1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (John 13:1 NIV)
The end was drawing near and John tells us that Jesus set out to show His disciples “the full extent of his love.” How would He do it? Would Jesus buy them some expensive gift? Would He take them on an expensive trip to some exotic island? What would He do to show His followers how much He loved them?
What would you do? What would I do if I knew my time was drawing to a close and I wanted to let those closest to me know how much I love them? I’m afraid that if I sat down to brainstorm the number of ways that I could show them my love, my list would be far different than the idea Jesus had in mind. As they entered the house where Jesus would share the Passover Meal with His followers we learn how Jesus showed them His love. John tells us,
4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:4-5 NIV)
Who would have thought it? Who could have ever imagined that washing the nasty, grimy feet of His followers was Jesus’ idea of demonstrating His love for them? I feel safe in saying that we would never come up with an idea like that–would we? We would want to give something “valuable,” something costly, but what is more valuable than selfless service?
After Jesus finished washing His disciples feet, He explained to them the purpose of the tub of water and the towel. He said,
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. (John 13:14-15 NIV)
As we draw nearer and nearer to Christmas there are all kinds of enticements to get you and me into the stores where the “perfect” gifts supposedly can be found. I’m all for giving gifts to those I love, but the gift God wants me to give can’t be found in any store, it comes from the heart. I want to give the gift of selfless service to those the Lord has placed in my life this Christmas. Why wait for Christmas? Let the giving begin today!