Sunday, August 30, 2009

A Pattern for Servanthood

READ John 13:1-17

In Matthew 20:26, Jesus gave His disciples a revolutionary message: “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” In ancient days, the lowest servant of the household washed dusty feet. Kneeling to clean away dirt from a guest’s toes was not something the master of the home did. So, the disciples must have been surprised when Jesus performed this humble task for them. He explained His “shocking” behavior by saying, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).

Based on those words, many churches have made foot washing an obligation. They believe this act shows Christlikeness and demonstrates willingness to “serve.” Perhaps that’s true for some believers. But, many perform the ceremony solely out of obedience. Jesus’ message to the disciples and to modern believers is not literally to wash dirty feet. He wants us to serve one another with humility and love.

True servanthood is not a popular topic because, in all honesty, most Christians prefer having things done for them. But God seeks the kind of men and women who offer themselves as living sacrifices. To serve the Lord well, we must be willing do whatever He asks for whomever He wishes. Our Christlikeness is evident when we love God and others so much we willingly humble ourselves for their sake.

Jesus performed one of the lowliest tasks of His day to demonstrate His servanthood. What are you willing to do for Him?


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