3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:3-5)
12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. (John 13:12-15)
Over the last two days we have observed how Jesus related to his countrymen and the religious establishment during Passion Week. Today, we turn our attention to how Jesus related to His disciples during the same week. Fellowship, counsel and service are in full display in our passages for today.
Jesus is a master teacher and He invested a lot into His disciples. The fact that He chose to teach the disciples in the way that He did shortly before his crucifixion should be very instructive to us, and we would do well to pay attention.
Please read the passages above and answer the questions below.
- To what extent is the example that Jesus set reflected in the interactions you have with other believers?
- How can you follow the example of Jesus more closely in you interactions with fellow believers?
March 23, 2016 at 3:13 am
What really sticks out to me in this passage is the combination of humility and service. I think it’s a powerful ability to have a heart of service, and to do so humbly. As I grow in my spiritual walk, I see myself and other fellow believers around me learning and growing to have this heart towards one another.
March 23, 2016 at 6:08 am
The need to (purposely) build relationships with fellow believers is evident through Jesus’ behaviour. To do this with humility, with dedication. Hebrews 12:2…keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus.
March 23, 2016 at 6:09 am
In addition to fellowship, counsel and service, Jesus once again is illustrating his amazing humility and love. When it would have been unheard of for a rabbi and teacher to wash his students’ feet, Jesus once again was revolutionary. Also, it amazes me of his discipline to continue to teach and counsel even though his death was near. I pray for this discipline. I pray to have this love, humility and willingness to serve all with whom I meet and interact .
March 23, 2016 at 6:39 am
I like the statement that “Jesus knew that He had come from God” – so was secure in His identity – “and that He was returning to God” – so had limited time and thus strong motivation to make this His ultimate teaching. So without any limiting insecurities and with ultimate motivation, this is what He chooses to do. You are right Norman in pointing out the extent to which we should pay attention.
And what does He do? He stoops to perhaps the lowest of tasks, and does so with the highest degree of dignity. Oh what a model we have in Jesus! Oh to have and maintain the mind of Christ in all Christian service (service in His name, after all).
Though His instruction is not merely a literal one, I have partaken in this once, and oh what a powerful experience, hard to put into words, both for servant and the served. But that was to a very dear friend and pastor, my shepherd at the time. Would I do the same for my sheep? Certainly I need to be prepared to, and more than that, intentional about such service, prepared to sacrifice – and in fact sacrificing – all status or even hint thereof, and also to condemn always any thoughts of superiority or self-righteousness, for the sake of service to my brothers and sisters in Christ. Do I have room to grow in this area? I most certainly do. Thank you Jesus for the power of your lessons and the way you taught us by doing.
Empower us by your Holy Spirit to follow you.
March 23, 2016 at 9:48 am
Being a relatively new in my Christian walk, I don’t have a whole lot of interactions and examples with other Believers I can draw from. But I find the passage very delightful in that I never looked at it quite in this way – I viewed it mostly as a ritual – now I see it is so much more than that. First and foremost, know your worth – we are God’s righteousness through Jesus Christ (see 2 Cor, 5:21, Romans 3:22) and to HIM we are going – we can be secure in this promise. Secondly, learn humility – regarding other believers above yourself (see Philip. 2:3). Once we are secure in ourselves and know who we are, we can be less guarded in our interaction with Believers.
I think we can follow Jesus’ example more closely in our interactions with Believers by having a tender heart towards Believers, looking for opportunity to show kindness and bring comfort to others. This could be small things – like taking the time to ask someone who you would not usually interact with how their day was. Making others feel special, wanted will go a long way in bringing cohesiveness to the Church and a much needed slice of the Kingdom experience among the fellowship of Believers.
March 23, 2016 at 9:58 am
There was a time in my life where I was in need, and christian women who I literally didn’t know (I was new to the USA, and knew no one) helped me physically in ways that only my mother, husband or nurse should. There are some situations that are dirty to do, that takes humility and love to perform. Sister Oliver told a story of her mother who bathed a very dirty street woman. My question is “am I only willing to help with the easy cleaner help needs?” How far does my humility and love extend? Lord please engrave upon my heart your humility and love, and when the need arises help me to be prepared, committed, persuaded, and totally sold out for you.
March 23, 2016 at 11:39 am
Knowing who I am in Christ makes it easy for me to follow His example . In this scenario, He was humble enough to wash His disciples feet but “when He had finished washing , He put on His clothes and returned to His place.” Thank God, I have no problem in being humble even to the extent of doing so-called menial tasks so I can switch from cleaning the floor or weeding the grass to lecturing at a university or even debating the President of the U.S. if given the opportunity! My identity is not about the tasks I do but rather about who I am. I’m always reminded that the greatest among us is the least, though I don’t claim to be the greatest in the eyes of the world. Apart from who I am in Christ, I can do like Jesus because of my upbringing where thankfully both my parents led by example and taught me to neither think of myself above or below anyone or consider anything too menial or too sophisticated for me to do. Not only is Jesus’ example reflected in my interaction with other believers but also with unbelievers, by His grace. When my mother put on her gloves and took that woman from off the road to bathe her, clothe her, feed her and give her things to go home with (for her mother lived in the community!) that woman was certainly not a believer! And many (if not most) of the acts of kindness that I’ve seen my parents do are to unbelievers in desperate situations. We too can be humble, compassionate, kind and service- oriented.