What does it mean to be a servant?
“…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” –Matthew 20:28
To me, this is so powerful! The Son of Man, came to serve. How can that be. This is God’s Son. Are you kidding me? Someone in this position serving others. Well, that’s exactly what He did. So why would I ever think that I am any better than that. Jesus set one of the most stunning examples ever displayed in my opinion as to what it means to serve and be a servant. Yes, He did perform miracles such as giving a blind man sight again. Yes, I guess miracles for somebody could be construed as serving someone. But miracles are not what this is about. This little series that I hope to be introducing into my life as well as any others that may be reading this is about actually serving others.
Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 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. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Jesus knew his time was near. He also knew that this would be the last time he would be with all his disciples. This lesson that Jesus taught the disciples was a lesson of love for He loved them so. It was to be humble. Humility and servitude is love. The second command Jesus gave was simple: “loving your neighbor as yourself”. Second only to loving God. Jesus knew that the disciples pride would absolutely wreak havoc with their relationship with God, themselves, and the people they were trying to reach and save. This service showed them, physically showed them, you have to serve to love. It doesn’t matter who or how, but to spread the Word, you have to serve as a servant.
People, myself included, will line up by the droves to serve those things that are deemed important or respected. But who lines up to do all those remedial tasks that doesn’t get the limelight, doesn’t share the glory as something tremendous. I know in my own experience that this is a very short line that I’ve often overlooked myself. Where’s the reward? Why should I do that? Jesus showed humility by not saying a word and disrobed, wrapped himself in a towel and filled a basin full of water and served in a task that absolutely no one wanted to do. A task that is served by the lowest ranking person in the room as its a dirty job. He washed the disciple’s feet.
Was Jesus the lowest ranking person in the room? Absolutely not! Did he think this was below him? No. So now I’ve got to ask myself, are there tasks that I simply won’t do because they are lowly? Because they are hard? Because they offer no recognition in the eyes of the world? Because they’re dirty? But aren’t these the jobs that need to be done the most or should be done the most? Who’s reward am I looking for?
I need to be willing to do the things that need to be done, period. Whatever is needed. Not only did Jesus prepare himself to perform this service to others, he was willing to. As a Christian, I have a responsibility to follow these actions. I will not waste my time being concerned about how I compare to others and it’s not my job to judge others for what they may not do. If I see a need, I need to be responsible and fill it no matter what the need may be. It’s a sin if I do not:
“Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.” –James 4:17 (NIV)
I can tell you now and quite honestly, one of the hardest obstacles I’m going to face in this is something that Jesus did willingly. He even washed the feet of Judas, the person he knew was going to betray him. How could he do this? How will I be able to get over my pride to be able to serve those who have betrayed me. Pride, I’ve got to get rid of it. If Jesus could wash the feet of the man he knew was going to betray him, He KNEW, yet he still served him. I’ve got to be willing to do the same.
Now the question remains, since I know what servitude is, how can I serve? What can I do? What are the qualifications? Any experience necessary? Does the position come with benefits? Stay tuned and as always please feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment.
–Forever under construction