rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.Aware of his glory and power, aware of his standing and honor, aware that he had come from God and would soon be returning to God, Jesus the Christ lowered himself before everyone's eyes in preparation for the lowliest task of a servant.
I often see this story and think of how Jesus lowered himself as an example to the disciples by washing their feet; but what I don't often think of is how even before performing the task of a servant, our Christ had to lower himself completely by becoming like a servant.
Before going to the cross to die numbered among the transgressors; before having been acknowledged by God and his Spirit at the Jordan; before preaching the Words and will of the the Lord and healing the sick and dieing and lame or raising the dead to life; before his ministry and revealing as a prophet, the Messiah, the Son of Man and more than these the Son of God, he lived a life of thirty years numbered among us, transgressors, in preparation for his most inglorious and glorifying victory over sin and death and all the powers of darkness through the lowliest and most painful of deaths and the receiving of all the wrath of God meant for those he was numbered among.
To teach the disciples he removed his robes and covered himself as a servant with nothing but a towel for washing.
To teach the world and save us he laid down his glory and covered himself as we are with nothing but human flesh; yet he did not only cover himself as a man, but made himself as God wholly man.
When Christ lowered himself to human form he did not have a mighty halo proclaiming the truth hidden by flesh. His eyes did not glow, his aura did not shine, there was no invisible confirmation that made people who saw him know though not knowing why that, "Yes, this is God!"
I have already gotten a taste of being humbled anew just in these first few days being back at the ranch, and now I must lay myself down willingly, wholly and without struggle anew at the feet of One greater than I. I want to accept whatever he has, whatever he brings, and will be in deep prayer, asking less about what the Lord has for me and more for a right and humble servants heart that will take joy from all that he reveals and runs toward the paths from which he calls.
I will remove this garment of pride that says I hold any responsibility for the plans God has in store, and dress myself humbly in the readiness of a servant. In this month I will do NOTHING to specifically prepare for any plans I may have in my heart that come after my time here at the ranch. I will be here and I will be all here, and I will not make any excuses about needing to find the balance between being exactly where I am while still being two paces ahead, this isn't the place or time for that.
I am not disregarding or putting away my standing as a worker (God desires workers, not those who sit around waiting to be used [exa. the disciples were called while at work fishing; Christ himself grew up the child of a carpenter and acted as the eldest man in the household after his fathers passing, working as a carpenter, not beginning his earthly ministry as a preacher, or more accurately teacher/rabbi, until at least the age of 30.])
I am however accepting that whatever comes after this month is in God's hands. That whatever I might do in a month here, being "responsible" for the future God gives me, is a drop in the bucket compared to what he could do in a single hour of my returning home; not to mention the fact that doing all those things, doing anything aside from taking advantage of what God offers, will detract from this special time he has given right here.
Jesus not only performed a humble task, but he also made humble preparations.
I can't see why God wouldn't have the same of me, a lowly orphan taken into his family, as that of his son under whom he subjected all things.
"We see that in serving, He girded Himself, to gird means to prepare one self for what is to come...to encircle, as in putting on a belt.
Our serving is a choice. It is love in action. . . Servants and times of serving open opportunities to things we never before would of encountered had we remained seated at the table. He rose from supper and showed us the way to rise out of our struggles and uncertainties into a girded and prepared mind, ready and alert. God does not desire for His people to sit in a cloudy or foggy state, He desire that they have certainty and confidence in their stance. When we serve, He reveals. This action is a example set out for all servants of Christ. Servants serve. When confused, serve. When broken, serve. When joyful, serve. When anxious, serve. When frustrated, serve. When weak, serve. For in those times of serving, God is girding. He is preparing your heart and mind for His plans. He had a plan for Christ, each day that He spent on the earth, so you can trust that He has a plan for you." - Michelle's study of John 13:4
I'd also like to share Janessa's study.
Written April 5, 2012