"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love" - Ephesians 4:2 (NIV).
When Jesus's disciples met and sat down for the last supper they all felt important each in his own right. They had all occupations, like one who was a physician as another was a tax official, before dropping them to follow Jesus. They also had other responsibilities, such as looking after their families.
Seating positions at a table often are a power structure and in this case Jesus would be seated in the middle, signifying the headship. Content in their seats, happily enjoying the evening meal, suddenly Jesus "got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him " (John 13: 3-4).
This rather unexpected act startled all and Peter the loudest tried to protest but in vain. "No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me" (vv 8-9)
After he was done, he explained to all, "You call me ‘Teacher' and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you" (vv 13- 14).
All Jesus was trying to impress on his disciples that for them to be successful as his disciples they needed to practice humility. Because feet are normally the dirtiest low part of our body he drove the point home by stopping low to cleanse that dirt. Touched, and impacted, these men would later go out on a mission of servanthood, each in his own right.
Today, may we taking after this lesson, of stepping down to serve others, practice that humility. For "Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (vv 9).
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, as you taught your disciples to practice humility through a simple act of washing their feet, help me to learn from this and practice humility in my walk, this I pray in Jesus's name!
Related upcoming events
26/02/2024 - 27/02/2024 All day
“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!