Jesus The Servant | Josiah Jones

Josiah Jones // Oct 31, 2023

In His last hours, Jesus didn’t flex His power or showcase His status — instead, He lowered Himself down to serve those who knew Him the be the Messiah. This week, Josiah Jones walked us through John 13:1-15 to show us that true greatness is found when we serve others and love those around us even when it means humbling ourselves.

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Welcome to The Porch! How are we doing tonight? Let's go. Hey, my name is Josiah Jones. I have the privilege of serving here on staff. I want to give a shout-out to all of our Porch.Live locations…Porch.Live Dayton, Ohio; Midland, Texas; and ATL. We see you, Porch Atlanta. Give 'em up. Then right here in this room, Dallas, Texas, we're so glad you're here.

It's starting to feel like fall here in Texas, Dallas specifically. Come on. That's exciting. The Texas Rangers are in the World Series. Let's go. And you're here. Halloween night, you're here. This is one of my favorite times of the year, Halloween. Let me put a picture of my family up on the screen. Here we go.

These are my three kids. We've got Camille, who's my oldest. She's Anastasia. Then my boy Caleb is Corey Seager. Yeah, you know. That's right. Then we have Isabella, and she's Ariel. So, that's my crew, and we love Halloween. I'm not with them, but my wife texted me that earlier, so I just thought I'd introduce my family. I haven't done that in a while.

Hey, we're diving into John, chapter 13. This is going to be a familiar passage for some of you. We're pulling up on the passage where Jesus washes the disciples' feet. We've been in a series titled Glory, beholding Jesus through the book of John. We're coming back to a familiar passage, like I said, and I'm excited. I'm excited because of what God is going to do tonight.

Before we get going, let me start out by asking a question. If you knew you were going to die in 18 hours, what would you do? It's not rhetorical. Let's talk. "Travel." Okay. Eighteen hours. She said she'd travel. Okay. I love it. Visit your family. Buy a cat? I don't bless that. Cats are from hell; dogs are from heaven. I just offended you. I'm sorry. That's not true. I'm playing.

What else would you do? Eighteen hours. "Get married," she says. Fellas! "Keep fighting for survival." Okay. More specifically, if you had 18 hours to live, what would you do and who would you gather? Like, who would you gather and maybe what would you tell them? The reason I'm proposing this question to you tonight is because this is the scene in John, chapter 13.

In John, chapter 13, Jesus is having his final meal with his twelve disciples because he has eighteen hours from this scene to live. He would go on to die on a cross for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is gathering his closest men, his closest boys, his twelve disciples, and he is about to tell them something very simple but profound. He's about to give his final message before he dies. Jesus is setting them up for the rest of their lives, and he's giving them a message. Why? Because in a few hours, he would be betrayed by one of his disciples himself, Judas.

In a few hours, he would be betrayed by all of his earthly friends. They would scatter and run away. In a few hours, he would enter six different trials where he would be beaten, bloodied, and bruised beyond recognition. If that wasn't enough, he would carry all of our sins on his shoulders. He's gathering his closest men, his closest boys, his disciples, and he's going to tell them something in John 13.

Here we go. John 13, starting in verse 1. "Now before the Feast of the Passover…" So, this is holiday season, what we're about to come up on, Christmas and Thanksgiving. Holidays are normally a joyful occasion where you gather with your family, you have some time off work, and you break bread. You share a meal. This is the scene Jesus is having with his disciples.

"…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…" Judas at this point had already made a pact with Satan to betray Jesus. To fulfill the ancient prophecy in the Old Testament in Zechariah 11, he would betray him for 30 pieces of silver. That's just a few hundred bucks.

Each of us need to ask ourselves the question, "What am I tempted to exchange my relationship with Jesus for?" Sex? Fame? Money? Climbing the corporate ladder? Influence? Autonomy? Independence? Comfort? Why am I asking you that question? Why am I saying this is a question we should propose to ourselves? Because if we don't know the answer to that question, then we don't know how Satan is going to try to tempt us. We need to have a death grip on this answer.

For me it's pride. Sometimes I can wake up and say, "God, I've got this. I don't need you." The other times it's lust. Some of you know my story. I was a porn addict for almost a decade of my life. The other thing I know Satan will try to tempt me with is anger. When my expectations don't get met, when things seem out of control in my life, when I am grasping for control, I can just explode with the best of them.

What is it for you? What are you tempted to exchange for your relationship with Jesus? Satan will try to tempt you with that. You and I need to be able to live in the light with trusted brothers. If you're a guy in the room, you need some men in your life to make war with. If you're a lady in the room, you need some women you can make war with. We call that Community Group here at Watermark, that we would be in community with like-minded people, people who will help us fight against our sin, against Satan, and what the world throws at us.

For Judas it was a few hundred bucks. What is it for you? He goes on in verse 3. "…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…" Now we see that Jesus has authority. He's just flexing on them. "I've come from God, and I'm going to go back to God."

" [He] rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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." You see, Jesus chose these twelve disciples, including Judas, which begs the question…If Jesus is omniscient, all-knowing, then why would he choose someone who would ultimately betray him?

To show you and me that he's not just loving people who love him. He's not just loving people who meet all of his expectations, but he's loving people who would do some of the lowest things you could do. I mean, some of you get this. When you hear the word betray, you're like, "Yeah, man. I've been there. I had a parent who betrayed me. I had a best friend who betrayed me. I had a boyfriend, a significant other who betrayed me." You get that. That resonates with you.

So, here we see Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, fully aware of the fact that one was actively planning to betray him. On top of that, he knew the hearts of all of them. He knew Thomas would doubt him. He knew Peter would deny him three times. And he didn't just wash the feet of the disciples who were easy to wash; he washed the ones even knowing what they would do.

It reminds me of the verse in Romans 5 where it says Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. He knew everything we would do, past, present, and future, and he still went to the cross. He had you in mind, knowing everything you would ever do, and he still went. He still washed their feet. He still loved his disciples. Jesus didn't let this distract him nor discriminate against Judas.

There's real racism even in this room…discrimination. You have that in your heart because of, maybe, what someone has done to you. Jesus says, "I'm not going to let that distract me. I'm not going to discriminate against Judas. I'm going to pursue him even when it's hard," because he was on a mission. What was his mission? His mission was to seek and save that which was lost. His mission was to show the world that if this world is going to change, it's going to be changed through love, a ferocious love. He put that on display on the cross of Jesus Christ.

You also see that his mission is not going to be altered because someone else sins against him. Some of us are like, "Oh, that person… I'm out." Or it's like, "Hey, I put my stock in that pastor or that church, and they let me down." I get it, man. That's painful. But if you start putting your stock in a person, even people who stand on this stage, we're going to let you down.

We pray by God's grace that we don't do anything stupid, that we continue to run the course God has laid out before us, but we don't look to people. Ultimately, we look to the one who is perfect, and that's Jesus. That's what he has in mind. He's fixated on what God the Father has called him to do, and he's loving his disciples even to the very end. There are a few things we can learn from this story through the life of Judas.

1) Is your heart hard toward Jesus? Let me ask you. Was Jesus a good friend to Judas? Yes. Did Jesus serve Judas? Did Jesus love Judas? Yes. Was Judas there when Jesus preached his sermons? Yes. Was he there when he did his miracles? Yes. Judas had a privileged seat in all of history to watch Jesus do the things that so many of you would say, "Hey, I don't love Jesus. I don't believe in Jesus, but if I had a seat to watch Jesus do the miracles he did 2,000 years ago… If I could see Jesus, then I would believe him." I'm telling you right now, if you have a hard heart, no, you wouldn't.

That's Judas. His heart was hard. He had already made a pact with Satan. No one had a better seat to learn from Jesus than Judas. He had seen some great things. He saw Jesus turn water into wine. He saw Jesus feed thousands with a little kid's lunch box. He saw Jesus water ski without a boat. He walked on water. He saw Jesus heal people without a deductible or copay. Free health care! This is Judas. He had a front-row seat to watch the King of Kings and Lord of Lords do the unthinkable, and he's ultimately going to betray Jesus, hand him over to be executed and murdered, and then go and hang himself in a field and die and go to hell.

I think we have this mentality sometimes that, "Well, they're just in a better place." Maybe. Did they love Jesus? Did they truly follow Jesus? I mean, Jesus spoke about hell twice as much as he spoke about heaven. So, for some of us, we need to understand that for those of us who know and love Jesus, this life is the closest thing to hell we will ever experience, but those of you who don't know and love Jesus, this is the closest heaven you will ever experience, and that's tragic, because I know the pain that's associated in this room.

Last time I spoke up here, I talked about pain and suffering and why God allows it to happen. I believe God is ultimately going to come back. I've read the rest of the book…Revelation 20. He's going to wipe away every tear from our eyes. Death will be no more. There will be no more pain nor sorrow. The former things will pass away. Behold, he's going to make all things new. That's what we have to hold on to in the midst of pain and suffering.

2) Good Bible teaching is not enough; you have to believe it. Judas was taught by Jesus Christ for three years, and he didn't believe any of it. One of the reasons I love The Porch… It's one of the things I love to do the most throughout my entire week because I get to show up here and sit underneath one of the best Bible teachers in all of America, I believe. I'm not saying that to puff up TA, Timothy Ateek, but I'm just saying he's an amazing Bible teacher.

But let me remind you what James 1:22 says. "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves." See, we can get the Word of God into you, but you have to make sure the Word of God gets into you. Judas' problem was not information; it was application. See, some of us think, "Oh, if I just get enough information, it's going to transform my life." No, it won't. Information doesn't equal transformation. Information plus application equals transformation.

What Judas was missing, what my life was missing for 22 years, and what some of your lives are missing is application. There is no shortage of information. You can show up on Sunday or Tuesday, listen to a podcast, or get the latest books. Some of us fail to do what James 2 says. Don't just be a hearer of the Word, but be a doer of the Word. Faith without works is dead. You're not saved from your work; you're saved by God's grace. You don't work for your salvation, but you do work from it. Now that you are saved you, in response, work from your salvation.

Here's the reality. As we study this passage, you and I are prone to the same thing. When we look at this story, we have to ask ourselves, "Am I Jesus or Judas?" As you read the Bible, many times you read it, and when Jesus is teaching, you're usually the people he's teaching about. If you're reading the Bible like, "Yep, there's Jesus again. That looks like me," you're reading it wrong. I mean, that's just the reality. The heart is prone to do what Judas did. Our hearts are prone to fall into the same trap Judas fell into.

3) You can't lose your salvation, but you can fake it. This was Judas' problem. There's a debate in the church. Did Judas lose his salvation? No, he faked it. He was never saved to begin with. Judas went to church. You're in church. Judas learned the Bible. You've learned some of the Bible. Judas was in relationship with godly people. Maybe you're here and in relationship with godly people.

Listen. My job isn't to judge you tonight, but Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13 to judge yourselves. So, tonight I give you the gavel. Where do you stand? Ask yourself. Do you love Jesus Christ or are you faking it? Judas faked it for three years, and Jesus still pursued him and loved him. I faked it for 13 years of my life. This was my story.

I said the sinner's prayer at 8 at the end of my mom's bed. It was nothing more than fire insurance. My parents divorced. I never got plugged back into church. I went off to college, and my life was a train wreck. I mean, not literally. People would say, "Oh, Josiah has everything." Some of you have heard my story. I share it often. I was playing college baseball and thinking I had everything at my fingertips, but it left me empty and unfulfilled.

I had a Bible because that's just what religious people do. You usually have a Bible, and sometimes you might even go to church. I went to church at times. I wore that cross necklace around my neck, but my life looked no different than the rest of the world. I was hiding behind two-dimensional images behind my computer and sexual immorality with multiple women and partying. You know it. Some of you know that lifestyle.

I remember opening the Bible to 2 Corinthians 13:5. In 2 Corinthians 13:5, Paul is going to the church in Corinth, and he says, "Hey, I'm not going to affirm whether you're saved or not. That's not my job. I'm not going to say, 'Hey, do you remember that time when you walked the aisle or committed your life at church camp?'" He doesn't do any of that. He just says, "Examine your life and test your faith against what the Word of God says, and see if your faith is truly genuine."

I was like, "Whoa!" When I started testing my life against this book, I was like, "Man, there's no way I'm saved." First John 3 says, "When you live in continuous sin, it shows that you belong to the Devil who has been sinning since the beginning. But the Son of God, Jesus, came to destroy the works of the Devil, and those who have been born into God's family do not make a practice of sinning, because God is in them."

Listen. He's not saying you're never going to sin. He says you're not going to make a practice of sinning and never experience any life change. I look back at my life for 13 years, and there was little to no life change. So, all I knew was, "Man, I'm broken. My mouth is stopped of all justification. I need Jesus." I knew what that word practice meant. I did it every day on the baseball field. It's doing the same thing over and over and over until you master it. I was really good at sinning. So I faked it.

Do you believe in the Jesus who lives or the Jesus who lived? The Jesus who lived 2,000 years ago, died on a cross, and rose again on the third day to defeat sin and death, and now he's the poster child for Christianity…you subscribe to him, but your life has little to no bearing, your life doesn't really reflect him…or do you believe in the Jesus who lives, that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, rose again, sits at the right hand of the Father, and rules and reigns over everything, even your life, and you give him allegiance to the broken areas of your life?

When you and the Bible disagree, who wins? It's one of my favorite questions to ask. Do you submit to the things of God? I'm not talking about perfection. No one is perfect…no, not one. But I am talking about a desire, an oomph, a passion, a calling to be God's man, to be God's woman.

Verse 6: "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.'" Peter was like, "No. Jesus, this is not what you… You're the King of Kings. That's not what you do, Jesus."

See, for some of you, Jesus comes to serve you, but you're too proud to be served, and you think you're humble because you serve others. Humility is not just serving; it's also being humble enough to let other people serve you and, ultimately, in this context, let Jesus serve you. How does Jesus serve you? When you recognize that you're a sinner separated from him and you need saving. Have you recognized that? Have you seen your need for Jesus?

"Jesus answered him…" "Okay, Peter. If you don't want me to wash your feet…" "If I do not wash you, you have no share with me." Jesus is like, "Okay. I can wash your feet or you can go to hell." I just love the bluntness of Jesus. That's a paraphrased version, but that's just Jesus. "Plan A is I wash you; I forgive you of your sin, or plan B: it won't end well for you. Which one do you want?"

Look at Peter's response. "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.'" So, here's Peter speaking up, and he says, "Jesus, you're going to wash my feet." Then Jesus makes a declaration, which is an explanation to the simple gospel. "Unless I wash you, then, you have no part with me."

This foot washing is more than a physical act here. It is painting a spiritual picture of what Jesus has done for every single one of us. The simple gospel is explained here. Just like Jesus is washing the disciples' feet, Jesus would shed his blood to wash our sin. The only way we can come into a relationship with God is through the cross, which washes away our sin.

The only way we can come into a relationship with the eternal God is when we say, "God, I need you. God, I can't, but you can. There's nothing I can do to get to be made right with you. It's only through your death and your victory over the tomb when you rose from the dead, snatching the keys to life and death."

This is what he's saying. You can't wash yourself with good works. You can't wash yourself with religiosity. You can't wash yourself with, "Well, I hope my bad outweighs my good with charitable acts." Ephesians 2:8-9 says it very clearly. "You have been saved by grace through faith. It's not of yourself; it's a gift from God so that no man may boast." If you could get to heaven based on what you do, what was the point of Jesus dying on the cross?

Last week, I was up in Cleveland, Ohio, out of all places, teaching and doing a young adult conference. I taught on Sunday morning, and I was with one of our guys on staff, Noah, who's our graphic designer. So, what did we do as Texas boys? We found a little bit of Texas in Cleveland. We went to Texas Roadhouse. Right, anybody? I mean, I get it. We live in Dallas. Some of y'all are too bougie for Texas Roadhouse. It's okay. Not me. I like a good steak that's at a reasonable price.

So, we went to Texas Roadhouse, and we were talking to our waiter, Dee, and having a great conversation with him. He was a young adult, and he was doing a great job. We were just getting to know him and what he was doing. I turned to Dee and said, "Dee, I'm curious. Do you have a faith?" He said, "No, man. Not really. I mean, I kind of heard a little bit about Jesus growing up, but then just kind of fell away." I said, "Okay. No big deal."

I said, "Dee, you believe that you're a sinner. Like, you don't think you're perfect." "No, man. I'm far from perfect. I don't need to know everything." "I believe that too. I'm far from perfect, and this is what God has done in my life." I said, "Dee, if you don't allow God to wash you from your sin, then what are you going to do with your sin? Who is your sin on, to be more specific?" He paused for a second. He thought, and he said, "Me." I said, "That's right." I said, "Does that concern you?" He said, "Yeah, it kind of actually does."

I said, "Well, I'm preaching tomorrow at Sunday service. I'd love for you to come." No. I mean, I invited him, but we had a great conversation. I was just talking to him, and I said, "Dee, you can either ask God to wash you from your sin or your sin can stay on you. Either your sin is going to be on Jesus or it's going to be on you. Which one do you want your sin to be on?"

The same is true for everyone in this room. Your sin will either be on you or it will be on Jesus. Who are you trusting tonight to wash your sin? I love what A.W. Tozer says. He says, "The only sin Jesus ever had was ours, and the only righteousness we can ever have is his." Gosh! Let me read that one more time. "The only sin Jesus ever had was ours…" That means he's perfect in thought, word, and action. "…and the only righteousness we can ever have is his."

Where are you going to go to be made right with an eternal God? One commentary says the fact that this is in the Bible…John 13, Jesus stooping down to wash feet…says that this book was not written by men, because men don't think this way. There's enough evidence just in this story that this book wasn't written by man. We don't think this way. Verse 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? 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.'"

So, as a response to this message, we're going to give you an opportunity tonight to get your feet washed. Some of you are like, "What?" I'm playing. Take a deep breath. Just kidding. Some of you were so uncomfortable you started looking for the exits. No, that's not what we're going to do. But think about it for a second. This is crazy.

What if that was the response? You'd be like, "I'm out, bro. I'm heading to get food a lot earlier than I thought." Seriously. Take some thought to this. Why would you even have that? Because it's uncomfortable. It's hard. It takes a great deal of humility because you recognize that you're needy. I believe Jesus is giving us this language figuratively, not necessarily so that we wash each other's feet.

Can you imagine the intensity of this scene? They're seeing their Lord, their teacher, the guy they revere, stoop down, get on the floor, and wash their feet, doing what would only be expected by the lowliest servant in that house. He's having the Last Supper, his last meal with his boys, and in that culture, it was normalized to wash your feet before the meal, but no one had washed their feet. Why? Because nobody in that room at that table…

They didn't have the mindset or the humility to say, "You know what? I'll do that. I'm not above that. Where's the water? Where's the basin? Let's go. Where's the towel?" None of them did. So, they're sitting at a meal when most of the time, in that culture, you would not eat until your feet were washed, and none of them have their feet washed, because every single one of the disciples said, "I'm not going that low. I'm not going to the lowest servant in the house. I'm not doing that." We all have that mentality as we do life in our culture here in Dallas.

What's the threshold for you? "I'm not going to do that. I'm above that. That's beneath me." What is it for you? Jesus is trying to show us what greatness really is. He's trying to redefine greatness with a towel and a basin. Think about one way you could serve over the next 24 hours. Think through "How can I do what Jesus has done?" Obviously, it's not just a one-time thing. It's not just a 24-hour thing. It's a lifestyle. But to stoop and serve in a way that would be surprising and even shocking to the culture of Dallas.

Several years ago, some students at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois, got together and said, "How can we put God's love on display in this city?" One of them piped up and said, "Hey, what if we set up a free water station and a foot massage station at the gay Olympics?" No lie. So they rented out a booth, and they set up a foot washing station, kind of a massage station, a free water station at the gay Olympics. People had been walking for miles that day, and they were hot and sweaty, and they'd been on their feet for hours.

One by one, people started to come, and one by one, they got out their supplies and began to clean the feet and massage the feet and give out waters. People started asking, "Why are you doing this?" and they said, "We follow Jesus, and we read a story in the Bible where Jesus did something very similar." And they began to share the gospel with people in a way that was unarming, not intimidating. About a hundred yards down the road, there was another group of so-called Christians, and they had these signs that said, "Turn or burn." ("Turn or go to hell.")

Now, which one do you think had more influence? Which message do you think landed better? I think we all know it was the first one. This is what God is saying. What is your threshold to serve the people around you? God is trying to get us to think about how to put his love on display in a tangible way, in a way that is totally contrary to the culture that day. What would that be here in Dallas?

A great question to ask ourselves is this. Whenever I see a need that I can meet, I try to ask myself, "God, is this a need you want me to meet?" What if a couple thousand people in this room, whenever they saw a need, stopped and asked, "God, is this a need you want me to meet?" This would slow you down. It would cause you to pause instead of moving on.

God is not going to call you to meet every need, but what if we paused long enough to ask, "God, would you give me eyes to see needs? Would you give me a heart that would be wrapped around the needs here in Dallas? God, would you give me hands that would be readily available to serve the needs of this city?" I think God would use your life in a way you've never seen him use your life before to put God's love on display in a tangible way so others can come to know him.

God is showing us that he defines greatness through a towel and a basin. Life is not found in how much you can get; life is found in how much you can give. Listen. We selflessly serve because Jesus has selflessly served us. Serving doesn't wash you; you serve because you have been washed. Ultimately, he's giving us a picture of a deep love he has had for disciples who are all across the board.

He's saying, "I've loved you to the very end of the age, and I'm going to show you how you can love to the very end of your age." Whenever your time is, whenever your expiration date is, this is how you are going to flip the world upside down. This is how the world is going to change. This is how the church is going to be birthed: when you understand this type of love. I believe Jesus didn't come to give away titles but to give away towels. Greatness is found in serving.

I want you to help me welcome a really good friend of mine, a guy who is in my extended Community Group, a guy I've invested in, a guy who has probably invested in me a lot more. His name is Kyle Sullivan. Would you help me welcome Kyle Sullivan to the stage? I know some of you are gasping right now, because you're like, "Is he really going to wash this brother's feet?" Yes. Kyle was one of the first guys I met in the summer of 2019 when I came to The Porch.

Kyle is one of those guys who I related to quickly. He was a guy who had been chasing everything underneath the sun. This past summer, we went through the book of Ecclesiastes, and we studied about a guy named Solomon who was chasing one thing after the next. This was Kyle's story. He played football at SMU and had a lot of influence, prestige, and stature but quickly realized that greatness is not found in how much he could get; greatness is found in how much he could give.

I was intrigued in seeing this brother serving the Lord here at The Porch, a guy who many would say, "Oh, man, don't waste your time for three hours at The Porch serving. There are a lot of other ways you can give back or spend your time." When I think about this story, as I think about what Jesus came to do as he allowed his love to drive him to a place where he would do the unthinkable…

Nobody wanted this role…nobody…because this role was dirty. It was filthy. In that context, it was an agricultural society. People would walk around in sandals. They didn't have Nike Air Max or Adidas Cloudfoams. They didn't have that. Right? So, they would just walk on dirt and mud and… I'm not going to get too graphic here, but the animals would poop, and they would just walk all over those things. Their feet would be absolutely filthy.

Jesus is trying to paint a picture. I don't think that's what Kyle's feet are. His feet look kind of pedicured tonight. But Jesus is trying to paint a picture, and he doesn't care if it's uncomfortable. It was uncomfortable to the disciples, and I'll bet it's uncomfortable to Kyle. He is trying to paint a picture, and I'm trying to paint a picture that has been preserved for over 2,000 years in this book. I believe God is trying to etch, to brand this picture in our hearts and in our souls tonight that greatness is found when we get on our knees, metaphorically, and serve.

I believe in a culture like Dallas that fights for the next title, that fights for the next promotion, that fights for the next Instagram following, that fights for the next raise, and that marks their greatness on a bank account or what zip code they live in or car they drive, God is trying to flip this on its head tonight and get us to see that true greatness is found when we serve.

So, tonight, Kyle, thank you for letting me have the privilege to serve your feet, to wash your feet, brother. Again, in this day, it was not like what I'm getting to wash. It was the lowest of lows. I just think that sometimes when we think about serving, we're like, "Man! Maybe I need to capture this really quick." You know, "#changingtheworld." Let me get one more. Oh, I need to zoom out. "#changingtheworld." Here we go. "#servingmycity."

A lot of times, our motives are all wrong when it comes to serving. Jesus was trying to show us that serving should happen with no one really knowing about it. If we're going to have the right heart, if we're going to have the right motives, we're going to serve no matter if we get any type of praise. We're going to serve in a way that allows people to see God's glory, not our glory. So, when you go to serve, you don't have to have someone capture every moment and throw up that hashtag. You get to serve freely because of the selfless act Christ has done for you.

So, this is a picture. Not a very good one. I mean, Jesus had a better one, but I'm here trying to show you that, yeah, this might be uncomfortable, this might be weird, and this might even be cringe for some of you. Like, "What are you doing, bro?" But I don't care, because that's the point. Jesus is saying, "Hey, it's not always going to be comfortable. It's not always going to be what you want it to be. It's going to be hard. It's going to be painful at times. It's going to require sacrifice." So, Kyle, I love you and appreciate you. Y'all give it up for Kyle.

Jesus washing his disciples' feet is a symbol of serving. It's a symbol that he would say, "Hey, if I do this for you, you go do this for others." Then Jesus would go to the next disciple and the next disciple and the next disciple. One of the things I can't get over as I continue to read this passage… Kyle is a good friend, a trusted brother. I trust this bro with my kids. But then you see Jesus going to Judas and washing Judas' feet.

Let me just tell you. If Kyle betrays me… I'm just saying, man, the flesh in me is going to be like, "I cut you off, bro." That's just human nature. But Jesus goes to Judas and begins to wash Judas' feet. Judas was Jesus' financial adviser. He sat at the most honored place at this Last Supper. The person who's your financial adviser is the person you trust the most. They have your money. Jesus gave Judas his best, and Judas still betrayed Jesus.

I can't imagine that fully, but I'm glad I serve a king and a lord who still serves and pursues us even at our worst, because, again, we aren't Jesus in this passage. We're Judas. We're Peter denying him. We're Thomas who doubted. I'm just thankful. As I read this passage, I'm overwhelmed by God's goodness in my life, that he would choose to still pursue me and love me at my worst. That's the whole purpose of the gospel. He didn't wait for you to clean your life up. He came when you were at your worst and said, "I've got you. I'll clean you up."

I think this was in the mind of the disciples all of those years after as they engaged in lives marked by service. Church history would say that every disciple died for the cause of Christ. They gave their lives up, and they did it joyfully, willingly, openly, and gladly. I think they remembered this scene where Jesus washed every single one of their feet and said, "Now you go and do the same."

So, if you're here tonight and are like, "Man, I think I'm too far gone," you're not. Jesus is still pursuing you. Jesus is still serving you. Even if you have a heart to betray him, to doubt him, to deny him, he says, "I'm here." What are you going to do with Jesus? Your sin is either going to be on you or it's going to be on him. Who are you trusting to wash you from your sin?

The other thing we see, quickly, is…What are you doing with your time, treasure, and talents? Do you know that almost 200 young adults give their lives away every single week to make The Porch happen? That's crazy. Why? Because they have a vision of a preferred future that affects their present reality.

They realize that life is short, that they have maybe 5 or 10 years, maybe shorter, in this young adult life that God has given them to be able to maximize their days so that others around them can come to know Christ, maybe before they get married or move or enter into a different season of life and have kids or whatever the case may be.

So, how are you giving your life away weekly for the cause of Christ? How are you giving your life away annually for the cause of Christ? I know some of you right now are trying to figure out if you can go halfway across the country to a place where no one has heard the gospel. That would be an amazing thing to continue to pursue, and we want to help you with that. What if your life was marked by those two questions? "What am I doing weekly and annually so that people around me can come to know the hope that lies within me?" Let me pray that they would tonight.

God in heaven, we need you. We don't just leave from a message like this and pull our bootstraps up and white-knuckle this thing and think that we're going to be able to just do this on our own. Not a chance. This only happens by your grace at work in our lives. So, as you've given us an incredible picture of how you have called us to serve, how you have called us to give our lives away through washing your disciples' feet…

Again, that's figuratively, but, God, would that picture be etched in our hearts tonight so we don't wake up tomorrow and live the same selfish lives we've lived for the past 20 years where we think this life is about us. God, would you allow us to see that when we give our lives away, that's when life is found. Would you help us to think strategically about what it looks like to leverage our time, leverage our talent (the gifts and abilities you've given us), and leverage our treasure (the income we have, the bank account we have). It's all yours, God.

Would we live lives that are openhanded to you tonight, and would you help us to pursue the people around us and see needs in a way that only you can see them. Help us to walk closely with you, intimately with you. Would we walk into every space and say, "God, is this a need you want me to meet?" God, please, I'm begging you to go before us tonight and do a work in us that we can't do apart from you. In Christ's name we pray, amen.