“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.