Saturday, November 24, 2007

Greater than Jesus?

Greater than Jesus?
By John Fischer

Our significance is found in our service, and the less anyone knows about it, the better. How backwards is that?

I would normally think that my significance would be found in picking up the newspaper this morning and finding my name in it. Or that it would be significant to be honored by receiving an award in front of thousands of my peers with a viewing audience of millions.

But Jesus says that receiving the praise of men means nothing compared to receiving the praise of God, and those who receive the praise of God are those who lose themselves in the service of others—people who disappear in the serving. I bet there is going to be an awards ceremony in heaven to beat all ceremonies, and the people honored will have never been known on earth beyond the circle of those whose lives they touched.

One of Christ’s most surprising acts was the example He gave of washing His disciple’s feet. It was a deliberate visual aid. The big deal was not that the disciples’ feet were dirty; it was that Jesus had something He wanted to show them. This was a daily custom, since everyone wore sandals and the roads were dusty. We are not told who usually did this. It was the host’s responsibility (Luke 7:44), and probably performed by a no-name servant. But John said that in this one act, Jesus “showed the disciples the full extent of His love” (John 13:1). For this, He took off His robe, wrapped a towel around His waist, got down on His hands and knees and methodically, one by one, washed the disciples’ feet. Peter protested, but it didn’t do any good.

And when He was done, Jesus put His robe back on, sat down with them and told them to never forget what they had just seen. It was their responsibility to wash each other’s feet. “A servant is not greater than the master. Nor are messengers more important than the one who sends them” (John 13:16 NLT). And since Jesus was their master and the one who was sending them with a message, they could never rise above this example without positioning themselves as greater than He. Their significance was going to be in their service, not in their position or recognition.

So keep this picture in your mind today and look for ways to quietly serve the needs of those around you. No horn blowing. No awards. Because in this is your greatness.

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