A few weeks ago I was asked to share something for our annual Ladies Breakfast Out at church. Now this is extra scary for a semi-quiet, back row sitter, sleep deprived, young mom to 4, who can barely put a sentence together at the moment. But thankfully, I'm married to a gifted, super genius, teacher-type husband who helped me out with putting everything I want to talk about together!
The theme for this year's Ladies Fellowship is: Serving Other's Because Jesus Served Us (Phil. 2:7).
I've decided that what I would like to share is 2 examples of Jesus telling the disciples to serve others and 1 example of Jesus actually doing it. Then I'll share what it means for me.
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him (Jesus) with her two sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21 And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom. 22 Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him "We are able". He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father". 24 And when the ten (disciples) heard it, they were indignant *understandably so* at the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and gave his life as a ransom for many.
This story is great ! Isn't that such a mom-thing, wanting the very best for your children?!? Unfortunately here it caused some tension among the others. But, you can't blame a mom for trying, right?
Now my other example of Jesus telling the disciples to serve is found in Mark 9:33-35
And they came to Capernaum. and when he (Jesus again) was in the house he asked them, "What were you discussing on the way?" 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve, And he said to them, "If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant to all.
There are several other passages that speak of Jesus telling the disciples to serve, and of the disciples having a little "sibling rivalry" and fighting over who was the best. But Jesus really drives his message home when he makes himself an example in the next passage.
13:1- 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. *Okay, I just love the wording on that verse "...having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. I think I want that on my headstone someday, Korleen loved her own so much, she loved them to the end!*
Anyway, this is the story where they are all up in the upper room, Judas has already purposed in his heart to betray Jesus. Jesus gets up from his supper, throws a towel around his waist and starts washing each person's feet one by one.
13:12 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? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 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. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Now you're probably thinking "alright what does this have to do with me?!? I'm a wife, I'm a mom, I have a good grasp on what it means to serve others." And this brings me to one last passage.
Titus 2:3-4 *Bum, bum, bum. The dreaded submission passage*
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers *sometimes easier said then done* not given to much wine. They are to teach what is good, 4 and so train the young women to love their husbands *even when he's bossy* and their children *even when they are demanding* <-----Which, of course, neither of mine EVER are! ;-)
Sounds like a tall order huh? I know this is a passage we hear a lot about, but I also feel like it's the one passage that is most blatantly disobeyed in some really great women. We live in a day when women have so many opportunities to achieve anything and everything. But it's also a time when we are so busy striving for those things that we forget what's really important. At first I loved this passage because it kind of gave me the green light to watch and see how the older women around me deal with different situations with their husbands and children and decide what I liked and what I didn't. But now that I'm old (30) too this verse really convicts me. I, myself, want to show the young women who are coming up behind me what Jesus has done for me. That will probably mean cleaning up baby puke and poop, and socks and snow that has been tracked through the house, and even not questioning my husband when he says things are going to be a certain way, all with a smile on my face AND in my heart. Just because Jesus said to serve others, and he cared enough about it to give a demonstration right before he knew he was to die. Now I doubt our husbands want us to be servants to them. But you know what, even if they do, what does it matter? My perfect, sinless Jesus was willing to do it for me so how can I not be willing to do it for others?
Last I would like to share a first hand story of kids learning by example.
A few years ago we decided to switch over to cellphones and give up our land line to save a little money. Well we weren't really thinking about the fact that we live in a dead zone and cell reception is AWFUL and I'm at our house a lot! So whenever my phone rings I run around our house and try to find the best place (which isn't the same every time) to get a couple bars. So as you can guess this gets a little annoying when you have several calls in a day.
Well, Gaius went to the Dollar store and bought a little hand held electronic sudoku game which he immediately started using as a cellphone. If you left this little toy on it would randomly sound a little chime letting you know. Gaius was pretending that chime was the phone's ring. He went along playing for awhile, but eventually got bored with it and left it on the couch. Well a few minutes later it made that little chime noise and he runs over, rips it up while saying "AH! Not again!", holds it up to his ear and says "HELLO!!!". And, of course, I knew exactly where he got that from. Oops! :-)
So that's my lesson. Thanks for the practice. Congratulations if you made it this far, this is looong post!