I have already written about something similar to tonight’s post in my previous post about humility, but this time, I want to look at it from a very different perspective. Service to others is something that I feel that many people struggle with. Whether it’s because they don’t feel “called to it”, or simply because they believe that they are somehow above that kind of thing, people often find any excuse not to serve. The reason that I bring this subject up is because I have come to realize that I do this exact thing. Anytime an opportunity to serve others comes up, I always try to find any way out of it, and that isn’t the right mindset for anyone to have. Rather, we should be joyful when we are given the opportunity to serve. As Christians, we should always humble ourselves, and be available to serve others no matter what the need may be.
I believe that the greatest example of this comes from John chapter 13.  In this chapter, we see Jesus doing something very radical. He is washing the feet of his disciples. Now I know what you are thinking.  “OOO! Foot washing. How crazy?” But the truth is, to the disciples, and to the Jews of the time, this would be an unbelievable thing for someone of Jesus’ stature to do. In Jewish culture, foot washing was a common practice. Whenever someone would come over to dinner, the servant of the house would go around and wash the feet of all of the guests.  However, in this instance, it isn’t a servant doing the foot washing, rather it is Jesus himself doing this demeaning task. A task reserved for the lowest of the low was being performed by the king of kings. A task that no self-respecting Jew would ever engage in was being performed by the hands of the messiah. As you can see, this seems absolutely absurd. Jesus shouldn’t be made to wash his disciple’s feet, and as the text shows, Peter felt the same way. When Jesus came around to wash Peter’s feet, he immediately protested. He too realized that the messiah should not be washing to feet of someone less than himself. But what Jesus has to say next would not only shock Peter, but should also be a wake-up call to all of us. He says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:14-16) Essentially what Jesus is saying here is that we should all be servants to others just as he is. He is the master, and if he can humble himself and wash the feet of his people, then we should do likewise. I’m not saying that we are to physically go out and wash our neighbor’s feet, but what I am saying is that we should be humble enough to go serve them in whatever way necessary. In Jesus’ situation what was necessary was for someone to wash feet, and Jesus did just that. We are all called to do like him, and meet the needs of whatever situation we find ourselves in.
In the end, the main lesson of the story is that we are all called to serve. We may not be called to serve in the same way as another, but we are all called to serve our fellow man. As Jesus has shown by his radical example, no one is too holy to serve another. If even the master can humble himself to do the job of the servant, then we too should be able to lose our pride, and serve right alongside him. We are called to follow this example every day of our lives, ready to get our hands dirty whenever the need arises. I know just how hard it can be sometimes to follow through on this command. The important thing is that we continue to better ourselves in every aspect of our lives. We should all strive to be more like Christ, and whether we want to believe it or not, that includes being a servant to the least of these. We have a lot of work to do, so I suggest we get to work.

Advertisements