For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written, “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles, and sing to your name.” And again it is said, “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.” And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples extol him.” And again Isaiah says, “The root of Jesse will come, even he who arises to rule the Gentiles; in him will the Gentiles hope.” Romans 15:8-12
Sometimes we forget that we are here as servants just as Christ came to serve not to rule. This was shown most clearly when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Many churches practice foot washing at some time or another, many times on the Thursday before Easter. But this practice today is only a dim reflection of what the custom of foot washing was in first century Palestine. Then the servant that did the foot washing was at the bottom of the pecking order. It was one of the lowliest jobs a person could do.
Now picture the upper room. The twelve are gathered with Jesus. Where is a servant to do the foot washing? Knowing what we know about the disciples I can imagine the conversation going something like this. Who is going to wash our feet? Not me, you’d never catch me doing that. What about John? He is the youngest. I’m not doing that, you do it. Back and forth and nobody noticed as Jesus stripped off His outer garment and began to wash their feet. The shock must have been so great they did not know what to do. Of course leave it to Peter to protest. No way was Jesus washing his feet.
Jesus insisted and Peter being Peter exclaims well then don’t stop with my feet wash all of me. Once again they missed the message. Once again Jesus confounded everybody around Him. We are not placed here to be served. We are not here to lord it over others or to feel superior to the unbeliever. No, we are here to serve. We are here to teach and to bring others into the kingdom.
When we wash each other’s feet it may be a nice gesture, it may even be humbling but it is not what we are to be about. We are to serve the unbeliever to bring them into the fold of His sheep. We are to serve each other each and every day not one Thursday out of the year but every day of the year until Jesus calls us home with a “well done, good and faithful servant.”
Who have you served today?
Have a blessed day,