Last Sunday night we studied the topic, “What’s in it for me? The Church and Consumerism.” We used John 13:1-17 as a text and discussed how when Jesus gathered together with his disciples he did not demand service like a king, but instead he acted like a servant, by washing the feet of his disciples.
In our study we noted that Jesus served two groups of people in this story: those who loved him and the one who was about to betray him.
I want to add some additional thoughts concerning his service to those who loved him,
First, notice John 13:1 again, it says, “Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”
These disciples were not mere fans of Jesus, but they were his friends whom he loved. They had endured three years of intense ministry and labor together. Here, at the end of his life on earth, Jesus expressed love to them by this gesture of washing their feet.
Then we are told that we too should be willing to do the same. In John 13:12-17 it says, “When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, ‘Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 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. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.””
The disciples were told to go and to serve one another just as their teacher and Lord had done for them. By devoting themselves to this level of service, the disciples were fulfilling this “new commandment” of Christ. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
By serving one another, we are expressing a Christ-like love for one another. This is how the world will identify us as God’s people. This love should fill our hearts and our lives.
I want to finish this article by mentioning an example from this past Sunday morning. Our brother Troy Threet was serving the Lord’s Supper. He was on a different row than I was, but he made eye contact with me while he was passing the plate. He then motioned over to me to try to jump over to my row so he could serve me the Lord’s Supper. He did not end up doing it because the person assigned to my row then came over with the plate.
It was a funny instance, but I think there is a good lesson to be learned in accordance with John 13. The reason Troy was so eager to serve me, was that we are good friends and have a Christ-like love for one another. It is the fact that we do have such a common bond that led him to eagerly desire to serve me.
Do we all have that same bond with the Christians we labor with here at the Mabelvale congregation? Do we have such love for one another that we are eager to serve one another in any way we can? If not, let us pray for a deeper love for our fellow brothers and sisters. If we do have such love for one another, let us allow that love to transform into an eager desire to serve one another.