Please read John 13:1-17 carefully. In these verses, Jesus literally & physically demonstrates an act of servitude to set the example for all of those who would follow Him. What we read in John 13-17 is very important, because they were Jesus’ last instructions, words and deeds on this earth - before He would die on the cross. The fact that Jesus personally demonstrated this makes it all the more powerful in my opinion.
What did He do? He put off His robe and put a towel around His waste, got on His knees, and washed the dirty feet of His disciples. The Creator washed the feet of his creation. It’s almost unthinkable, but Jesus wanted to drive home this truth: If you want to be the greatest in God’s Kingdom, you must be last of all servant of all. If you want to be esteemed the highest, you must put yourself low. If you want to be exalted, you must be humble. If you want the chief position, take the lowest (Mk 9:33-35, Matt 20:25-28, Lk 14:10-11). The way up is down. The way to prosper is to give. The way to be happy is to serve others. Jn 13:17 says, “If you know (see, perceive, understand) these things, happy (supremely blessed, fortunate, and well off) are you if you do (carry out, execute, perform) them.”
We usually seek happiness by serving ourselves and trying to please ourselves. We think if we indulge “self”, and give “self” whatever it wants; then “self” will be happy. But it never is. The flesh is never satisfied, and the more you cater to self, the more miserable you become. Self centered people can never be truly happy people. Sure, you’ll get a temporary “buzz” you call happiness when you have one more sexual conquest; one more drunk or high; one more business deal; one more vacation; one more purchase; etc. However, it is always fleeting. You will be empty again in no time. It is no true happiness. No abiding joy.
We are to walk as Jesus walked (1Jn 2:6). He did not come to be served, but to serve (2Cor 8:9, Heb 12:2, Rom 15:1-3). He put others before Himself. Jesus said as we have done unto the least of people, we have done unto Him. You can only truly serve God by serving other people. We are to let the mind of Christ be in us, and not seek our own benefit, but someone else’s (Philp 2:1-8).
“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.” - John Wesley. Allowing Christ to live through us will cause us to prefer others over ourselves (Rom 12:10, 16). Paul became servant. He became all things to all men, that he might save some (1Cor 9:19-22). D.L. Moody said, “There are many of us that are willing to do great things for the Lord, but few of us are willing to do little things“. Will you do the “little thing” of putting others first, and being a servant? It is not little in Gods eyes, but it seems to be in our eyes.
We must be honest with ourselves, and make sure love is the motivating factor in our service (Gal 5:13). It is possible to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. Jerry Bridges wrote, “We all know people, even unbelievers, who seem to be natural servants. They are always serving others one way or another. But God does not get the glory; they do. It is their reputation that is enhanced. But when we, natural servants or not, serve in dependence upon the grace of God with the strength He supplies, God is glorified.” May we serve Jesus by serving others in sincerity. Jack Hyles wrote, “Love is the doorway through which the human soul passes from selfishness to service.”
We fulfill the law of Christ, when we bear each other’s burdens (Gal 6:1-2). We will also be extremely blessed when we understand that all we do to other people we are doing unto the Lord (Col 3:17-24). Serving your children; spouse; employer; church; parents; etc. becomes a privilege and honor, when we consider we are serving Jesus when we do. Let us try to always remember that. I’ll leave you with this: it is recorded by Paul that Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”. The word “blessed” here is the same word for “happy” in Jn13:17; And wouldn’t you know it, it is talking about putting others first!
You hold the key to your happiness. Will you use it? Will you be proactive, and not reactive? Will you decide to put God’s Word to action, and start making serving others and putting their needs first the priority in your life? Start with your family. It will be challenging, but anything worth having usually is. How to be happy according to Jesus? Be least of all and servant of all. Have a blessed Resurrection Sunday! Come visit us if you do not have church home!