Why do we crave power and/or the freedoms and abilities that come with power?
What does it mean to have power? Big business obtains financial power through the spending of us the consumer. Various government parties obtain power through election by us the voter. We watch movies about men and women who have super power, wondering what it would be like to be like them.
We can find some insight from the John 13:1-5. “It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus.” (13:1-2)
“Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 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.” (13:3-5)
This passage is pretty straight forward until we get to that semi-colon before verse four. All of a sudden, it becomes somewhat of a mystery. Why would John comment on the “power” that Jesus possessed, before describing the selfless act of washing the feet of the men?
Shouldn’t the story go the other way? Shouldn’t it state that ‘because Jesus had His Father’s power, the disciples got up and all took turns washing Jesus feet‘? This is how a person in authority should be treated, right?
Up until a few years ago, I had never really thought much about John 13. I had also never really thought much about washing anybody’s feet other than my own. I grew up in the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists, which is a great Bible-teaching community, but did not embrace the practice of foot washing.
Two years ago, I was called to serve in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren who embrace foot washing as part of communion. It has been a unique experience, to say the least! This practice has been a great reminder that I need to be a servant leader. Furthermore, I can not let my pride and insecurities keep me from becoming the man who God has intended me to be.
I urge you to reflect on the possibility that we may be confused on where our power lies. In turn, how our power is obtained. What if we’re too caught up in the process of convincing people of our power, that we’ve forgotten how to influence people?
After seeing Christ’s example, perhaps, the key to this passage is that true power is revealed through serving others? Perhaps, God wants us to choose selflessness more often to order to find His power? Perhaps, we need to wash some feet?
Originally posted at QuietMorningsWithHim.com by Jeremy Norton.