I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.
John 13:12, 15 (NIV)
Read: John 13-14
Consider: When Jesus washed the disciples’ feet he said that he had set them an example to follow. If that is so, why is it that we generally find it hard to take on the attitude of servanthood and often resent it when we aren’t thanked for tasks we undertake (even in church).
Jesus was not afraid to ‘get down and dirty’ when he washed the disciples’ feet. Interestingly, not one of his followers was willing to take on the role and some even resented that Jesus wanted to wash their feet. Did he really want just to wash their feet so that they would be more comfortable, or fresher to be in their company? The washing must be symbolic, otherwise the example Jesus wants us to follow would be to wash each other’s feet; hopefully not necessary today. What is necessary is for each of us to be willing to serve others and to be served (both can be equally difficult) and not to expect praise for everything we do.
Another very clear truth is found in John 14:6 where Jesus says:
‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’
John 14:6 (NIV)
Do you have a firm belief that Christ is the only way to God, or are you convinced by the world’s argument that to say so is intolerant of other religions? Christianity is not an intolerant faith, although sometimes those who profess Christ may not be as tolerant as they should be. Christianity is also inclusive, in that it is open to all because it recognises that we are all separated from God by sin. Forgiveness through Christ is freely offered to everyone. This is where freewill comes in because some will choose to reject him.
Currently I am visiting in Canada. I have been struck in some cities (most notably Vancouver) by the number of homeless people there are. This makes me question whether or not I believe Christ’s forgiveness is for these people, just as much as for the ‘respectable’. Of course the answer is yes, but what am I prepared to do about it?
Pray: Father, help us to be willing to serve and to be served. Forgive us when pride prevents us from taking on the role of a servant. May we also have a deep assurance of your forgiveness in Christ. Give us the courage to share the good news of Christ’s forgiveness with everyone and not to exclude individuals because they seem less respectable to us. Amen