12 Therefore, when He had washed their feet and He had put on His clothes He also reclined again. He said to them: “Do you know what I have done for you?”
13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say so rightly, for I am.
14 If I, your Lord and Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15 For just I have given you as example, you should do what I have done for you.
16 In all sincerity I tell you that a slave is not greater than his Lord, neither is the one who is sent greater than the one who sends him.
17 If you know these things, you are happy if you should do them.
There is a time to work and serve, and there is a time to rest. Jesus did not recline until He had finished the job of serving His disciples by washing their feet. He did not take it easy until He had done the job.
Once Jesus had begun to wash the feet of His disciples He had to keep going until He had washed all of their feet. It was not a job that He could leave half way through, telling the others that they would have to wait until they had finished eating.
Perseverance in whatever God has called us to do is essential, so that we do not give up.
God’s word tells us:
So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time – Galatians 6.9 (NLT).
Just as Jesus finished the job before reclining, we also must learn to complete the tasks that He gives us, before we take it easy. If we feel like we are getting tired and weary in the tasks we have been given to do, then we know that the presence of the Holy Spirit will fire us up again with His energy.
Jesus went on to ask the disciples if they understood what He had done for them.
It is true to say that there are many things that we do not understand, things of this world, plus many things of God.
On the other hand there are those things that we do understand. I do not understand much about how a car works, but I do understand how to drive a car.
My ability to drive is not restricted by my lack of knowledge and understanding on how the vehicle works.
In a similar manner, our ability to serve Jesus is not dependent upon our understanding of what He has asked us to do. Instead, doing what He calls us to do is dependent upon our faith and trust in Him.