But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. Luke 22:26
Ok, everyone who has taken their time to wash the feet of their friends raise their hand. Exactly what I thought, no one. What a strange thing to do. Why would Jesus do such a thing? Everyone was sitting around after eating dinner, minding their own business when Jesus picked up a towel and a basin with water and started to clean the feet of the disciples. Everyone seemed fine with this until it was Peter’s turn. He wanted nothing to do with it.
This was not because he didn’t want Jesus to touch him; it was because Peter thought it beneath Jesus. Back then washing people’s feet was the norm. Everyone wore sandals and after walking long distances, your feet could get filled with sand and dirt. Often this chore was left for servants if the family was well to do. The honored guest would never be expected to do this, especially if the honored guest was the messiah. We often have this idea that some things are beneath certain people. We would never expect the President to be caught sweeping or a wealthy man taking out his garbage. Certain tasks we often think are too menial for people of high ranking. Do we sometimes think a particular task is beneath our good standing?
Jesus made it clear to Peter that if he wanted to be his follower he would have to let Him clean his feet. Jesus threw out the traditional ideas of prominence when He said “the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves..” Luke 22:26 By serving we become ambassadors of love. This is better than just saying “I love you.”
It is the reason why we serve food to the hungry; provide clothes to the needy, visit the sick and the prisons. There is a need that must be served. Today a group of men from the church helped someone move all their stuff into storage. It was not easy work. It was snowing, cold and slippery. Just about everyone that came to help had children and spouses that were waiting for them. They had perhaps other plans. Several fell on the slippery stairs, wore themselves out and mentioned that they had certainly done their work out. But all the men were in good spirits. They were smiling, joking, laughing and kidding with each other. They were happy to be helping someone in need. I should add it was all done free of charge. We did not expect a monetary reward and we would have refused it anyway. A thank you was all that was necessary.
This one selfless act spoke volumes of love. May our actions and our sacrifices continue to spread the love of Christ as we reach all those in need.
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