So he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him, (John 13:4,5).
If you are not familiar with the above story, the "he" that began washing feet was Jesus. He was showing, by example, what it takes to be great. It is another one of those "upside down" that is actually "right side up" truths that Jesus attempted to drill into the minds of a group of knuckleheads just like you and me.
Right down to the final night of Jesus' earthly life, his disciples were jockeying for position. Everything they had learned in life told them that the measure of greatness was how high you were in the pecking order and how many people served you. It is the same message most of us have had drilled into us from the cradle. But it is wrong. In the ultimate reality of God's kingdom, of which our current reality is a distorted reflection, the measure of true greatness is how low you are willing to place yourself in the pecking order and how much you are willing to serve one another.
Hours before the cross, the Son of God takes the place of the lowest slave in the household, and engages in the most humiliating task that slave had to perform: washing feet! You must read the rest of the surrounding text to see how clearly Jesus tells the disciples that the servant mentality and praxis was the path to true greatness and blessing.
Do you believe this? If you are nodding your head in the affirmative, are you following the example of the King of Kings who said that he did not come to be served, but to serve. It is a way of life that is completely foreign to most of us. It requires radical re-wiring of the brain to really believe it and act upon it. For Jesus, the ultimate act of greatness was to die the humiliating death of a common criminal, on a Roman cross, so that you and I could live forever. I'm going to put an "S" on my hand today to remind me that if I want to be great, I have to be a servant.