The Ministry Of The Towel

Ann Richards, former governor of Texas, was a confident and at times a feisty woman. Once when visiting patients at a psychiatric hospital, she asked a patient, “Hi honey, do you know who I am?” The patient, thinking Richards was a fellow deranged sufferer said, “No, but if you walk up to the nurses’ desk, they will be able to tell you.”“Do you know who I am?” It is easy to get caught up with titles: Governor … Doctor … The Honorable … The Reverend … Mr. Speaker … Mr. Chairman … Mr. President! Titles aren’t bad, but when you look at Jesus, that never seemed to be his concern:

Before the Passover celebration, Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He now showed the disciples the full extent of his love. It was time for supper, and the Devil had already enticed Judas, son of Simon Iscariot, to carry out his plan to betray Jesus. 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 and to wipe them with the towel he had around him. (John 13:1-5 NLT)

Jesus was a servant. People who are servants understand something very important: Life is not about titles; it is about towels!  Take a look at the verse again: Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything. WOW!  Jesus had ALL authority. The One who spoke the world into existence was in their midst. Jesus could have said to the disciples: “Do you know who I am? You should be washing my feet!”  But he didn’t. He picked up a towel, poured the water into the basin, washed the disciples’ feet, and wiped them with the towel.

Jesus’ life was not about titles; it was about towels—serving others. And serving others is what he wants us to do. He said, ”And since I, the Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet” (John 13:14). Take a minute and preview your day. How can you exercise the ministry of the towel today?