But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among
you shall be your servant.
I am processing something right now. I suppose its implications have the potential of turning everything ‘upside down’. Some scientists have long postulated that our planet is due for a complete magnetic switchover. This is when the north becomes south and vice versa. My issues at this moment are not quite that cosmic, but nevertheless, my own world is constantly challenged.
There are 7,000,000,000+ people now alive on this planet.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m really letting this sink in. That’s a lot of people and the majority want upward mobility now! Spinning off this idea, there is an attitude of success among us, especially in the U.S., where we grow more and more confused over our significance to this world. We wrongly conclude that life is all about my efforts, status or giftedness. Ego can easily drive us, even among ‘holy people’ who know better.
3 “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. 5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Jesus was not driven like we seem to be. Sometimes we feel that we need to be even more assertive– at least the Christian version of it. We feel a compulsion to push our way forward and into the spotlight to be even more ‘influential’. We often set aside the Beatitudes and choose comfortable religious ideas instead. (Matthew 5-7.)
Jesus’ message and teaching were all about “emptying” Himself of being God and becoming the Servant of servants. But this is the funny thing, that even though He was “God-with-skin-on” He laid it aside to become a ‘foot-slave.’ We must consider this–
Jesus did all of this while wearing a towel, never a crown.
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet.
He easily could have just did a ‘teaching’ on servanthood and I’m reasonably certain it would have been more than sufficient. But instead, Jesus went to the uttermost and put ‘skin on His words’ and actually got down on His knees to wash dirty feet. His disciples freaked.
6 “Though he was God,
he did not think of equality with God
as something to cling to.
7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
8 he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”
How can we not do this? It seems authentic discipleship has to include emptying our daily self out at the cross of Christ. Will I find any peace by becoming a someone ‘unknown’ to most but to God alone? Can I embrace obscurity and being unimportant in the world’s eyes? This is an ongoing battle.
“Humility is perfect quietness of heart, It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me, and when I am blamed or despised. It is to have a blessed home in the Lord, where I can go in and shut the door, and kneel to my Father in secret, and am at peace as in a deep sea of calmness, when all around and above is trouble.”