The Recipe for Humble Pie
by Kim Larsen
John 13:4 “Jesus arose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.”
This action opened the eyes of the disciples. Bitter shame and humiliation filled their hearts. They understood the unspoken rebuke and saw themselves in altogether a new light. So Christ expressed His love for His disciples. Their selfish spirit filled Him with sorrow, but He entered into no controversy with them regarding their difficulty. Instead, He gave them an example that they would never forget.
Prior to this meal, the disciples had been arguing about who was greatest. (Luke 23:24) I believe this began when the mother of two of the disciples asked the Lord if her boys could sit on his left and on his right in His Kingdom. This led to bickering among the disciples which then led to the whole group missing the significance of what was going to transpire with Jesus in the very near future. They apparently carried this argument to the last supper. It was customary for the hosts of the supper to provide water and offer to wash each other’s feet before the meal. They not only didn’t wash each other’s feet but also neglected their honored guest. Jesus waited until after the meal to get their attention by his act of service unto them. Can you imagine how it must have felt to have your Lord and master stoop to wash your feet? Especially after all of the talk of who was going to be first.
True humility lays aside self and exalts someone else. Becoming a servant to another’s needs. I had a falling out of a very close relationship a few years ago. A family member and I had entered into a home business together, against the advice of everyone that I knew! Anyway… things went smoothly for quite a while until one day, we didn’t agree. When we were kids we could always have an argument, walk away for awhile and kiss and make up. We were very close. It didn’t work this time! Things had been said, a line had been drawn in the sand. It all happened very quickly. We didn’t speak for over a year. We both made half hearted attempts. When she was ready to talk, I wasn’t, and when I was, she wasn’t. Pride kept getting in the way. Who was right? Did I mean the things that I had said? Anger and resentment rose up again and again, then sadness for the relationship lost. The conversations, the laughs we used to have. Guilt poured over me in waves when I would see her. God was working on my heart, I finally came to the end of self. I confessed to the Lord first and made things right with Him. You know when relationships are off with people, usually our relationship with God is off too.
I had an unbelievable urge to go make things right with her now. This time, my heart was right. I meant it when I said I was sorry. It wasn’t easy, but it felt really, really good when she accepted my apology and we made up! Humility is gained by emptying self completely. Jesus was a humble servant to others, as we should be to those we share the planet with. Humble pie tastes pretty sweet, after you wash the pie off your face.