A Servant's Role Model

Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God.  So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist,  and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John 13:3-5 (NLT)

I’ve been listening to a book recently and one of the chapters was on Serving. This topic also came up recently in a Bible Study. We were talking about coming to church with an attitude of giving instead of receiving. Some people said they came to church to serve and didn’t expect to receive and that was OK because they received from God in other ways. Some thought coming to serve and receive wasn’t a bad thing….and it is not.

Maybe it boils down to our hearts? Are we serving to check the box? You know, because it is the thing we have to do to be Christians? Are we serving because we see others as an object to check that box? Are we serving because we can see in the hierarchy of things we are low man on the totem pole and we need to be the one serving?

So what should serving look like? As I pondered this, I thought about Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. In John 13 it says he knew that God had given all authority to him. He was at the top of the “universe chain” and he knew it. And as he realized that, what did he do? He got up from the table, took a towel and basin of water and proceeded to be a servant. He kneeled on the floor, took off the sandals of every single disciple (including Judas) and washed the dirt and grime from their feet. He tenderly dried each foot. I can imagine praying over their feet as he did it.

Jesus didn’t just do the job of a servant because there is no servant who would perform this job with so much love. It was much more than that. That’s who he was. He didn’t serve because it was a job he had to do, he served because at his core he was a servant. We have to imitate that.

When we stop serving because it’s the right thing to do and serve because it’s who we are, then our lives and our world will change. Then, we will be serving like Jesus did.

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Philippians 2:6 (NLT)