John 13:1b, 4-5 Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love….So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus is our ultimate model of a servant, and the story of his washing of the disciples’ feet is a prime example. Taking on a task typically assigned to the lowliest slave in the home, Jesus humbly bowed before each of his followers. He was the leader of these men, he was to become the Savior of the world, and he was God in the flesh, but he put these things aside to get down on his hands and knees and wash the dirty feet of his disciples.
This semester in my class called Biblical Servant Leadership we learned from Jesus’ example of what a true servant leader looks like. In our online sessions, each student had the opportunity to share a “Towel Experience”, a story of how we had the opportunity to practice humility and wash someone’s feet. This was very eye-opening for me to look at each day from the perspective of serving those around me. Most often the opportunities were very simple acts that required an attitude change on my part in order to meet the needs of those around me. I particularly had opportunities to serve in my office, as I looked for ways to go beyond the typical chores of my job and love the people God put in my path each day.
Recently I read another verse that goes along with the idea of using our “towel” as Jesus did and loving people. May this verse be an encouragement to you as you seek to serve and love the people God brings your way.
Ephesians 5:1-2 (The Message) Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.