The Master becomes the Servant

A lot of times in movies and stories it seems that there is that moment where someone will say, "When I left I was but the learner, but now I am the master." There are different variations of how this is said, but the idea is the same. "I have now become greater than you and I will defeat you." Sports, heroic adventures, romantic comedies, it doesn't matter. This is a trope often used. And we cheer knowing the bully, the villain, the former girlfriend is going to get their comeuppance.


In John 13 we get a different variation of this. Jesus has now come to the evening that He and His disciples will celebrate the Passover meal together. It is the night that He will be betrayed and arrested, but before all of that He has a few more lessons to teach. The first is done as they enter the place where they will share the Passover meal together.


John 12:2 tells us they were at the time of supper, and in verses 4 and 5 John tells us that Jesus "got up from supper, laid aside His robe, took a towel, and tied it around Himself. Next, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples' feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him."


Peter, as he was so likely to do in these moments, questioned why Jesus was doing this. And if you read verses 6-9 he actually gets rather emotional in the process. You see, culturally this was NOT something the Master, your Teacher would do, especially when He was the one who was hosting this meal. It was the LOWEST servant in the household who was given this task. Imagine stooping down to feet that had trodden down dusty roads in sandals that had been worn for who knows how long. Those dusty roads and towns streets would have been traveled by donkeys, sheep, goats, etc. so imagine what else your feet would smell like, let alone with what they would be covered. If you have teenagers in your house just imagine washing their feet each night before supper! I don't even wan to be in the same room as my kids' feet, let alone close enough to wash them!


But that is exactly what Jesus did. He took on the form of a servant. The lowest servant and he served. And when He was done washing all twelve of their feet He put on His robe and said,


"Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord. This is well said, for I am. So if I, 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 for you." --John 13:12-15


Jesus is telling them that the status we give one another doesn't matter when it comes to serving one another. All of us have been called to stoop down and "wash one another's feet". Boss to employer, parent to child, teacher to student, husband to wife and vice versa, and on and on. None of us should think so highly of ourselves that we can't do for others that which would considered below us.


Therefore, look today for the opportunity to "wash someone's feet", literally or figuratively. Jesus, as He often does, gives a promise with this command and I will close with it.


"If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them." --John 13:17


May we find a way to be blessed by serving today!


Doug

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Northwestern United Methodist Church

232 4th Ave. 

Mellette, SD 57461

605.887.3148

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