Eye daggers shot around the room. The men sitting around the table practicing mental telepathy.
“You get up and do it!”
“Nope, not me, YOU do it!”
The long awkward silence moved painfully forward until their leader stood up, picked up a towel and water basin, then knelt down to wash their feet. Can you imagine how quickly their eye daggers turned and stabbed their own hearts when they saw Jesus get up to serve them?
At the last supper Jesus took on the role of a servant, washing his disciples feet. He was the son of the God of the universe and He took on the lowest role in the room. Just for example I don’t suppose anyone expects Prince Charles to take out the trash or wash the dishes. But, Jesus picked up the towel and did the job nobody else would do.
Why didn’t one of His disciples pick up the towel and wash everyones feet? Because their pride wouldn’t allow them to stoop to the lowly role of a servant. Someone in the room should do it, but as each evaluated their own status they all arrived at the same conclusion; they were certainly better than anyone else in the room. Jesus gave them time to think about it, but the time given just strengthened their pride.
“So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) Some friends of mine recently became new grandparents. They have made several posts on Facebook about their wonderful new grandson. Their most recent status update described how everyone loves to hold the new baby, sing to the new baby, talk to the new baby and they don’t get much accomplished besides taking care of the baby. They glow with love for their grandchild and the pictures of him glow with the love he receives from his family. Newborn babies are completely helpless so we do everything for them.
I would like to take this a step further and apply it to our spiritual lives. New babies have no problem accepting things being done for them by their caregivers. They are incapable of doing it for themselves. This is how we need to be with our heavenly Father. Entirely submitted to His will for our lives. When we are entirely submitted our pride is eradicated and humility accepts that we really can’t take care of ourselves as well as our Father in heaven. He loves us far more than parents and grandparents love their children and grandchildren. Parents and grandparents will do anything and everything to take care of and keep their progeny happy and safe. I wonder how different our lives would be if we lived like a newborn baby dependent on our Father in heaven for everything He has for us. Picture yourself a newborn in the arms of your heavenly Father.
When Jesus washed the disciples feet he silently convicted their hearts of their need for humility. Not only to stand humble before God, but to stand humble before each other. “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20)
“His service is our highest liberty, the liberty from self.” (Andrew Murray)