John 13:1-3

God’s mission for the church is the same, regardless of the size of the church. Small church enables each one of us to experience God’s work among us in a more intimate way. 

God’s mission for the church is to build a counter-cultural community, and a distinguishing mark of this community is that we serve one another. Jesus gives us an example of the kind of community that he wants his disciples to form in John 13. Jesus teaches his disciples to serve one another through himself washing their feet in the last dinner with his disciples.. 

John 13:1-3 gives crucial background information about the significance of Jesus serving his disciples.

  • Jesus knows that his hour had come to depart the world and return to his Father. His time on earth and with his disciples is limited. Jesus needs to pass on to them what they as a community needs to be in order to continue to expand God’s kingdom on earth after Jesus is gone.
  • Jesus loves them to the end. Jesus serves them because of love, even loving Judas who is going to betray him.
  • Jesus knows that the Father had put all things under his power. A power that enables Jesus to defeat the devil immediately, yet he submits to God’s plan and timing. 

The all knowing, all powerful and all-loving Jesus adopts the posture of a servant and washes his disciples’ feet.

  • A typical community at Jesus’s time does not serve one another. Peers did not wash one another’s feet. Washing feet is done by the lowliest.
  • It foreshadows what Jesus is going to do on the cross:
    • Now he laid down his outer garments to serve his people;
    • On the cross he laid down his life to die for the unworthy.
  • Washing feet does not require his power, his talents, his gifts, he simply sees the needs of the community and meets the needs.  

Jesus shows us how to love one another well. We love through serving others.

  • We serve in the church as servants, not volunteers. Servants are other-centered; volunteers are self-centered.
  • Volunteers serve when they have spare time, and they serve in areas that are of interest to them.
  • Servants are different. They are willing to do something not because they are excited about routine mundane tasks, but simply because there is a need.

Our evening English service is made possible by many anonymous people doing insignificant tasks consistently. All these brothers and sisters are willing to serve because this is how Jesus has served us.

  • A small church like ours allows you immediate and intimate participation in building a community that serves one another.
  • Even though we are a small church, do not underestimate how you can participate in God’s mission.

In 2023, do you want to serve or to be served?