Back when I was training to become a YoungLife leader, one of the scripture passages that we had to memorize was Philippians 2:5-11. In that passage, Jesus is said to have been in His very nature God, but made Himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant instead. And, as we all know, His obedience even to the point of death is the ultimate expression of that servanthood.
As I was reading John 13, I couldn’t help but see the direct expression of the Philippians passage in the actions of Christ.
“You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” – NIV
In this verse, Jesus gives us a visual illustration of the divine descent to our needy planet. He removes His normal clothing and wraps Himself with the garment a slave would wear. He performs the most selfless of tasks for the sake of His beloved disciples. And when He is done, “He put on His clothes and returned to His place.”
How hard is this for us to grasp? I get almost outraged when asked to complete a task that I believe is somehow below me. To someone with that mentality, this passage is more than humbling.
Jesus left the glories of Heaven in order to wash our feet, but sadly, this is a servanthood that we mistakenly tend to feel entitled to instead of recognizing the incredible condescension God undertook in order to meet our most profound needs.
The Lord of Lords is at our feet…are we treating Him that way?