I really love Jesus. He is so amazing. Every day is a new day of discovery about Him. Here is one that might bend you a bit.
There is this story in John that you might be familiar with. The Apostles are in the upper room having their final meal with Jesus. They don’t know it but Jesus does. Here is an opportunity to share His most important instruction prior to His departure. He begins to share so much about relationships. There is this one moment however that makes you wonder what is really going on. Here is the set-up:
John 13:1 Jesus knew that the night before Passover would be His last night on earth before leaving this world to return to the Father’s side. All throughout His time with His disciples, Jesus had demonstrated a deep and tender love for them. And now He longed to show them the full measure of His love. (Passion Translation)
Isn’t that awesome? He knows His time is up and He is going home and His deepest desire is to show His love for them, again. The story gets even better.
John 13:3 Now Jesus was fully aware that the Father had placed all things under His control, for He had come from God and was about to go back to be with Him. (Passion Translation)
It is so easy to skip over this verse and miss how significant it really is. Jesus knew He was King. He knew His position. God had shown Him that He was from God and was going back to be with Him at His side as King. Jesus has no doubts about His position but…
John 13:4 So He got up from the meal and took off His outer robe and took a towel and wrapped it around His waist. 5 Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ dirty feet, and He dried them with His towel. (Passion Translation)
So Jesus knowing exactly who His is, King Jesus, strips to His underwear, wraps a towel around Himself, washes their feet and takes the towel off to dry their feet while still in His underwear? Here is the King of the universe kneeling down in front of each Apostle and washing their feet. I don’t know about you but that seems strange for God to stoop down and wash my feet. How about you? Oh yeah don’t forget this:
Col 1:15 [Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation. (AMP)
I believe our reaction is exactly like this one:
John 13:6 But when Jesus got to Simon Peter , he objected and said, “I can’t let You wash my dirty feet. You’re my Lord!” (Passion Translation)
We believe we are being humble or reverent or something like that when actually we are denying Jesus’ purpose:
Matt 20:28 Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free]. (AMP)
Even Jesus says Peter didn’t get it:
John 13:7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand yet the meaning of what I’m doing, but soon it will be clear to you.”
In a classic Peter move he totally overreacted and then denied knowing Jesus just a few hours later. Jesus then tells them that this is an example of how we should be towards others. I think we get the servant part pretty clear even if we are acting out of obligation and not love. But there is a much more significant point here. I hope you see it.
God has a heart to serve us.
Boy can I hear all the fireworks going off. I am jumping in the car and running for cover. But let me explain before you have a medical emergency.
Here is the rest of that statement…and still be God. Jesus made it clear when He said:
John 13:16I speak to you timeless truth: A servant is not superior to his Master and an apostle is never greater than the one who sent him.
God can actually serve us and be God. His position is unaffected by His provision. He has the power to create the universe with a word and hold you like a Papa. The devil is in the business of giving God a bad wrap. He is a master of manipulation and deceit. So when I say something like this, years and years of brain washing have so polluted our minds that we can’t see it. We are afraid that God is going to be mad when He is actually smiling right now. He is saying “yay, they are getting it.”
What did He do in the garden? He gave us everything we needed and more. What did He do with Abraham? He walked through the sacrifices with Himself (Jesus) to confirm the covenant. Abraham slept. What did He do for the nation of Israel? He delivered them from bondage and they just took a stroll. What did He do for Joshua? Knocked down the giant walls and all they did was march and yell. What did He do for you? HE DIED. What did you do to deserve it? Absolutely nothing. What did you do to receive it? Just believe. So when I say God’s heart is to serve us, can’t you see it? Grace is unmerited favor. That doesn’t mean He gives us something so we can start paying it back. It means He gives and gives and gives and gives…
Here is the problem. We are like Peter. We refuse to let Him. We say we are humble when we are living from false humility and actually insulting Him. If He wants to love you then let Him. If He wants to provide for you then let Him. If He wants to empower you then let Him. If He wants to work miraculously through you then let Him. If He wants to change the face of this planet with you then let Him. If He wants to bring joy and freedom to the world as you then let Him. And yes He wants to do all that.
If He wants to wash your feet…then let Him. It isn’t your fault. He is that good. He is that loving and He really does love you. Stop telling Him no. When you understand God’s heart towards you and His heart through you, serving others is a blessing. You get to see what He has done for you He does for others through you. Come on! That is amazing.