When Jesus was preparing to be accused, arrested, separated from God, and put to death, he was doing something that astounds me, in more ways than one. He was with his closest friends, sharing a meal and doing what he did well: teaching. That's not hard to relate to; I don't know anyone who wouldn't choose to be with their closest friends and family in that situation. But here's the part that knocks me right over:
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.[John 13:1-5]
He washed the disciples feet. JESUS. Washed. Their feet.
Can you imagine that?
The Messiah "knew that his hour had come", and what did he do? Serve. Can you imagine facing something one iota as stressful and traumatic and terrifying as what He was about to face, and choosing to serve people in that way? It blows my mind.
Here's the thing about feet: not only do they make me extremely uncomfortable [which is a lot of progress from the day in which I would have said they make me puke], and I just don't like them. But in that day and age, in that culture, they didn't idolize feet in the same way that we do. They didn't spend money on shoes. If they had shoes, they were pretty bare and insufficient. So, feet were disgusting. They were perpetually dirty and blistered and calloused. Washing someone's feet would have essentially been the same as wiping someone's butt [honestly].
So Jesus didn't just serve, he served radically. This was the King of Kings, cleaning up the most disgusting part of these grown men, removing himself from any semblance of his rightful royalty, and literally getting on the ground.
As I've sat quietly with my thoughts and searched my heart this week, I have heard [faintly] from God, and one of the things He is whispering over me is to serve. To give radically of myself in light of what I am facing. I want to do that. I want to be like Jesus in that way. And if Jesus can do it, facing what he was, certainly I can give of myself fully, in ways that maybe aren't fair, to love and give radically. I want to love "to the end".
So that is the choice I have made.
It isn't easy. It is uncomfortable. I think it was difficult for Jesus, but he set a perfect example, getting on his knees, dirtying himself for the cleanliness of others.
May I be made very little so that He may be made great in my love.
Nothing Fancy, Dave Barnes