And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him; Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
Jesus is the King of kings, and yet He came to do a servant’s work. He laid aside His majesty, His royal robe, His heavenly glory and took up the mantle of a man. He stepped low from His throne in heaven to come to Earth and dwell among us. And He bent down at His disciples’ feet to wash them clean. He bowed to His Father’s will. He submitted Himself to the menial task at hand and then the greater work He would accomplish on the cross.
Jesus laid aside who He truly was to become what we needed Him to be. But is there anything in our lives that we’re not willing to lay aside for Him? Jesus had no pride to set aside because He is the perfect example of humility and service. But pride so often gets in our way. Sometimes we’ll dare to insist that everything has to go our way. Sometimes we’ll complain about things in our lives that we don’t like because we want an easy road. Sometimes a dream or a desire or a want will consume us because we think we need it to be happy and fulfilled. Sometimes we cling so stubbornly to the silliest things for any number of reasons.
But as we see Jesus there—God in the flesh, the creator of all things—ministering tenderly to the needs of others and we think of all that He gave up for our sakes and what He was willing to do, how can we still stand there holding fast to those things, insisting upon our own way? When even this unappealing job wasn’t beneath the one the saints and angels bow before, how can we dare to say no to something God wants us to do? How can we not be willing to set ourselves aside and live totally for Him?
Jesus was the Master to His disciples, but He was willing to serve them. Jesus is the creator of mankind, but He was willing to die for him. Jesus is Lord of all, but He is willing to enter into a relationship with each of us, to bear our burdens, to guide us and comfort us and minister His grace to us. Our task is to follow after Him, to go as He leads and do as He says and love and serve this world around us. We’re to go and do ourselves those things that need done for His honor and glory. We’re to adopt for ourselves the servant’s heart that Jesus demonstrated so distinctly to us.