I’m from Boston and I love sports. So I love every sport that has to do with Boston. I lived from the age of 12 to 25 about 5 minutes from Gillete Field, formerly called Foxboro Stadium, where the New England Patriots play. Back in the early 2000’s when the Patriots won 3 Superbowls, they had a saying that circulated around the lockeroom. The phrase that you could commonly hear the players say was “Humble Pie.” This referred to the attitude that each individual on the Patriots carried themselves by. It meant that they would stay humble in victory and graceful in defeat. It meant that each individual would put aside their own agenda for the agenda of the team. That they would sacrifice their own personal goals for the collective goal of the team. That they would lay down their own selfish ambition for the good will of everyone else on the team.
In John 13, we see Jesus take on this same attitude. This is what John writes in the beginning of the chapter “When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “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. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (John 13:12-17 NIV) Earlier in the book of John Jesus said that He did not come to be served but to serve and here in chapter 13 He is demonstrating for the disciples exactly what He meant. And I believe He drove His point home. Jesus knew that the way to gain access to a person’s heart is through humbly serving them. Can you believe the Creator humbled Himself to wash the feet of the creation? The same hands that created the disciples feet were the same hands that washed them.
This act that Jesus performed here in John is totally counter cultural to our world today. It is expected for the employee to serve the employer not the other way around. The student is supposed to glean from the teacher not the teacher listen to the student.
What would happen in our world today if we would serve each other? What impact would we have on the individuals around us if we ate our portion of humble pie?
- What does this passage teach us about God? How does it apply to you?
- What opportunities in your life do you have to serve others?
- Take on the attitude that Jesus did today!