Bible Stories for the Young

Jesus, Our Master

Serves His Friends


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Jesus, Our Master : Serves His Friends

Do you remember way back in our story when God told the people, through Moses, to celebrate three parties? Well, it was time for the Passover Party. That was the party where they would sacrifice a perfect lamb, eat the bread without yeast, and give God one bundle from their first grain harvest.

Once everything was ready, Jesus and His followers sat down to eat this meal together. As everyone was eating and drinking and talking, Jesus looked around the table. He looked at John, then Peter, then Matthew, each of His disciples one by one. He knew He wouldn’t be with them on earth for very much longer. Oh, how He loved them! Oh, how He wanted each of them to know His Father. And He would do everything He could to show them the way.

It felt good to sit down and eat together. The day had been so busy. Jesus glanced down at His feet and noticed that they were sooooo dirty. The dirt roads made their sandaled feet all dusty and stinky.

Jesus looked around the room and saw a big bowl and a towel in the corner of the room. He got up and filled the bowl with water. Then He took off His robe and tied the towel around His waist.

Jesus began to wash His disciples’ feet like a servant or a slave would.

The disciples didn’t know what to say or think. They just watched.

When Jesus knelt down in front of Peter, Peter looked at Jesus and said, “Lord, are You going to wash my stinky, dirty feet too?”

Continuing to take off Peter’s sandals, Jesus answered, “Yes, Peter. You don’t understand all that I’m doing now, but later you will.”

Peter’s eyes widened. His body stiffened. “Jesus, no. I won’t let You wash my dirty feet like a slave would — never ever, ever!”

But Jesus said, “Peter, if I don’t wash you, you can’t be involved with Me. I have to wash you if you want to have a part in My life.”

Peter’s once-stiffened muscles relaxed like soft clay. Of course he wanted to have a part and share in Jesus’ Life! Peter softly looked in Jesus’ eyes and said, “O Jesus, in that case, don’t just wash my feet, but wash, wash, wash my hands and my head too!”

Jesus smiled at Peter and assured him, “Those who have already had a bath don’t need to wash their whole body again, Peter, only their stinky feet. Their body is clean. And you are clean — though not everyone here is clean.” (Jesus knew that one person there had a heart problem that was way stinkier than feet.)

After Jesus finished washing all their feet, He put His robe back on and sat back down. “You call Me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Master,’ and that’s right because that IS who I am. And now that I, your Master and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should wash one another’s feet. I’ve set an example for you. And no servant is greater than his master, and no messenger is greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know this, because I’ve shown you, you will be blessed if you do it.”

You see… even though Jesus was their Master and they were His servants, Jesus didn’t boss them around and make them do things for Him. He COULD have told them to wash HIS feet. But instead, Jesus knelt down like a servant Himself, and washed THEIR feet. How awesome and loving is a Master like that!

Did you know?

If you want to be Jesus’ follower, you need to look for ways to serve other people. And being a servant means you’ll do whatever you can to love and help others. And you don’t wanna just serve the people you like, doing the things you like.

For example… let’s pretend you like to make cookies for your friends. You like to cook, and maybe you like it because you often get to eat a cookie yourself, or maybe your friends are always telling you how good you are at making cookies and that makes you feel good on the inside. So for you, making cookies for your friends might not be quite the same as washing dirty, stinky feet, huh?

Now don’t misunderstand me. Sure… go ahead and make cookies. Have fun! But here Jesus was teaching us that the greatest in His Kingdom was a slave of all. And slaves do hard or dirty work sometimes. So don’t just serve in the things you like to do, or the things you are good at, or just when you have to because your mom told you to. Instead look for ways to serve where it costs you something. Remember what David wrote: “I will not offer to God, that which cost me nothing…” So look for things like those dirty, stinky feet.

Another time Jesus said, “People who are not part of God’s Kingdom like to use their important positions in the world to boss people around. But this is NOT for you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be a servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be a slave of all. Even I, the Son of Man, came not to be served, but to serve and to give My life away as the payment to set many slaves free, free, free.”