Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. (John 13:1-4 ESV)
There is a massive amount of theology and application in this text. As I am reading it this morning, though, Jesus is teaching me how to be a better husband. Jesus models for me how a husband ought to serve his wife. Not only by what is there but also by what is NOT in this scene.
If I Painted This Scene
This story would be different if it was reflective of my level of service to my wife. Jesus would still wash the disciples feet. He would even do it for those that sinned against him. But there would have been a sentence added to the story that goes something like this:
“During supper, and after waiting for a lengthy period of time, Jesus noticed that Frank the Footwasher was not on duty that day. The disciples feet were getting pretty rank, so somebody was going to have to wash them. Jesus, being the humble servant that He is, decided that He would be the one to wash them.”
You see I do a somewhat decent job of reactionary serving. Maybe not immediate reactionary serving, but I do respond when things get a little out of hand. I’ll sit for as long as I can but at some point I realize that it is time for service. When dishes pile up in the sink and buzzards start hovering over the stank of our van I decide that it is probably time to kick in and start being a servant.
That is not, however, following the footsteps of Jesus the Servant.
The Scene As It Is
There is no mention of Frank the Footwasher in this text. Even if there were it would be of Jesus giving him the night off. Jesus was not a reactionary servant. Jesus was an intentional servant. He did not see an out of control need and then hop to the occasion and call himself a servant. He served before there even was a massive need.
He came to the feast that night with the intention of serving. This is modeling for me not only how to be a good disciple, or a good leader, this is modeling for me how to be a good husband. Husbands that follow the footprint of the Master do not sit around and wait for a “honey-do” list, they create their own. Lord, help me to be a better servant to my wife.
On an unrelated note, I’ve got to go clean out my van. If I don’t come back for a couple days send somebody to get me out…