AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW
Wednesday, 17 April 2019
John 13 : 1-17
“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.” -John 13:15
We often look up to or try to emulate certain people in our lives but at some point, we see their frailties peeping through the great qualities they possess! Knowing that imperfect man can fail to become an example to follow, Jesus encourages His disciples to look to Him and follow Him— He will never falter or fail to be that good example. Jesus’ beloved disciple further emphasizes this truth as he calls us who claim to live for Jesus, to always remember to live like Him. [1 John 2:6 paraphrased]. Now that indeed is a tough yet powerful order! But we can live like Him, provided we allow Him mastery of our lives.
Most of us as believers of Jesus Christ, enjoy serving Him in various ways when everything is going fine. But let opposition, condemnation and accusation come our way – then 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 face similar situations in their lives. This lesson is not just for the 12 disciples but for every disciple of Christ through every age.
So, what did our Master teach 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. In John 13:3-4 we read how Jesus took that deliberate step to rise up to do a very lowly task, though 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 would lead others to Christ.
He willingly got himself dirty- John 13:5 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, even while knowing 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 forgive so that healing sets in broken relationships?
He willingly served them- John 13:5 continues- He washed their feet and wiped them dry. Jim Elliot was one of the first missionaries to the natives of the Auca tribe. But 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! Serving in challenging times is what Jesus portrayed for us to follow.
Not all the feet Jesus wiped would follow Him that dark night when he was arrested. Yet it is written in John 13:1. “…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, to lay down our pride and anger so that we could win a few for Christ?
Quote for the Day:
“A leader is one who knows the way,
shows the way and goes the way.”
-John C Maxwell
Listen- ‘People need the LORD’
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