Our task is at hand, and as we venture into John 13, particularly, Jesus makes it very clear as to what shape that task is to take in our lives. We are to humble ourselves in love and serve our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is as simple as it is difficult.
You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. (Jn. 13:13-15, ESV)
In what might be the most captivating picture of Jesus as King up to this point in John, we see Him kneel in front of each and everyone of His disciples … to wash their feet. Now as Steve Valdez explained on Sunday, though this act itself might have not been all that out of the ordinary for people in those days, it was an act done almost exclusively … by servants—and in most every case if there was more than one … the lowest of servants. There was and is no glory in such a humble act, and yet, Jesus the God-man did it regardless.
He calls us to do the same.
As Jesus’ ministry has now ended from a public standpoint, it is entering another far more intimate stage with some of His closest friends: the Disciples. Jesus is just beginning to embark on the Last Supper. And what we will soon read about as a result is filled to the brim with all sorts of rich and edifying goodness … appropriately starting with the meekest of acts.
Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. (Jn. 13:16-17, ESV)
Thus, we see Jesus do what so many of us will not: He knelt and washed the feet of those He loved … including one who would soon deny Him, and another who would betray Him to death.
Jesus did it then, and we should continue to do it as well.
Here are some other takeaways from John 13-14:
- To be heroes, you must be servants first. It’s a lot harder to be humble than to be a hero.
- Jesus predicts Peter’s denial as well as Judas Iscariot’s betrayal. He washes their feet still. (Jn. 13:2, 10-11, 18-19, 21-30, 36-38)
- Our association with Jesus does not elevate us to some higher place of being. We are called to be His disciples and do what He did.
- Who are you not willing to “wash the feet” of in the name of Jesus? And how can you go to that person so you can love and serve them anyways?
- We all have a little Peter in us, and thus, it is important to check ourselves with the Holy Spirit and listen to what He tells us to do.
- Jesus continues to kneel in front of us today through His actions we read about in His Word. And in response, it is our duty to ask ourselves how we will respond to this reality.
- Where the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke give us a more retrospective of Jesus’ ministry, John focuses on some the most intimate moments of His ministry you cannot find anywhere else.
- Where Matthew, Mark, and Luke spend a chapter or so on the Last Supper, John spends nearly five chapters there in John 13-17.
Now it is your turn. Write out and share some of your biggest takeaways from Steve’s sermon, along with your own study of John 13-14, with someone you know today.
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. (Jn. 13:1, ESV)
Our study of the GOSPEL OF JOHN in review: