April 04, 2014

I Have Set You an Example

John 13:12-17

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”
—John 13:15


Jesus has done an outrageous thing. Jesus, the Master, humbly bows before and serves his disciples. Philippians 2:6-7 says that Jesus, though “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.” Jesus came to serve among us for our benefit, for our salvation, so that we might know and enter into the love God has for us.

Jesus also set us an example. As he washed his disciples’ feet, Jesus was showing and telling how we can live in the most blessed way possible—in humble service. When we serve others, we give our time, our attention, our resources, our very selves for people’s benefit and flourishing. It’s a way of life that influences our every interaction. As imitators of Christ, we practice things like good listening, generous hospitality, and faithful care for people in need, starting with those closest to us. In Romans 12:10 we are instructed, “Honor one another above yourselves.”

Following Jesus’ example of humble service is no easy calling. In fact, we cannot do it without the Spirit of Christ living in us. Scripture promises that as we serve others, Christ, by his Spirit, is present to guide, to equip, and to bless.

Loving God, we thank you that Christ Jesus came among us as a servant. Help us today to humbly serve others in his name. Amen.

About the author — Ruth Boven

Ruth Boven serves as minister of congregational life at LaGrave Ave. CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her husband, Greg, have two adult children. They find rich purpose in urban ministry and delight in enjoying the wonders of God's good creation.

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