When one serves a King, one must follow the rule of that King. When one follows Jesus, one gets an added bonus: in the incarnation, Jesus rules as King and provides examples to all of His followers of what it looks like to serve one another.
On this Maundy Thursday, consider the value of Jesus’ words a few verses later (v 17), “Blessed are you if you do them.”
Read that verse again carefully, “Blessed are you if you do them.”
It’s not the knowing that matters to God, but the doing that gets the blessing.
Jesus, knowing He would suffer a criminal’s death in a few hours, stoops to serve the disciples by providing to them an example of serving others. The King performs the task of the slave. Then, He guarantees it with a promise–you will be blessed.
He has created a world where the servants will serve until they’re kings, where the poor serve until they inherit the kingdom, where those who mourn will be comforted, where the meek inherit all the earth, where peacemakers will be called sons of God, and where those persecuted for God will inherit His kingdom in heaven.
Tonight is the night that all of creation turns upside down: the meek become kings and the King becomes a servant.
All creation rises up against the Creator, and the Creator bows low and gives His life so creation can live again.
Thursday is for serving. Thursday is the new command. Thursday is our example. He washes dirty feet, feeds the hungry, quenches the thirst of the thirsty, and watches his closest friends desert Him.
All that, and its just Thursday.