 13 presents the servanthood of Jesus in action in the most unusual and unforgettable way: He washed his disciples’ feet. Then, as he completed this humbling task, he said to them, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15, NLT) It is abundantly clear from this passage, along with other Scripture, that serving is an unmistakable, unavoidable demand of discipleship. Not only is serving a demand, but when we look at Jesus’ example, we find that serving is also a delight. It is what makes us bless-able: “Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” (John 13:17, NLT)
Think about it: Serving like Jesus is what puts you at your Christlike best!
You are called to serve! Paul writes in Philippians 2:5-7, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who being in very nature God…took on the very nature of a servant.” Galatians 5:13 says, “Serve one another in love.” If you are serving, you are fulfilling your basic Christian calling. If you are not, then you are not!
You were created to serve! Like a fish swims and a bird flies, a Christian serves! Ephesians 2:20 states, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Before you were even conceived, God laid out specific plans just for you. You are not an after-thought; you do not just exist; you are on this earth not just to be a potted plant, you were born not just to consume, but to contribute. God deliberately shaped you to serve his purposes, which means that he has placed an important responsibility on your shoulders that only you can fulfill.
You contribute to the Body of Christ when you serve! God specifically created you, converted you, and called you to contribute to the life, health and mission of a local church. Paul taught in I Corinthians 12:27, “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” Verse 12 says, “The body is a unit, though it’s made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ.” Verse 18 says, “God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be.” Why? Verse 7 tells us it is “for the common good.” I Peter 4:10 says, “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” Perhaps you didn’t realize this, but you serving in your church is the primary means of other people receiving God’s grace.
You capture the world’s attention when you serve! Our humble, authentic acts of service put God in a good light. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5:16, NLT) Jesus said in John 13:35, “By this will all men know that you are my disciples: That you have love for one another.” It’s by authentic servanthood that you become living proof of a loving God.
Jesus ended the washing of his disciples’ feet by issuing this very simple challenge: Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.” (John 13:17, NLT) It doesn’t get any clearer than that!
“When God wanted sponges and oysters He made them and put one on a rock and the other in the mud. When He made man He did not make him to be a sponge or an oyster; He made him with feet and hands, and head and heart, and vital blood, and a place to use them and He said to him, ‘Go work.’” ~Henry Ward Beecher
What If God Took Over?
I have one simple question for you: Where are you serving?