2 Chronicles 17-18 John 13:1-20
“If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash each other’s feet. I did this as an example so that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, a servant is not greater than his master. A messenger is not greater than the one who sent him.” (John 13:14-16 NCV)
There are some jobs that are beneath common dignity. Let’s face it. Back in the days when Jesus walked the earth, He, and just about everyone else, wore sandals. People’s feet would get dusty, disgusting even, and one thing they looked forward to was the slave cleaning their feet when they came in from the streets. Only, this was the Last Supper. While this was usually the job of the lowest of the slaves, there were no slaves to handle the job on this night. While everyone else waited around for someone else to do the job, Jesus did it. Then, in the awkward silence that followed, He taught them the important truth that if we’re followers of Christ, we’ll worry less about our dignity and more about making sure the job gets done. Demanding dignity and honor above another is another way of saying that others are beneath us. Jesus reminded us in this situation that we’re to honor and give dignity to others, recognizing who they are as human beings in the sight of God.
Our world has forgotten this message about the dignity and worth of all people. We get into religious discussions about our differences, and the people who are wrong (defined as having different beliefs than I do) are treated disrespectfully. In political debates, the worst thing you can call anyone is a label that’s opposite to the label you may identify as. No Republican can say “Democrat” without a sneer in their voice, and no Democrat can say “Republican” without that same sneer. Other views are to be attacked instead of listened to. We no longer want actual debates, we want echo chambers where everyone agrees with us. When we treat other people as lesser beings for whatever reason: religion, politics, skin color, gender, etc., we show that we don’t understand what Jesus did here. We don’t wash the feet of others so much anymore, but we need to be willing to treat all people with dignity and respect. We must realize that every job is important in God’s eyes and be willing to do what’s necessary to serve others. As followers of Christ, we weren’t called to positions of high honor. We were called to serve the Master. We are not greater than our master; we are not greater than the one who sent us.
Lord, help me to see others as You do. Help me to recognize the worth that they have in Your heart and value them like You do. Remind me that there is no greater job than doing what You call me to do – even if it seems like the lowest job on earth.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.