Monday, April 25th, 2016
Bad Ideas (Part 26)
This Job Is Beneath You!
He came to Simon Peter, who said to Him, 'Lord, are You going to wash my feet?'
Jesus replied, 'You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'
'No,' said Peter, 'You shall never wash my feet.'
Jesus answered, 'Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.'
'Then, Lord,' Simon Peter replied, 'not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!'
Jesus answered, 'Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean' **
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 13:6-17 (NIV)*
For more than twenty of her latter years, my mother lived on Hilton Head Island: a growing mecca for rich retirees. But these former corporate kings and chiefs grew restless and wanted to be useful. They would take jobs as grade school janitors, fishing boat deckhands or Walmart greeters.
They lived long enough and rose high enough to see the value of all positions. No honest work was considered too low. I never asked if they were believers, but they certainly acted like Jesus. Because God's Own Son was a Foot Washer, Who came to serve the poorest of people.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: If you've spent time on sets as extras, if you've assisted more than you've starred, if you've played your shows in nursing homes or grammar school cafeterias, if fellow actors now have agents and you're still pursuing open calls...
If Jesus clearly identifies with people who are unfed, unquenched, unwelcome, unadorned, unhealthy and under hard chains of confinement, if He expects us to give them help as if we were helping God Himself, then how is any role beneath us?***
So take heart in every lowly job, knowing that from great humility will come a mighty exaltation.
'Therefore, humble yourselves under the mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you' (1 Peter 5-6).
To Be Continued
* Entire story of Jesus washing His disciples feet: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+13:1-17&version=NIV
** Ellicott's Commentary on John 13:10 (after Peter asked the Lord to wash every part of him and Jesus said the feet were enough)...
** 'St. Peter's words have implied that he was wholly unclean, and needed for feet, and head, and hands, for the whole man, a moral cleansing. Christ answers that this was not so. The man who has been bathed is clean, but his feet coming in contact with the dust of the road need to be washed. It was so morally. They had been cleansed; their whole moral life had been changed, but they were liable to the corruption of every-day life through which they walked, and needed to be cleansed from the pollution of it. That day had furnished an example; their pride and self-seeking was of the spirit of the world, and not of the Spirit of Christ; His act was a cleansing from that, but it did not imply that they were not clean. The lesson is that all, from Apostles downwards, need the daily renewing of the grace of God; and that none should find in failure, or even in the evil which clings to his daily path, reason for questioning the reality of the moral change which has made him the child of God.' Link: http://biblehub.com/commentaries/john/13-10.htm
*** See Matthew 25:31-46: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=mat+25%3A31-46&version=NKJV
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Bad Ideas series.