The Unglamorous Kind of Service

The Unglamorous Side of Service

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Each weekday morning, we’re going to spend a few minutes in a passage in John. Here’s the goal: read it, pray it, share it. Every post will have a passage of Scripture, a short prayer, and a question to meditate on and talk about. In a few minutes every day, we can prepare our hearts for all that God has planned in this season of Lent. 

Read: John 13:12-20
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. [18] I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ [19] I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. [20] Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (ESV)

The greatest man who ever lived came to serve. If you take a minute to cycle through history’s greatest figures, none have done what Jesus did. He did not come to have servants but to be a servant. In fact, he humbled himself to the point of being betrayed by one of his own disciples, after he’d spent three years alongside him and even after he washed his feet.

When Jesus got up from that humble servant’s bowl, he flipped the script on the disciples. A servant is not greater than the master. You must also be servants. You must also wash each other’s feet.

It’s nice to talk about being a servant, but it’s very hard to be treated like one. When you serve and nobody notices, no one thanks you, and no one cares, that’s the true test of servanthood. Jesus is the king of kings, but he was despised, rejected, and condemned by those he came to save. When you’re taken for granted and treated like a servant, then your heart is revealed. That’s when you know you’re really serving like Christ. 

Lord, I look at the example of Christ and I want to serve as he did. Help me in the moments I feel unnoticed or taken for granted to remember that you see me. Give me opportunities to serve anonymously and bless others without the expectation of reward. Amen.


What thoughts do you think went through Jesus’ mind when he was washing the disciples’ feet? How could Jesus was Judas’ feet?

Can you think of a moment that you caught yourself being angry or frustrated over an opportunity to serve that went unnoticed? Can you think of a way to serve someone that you know will not bring you recognition?
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