A Servant's Heart
Luke’s account of the Gospel is not from the perspective of a participant. Everything he recorded came from listening to the Apostles sharing their experiences with Jesus. In this instance, the Lord had just revealed His purpose for coming to earth, yet it seems His meaning must have gone right over their heads. Rather than commiserating with Jesus and offering Him comfort, they were arguing over which of them would have the greatest place in Jesus’ kingdom. No matter how many times He explained His mission, the disciples just didn’t seem to get it.
Over the course of three years Jesus had tried to teach His followers everything they would need to found and grow the Church. The Master could have taken these last few hours to establish ordinances for worship or to quiz the disciples on their doctrine. He could have taught them about heaven and homiletics, instead He chose to show them what manner of men they must be to serve God.
Observe Jesus’ style and method of teaching. While they were arguing about who would be the greatest, Jesus laid aside His garments and prepared to wash their feet. Let us never forget that Christ is more than just the means of our atonement; He is also the pattern for our lives. He not only brings us pardon but holiness and the ability to become like Him. As He has saved us let us follow Him. If you are washed in His blood, be like Him. In all that you do ask, “What would Christ do in this situation?” Then do what the Spirit and conscience tell you to do! In other words, study Christ and do your best to become like Him.
I. The Lord’s Position Among The Disciples
A. At table, each man asserting himself
1. None had shown any courtesy toward the others
2. “Everyone’s business quickly becomes no one’s business?
B. He was always their servant
1. He fed them, taught them, ministered to them, loved them, comforted them, healed them, etc
2. They took from Him all he would give
3. Only Mary treated Him special and she was criticized for it
II. The Wonder Of It All
A. He was Lord of all by right and power
B. The Creator waiting upon His creatures
C. He is still cleaning up our messes and caring for us
III. Why He Did/Does It
A. Because He is truly great
1. His heart is full of love for the least of us
2. He really cares
B. God’s love overwhelms its object
1. What was foot washing compared to the cross?
2. There is no concern for labor where love is
IV. Let Us Be Imitators
A. Undertaking any service so long as it brings Him glory
1. No competition for the lowly services
2. No position is too low
B. Let us humble ourselves
1. Service is not always high but it is always holy
2. There was no service beneath my Lord – how can there be any beneath me?
The doormat and the painting serve the same purpose – both bring beauty to the house. Never be too proud to do anything that needs doing!