Why would Jesus choose to wash his friends’ feet – today? Why did he choose to serve others as he knew of his impending death? Why would he choose to serve those he knew would betray and deny Him only days after He left them?
Serving others is a trait that was imbedded in my being from my early childhood days. My dad gave us opportunities to sort canned goods when hurricanes hit US shores, clean up yards, love on kids. We served others in church and others in our community often. If there is one characteristic of my life that I know is attributed to my parental upbringing – it is service. I am incredibly thankful that I had it modeled to me and I am so hopeful it will carry on to my children.
But the reason that Jesus chose to serve his friends was not for the purpose of serving, but for the purpose of connecting. The beauty of a holy and perfect King lowering himself to be on level ground with those who would literally deny their bond – for the purpose of relationship. I have no doubt it pained Jesus as he lowered his body to look directly into their eyes with love knowing the decisions that were imminent. And yet, he chose to serve.
Jesus chose serving the relationship regardless of the reciprocation.
When do I choose to serve?
Do I choose to serve others only out of my abundance or when abundance seems lacking? Do I find excuses not to serve when life feels overwhelming? Do I serve with the intention of my own gain – pride, approval, accolades?
Or do I serve as Jesus did on Holy Thursday?
Here is what we know:
- Jesus chose to creatively serve those he loved when His world was closing in.
o It was not convenient
- Jesus chose to serve those would deny Him.
o He would not receive praise or accolades
- Jesus chose to serve those he deeply invested in.
o He served from a place of relationship, not haphazard ignorance.
- Jesus washed feet. It was not glamorous
o He did what was needed, not what He wanted.
Jesus, let my life model yours.
Let me serve as you do.
Let me serve others out of deep love as you demonstrated on Maundy Thursday.