A Call to Serve
In John’s gospel, chapter 13, we read a familiar passage of one instance in particular where Jesus took the time to give His disciples a visual example of servanthood. Imagine what this night must have been like. The disciples had been enjoying, no doubt, a wonderful dinner with Jesus. Supper had ended and as they were chatting Jesus stands up and begins to lay His garments to the side, dressing Himself in a towel, as only a lowly household servant would do. I can almost picture the look of confusion the disciples must have been displaying as Jesus then started to pour water into the nearby basin. And as they looked on Jesus began to take their feet and, one by one, He washed them clean from the days activities. Peter tried to reject this act but Jesus assured him that, “If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me”.
Jesus took on the form of a servant not to somehow get the disciples to be nice to each other. He did it to show that in order to be a leader, one must first be willing to serve. It was important that the disciples learn how to move into the world serving God, serving each other, and serving those in which they took the good news. This lesson is still relevant for our church today.