Waynedale United Methodist Church
Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Making Disciples of Jesus for the Transformation of the World!

March 29, 2018 Sermon

“Serving One Another”
John 13:1 – 17, 31 – 35
Ted Jansen March 29, 2018 Waynedale UMC

1.)        When was the last time someone served you? Stop and think about your day today. Who are the people who have served you? 

All through this day I believe that people were serving your needs. Did any of you go to the store today? Did anyone put out their garbage today? Did any of you go by a school, a fire station, or a church building? In those places are people that serve. Our lives are being served by other people.     

            Another question I want to ask is this. When was the last time someone served you and you noticed it? When was a type of service outstanding or unexpected? You might remember because your heart was touched in the unexpected way you were served. When we are surprised and blessed we remember. Do any of you have any stories? (Invite people to share)   


2.)        Jesus did something to touch the hearts of the disciples one evening. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples after they had eaten in the Upper Room. This was shocking for Jesus to do. 

It was customary for the servants of the house to wash feet. This was a job for the lowest of servants because it was a dirty, smelly job. This menial task was not what “important” people did. No, that was for others who were not important, servants. 

Think about who we believe Jesus is and how John has portrayed Him as the King of the Universe. Why did Jesus wash the feet of the disciples? These feet were dirty, worn, and smelly.


3.)        Jesus was showing us the path of the Kingdom of God. The path was not about being elevated to great importance, but to serve as the lowest of servants for the needs of people. 

            The Kingdom is about finding a need that people have and meeting that need with love, grace, humility and blessing. When we do this we are following the path Jesus walked on.   


4.)        Jesus wanted the disciples to understand this path and so after He washed their feet He spoke to them. Listen to John 13:34 – 35, from The Message translation.   

            “Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciple – when they see the love you have for each other.” 

This new command of love was demonstrated to the disciples by Jesus washing their feet. They were embarrassed and humbled as Jesus did this and we read that Peter didn’t want to have Jesus wash his feet at all. I can hear Peter saying, “No, I don’t want you to wash my feet!” 

But Jesus insisted and knew that each disciple needed to have their feet washed, so that Jesus could show them the heart of God. When Jesus spoke this new command it was something that they could not miss. They knew what the path was all about. The disciples were to serve, wash, bless, love, and care for others as Jesus had done for them. 

When people see that measure of love and service they will know that that person is a disciple of Jesus Christ. 


5.)        Use your imagination and picture yourself going out to eat at a nice restaurant with some friends for a special occasion. You are enjoying the meal and time together. The food and setting are wonderful and refreshing.     

            You are finishing up your meal when the owner of the restaurant comes over to you and said that it was his pleasure to serve you this evening. You express your appreciation to him for the great food and time. Then the owner says, there is no cost to you, I paid for your meal. I covered all the costs of those that served you tonight. He then says, “Have a good evening,” and walks away.  

What would you do or feel at that moment?             You would be surprised and shocked. You would think to yourself, “I did not expect that.” It would touch your heart. You would go and find the owner and shake hands with him, you might give him a hug, you might feel like you need do something. You might find it hard to receive something unexpected at that moment.      

When unexpected things happen to us they bless us and touch us. You remember them and you remember the person that surprised you.        


6.)        Elizabeth Turnage wrote as story on her website about a surprise that she heard about.  

“I once heard of a woman who planned a great surprise party for her 12-year-old daughter. So she made a plan, and she invited everyone and told them all to keep it a secret. She got decorations and hid them at her neighbor’s house. She went to her neighbor’s house and made a cake. She worked for months planning the surprise. On the day of the party – which was NOT the girl’s birthday, her mom took her to the movies in the afternoon, and all of her friends and her neighbor got everything ready for the party. When the mom and the daughter walked into the house, everyone yelled SURPRISE!

But what happened next was NOT what the mom expected when she planned the party. HER DAUGHTER BURST INTO TEARS! Her mother was freaking out. She was afraid she did something wrong. But then her daughter started laughing and smiling and jumping up and down. She was SO HAPPY and GRATEFUL to her mom and her friends that she had started crying.

That is what SURPRISE can do to us. It can affect our emotions intensely.”


7.)        Jesus surprised each disciple when He washed their feet. Do you think any of the disciples were crying, or laughing, or were quiet, or were amazed at this act of love? 

Jesus left that Upper Room and know that He was about ready to give His entire life for His disciples and for all people. 

Jesus was arrested, tried and crucified. Jesus surprised us with His love on the cross and the gift of salvation, forgiveness, and redemption. Jesus gave His entire life for us out of love. It is hard to imagine that Jesus paid the price for us to have love and new life.   


8.)        We have an opportunity to receive the life of Christ through the bread and juice that we will share together.   I pray that the Lord surprises someone this evening.    


            (Pass the bread to all and then pass the juice to all. Ted will invite the people to wait until we all have the bread and then the juice and take it together.)