Our Example

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : John 13:1-17

“I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.” (v. 15)

We learn best by example. Our children model the behaviors they see in us as their parents. We may say, “Do as I say, not as I do,” but it usually doesn’t work that way. They imitate us.

If only we had a perfect model that we could follow!

Well, we do! Jesus was in the upper room, ready for his last supper with his disciples. But none of them was willing to humble himself enough to wash the feet of the others. So Jesus did. He took a towel and a basin of water and one by one washed the feet of his disciples. He took the form of a servant.

Then Jesus asked his disciples if they understood what he had done. He had performed the task of a servant in order to give them an example of true discipleship. Part of the reason for Jesus’ coming into the world was to show us how to live a life of service as God’s children.

And Jesus’ servanthood went even further: “He humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:7-8). Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross becomes our model for life!


Dear Jesus, Servant of God, help me to follow your example in everything that I do. Amen.