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Our Example

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15).

On the way to the Last Supper, the ambitious disciples had been quarreling over who should be the greatest and who would have precedence in Christ’s kingdom. When they entered the room, none of them would condescend to do the menial task of washing feet. Their minds were full of their bitter contention, and none was willing to be servant of all.

The scene that followed is described in moving words: “And supper being ended … Jesus knowing that … He was come from God, and went to God; He … began to wash the disciples’ feet” (John 13:2-5). The quality of this act of humility is heightened by the fact that Jesus performed it while vividly conscious of His divine origin and nature. He knew that He came from God’s presence. None of the disciples would confess himself inferior to another, but when the divine Lord remembered who He was, He rose up and performed the lowliest of tasks.

—Condensed from The Incomparable Christ by J. Oswald Sanders.