You can’t be more out-humiliated for love than Jesus. He entered into the lowest and worst humiliation that mankind had to offer in order to show love. The greatest love. And sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have read the Scriptures for the first time without the familiarity of having read them even from a young age.
Jesus knew that it was to be his last time to eat and enjoy his disciples. It was the moment when death was imminent but those who loved him didn’t really get it. Many a cancer patient and others with terminal illnesses have understood these final moments and last days.
So Jesus did something extraordinary. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love” (13:1). He stripped himself as a servant and began the washing of feet, something only a slave would do.
And we forget the big picture. The creator of planets, galaxies and this massively extraordinary universe was bowing on bended knee before man, washing his feet.
And yet there he was, mostly disrobed and on his knees before man. And the hard reality is that many of us want to keep him there. Him serving us. Him answering our neediness. Him meeting all our needs. Him delivering us from everything. We reflect this in how we pray and serve.
Jesus stood up though and let his disciples now, that no servant is greater than his master. If the master was willing to stoop so low and humiliate himself so deeply in order to serve, how much more should we? So go. Do likewise.
“You will be blessed if you do them” (13:17).
Now it’s time that we serve the heart of Jesus. That we lower ourselves. That our hands are calloused and dirty. That we go and do what normal don’t go and do.
For those who are new to the faith I wonder if this picture of Jesus is astounding. When we realize it’s not just a man doing this but God himself, is there anything too low for us? Too humiliating? Too gross or disgusting?
One cannot out-humiliate for love more than Jesus. It’s not that he was pursuing humiliation, but he was willing to enter into if if that means serving others.
And my prayer is this.
I don’t want to keep God at my feet anymore, but rather than I’m at His.