By Joseph Hayes
It was the ultimate test in humility.
So much in fact, that most of us today would still struggle with the command.
However, Jesus, the Son of God, who would save the world from its sins, gave us all the perfect example to follow in how we can all humble ourselves in the final moments he spent with His disciples before he was arrested, in the story recapped in John 13:1-17.
It reads: “Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
“After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.
“Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
The example that Jesus set here is amazing. To consider the Son of God coming down from Heaven and giving Himself for such a flawed creation. Not only that, but washing their dirty feet along the way. Wow! What humility! How Jesus lowered himself and humbled himself is truly beyond words.
The example should remain in all of us. But the truth is, it has not.
You can see it in how we treat each other. How we bicker and fight among ourselves. How we attempt to claim the high ground and moral superiority, when in actuality, none of us have anything to stand on. We are all sinners, who have fallen short of the lofty standard Jesus set.
To check out previous editions of the Living God’s Best series click here.
Recently, I was listening to these scriptures on my favorite Bible audiobook, The Bible Experience, when I heard the Lord interrupt my focus with a simple, yet complex question.
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He asked me plainly: “Joseph, why haven’t you or your brothers or sisters done what I commanded? How many of you have actually followed my example and washed each other’s feet like I told you to do?”
I paused and thought to myself about the act of washing another person’s feet. I considered how if it were announced at most Church’s, many people would probably head directly for the door and never return.
Because Churches, just like malls, clubs, bars or wherever else you will find people, are full of selfish people, like you and I. We think about ourselves first, even though we have been given such a great example of humility by Jesus.
We walk around in pride as if we have reason to hold grudges against others, when we ourselves have sinned against God. We act like we are better than others, when if it wasn’t for what Jesus accomplished, Father God literally would have no reason to look at us or talk to us again.
We are nothing without Jesus. And yet, we are prideful in our ways because we are unaware of what we have truly become.
Consider for a moment what you really have. What do you really own? You don’t own your body. You don’t own your children. They were given to you.
You don’t own anything materialistic that came out of the earth. It all belongs to God, the One who created it all. You have nothing but what God’s Grace has afforded you.
We all will one day understand that our lives were a product of His Grace and Mercy. Hopefully that day will come before you stand before Him. In the interim, it would be wise to go back and consider what we were commanded to do.
Why did Father God prompt Jesus to humble Himself and wash His disciples nasty feet in the moments before He would be arrested, beaten and suffer in hell for us?
What message was He sending to all of us? Jesus Himself, could have been tired or not wanting to follow through.
But He humbled Himself for someone else. It wasn’t about His will, but Father God’s will being done. And in sowing this seed, it’s simple act of love and kindness also should teach us something very important.
Father God wanted you to understand true humility and kindness. He also wanted you to consider what would happen if we didn’t obey. What happens to the Body of Christ and Church bodies if they don’t follow through?
They never learn or develop a servant’s heart.
Maybe that’s why there is so much infighting and so much backbiting. There aren’t servants in the pews, ready to put others before themselves.
Are we humble enough in our own hearts to go back and correct this sin? Are we humble enough in our own hearts to teach our own families and Churches humility today with the same act of washing each other’s feet like we were commanded to?
That’s the choice that you and I have to make. In life we are often faced with many simple questions that can lead to many major breakthroughs. Obedience to God has never caused anyone to come up short.
I pray you will follow Jesus’ example and put humility to the test.
And if you don’t know Jesus, there has never been a more important decision that you could make in this life. Peace can only come from receiving God’s gift of peace sent to the earth to you and I, His one and only Son, which became multiplied into many more through His act of dying for us and being raised from the dead.
To receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, believe and say out loud: Heavenly Father, I come to you in Jesus’ name. Please forgive me of my sins. I believe your Son Jesus was sent to earth to die for me on the cross and that he rose from the dead. I receive him as my Lord and Savior. Please take my life and use it for your glory. I choose to extend forgiveness to anyone who has sinned against me. Welcome to God’s family! Your spirit is born again!
Choose to spend time learning more about Jesus in the Bible. You can study Him in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Seek God on what local church you should attend to learn more about Him and choose to put your faith on display by being baptized. As you continue learning about God, be His ambassador and continue sharing what you have learned with everyone. Where you go, the Lord goes. So choose to represent Him today.
Joseph Hayes is the new Managing Editor at Blue Water Healthy Living. Hayes was previously at the Port Huron Times Herald and hosted a show on Power 88.3. He has additional experience at The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Jackson Citizen Patriot and WDFN 1130. Contact Hayes at email@example.com