You Got Served

Posted: January 7, 2016 by keystoneyouth in Stinky Feet: Serving in 2016, Uncategorized
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  • We are going to start off this year with a short two-week series about serving.
  • I don’t necessarily want you to think of serving in terms of being a New Year’s Resolution.
  • It can be that… maybe you resolve to try serving in a specific position this year, or to find one way to serve your family at least once a month.
  • But I want this to be more than that. I want to encourage you to begin to have a mindset of service. One that looks for opportunities and ways to serve, not just in the New Year, but as a continued lifestyle.
  • And I want you to do that because I believe that being a Christian means being a servant. And I believe that there is great joy and blessing to be found in being a servant.
  • So tonight we are going to talk about how Jesus came to serve us, and then next week we are going to transition into how God gifts us to serve others.
  • Think in terms of using a fire to cook burgers for others. Tonight we are talking mainly about the fuel of the fire, next week we are talking more about the burgers. The burgers are no good without a fire to cook them, but the fire should be used to cook the burgers or everyone remains hungry. God has served us so that we will go and serve others. His service for us fuels our service for others.

 Passage: John 13:1-17 

Big Idea: We serve because we have been served.

Main Points:

  • Jesus went all out to serve us.
  • We need to be served by Jesus.
  • We identify with Jesus by serving.

Jesus went all out to serve us.

  • You guys know what it means to go all out right? We’ve all heard this or said this in some context before.
    • Maybe it was watching sports on TV and we saw an incredible play. “Wohh, Did you see that! He went all out!”
    • Or maybe we’ve been a part of a school project – a science fair where someone goes above and beyond! Instead of conducting a taste testing experiment or seeing how long a gold fish can survive in dirty water they build an engine that runs on vegetable oil. “They went all out on that project.”
    • Or maybe you’ve been to a dinner before where the person who made it serves a 5-course meal. They serve bacon wrapped shrimp as an appetizer, then there is new England clam chowder as a soup, then there is chicken Caesar salad, then ham loaf and cheesy potatotes, and finally oreo peanutbutter cup ice cream pie. By the last course your in the mode of wanting to eat because the food is so good, but not wanting to eat because you’re starting to worry that you actually might explode. “The host went all out on that meal.”
  • To go all out means to go above and beyond what would ever be expected. It surprises us because it’s so much more that we would ever thought possible.
    • Odell Beckham’s three finger catch.
  • Jesus went above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined or expected in serving us. His service of us should surprise us.
  • The book of John is transitioning in chapter 13 from Jesus public ministry and miracles into the last night and day of his life.
  • John opens our eyes to a scene of Jesus in a room with his 12 disciples celebrating the Passover before he is about to be arrested and killed.
    • And he opens this scene by reminding us that Jesus is completely in control of the coming situation. Jesus knows who he is – “Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God”
    • He also tells us Jesus knows what is coming, “when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father… and he knew that he was going back to God.”
    • Jesus knows his mission – He came from God to love the world. And He knows the climax of that mission is about to happen – His death and resurrection.
  • And yet, what do we find Jesus doing in these last hours of his life here on earth?
  • Continuing to love his disciples – through serving them and preparing them for what is about to happen.
  • This should shock us!! Jesus is about to face incredible mental, physical, and spiritual suffering… and yet he is selflessly loving those around him. Don’t miss this. Jesus is a loving savior to the end!
  • We need stop and contemplate why Jesus decides to wash his disciples’ feet. What exactly was he doing??
    • He is taking on one of the lowliest and dirtiest tasks in the ancient world.
    • Washing feet is considered the work of servants or slaves. It denotes that you have a low position in society.
    • Modern Illustration: It might be compared to cleaning toilets in a fast food restaurant.
    • People walked everywhere. And the ground they were walking on was most likely either dusty if it was dry or muddy if it had rained. Feet are already gross and often stinky, but they are that much more gross and stinky if they are dirty and you walk everywhere on them.
    • A person who would wash these feet would only have water, his hands, and a towel. He or she would kneel down and stare at the feet as he or she washed them. It’s not a very pretty site.
    • At my previous church we used to do foot washing as part of our church service every couple months. It was kind of weird. You hoped that you remembered to share and trim your toe nails and foot hair on that Sunday, and you hoped the person that you partnered up with had done the sameJ
  • Jesus is doing this to point the disciples to why he came. He came not to be served and honored in this world, but he came to serve us. And he is going to go all out in his service to us… not just in taking on the lowly and dirty task of a servant. But in even taking on death for our sakes.
    • Jesus is the ultimate undercover boss. He doesn’t just come among his people so that he can give them money to pay off debt, a job promotion, or a much needed vacation. Jesus comes to die for his people, for us.
  • Jesus, by washing the disciples feet is pointing them forward to what he’s about to do on the cross. He’s going to be utterly humiliated and ridiculed. And he’s going to do it to glorify his Father and to serve us.

 We need to be served by Jesus.

  • In the midst of this unbelievable scene, John describes an interesting back and forth interaction between Jesus and Peter.
  • Peter misunderstands what Jesus is doing (as do the rest of the disciples) and he tries to put a stop to it.
    • “Jesus you’re not going to serve me! This isn’t right. I should be the one washing your feet.”
  • And Peter seems to have a pretty good point on the surface: the one who is higher in authority or position should be served by the ones who are lower. That’s how it works right??
  • Jesus is the Son of God and Peter knows this. Peter does not deserve to eat at the same table as him let alone have his feet washed by him.
  • ILL/Ex. Imagine if you saw Lebron James at Park City. You immediately get nervous and start an inward back and forth debate whether you should go up to him. And if you do go up to him what do you do? Do you shake his hand, fist pound him, high five him? Do you ask for his autograph, say how much you love watching him play basketball, ask him for a selfie? Now imagine that he turns to look at you and WALKS over to you. He says “Hi, you might not know me… but can I have your autograph? And can I get a picture with you while your at it?” You’d be like, “Bron Bron, what are you doing bro? You don’t want my autograph, I’m nobody. Let me get your autograph.”
  • In a way, this is what’s happening to Peter right now. Jesus is communicated very clearly that he came to serve.
  • And Peter (and us) desperately needs Jesus’ service.
  • This is what Jesus is pointing Peter towards in this conversation.
  • Jesus tells Peter that if He does not wash him then Peter has no share with Jesus.
  • And Jesus isn’t speaking of literally washing his feet here, but of what his death will do for Peter… and for us!
  • See in the Old Testament there were all these laws that have been lumped together and termed cleanliness laws.
  • These laws have to with being clean. They may have to do with eating certain things, not touching certain things, washing after certain events, or being cleansed from a certain disease. You can read in Leviticus 11-15 to find out more about these laws.
  • The idea was that the people are constantly reminded that they are unclean – not just in the sense of being physically dirty, but in the sense of being spiritually dirty. They stand as people who are dirty and full of marks before a holy God and therefore can’t stand before him.
    • Like entering a wedding or school dance caked with mud and holes in your clothing. People would look at you and be like, “Who is this? Get him out of here! He doesn’t belong here like that!”
    • Well we don’t belong with God because we are unclean and dirty. And no amount of washing, not eating bacon, and changing clothes can make us clean. All those laws of the Old Testament were meant as constant reminders to the people that they stand dirty and ashamed before God. And they were also meant to point people toward Jesus – the one way that they could stand tall and clean before God.
  • See Jesus came to clean us so that we could share in his standing. He came to wash us, give us new clothes, and welcome us in before God.
    • We now enter the wedding or dance with a white shirt, crisp black pants, a bow tie, and suspenders… and people who look at us know we belong there.
  • We belong before God and with God because of what Jesus did. Because he has served us. And if we refuse to acknowledge that what Jesus did is the only thing that can make us clean, then we have no share with him and we remain dirty, tattered, and outside of God’s presence.
  • And if this is the case… all of our service will just be selfish. It will be a means to try to make ourselves clean. We will serve so that God will look at us and say we’re good enough or we will serve so that other people will speak highly of us.
  • To serve without recognizing our need for Jesus to serve us is just serving selfishly… it’s just serving to try to gain something for ourselves.
  • But to serve out of a constant awareness that God has served us is freeing and gives us joy.
  • We should Jesus’ example of serving only after we see our great need of his service.

 We identify with Jesus by serving.

  • He explains this to the disciples as he sits down.
  • He tells them that if they call him their Lord and Teacher then they ought to do the same thing he has done.
  • He gives them an example to illustrate this –
    • No servant is greater than his master. A servant carries out his master’s wishes. Whatever the master does the servant does as well.
    • No messenger is greater than the one who sent him. A messenger doesn’t come up with his own message. He represents the one who sent him and speaks the words he was given to speak.
    • We could add to this no employee is greater than his boss. If you have a job you do the job that your boss has given to you and perhaps modeled for you. If you work at a fruit stand at market you do not all the sudden decide that you are going to sell bacon. Your boss has decided what you will sell and you follow suit.
  • Jesus’ followers should not expect to live a life unlike Jesus’s life.
    • Clarification: None of us will live a perfect life and none of us need to live a perfect life – Jesus has already done this for us!
    • But we should want and expect our lives to look like Jesus’s life.
    • This is why at other places Jesus tells his disciples not to be surprised when people mistreat them. People mistreated Jesus and his disciples should expect the same.
  • If we have been served by Jesus through his life and death for us, then we will begin identify with him and serve other people.
  • To be a follower of Jesus means to desire to live like he has. A large portion of this means that we should be ready and willing to serve.
  • Serving marks us off as belonging to Jesus. Serving causes us to rely more on Jesus. Serving helps us to become more like Jesus. This is why Jesus tells the disciples you are blessed if you do these things. There is blessing in service! And that blessing is knowing and becoming more like Jesus.
  • God uses service to shape and mold us – it is for our good and his glory.
    • It’s kind of like practice – we practice a sport, a language, an instrument, or anything else to become better. Practice is not always fun. Practice is not always exciting. But practice will produce results. Serving will not always be fun or glamorous, but God blesses us as he shapes us through service.
  • There are thousands of ways that we can serve one another. Washing people’s feet is probably not the best way to serve someone else in our culture. They might think your weird and that you have a thing for feet.
  • But maybe making someone else dinner is… Maybe helping a friend with homework is… Maybe being a leader on your sports team who goes the extra mile to help younger players succeed is… Maybe doing the laundry for your mom is… Maybe serving in Keystone’s children’s ministry is… maybe… well we’ll talk more about that next week.


  • I want to encourage you to make an effort to serve in 2016.
  • And I don’t just mean cleaning your bedroom once… or taking the dog for a walk once. That might be a good place to start though.
  • I mean I want you to make service a priority in 2016 and on beyond. I want you start serving this year, but to mature in serving year after year.
  • I want you to think about what are ways that you can serve in your family, in your church, to your friends, at you school, at your job.   I would love to see more of you take on a specific role of serving at Keystone Church. I believe that has great benefits and will help you mature as a Christian.
  • But I would also love to see you all serve in other ways outside of Keystone.
  • And maybe, just maybe… as you serve, people will have questions and you might get the opportunity to point them to the Ultimate Server… the one who served you and gave you a reason to serve.

 So What??

  • Jesus is the ultimate servant.
  • Our service should be motivated by Jesus’ service for us.
  • A marker that we know and love Jesus is serving.
  • There are thousands of ways to serve!
  • Serving can open the doors to share the gospel.

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