A Servant’s Heart

John 13:12-14 WEB

So when he had washed their feet, put his outer garment back on, and sat down again, he said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? [13] You call me, ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord.’ You say so correctly, for so I am. [14] If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.


Washing feet was a servant’s task. Religious and civic leaders did not wash their own feet. A servant washed their feet when they gathered. So, it was almost an offense to the 12 for Jesus to wash their feet. When he is done washing their feet, he puts his outer wrap back on and tells them to go and do likewise. This was probably an offense as well. The 12 thought they were going to rule the 12 tribes of Israel in eternity (Mt 19:28). It would not have been natural for them to take up feet washing. But that is what Jesus asked them to do. During Jesus’ ministry, he showed the example of servanthood. He was on a mission for His Father, and it required humility and service. Jesus did not mind.

Jesus wants us, his disciples, to feel the same way. We are to be mission-minded as we become servants to one another. Things are not so different today. When people imagine themselves having a large ministry, it is not natural to think about feet washing. But that is what Christians are called to do. We must bow our hearts before the Father in humility and willingness to serve as He served. That may mean washing feet, or it may mean taking that poor family to the food bank. There are many ways to serve.

Jesus served. He was the disciples’ Lord and Teacher. He is also our Lord and Teacher. We must not look at Jesus and say, “He was God, of course he could.” We must not use his Godhood as an excuse not to imitate Him. Rather we must say to ourselves, “the Lord and Teacher served both the lost and the saved. I must also serve.” When we serve, we are opening avenues to plead with others to be reconciled to God through Jesus. To the lost, that is salvation from eternity without God. To believers, it is encouragement in the Lord as we refresh one another.


Lord, please give me a heart for service. Help me recognize opportunities throughout my day to serve. Help me lay down my own interests and care for another’s interests. Help me trust you with myself and with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Daily Forgiveness

John 13:6-10 WEB

Then he came to Simon Peter. He said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” [7] Jesus answered him, “You don’t know what I am doing now, but you will understand later.” [8] Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I don’t 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, “Someone who has bathed only needs to have his feet washed, but is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.”


In the Bible, we read that all people have sinned (1 John 1:8). Moreover, it says anyone who denies they have sinned is a liar. So, to those of us who have made Jesus our Lord and Savior, we need to repent daily. We are saved out of the world but we live in the world and we trudge through the muck and mire of the world. Therefore Jesus needs to wash our spiritual feet daily with his forgiveness. The above passage says we are already clean but we still need daily forgiveness.

We still need the dust and briars cleaned off our feet. As we walk with the Lord, we do so on the stage of the world. Thus, during our walk, our spiritual feet get dirty. This can be hard for Christians to face. We recognize with our heads the Bible says all have sinned, even those in Christ. However, seeing our own sin can be difficult. We need moments where we have insight into our own selves. We must look in the mirror of self and see the area shrouded in darkness.

When we can see our sin, we are being honest with ourselves. It may make us feel inferior to others to admit we have sinned. In the world, we are taught not to let others see our weaknesses. But in Christianity, we are praised for our weakness because it gives place to God’s strength. In the above passage, Peter wanted no part of Jesus washing his feet. Yet the Lord told him it was necessary for him to be completely clean, so he complied.


Lord, please help me evaluate my spiritual health accurately. Reveal sin to me and wash me clean with your forgiveness. Help me grow in Christian maturity and repent of the sins you show me. Give me the courage to accept your correction. Help me face the truth. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Humility Amid Greatness

John 13:1,3-5 WEB

Now before the feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that his time had come that he would depart from this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. [3] Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he came from God, and was going to God, [4] arose from supper, and laid aside his outer garments. He took a towel, and wrapped a towel around his waist. [5] Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.


Jesus knew he was going to die. The Father had come to him with Moses and Elijah and encouraged him regarding the upcoming events (Mt 17:1-9). So, Jesus knew. Yet, despite the personal trial he was experiencing, he did not stop and start focusing on himself. He did not seek pity or attention. Nor did he seek praise for his willingness and surrender. Instead, Jesus wrapped a towel around his waist and washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).

During Jesus’ time on earth, feet washing was a courtesy. It was bestowed upon guests when they went into another’s home (Luke 7:37-38). Thus, the Lord was treating the disciples like his own guests. It was Jesus’ final Passover and he spent the time ministering to his disciples. At the same time, Jesus’ need was great. Only a short time later do we find him praying for deliverance from the upcoming events (Mt 26:39). Yet in all these things Jesus humbled himself in the sight of the Father.

If anyone has ever had bragging rights it was Jesus. He was the only begotten son of God (John 3:16). He was also a miracle worker (Mt 8:23-27). He could feed thousands with mere scraps (John 6:1-15) and his following was growing. He had something to boast about. Yet he didn’t. He never felt entitled. Rather he humbled himself in the sight of God and the disciples. He showed us how to act amid greatness.


Lord, please help me grow in humility. Take boasting out of my mouth and help me become a servant to others. Thank you for interceding on my behalf, Lord. Help me behave more like You. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Anointed to the Task

John 12:48-50 WEB

He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day. [49] For I spoke not from myself, but the Father who sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. [50] I know that his commandment is eternal life. The things therefore which I speak, even as the Father has said to me, so I speak.”


Jesus is the exact expression of the Father. He is divine. He is also human. As a human, he did things from the weakened condition of having laid down his divinity. He laid down his life and took up a life as a human. It is not a small thing when the Lord tells us to lay down our lives. Jesus is calling us into the same behaviors that he demonstrated as he walked the earth.

If Jesus did it, so can we. If Jesus could hear and follow the Father’s commands, so can we. He was human as well as divine. Jesus was so assured that he was hearing from the Father that he claimed to speak the Father’s words. Jesus was anointed. He was righteous and holy. His behavior modeled the scriptures, and his attitudes modeled the scripture. These two things made him both righteous and holy.

Righteousness and holiness opened Jesus up for an enormous anointing. His anointing was so strong that it carried him to the cross. His anointing carried him to and through his divine purpose. This is something we can imitate. We can walk in outward righteousness of choice and behavior. We can also walk in the inner attitude of Godly motive; we can be holy. We can hear from the Father, and we can understand what he says.


Lord, thank you for becoming a human and showing me how to live. Help me, Lord, to equip an anointing through the righteousness of behavior and the holiness of motive. I want to fulfill my divine purpose as you fulfilled yours. Help me to serve you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Abiding In The Word Made Flesh

John 12:46-48 WEB

I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in the darkness. [47] If anyone listens to my sayings, and doesn’t believe, I don’t judge him. For I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. [48] He who rejects me, and doesn’t receive my sayings, has one who judges him. The word that I spoke, the same will judge him in the last day.


The Word of God will judge us on the last day. That is an excellent reason to become familiar with the Bible. Jesus came to save us. Even now, he is not judging us but rather, loving us into the kingdom. That love includes the grace you need to lay ahold of the truth found in the Bible. If you have access to a Bible, you are responsible for all it says. According to the world that is impossible. But we are not of the world and Jesus clearly thought we could know the Word. We have the truth, and that truth will judge us in the end.

The truth is a great light to all who believe (Ps 119:130). For those who reject the Word of God as a mandate, there is darkness. Not darkness as the world perceives, but darkness of the mind and spirit. When we are witnessing to the lost we are talking to people lost in the dark. Thus, we must shine brightly with righteousness and holiness so the lost can find their way (Mt 4:16).

These virtues come to us when we hide the Word in our hearts. Jesus is called the Word. When we are hiding the Word in our hearts we are abiding with Christ. We know he abides with us, but we must be deliberate if we are going to abide with him. Jesus is the living Word, and the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. So, when we hide the Word in our hearts, not only are we abiding in Christ, but we are also filling ourselves with the Spirit. The Word is the mind of Christ. The Word is our lamp, and we must keep our light brightly shining (Isa 28:18).  


Lord, please bless me to hunger and thirst for Your Word. Fill me with an interest in the Bible and help me practice hiding it in my heart. In Jesus’ name, amen.

See Me, See God

John 12:44-45 WEB

Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me, but in him who sent me. [45] He who sees me sees him who sent me.


When we reflect God, we obey the Bible. We care about the 10 commandments and the commandments of the New Testament. It is natural to bind the Word to our hearts, it reflects the Father. Additionally, we put away anger. Instead, we respond to people gently, even when they are rude. We do not try to get even or to justify ourselves. Instead, we are patient, caring more about the things of God than our egos. Finally, when we reflect God, we walk in love. We put away jealousy and bitterness in exchange for mercy, kindness, and grace. In our daily walk, we testify of God through our words and actions.

When we practice these basic principles, God is reflected to the people around us. We must separate ourselves from sin and come into obedience to the Bible. More, we must submit our goals to God. Are our goals truly Biblical reflecting the whole counsel of the Bible? Or do all our choices hang on one or two scriptures that speak of blessings? When we are purposed to reflect God to the world, we bring all these areas of “flesh” into obedience to the Scripture.

When we separate ourselves from fleshly indulgences we begin to look like Jesus. We both reflect God, and we reflect Jesus’ motivations. Like Jesus, we love to the point of laying down our lives. We are powerful to confront sin in other believers. We are passionate about getting people into a relationship with God. We also believe the Bible when we reflect God. We believe in heaven and hell and an eternal destiny so we realize the worthiest thing we can do to reflect God and imitate Jesus is to share the gospel with the lost.


Lord, please help me have the same motivations as Jesus. I long for those around me to see your love and goodness. Please help me witness to the lost. Help me focus on your priorities. Teach me to love others more than myself. Please help me bring my flesh into subjection to you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Men’s Praise

John 12:42-43 WEB

Nevertheless even of the rulers many believed in him, but because of the Pharisees they didn’t confess it, so that they wouldn’t be put out of the synagogue, [43] for they loved men’s praise more than God’s praise.


Self-protection. We often care more about people’s opinions than we care for God’s opinion. It’s a matter of self-protection. It’s easy to tell if we care more about men’s opinions than God’s. We know it because we do not open our mouths when we should be telling others about Jesus. When people at church have a group opinion, we say nothing if we see a problem with the opinion. We are more concerned with being liked and included so we say nothing.

Those who do open their mouths are subject to derision and rejection. It is not easy to open our mouths for Jesus. But it is important. It is with our mouths that we confess Jesus (Rom 10:9), it is with our mouths that we rebuke sin in other believers, and it is with our mouths that we give God praise. We should also open our mouths to testify of God’s goodness to unbelievers. However, we often keep our mouths closed because we are protecting ourselves.

We can trust God to protect us. In Psalms, there are many verses that talk about the justice of God. The Lord justifies his children. When we trust the Lord fully, we can be assured that his justice for us will prevail. If we open our mouths in love to confront sin in the church, we must be bold. If we open our mouths to witness to the lost, we must be bold. We can’t be like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time on earth. They quietly followed leaders full of sin and disbelief for the sake of inclusion and destroyed the faith of many.


Lord, please help me speak up when I have opportunities to share your love with the lost. Teach me to lovingly rebuke sin in other believers. I pray I will not be ashamed to open my mouth for you. I trust you to keep me safe and justify me when I speak for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Blinded Eyes and Hardened Hearts

John 12:37-40 WEB

But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him, [38] that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke, “Lord, who has believed our report? To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” [39] For this cause they couldn’t believe, for Isaiah said again, [40] “He has blinded their eyes and he hardened their heart, lest they should see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and would turn, and I would heal them.”


How can we be responsible for God blinding our eyes and hardening our hearts? This is the very thing Paul addressed in chapter 7 of Romans. It brings new meaning to the idea of being saved by grace. We are saved by grace but are rewarded for our choices. Those who seek the Lord with humility will find him. The Word says that the one who has some will be given more and the one who has little will lose even what they have (Mat 25:15-28). This gives us insight into how to respond to this passage.

If we seek God, he will soften our hearts and open our eyes to be able to see him. Seeking God is easy. It is reading the Bible, praying, and attending public worship. We can also seek God with our behavior. On the other hand, we can also push God away with our behaviors. If we deliberately sin God will harden our hearts so that we continue to sin. Of course, if we deliberately walk in righteousness the Lord will soften our hearts so we walk in more righteousness.

The Lord is righteous. He does not cast anyone away from himself who walks in righteousness and holiness. The Word says those he foreknew he predestined to be sons of God (Rom 8:29). It is not that God is fickle. It is that God knows the future. God knows who will choose him and who will not. Of those that choose him, he creates opportunities for success. For those who are never going to choose him, he gives over to sin and unrighteousness. The primary thing we can do to ensure that God continues to open our eyes is to seek God and walk in righteousness.


Lord, please open my eyes so I can see you and understand your will. Soften my heart so I recognize sin in myself and give me the chance to repent. I long to be both saved and to have a vibrant relationship with you, Father. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Walking in the Light

John 12:35-37 WEB

Jesus therefore said to them, “Yet a little while the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness doesn’t overtake you. He who walks in the darkness doesn’t know where he is going. [36] While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.” Jesus said these things, and he departed and hid himself from them. [37] But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they didn’t believe in him,


What does it mean to walk in the light? It means a person who believes in Jesus and walks according to his teachings. The deeds of the light are mercy, justice, and humility (Micah 6:8). That is what walking in the light meant 2000 years ago and it still means the same thing today. Believers today must still walk in the light. When a person is walking in the light, they are obedient to the Bible. People walking in the light are convinced that all sin is darkness.

There are several sin lists in the New Testament. Romans 1:29-30 is one of those lists. Some of the things on this list might be a surprise. For example, gossip is grouped with murder. Also, from the same verses boasting and arrogance are also compared to murder. When we walk in these sins and have no urgent desire to stop sinning, we are walking in the dark. When we walk in the light, our sin is a great burden. When we walk in the dark it sounds foolish to repent of sin and walk in the light (Cor 1:18).

An urgent desire to stop sinning is apparent in the life of a person walking in the light. The deeds of walking in the light are different than the deeds of darkness. In the light people visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). They guard their hearts and mouths turning away from evil speaking and evil deeds (John 17:15). People in the light are healed and delivered from sin (Romans 12:2). And righteousness is their heart’s desire (John 2:29).


Lord, give me the grace to recognize and turn away from sin. Please help me read the Bible and give me an understanding of the Bible. I long to walk in your commandments, Lord. Please help me to embrace righteousness and walk in the light.

Lifted Up

John 12:31-34 WEB

[31] Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out. [32] And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” [33] But he said this, signifying by what kind of death he should die. [34] The multitude answered him, “We have heard out of the law that the Christ remains forever. How do you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up?’ Who is this Son of Man?”


Jesus’ impending death was heavy on his mind. Jesus was addressing the crowd that was drawn through the mighty miracle of Lazarus’ resurrection. Ironically, the Father revealed that Jesus would die through the resurrection of Lazarus. God even went so far as to reveal how Jesus would die. He would be lifted up on a cross so that all people could receive eternal life.

With all they had seen, the crowd still could not understand a Messiah that died on a cross. That was because in Isaiah 9:7 the Bible says that there is no ending to the Lord’s rule. Also, the crowd believed Daniel 2:44 which says God’s kingdom shall never end. They had Jesus before them and yet could not see him. So, although Jesus was dealing with his own heartache, he continues to explain the kingdom and the Son of Man. With all the heightened experiences Jesus and the disciples had experienced they were almost surely ready for rest. Instead, Jesus keeps trying to make use of the current opportunity. His feet were prepared with the gospel of peace.

Jesus was the gospel of peace. His life story teaches us what peace looks like, strangely enough, Jesus’ story is full of chaotic moments. The water to wine in Cana, the scourging of the vendors in the temple complex, the feeding of the multitude, and the resurrection of Lazarus. Those situations were chaotic, and that chaos affected the disciples. However, Jesus remained unchanged. The chaos of the circumstances did not take Jesus’ peace. Jesus was fully confident in God’s goodness. So much that he obediently went to the cross to be lifted up.


Lord, please release a quality of peace that will allow me to stand steady amid chaos. Help me make use of opportunities to share the gospel. Please, Lord, take away the fear of rejection so I boldly and respectfully share the message of Jesus Christ. In Jesus’ name, amen.