I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.John 13:16 (NLT)
Pride. It caused Lucifer to betray God. It caused Adam and Eve to eat the forbidden fruit. Pride caused the religious elite to crucify the Son of God. It causes us to give in to the temptations that surround us. It is what is destroying this planet. Pride causes us to seek out only the things that we think will benefit us, will give us a leg up. Pride causes us to see what others can do for us, how we can use them to bring us what we desire. Pride causes us to see some as worthy of our time and others as beneath us.
Jesus was, and is, anti-pride. Everything He did and said was for the benefit of someone else. The Last Supper, it’s what we call the final meal He had with His disciples before His death, is a perfect example of this.
It was customary for the lowliest servant of a household to bathe the feet of those coming into the home. You see, back then, they didn’t travel in vehicles, and they really didn’t ride animals. They walked everywhere they went. The streets were mostly made of dirt. I say mostly because people also dumped their garbage there. Animals relieved themselves there. So, the “dirt” was a mixture of every foul thing you can imagine. And, people didn’t wear shoes back then, only sandals. All of that crud from the road would be caked on their feet by the time they got home. So, this lowly servant would literally wash the dirt, grime, garbage, and poop off of the feet of those entering the house.
This is what Jesus did to begin the Last Supper. He knelt down and washed all of the nastiness from the feet of His disciples. It was gross. It was smelly. But it was a worthwhile lesson. Jesus, even though He was Master, Savior, Messiah, would do anything necessary to wipe the crud out of our lives. There was no pride in it, only humble service.
The verse right before our verse today, verse 15, states this, “I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” In other words, we must drop the pride and learn to serve others, no matter who they are, where they’ve been, or how dirty they may be. They are worthy in the Kingdom of God, and we are servants of the King.