Sunday Morning | September 3, 2023 | John C. Majors | Louisville, KY
On September 3, 2023, Pastor John's sermon focused on John 13:1-20 and explored four layers of meaning and four points of application. The passage marked a major transition in the Book of John, shifting from signs to the revelation of Jesus' glory. It introduced the concept of being "in the world but not of the world," drawing parallels to the Amish community's approach to modern conveniences and technology, emphasizing the importance of community. The first layer of meaning was the prior context, highlighting Jesus washing the disciples' feet, a shocking act in ancient times. The second layer was personal, focusing on Peter's initial resistance and the idea of spiritual cleansing. The third layer was about the pattern of Christian conduct, emphasizing that Jesus set an example of serving others. Finally, the fourth layer was the parallel meaning, as Jesus simultaneously demonstrated service and identified Judas as the betrayer. The sermon concluded with four ways to be a servant: receiving Christ's service, not confusing attendance with acceptance, dealing with one's heart, and blessing those who persecute you, ultimately leading to a reflection on Jesus' ultimate act of service in Philippians 2:3-8.
At Valley View Church we are currently studying through the entire gospel of John, verse by verse. You can join us on Sunday mornings at 11 AM for worship. We are located at 8911 3rd Street Road, Louisville KY 40272.
I got to say, the I feel like I've the Lord's calling me on the carpet a little bit, calling all of you to say something about faith. And then the song right after that says, Yeah, I want to be refined by fire man who prays for that? I don't want to pray for that because what'll happen, right? I got to pray about faith a little bit on that one some more. And I think about that. We might take that song out of the rotation. Okay. No. Yeah. No, we probably need it more. Some things we got to pray about faith and part of coming here. Sometimes it's coming by faith, you know, especially on Labor Day weekend, it appears, right? There are times we come by faith and we go, You know what? Maybe I'm not feelin it today, but I know I got to get close to others who are trying to pursue Christ because I can't do it on my own. We're going to see a powerful picture of that. And today's passage, you can't do it on your own. In fact, we're back in the Book of John continuing through John. We're in chapter 13, and I was reminded of an experience my family and I had when we first started serving as missionaries overseas. Our first assignment was to teach at a student conference. There were students coming from all over the South Pacific. There was a university in this country. The university of the South Pacific Pacific, aptly named. There's probably 20 different little island nations all throughout the South Pacific. Many you've never heard of, and a lot of them have come together for this student conference from Campus Crusade for Christ. So we had countries like Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, all these different countries sent students who wanted to spend their break growing as a Christian, focusing on their spiritual life and so I taught at this conference and at the end they had this really cool moment where all these different countries are coming from with all their different traditions. And so they each dressed up in their kind of traditional elaborate costumes, outfits, costumes, outfits, and then did some kind of traditional dance alongside of it. And they were all kind of showing off their country. In fact, I got an image of one of the countries I'm pretty sure this was Tonga. And you can see they have elaborate outfits. Most of those mats that are wrapped around them are made from coconut leaves or some regional grass from their area. And it's some tradition that's been passed down and they do this real elaborate dance. And this was amazing to watch. What a great introduction to this new environment to get exposed to all these beautiful traditions and these dances were well-crafted, well orchestrated, well right in the middle of one of these dances. And you know, their time together, they're coordinated. Everybody's dressed the same. One of the other girls from the audience gets up and walks right in the middle of them and starts just weaving through them, dancing around them, not following them, doing her own thing right in the middle of it all. And I looked around at me and I was just horrified. I thought, she is ruining this whole thing for them here. They have gone and put all this effort into this elaborate production. It's just taking all the attention on herself. And I was so embarrassed. I looked around at some of the leaders and I thought, when are they going to step up and say something? But apparently they were so embarrassed they did nothing. They sat completely still. So the whole thing finishes all the other dances. There was amazing night after I'd connect with the guy who coordinated it all and I was like, Man, this was an incredible night. What an introduction to the overseas ministry for our family. Like this could not have gone any better, except for that random lady who took it on herself and took over this whole dance, what was going on? And he looked at me as confused as you could be. And then he just started laughing. He just started laughing at me. Fijians love to laugh. He's just laughing and laughing. And now I'm feeling uncomfortable. And he says, John, she didn't ruin it. She made it even better. You know, they see that much like you might clap at something you agree with or shout at me. And that's she was bold enough to go up and join them to show how much she appreciated their act. And isn't it fascinating how we can see the exact same thing? And to one culture, it's horrifying. And to another it's an act of praise and service. Something can be so foreign to us in one culture versus another. It's amazing. We see that all throughout the Bible. We're going to see that today as well in a very familiar story where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. It's one you've probably heard. If you've read the Bible before, you've probably heard it a number of times, and it seems pretty straightforward. But what we're going to see, much like this situation we experience, there are layers of meaning going on here. Some of them are foreign to us coming from a different culture and a different time. In fact, I'm going to point out four layers of meaning, much like maybe a four layer cake. I hesitate to mention cake this close to lunch, but you understand four layers of meaning. We're going to unpack through here and try to get at what some of what go on is going on that we may not fully understand. So we're going to be in John, chapter 13. If you have a Bible turn there. If you don't, we have copies of the Bible out in the connection corner. Feel free to slip out. Grab those any time those tie into the page numbers on the screen. That's on page 846. And we're going to look at these four layers of meaning. But first, let's look at the first verse in John chapter 13, because there's a lot going on and just this one verse that sets up a number of different things. John Chapter 13, verse one Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his our had come to depart out of this world, to the other, to the father having loved his own, who were in the world, he loved them to the end. And that phrase to the end means completely, entirely all the way to death. They don't know what that means yet, but he sees it through to the end. Now, the important thing about this verse to point out, we are at a gigantic transition in the book of John. John can basically be broken into four parts. You have the first 18 verses of the first chapter, so a very small part. Then you have from verse 19 until the end of chapter 12, huge section that we just finished last week. We closed this big section of the book called The Book of Sons, where he's showing, Here's who I am, here's who I am, I'll heal this way. I'll raise Lazarus from the dead. All of this is pointing out, these signs are pointing out, Here's who I am. But then we saw in chapter 12, he said, okay, now I'm drawing away to focus on my disciples. And so in chapter 1314, 15, 16, 17, in fact, if you have a Bible with the words of Jesus in red, if you flip through the next four or five pages, you just see almost entirely read. This is one of the longest discourses fancy word for lecture or sermon that Jesus gives in Scripture. You know, you have the Sermon on the Mount, you have the Olivet Sermon, and then you have the farewell discourse or the upper room discourse. And this is as important for us to take note, because think about if you had one meal left with the people who you were closest to and you'd want to leave them with some important words. And he's going to take the next 4 to 5 chapters to leave them with some very important words up to his glorification. And this second half of John is often called the Book of Glory. We're really in just a day or two left of his life. Halfway through the book, we speed up and get to slowing down for just a day or two left for this gigantic transition. And here's what, he says, to set up the transition, go back at verse one before the feast of Passover. Jesus knew that as our 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. The two words there that I think create an interesting dynamic is the fact that he's going out of the world, but he's leaving his followers behind in the world. And he recognizes that is one of the really, let's say, challenges of the Christian life. How do you live in the world but not be of the world? How do we do that? How am I how do I stay living in the world, which I'm called to do, but I don't become a part of the world? I recognize I'm created for another world. This is not my home. There's another place, but yet I'm called to be here. How do we wrestle with that and figure that out? That's not always easy and clear. It's a challenge for many of us. In fact, I mentioned a week or two ago the Amish, and you know, you may not be familiar with the Amish. It's a religious group that they tend to shun many modern conveniences. They drive horse and buggy. Still, they don't use electricity, at least not the grid. They have a lot of different laws within their group to really limit their connection with this world. And, you know, I read this week a book for the first time I felt like was favorable toward them in that effort. Most of the time it's like, can you believe those backwards, legalistic morons who haven't caught up with the times? That's usually if it's not explicitly said that way, that's usually what the critique is thinking. But this guy said he said, You know, what we have to appreciate is what they're trying to do, whether you agree with how they do it or not. But they're not doing it perfectly. But let's try to understand what they're trying to do, which, by the way, is always a healthy thing do with someone you disagree with. I don't have to agree with you, but let me at least try to understand where you're coming from. Maybe that will allow me to be a little more gracious toward what what you're doing and not just be defensive or demanding. But he said, here's what is happening. It's not that the Amish hate technology, but it's that they love and want to protect community. And so the things they have said no to technology wise, they believe are things that will hinder the ultimate goal of community. And he gave one example. They don't own cars. In fact, I remember being at a gas station this is 20 years ago now, and pulling of the gas station in here pulls up a van and all these Amish fill out. And I'm like, Wait a second, you hypocrites. What are you doing? You don't own cars? No, we don't. But we can ride in them. But we can't own them because we've noticed when people own a car, they go off by themselves, separate themselves from community, which, by the way, does happen. Right. That's a brilliant observation. That clearly happens. And they've said it that it's detrimental to our community. So we're not going to own cars. We can go off in a group on a ride, but it's the ownership that creates the division. Now, again, whether you agree with that or not, I'm not trying to make a defense for that. But what they're trying to do is wrestle with that huge question we all have to wrestle with how do I live in this world but not be of this world? Recognize this world is not my home. How do I fight for the reality that I'm going back to the Father? That's what Jesus is saying here, to kick off the whole next lecture he's about to give them. And the beautiful part of how that sets up today's message, he is going to give this unbelievable example, practical example of what that means. You want to know what it means to live in this world, but not of this world. I'm going to show you. And this is what he's saying to the disciples right here. So let's look at what happens as we unpack these four layers of meaning. And the first layer is here in this first group of verses, verse two through five, John, chapter 13, verse two during supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot. Simon 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, He rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments and taking the towel, tied it around his waist. 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. So the first layer of meaning we're going to look at here is the prior meaning. In fact, put those back up. I want you to see all four to begin with. You can capture those if you want. We have prior personal pattern and parallel. I worked really hard to find peace for all of those to help out with a note taking, but there's four layers of meaning. The prior meaning, the personal meeting, the pattern of the meeting, and then the parallel meaning. We're going to unpack each of those. First is the prior meaning, the historical meaning, the background, meaning when people saw someone washing feet, what did they think? Okay, for us, that's kind of awkward. If someone wanted to wash your feet, you'd be like, That's weird. Why? I mean, we wear nice comfy shoes, we wear socks wherever we walk is probably paved. And so our feet stay pretty clean, stay pretty mild, nice. They might look weird or something, but we don't we don't have feet usually that are how they would have been then. Most people, probably everyone, only had open toed shoes. They weren't allowed on the playground as a result. Sorry. Parents, but as a result you just step outside onto a dirt road. That's not only dirt, by the way, as the sheep pass by and leave behind many presents for you, they weren't just walking in dirt. All you do is walk across the street and no matter how clean your feet are, they are now something you don't want anywhere near you. And so there was an element culturally of your feet are going to be the dirtiest part of your body, the most unclean part of your body. There are going to be things on your feet that wouldn't be allowed in the temple that you shouldn't carry on you on the Sabbath. Now, we've seen, though, foot washing in some other places in Scripture already, even in the book of John, Do remember the most recent time someone washed someone's feet? Mary Jesus came to her home for dinner, and Mary, probably the distinguished host, takes her own hair and she does for him as far as we know, what no one else had done, no one else had taken the time to wash and sweep the disciples. She threatened. We would have heard about that. They would have written that in there. We'd know all about that. But Mary gets down, takes the most expensive things she has washes his feet and shows this is humble service and worship. She models to them what they should have been doing. There's the act of foot washing there already says I am a steaming this person at that level. The very few would. Part of it goes all the way back to Genesis Chapter 18. Abraham meets a group of three guys clearly knows they're divine. And he says to him, Come over here. And the first thing he says, Let me get some water for you to wash your feet. It was an act of hospitality. It was expected that would be one of the first things you would do for a weary traveler especially. It was a sign of respect. But notice with Abraham, he didn't wash their feet. Let me get you some water for you to wash your own feet. In fact, Jewish law prohibited at this time a man, a Jewish man, from being forced to wash another Jewish man's feet. That was for the Gentiles. Servants or the children are sorry to say, the women. Different times, different culture. But a Jewish man, you could not force him. That was against the law. That was too low for him. And so with all of this prior understanding, with all of this cultural background, we get into the personal layer. Jesus knows all this, but he's going to make it personal. It's not just foot washing as a concept. He's going to wash the individual personal feet of people. So look at this next set of verses and we can see how this personal layer comes out. Look at verse six. 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, they are not my feet, only, but also my hands and my head. And Jesus said, 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. So here we have this second layer of meaning, the personal layer where Jesus comes and begins to wash the feet of the disciples individually. And it's just interesting that none of them said anything before Peter. Maybe they felt like me at this ceremony where it's so awkward you don't know what to say. But Peter is the first one We know him is often the bold one and he's like, What are you doing? You think you're going to wash my feet? What are you doing? You'll never wash my feet. In fact, this is really emphatic in the original language. He says, you know, no, will not wash my feet, which in English is weird because that would mean you really will. The double negative means a positive. But then that's not what it myth. No, you will not. No way. Ever wash my feet. And I love how Peter is. Just like that changed because Jesus says you you don't understand what's going on here. If you won't allow me to wash your feet, you have no. In fact, the word he uses, you have no share with me. That word also is translated. You have no part with me. You have no inherent part of the inheritance you have. It's used to describe the part of your body, the member of your body. You have no membership with me. You understand, Peter, If you don't do this, you're out. And so Peter goes, Well, I'm all in whatever this means. I don't get it, but I'm trusting you. Part of why this would have been so foreign to Peter, You know, we live in such an egalitarian society. We don't have clear social strata. Any one of us here, in theory, could be the president of the United States, right? I mean, that's a big jump, but it's there's nothing keeping you from it socially, per se. You could head a huge company CEO, you could be the governor. You could like. We just don't have those social classes where at that time they did, the Galilean fisherman knew he would never be the Roman emperor. He knew there was a vast difference between them and the average person knew. You stay in your class. And one of the worst things that could happen is someone who is the upper level, someone you esteem to come and put themselves at a level where they would do the most menial task that you could imagine. And Peter says, You you're not worthy of this, Lord, I don't follow that kind of Lord who would come down and do this that's that's below you. That's beneath you. I've tried to think of a way to communicate that just how horrific this would have been to them, because we don't have anything else like it in our culture. There's nothing else like this. And I've tried so hard. I've thought and thought and thought. I've listened to so many people talk about this. No one has given an example that I felt was good. So I've made this one up. We'll see if it works. So imagine that you get a call from the White House. President of the United States says, Hey, I want to come have dinner with you in your home with your family. Now, some of you go, I don't really want this president to come to my house. I get that. Okay, look, you pick whichever president you like. I'm not making a political comment. I'm just saying it should be someone that feels like an extreme honor to you. And so for now, you've got weeks to prepare, man. You're repainting every wall in the house. You're taken cooking classes, You're you're having the house re landscaped. You're you're working out more. I want to fit in that suit or that dress that I know I'll look better in. You're buying forks and spoons you didn't even know existed in learning how to use them. Like you're doing everything to prepare for this moment. And finally, the president shows up, walks in your house, sits down for dinner. Here you are. You and your spouse and your lovely three kids and a dog. Everyone's perfect. Everything is perfect. The meals perfect, everything's going great. All of a sudden, in the middle of the meal, you see this uncomfortable look on the face of the president and he says, Excuse me, Hate to ask, but can you point me to the bathroom? Oh, okay. You point him down the hall. He goes down the hall, second door on the left, no worries. And he's gone a few minutes and. Then you realize all of a sudden it hits you. Just an hour before he came, your teenage son had been in there and clogged the toilet right? And you're horrified. You can't believe it. And so you run to the bathroom and you get there and the doors open and he's got his jacket off and his sleeves are rolled up. And there he is with the plunger clean and your toilet. The highest man in the country is in your bathroom cleaning your toilet. You could not be more horrified. Now, that might make a great story that you'd love to share later, but in the moment, utterly horrified. What are you doing? I don't even want to do that. What are you doing? Doing that in my bathroom? This doesn't even begin to get at the horror Peter would have felt in this moment. What are you doing? And Jesus says, If I don't do this, you have no share. You have no part in me. And he doesn't understand what's going on. In fact, he explains to him, Look, I don't need to wash your whole body. Your whole body is clean, just your feet. If you had taken a shower in this culture baths right before you went out to meet a friend across the street, you're all clean. You just walk across the street and your feet are already wrecked. You don't have to take another bath, just wash your feet. Many, in fact, the context here, the conclusion is there are two spiritual cleansings occurring. One is Jesus saying, You already know me, you're already clean at that level, you already follow me, you're already saved is how we might say it. But the reality is you will sin again. You will make your feet will get dirty. And I don't mean you go and get re saved that you never knew him. No. What we do is we confess first, John. One night, if we say we have no sin, we receive ourselves. The truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, we as faithful and just to forgive us our sins, cleanse us from all and righteousness. Note that we're cleansed. So, Peter, you don't understand. It's not just knowing me. There's the ongoing daily confession of sin. Both are true. Both are in play. That's the personal layer here. We don't just say, Yeah, no, I accepted him. I'm good. I did that 23 years ago. I know him. I'm good now. Well, Daly you may know him. You may be secure in him, but there is the daily confession and walking with him and growth in him and knowing him on and on and on and on. So that's the personal layer. And now let's look at the next layer here. In this next set of verses. You'll never wash my feet. You'll have no share with me. Look at verse 12. I'm going to come in here in a minute. By the way, on the verse I skipped over about Not all of you are clean and his comment on Judas. We'll get to that. But first look at verse 12 when he had washed their feet and put on his outer garment, resumed his place, he said to them, Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me teacher. And Lord, you're right. 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 of that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor as a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. So the third layer of meaning here is the pattern of meaning. The pattern of meaning Jesus is setting for them. In fact, he says, I've given you an example in verse 15 that word examples also translated as pattern for you to follow. You're not greater than me. You call me Lord and master. You're not greater than me. And so you should not be above this either. If the Lord or master is willing to do this, I'm setting a pattern. An example for you. Some have seen this and thought that means much like communion. This is something for us to continue to do as a part of our worship service. But a big difference is you never see this repeated as an act of worship in Scripture or in the early church. The point here is, is the behavior pattern, the heart pattern that he's pointing toward, not the actual physical act of washing someone's feet. Because as we've already about, it means a whole lot different in our culture than it did then. The issue is, are you willing to serve others? Are you willing to do the thing that no one else will do, that everyone else is above? That is the pattern. Probably the most obvious part of this passage is that he's saying You want to know what it means to be great. You want to know what it means to be Lord and master. Here's what it means. And the crazy part is he's doing that at the same time that when they get together well, first of all, this is the middle of the meal and Jesus gets up to wash their feet. Why aren't their feet already washed? Why didn't they do it when they came in the house? Why didn't they wash one another's feet? Why didn't they even wash their own feet? They even felt they were above doing that for themselves. When they get together, they argue about who's greatest. I don't know, Peter, you seem pretty great. But I got to tell you, I'm pretty great, too. That's that's the gist of some of their conversations. I'm going to get my mom to vouch for me. She's going to go to Jesus and talk about how great I am, which is a strong strategy, by the way. So that's what they do. And Jesus says, You want to know what to do when you get together. I'm going to show you what you do. You serve one another. That is the pattern. While they are arguing, he's saying, here's what it means to be the greatest. It takes a great person to serve others. Really. So that's the pattern of meeting. Now, that's the fourth layer, the parallel meaning let's look at this last layer, verse 18. I am not speaking of all of you. I know whom I have chosen, but the Scripture will be fulfilled. He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me. I'm telling you this now before it takes place, that when it does take place, you may believe that I am he truly, Truly. I say to you, Whoever receives the one I send receives me. Whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. So the thing about this story that's occurring in the background the entire time, it's not the obvious layer. I mean, the prior layer is not obvious either. The servant layer, that's that's obvious and somewhat the personal layer is as well in terms of he's dealing with people individually. But this parallel, this symbolic layer is occurring. What's happening in the background is that the whole time he's doing this, there's Judas in the same room and he's saying, One of you is with me, and while I am cleansing you individually, I'm going to clean this as a group. There is one among us who is not among us, which, by the way, is him saying they don't understand it yet. But I was in control even then. I knew what was happening. You look back and go, What was he thinking? He was still in control. Now, as I look at those four layers of meaning, I think there are some practical applications for us for quick ones that we're going to run through. When you think of the example Jesus set and understanding the background and also understanding the symbolism of what's occurring with Judas in the background, what does that mean for us? How do we live out being a servant? We're going to look at four ways real quick to be a servant. So four ways to be a servant. Here's number one. Go ahead and put number one up on the screen. Receive his service. That's the starting place. I've heard it said often that to be a great follower, you have to first learn. Sorry to be a great leader. You have to first learn to be a good follower. And Jesus here, said Peter, if you don't receive my simple act of service, you have no part with me. That's the starting place. What did the disciples do to receive Jesus as service? Nothing. All they had to do was sit there and be quiet and just let him wash their feet. If you think you're too good for Jesus to wash your feet, he says, you don't have any part with me because it's not about what you do. Second, don't confuse attendance with acceptance. Here's what I mean by that. Don't confuse attendance with acceptance. Who was in this room the entire time? Judas. Who was there at every sermon that Jesus gave? As far as we know, Judas, who saw all the miracles all along the way. Judas. And yet he was not part of them. Don't confuse attendance, meaning don't confuse outward activity with what's going on inside the heart. Please attend. Please be present. But don't confuse it. Please be baptized. But don't confuse it. Baptism doesn't save you. It's just an outward expression of what's going on in the heart. And Judas had confused those whatever reason he had already started to work with the devil. That's why in number three, the third application for us is so important. Deal with your heart. Deal with your heart. Wherever it is. I heard a guy say to me once, You know, we pray, Lord, give me a servant's heart. Help me to truly be a servant. He said, You want to know how you have a servant's heart? Some of you heard this before. It's how you respond when you're treated like one. I don't know about you, but if I'm treated like a servant, I don't immediately respond with gratitude. Who do you think I am? The president or something? I'm not cleaning your toilet. Right. Maybe he did. No, I'm not immediately so grateful for be treat and be treated like the very thing I was praying for. We've got to start by dealing with our own hearts. Lord, help me to have a humble heart. A service that is willing to do the pattern and follow the example that you set. And then lastly, number four, bless those who persecute you, bless those who persecute you. You know, probably the most confusing part of this whole story is that he wash the feet of Judas. Here's the guy he knows is about to betray him. And I'm reading this going, What are you doing, Lord? Okay, where's that Jesus we talked about in Revelation, Who has the eyes like flames of fire? This would be a good time to put those to use and just get rid of him. Eliminate that guy. Bless those who persecute you. Jesus modeled that ad at the extreme level. Now, I know there's a lot of nuances to that. Okay? I know that there are limits to that. But what is the heart attitude? I'm going to get mine. I'm going to get my revenge. That person will never wrong me again. They'll never be in my life. Or is it? Lord, how do I bless those who persecute me? Bless. Do not return evil with evil first, Peter. Three or we turn evil with good bless. Someone once asked Oprah Winfrey, who was probably the best, most well known talk show. She's still alive, but her talk show Midday was worse, not best, not one of the best known shows around at the time. They once asked her, of all the guests you've had. Who really stands out to you as most interesting? Someone most engaging her. And she said, you know, there's been a lot of people on here that you would recognize that are well known and a lot of them are good people, but they all come with their entourage who show up early, make sure everything's just right. The water temperatures just right, the right color eye candy is there, whatever. Make sure there's the lesser people. Don't come bother them and they probably show up late and they're fine as a guest. But there's one guy who stands out about all above all the others, she said. And this guy at the time was the biggest movie star possibly in the world. Definitely in the country. Jimmy Stewart, you may not have heard of him. He's from a ways back, but at the time he was the biggest thing around. And she said he showed up, showed up early by himself. No entourage. He didn't need his handlers keeping people away from him. Kind, humble, goes to makeup, compliments. Everyone he meets, sits quietly by himself. Here he is, the biggest star around and the most humble guy she could have encountered. It takes a great person to truly serve. And as great as Jimmy Stewart was in modeling that we have a greater example because he went to the ultimate point of service. In fact, Philippians two talked about do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind, regard one another as more important than yourselves. Don't merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interest of others. Have this attitude in yourself, which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, took on the form of a slave being found in the image of man. And because he was found in the image of man, he became obedient, humbling himself to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God as a result, in response, highly exalted him, bestowing on him a name that is far above all other names. And what is that name? It is King of Kings and Lord of Lords to the glory of God, the Father. He is our model of service and He set that pattern for us. Let's pray God, We ask today that you would give us a heart of service. And as I said at the beginning, I pray that with a bit of hesitancy honestly, because I don't like being treated like a servant. But you modeled. I'll get down on my knees, I'll do the filthiest thing around that one else would do. Lord, help us to serve one another. Help this to be a church with a heart, a service that is flourishing because of how much are loving on one another and just loving and pouring out and loving. And I thank you for so many here who model that so well. We can and week out. God help us to go forward today thinking about your example, pouring our lives into others. Love you, Jesus. Amen.