Living Invitations Part 18

August 27, 2017

This Preaching in Shorts sermon series is called “Living Invitations”.

You can listen to the study by clicking here

Over the last few weeks in our discussion we have said that the church is ultimately about relationships. Relationship with God, relationship with the people of God, and relationship with those who do not yet know Jesus. These relationships are developed in the context of worship, discipleship, fellowship, and mission. So far in our discussion of discipleship we have looked at six verses, In John’s gospel we saw that disciples hold on to Jesus teaching, love one another and remain in Him and bear much fruit. In Luke’s gospel we saw that we must love Him all in, that it’s not all about me and that it is all about Jesus. Today we are going to continue our discussion on discipleship by talking about a yoke and a towel.

Scripture Reading

Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

1. Come and take my yoke

Matthew 11:28-29a (NIV)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you…

Having counted the cost of being a disciple, we are now invited to partner with Jesus as part of His team. Being yoked to Jesus requires choosing His will over ours, putting Him on the throne of our hearts, but it is where we will find real life, now and forever, and where our souls will finally find rest.

2. Learn from Jesus

Matthew 11:29b-30 (NIV)
29 …and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Being yoked to Him allows us to learn from Him. He teaches us by example. We learn to walk with Him, to pull and lift with Him, we learn a healthy pace of life from Him, we learn about the supernatural power available in Him. There is no greater joy and blessing in this life than to be yoked to Jesus. His yoke is easy, His burden is light and we will find rest for our souls!

3. Become a servant

We learn from Him that life in Him as His disciple is about being a servant by being willing to take up the towel.

John 13:1-17 (NIV)
1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

As the disciples of Jesus we will learn to have a servant’s heart like Jesus did. If you remember last week when Jesus was talking to the rich young ruler, the Bible says that Jesus looked at him and then loved him by telling him what he needed to do to put Jesus on the throne of His heart. In verse 1 of John 13 Jesus is about to demonstrate the extent of His love to them by teaching them that life is found in being a servant.

We know from Luke 22 that during this last supper the disciples were still arguing amongst themselves about which one of them was considered to be greatest.

Luke 22:24 (NIV)
24 Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

His disciples, who had been fighting over who was the greatest would learn that the One who was greatest among them would be the one who serves.

Mark 10:45 (NIV)
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here is the deal, the wash basin and towel were sitting there, and they needed to have their feet washed, but that was the job of the lowest of servants. The disciples were all sitting there full of themselves, and so Jesus gets the towel and the bowl. Peter’s response is, Jesus, I don’t want you to wash my feet, I want one of these other guys to do it. But Jesus loves them well by demonstrating what it means to be a servant.

As His disciple, I have counted the cost, yoked myself to Jesus, and picked up the towel to serve and that is where life is found!

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