"Lord, are You washing my feet?" -- Apostle Peter, John 13:6
If you had one day left to live, what would you do? We don’t have to look any further than John 13 to read what Jesus did. On the night of His betrayal — the same night He institutes the Lord’s Supper — Jesus washed the feet of His apostles. The Master, Teacher and Lord performs the task of a slave. This is a remarkable moment. A critical point in His life. And a turning point in the life of His apostles.
What can we learn from Jesus’ example?
If I want to be a servant like Jesus, I must figure out who I am: Jesus knew who He was (John 13:12-13). And because He knew who He was, He could wash their feet. He didn’t need His apostles to wash His feet to prove He was Teacher and Lord. Do you know who you are? I would suggest we have trouble washing feet because we struggle to know who we are. We are God’s creation (Gen. 1:26-27). We are the crowning jewel of His creation. We’re not just another thing that God has made. In fact, we’re so important to God, He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins. And if that’s not enough, nothing will ever be enough. You matter because you matter to God.
If I want to be a servant like Jesus, then I must start thinking about others: What is amazing is the example of Jesus in this story. In this critical hour, He wasn’t thinking about Himself. He was thinking about His team and what they needed. And what they needed was a lesson on humility. His heart was set on His followers. When it comes to servants, servants see a need and then meet the need. That’s what Jesus did (Phil. 2:3-4). He saw our need and knew there was nothing we could do to save ourselves. But Jesus not only saw that need. That need moved Him into action and He met that need. Jesus gave Himself and served others.
If I want to be a servant like Jesus, then I must be willing to get my hands dirty: Jesus chose this task of washing feet intentionally because this filthy, dirty task was reserved for the lowliest slave. It wasn’t a lesson on hygiene; it was a lesson on humility (Phil. 2:5-8). We become reluctant to serve because we’re not thinking about the need. We’re worried about the task — it’s inconvenient, or it will take too much time, or it will be a hassle. To be servants like Jesus, we must set our mind not on the task, but on the great things it will accomplish for God. Nothing is to be beneath us in our service for others.