John in 21: Chapter 13
"I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message." John 13:16
Read today's passage: John 13:1-38
Imagine that you have been invited to an exclusive dinner at the White House. You and 11 others are to be the guests of honor of the President of the United States. You arrive at the White House and approach the door, and instead of being opened by a Secret Service agent, the President himself welcomes you. He takes your coat and hangs it up. When you sit down for dinner, instead of a team of servers carrying silver platters coming from the kitchen, the President gets up from the table and serves each one of you individually.
That's essentially what's happening in today's chapter of John. Jesus, at dinner, washing the feet of His disciples. Peter recognized the incongruity of this when he declared, "you will never ever wash my feet!" (John 13:8). He was embarrassed to see the Lord and Messiah performing the duties of a common servant.
That's exactly the point. Jesus explained a bit later, "'I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you'" (v. 15).
How often do you perform the duties of a servant for someone else? Too often we are quicker to demand that someone serve us than we are to volunteer to serve others. But service is at the heart of Jesus' message, and if we miss that part, have we understood anything?