Summary: Simon says, "touch your nose. . ." Jesus says, "follow my example." With a servant’s heart you won’t just "win the game;" you will have the blessing of God’s hand upon your life. Will you willing to take up the towel and serve others like Jesus did?
As a child I was never very good at the game “Simon Says.” You remember how that game is played don’t you? The leader plays the part of Simon, and everyone playing has to do what Simon says. Of course the catch is that you are only to do what Simon says when Simon says, “Simon says. . .” Whenever you would fail to follow Simons instructions, or if you did something Simon says without saying “Simon says. . .” then you’re out. I usually one of the first players out of the game being caught doing something that Simon would instruct us do without saying the magic words, “Simon says.” I also had a hard time getting my friends out when I played the part of Simon because I would give away when they weren’t supposed to do something with a pause followed by “Aahhh... do this” what ever that may have been. Now I have improved at this game with age, so if anyone is daring enough to take up a “Simon says” tournament, then you can count me in!
>> Children enjoy playing games. They will also use their imaginations pretending what life will be like when they are grown up. Children watch their parents and other grown ups and then pretend to be like them. Sometimes it’s scary how well they can put themselves into real life situations that they have observed. I’ve watched with awe as my children have pretended to drive the car, get married, have children, and go off to work (and it’s amazing how quickly their games are turning into reality).
Jesus says that unless you become as little children, you cannot inherit the kingdom of God (Mark 10:14-15). As believers we are supposed to “Follow the Leader.” We are not just playing a divine game of “Jesus says,” but we are expected to live like Jesus lived and obey His commandments. Easier said than done right?
Look with me at one of Jesus final moments with His disciples on the night He was betrayed in John 13. It is here that we find Jesus doing the unexpected, the Teacher, the Master, the One who is the Light of the world, the only begotten Son, the One who is Emmanuel–God with us, the Miracle Worker, the Creator of heaven and earth, God of very God, Jesus Christ takes the role of the servant and washes His disciples’ feet.
+ John 13:1-17 1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, "Lord, are you going to wash my feet?" 7Jesus replied, "You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand." 8"No," said Peter, "you shall never wash my feet." Jesus answered, "Unless I wash you, you have no part with me." 9"Then, Lord," Simon Peter replied, "not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!" 10Jesus answered, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you." 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. "Do you understand what I have done for you?" he asked them. 13"You call me ’Teacher’ and ’Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (NIV)
Look again at what Jesus said in verses 12-17 and think carefully about what it means. The Message puts it like this: