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Friday, April 8, 2016

The Foundation of Serving

Tuesday we finished working through – well finished is too strong.  We finished this time through John 17, we will never finish with the passage…  Now, we are doing an interim summary of John 13 – 17.  Those five chapters cover about 6 hours of Jesus life.  In a book of 21 chapters that covers about three years to invest 23.8% of the book on six hours might indicate that those six hours and the data recorded about them is relatively important.
The Foundation of Serving
I began to work through the section this afternoon, did not get very far, but noticed something I had not seen before.  Look at the word “know” in John 13:1, 3, 17, 18, in each case it is a form of the word oida (οιδα).

In John 13:1 – 4, knowing that His hour had come and that He had been given all things, was presented as the reason that Jesus got up and washed the disciples feet.  This was a humbling act.  So much so that Peter initially refused.

Now look at John 13:15 – 17.  Christ points to His example and says that if we (I use we here because of John 17:20) know about His example we should follow it.

Putting that together it reads a lot like Paul’s exhortation in Philippians 2:5 – 30.  We are to have the same attitude that Christ did.  We empty ourselves as He did.  He did because He knew all things were given to Him.  They were already His, He did not have to work for them.  We have the same thing in Him.  Colossians 2:9 – 10 reminds us we are complete in Him.  We have all that God is going to give us already and it is a rich, rich, rich inheritance.

So like Christ we lose nothing by humbling ourselves to serve.  Our standing with Him and with His Father is impossible to diminish, no matter how far we stoop to serve, or how demeaning the task in which we choose to engage.  We cannot be demeaned more than our Lord.

We know, therefore we should follow Him.

1 comment:

  1. I remember in my early days of serious quest for ministry training it was common to live in the home of a mature leader. As we young officers who had just separated from active military duty who I can assure you never washed dishes - and cleaned toilets - we were always given those tasks as part of our home maintenance contribution and "training."

    I doubt if even cleaning toilets in our society is at the depths of washing feet in Jesus' day. But perhaps it does illustrate the principle in a rather graphic way. And it's a good "warm-up" for a new father getting up at night for the fifth time to care for a fussy baby, change a diarrhea-laden diaper, etc. and other activities of "women's work."

    I find that I have so frequently forgotten those early lessons, much to my shame.