“And since I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash one another’s feet. , I have given you an example to follow, do as I have done to you.” John 13:14-15 (NLT)
This is Johns writing on what we know as “The Last Supper.” Jesus is breaking bread with His disciples for the last time before He is crucified. There are several things happening here in this chapter, but we first read that Jesus begins by washing the disciples feet. An act of humility and it appalls Peter. The washing of feet is something that should be done by one of their servants, at the least it should be done by one of the disciples.Even after Peter tries to stop Jesus, He continues and washes their feet. He even washes the feet of the one disciple who He knows will betray Him.
Jesus, their leader, the one they know as the Messiah, takes on the role of a servant and washes their feet. And then He tells them to do what He has done, they should wash one another’s feet. Jesus is teaching them about humility and serving one another. He takes it farther than they realize in this moment, when he washes the feet of Judas, the one He knows will betray Him. He tells them He has given them an example and they should do the same.
I’ve been in the church for my whole life. I attended Bible college and have been in pastoral ministry for over 22 years. There has always ben this teaching about being a “servant,” or a “servant leader.” It’s relevant and has true Biblical backing, it’s what Jesus is teaching here in John 13. But I am wondering this morning if I have ever really grasped the whole idea of what true ‘servant leadership” is all about. Have I come to a place where I am willing to lay down my rights and personal comfort to serve someone who will betray me? Truthfully, if I know someone is not for me, or for the same things I am for, am I willing to serve them? Or, is my motivation to serve only based on those who are with me and for me?
Jesus was aware of Judas betrayal. Yet, He took on the role of the servant and washed His feet. If I know someone will betray me, talk harshly against me, question my heart or motives, am I still willing to humble myself and serve them?
I am challenged today to become more like Jesus, willing to humble myself and take on the role of servant. Caring for those around me simply because He calls me to love. I pray today for pride to be broken in my life. I pray for the Lord to enlarge my heart to be a servant. I am praying today that I will be motivated to serve, not for my personal gain, not even for others gain, but simply because He commands me to do as He has done. I am thankful for His Holy Spirit that changes and transforms me to be more Like Christ. I am thankful today that He is patient with me and that He will continue working in my life. I’m not there yet, I’m still learning to love and to serve. Thank you Lord for revealing your heart to me and for expanding my understanding. Amen.
What is God speaking to you today in chapter 13 of John? Share your thoughts and insights in the comment section below.
7 thoughts on “John 13: Will I serve?”
Amen, Stasia! I struggle in this as well with my desire to please people! My motivation is not as it should be. I pray God will continue to change me and open my heart to those He puts before me to serve and love… not just the ones that are easy and have the same beliefs as me. ❤️
Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.”
What a true example Jesus sets regarding love in this passage. Jesus already knew that Judas was about to betray him. But Jesus treated him no different than the other disciples. He knew Judas’ heart, yet He still washed his feet and gave him bread. How many times have I showed compassion to someone who has betrayed me? This really struck my heart this morning. As many times as I have read this scripture, something about it this morning just leapt off the pages at me. If Jesus can love someone like that so can I. We all have people in our lives that seem hard to love sometimes. But Jesus gave us the ultimate example of love regardless of who we are or what we have done. I pray that this will be a constant reminder to me to look beyond the betrayal and choose love with others.
Thank you Stasia for your insight on this chapter today. It really challenged me and was needed.
Jesus example of kneeling down, lowering Himself, taking off His own clean garment and washing the disciples’ dirty feet is the picture of true humility and love. He was willing to do a lowly task that only a servant would do. Seeing that “picture“ today became more alive to me than ever before. It brought several people in my life that had betrayed me and hurt me in someway, and I realized I have a long way to go to have that kind of caring and unconditional love, willing to serve them. Some of those I no longer have contact with, but the Lord has convicted me that I can serve them by praying God’s blessings over them. The ones that are in my life now, I can ask the Lord to show me ways to serve them now, rather than trying to avoid them. It’s really a matter of really wanting the Holy Spirit to change my heart. It also brought to mind so many stories I’ve been reading in The Voice of the Martyrs newsletters of missionaries and their families CONTINUING TO SERVE even “the enemies”of the gospel who have captured or killed or tortured them or familymembers. They are following Jesus’ example of unconditionally serving Judas. As you said Stasia, we should serve not only for the sake of those we serve, but out of obedience to what Jesus commanded. Lord change my heart that I will serve humbly with the pure motive that it all be for Your glory!
“Jesus answered, “Die for me? I tell you the truth, Peter—before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
John 13:38 NLT
I think we can all be like Peter…or @ least I can!🙃
We let our mouth speak b/4 we really think a/b what we are saying!
Peter’s heart was in the right place, but he had no idea of all of the events that were fixing to happen.
Lord, help me to think b/4 I speak! And to remember Peter…his heart was broken & he felt awful betraying Jesus!
Serving someone when you know they are going to betray you is a hard thing. But that’s what Jesus does. We all betray him at one time or another or disappoint him at one time or another and he still loves us unconditionally. Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness and unconditional love. No matter what we have done or what we will do, you will always be there for us. Help me to be like that with my fellow brothers and sisters also.
Earlier this week I had the opportunity to put this very thing into practice. I did the right thing, but my motivation was off. I responded out of a knowing of what the ‘right’ thing was to do. It was not in love. I recognized my heart was off and I neeeded to repent.I pray today for more of that understanding and more of His love in Me. I hope that the nexxt time my motivation to do the right thing will be all about LOVE!