Matthew 23:11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant.
John 13:4-5- so Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.
John 13:14-15 - 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.
Mark 10:44-45 And whoever wishes to be first among you shall be servants of all. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Nobody likes being the water boy, right? I mean, who wants to humble themselves and fill up everyone’s water? The hockey mentality is one of ‘if I am better than you, you serve me.’ It is a very prideful mentality. There is almost no service at all. Filling up the water bottles is one of the lowest acts someone on the hockey team must do. Sometimes the water boy isn't even a player on the team, but rather a player who couldn't make the team, or a healthy scratch for that game. You rarely see the captain of the team, or the leading goal scorer filling up waters. That type of service is almost un-heard of in the hockey world – and it’s not too common outside of hockey either.
In Jesus’s day, it was custom for the lowest person at a gathering to wash the feet of all the guests. In John 13 we see a story where no one would claim that spot. Just like so many hockey players who think filling water is beneath them, so all the disciples were too proud to wrap the towel around themselves and grab the water. Then Jesus set an example that was as counter cultural then as it is today – the leader served those around Him, even through the lowliest of tasks. In doing so, Jesus showed that He cared more about His disciples than prideful notions.
One of the most astounding things about this story is that Jesus washed all twelve of His disciples’ feet, including Judas’s. But Judas was going to betray Jesus in less than 12 hours – Jesus knew this -and still He served even the man who would soon betray him! Sometimes it’s hard to serve people – and while most of us don’t have someone plotting to kill us, most have a player or parent on his or her team who just really gets on your nerves. Jesus calls us to serve them to.
There are many ways we can serve those around us. In hockey it may be a coach helping to unload the bus. It may be a team captain filling water bottles. Outside of hockey it might be getting coffee for coworkers, or sweeping floors because it’s needed. Despite what some believe, showing humility to serve those around you is not demeaning or a sign of weakness. On the contrary, those who do are the greatest among us (Matt 23:11). Jesus has set the example; it is time for those on His team to follow His example.
- What are the ‘lowliest’ tasks that no one wants to do on the team or in the work place? Who usually does them? What would be the impact of you doing them?
- How can you serve your teammates/players this week?
- Players- how can you serve the one player on your team who you really don’t get along with?
- Coaches- how can you serve that one parent who really gets on your nerves week after week?
For additional reading – Philippians 2:5-8, Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 4:10
Posted on Tue, November 12, 2013
by Alex Randazzo filed under