So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” —1 Peter 5:1–5 (ESV)
In today’s text Peter addresses both the elders and the youngers! To the elders, he instructs them to shepherd the flock of God and serve as an example. To the youngers, Peter’s challenge for them is to submit themselves to the elders. And to all, Peter says, be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility. He then paints for us all a picture of Christ wrapping himself prior to washing the disciple’s feet… wrapped in humility to serve, as if Jesus were a waiter putting on an apron. This is the picture of humility.
As I think about what genuine humility look like, it’s been said, the best way to measure my humility is to gauge my willingness to:
- Perform the lowest and littlest services for Jesus’ sake.
- Be conscious of our own inability to do anything apart from God.
- Be ignored by others.
- Not so much self-hate or depreciate but to self-forget and be truly others-centered instead of self-centered.
Today, Jesus is inviting us to join Him in washing the feet of those whom He loves. Need an apron?