“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.” John 13:14-15
“The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve.” Rick Warren
- Today we are going to be learning from the story of the Last Supper. This is the final Passover meal Jesus took with His disciples in the days before His death. Would you humble yourself before the Lord with me? Pray that He will use the applications of the following passage to soften your heart today and grow your love for Him and others.
- Join me in seeking the Lord’s wisdom by reading John 13:1-17. Pay special attention to verses 14-15, and let God speak to you through His Word.
Sweet sister, I know your heart’s desire is to follow the Lord and express His love by serving others, but it can be difficult to understand what that means practically. At times, the people in our lives can be difficult or hurtful, and often the first instinct of our flesh is to run or fight. Unfortunately, during these times it is seldom our natural inclination to serve. However, in examining the biblical account of the last supper, we see Jesus’ desire to serve His disciples by washing their feet even as He was facing imminent betrayal and death.
In those days, the repulsive task of washing a guest’s feet belonged to the lowliest servant. People of Jesus’ day wore sandals and walked on unpaved roads caked with human refuse and animal waste. Their feet were horrendous! Jesus took on the mantle of the lowest servant when He removed His robe and bent before His friends in humble leadership. What is truly fantastic is that Jesus recognized exactly what was to come in the following days. John 13:11 mentions that Jesus knew who would betray Him, He knew his best friends would abandon Him, and He knew Judas would sell Him to authorities for just a few pieces of silver.
Our human reaction to such hurt and betrayal would likely be intense anger and retaliation, yet Jesus’ response was tender service. He poured out love to His wayward friends in both His words and His actions. My friend, He is calling you to do the same (Galatians 5:13). Is there someone in your life who is difficult? Maybe you have a child who is going through a challenging phase, a marriage that is not what you expected, or a friend or family member who has hurt your heart. Jesus desires that we follow His example by serving people who have hurt us—the very ones we do not wish to serve and the ones that we feel certainly do not deserve our kindness.
How can we possibly serve in the sacrificial way Jesus demonstrated? We are told: “the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome, but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness” (2 Timothy 2:24-25 ESV). That seems like a very tall order. But be encouraged my friend, God will provide just what you need to serve the people He has placed in your life! In 1 Peter 4:10, you will find that you should, “use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace.” God has already given you the spiritual gifts necessary to minister to those who have wounded you. Pray that He would show you how to use those gifts
effectively for His glory!
There is no shame in biblical servanthood. By imitating Christ, servants do not lose their identity; in contrast, they become remarkable in the eyes of the Lord (Mark 10:43). Serving the way Jesus served will be a blessing to you too! We serve others because we are serving God through those actions. There will be rewards of peace and joy in our lives that we cannot comprehend—benefits of obedience we cannot see. Beloved, Jesus came to clean your heart as He cleaned the disciples’ feet. He came to save you and show you love like you have never known before. As He pours love into your heart through His Spirit and His Word, serving others will simply be a manifestation of that amazing gift!
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Consider a challenging person in your life. How is Jesus calling you to serve that person in the weeks to come? How can you honor Jesus in this relationship?
- How can you encourage your children to serve their family members or friends in love?
The story of the Last Supper presents an excellent, hands-on opportunity to teach your children about serving one another with hearts of love. In our home, we dedicate one evening during this season to observe the Lord’s final Passover meal. If you have older children or children who enjoy eating a wide variety of foods, it is fun to prepare some traditional Passover foods (there are many wonderful tutorials and recipes on the internet). Be sure to fix foods you know your children will love too! During the meal, read the story of the Passover in Exodus 12 as well as Jesus’ Last Supper in John 13. Talk about the significance of what the Passover meant for the Israelite’s and what the same
words meant for Jesus and His disciples in the days to follow this last meal they shared together. The Passover meal is full of symbolic promises from God! Add this new tradition to your Easter celebration every year and start a new habit.