What does it mean to love God? Answer:  obeying his commands. John 14:15, 23.

How can we obey his commands? Answer: by the Spirit, by loving one another, by serving. John 13.

Serving. The paradoxical clarion call to all who profess faith in Christ: denying the flesh, proactively doing something for someone else instead of putting yourself first. Humbling yourself. Saying, “Yes.” When we are irritated, tired, tempted, prideful, or lazy, we are to remember our Lord and his humility, and to do likewise.

After all, Jesus still washed Judas Iscariot’s feet.

I’ve been reading about the Upper Room and meditating on the Lord’s demonstration of humiliating servant-hood when he stooped to wash the disciples’ feet. It never occurred to me before: why didn’t one of the disciples do it? It was an expected chore for a slave, but since there wasn’t one present to wash their dirty, dusty, road-caked feet, you’d think one of the disciples would have jumped at the chance to honor Jesus like that. No one did.

Instead, they had been arguing and were probably still squabbling about their position and glorious future in God’s kingdom. They still didn’t understand that no, Jesus actually did not come to vanquish Rome and overturn the government, and he was going to be killed soon to do the will of the Father. Think of the embarrassment among them when Jesus picked up the basin and began to wash their feet.

John presents this beautiful picture of our Author and Perfecter serving his chosen. If Jesus, the Savior and Creator and Redeemer, can wash the disciples’ feet, then why am I unwilling to substitute lead in our church’s AWANA, or sing on worship team, or help the old man down the road harvest maple syrup, or clean the kitchen?

After all, Jesus still washed Judas Iscariot’s feet.

We have no excuse to not serve. Not only did Christ command us to do so, but he set the example himself, even serving Judas, who Christ knew was about to betray him unto death! Loving service is the pinprick in the balloon of pride. If we are not actively demonstrating our love (which, hey, love is an action), then what are we doing? Sitting on the couch eating marshmallows and indulging the flesh? Spending all our time and money on ourselves? Never getting our hands dirty?

The couch of the flesh must be sacrificed at the cross of Life. We are called to die by laying aside our will and doing the will of the Father. If we love him, we will obey his commands. If we love him, we will show that love in the most unnatural way to us: serving one another, by the strength of the Spirit in us.

He has revealed to us his love. Let us demonstrate that love through humble service.