Malankara World

Passion Week (Holy Week)

A True Servant

by Dr. Charles Stanley

John 13:1-15

John 13:1-15 (KJV)

Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;

He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.

After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded.

Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?

Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.

Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.

Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.

For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.

So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.

If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet.

For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

Do you equate success with wealth, acclaim, and power? If we measured by these standards, then Jesus, who was rejected by His community and didn't even have a house of His own, was a failure. But, of course, we know that's not the case. So God must use something other than these worldly goals to define success. In fact, Scripture is clear that Jesus Christ is our example--we should strive to be like Him.

So, what exactly was our Savior's mission? In today's passage, we see the answer through His actions: He came to serve. The disciples, wanting recognition and reward, were arguing about who'd be the greatest in heaven. In contrast, Jesus took off His outer garment and performed the task of the lowliest servant: He washed the dirty feet of His followers. The next day, Almighty God was crucified by His own creation. In allowing this, He offered salvation to all--even those who nailed Him to a cross.

Jesus deserved glory but chose sacrifice and pain. And He asks that we follow His example of service. With the exception of Judas, His disciples obeyed. In fact, they all faced great difficulty and most died brutal deaths because of their faith. But they willingly walked the path of humility because of what Jesus had taught them: "The last shall be first, and the first last" (Matt. 20:16).

How do you spend your resources and time? And which topics dominate your thoughts and conversation? These are a few indicators of the driving goals in your life. You may long for worldly recognition, but God has a higher calling for His children. Ask Him to foster a servant's attitude in your heart.

Source: In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley

See Also:

Servant Leadership
In these verses (Mark 10:32-45), Jesus demonstrates what true spiritual leadership is. Jesus boils all of it down to two words: selfless service. The way to lead people spiritually is not by manipulation or by a special technique or through intimidation. On the contrary, genuine spiritual leadership takes place when you give of yourself sacrificially in service to others. ...

Christian Leadership - Given Divine Power to Act as Slaves
Let's consider what this passage (Luke 22:24-30) teaches us about the Christian vs. the non-Christian view of "greatness." Since Jesus uses the issue of greatness to contrast the self-serving attitude one finds in the world (which the disciples still seem to hold to at this point) (v. 25) with the attitude of selfless servanthood which He obviously wants them (and us) to adopt in its place (v. 26-28) ...

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