While studying John, in preparation for teaching the book next year. I came across this verse, which got me thinking…
Joh 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
This verse serves as a commentary on the thought-process of Jesus, just before He does one of His most remarkable acts. The Man who fed the hungry, healed the blind and raised the dead saved His most stunning act for the intimacy of this upper room: He is going to wash His disciples’ feet.
He—the Master, the Rabbi, the Son of God Himself—will humble Himself to do the lowliest task done typically by the lowliest servant.
Why does He do it? John tells us that He knew that the Father had given all things into His hands. He knew He was come from God. And He knew that He was going back to God. In other words, the Lord was so secure in who He was, both personally and spiritually, that He had no ego to be bruised by washing feet. He had no pride to be wounded by humbling Himself in such a way.
The Bible does not teach us to have high “self esteem.” It teaches us to esteem others greater than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). Jesus perfectly demonstrated that here and John tells us that Jesus’ self-respect was tempered by humility and a desire to serve. He was not insecure as a person. He was secure and humble; being the perfect object for us to emulate.
Don’t have self-esteem. Have Christ-esteem. Have “others”-esteem.
And have self-respect. Have enough of it that you are willing to humble yourself and serve others.