My Creative Writing teacher in high school is one of the big reasons I’m a writer today. The notes and comments he made on my papers and journal writing made me feel like I had something to say worth listening to. He told me I had a future as a writer.

In movies like: “The Miracle Worker” (1962), “To Sir With Love” (1967), “Lean on Me” (1989), the “Christy” series (1994-95), “Mr. Holland’s Opus” (1995), “Coach Carter” (2005), “Akeelah and the Bee” (2006), “Freedom Writer’s (2007), “Precious” (2009), and more, teachers and coaches changed the lives of students who would otherwise have had no hope for the future. The only things on the horizon were gangs, teen pregnancy, drugs, alcohol, prison, and early death.

Jesus was the ultimate Teacher. Like any good instructor, He has rules (like homework, practice, and learning to respect others), but keeping them builds our character and feeds our sense of purpose in life. With Him, we realize we can rise from the dim prospects previously before us to a new and glorious future. 

One of the last things Jesus did with His disciples was to teach them how to serve. This was an unexpected tutorial from One they expected to defeat Rome and take over the throne any day. He demonstrated His message so memorably, that we repeat it often to others and ourselves and try to follow His example.

“When he had finished washing their feet, [Jesus] put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them’” (John 13:12-17).

There are five lessons of hope in what Jesus taught His disciples:

I AM your Teacher

What could be better than learning how to succeed in life than from the Creator of life Himself? Jesus was a Teacher of authority, because there is no one greater than Him.

I have washed your feet

Can you imagine what that felt like? So humbling and honoring at the same time. We may not have been at this particular scene, but if we call Him Lord, He has washed us as well—from sin, habits, wrong attitudes, from the ruins of our past, and in many other ways.

I gave you an example to follow

The best teachers show their students how to do the job right. Jesus wrapped a towel around His waist and did the unpleasant work usually left for the lowliest servant in the house—washing stinky, dusty feet. Stooping, washing, drying, emptying the basin, and doing it again for each one there. Even the one who was to betray Him.  

No servant is greater than his Master

If we think we’re too good to serve others, it’s time to think again. If we feel what God asks us to do is beneath us, we need to look again at what Jesus did for us. Only His Spirit in us can enable us to willingly kneel and serve.

You will be blessed if you do this

If we do what Jesus does, say what Jesus says, and go where Jesus goes, we will be blessed. We may not get rich by worldly standards, and we may not enjoy perfect health, but we will live in perfect wholeness with Him. That wonderful intimacy will be complete when we go to live with the One who loved us enough to teach us how to be like Him–to serve, suffer, and die to ourselves so we might live forevermore.

“How Many Kings” Downhere