John 13 describes one of the most astounding scenes in the Bible. Jesus Christ, the Son of God “…laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to WASH THE DISCIPLES' FEET, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded" John 13:4-5.
Perhaps no other event in history more vividly depicts the definition of HUMILITY as that scene. And it should be remembered that Jesus also washed the feet of the one that would subsequently betray Him.
Have you ever wondered why our Lord chose to so GRAPHICALLY demonstrate the meaning of humility? Could He not have simply spoken about it? Perhaps it was because words sometimes fall short of conveying the importance of a vital attitude. In fact, Jesus had previously spoken of the need for humility in Mt. 20:26-28, Mt. 23:3-12 and Lk. 14:11. He apparently felt that a DEMONSTRATION was now in order.
And not surprisingly, as the sin of PRIDE frequently reared its ugly head among the disciples. They debated numerous times about which was the greatest (Lk. 9:46ff) and two of them even sought a guarantee from Jesus of great positions in the kingdom – Mk. 10:35ff. They NEEDED an unforgettable object lesson in humility.
Is it any different with us? How many times have you or I envied the attention, prominence, position or achievements of others? Or proudly shared some accomplishment or achieved goal of our own? Or felt deserving of more notice or praise from others?
Jesus, however, taught that we have it “backwards". True greatness is not about what is due us, but doing everything possible for others. After washing the disciples feet, Jesus said, "I have given you an example that you also should do just as I have done for you" (Jn. 13:15).
The list of things that can be done to serve others is endless - teaching, running errands, visiting, sending cards, making calls, donating money or necessities, and more. Doing so will not make us famous here, but wait and see what God has in store when you get to heaven!
Jesus, always Jesus!