Friday, January 23, 2009

Serving out of love

"Jesus knew that the Father had given him authority over everything and that he had come from God and would return to God. So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him." (John 13:3-5 NLT)

Jesus understood that He had more authority than anyone on the earth... so He served His disciples in the lowest, most menial task! That's amazing to me. In my experience, that's just not "normal"! People who understand that they have great authority usually DON'T spend their time doing menial tasks. They have others do those things for them.

If I had been one of the disciples in this passage, I imagine that I would have been squirming uncomfortably in my seat while my Lord and Master stooped down in front of me to do something that ANYONE could have done. I suppose I would be chastising myself for not making sure that it had been taken care of earlier. And I'm sure the image of Mary washing Jesus' feet with the expensive perfume would still be fresh on my mind.

I wonder when it would have occurred to me that this act wasn't about Jesus drawing attention to my dirty feet, or elevating foot washing to the level of tradition or sacrament, but demonstrating His love for me.

"[Jesus] had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end." (v 1b)

"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples." (v34-35)

How can I ever love others the way Jesus loves me?

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