John 13:9-17 “ Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, 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 should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
Dr. Willie Nolte reminds us that it’s better to give than receive. Be a servant. And one of the key ingredients to be an effective servant (both inside and outside the church) is compassion. Serving is about connecting our words and actions. We need to match our thoughts and words with our deeds, because your actions tell the truth. Our actions tell the truth about us. We buy the lie of the God-rejecting world system that status is everything; that we deserve the best of the best and the world defines what is “best”, not God. We need to serve with or without status involved. And remember that Jesus, who was completely Divine, even washed Judas’ feet, knowing that he would betray Him. Jesus was teaching us to serve even if people fail us. We tend to think that the more godly and closer to God we get, we believe we’ll see the ungodliness in others, but reality is that we can connect better with others and recognize their value as we model the heart of God. Serve, not judge. The one true sign today of the love of God is loving and serving one another.
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”
Serving and love are intricately, inextricably, inseparably and intimately linked. One proves the truth of the other, so they cannot be separated. This is not “do good-ism”, but the Christian lifestyle. Jesus said in the sermon on the mount in Matthew 7:16 “You will know them by their fruits.” And in John 13:35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We must be washed in a pure relationship with Jesus Christ and known by our love. You cannot be a loving, caring person without a change in heart by the Holy Spirit through Christ Jesus and serving and loving are the distinctive marks of believers. We are not here for a life lived on prideful privilege, but in humbly serving the Lord. We are not to pursue our own status. Do not miss the necessity of being humble.
Mark 9:35 “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Imagine what your life would look like if you did what Jesus to us. How many lives would be changed for the better? 1 John 4:19 says, “We love because he first loved us.” Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you know what I have done to you? Do we understand what Jesus did for us? How can we help but respond in how we act, how we live and how we love? Go in peace. Serve.
In Christ, Brian