Humility & Service
The passage from John 13 tells about Jesus washing the feet of the disciples. That passage always amazes me. The Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, gets down on the floor and debases himself as he attempts (once more) to demonstrate humility and service toward his followers. Humility and service to others are some of the characteristics that Jesus has been modeling for them over the three years they’ve been together. But they just don’t get it.
How do I know they don’t get the message? Because if we look into the Gospel of Luke at what follows the foot washing, we hear the disciples arguing about who will be the greatest among them. They missed it again. And we still tend to miss Jesus’ message today.
There are those who profess that we live in a Christian society, in a country founded on Christian principles. Yet, we still engage in the same argument the disciples engaged in – who is the greatest among us? The argument takes many forms as we seek to elevate ourselves, and denigrate those around us. Some profess their philosophy of governance is greatest. Others profess that their idea of justice is greatest. Still others profess that they are greatest because their brand of morality is superior to those around them. What’s lacking in all of these folks? The Christ-like characteristics of humility and service. It’s lacking in the country, and it’s lacking in the modern expression of Christ’s Church.
We can do better. Jesus modeled an attitude of humility – a modest view of one’s own importance. I read recently that one way we can demonstrate humility in our own lives is to talk less and listen more. Another is choosing peace over being right. Both of these communicate that we value others over ourselves. Jesus communicated the same thing when he chose to sacrifice himself for our benefit.
Jesus not only modeled humility, but his humble attitude allowed him to be able to serve those around him. Nobody with an inflated sense of selfimportance would ever stoop to washing anybody’s feet, much less sacrifice himself on a cross. And it’s only as we arrive at a sense of humility in our own life that we are able to truly serve other people in the spirit of Christ.
Humility and service. These aren’t only characteristics that we should seek to have the Holy Spirit cultivate in us. They should be characteristics we look for in our leaders. (But that’s another article, entirely.) So I leave each of us with a couple of questions. Whose feet are you being called to wash? And, how open are you to having humility and a servant’s heart cultivated in you so you can engage in that act of service, in the name of Jesus the Christ?
Pastor Ross
Last Published: September 16, 2020 10:48 AM
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