Humiliated Jesus

“I am not your servant!”

These are the words I half-grunted, half-spoke to one of my kids the other day as I got on my hands and knees to pick up the crumpled pieces of dry pasta he’d decided to deposit on the floor rather than the garbage can.

Then a thought struck me: I sure hope Jesus didn’t hear me say that!

In a cool God-coincidence, Kyria (Christianity Today’s women’s web site) has just this week published a piece I wrote called “Jesus-Style Service” from which the above is excerpted. To read the rest of that piece, click here. The Kyria piece talks about Jesus-style service — and I wanted to build upon that idea and go a little bit further here in my own blog.

Jesus called his followers to serve each other in a dramatic way as he first washed their feet and then charged them with doing the same thing to others through their lives. You can read about this amazing moment in John 13.

When Jesus washed their feet, he demeaned himself (see Philippians 2:8). Did you know that the job of foot-washing (which was a normal practice in Jesus’ time) was considered so debasing that it was reserved only for slaves? And, in fact, it was SO dishonorable that often Jewish slaves refused to do it — only Gentile slaves, who were in Jewish society considered the lowest of the low, were given this task to perform! So Jesus here was doing a lot more than just helping out — he was humiliating himself. (Humiliate literally means to make yourself humble).

How might Jesus call you to follow in his footsteps and humiliate yourself today? What act of service (or attitude of service) will God put before you that is distasteful, lowly, or something you’d actually hate to do? Here’s my scary challenge for you (scary for me too!): Invite God daily over the rest of this week to give you an opportunity to serve in true Christ-like humility. Ask him to open your eyes to see those opportunities. I believe he will take you (and me) up on the offer!

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