Following the Example of Christ in our Service
Our church will be hosting the Regional Teen Talent Contest (RTTC) this weekend on Friday and Saturday. For over a decade, we have hosted this event and the goal has been to instruct young people, both in our church and in the churches that attend, to serve God with the talents and gifts that He has given them.
It's easy for any person, regardless of age, to get caught up in serving for the wrong reasons. When we look at Scripture, however, we see a clear pattern for Biblical service that is rooted in glorifying God and not ourselves. Today we are going to look at the example Christ gives us in John 13 for how our service can be shaped by love and humility, ultimately bringing glory to God.
Jesus' service was motivated by love.
1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.
The first verse that we read in John 13 declares the love that Jesus had for His disciples. He called them, taught them, invested in them, and loved them - just as the Father commanded. Through all of their mistakes and failures, Christ loved them unconditionally and His service to them was motivated by that love and desire to see them do the same.
Jesus' service was modeled in humility.
After eating His final meal with the disciples, Jesus got up to wash their feet. This was immediately surprising to them, as they considered Him to be their master. If anything, they should be washing His feet! However, we see Jesus' response in verses 12-17.
12 So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Christ was teaching His disciples that their ministry and service should not be for themselves, but for others. If He, their Master, was willing to wash their feet in humility, then they should be willing to do that for each other!
Jesus' goal was for the Father to be glorified.
Everything that Christ did was to point back to the Father. He repeats this over and over throughout the Gospels. After Christ had washed their feet, we see in verse 31 that He immediately returns to speaking about the purpose for everything He did: To glorify the Father.
31 Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
Later in Chapter 17, we see Jesus pray for His disciples and mention each of these ideas: Love, humility, and the glorifying of God.
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
May the things that Jesus prayed in John 17 be true of each of us today! Our service should be motivated by love - both for the Father and for each other. Our humility should drive us to unity in Christ and the result of all of our efforts should be God receiving glory!
This weekend at RTTC, and in our lives daily, we need to follow the example of Christ in our service. Pray with me this week that God would be glorified in our service to Him.
Written by Elijah Ketchum