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John 13:1-17

Tuesday, 7 December 2021

“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” John 13:15

It is quite usual for people to emulate others of great qualities in their lives, failing to realize that such people are imperfect humans with lot of frailties! Not so with Christ Jesus who was both perfect God and perfect man! Jesus encourages His disciples to look to Him and follow Him- His example! He will never fail to be that good example. Jesus’ beloved disciple further emphasizes this truth as he calls all of us who claim to live for Jesus, to always remember to live like Him. (1 John 2:6). Not an easy one but quite possible! We can live like Him provided we allow Him mastery of our lives.

As a believers in Jesus Christ, we probably enjoy serving Him in various ways when everything is going fine. But let opposition, condemnation and accusation come our way – then for most, there are only 2 responses: Fight or Flight!

Though Jesus knew that He was going to be betrayed and denied by the ones He loved, He still chose to teach them a valuable lesson to help them face similar situations in their lives. This lesson is not just for the 12 disciples but for every disciple of Christ living in every century.

Let us examine from our text what our Master taught us:

He willingly chose the role of a servant

Whenever we are wronged we fail to overlook the wrong done to us because we continue to rehearse and nurse our wounds. But Jesus taught us to rise above our situations! In Vs.3& 4 we read how Jesus took that deliberate step to rise up to do a very lowly task. He knew He had come from God and was returning to God- yet His position did not hinder Him from taking the role of a servant. If we ever want to see reconciliation in an estranged relationship, we need to ‘ rise up to bow down’ just as our Master did. We are sure to build many bridges in our relationships that lead others to Christ.

He willingly got himself dirty

V.5 says “He began to wash the disciples’ feet.” Walking on a dusty trail their feet were covered with grime and dirt. But that did not stop Jesus from soiling His hands, though He knew they were going to turn away and against Him. What is the Lord teaching us here? No matter what the grievance, He calls us to forgive the wrong done to us. One could never forget the words of Gladys Stains after her husband and sons were cruelly killed, “I have forgiven the killers and have no bitterness because forgiveness brings healing…” She displayed the nature of Her Master at that crisis moment! Can we do the same?

He willingly served them

V. 5 continues- He washed their feet and wiped them dry. Jim Elliot was one of the first missionaries to the natives of the Auca tribe. Yet, before he could share the gospel, he and his friends were speared to death. But it did not end there— Jim’s wife remained with these natives and served them and through her life of service she was able to introduce her Master to them! What a testimony!

Not all the feet Jesus wiped would follow Him that dark night when He was arrested. Yet it is written in Vs 1. “having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” He loved us to the point of laying down His life for us. Are we are willing to let go of all our prejudices and be willing to lay down our pride and anger so that we could win a few for Christ?

Thought for the Day: “A leader is one who knows the way, shows the way and goes the way.” - John C Maxwell

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