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Free to Serve

John 13:8-9

I think I might have reacted the same way Peter did.

“Lord! You are not about to wash my feet!”

Peter, they say, was impulsive, and had his foot in his mouth most of the time. I relate to Peter. He was honest. He was open. He didn’t try to make people think he understood everything about Jesus, but he wanted to understand. So he said things that were sometimes embarrassing to the others.

“Lord, You know me inside and out. I don’t need just a foot-washing. I need to be washed from my hands to my head! All of me!”

Yes. I relate to Peter. He knew himself and he knew his Lord: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:15,16).

To let Jesus, the Son of the living God, get down on His knees and wash my feet would be something I could hardly endure. So humiliating! That’s not His place!

As if washing feet or not washing feet determines who you are. No. Washing feet may be what I do to make ends meet here on earth, but it doesn’t dictate who I am.

It didn’t bother Jesus at all. You see, He knew who He was. He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. He knew that He had come forth from God and He knew that He was going back to God (John13:3).

Incredible! Knowing who He was–and serving. But then, He said that He didn’t come to be served, but to serve. That should make us stop and think and try to put everything together.

He turned right around and did the very same thing again the night of the fish fry (John 21:13). This was after the cross. After the resurrection. He had conquered death. He had proven Himself to be God’s Anointed One. He had revealed Himself to His disciples as the Messiah, as the risen Lord, and yet–He built the charcoal fire, He cooked the fish, and then He served them.

Not only did He know who He was now, but they too knew who He was–without a whisper of a doubt. How uncomfortable they must have been! I can imagine Peter saying, “Lord, please come sit over here and let me take care of that. I’d feel so much better if You’d let me serve You.”

Jesus said to them in effect, “You don’t understand, do you? I’ve given you an example. If I, Your Lord, have served you, then you ought to serve each other” (John 13:34). Maybe it seems like a demeaning act to you now, but one of these days You will understand just who you are, and then you too will be free to serve.”

* * *

I, too, am an heir of God (Romans 8:16,17). I have been given every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). God created me and has a plan for my life (Ephesians 2:10). I know that I became a child of God when I was born again (John 1:12,13), and I know that I’m going to be with God (John 14:3). I know my true identity. Birth determines that. I know who I am.

And do you know what that means to me? Why, I can wash feet and make the fire and cook the supper and serve without it bothering me. It sets me free . . . to serve.

About the Author

Anabel spent decades teaching in many contexts through Lifetime Guarantee Ministries. She has taught countless others how to have a genuine intimate faith and a sound marriage. She shared from her heart about living from the heart. Lifetime’s beloved founder and mentor passed away November 7, 2010. Her legacy and influence are timeless and priceless.