AUTHENTIC SERVANTHOOD

Scripture Reading:  John 13:1-17

“He laid aside His outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist.  Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” (John 13:4-5)

Washing feet was the work of a servant.  In those days, if a person was invited to one’s house, a servant was assigned the duty of washing the guest’s feet.  The streets were dirty and sandals were worn.  Upon arriving at the host’s house, the guest needed to have his feet washed.  A servant got on his knees and began the task.

Jesus was illustrating one of the great truths of the gospel — the gospel humbles us and calls us to be servants of others.  Jesus, after washing the feet of the disciples, said to them:  “You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for I am.  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.  If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them” (vs. 13-17).

Jesus was a king but He became a servant.  He was rich, yet He became poor for our sake (II Corinthians 8:9).  This is how the gospel operates.  While we are greatly honored and loved by God (Isaiah 43:4), at the same time we are called to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5), who clearly stated, “Even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

The gospel calls us to authentic servanthood; it calls us to have the heart of a servant.  A true servant is characterized by genuineness, empathy, mercy, humility, compassion and sensitivity to the needs of others.  Jesus says that we will be blessed if we humble ourselves and become servants to others.

Lord Jesus, having a servant’s heart doesn’t come easily for me.  I am filled with pride and in my sinful nature, I do not want to be treated like a servant.  Please enable me to have Your mind.  Let me be a servant to You and to others today.

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