Following Christ's Example


Servanthood. Living humbly. Denying self. None of these are attitudes or attributes that people clamor to develop today. And, yet, these are exactly the attributes that Jesus displayed for us as He walked this earth. Does it amaze you to consider how Jesus continually turned human perspective upside-down?

On the night that He would be betrayed, before the Passover Feast, Jesus rose and began to wash the disciples’ feet. Following this outrageous act of humility, Jesus said to them, “You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you” (John 13:13–15 NIV1).

Jesus was their Lord and their Teacher, yet he knelt before them in humble servitude. As he began to wash their feet, I wonder if the disciples reflected on other words He had spoken, “the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve” (Matt. 20:28). “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all” (Mark 9:35). “The greatest among you will be your servant” (Matt. 23:11).

Christ’s example to us is not to seek out riches and authority. No, His example to us is to be a servant to all, to have a servant’s heart, and to consider others as more important than ourselves. His humble servant spirit was an outworking of His great love for mankind. We learn from Him that maintaining an attitude of love and humility always bring to our hearts a desire to serve others unselfishly.

Paul understood this concept as he said, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible . . . I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do this for the sake of the gospel, that I might share in its blessings” (1 Cor. 9:19, 22–23).

As you consider what it means to follow Jesus’ example in order to reach people by all means, consider His humble heart and servant spirit. Who in your community needs an extra measure of love? How can you humble yourself to serve them?

Pray: Dear Father, Thank You for Your Word that illustrates the way that Jesus humbled Himself to serve others. Please touch my spirit and place in my heart a desire to reach people who need to know You. I pray that You will give me a “By All Means” attitude and that You will guide me to the areas of service that You have prepared for me. Amen.

1All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.

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