Thursday, August 9, 2018
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus knew he would be betrayed by one of his disciples, despised by another, and deserted by all of them for a time. Still, “He loved them unto the end.” God knows us completely, as Jesus knew his disciples. He knows the sins we have committed and the ones we will yet commit. Still, he loves us. How do you respond to that kind of love?
Jesus was the model servant, and he showed this attitude to his disciples. Washing guest’s feet was a job for a household servant when guests arrived. But Jesus wrapped a towel around him, as the lowliest slave would do, and washed his disciples’ feet. If God in the flesh is willing to serve, we his followers must also be servants: willing to serve in any way that glorifies God. Are you willing to follow Christ’s example?
Whom can you serve today?
There is a special blessing for those who not only agree that humble service is Christ’s way, but who also do it. Seeing his master behave like a slave must have confused Peter. He still did not understand Jesus’ teaching that to be a leader, one must be a servant. This is not a comfortable passage for leaders who find it hard to serve those under them.
How do you treat those who work under you?
Jesus did not wash his disciples’ feet just to get them to be nice to each other. His far greater goal was to extend his mission on earth after he was gone. These men were to move into the world serving God, serving each other, and serving all people to whom they took the message of salvation.
Dear Lord, please help us to serve people that are hard to serve. It’s easy to serve those we like or fellow Christians. Help our hearts be the same to serve those who can be harsh. Lord, you know us before we were formed in the belly. You are the author of eternal salvation. Let us have the loving kindness that the Psalmist said about you. Let us follow you as Isaiah said, a servant leader. Father, you said you will never forget our labor of love. The disciples could not understand your mission of salvation, Lord. Plant it in our hearts. We love you, we magnify your precious name. To Jesus we pray, Amen.