Heavenly Footprints: Unveiling Divine Humility

What might the celestial hosts have pondered, observing their Creator on His knees washing mortal feet? Those fiery seraphs, who honor the Son around His throne with covered feet (Isaiah 6:2), must have been overwhelmed with wonder. How could the Holy One, they must have thought, humble Himself to cleanse these rough, weary, unlovely feet?

Did their thoughts resonate with the psalmist’s astonishment, “What is the man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Did they relate to Peter’s shocked disbelief, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” and his adamant refusal, “You shall never wash my feet” (John 13:6, 8)?

From their heavenly vantage point, this moment of service must have been even more awe-inspiring than Jesus’s miracles. The angels had witnessed the creation of the world, they had heard the stars sing in harmony and the sons of God rejoice with joy unspeakable (Job 38:7). They were already well acquainted with God’s power to perform miracles and give life. What truly set this act apart was its humility – it was a testimony to the character of God.

In this instance, the King of all kings willingly took on the humble role of a servant. The eternal God, who sat at the Father’s right hand, was willingly subservient to His creatures, washing their feet even as they were soon to abandon Him in fear. This display of divine humility was far more than a show of omnipotence – it was a testament to God’s character.

The Perspective of Service

How enlightening it would be to perceive this act as the angels or God Himself did. Thankfully, John, moved by the Holy Spirit, captured it in scripture. His account offers two significant details often overlooked:

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper . . . and began to wash his disciples’ feet. (John 13:2–5)

These subtle details offer a glimpse into the psychology of Jesus’s heavenly servitude as He foreshadowed the coming cross. They help us understand what motivated Jesus to rise from supper and begin to wash the disciples’ feet.

In the midst of his wealth from God and His anticipated return to the Father, Jesus chose to perform the humble act of washing his disciples’ feet. Jesus, possessing all things from the Father and understanding His origin and destiny, willingly stooped low in service. This act encapsulates two vital truths that can inspire us to a life of humble service:

  1. Our Wealth in God: Jesus recognized and contemplated the riches He had received from God before rising to serve His disciples. This wasn’t a service borne out of lack, but of abundance. A wealthy King served His disciples not out of need but out of love.
  2. Our Homecoming: Jesus was conscious of His divine origin and His future return to God. He looked beyond the washing of feet and the forthcoming cross to the joy of returning to His Father. This perspective empowered Him to perform the humble act of service.

Jesus’s Service as Our Example

Jesus left us an example to follow – not just in His actions, but in His thought process. The psychology of Jesus’s service teaches us that we should serve not from a place of want, but from knowing our abundance and our eternal home in Him.

Our reluctance to serve often stems from our sense of lack. However, Jesus reminds us that in Him, we have all things. Even in the act of serving, we don’t lose God’s favor or our place in His house. With our future secure, no act of service should be beneath us.

Like Jesus, we are on a journey back to the Father. The perspective of our future glory should empower us to serve in the most humble of ways. As we move towards our heavenly home, let us strive to mirror the humility and servitude of Jesus. May our divine satisfaction be evident in our service to others, leaving heavenly footprints in this self-centered world.