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God of the Basin – Day 5

Luke 22:24-27(NLT) Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. 25 Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ 26 But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. 27 Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

 

In our culture, when you look for the powerful, the strong, the influencers, you do not go to the kitchen or the basement. You don’t look for a boss amongst the busboys or the dishwashers. You go to the head table or the corner office. You go to the front of the line, not the back of the bus. You go to the millions “liked” page, not the 5 views and no subscribers page. So where do you look for the most powerful being in the universe, where would you look for God? Surely you won’t look to the lowliest position to find the most powerful? You see that was the problem with most everybody Jesus encountered, including His disciples. They were looking for a Messiah King, a deliverer for the Jewish people, a conqueror over Rome, they wanted someone large and in charge! They wanted to pick a winner and be picked by a winner, they wanted to be on top and be able to throw their weight around.

 

But what they found in Jesus was completely opposite of what they thought they needed. Instead of a King on a throne, they received a King on a cross. Instead of a Messiah to help them conquer, they received a suffering Servant. Instead of basking in glory, they found God in the gory. Instead of a King waiting to be fed, they found a Servant holding a basin.

 

Jesus is about to be crucified, it is His final moments with His disciples. They are eating their final meal together and it just so happens that there is no one there to wash feet, as the custom was in those days. Washing feet was left for the lowliest of servants due to the very nature of washing someone else’s feet. It was a dirty job, they didn’t have the kind of shoes we are wearing today, they wore sandals and all the dirt and grime would get everywhere. It would be safe to say that this was a job that nobody wanted. You didn’t grow up saying, one day; I am going to be a foot-washer that is my dream!

 

Luke tells us what is taking place, the disciples realizing that there is no foot washing servant, starts arguing amongst themselves who is the greatest.They are trying to establish a pecking order, in order to avoid doing what needs to be done. Jesus is very clear in His directive to the disciples that His way of leading is totally opposite to the way the world leads. Look in verse 25 it says, Jesus told them, He is hearing their warped perspective and He speaks up, then look in verse 26 But among you it will be different, then He continues in pressing the point home in verse 27 But not here! Jesus says you guys need to get this, my Kingdom is not set-up the same way as the world and in my Kingdom, if you want to be great, you need to learn to serve!

 

John 13:1c He now showed them the full extent of his love. Jesus is now demonstrating the full extent of His love. He is going to demonstrate it to them, in a way that they will never be able to forget. Their self seeking, pecking order loving and position seeking hearts are about to be confronted in a very real and undeniable way. Their Master and Lord is about to do something that they have never seen done by someone of His stature and it is about to wreck their theology and wreck their approach to ministry. They thought ministry was about position and title and Jesus just blows their theory right out of the basin. You have heard people talk about thinking outside of the box; this is Jesus acting outside of the basin!

 

John 13:12-17(NIV) 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. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.

 

Jesus did not say one word until Peter protested and then He continued without saying another word, until all of the disciple’s feet were clean. You could hear a pin drop in the room. Everybody in that room has clean feet and while they are staring at their just washed feet, Jesus puts His clothes back on and takes His place at the head of the table. Why did He remove His clothes? It is proof of what a dirty job foot washing really was. Jesus drives the point home! Do you get what I just did? If I am your Lord and I washed your feet, you should do the same. Then Jesus goes further, I have done this as an example for you to the same! 

 

17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. You say, well I bet they got the message, I don’t think so! Jesus says blessed are you if you do them, right? Everybody’s feet are clean except for One! Who’s feet are still dirty? Jesus’ feet. If they got the Message there would’ve been a scurry for towels and basins and a line in front of Jesus. It is amazing that God in His providence, provided a prostitute to wash and anoint the feet of Jesus, knowing that His own disciples will neglect the very Lamb of God in their midst, even after a visual demonstration of Servanthood! A prostitute understood serving better than all twelve of the disciples!

 

Where do you look for greatness? Greatness is found on a cross. Greatness is found in an empty tomb. But before the cross and the tomb, greatness is found in a basin.

 

Prayer:

  • Ask the Lord to help you see what greatness really looks like.
  • Pray for a heart to pick up your towel and your basin to follow your King’s example.
  • Ask the Lord who you can serve in the midst of this season of turmoil.
  • Pray for wisdom and opportunities to serve.