One of the most poignant scenes in all of the Scriptures is the scene recorded by John as Jesus calls His men together for one last supper together. It is Thursday evening and, by the way the Jews reckoned time, it will be Friday as of 6 p.m. It is the Feast of Unleavened Bread and Jesus is about to change the meaning of this occasion. The house in Jerusalem probably belongs to John Mark’s mother and it has an upper room. Jesus and the Twelve gather and someone has forgotten an important detail: no servants are present to wash the feet of the guests. By Jewish law, no Jew could be forced to do this. Usually, a host would provide a servant for this task, but no servant has been hired. There was undoubtedly more than a few moments of awkward silence as the men gathered and looked at one another to see who would perform this lowly task. Then, Jesus takes up a towel and a basin of water, and begins to wash the feet of his men. Remember, this included Judas. The disciples were amazed to say the least. To think that Jesus would assume the role of a servant!
Monday…Matthew 20:25ff is a reminder from Jesus that worldly authority demands that those in high position “lord it over their people”, but Jesus taught His followers a completely different way of living. We Christians are to do as Jesus did and serve people! Our authority comes from servanthood.
Tuesday…Matthew 19:30; 20:16 Much of the Christian life is opposite what the world teaches. We see people ‘pushing to the front of the line’ all of the time. Jesus says that the “last will be first and the first will be last.” How do you see yourself in the great scheme of things? Do you feel superior to others? Or, do you see yourself as serving others?
Wednesday…A sobering thought is that we are the hands and feet of Jesus. Jesus ministered for about 1200 days and did not travel more than about 80 miles from the place of His birth. His influence, though, is worldwide. His life of servanthood lives on in the lives of His willing servants. People see Jesus through us as we model His example of servanthood.
Thursday…One of the themes of Isaiah is that the Messiah would be “the Suffering Servant.” This is not what the 1st century Jews expected of their Messiah! To be a servant was one thing. To be a suffering servant was even worse! The Christian can expect both to be a servant and to encounter trouble in the world. John 16:33 reminds us that we will also be ‘suffering servants’ as we emulate our Master.
Friday…It ‘goes against the grain’ for most of us to be in the role of one who serves. When we lower ourselves though and serve someone else, there is a wonderful peace and feeling of fulfillment that comes to our souls! It really is “more blessed to give than to receive.”