I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. John 13:15
On Charley and Jan’s fiftieth wedding anniversary, they shared breakfast at a café with their son Jon. That day, the restaurant was understaffed with just a manager, cook, and one teenage girl who was working as hostess, waitress, and busser. As they finished their breakfast, Charley turned to his wife and son and said, “Do you have anything important going on in the next few hours?” They didn’t.
So, with permission from the manager, Charley and Jan began washing dishes in the back of the restaurant while Jon started clearing the cluttered tables. According to Jon, what happened that day wasn’t really that unusual. His parents had always set an example of Jesus who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
In John 13, we read about the last meal Christ shared with His disciples. That night, the Teacher taught them the principle of humble service by washing their dirty feet (vv. 14–15). If He was willing to do the lowly job of washing a dozen men’s feet, they too should joyfully serve others.
Every avenue of service we encounter may look different, but one thing’s the same: there’s great joy in serving. The purpose behind acts of service isn’t to bring praise to the ones performing them, but to lovingly serve others while directing all praise to our humble, self-sacrificing God.
When has someone unexpectedly offered to help you with a difficult task? Why is humility such an important aspect of serving others?
Loving Savior, thank You for showing me how to be a servant.
Peter often misunderstood Jesus. He misunderstood what Christ was doing when He began to wash the disciples’ feet (John 13:6-9). Earlier in John, he confessed that only Jesus had the words of life (6:68-69), but he often failed to take Him at His word. He was convinced he could follow Jesus on the path of suffering (13:36-37). He assumed Christ’s goal was military conquest and started swinging a sword (18:10-11). And he ultimately denied his teacher and friend (vv. 15-27).
In every instance, however, Jesus gently showed love to His friend Peter. In the end, He called him to restoration and hope (21:15-19).