Through the gospels, we see Jesus portrayed as a servant. Unlike the Religious leaders of His day, Jesus went out of His way to meet with sinners. He ate with them and called them to follow Him. He spoke to the people the world had rejected and touched the unclean. Jesus had compassion on both their spiritual and physical condition. On more than one occasion, as He taught them, He was so moved that they were hungry and he decided to feed them.
One of the most vivid accounts of Jesus servant attitude is found in John 13:1-17. Just before Jesus ate the last supper with His disciples, He did the most remarkable thing – He washed their feet.
The disciples were completely flabbergasted. So much so that Peter even tried to resist being washed by his master. How could a master wash the feet of a servant? It was totally incompatible with their culture. Yet, Jesus was leading by example. He was modelling the importance of servant leadership. He wanted his disciples to know that leadership was all about service. The Apostle Paul probably understood it better than anyone else. Look at how he summarised the servant leadership of Jesus:
Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. – Philippians 2:5-8 (MSG)
We are charged to think of ourselves the way Christ did. He was God in the flesh, yet He chose to take the status of a servant. So often we live the complete opposite. We think more of ourselves than we ought and expect others to do the same. Jesus knew who He was. He was all-powerful. He spoke creation into being, yet He bowed down to wash the dirty feet of his disciples. Oh, how the world would be different if we demonstrated the same attitude.
- What is your view on serving God? Is it something you enjoy or feel pressed to do?
- Do you desire to serve others or to be served?
Father in heaven; help me to have the mind that was in your son Jesus Christ that I might not consider myself too good to serve. Help me to stay humble and put on the heart of a servant. In Jesus’ name, Amen.