Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him (John 13:3-5, esv).
How did Jesus serve so lovingly and freely? In the midst of the foot-washing story recorded in John 13, His secret is revealed.
He had a deep, abiding sense of authority and identity. Jesus understood, beyond a shadow of a doubt, how His story would end and Who He is.
The Son of God knew where He came from and where He was going. Just on the other side of the tomb, He would be exalted to the right hand of the Father and given the highest name. Every human knee will bow to Him, and every mouth will acknowledge Him as Lord (Philippians 2:9–11). Jesus didn’t wonder about Himself or His mission. His identity was secure—and so is yours. Who are you?
You are loved. You are loved by God more than you could possibly imagine. His eyes are always upon you (Isaiah 49:16). He knows the exact number of days of your life (Psalm 139:16). He numbers the hairs on your head (Luke 12:7). He saves your tears in a bottle (Psalm 56:8). You are deeply, deeply loved by God.
You are accepted. Even if you feel like you never really fit in with your in-laws, you aren’t part of the inner circle at work, you have a hard time connecting at church—God accepts you. With all of your peculiarities and quirks, you’re in with the one who made the universe. You are His beloved child.
You are a conqueror. If you’re struggling with your identity or are hurting and really down on yourself, read Romans 8. You are a conqueror, and nothing—NOTHING—can separate you from God’s love (Romans 8:37–39).
How much differently would we approach life if we saw ourselves as God sees us? If we set aside our insecurities and embraced the reality of who we are in Christ: loved, accepted, victorious? Knowing who we are in Christ is an awesome thing. It’s what allows us to humble ourselves. Because of our unshakable identity, we too can serve as our Master did.
As you navigate your day, look for opportunities to serve. In your home or workplace, when someone needs to do the grunt work, why not you? After all, you have nothing to prove—you’re proven. You don’t have to fret over what others think or waste energy wondering about your worth—you are wholly, deeply, completely loved and accepted.
As a beloved child of God, nurture this secret of serving. You came from God, and you are going back to Him, so for the short interim between the two, serve as your Master did.
Father God, Your Word speaks to my mind and heart. I embrace who You say I am—a loved, accepted, victorious child of God. Because my identity through Jesus is secure, I can live, love, and serve the way He showed me. Forgive me for caring what others think of me; I choose to see myself the way You see me. Empowered by my unshakable identity, I choose today to serve You and others. In the name of my loving, awesome Servant-King, Jesus, amen.