Can You Spell Humility?
This is brought to you by permission of the author, Sara Beth Fentress, Director of SportPlus, an international mission organization emphasizing sports ministry. I trust it will be as meaningful to you as it was to me!
John 13: 1-20
If you have ever been to an African
village, perhaps the scripture of Jesus washing the
disciples' feet has become more alive to you. I know
this was the case for me. For some reason, I had
always assumed that the disciples' feet looked like "American feet." Toenails trimmed, well-kept, maybe even
pedicured! OK, maybe not that far...
Feet are not glamorous in any culture,
but this is especially true in cultures where sandals
are the most frequently used mode of transportation.
In Biblical times, it was common to have a basin
at the front door so that people could wash their
feet when they entered a house. Much of their day
was spent walking and working in dusty, dirty environments.
By washing the disciples' feet, Jesus
was attempting to teach his inner circle a lesson
in humility and service. I don't know if you have
noticed, but sometimes the closest followers of Christ
had a hard time understanding the lessons that he
was attempting to teach. At first Peter did not understand
why Jesus was doing something that seemed so beneath
Him. It seems that Peter has an "Aha" moment later in this passage, though. In
verse 8, Jesus had said that unless he washes Peter's feet, then Peter will
have no part of Jesus. In verse 9 we read,
"Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"
Let's briefly look at the three body
parts that Peter chose to surrender in this passage.
I believe Peter's feet symbolized surrendered steps.
Wherever God wanted to take him, then that is where
he would go out of obedience. By offering his hands,
I believe he was dedicating his work to the Lord.
With his head bowed before Jesus, I believe he was
surrendering his thoughts and emotions to the Lord.
We see later on in the Bible in 1 Peter
5:5-6, that perhaps Peter had learned his lesson
about humility after all:
"Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God
opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.' Humble yourselves,
therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may
Sometimes God wants to grow us in our
relationship with Him by humbly serving other people.
Sometimes He wants us to evaluate our direction in
life, the purpose of our work, our thoughts, and
our emotions. May God find us with the attitude of
Peter in His response to Christ's lesson on humility!
Lord, you have created us, and you
can have all of us! Get us out of the way so that
you can bring Glory to yourself through our lives!
Sara Beth Fentress
Morning Message Sent 3/10/08
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