Jesus had a lesson for His disciples in John chapter 13 about serving and being served. After being served the evening meal Jesus got up and removed his outer garment, put a towel around his waist, poured some water in a basin and began to wash his disciples dirty feet. Next He dried them with tender loving care.
At the table are Andrew, James, his brother John, Philip, Thomas, Matthew, James the son of Alpheus, Thaddeus, Simon, Bartholomew, Judas (who had already been prompted to betray Jesus), and an agitated Peter.
Peter watched with intensity as Jesus made his way down the line to him. “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” Peter had no intention of allowing his Lord and Master to wash his feet like a common slave. But Jesus had a two-fold lesson that day for Peter and for all of his disciples (that includes us too).
To be a good leader we must be willing to be a servant first, never thinking ourselves better than those whom we are privileged to lead. Jesus was also preparing His disciples to move into the world serving God, serving each other, as well as the people whom they would share the gospel with.
I wonder what Judas was thinking as Jesus was washing his feet. Did it further stir his anger to see Jesus humble himself and do the work of a servant? I wonder if he could feel the love from the hands of our Savior as he washed the dirt from his feet. Those were the same hands that would be nailed to a Roman cross just a few days later. Jesus said,
15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. He followed it up with a promise. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.Did you catch that? You will be BLESSED! Not may, but will! Sounds like a promise you can take to the bank!
Lord, place deep within my soul a servant spirit that causes me to want to serve rather than to be served. Open my eyes to opportunities to serve you more faithfully. Open my heart to opportunities to serve my brothers and sisters in Christ. Open my ears to hear the cries of the broken hearted and hurting. May I respond in gentleness and love as I tell them about the one in whom I serve. May they feel your gentle touch and and be forever changed.