Are We Willing?

Evening settles as men gather around a table for dinner.  They do not yet know these are last moments carved out of time to have one final lesson with the Master.

Are We Willing Lessons on Love and Humility

Jesus could have talked about many things on this last evening with the disciples. They could have spent the time reminiscing the many stories they had lived together. He could have reviewed three years of teaching.

But last moments are for the heart and Christ leaves his disciples with one last, powerful lesson on love and humility.

He “rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:4-5

Getting up from the table, leaving the comfort of a good meal as Jesus purposefully lowers his position. Willingly he places himself in the position of a servant, the one with the most menial of tasks–to wash the feet filthy with the dust of the road and the sludge of life.

Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. John 13:12-15

As Christ washes the filth from feet, example becomes the tool–learning in the living, actions bring words to life and we will never be the same.

Knowing the moment of his betrayal by one of his own is set in motion, Jesus washes feet that walk across the heartache and trouble of this world gaping wide with sin.

Get up from the table.

Acts of service require that we get up from the table. Service begins with a willingness to stop what we may be doing in order to serve others.

Are we willing?

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Lay it aside.

Laying aside his garments…Jesus prepared to do the menial work of a servant, washing the feet of his disciples. How many times have we grumbled when interrupted? How easily we balk when it comes to putting the interests of others before our own.

Are we willing?

The power of cleansing.

Peter responds, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answers, “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’m sure none of the disciples entered the upper room that night expecting Jesus to wash their feet.

Are we willing to learn, when the lesson is not what we expected?

True humility of service requires that we are cleansed from selfishness and sin.

Are we willing?

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? Packed with possibility and choice, the word If raises a question. Maybe we will, but then again…maybe we won’t.

There is a blessing for us in obedience in serving others, even in the most menial of tasks.

Are we willing?

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

Without love we are bankrupt souls and our greatest work turns to dust in the light of eternity.

Why does Jesus close out his time on earth, his last peaceful moments of friendship, emphasizing the importance of loving one another? These are the last hours before the world will rise against him with the harsh words chanted by frenzied crowds, “Crucify him, crucify him!

When we dig beneath the soil of our ambitions, our greatest need and our deepest struggle is to love and be loved. “Love me,” is the cry of every heart. “Am I lovedAm I loveableAm I worth loving?” is the question that hides in every motivation, desire, and conflict.

Why this lesson on love?

  • Love is like oxygen, we can’t live without it.
  • Love is where life is lived, salvation worked out, and victory won.
  • Loving God and loving one another is the one foundation we cannot do without.
  • Love is the motivation of humility.

Without love, service is meaningless, teaching becomes noise, and faith misses the point.

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, expectation, or position.

Lord, make us willing.

Hanging out with these fun bloggers: #TestimonyTuesday, #TellHisStory. Coffee For Your Heart,  #PorchStories, #FreshMarketFriday, and Grace and Truth.

 

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Hi Ginger, I wrote on this Bible story this week too. I like your question “Are we willing to learn, when the lesson is not what we expected?” Visiting from #coffeeforyourheart

    • Ginger Harrington

      I’ll look forward to reading your post on this same passage! I love the way God directs us in a variety of ways as we respond to His word. Thanks for visiting today, Sarah.

  2. oooh… good stuff Ginger!

  3. Great post post Ginger. “Without love we are bankrupt souls….” So good!

  4. Love one another, the most simple yet complex command Jesus ever gave. Love this devotional!

    • Ginger Harrington

      You are so right–it is simple yet complex. Loving one another can be challenging. I’m grateful we have the Holy Spirit to empower us to let go of our flesh and love others with the love of Christ.

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