Here is a GREAT WORD with keen insight written by Jared Neusch. He is a deep, wise, and witty leader in the church who interned for Steve from 2010-2011.
Serving like Jesus
One of the most shocking aspects of Jesus Christ is how He chose to relate to humanity in His time on earth. Israel’s long-awaited Messiah was envisioned to be one whose glorious wrath would finally force the Roman regime to their knees. Instead they found their King on His own knees compelled by love to wash the feet of others. To say His kingly ministry was revolutionary and paradoxical is an understatement.
As Jesus continually laid His life down for others reaching culmination in His crucifixion, He was creating a blueprint for how His church was to relate to the world. As Jesus and the disciples leave the last supper in John 15:12, He says, "This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." After He issues the command to love, He removes any possibility of confusion surrounding this colossally broad word “love” by clarifying, "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Love, in its very core, is self-sacrificial, finding its greatest expression in the laying down of one’s life.
If this verse only conjures up heroic images of diving in slow motion in front of a bullet intended for a friend, or pushing a pregnant lady out of the way of an approaching train, we may be endlessly waiting for such an opportunity to respond to this vital command from Jesus. When we, with great intentions, confidently express our willingness to take a bullet for our friend, spouse, or family member, we should consider: am I serving them? While our family members will most-likely never need us to take a bullet, they will most definitely need us to take out the trash. Serving the needs of others on a daily basis is the same currency as laying one’s life down, only smaller bills. What a privilege we’ve been given to love and look like Jesus on a daily basis!
As Jesus daily expressed such a simple and yet radical lifestyle of self sacrificial love for humanity, He wasn’t driven by the motive of fulfilling some abstract Kingdom principle or philosophy on life. Surprisingly, Jesus wasn’t even serving others just to set an example for us on how to live. Jesus was moved by His love for humanity in such a way that serving the needs of others was His natural response. When we approach the task of serving those around us as an attempt to model a philosophy or obey a command, our actions will struggle to be a procession from our heart. However, when we begin to view humanity through the compassionate eyes of Jesus, as image bearers of God, self sacrifical love will become instinctual, a natural way of life.
In 1 John 3:16, John well-captures the message of Jesus and reminds us, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”
Jared Neusch is a pastor on staff at Bethel Church and the Director of the Third Year program in their school of ministry. Although raised in Texas, he and his wife, Kezia, currently reside in Redding, California where they’ve recently started their family. Jared received a B.A. in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, graduated from 3 years of BSSM, and is currently completing his M.Div at A.W. Tozer Theological Seminary. He has a contagious passion for the Word and loves studying and discussing the deeper things of Scripture, especially over a good cup of coffee.