The Servant King

So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call me, 'Teacher' and 'Lord.' You say so correctly, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" John 13:12'14 WEB.

When you were invited to dine at someone's house during the time that Jesus lived on the Earth, you typically bathed before going. But on your way to their home, your feet would become dirty from traveling the dusty roads.

It was customary when you arrived for a servant to wash your feet and freshen you up before the meal. They didn't even ask Jewish servants to perform this lowly service. It was reserved for gentile servants or slaves.

When Jesus and the disciples came into the upper room for the last supper that evening, the servant was missing. All the Apostles knew what should be done, but none of them offered to do it because they had just been arguing over which of them was the greatest (Luke 22:24). They seemed to be thinking, "I am not about to wash their feet. They can wash mine."

Then Jesus knelt before each of them and washed their feet just as a gentile slave would have when they should have been scrambling to clean His. Other than Peter's outburst, it appears that the entire foot-washing happened in embarrassed silence. Then Jesus asked them, "Do you know what I have done to you?" and He got more silence.

Jesus told them: "You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so." His humble act of serving them had not diminished His greatness. He was still Lord, just different from what they expected. Jesus demonstrated that the greatest among them needed to be ready to perform humble service for the least when necessary. "The greatest among you will be your servant."

Humility does not diminish who you are. It perfects it. I can tell of so many times where God gave me a choice between humbly serving or arrogantly ignoring. The times when I chose to humbly serve, I was soon promoted somehow in my life. The month before the Lord pushed me into becoming a pastor, I scrubbed all the toilets in our church because the servant was missing that day.

"God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter 5:5'6).

When a humble opportunity to serve appears, and the servant is missing, lay aside your garment of pride and become the servant. Do it with joy and energy as if you were working directly for the Lord, for the greatest among you will be your servant. This is also the fastest path to promotion.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus as an example for us and let me grow more and more like Him. Please help me recognize divine opportunities that arise in my life, and make the right choice. Let me be Your servant. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!

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