Words of Grace – His Taking On

Words of Grace – His Taking On

Wednesday – His Taking On

“…taking the form of a servant…” Philippians 2:7

It is hard to speak of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, as a servant. Personally, I am only comfortable doing so because the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah spoke of the Servant of the Lord as the Messiah, Jesus referred to himself as one who came to serve (Mark 10:35), and the service he rendered is unique.

Jesus Christ took on the form of a servant. Don’t let the language trip you up. “Taking on the form of a servant” doesn’t mean that he appeared to be a servant but really wasn’t or that he dressed up like a servant but was pretending. It means he remained fully God and at the same time became a man and a servant.

In John 13 we see Jesus serving in an embarrassingly crude way. Granted, people in Jesus’ day had their feet washed by household servants, but the owner of the house did not do the washing and a Jew would never have been expected to do such a task. So for Jesus, both the master and a Jew, to wash the disciples’ feet was crude. It embarrassed the disciples because they should have provided for this task to be done for Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t see himself as above the task or embarrassed to perform it. The only explanation for this is that he became a servant. He took on the identity and the role of a servant. He was doing what servants do.

What Jesus did in the foot washing was practical in that he cleaned feet and showed us that we too can serve others. But it was also prophetic in that he was pointing to the ultimate act of service he would carry out on the cross. There on the cross, the Servant carried our sorrows and bore the sin of many (Isaiah 53).

Have you received the service of Jesus offered to you, or are you resisting the embarrassment of needing to have your feet washed?

Are you following the pattern of discipleship given to us by Jesus? Are you a servant?

Read Philippians 2:7 and John 13:5. What observations and applications do you draw from the service of Jesus?

– Scott