Am I Willing to Learn From Jesus?

Jesus tells us to serve one another through love.

 Jesus… got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.–John 13:4-5

Am I willing?

Acts of service require that we get up from the table. Service begins with a willingness to stop and serve others.

Laying aside his garments…Jesus prepared to do the menial work of a servant, washing the feet of his disciples. As I read these words, the Holy Spirit quietly asks, “Are you willing to get up and lay aside in order to serve?”

I remember times that I grumble inwardly when I am interrupted mid-project. I cringe at my snippy answers when asked to add something else to my loaded list of tasks.

 Sometimes understanding comes later.

When Peter asks, “Lord, do you wash my feet,” Jesus answers, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.” John 13:7

Stuck in my I-know-best way of thinking, I can relate to Peter’s question and confusion. At times God’s directions or provisions don’t seem to make sense in light of what I think I know now. Deeper understanding is often anchored to time and experience.

Am I willing to get up from my familiar life, lay aside my outward trappings in order to serve others with humility? Am I willing to wait for understanding that comes over time?

How about you? Is God prompting you to get up from the table and lay something aside in order to serve Him today?

 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.

Willingness 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 cleansing from our inner-selfishness.

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 two little letters is possibility and choice. The word iraises a question. Maybe we will, but … maybe we won’t.

There is blessing when we obediently serve others, even in the most menial of tasks. There is also sweet grace 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.

Love One Another

 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

Jesus gives  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 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, I’d love to read your story.



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