John 13:1-7, Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would 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, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.”
God often contradicts our best predictions as to what He should be or how He should act. Because God wants real love from His people, He gives us the option of whether to follow Him or ourselves. Love cannot be forced. Loyalty cannot be coerced. Love requires an honest and unforced action and decision on our part. In John 13 we find Jesus doing the unthinkable, He serves those whom He came to save by washing their feet. It’s not what I thought He should do, but it is what He did. He is leaving these men with a final picture of what real leadership and love is to be. Within 24 hours He would be dead.
Humility is a lesson we struggle with. We find Jesus eating with His disciples in what we know as the Last Supper. They are laying or leaning in very close proximity to each other. At some point Jesus takes a towel and begins to wash the feet of those who are promising to be His servants.
Why were they at the table with unwashed feet? A discussion begins about who was the greatest. Maybe some were admitting to being too great to wash feet. Or maybe no one was willing to be the volunteer for the task, since that might admit inferiority. It was a room of proud hearts and dirty feet. They would argue for a throne, but never struggle for a towel. Jesus takes this opportunity to do the unthinkable; He begins to wash the feet of the disciples Himself. Needless to say, the arguments ceased. I hope that a certain look of shame invaded the room via the countenance of the unfocused and forgetful disciples.
There are several points to be garnered from this event. One is that Jesus will never ask of us what He is not willing to do Himself. Equally so, is that we need to pick up the towel ourselves. To the latter point, if we are not willing to do what we see needs to be done, we do not deserve the right to be called servants. The day I am too good to do the work of the Lord, I need to repent and do what truly needs to be done. The attitude of a servant is founded in love. Love doesn’t have boundaries as to action. It does, not only what is necessary, but what is expedient, gracious, or just kind to do. Love moves when all others are stationary. Love is a parent attending to a sick child in the early morning hours. Love is a neighbor helping a neighbor, even when the past relationship has been less than close. Love is forgiveness when wrath is crying out. Love is obedience when we fail to see the outcome in our favor. Love is many things, but above all else, it is service to others in their time of need. Love brings glory to our Father, and blessing to our hearts. Love is how we get from lazy or stubborn to active and helpful. Service is love. God Bless You on this journey.