Pastor’s Blog April 2019

The first time that I had an opportunity to preach and choose my own passage I chose to preach from John 13 and in particular v3:

“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist.”

I love this story, I love the humility of Jesus in washing his disciples’ feet, and I think it is an extraordinary act of service. But what has often struck me about Jesus was his absolute security in who he was. He was able to be a servant because he was totally confident of his identity.

He knew that the father had put all things under his power, he was the most powerful person on the planet but he chose to use his power to wash his disciples’ feet. In this world power leads to privilege but in the Kingdom power is laid aside in order to serve.

Jesus knew that he had come from God and was returning to God, Jesus was secure in his relationship with God his Father, he knew his past and he knew his future and so he was able to lay aside all his rights to be served and to be honoured by his followers. People who are secure in God are freed to serve because they are primarily motivated by the Father’s approval.

Later in John 13 v12-17, Jesus makes clear to his disciples that his actions are not just to be admired but to be imitated. The foot washing foreshadows the cross, the ultimate act of humility, service and sacrifice. Where the son of God humbled himself even to death on a cross and in so doing gave himself completely for us, dying in our place and for our sins.

The life of the Christian disciple is defined by these events. Our calling is to lay ourselves down in sacrificial service, loving one another as Jesus has loved us.

In the words of Graham Kendrick:

“So let us learn how to serve

And in our lives enthrone him.”

This is a time to lay aside our desire for power and instead to be God’s servant people, this is the call of Christ and an important part of the message of Easter.

Phil Dixon