I have a friend who is a beautiful, influential, charming, and well-thought of woman. She is godly, respected and many women look up to her.
Recently she and I attended an event on a snowy evening. When we walked into our hostess’ home, our shoes were snowy, slushy and salty. My friend quickly grabbed a roll of paper towels and a trash bag and as each woman arrived she wiped the mess off every shoe.
Those of us having our shoes wiped clean felt somewhat uncomfortable. In our eyes, the work of wiping shoes seemed far beneath this woman. While it was difficult to accept her service, it was sweet to witness her servant’s heart. My friend embodied Jesus’ charge to believers:
“Jesus called the Twelve and said, ‘If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.’” – Mark 9:35 NIV
Jesus didn’t just teach this truth, He lived it. Our Lord Jesus Christ, stepped out of heaven, leaving the glory of God, the place where He is continually worshiped and adored as God, and lived in a human body to serve others even unto death.
Jesus did this. Jesus, the Alpha and the Omega, the One who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty, humbled himself and became the servant of all.
“…made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness… he humbled himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross!” – Philippians 2:7-8
Jesus’ attitude was selfless obedience. He put human beings above Himself, and He put obedience to the Father above all. Jesus, God the Son, did not consider His equality with God the Father as something that He had to grasp with a tight fist. Jesus set His equality aside for you and for me. He died to cleanse and save us.
We can’t clean ourselves up; we can’t remove the muck and the mud of sin’s filth from our hearts. Our self effort is like trying to wipe our slushy shoes off with a dirty rag: we simply spread the filth around. We need the Servant to wash us clean.
When we accept Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf, our hearts are washed clean by His blood. The blood of Jesus wipes the sin away and secures God’s forgiveness. He never holds our sins against us again. The stain of sin is permanently removed.
Christ’s cleansing assures our salvation.
We are clean, but we live in a dirty world. And, sometimes we track the filth of the world into our lives, our homes and our ministries. It’s difficult to serve God and His people when our hearts are dirtied up with selfishness, and pride.
Thankfully, Jesus’ blood continues to cleanse, and removes the mess of selfishness and pride when it is confessed.
Is there a place of service that you’ve dismissed because you thought it was beneath you? Maybe it seemed like wiping slushy shoes? Would you reconsider as you take into account Jesus’ attitude toward serving you?