Servants, Branches and Vines

There have been a lot of sermons about Jesus being Lord and Master, but not so much on Jesus as a servant.  We need to talk about the importance of our being servants as well.  For some, being a servant is not a very attractive prospect.   Being a servant might not be such a nice sentiment, but it is an absolute requirement if we are to serve with Christ for a thousand years.

Who is a servant and how does God view servants?  A Christian servant is one who, even when in a position of leadership points people to the example of Jesus Christ who gave His all in serving us.  In general servants are looked down upon.  This day and time, while servants are despised, the most sought after positions are at the top and being in charge.  It seems that the goal of our culture and society is toward personal fulfillment, happiness, and comfort rather than the needs of other people.  We are living in an age when increasingly the populace is self-absorbed and self-important, pursuing its own comfort, pleasure and satisfaction rather than serving the good of all men with mature Christian behavior.

Jesus came as a servant - giving us the example to be servants as well.  It does not lower a person to serve another.  The world looks at it that way, but the world is wrong.  Before we can rule with Christ during the millennium, it is absolutely necessary that we learn to be servants in the manner that Jesus was a servant.  Not looking for praise, power, status, glory, or even recognition, but in the humility of Jesus Christ seeking only the will of God.  Jesus said:

“… I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”   (John 5:30)

Jesus came not only to improve our lives – but to save them.  Christianity is not a pleasure trip; it is a life of serving the needs of all.  Persecution will follow those who pursue a life of Christian serving.  Like a slave to his master, submission to Christ and all His ways is required of a Christian. When the world gets tough, the tough get going.  But, how do we take on such a monumental job of serving?  We say to ourselves as we approach such an intimidating and daunting task, “I’m only one person?”  That is fine because God expects us to act with spiritual integrity toward only one person or problem at a time.  We are not the Savior of the world – Jesus is.  As His humble servants we are not expected to save the entire world – only make a difference in those men and women with whom we come into contact.  Collectively, however, Jesus declares that our example of unity would make a difference in the world.

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”   (John 17:21)

Today’s church environment is not conducive to the unity of the brethren about which Jesus refers.  Indeed we may have to wait for the return of Jesus Christ in power and glory before witnessing the unity of which Jesus speaks.  Nevertheless, just because that unity is seemingly out of our reach, it does not negate our individual responsibility to strive for that goal.

“Jesus called [the ten disciples] unto Him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.  But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your [servant].  And whosoever will be [an exalted] chief among you, let him be servant of all: Even as the Son of man came not to be [served], but to [serve], and to give His life a ransom for many.”  (Matthew 20:25-28)

Our calling, and our raison d'etre, reason for living is to be yielding up of ourselves as servants to one another, and laying our lives down as surely as Jesus did for what is right in God’s eyes.  We are servants of Jesus Christ right now.  We are to give of ourselves – all of ourselves – as Christ gave us example.  We can only do that by being tapped into Jesus.  We are wholly insufficient of ourselves.  That is why Jesus tells us:

“I am the vine… Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”   (John 15:1, 4)

Brethren, the Scriptures are clear, unless we are serving; we have no part with Christ.  Jesus said, “I am the vine;” that is where we are fed.  Jesus is the life source that sustains us.

Sermon:  "Servants, Branches and Vines"