Ministry is not glamorous
In the time of the New Testament, the lowest slave got the job of washing the feet of those who entered their master’s house. Their job was to wash the dust off the feet of the guests — it was a sign of hospitality. It was probably the job that no slave want to do and could not wait till they stepped up in rank so someone else could do it. In John we are told that Jesus knowing full well that had authority over everything, took on the role of the lowest servant.
Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him. John1 3:3-5
Then John tells us that after he was done with washing all of the disciples’ feet he told the disciples to follow his example by becoming the lowest servant of all,
After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message.Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them. John 13:12-32
The disciples understood what Jesus was teaching us about humbling oneself so they could minister for Christ. Many of the disciples lived the life of humility, spending time in jail, traveling to unfriendly places, hunted down to be killed. Their lives were not glamorous. I think that is what Jesus was teaching us in this story — ministry is not to be glamorous, it is to take care of those who need Jesus and sometimes in will be mess, like giving a little girl a sponge bath because her mother has not given her a bath in a week and she smells like urine. Most of the time, it is done in every day events.
So what about us Christians in the twenty first century? Humility is not one of the things that are highly praise for especially here in the United States where humility is looked down upon, where everyone needs their moment in the spot light. Yet, Jesus is showing us that humility is true ministry Still God has called us to humble ourselves so he can work through us. Most times as humans we want to do the big awesome ministry so that people will see us and praise us. In one little act Jesus taught that there is nothing glamorous about ministry. Really ministry happens most times in those moments when no spot lights are shining on us. When we are taking care of the needs of people around us that seems like every day events. In the moment that Jesus took the basin and towel and did a job that the lowest servant did every day showed us that really ministry is doing acting of little things that will not get people attention.