“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.John 13:13-17
In another moment, Jesus tells His disciples ‘If you want to be the greatest, you have to be last, and the servant of all.’ (Mark 9:35)
Servanthood is the opposite of what most of us think of when we think of being great. Great people get recognition, they pay for people to clean their houses and cook for them. Great people don’t serve, they get served. Yet the King of the universe humbles himself to the lowest position and washes the disciples feet.
If anyone had the ability and the right to ‘lord’ power over people, it was Jesus. However, He didn’t count equality with His Father as something to hold tightly to, rather He made Himself nothing, by becoming in nature a servant (Phil 2:6-7). He left equality with His Father to serve us, so that we could equally share in His inheritance.
Without Jesus serving us by laying down His life as a ransom for many, there is no freedom, there is no justification, there is no resurrection.
Therefore servanthood is the path we need to follow.
A servant does every dirty job that needs to be done. A servant is available at all times to do all things that the master wants done. A servant is never too good for anything.
But the only way to become someone who can serve like this without becoming bitter or resentful, is to never forget that Jesus left equality with His Father so that we could call His Father, our Father.
That means that everything we do should be done out of gratitude toward the ‘suffering servant’, and should be a reflection of His life on earth.
Servanthood is the path to resurrection.
Lord Jesus, we know that only through you can we be called righteous. May we righteously follow your example as a servant, for we know that you are far greater than we are, and we need your power to serve as selflessly as you did. May we be imitators of your divine nature in every way. In Jesus name, Amen.