Love and Humble Servitude

John 13:15 “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

It was just before the Passover feast. Jesus and his disciples were in the upper room for what was the last supper. Although the disciples did not know what was about to happen, Jesus did. What did He decide to do in these final moments with them? He displays his love, humility and servanthood.

John 13: 4-5 “So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciple’s feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.”

Feet washing is not something we are accustomed to nowadays, but in those times, walking everywhere on dusty roads and reclining on a low seat for your meals made it a necessity for feet washing to be common practice. And it was usually the lowliest servant’s job to do it. In the upper room by themselves, there was no servant there to wash their feet. It did not occur to the disciples to either wash it themselves or wash each other’s feet.

Jesus exemplifies servant leadership by his actions. He says in Luke 22:27b “I am among you as one who serves.” And He demonstrated exactly that throughout his time on earth in more ways than one and this was one such beautiful example of His love for us all.

John 13:1 “It was just before the Passover feast; Jesus knew the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved His own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of His love.”

When Jesus was about to wash Peter’s feet, Peter was uncomfortable with the Lord doing such a thing for him and goes on to say that Jesus would never wash His feet.

In every occurrence with Jesus, there is always more than one lesson to be learnt. Besides depicting a heart of love, service and humility, he goes deeper into emphasising the metaphorical meaning and importance of allowing our feet to be washed by Him.

In verse 8 he tells Peter that “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Jesus is talking about the spiritual cleansing of salvation that happens when we repent and accept Him as our Lord and saviour. But in our daily walk, there are often times we muddy our feet with sin. If we continue on without taking those muddy stains to Jesus for cleansing, we are not abiding in Him or growing in our walk with Jesus as we allow those sins to remain a part of us. By submitting our muddy feet to Jesus, we are acknowledging our sin and desire to change those ways and walk on with each step in a way that does not grieve the Spirit.

In verse 10 Jesus says “The person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet.”

Notice that Jesus does not say, it will be good for a person to wash their feet. He says we ‘need’ to. We all know that we falter and we sin in our walk. But if we think that is just part of being human and it happens and are complacent in our attitude towards those weaknesses, we are not being truthful with ourselves. Jesus mentions the necessity of that daily feet cleansing that we need as a result of our imperfect daily walk with Him. That action says – Lord, what you want of me matters to me. Walking in obedience and changing my ways to abide closer to you, matters to me because of your love for me. I love you Lord and I do not want to treat your sacrifice for me in a manner less than worthy of what it should.

A daily reflection of our walk is necessary so that if there is anything that is displeasing to the Lord, we can take it to Him and ask Him for forgiveness and we must remember that genuine repentance is reflected by a change in our actions too. Just because we are recipients of His abundant grace it does not mean we keep on sinning (Romans 6:15)

Jesus goes on to say in verse 14-15 “Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Once again let’s take a note of the sentence not being just something that will be good to consider doing but Jesus says we ‘should’ be doing. Sounds more like an instruction that Jesus wants for us to follow. And the beautiful thing is He portrayed all this with actions first and then substantiated those actions with words.

It made me think about how I should be serving others. I realise that doing first and then using words in acts of service go a long way. It has a greater impact on who we serve and those that see us serve. Because then, when we get the opportunity we can point to Jesus as the reason for our actions.

In verse 16 Jesus continues to say “I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than the master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.” This reminds me to ensure that we are to give all the glory to HIM when we serve and to guard ourselves against soaking in any praise that will lead to the sin of pride.

And the last verse of this story is a beautiful promise “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.”

Let’s take a note of the stipulation of our responsibility in this promise – ‘if we do them’, only then will we receive His blessing for it.

Let’s not forget our personal responsibility in all of this. We always have a choice

  • A choice to accept Him as our Lord and Saviour
  • A choice to abide closer to Him by submitting and allowing Jesus to wash our muddy feet reflecting our want to walk in obedience to Him.
  • A choice to live a life emulating his servant heart.

As we dwell on serving others, I would like to observe here that we can be predisposed to serve with ease those we get along with or favour. But if we take a close look at Jesus washing his disciple’s feet. Nowhere does it say that He washed everyone’s feet except Judas’s. Judas was there in that room. Jesus knew he was to be betrayed and that Judas would be the one to do it and yet He washed all His disciple’s feet. That heart attitude is something we need to consider when we serve. We are to set aside any notions in our heart and mind, humble ourselves and serve. We are to love and to serve just as our Lord did.

May we imbibe this lesson in humility and strive to follow this principle of selfless service that should be a part of our Christian walk, a service that goes beyond our likes and dislikes because Jesus wants everyone to know and see His love demonstrated in a tangible way for which we are blessed that HE uses us.

God Bless.  

20 thoughts on “Love and Humble Servitude

  1. Amen, sister! High 5 to you ✋🏽
    Salient points for us today. Serving others goes beyond who we like and what we feel. Our Lord washed EVERYONE’s feet and so should we. I love that you showed us the symbolism of being washed by Jesus. I think of the hymn, “Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?” Lord wash us and help us to ready. I also love how you highlighted that we have a responsibility in this process. Paul tells us, “Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound. God forbid.”

    Finally, I loved this point here: “Walking in obedience and changing my ways to abide closer to you, matters to me because of your love for me.” It hits home big time! 💐❤️

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you dear Dee. May we have a heart that serves everyone equally and not place our own prejudices in our service.
      And yes, it does hit home for me too of walking in obedience and abiding in Him – that which matters to God should matter to me too.
      Blessings to you dear sis 🤗💙

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Love and humility go hand in hand. Jesus set a great example because He knew what Judas would do , yet He remained the same towards him. We must walk in love toward others even when it’s difficult. Thank you Manu!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Absolutely Dawn. Jesus set such a great example of being the same towards Judas and the other disciples. His love and humility is something we should strive to emulate in our daily lives.
      Thank you Dawn 😊💙.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. love the way you create these posts and take us through a beautiful time of reflection….well done Perth Girl…keep it going…may you be richly and abundantly blessed as you continue your unique Ministry….it’s awesome to sit back and watch you do what you do with so much enthusiasm and consistency………may you rise higher than your wildest dreams before the end of this year…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. serving others is easy said than done. This is because human beings love rewards. Anything without reward is a NO!NO!

    Worse off in churches,relationships and families. Many people have been hurt with the very people they served and talking about service to others is like making noise to them.

    I used to struggle with this too until I realised, every good gift comes from God, even the gift of love comes from God.

    Therefore when I get an opportunity to be used by God to show His unconditional love to His children, I allow myself to be used.

    Because, It is not me who loves or serves but it is He that lives in me.

    God bless you for sharing about this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Serving is indeed easier said than done. We have to always check our intention of serving- to ensure that we are honouring God and not leaning towards self glory.
      And yes bring hurt by those very people can be so hard and like you said we serve in response to Gods work in our lives.
      🤗💙

      Liked by 1 person

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