Prayer Focus: Open Doors (2)
Reading: John 13:1-17, 34-35
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. 2 During supper, when the devil had 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 back to God, 4 rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” 8 Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share 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, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, 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 also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”John 13:1-17, 34-35 (ESV)
The washing of the disciple’s feet by Jesus is a compelling story. Beyond the personalities involved lies this truth: Servanthood is at the center of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
During times of crisis, it is our servanthood that points people to Jesus. The final words above are essential for us to grasp. The central dynamic of our lives that will link us to Jesus in the minds of those outside the faith is our love for one another.
I think it is safe to say this servanthood and love starts with the way followers of Jesus treat another. Sacrificial caring for each other demonstrates the unique relationship we have with one another in Christ. People today are looking for an authentic connection with people who care about them. The church is the answer to that longing.
(1) Jesus, the night before you were crucified, you gave us a stunning example of servant-hearted love. You washed your disciples’ feet. You stooped to serve. We praise you for the amazing love and grace that you poured out upon them that night.
(2) In these days, may we not only see doors open in conversations to speak of you but may we have wonderful opportunities to love like you. May we stoop to serve, may we pour out the love of Christ, may we be known in these days as your loving, servant-hearted disciples.