By the time you get to reading this, the week will be already started and the pressures of time and responsibility will have started to push against you. Thank you for taking time to consider these thoughts as we work in “Drawing Closer to God”. To do so, I am thinking back to a sermon I have heard Brother Cicero deliver both to the general assembly and as part of a the first men’s leadership study I ever attended. The sermon and lesson is titled “The GOD of the Towel” and provides great thoughts for us to consider as we reflect on our God, on ourselves and how we need to and can draw closer to Him through His Son Jesus. The word to keep in mind as we do so and throughout our discussions this week is “humility”. We are called to be servant leaders in our spiritual lives, in our homes, in the Body, at work, and as we interact with those in the world. There is no greater example of a servant leader than that of Jesus and we read about it very clearly in John 13: 1-17. I encourage you to take some time and look over these verses and I will reference them as I go.
In this passage of scripture, we have Jesus humbling Himself and washing the feet of the apostles as they are gathered together in the upper room, leaning around a U-shaped table and preparing for the feast. What is an interesting amplification of the significance of what Jesus is about to do is what is on the minds of the 12. Jesus, God in the Flesh, is about to wash their feet and the 12 are thinking about who will get to sit in the chief seats…further one of them, Judas, is thinking of betrayal. Take a minute and apply that to your life. As God works mightily in your life…do you find yourself self-centered or faced with the strong luring of a specific sin? We all struggle and are not much different than the apostles in this situation from time to time…and it is no secret to God. With the apostles (as with us)…Jesus knows all this, but still He proceeds and in what He accomplishes is the beginnings of the much need explanation of the bigger picture…of who Jesus IS and why Jesus is HERE.
So take time today and read these verses over and meditate on them with this thought in mind…Our God is a servant and He is working and preparing our hearts for service. Reflect on your life and consider how He is accomplishing this. Conider whether or not you are opening your heart to this transformation. If you aren’t or are struggling, what is getting in the way? Finally, consider how you might be a servant leader in all aspects of your life, with the responsibilities God has given you and the talents/abilities He has blessed you with. Think on these things and let’s use this lens tomorrow and consider the women in our lives. Lead on brother…and serve!
John 13:1-17; NKJV
1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” 10 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.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.” 12 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? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 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. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.