Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. (John 13: 3-5)
When Jesus humbled Himself and washed His disciples’ feet, He gave a clear picture of the life He had lived among us, a life marked by servanthood. Just like He modeled humility, He modeled servanthood. What does the Scripture have to say about the subject? First, we find that God’s faithful ones serve the Lord, and it is evident to those who watch them. In Daniel 6:20, we find that the king, who had watched how Daniel lived, declares to him, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you servecontinually, been able to deliver you from the lions?” Daniel had openly, faithfully served His God, and His God delivered him in his hour of need. Our lives should be marked by evidence that we serve our God!
But the Scripture instructs us not only to serve God, but to serve God by serving others. “Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant […] just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20: 26-28). It is amazing that the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross is referred to as an act of servanthood. He laid down His life for the sake of others, and thus should we also do! We lay down our lives by preferring others, as the Scripture commands, “be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord (Romans 12:9-11). The key to servanthood is to be “fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.” Fervent is from the Latin fervere which means “to boil.” Rather than being cool or lukewarm, we are to be driven and passionate about preferring one another, knowing that our service is to the Lord. Even if we are leaders with much authority, our posture should be one of servanthood, treating others with the respect, care, and consideration that the Lord modeled for us. He lived it. Now it is up to us, as His disciples, to follow His lead.