Jesus entered the upper room knowing:
- His closest friends would abandon him.
- He would suffer an agonizing death.
- Judas would betray him.
- Peter would deny him.
- All the disciples would desert him.
- The Jews would arrest him and illegally try him.
- The Romans would crucify him.
Talk about pressure.
Even though Jesus knew all this, we’re told: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (Joh 13:1 ESV).
On that night in that place Jesus loved his disciples and demonstrated his love with an unforgettable example of greatness in his kingdom. Never again would a servant wash the disciples’ feet without it reminding them of the Lord’s example. Never again would they imagine achieving greatness without recalling his hands, the water and towel.
All of this you likely know. But consider that Jesus served others in the face of impending rejection and pain. He could have obsessed over the approaching Cross. He could have whined, complained and sought sympathy. Instead he focused on his friends and served them.
And he calls us to follow his example. When pressure builds we must do as he did and serve others. If you’re currently feeling the weight of your problems try an experiment: meet the needs of those around you. Focus, not on your suffering but how you can serve others. This may not make your problems vanish. But it will align you with Jesus.