I've spent a good amount of time over the last many months thinking about pride. I even got online and looked up several sermons on the subject. Turns out most of the sermons were pretty worthless, because I realized I know all about pride. I know about it's sinful nature, I know how it eats away at me and destroys my communion with the Lord. What I don't know is how to medicate with humility.
So I turned to my Bible and sought out some answers. Jesus was the definition of humble. In fact He left His throne in heaven to come be friends with scumbags like us and be born into poverty in a world that would kill Him.
But there isn't a whole lot about the incarnation. There is however a beautiful picture of Jesus washing the disciples feet in John 13:1-17:
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him,
3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God,
4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?”
7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”
8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
9 Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?
13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.
14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.
15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
In reading through I was struck by 4 things.
Vs 1. - Jesus loved His disciples right up to the end. Love is a choice. Love is something Jesus chose to do to us even before we first loved him, and he chose to do it right up to the end, even though we often don't love him back.
Vs 2. - Jesus loved Judas even though He knew He was about to be betrayed. You don't read about Jesus washing the 11 disciples feet, because He washed all of them. He could have skipped over Judas, and a more prideful man would have. But Jesus loved even when He wasn't loved back.
Vs 3. - God gave Jesus "all things." All authority, all of creation, all power, all might, all knowledge, you name it. If there was ever someone who had reason to be prideful It was Jesus. We often act in pride because we think we're better than those around us. But we're not. And more importantly even though Jesus WAS better than HIs disciples he still served them.
Vs 4-5. - Jesus humbly served.
Vs. 6-9. - He served Peter even though he didn't want to be served.
Vs. 10-11. - The same as verse 2, another reminder that Jesus could have chosen to not serve Judas, but served him anyhow.
Vs. 13-17. - Jesus basically says, "Look, you're not better than me. I AM better than you. So if I, who is better than you, serve others, you go and do the same." Vs. 14, 15, and 17 all say, do it, do it, do it. And you'll be blessed.
1. Love until the end.
2. Love even if you're not loved.
4. We are not greater than Jesus, and Jesus served.
This has been significant to me lately. And it has great application with my wife, with my team, and with those whom I'm trying to serve. When we love others and serve them as Jesus did, we cannot be prideful.
Final lesson is unrelated to this verse.
When I stand before the Lord in prayer. I mean really calm my heart and pray. I stand before the all powerful creator, and you'd have to be an idiot to feel His presence and not feel small and worthless apart from Him. But you'd also have to be an idiot to not be excited that He lets you stand there.