When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.- John 13:12-14
We live in a society that thrives on self. Everything about our society points that we should look out for ourselves.
Who doesn’t want to be first, and to be esteemed and honored by others? We seem to have an unquenchable thirst for recognition and fame, power and authority to rule our own lives as we please as well as the lives of others.
Should we be surprised to see the disciples of Jesus thirsting for power, position, and authority?
James and John, the sons of Zebedee, urged their mother to strike a deal with Jesus, their Master and Messiah. They wanted the distinction of being first and most important in position, next to Jesus, of course!
Jesus taught contrary to the world’s understanding of power, authority, and position, by reversing the order of master and servant, lord and subject, first and last! Jesus wedded authority with love, position with sacrifice, and service with humility. Authority without love is over-bearing and slavish. Position without respect and concern for the subordinate is demeaning and rude.
And service without generosity and sacrifice is cheap and unkind.
Be a servant of others and change the world. When you serve you are blessed. You may not see it, but you are. You are learning to love with greater love that fulfills. That is a blessing.