So He got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. (John 13:4-5)
We read of some very sad moments in the Bible such as when the rich young man, asking Jesus what he needs to do to inherit eternal life, turns and walks away sad when he hears Jesus’ answer to sell all that he has and give it to the poor. He was not ready for radical discipleship. He loved his own life more than he loved God.
However, there is another part which I often read with sadness. Jesus has lived his life on earth as a servant. He has given people their sight, brought health to many a sick body, delivered his friends from danger, and now He is about to die the death of a criminal. He is spending His last night on earth with his beloved disciples, giving them His final teachings. He is making the final preparations for their life without His physical presence. Having walked the earth as a servant rather than a prince, Jesus remains in his role of servant to the end, and takes the towel that everyone else in the room has avoided. His disciples had been afforded one final opportunity to serve the servant; they all missed it. Not one of them, yet, had learned that ‘no servant is greater than his master’ (John 13:16).
Do you ever wonder how the disciples felt after that night? I’m sure that every one of them, had they been able to turn the clock back, would have arrived first in that upper room to perform the servant’s task, and have the privilege of washing their Master’s feet. But it wasn’t to be.
We may not have the privilege of serving Christ in person, but He did say, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ Matthew 25:40 NLT
Let’s be alert today and not miss our opportunity to serve, for in serving others, we are serving Christ.
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