A Lesson in Serving Others

This week at Everyday Truth, we're celebrating Easter with a family devotional each day. Each one is designed to be used with your kids to take a look at a different aspect of the Easter story

You know the one thing I miss the most about my life before children? Having the time, the patience and the money to go to a restaurant where you sit down, a waiter comes to your table and asks what you want then brings the food to you. After you're done eating, someone comes and clears the table for you.

Oh, we still occasionally eat at a restaurant like that, but not too often. It's just quicker, easier and cheaper to go someplace where you order at the counter, carry the food to your table and clear your own table at the end of your meal. Those types of eateries are also more likely to have "kids eat free" nights, which helps stretch the budget.

You see, the thing I miss about eating in a sit-down restaurant is the opportunity to be served. I like not having to do the work and letting someone else take care of me. Most people would rather be served than serve someone else.

Yet one of the last lessons Jesus taught us during His time here on earth was about serving others. As He gathered with His disciples for the Passover meal, He put on a towel and washed His disciples feet. Stop for a minute and read John 13:1-17 together to learn the whole story.

In Jesus' day, people either went barefoot or they wore open sandals. The roads were made of dirt, so feet got dirty. When they sat down to eat, they sat on the floor around a low table, so their feet were very close to the food. Washing your feet was important because who wants to eat with someone else's dirty feet just inches from your food?

The job of washing the guests' feet was usually given to the lowest servant. It certainly wasn't a pleasant job. Think about it. Would you want to wash someone else's dirty, smelly feet?

Yet, Jesus took on that job to teach His disciples a lesson about serving others. Jesus knew He wasn't going to be around to teach His disciples in person much longer, so He washed their feet to gave them a picture of what serving others looks like. Every time His disciples thought about serving someone else, they would see in their minds a picture of Jesus washing their feet.

Jesus said to the disciples "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you." (John 13:14-15) He instructed them to go serve other people.

Jesus didn't say, "If you're a grown-up, go serve other people." He told all of us to serve others. Even if you're a kid, you can find ways to serve other people. It can be as simple as helping a kid at school who drops his papers or it can be as big as starting your own organization to feed hungry kids. Just because you're young doesn't mean you can't serve other people. All it takes is seeing someone in need and choosing to meet that need. When we put others before ourselves and look for ways to serve them, we become like Jesus.

Before you finish today, take a sheet of paper and draw a picture of Jesus washing His disciples' feet. Hang it somewhere in your room where you will see it. Whenever you see that picture think about how Jesus thought serving others was so important that He used some of His final hours on earth to teach that lesson to His disciples. With that picture in your mind, go out and find a way to serve others today.