Servanthood

by Norm Miller

God tells us in Philippians 2.5-8 that Jesus emptied Himself, took the form of a slave and humbled Himself. Our Lord left the splendor of heaven, where surely the angels attended His every need. Yet, He voluntarily laid aside some of His rights and privileges as God and donned human flesh. What’s more, He became a bond-servant to humanity. Whereas the New Testament brims with accounts of how Jesus served others, few passages can top John13.

John records events at the Last Supper, where the Lord and His disciples observed Passover and discussed betrayal and footwashing. Have you ever thought about how many pairs of feet Jesus washed?

Jesus knew He would be betrayed, but He wrapped Himself in a towel of service and washed the disciples’ feet, all 24. Here the Lord performed one of the most culturally servile tasks, on par with emptying chamber pots. Whereas it is one thing to serve those who love you, it is quite another to serve those who would do you harm signified by a kiss.

To be like Christ is to wash the feet of all, even those who would do you harm, who would call you names, who would do ill to your reputation, who would sabotage your ministry, who would steal from you, lie to you, hate you.

We do well to serve those who love us, and who are the objects of our love. But our enemies? Jesus said to love them – to repay evil with good. In so doing we will have the attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus.