Peter certainly didn’t understand what Jesus was doing when He started to wash his dirty feet on that evening they were celebrating Passover. Jesus told him he would understand it later. Jesus explained that, even though He was the leader, He could humble Himself and take the place of a servant to them, out of love. How Jesus must have longed for them to get the message! Once before He’d told them ‘But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all’ (Mark 10:43-44). He wanted them to follow His example in loving and serving one another and said ‘If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them’ (John 13:17).
After Judas had gone away to betray Jesus to His enemies Jesus taught them many other things and He started by giving them a great commandment. ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another’ (John 13:34).
I find this teaching of Jesus is so easy to understand. But it’s not so easy for me to put it into practice. I wonder whether I can really believe those words of Jesus, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’ (Acts 20:35).
I may not be required to literally wash the dirty feet of my friends and colleagues but the principle of it remains. Can I do acts of service out of a loving heart without grumbling or complaining? Can I make an effort to serve the needs of others and do it to the extent that I find pleasure and satisfaction in it?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly father, I want to be more like Jesus and follow His example. I know it means dying to self and looking for opportunities to bless others. Help me not to be too lazy or indifferent to the needs of others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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