The Great Teacher Served Other People
DO YOU like it when someone does something for you?— Well, other people like it when someone does something for them too. We all do. The Great Teacher knew that, and he was always doing things for people. He said: ‘I came, not to be served, but to serve.’—Matthew 20:28.
So, if we want to be like the Great Teacher, what must we do?— We must serve others. We must do good things for them.
It is true, many people do not do this. In fact, most people always want others to serve them. At one time even Jesus’ followers felt this way. Each one wanted to be the most important.
Jesus knew that it was not right for them to think this way. So, one day he gave them a lesson that they would never forget.
While they were having a meal together, Jesus got up from the table. He took a washbasin and put water into it. As they watched, Jesus went around to each one of them, bent down and washed their feet. Then he dried their feet with a towel. Just think of that! What if you had been there and Jesus had washed your feet? How would you have felt?—
His followers did not feel it was right for the Great Teacher to serve them in this way. They felt embarrassed. In fact, one of them was not going to let Jesus do this lowly service for him. But Jesus said that it was important for him to do it.
We do not usually wash one another’s feet today. But it was common to do it when Jesus was on earth. Do you know why?—
Well, in the land where they lived, people wore open sandals on their bare feet. So when they walked on the dirt roads, their feet got covered with dust. It was a kindness to wash the dusty feet of a person who came into the house to visit.
But this time not one of Jesus’ followers offered to wash the feet of the others. So Jesus did it himself. By doing this, Jesus taught his followers an important lesson. They needed to learn this lesson. And it is a lesson that we today need to learn.
Do you know what that lesson is?— After Jesus took his place at the table again, he explained: ‘Do you understand what I did to you? You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and you are right. If I, your Teacher and Lord, washed your feet, then you should wash the feet of one another.’—John 13:2-14.
Here the Great Teacher showed that he wanted his followers to serve one another. He did not want them to think only about themselves. He did not want them to think that they were so important that others should always serve them. He wanted them to be willing to serve others.
Wasn’t that a fine lesson?— Will you be like the Great Teacher and serve other people?— We can all do things for others.
It is not hard to serve other people. If you watch, you will find many things that you can do for other persons.
Think now: Is there anything you can do to help your mother? You know that she does many things for you and the rest of the family. Can you help her?— Why not ask her?—
Maybe you can set the table before the family eats. Or maybe you can stack the dirty dishes after the family finishes eating. Some children take the garbage out every day. Whatever it is you can do, it will be serving others, even as Jesus did.
Do you have younger brothers and sisters that you can serve?— Remember, Jesus, the Great Teacher, served even his followers. By serving your younger brothers and sisters, you will be copying Jesus.
What can you do for them? Can you think of anything?— Maybe you can help them to learn to put their toys away when they are finished playing. Or maybe you can help them to get ready for bed. They will come to love you for doing these things, just as Jesus’ followers loved him.
In school, too, you can serve other people. If someone drops his books, it would be kind of you to help him to pick them up. You might offer to clean the blackboard for your teacher, or to do something else for her. Even holding the door open for someone is a kind service.
At times we will find that people will not thank us for serving them. Do you think this should stop us from doing good?— No! Many people did not thank Jesus for his good works. But that did not stop him from doing good.
So let’s never hold back from serving people. Let’s always follow the example of Jesus.