[#pictureLent] Maundy Thursday March 24: WASH

By Simon Osunlana
St John UMC
Fort Lauderdale, FL

First, read John 13:12-17

Washing the feet of guests before eating was a job reserved for gentile slaves. This is a job no one really wants to do, which explains why none of the disciples volunteered to do it in the first place.

Jesus and his disciples settled down to eat and he took upon himself the job of a servant. He, the Master, washed the feet of his disciples and instructed them to follow his example. Jesus said "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet (John 13:14). What does Jesus mean when He says that we ought to wash one another's feet? Some Christians have taken this very literally and have thought that Jesus was here instituting another sacrament.

Jesus is simply teaching us humility. It is not necessarily humility when the servant washes the master's feet, it is humility when the master washes the servant's feet. It is humility when the superior serves the inferior, when the king serves the subjects. Jesus showed us an example of humility. Humility serves others. Humility promotes God rather than self. Humility consults God in decision making. 

Jesus says in Mark 9:35 “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Most sins we commit have their root in selfishness, or arrogance. Arrogance is when we exult self above God or others. The cure for arrogance is humility. The Scripture says in James 4:10 "Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." Our attitude determines our altitude! Which kind of Christian are you: humble or haughty?

Sin is the violation God's will. We violate God's will when we exalt our own will above His and this is arrogance, and arrogance is a sin. If the cure for arrogance is humility, the cure for sin is humility. When we dethrone self and enthrone God, the power of sin is broken. Therefore, just before his death the greatest lesson Jesus taught his disciples was humility. This is the message of Maundy Thursday. 

Prayer: Gracious God – give us the attitude of a servant. Help us to walk humbly in your ways. Amen

Discussion/Reflection Questions:

1. How will humility strengthen our marriages
2. What if Christians show humility, how would this affect our witness in the world?
3. How will humility help police-community relations?
4. How will humility aid our elected officials in carrying out their duties?