12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant[c] is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (John 13:12-17)
Jesus instructs his apostles that not only has he given a symbolic lecture on the forgiveness of sins, but he has also given them an example to follow. No one shall consider themselves to be too good to serve the others, to do the work that needs to be done. Jesus came not to be served but to serve, so his apostles, will also go to serve and not to be served. He says a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. The word he uses that is translated messenger is apostle. This gives us an insight as to what an apostle is, he is a messenger, one who comes with a message that is not his own but someone else’s. In Jewish society an apostle was a person who was sent basically wit power of attorney to speak for someone, what ever they said then was as if the one who sent them said it. But they are not greater than the one who sends them, and if our Lord and savior came to serve, then those who are sent will serve. Our Lord served with the forgiveness of sins he gave. With this he washed our feet. So we too serve others with the forgiveness of sins that we have been given. The Christian life isn’t a perfect life, it is a forgiven life.