"Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." John 13:14-15 (NIV)
When is the last time you truly served someone completely selflessly out of the depth of your love for Christ and that person? I do not mean performing a loving act for a family member or close friend, but someone who is more distant or person you do not know?
The apostles were jockeying with one another for position with the Lord. In fact two of them had their mother appeal to Jesus for spots on his right and left in the heavenly realm. The bible says the others were indignant. Subsequent to this, Matthew and Mark record Jesus' response: "Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" Matt 20:26-28.
Beloved, Jesus is our great example. Rather than flaunting his Deity, he willingly set it aside to serve. Rather than espouse his greatness, he humbled himself. And to provide a pattern for those to whom he entrusted the spread of the gospel by performing an act of service typically relegated to the lowest of (then thought) soulless slaves.
Today we are far to concerned with ourselves and the insistence that others know who we are (as in "Do you know who I am?). We want to fly first class, avoid all lines and have the best of everything. The Christian ethic, however, is to place the needs of others above our own. This is a hard truth isn't it? But it is a truth nonetheless, just as it is a hard truth that Jesus put our needs above his own. One visit to the Garden of Gethsemane brings this fact home with HD clarity.
Let us then pursue being more like the one who came to serve and to save us. Let us adopt his mission of seeking and saving the lost and serve others. When they ask why we are doing it, tell them it is through, by and for the love of Jesus.
Rejoicing in the Lord,