Roseavenue.org

 



Sunday, February 14, 2016 am                                                                Others 2016 Index

 

Others 7

JESUS, OUR EXAMPLE OF SERVICE

 

As we emphasize the importance of others, understanding what it means to be a servant is crucial.  Last week we identified what a servant is.  A servant is a person who performs duties for others.  The attitude of a Christian involves the “heart of a servant”.  We also addressed how godly leaders in the Bible lead others by serving (servant-leaders).  We also established how in scripture we are expected to serve, both by direct statement and implied in various passages (James 1:27, Galatians 6:10, 1 John 3:17-18, Ephesians 2:10, James 2:14-17, Galatians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 4:1-2, etc.)    In the midst of this lesson we also noted a few examples of servants in scripture – Phoebe (Romans 16:1), Dorcas (Acts 9:36-39), Paul (cf. 1 Cor. 9:19-22) and the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:33-36). 

But there is no greater example of service than Jesus Christ himself.  If we want to learn how to serve, simply look at how Jesus served.  That is our task in this study today. 

 I.                    Jesus was a servant

a.        We begin by noting that Jesus was described as a servant - Romans 15:8-9 – He became a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, and that Gentiles might glorify God in His mercy.
In Acts 3:26 Peter spoke of God having raised up His Servant Jesus. 

b.        Jesus declared Himself as a servant.  Matthew 20:28, “…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  
Luke 22:27, “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”  (We will deal with these contexts of this later)

c.        As He taught others, Jesus acted as a servant.  That is seen throughout the gospels as He genuinely cared for others and had compassion – He healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead, and associated with the common folk – e.g. Luke 7:19-22.  Often when Jesus was accused of associating with “sinners” and tax collectors, He was doing good deeds in their midst. 
Acts 10:38, Peter declared that He went about doing good. 

d.       Isaiah 42:1-4, (this was even applied to Him in Matthew 12:17-21 where the Pharisees are plotting against Him because of the great works He did for others.)

e.       John 13:1-7 – on the night Jesus would be betrayed, He instituted the Lord’s Supper and taught His disciples.  Luke 22:24-27 records on that occasion, the disciples were disputing about who was the greatest.  I believe it was in response to this that we read in John 13 about Jesus washing the disciples feet – an example of being a servant.  It was the task of the lowliest of servants and yet Jesus not only did it, he commanded that they let Him do it.

f.         He is the suffering servant – Isaiah 52:13-53:12 – Isaiah some 700 years prior to our Lord coming to this earth described Him as a servant.  The ultimate example of His service was His willingness to die for us. 
Philippians 2:5-8 bears this out as it describes His humility.  Paul notes that Jesus left heaven and came to this earth and put on humanity, “taking the form of a bondservant” so that He could provide the sacrifice we need.
2 Corinthians 8:9 notes that He became poor so that we might become rich.
There is no greater act of service than to die for others – John 15:13

g.        He continues to serve as our High Priest – (just as the High Priest of Israel served the people (Heb. 5:1), so Jesus as our High Priest serves us - Hebrews 4:14-16 , 2:17-18 – He aids us in our temptations, He make propitiation for us, He sympathizes with us as He approaches the Father on our behalf.

 II.                  The message of Jesus addressed serving  -

a.        In addition to His example, Jesus taught about being servants.

b.       Matthew 20:25-28, after the mother of James and John come asking Jesus to let them reign on His right and left, Jesus gives a lesson about serving – 1) We are not the rulers of this world
2) Greatness is found in being servants

c.        Matthew 23:11-12 – rather than seeking the praise of men, we seek humility.

d.       Luke 16:13 - We are to serve God. 

e.       We are to serve Jesus - John 12:26, “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.”

f.         In many parables, He addressed servants. 

                                                   i.      Luke 12:35-40 –Jesus describes our need to wait for Him as that of an expectant steward that is prepared. 

                                                  ii.      Luke 12:41-48 – The parable of the faithful steward that is prepared for His master’s coming.  Warning given of abusive and unprepared servants.

                                                iii.      Matthew 25:14-30 – The parable of the talents which demonstrates that we have abilities and we must use those to glorify Him.

                                                iv.      Luke 16:1-13 – Jesus describes an unprofitable steward whose conduct is called into account and he acts shrewdly.  While the master commends his shrewdness, he was still a corrupt servant and was held accountable.
In 10-12 – Jesus notes that one’s faithfulness is in his character, not in the amount he has been entrusted with.

                                                  v.      Luke 17:7-10 – a faithful and humble servant who must keep working until he is done.  He is loyal and realizes  when we have done all things, it was his duty

g.        Luke 22:24-30 – they were arguing (again) about who was the greatest.   Jesus again seeks to teach them humility and how our concept of leadership is NOT like that of the world.  We lead through serving.   Again in vs. 27 He appeals to His own example.

h.       John 13:12-17 after washing their feet, He taught them.  Jesus explicitly taught His apostles to follow His example in serving others.  It was not a ritualistic ceremony He was concerned about, but an attitude.  When you begin to lift yourself up, the best way to humble yourself is to serve others.  That is what God expects.

 

In this lesson we the example of Jesus as a servant.  The only reason we have hope is because He was willing to leave heaven to come and serve us.  This ought to humble us and cause us to submit to His will.  But it also ought to cause us to seek to imitate our teacher as His disciple.  What have you learned from Him?