Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Servant is Not Greather Than His Master

A Servant is Not Greater Than His Master


Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God,  rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.“ – John 13:3-5
It’s an emotional scene.  Picture yourself sitting around the table.  Jesus, the Son of God, with a pan of water moving from one disciple to the next.  He does it all in silence.  He takes off their sandals and places their feet in the pan of water.  Scooping the water with His hands, he covers their feet in the water.  Using this hands and fingers he wipes away the dust that is between their toes and covering their ankles.  He dries their feet with a towel, and moves one person closer to where you’re sitting. 

You wait anxiously as Jesus moves closer to you, knowing that He is coming for your feet as well.  The hands that will be nailed to a cross for your sins are about to touch your feet for the simple act of washing them.  The son of God, by who and through who all things were created, is about to wash your feet.  And there He sits, Jesus Christ at your feet, looking up to you and holding out His hands for you to present your foot to be washed.
It’s easy to see why Peter felt he could not let Lord Jesus wash his feet.  It is humbling to have someone perform such a lowly task for your benefit.  Peter said to him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” and Jesus replied “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”

It wasn’t that Peter didn’t trust Jesus.  It wasn’t that he didn’t think Jesus would explain it.  It was that he didn’t want to see Jesus lowered to become his servant.  Peter said to Jesus, “You shall never wash my feet!”  But then Jesus explained, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”  And Peter, being the passionate disciple he was, said “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”  
The washing wasn’t about having clean feet, but to demonstrate to them that we are to be servants, even lowly servants.  Christians aren’t to ride a high horse, looking down on those less fortunate and living lives riddled with sin.  We are to be down below them, lifting them up.    

Jesus goes on to explain this to his disciples when he says in John 13:12-16, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, 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 should do as I have done to you.  Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.”
It’s not about making unbelievers as good as you.  It’s not about making the sinner as perfect as you.  It’s about serving God by helping Him work in their lives.  It’s about them.  Not one of us is greater than Jesus - we wouldn’t dare argue that point.  But Jesus was willing not only to wash their feet, but to die for them.  He was willing to fast for forty days to prepare for His mission.  He was willing to be ridiculed, threatened, and ran out of town for them.  He was willing to have the religious community turn on Him and accuse Him of even being from the devil.  Yet He submitted to be a servant to those who needed Him, and to be a servant to His Master, Father God, who sent Him. 

We have also been sent by God.  We are to be servants to the wandering that need Him.  We’ve been sent to share the good news of Jesus and lead others to Him.  Being a servant means making ourselves lower than those we have to serve.  It means meeting them at the point of their needs, and not waiting for them to show up at church for us to minister to them from the comforts of our pews.  It means sitting at their feet.  A soul is a priceless prize to win, and it must be won at all costs, even humility. 

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