Friday July 14, 2006
A Pattern for Servanthood
In Matthew 20:26, Jesus gave His disciples a revolutionary message: “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” In ancient days the lowest servant of the household washed dusty feet. Kneeling to clean away dirt from a guest’s toes was not something the master of the home wanted to do. So the disciples must have been surprised when Jesus performed this humble task for them. He explained His shocking behavior by saying, “If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John ).
Based on those words, many churches have turned foot washing into an ordinance; they believe that this act shows Christlikeness and demonstrates willingness to “serve.” Perhaps that is true for some believers, but many perform the ceremony by rote. Jesus’ message to the disciples and to modern believers is not literally to wash dirty feet, but rather to serve one another with humility and love.
True servanthood is not a popular topic because, in all honesty, most Christians prefer having things done for them. But God seeks the kind of men and women who offer themselves as living sacrifices. To serve the Lord well, we must be willing do whatever He asks for whomever He wishes. Our Christlikeness is evident when we love God and others so much that we willingly humble ourselves for their sake.
Jesus performed one of the lowliest tasks of His day to demonstrate His servanthood. What are you willing to do for Him?
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