Today in Christendom we recognize this day as Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday. This was the day that Jesus held the Last Supper with HIs disciples before He went to the cross. Several significant things took place that evening, one of which we want to highlight:
12 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?
13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. John 13: 12-17 (KJV)
Jesus in this passage took on the role of the lowliest of servants. For washing the feet of those who entered the house was a task assigned to those lowest in rank of the servants. It was a dirty job. Yet, Jesus took in HIs Hands the hard crusted, calloused, dust filled feet of each disciple and washed them.
As was also His custom, Jesus never missed a teaching moment. Lest they didn’t get the message in real time, Jesus let me know what HIs purpose had been. He wanted HIs disciples to know that the one who fancied himself the greatest should be the one who performed the most humble work. He wanted each of His disciples to know that no one had a right to some special pecking order, no one was greater than another.
This was not a lesson that ‘stuck’ with mankind. Traditionally over the years there have been divisions and disruptions concerning the role and consequential benefits assigned those in leadership. Trying to maintain an atmosphere of servanthood is not an easy thing to do. Jesus never said it would be easy, but He did say, “I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you”.
What is your position? Is it basking in a tall and lofty position, or is it walking in humility, willing to serve in even the lowliest of positions? Who’s watching you say? Only the Master sees who we really are.