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For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. Luke 22:27

When natural disasters strike we are drawn to the people who give of themselves to help the victims. Movie stars, athletes and other celebrities are held in high esteem for the sacrificial work they have done to help humanity. Those who don’t have much money, but have a passion for a particular cause will join together for marches and walks and vigils to bring attention to the victims of disease or some other calamity in hopes that their cause will be noticed by those who can help in even the smallest way.

I’m in no way minimizing the efforts of these people. They are to be applauded for their work. Some have given their own lives so that others can live and that is a noble gesture indeed. However, the one factor in all these efforts that has to happen for them to be effective is that success comes from gaining public awareness. As good of intentions as these heroes of society have, their work would not be as effective if no one notices. In fact, celebrities are sought out to sponsor a cause for that very reason.

That’s what makes Jesus’ teaching even more astounding. In the hot, dusty streets and paths of Israel, no one was less recognized than the servant who washed people’s feet. It was the dirtiest and lowest job anyone could have. The servant delegated to foot-washing was noticed more if he/she wasn’t there than for the job they did. Never a thank-you. No tips. No appreciation or recognition of any kind. If you were a foot-washer it was unlikely that anyone at Wal-Mart would stop you in the aisle and say, “Remember me? You washed my feet last week. Thank you so much!” That wasn’t going to happen. Ever. Period.

Jesus used the example of washing feet for basic reasons. First of all, he did that to show me how important I am to him. That person with the towel around his waist, kneeling before me on a hot, dusty day, to wash my smelly, calloused, crusty feet was the creator of the universe! He was the one that hung the stars in place. He was the one that created the wonder we call conception and birth. He was the one who formed the massive mountains and the fruitful plain and filled the massive ocean. Then he turned around and place hundreds of thousands of life forms in them. Yet there he was washing my feet. To the King of Kings and Lord of Lords I am held in higher esteem than he holds himself.

A second reason Jesus kneels before me is to show me how to treat others. True heroes do the little things that make others, who deserve it the least, feel like kings! As you go through the journey of life, you may come in contact with hundreds of people who largely go unnoticed for the things they do. The clerk at the gas station. The barista at Starbucks. The greeter at Wal-Mart. The list goes on and on.

So ask yourself this question. At the end of the day, have the people you come in contact with left your presence feeling like a king or a servant?

PRAYER: Dear Jesus. The visual of you kneeling before me to wash my feet is humbling. The fact that you would think so much of me that you lowered yourself to that leaves me without words. I ask that you would empower me with your Holy Spirit to see the unnoticed in my daily walk. Help me leave them feeling like kings, just as you see me. In your name I pray, Amen.

 

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