Servant of All

Jesus pouring water from jug to pan to wash feet of disciples

13 Before the Festival of Passover, Jesus knew that his time had come to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them fully.

Jesus and his disciples were sharing the evening meal. The devil had already provoked Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew the Father had given everything into his hands and that he had come from God and was returning to God. So he got up from the table and took off his robes. Picking up a linen towel, he tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a washbasin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was wearing. When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will understand later.”

“No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t have a place with me.”

Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet but also my hands and my head!”

10 Jesus responded, “Those who have bathed need only to have their feet washed, because they are completely clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”

12 After he washed the disciples’ feet, he put on his robes and returned to his place at the table. He said to them, “Do you know what I’ve done for you? 13 You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you speak correctly, because I am. 14 If I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you too must wash each other’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: Just as I have done, you also must do. 16 I assure you, servants aren’t greater than their master, nor are those who are sent greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy if you do them. 18 I’m not speaking about all of you. I know those whom I’ve chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture, The one who eats my bread has turned against me.

19 “I’m telling you this now, before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I Am. 20 I assure you that whoever receives someone I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (Matthew 13:1-20, Common English Bible).

My father-in-law was a very wise man. When most of us make the effort to teach someone a new skill, or most anything else, we show them how to do it and expect the next time some of it is firmly in their brain waiting to know how to use it.

Mearl was different. Don’t get my wrong, he would show you how to do something but once he had, then the real education would begin.

One day, the story goes, Mearl had told a welder to load up his welding hoses. The welder looked at Mearl with a look that clearly said, “I don’t want to do it.” Mearl reached out and took the end of the hose, and threw it out the front door. Then slowly he curled it up until he had a nice coil.

The welder said, “Wow that was cool. I learned something too. And the best part is, now I don’t have to do the work. Thank you” and with that, he turned to walk away.

Mearl said, “Wait, I want you to see something.” As soon as the welder turned around, already having one end in his hand, took the coil and threw it out the door.

The welder said, “Why did you do that?”

“To teach you another lesson.” Mearl said. “You need to know when to keep your mouth closed. Since you told me you knew how to do it so well from watching me, I am giving you a test. What kind of teacher would I be if I didn’t test your new knowledge?” With that, he handed to end of the hose to the welder and walked away.

Have you ever had a lesson like that one? On that night so long ago, Jesus taught several lessons to the disciples.

In the Biblical era foot washing was an important custom performed by a servant. In the lesson Jesus removed his clothing, wrapped himself in a towel, and begins to wash the disciple’s feet. The Messiah, the King of Israel, the leader they all waited on was doing the job of the lowliest of servants. This was not something for a king, any king to do and yet here was Jesus, the man In whom they put all their hope and trust.

When they start to protest, this example, Jesus says (paraphrased) “If you are to be my servant, you must be servant of all.”

Jesus came to lead by serving. He says that to be his servant, we must serve all.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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