The Upper Room: A Place of Service

5 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. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, ‘Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’ 7 Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’ 8 “No,” said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’ Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’ 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’” -John 13-5-9

Luke takes us to the Upper Room, where Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples. The Upper Room is filled with powerful memories. We remember the moment in the Upper Room when Jesus stripped Himself for service and washed His disciples’ feet (John 13:1–20). There, we see the Son of God kneeling and washing the feet of disciples who would later desert Him and of one who would betray Him.

We encounter a lesson that Jesus embodies in that divine act of selfless service. For after the Passover, an argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Faced with the prediction that one of them would betray Jesus (Luke 22:21–22), the disciples responded by arguing about their greatness (vv. 23–24). How easily we turn to our own good works as a way of defending ourselves from any accusation of sin!

Our truest defense, however, lies in Jesus. He is the one who gave His sinless life that we might be forgiven. So, we stand before God and the world in His righteousness rather than our own.

In this passage, Jesus invites us to follow Him in lives of self-sacrificial service. Jesus uses the argument about glory to teach the virtue of service. He invites His disciples and today to live in humble, self-sacrificial service as we stand in His righteousness and serve in His love.

Every age has its ways of glory. For us, magazines anoint men and women of the year with the glory of fame, and markets crown new rulers with the glory of wealth.

Jesus, however, comes into a world filled with arguments about greatness and reveals the true glory of God. God’s glory is found in self-sacrificial love for the least. By humbling Himself as a servant, offering His life for the forgiveness of sin, Jesus revealed the glory of God.

Forgiven by Him, we now live in Him. He calls us, His disciples, to follow the servant’s way, walking with God in self-sacrificial love for the least.

God Bless,

Pastor Joel