OUR LORD'S EXAMPLE OF HUMBLE SERVICE
When our Lord Jesus walked our dusty roads, He lived in an extraordinary way.
He lived the life of a humble itinerate preacher moving from town to town praying for the sick and oppressed and preaching the good news of the kingdom of God.
Sometimes, His budgets were tight where even the obligations of temple fees and taxes were beyond His ability to pay thus requiring a miracle to relieve the financial pressure.
Sometimes He couldn't afford shelter as He mentioned that foxes had holes and birds had nests but the Son of Man had no place to lay His head.
Food was sometimes scarce for the group who followed Him to the degree that they needed to pick raw grain from fields to supplement their diets.
Against this backdrop, Jesus was unfailingly generous and was always prepared to serve the people who sought His help.
An example of Jesus' sense of service was demonstrated when He was in the fishing town of Capernaum. He was suddenly summoned across the lake and He interrupted his visit to the town to sail to Gennaserette where a lost solitary soul, tormented by demons, ran naked among the tombs, cutting himself with stones.
Jesus, with an unwavering sense of duty and service, undertook the mission to find the demon-oppressed man and restored him to His right mind when the instruction to find this lost sheep was issued from heaven.
Another example of His sense of service while in Capernaum occurred when a temple administrator named Jarius and his wife, came to ask Him to heal their dying daughter. Jesus responded immediately and diverted His route towards their home. Even though the girl died before He got there, Jesus pressed through a scoffing crowd to raise Her from the dead.
In a final act of humble service to His followers, after the last supper, Jesus took a basin of water and wrapped a towel around His waist. Our Lord then knelt down and washed His disciples' feet and dried them with the cloth he was wrapped with.
This is the highest expression of service when the Lord, having been given all power and authority by God the Father, humbled himself to do the most menial and humble of tasks in service of those who were His students.
This passage in John 17 verse 3 - 17, tells of the events that took place and the things that were said;
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”
Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”
“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”
Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.
I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Our Lord set a very counter-intuitive example.
Worldly norms expect that the people of high status be served by people of low status.
However, through the course of His ministry, Jesus not only taught that "...whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave", Jesus also set an example for us by humbly serving those around Him (even his enemies) in a practical way.
Bless our wonderful Lord.
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