Ministry: Service as Overflow

Head waters of the Jordan River at Caesarea Philippi

Head waters of the Jordan River at Caesarea Philippi (March 2013)

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John 13:3-5, “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 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.”

What a powerful moment of servanthood! It is an expression of strength, not of weakness. Jesus’s ministry flows out of a confident sense of His identity in the Father. What does that mean?

  • He is empowered and authorized by the Father. (“The Father had put all things under his power”)
  • The Father is the very source of His life. (…that he had come from God)
  • The Father is the very purpose and goal of His life. (…and was returning to God).

There are so many reasons I do ministry other than those that underlie Jesus’s ministry. Sometimes I try to establish my identity in all I do for God in the work of ministry. I then measure success as proving my worth and failure as proving my worthlessness. Instead, ministry is where I express my identity which has been established, as it was for Jesus, in intimate communion with the Father.

Jesus acts in service. He takes action. He takes the low position of servant in relation to His apprentices. He does not behave as they would expect a master or Rabbi to behave. And he does this out of fullness, confidence, stability. Holy service is an expression of overflow.

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