Go Lower Yet: Becoming the Servant

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.”  John 13:14

Some Christians reading this part of scripture, have concluded that foot washing should be part of the Churches customary routine.  Their case is compelling, and they may be right in their interpretation.  There is as much support for this as with other things, and Lord knows we could use the humility by getting on your knees with a basin and towel before a brother.  It probably would relieve issues between saints. It may even heal Church splits.

Jesus pronounced that His act of service was to be imitated by everyone who would follow.  He further would assert that His example would be emulated by every believer that followed after Him.  Our service to our brother, or sister is to help them become clean Christians.  We have this ministry of the basin and towel to remove the dirt and filth that comes from walking in this world.  Of course, we cannot remove sins.  But we can serve as Jesus would and intervene with His power.

Cleansing people we encounter will be a demanding challenge.  It will call us to strip our lives down to a minimum, and to get lower.  We need to get so low that we’re on the floor.  This requires much grace and discipline.  We must weed out every pretense and pride–especially the kind that says, “Look at me serving; am I not wonderful?  I am a true disciple now.”  We are to shake off thoughts like that.  We are to love others, and be brutal on ourselves.

While in my first year of Bible college, I developed a bitter dislike for a classmate.  He had been a lead guitarist; he was handsome and popular, he oozed pride from every pore (at least I could see it).  I took it on myself to be God’s hand in humbling him.  I became antagonistic and scorned him every chance I could.  Within days, my prayer life shut down, the heavens became brass.  One day I was praying and the Holy Spirit graciously zapped me.  I became aware of my sin toward my brother, and I repented. There was a real definite leading, to find a basin and a towel, and then to wash his feet.  God reconciled us, as I kneeled at his feet in that dorm room.  From that point on we became very good friends.

We must go lower.  We must scrub our way into the heart of our sister and brother with a basin and towel.  Water always finds the lowest point, were it pools and gathers.  When we lower ourselves even deeper we find His presence waiting for us.  But we must cleanse our own hands first, and His blood must work its ministry on me. It’s then I can proceed to clean the filth off of their feet.  If I am not clean myself I will only perpetuate the dirt on to my brother with my dirty hands.

The challenge for us is exceptionally real.  Christlikeness will always demand this humble grace.  When we think about being like Jesus we must make sure we are following the Jesus in the Bible.  The Jesus who washed dirty feet as a slave.  Let us not have any foolish nonsense of a discipleship that doesn’t kneel before our brothers.

ybic, Bryan

About Bryan Lowe

A repentant rascal with definite issues, but who is seeking to be authentic in his faith to Jesus Christ. An avid reader and a hopeful writer. Husband and father. A pastor and Bible teacher. A HCV and brain tumor survivor. Diagnosed with clinical depression, epilepsy and now disabled. Enjoys life, such as it is, in Alaska.
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4 Responses to Go Lower Yet: Becoming the Servant

  1. Ron Woodruff says:

    Great Bryan as always, gets right to the heart of the scripture! I was just looking at some old picture’s of us in Mexico, miss you guy’s.

  2. Mary Covey says:

    That is so true. From the other side of allowing such a thing, one of my strongest memories of feeling truly cared for was when a friend washed and dressed my sore and blistered feet. It was really hard to allow it but my heart melted at the tenderness. It is a very intimate experience and humbling for both. This is such an encompassing action on Jesus part because he also said he always does what he sees his Father doing in heaven, God Himself washing our feet.

    • Bryan Lowe says:

      Feet! Reading your comment I was struck by feet. That whole idea or concept. I guess feet are God’s way of teaching us about humility. Also. it’s good to be on the receiving end, haven’t thought much about that, but I can imagine it is as equally humbling.
      ybic,
      B.

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