“If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
Jesus uttered the above words as He concluded His instructing of His disciples that they should follow His example of humble service. The instruction on the topic of humble service began after Jesus and His disciples had entered an upper room in Jerusalem for the Passover feast.
The disciples had entered the room without washing their feet, which was a customary practice of those days. Normally, the washing of the feet was done by a slave who would wait at the door. But there was no slave, though there were a towel, some water and a basin. Jesus then took a towel and water in a basin, approached His disciples and washed their feet. His action of washing their feet was an object lesson on humble service.
Jesus then said, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.” (vv. 15-17).
Thus, Jesus taught them not to act with high-mindedness. They should be like Jesus and should not act as though they were greater than Jesus. He reminded them that no slave is greater than his master. In other words, like Him, they should be humble to wash one another’s feet. The Lord’s concluding thought – “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” – reflects the biblical truth that blessing flows from obedience. As obedient servants of Christ, we must humbly serve one another with joy.