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Love as a Servant

Called 2 Love Like Jesus Love as a Servant

To live out Jesus' call to love is to live as a servant—sharing his life, love, and the gospel. Serving others with this kind of sensitivity and initiative is a critical part of loving like Jesus, Christ exemplified this when he noticed the many needs of hurting people around him and took initiative to meet those needs. Christ exemplified what it means to be a servant—and then calls us to do the same.

From Love Like That by Les Parrott

Before the meal of bread and wine and Jesus' accompanying message of profound symbolism, he humbles himself in a way that shocked his disciples. He does something so incongruent what they were expecting and so deeply meaningful that it was guaranteed to stick in their memory forever. Their teacher, their Lord, takes a towel and basin and begins carefully washing each man’s feet with water. The disciples are stunned. Dismayed. Overwhelmed. This task was normally reserved for lowly servants. But here is their venerated rabbi kneeling before each of them, one after the other, to lovingly rinse the road dust from their feet. It's an inversion. It's upside down and doesn't make sense. Power and recognition were on the minds of the disciples, and Jesus was demonstrating service and sacrifice. He knew each of them well: The boisterous James and John whom he called "sons of thunder," Simon the zealot whose passion for politics could be easily provoked, the skeptical Thomas who struggled with doubts, upbeat Andrew, rash-tongued Peter, and all the rest. Jesus even washed the feet of Judas whom he knew was about to betray him. Jesus looked each of these men in the eyes, considering their personalities, and displayed uncompromising humility. He didn't pay someone to wash their feet; Jesus did it himself. He became a lowly, unpretentious, self-giving servant. It's easy to miss the profundity of this act because the gulf in time and culture between us and that fateful evening. A modern-day equivalent might be your pastor coming to your home to wash your dirty dishes or clean your bathrooms. Or maybe the governor of your state stopping by to sweep out your garage or separate your garbage. The analogies lack the personal and intimate experience of what Jesus did, but they get at the startling act of humility and service. The self-giving act of their rabbi surely endeared the disciples to him more than ever.

Of course, what Jesus did was more than an act of affection. It's a life lesson. Jesus tells the disciples they must follow his example with each other. They must become like servants, setting aside concern for position and privilege. They must place others above themselves. Through foot washing, Jesus unforgettably showed that service, not status, is what he's about.

Even before that last night, Jesus spoke to his followers about this radical servant attitude When they originally joined Jesus and his movement, three years earlier, they were focused on reaping rewards. They wanted a payoff for leaving their lives and following him. They quarreled over who would get what role. Two of them even had their mother make a special request to Jesus on their behalf, ensuring they'd be promoted. A constant power grab entwined the twelve.

Jesus told them repeatedly that power games were fundamentally alien to life inside God's kingdom. It's not about being first or more prominent. It's about heartfelt service. It's about love. But even up to the time of their final dinner together they were jockeying for position and squabbling over who was greatest. So Jesus leaves them—and us—with an indelible act that spoke in ways words cannot. He leaves us on the last night of his life with an unforgettable act of humble service summing up, perhaps more than anything else he did short of the cross, what it means to love like Jesus.

Just to be clear: Loving like Jesus is selfishness and self-focus in reverse. It is not concerned with benefits, and it expects nothing in return. Whether it is offering directions to someone who appears lost, giving an especially generous tip to a server who seems needy, or encouraging a friend who didn't get an expected promotion, self-giving love is done out of care, compassion, and kindness—expecting neither repayment or appreciation. Loving like Jesus means offering the best of who you are to others, and it comes with no strings attached.

A Spirit-empowered disciple consistently shares life and faith with friends and family; making disciples like Jesus did.

Much love and prayers, Pastor Mike. PS Mike is still looking to visit with you if he's not done so yet, preferably at home sometime, just to connect, listen and pray together. You can set up an appointment yourself by clicking here and choosing a day/time.

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