JOHN 13:1-5, 12-17 – Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.”
THEME OF THE DAY: NO FANFARE, ATTENTION, OR SEEKING OF PRAISE. Today’s account is the most humbling act of service ever given in the history of humankind. Yes, the crucifixion of our Lord was the most humiliating of scenes ever witnessed, but the Creator stooping down to wash the sinful creature’s feet is staggering to the mind to think the level of humility Jesus displayed. As for the account itself, there abounds so many lessons for us, but there are two that are the emphasis for us today.
As Jesus goes from one set of dirty feet to another, there is silence from Him and his shocked disciples. After our Lord finishes this humble act of service, He speaks and says, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.” There is no fanfare, no seeking public notice, no desire of personal affirmation or praise. The only attention He draws to Himself is that of example. Lessons for us? Two that are practical and profound.
First, humble service marks Jesus’ people, and it is the type of service that is lowly, sacrificial, inconvenient, and frankly, not very glamorous. We know God does gift His people for service to His people in His church that are more visible, but even those with such gifts are not elevated above “washing feet.” This example is for all Christians. No one is to think too highly of themselves as not “called” to wash feet. Remember, Creator to creature. That settles our calling!
The other lesson is don’t serve to be noticed by people. All of us like affirmation to some extent, but we are not to seek the praise of people, the attention of people, or the elevation by people for our service. We keep our eyes on pleasing the One who modeled such service for us.
PRAYER: “Father, never let me lose sight of the humble example Your Son set for me.”
QUOTE: “No service for Jesus is too small, and the lower the service, the more like Him we are.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,