Jesus’s Example For Us To Follow
The Bible is full of teaching, and many wonderful doctrines for us to learn and live by. The interesting thing today is people don’t want doctrine and they certainly don’t want to be told how they are supposed to live according to anyone, and for some especially from God. But when you know the truth of the sacrifice that Jesus Christ made on the cross for us then whatever Jesus could ask of us doesn’t seem too difficult. Let’s look at a few verses from the beginning of this chapter where we can learn a valuable lesson.
Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end. And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him;John 13:1-2 (KJB)
The events we are looking at here is what happened during the Last Supper. The Apostles and Jesus are gathered together in the upper room and according to Luke there was this “discussion” going on about who was to be accounted greatest.
And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.Luke 22:24 (KJB)
Jesus according to verse John Thirteen One knew that His hour was come that He was about to be put on the cross. Jesus spending His last hours on earth had something very important He was trying to teach the Disciples and by extension everyone so we see here a great teachable moment. During the evening, the Apostles began to squabble with each other over who would be the greatest in the coming kingdom. This argument had apparently been smoldering because according to Matthew some of their mothers had become involved in the debate.
Let’s also not that Jesus also knew that at this point that Satan had put in the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray Him. So consider if you can the pressure that Jesus was under, He knew that His time was up, that He was about to be betrayed. The Apostles are debating who is going to be the greatest in the coming kingdom, and Satan had turned one of the twelve against Him
Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.John 13:3-4 (KJB)
John comments that Jesus knew the Father had “given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God.” As Jesus approached that momentous night, He knew exactly who He was, from where He had come, and where He soon would be going.
With everything that was going on during the Last Supper, Jesus standing up from the dinner table prepared to humble Himself before His disciples. The events described here would normally be done by a servant. Jesus evidently girded or tied a towel around his waist. He literally “took upon him the form of a servant” as He knelt down to do what was a servant’s job.
Jesus, therefore, began to wash each of the disciples’ feet, wiping them with the towel girded about Him. It was a symbol of humility. Jesus was providing us an example how how we are to be servants.
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.John 13:12-15 (KJB)
Jesus put His robe back on, sat down again, and asked them if they understood what he had done. Without letting them reply, He continued, “Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.”
Jesus now points out the contrast of what He had done. He indeed was Lord and Master. However, He had humbled Himself and become a servant in washing their feet. But He also intended it as an example of how His disciples and by extension, we to this day ought to humble ourselves.
Jesus was not suggesting foot washing as an ordinance of the church. Jesus wanted to teach humility of spirit to not only His disciples but to everyone in the world. The example He points to is that He as God was willing, as a servant, to do any burden. Jesus not only had a heart of love, He had a servant’s heart. The carnal strife evidenced earlier by his disciples showed that they obviously needed to learn how to have such a spirit.
We all need to learn this lesson.
Do you know Jesus as your personal Saviour?
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