If you missed part one of this post, take a click over and catch part one.
Have you ever noticed that God often asks us questions?
Call it conviction.
Call it insight.
Call it what you like, but if we will quiet our thoughts and read His word reflectively, we will often hear the questions God speaks to our hearts. Today I are still in John 13 as Jesus teaches through example. Washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus is a living picture of the humility of service.
Lesson Four: Don’t Skip the Washing
Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8
Has God ever surprised you with how he chooses to work? I am pretty sure none of the disciples entered the upper room that night expecting Jesus to wash their feet.
Am I willing to learn, when the lesson is not what I expected?
Being willing to let Christ cleanse our hearts and wash away our sin is integral to relationship with Christ. Some things we can’t skip. There is only one route to purity and that is through the cleansing of sin. True humility of service requires that we be cleansed from our inner-selfishness. I can’t pretend I don’t need it or that Christ isn’t interested in getting involved with the dirt on my feet.
Again, I sense the Spirit’s whisper, “Are you willing?”
Lesson Five: Knowing is not the same as doing.
IF you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. —John 13:17
If is an interesting word, isn’t it? Folded up in those two little letters is possibility and choice. The word If raises a question. Maybe we will, but then again…maybe we won’t.
There is blessing for us in obedience in serving others, even in the most menial of tasks. There is also sweet blessing in the cleansing touch of Christ. My eyes seem to stick on the word IF, as I recognize my tendency to know something but not follow through and do it.
Am I willing?
Lesson Six: Live it out.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.–John 13:34-35
I find it interesting that Jesus gives such a vivid demonstration of humility in serving others before teaching about the importance of loving one another. Context adds layers of meaning that I miss when I read this verse by itself. Serving and loving, can you really have one without the other?
At first glance, this is a seemingly simple command: love others.
Familiar words, until we read as I have loved you. Loving others as Christ has loved us requires a willingness to serve and sacrifice, to love without condition or expectation.
Am I willing?
Humility, willingness, service, cleansing, follow-through, and love-crucial steps to living out the foot-washing lessons of Christ. What we do is part of that visible picture of love that identifies a disciple.
From demonstration to command, Jesus never teaches for the sake of knowledge alone. The life-lessons of Christ are always tied to the transforming grace of obedience.
Lord, make me willing.
What are some of the ways you live out the Foot-Washing Lessons of Jesus? Leave a comment and share your story:)