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Serving God (John 13:1-20)

Sermon on 14 August 2022 by Ps Gaius


The Lord blesses us. He is almighty. Does He really need us to serve Him? What God wants when we serve God is to serve others.

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:37-40

As long as you serve unto one person, you serve the Lord.

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. – 1 John 4:20-21

If you cannot serve a brother whom you have seen, you cannot serve God whom you have not seen. In your daily interactions with others, there will be someone who offends you. But we cannot hate someone, then say you love God. This is being hypocritical. If there is someone we do not like, we must pray to God. The Lord wants us to love. We are flesh, we are imperfect. But God uses imperfect people to fulfil His perfect will.


Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. – John 13:1-4

Jesus was about to be betrayed by His disciple and sentenced to be crucified. But He loved the people till the end. Jesus did as a servant would do – He took off His garments and tied a towel around His waist.


Jesus served with humility. It is a challenge to serve with humility. Jesus is the king of kings. He should be served but instead He served the disciples. Furthermore, He gave His life to save us.

A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. – Luke 22:24

And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:42-45

The way God works is very different from how the world teaches. There is a risk that we bring in worldly wisdom to run the church. But our hearts here should be to serve one another – understand needs, pray and reach out. Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, which was something that servants used to do. The devil can do many things, but the devil is unable to be humble and serve. However, if we are with Jesus, we can be humble.

Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.” When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? – John 13:5-12


Jesus has washed us clean of our sins. However, as flesh, we will still commit sin. We may sometimes lose our temper, or tell a lie. Now that we have received the grace of God, we have to keep washing our feet – keep going back to the Lord to repent.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. - Ephesians 5:25-27

Jesus loved us unconditionally. Because He loves us so much, we want to go out and love others. When we serve, it is not because we seek reward; it is because we want to share something good with others. Jesus wants us to wash one other’s feet – He wants us to love one another and serve one another.

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. – John 13:13-15


Not all churches have harmony. The church of the Corinthians was filled with talents and gifts, but there was no harmony. Very often, it is our words that hurt someone the most.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. – Matthew 5:9

Loving your enemies is very difficult, but try your best.

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. – Romans 12:18

To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. – Romans 12:20-21

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; - Hebrews 12:14-15

1 Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! 2 It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes! 3 It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore. - Psalms 133


Submit everything into God’s authority. As we serve one another, let us do it in the way the Lord wants us do. When we serve in the right way, the church is in harmony. The commandments of God are not burdensome. His words are not difficult. When we do according to His word, the Holy Spirit will guide us.

Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. – John 13:16-17

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