Sunday, June 12, 2011

Who Don't We Serve?

I’d like to tell you that my lesson this week was so neat and in order and easy to follow, but it wasn’t. It isn’t.

I have a multi-racial family, and while we haven’t had to deal with racism too much yet I fear the day is coming. Biases, bigotry, prejudice can be against any race or religion, and I hope when the time comes that I will have matured to the point that I will only open my mouth to say the words God has put on my heart because the flesh (my momma bear side) would like to tear flesh of anyone who hurts one of my babies…I’m just sayin’.

Having said that, I had to ask God to show me any biases I have in my heart and in my life. What am I afraid of?

I want to challenge you to read John 13:1-17 and read it from the perspective of the people Jesus was serving.

I love how John 13:1 starts the chapter off… “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.” What was Jesus Christ going to do to show the full extent of his love?

The Scripture identifies a couple of things before getting to his act of love.

1. The devil had already worked in Judas Iscariot to betray him. Jesus knew his betrayer was in the room and that Satan was behind his actions.

2. Jesus knew he had come from God and was going to be going back to God. He knew there was a time limit with his disciples. He also knew where his source of strength came from was his Father.

Then comes his act of love beginning in verse 4:

1. “he got up from the meal” – He took action

2. “took off his outer clothing” – He prepared himself which meant removing the things that would hinder his service. This also means that he was most vulnerable exposing more of himself than he had previously done at the table.

3. “wrapped a towel around his waist” – He was equipped to do service.

4. “he poured water into a basin” – There was more than just intent to his service.

5. “to wash his disciples feet” – Have you ever washed someone’s feet or have you had your feet washed by someone you respected?

6. “drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him” – No act of service was left undone.

Just that act of service chokes me up. Jesus on his knees showing these men the “full extent of his love.” BUT YOU KNOW WHAT REALLY CAUGHT MY ATTENTION? The fact that Jesus washed the feet of Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray him, and he washed the feet of Peter, the one who would deny him. AND JESUS KNEW WHAT THEY WERE GOING TO DO AND SERVED THEM ANYWAY!!!! HELLO!!!! ANYBODY OUT THERE? Do you see it? This is HUGE! If anyone on the face of the planet had a right to have a bias against someone it was Jesus. He was going to be betrayed and denied by two men in his inner circle, but Jesus wasn’t prejudiced. He still showed both of these men the “full extent of his love.” OH BUT WAIT – Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We might as well have been sitting at that table between Peter and Judas. He knew we were going to sin and need redeeming, and He created us anyway.

Here’s the bottom line, if Jesus served the very men who would hurt him the most there really isn’t anyone on the face of the earth we shouldn’t serve if he calls us to do it. If he came to die for us because there is no greater love than to lay down your life for a friend (John 15:13), is there anyone we shouldn’t serve? It doesn’t matter what they’ve done in their lives. It is not for us to judge. It is for us to serve as he leads.

When was the last time you washed the feet of unlovely? When was the last time you served someone who was ungrateful? When was the last time you were hurt by someone you served? Ladies, all these things we need to leave at the feet of Jesus. We are responsible for being obedient. God is responsible for handling the rest.

John 13:17 “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Psalm 1:1 “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.” Our job is not to judge based on our biases those whom we are too serve, but we are to serve others based on our faith in God and desire for obedience to God. You serve, and let God handle the rest.

Time to get outside your comfort zones, ladies. Time to get past biases. It is time to show the full extent of the love Jesus has for others.

It’s going to be exciting!


The Heart and Mind of a Woman said...

You know, I thought I was preparing that lesson to teach Sunday morning, but God was giving it to me to exercise last week. Sometimes the hardest people to serve are those in our inner circle, and yet Jesus did it, and so must we.

Sandra Groves Timmons said...

That's the way it goes sometimes: we think we're going to teach someone else, and we end up being the student. I think it's God's way of saying, "Do you REALLY believe what you're teaching?"