Last night I was having some quiet time before I went to bed and I was reading in John 13. This chapter tells the story of when Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. If you are unfamiliar with this passage you can read it here:
I’ll give you a quick rundown. Basically, back then everyone wore sandals and the roads were super dusty. The result: yucky, dirty feet. Typically when you would enter someone’s home, one of their servants would wash your feet for you. This was a lowly job and took a lot of humility (obvi). So along comes Jesus. He is having dinner with his closest followers and what does he do?
“He showed them the full extent of his love.” (13:1)
So what does this look like?
He got down on his knees and began to wash his disciples’ feet.
This is probably one of the most beautiful expressions of love in the history of mankind. Jesus, the King of Kings, humbled himself to the role of a servant. I am reminded of Philippians 2:6 which says “Who(Jesus), being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” This just blows my mind. If anyone is excellent and worthy of praise it is Jesus (duh)!
So why on earth did he make himself a servant?
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (13:34)
Galatians 5:13 tells us to “serve one another in love.” It is pretty easy to love the people who love us. But the people who hurt us? The people who betray us? Not so much. This is what stood out to me the most. Jesus KNEW that Judas Iscariot was going to betray him that very night, and yet he still lowered himself and performed this act of selfless service. Just being honest-- this is tough! My selfish nature makes me want to meet my own needs and desires before I consider the needs of other people, especially the people who are not showing love to me! I want to push my way to the front of the line and I want to honk my horn when I get cut off in traffic, but this is not how things are supposed to be. Jesus showed us how to treat each other- with love and kindness. Just think what the world would look like if there were more servants. Consider the impact that would be made if we stopped putting ourselves first and tried to help the people around us.
So my prayer for the day/week/month/year… (because I have a feeling it will take that long) … God teach me to be a servant like Jesus.