“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” (1 Peter 4:10)
It’s stark in its contrast now; it was two-thousand years ago, too. Jesus turned his disciples on their head by modeling a life of servant hood. In one of the most beautiful and poignant moments in the gospels, Jesus eats a meal with His disciples, in what would later become known as The Last Supper. You can read all about it in the 13th Gospel of John.
What brings such power to this story is that Jesus knew His time was up. He was aware that His life would soon be ending, and John 13:1 tells us in light of this that, “He now showed them the full extent of his love.” He does this by taking the place of a common servant, and washing His followers’ feet.
Of course, the disciples were caught off guard, and even replied with refusals (13:6, 8). If their leader was serving, what would that mean for them?
In this moment, Jesus teaches us something very powerful about His Kingdom: “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. 16I tell you the truth, 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.” (13:13-17)
Serving is the foundational work of the Kingdom of God. Regardless of position, gender, experience, leadership, whatever – followers of Jesus Christ serve. Period. We were designed for it. And as long as there is a world of need, there is a place for each of us to do our part.