Jesus the Servant


A Call to Community

In a surprising gesture of humility, Jesus will pick up a towel, unmask [his disciples’] self-indulgent thinking, and call them to a radical expression of greatness. – Bill Donahue (Associate professor of Pastoral Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois)

Key Bible Verse: So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. (John 13:4-5)

Dig Deeper: John 13:1-17

No one practiced the ministry of the towel better than Jesus. For Christ, serving was not simply an activity; it was his identity. [Read] the description of Jesus and the focus of his mission in Philippians 2:5-8. Jesus took the form of a servant because he is God – and God at the core is a servant. So Jesus has no problem picking up towels [to serve others by washing their feet].

I was speaking at a conference, and during a break I found myself standing next to three women who were talking about their church. I was not trying to eavesdrop but could not help overhearing the conversation. “We were getting ready for the luncheon, preparing food and setting up the room for our congregational meeting, and our pastor just stood there while we all worked,” one said with a wry smile. “He was just standing there sipping his coffee while we set up the chairs. I guess he doesn’t do chairs,” she quipped.

Jesus doesn’t just do chairs. Jesus does feet. That’s what servants do.

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