Jesus Came to Be Our Servant

Pastor Tom Ascol addresses John 13:1-38. He starts by noting many people believe all religions are basically the same and that what one believes is not as important as the sincerity with which one believes. But in fact, Christianity is different. The Christian God is the One making reconciliation between God and man possible. It is only through trust in Him, not our own works or efforts, man enters into relationship with God. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, after all came to serve mankind.

Pastor Ascol observes three ways Jesus serves His people. First, Jesus shows God to mankind. Those who have seen Christ have seen the Father. Christ exemplifies God love for humanity. Even as He knows the heart of man, Judas would soon betray Him and Peter would soon deny Him, the Lord willingly gave up His heavenly prerogatives to humbly serve man. Second, as the Messiah, Jesus saves man from his own sin. His sacrificial work on the Cross is all-sufficient. Jesus’ service to his disciples in washing their feet is not an example of a church ordinance but rather a parable showing the need for confession and restoration of relationship for those already saved by that sacrifice. Pastor Ascol is clear: the Cross that justifies believers is the same Cross that sanctifies believers. Finally, Jesus serves by loving His people completely. Verse 1 of Chapter 13 tells us Jesus loves His own to the end. That end includes the end of Jesus’ physical life, the end of our physical lives, and the end of the world. This great love is an example to His children who are also called to love as He loves.

Just as Jesus girded himself with a towel and served his disciples by washing their feet, so believers today are called to be “people of the towel,” to serve brother and sisters in Christ, and to be an example of love and service to the world. God calls His children to give their lives to and for others just as Christ did, in contrast to taking lives of others as other religions sometimes seem to call their followers to do. Christianity is different. This great love should motivate people to turn from their wickedness and receive eternal life through Christ.

Tom Ascol has served as a Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Cape Coral, FL since 1986. Prior to moving to Florida he served as pastor and associate pastor of churches in Texas. He has a BS degree in sociology from Texas A&M University (1979) and has also earned the MDiv and PhD degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. He has served as an adjunct professor of theology for various colleges and seminaries, including Reformed Theological Seminary, the Covenant Baptist Theological Seminary, African Christian University, Copperbelt Ministerial College, and Reformed Baptist Seminary. He has also served as Visiting Professor at the Nicole Institute for Baptist Studies at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. Tom serves as the President of Founders Ministries and The Institute of Public Theology. He has edited the Founders Journal, a quarterly theological publication of Founders Ministries, and has written hundreds of articles for various journals and magazines. He has been a regular contributor to TableTalk, the monthly magazine of Ligonier Ministries. He has also edited and contributed to several books, including Dear Timothy: Letters on Pastoral Ministry, The Truth and Grace Memory Books for children and  Recovering the Gospel and Reformation of Churches. He is also the author of From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist ConventionTraditional Theology and the SBC and Strong and Courageous. Tom regularly preaches and lectures at various conferences throughout the United States and other countries. In addition he regularly contributes articles to the Founders website and hosts a weekly podcast called The Sword & The Trowel. He and his wife Donna have six children along with four sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law. They have sixteen grandchildren.
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