“He humbled Himself”
“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)
As believers we never tire of hearing about our beloved Master. When we read in John 13 how the Lord of glory knelt down and washed the feet of His disciples we marvel at His humility. Those feet would soon run away to desert Him and even one set of feet were refreshed to walk the path of betrayal. Imagine all of that! Wonder at the fathomless depths of our Beloved’s love for poor sinners such as we are. Do you not find tears of joy welling in your eyes at pondering such humble devotion to you? Are you not amazed?
Now this humiliation of our Good Shepherd was undertaken for the eternal good of others. He was about to commit the ultimate act of humiliation in submitting Himself to the degradation of the cross. Wicked men would call Him all sorts of vile names. Evil hands would flog Him. Foul mouths would spit upon Him. Mocking words were hurled at Him. Lies about Him would be publicly uttered. The Roman judge would five times confess he found no fault in our dear Lord Jesus. Then Pilate crucified the innocent One. What humility our Saviour demonstrated for sinners such as we are!
Can you find reason to complain at your lot in life? Is your path a humble one today? Have you suffered in some ways vaguely similar to your Lord and Master? Have you found yourself complaining about how life is treating you? Draw aside for a moment and look to this One Who when reviled, reviled not again. Isaiah 53:3, 7 (NIV) reads,
“He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised,
and we held him in low esteem…
He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth;”
Will you turn from complaints at your suffering and bow down at such eternal love that drove the Lord of glory to humble Himself to such a degree for you? Yes, His love freely given to you caused such dreadful humiliation on His part. What matters of your humiliation? Gaze into His glorious face, fill your mouth with praise and adoration as you bask in His tender love. Come and come now.
The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)