The Humility of Jesus in Action- John Chapter 13

Years ago I had a Theology class and had an assignment. It was before the days of Power Point or other presentation tools. Our assignment was to discuss and write about serving in the church. For my presentation I propped two books against the dry erase board regarding spiritual gifts. One book was by a man who believed all spiritual gifts were valid for today and the other was by man who did not. I critiqued their main arguments showing the problems with them.

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I had drawn two stick figure boxers on the board and scored the rounds as I critiqued their arguments. At the end, my conclusion was they had fought to a tie. Then I quoted from 1 Corinthians 13:

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

and then from Philippians 2

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

My point was that no matter what capacity we serve in that the most important thing is we do so out of love and humility.

Jesus set an example for us in John 13 when he washed the feet of the disciples. Jesus knew the hour, the time, had come for his suffering. He was with his disciples to spend some final hours with them to teach them and share what was utmost on his mind.

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.

Jesus got up, got a basin of water and a towel, and proceeded to wash the feet of his disciples. After washing their feet, he taught them.

Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

Jesus the creator, the Savior, the one who left heaven to come to earth, in humility washed their feet. Their feet were probably dirty and smelly after walking in sandals all day yet he washed their feet. He did so to set an example of serving in humility for the disciples and us.

The point is not for us to go around washing the feet of other people all of the time. The point is to serve in humility, seek what is best for others. and to do so in love.

By the way, being humble of heart is also the reason Jesus gave for coming to him in Matthew 11.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Jesus do not just say he is humble of heart. He showed in not only on the occasion of washing the feet of the disciples. He showed by leaving his throne in heaven to be born as a baby. He showed it by allowing himself to be crucified so he could die on our behalf. He showed it by living on earth at a time devoid of all the modern conveniences we have.

Is Jesus someone you want to come to?

Thank you for reading. God Bless.

7 thoughts on “The Humility of Jesus in Action- John Chapter 13

  1. Love and humility, that’s a great combination. Thanks, Matt. There are several interpretations for almost every theological reality. The point is not that we all agree, but that we hold our beliefs with love and humility. I enjoyed your illustration and all the scriptures. Blessings!

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