“Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” John 13:12b-15

How many of us has heard the expression, “Do as I say, not as I do”? As a teen, I felt that catching my parents doing something less than perfect was license to do the same. Did they speed on the highway? So could I.

As a parent, I feel the weight of this responsibility. My children are witness to my less than perfect life. They could choose, as I did, to use my actions as an excuse to do the same.

There is only one person who lived a truly perfect life. Daily, Jesus modeled unconditional submission to God the Father, and selfless compassion for others. He set the perfect example of how to love God and the people around him.

When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, he did more than wash off the dust from their busy days. He gave them a picture of what it looks like to participate in God’s kingdom. Christ Jesus served his followers; now it was their turn to serve others.

We have the opportunity to serve people all around us in our daily lives. Our homes and churches; our places of work or school; the sports practices or dance classes we attend; the stores, parks, and rec centers we visit; these are the settings in which we can share God’s love with others through our servant-like attitude and actions.

Jesus, thank you for setting the perfect example for us to follow. Thank you for serving us and offering your life for us; help us to live with an attitude of service toward others. Amen.

Take Action

Pray that God would bring someone into your life today whom you can serve. Go about your day expecting to be interrupted by a person who needs to see God’s love through your helping hands.

Is God calling you to serve in a greater capacity? Prayerfully consider regularly volunteering with a prison ministry, in a senior’s home, at a crisis pregnancy center, in a community school or any other place he lays on your heart.

Tags: serve sacrifice John