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.

Law vs. Spirit

John 1:22-25 WEB

They said therefore to him, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” [23] He said, “I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” [24] The ones who had been sent were from the Pharisees. [25] They asked him, “Why then do you baptize, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”


Pharisees are concerned with the rules. They are legalists. Pharisees went to John the Baptist and asked him who he was. They could recognize that he was anointed, but they could not discern his purpose. The Pharisees were more focused on being in control of John’s authority to act than they were interested in knowing what God was doing.

Pharisees had religious control of the region. John must have seemed like a threat to them. You can see in the passage how rude the Pharisees were to him. They demand he answer for himself. But, they had asked John a question only God could answer. Since Pharisees only got revelation from scriptures they walked away from John. They did not value that he was bringing people to repentance.  


Lord Jesus, please help me know the Bible and practice its teaching while I keep my inner ear tuned towards your voice. In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen

Silently

John 1:19-21 WEB

This is John’s testimony, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” [20] He declared, and didn’t deny, but he declared, “I am not the Christ.” [21] They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.”


Neither Jesus nor John the Baptist was in the habit of telling people what their spiritual inheritance and names were. It seems from the gospels that John the Baptist was Elijah who was to come before Christ. Also, John the Baptist seemed to know what his purpose was and what he was doing. He knew he was there to announce Christ. Still, if John the Baptist was Elijah, why didn’t he say so? Because he was not Elijah.

He was John. And John did not feel the need to justify himself. More, he had the wisdom not to expose himself. Jesus behaved in a similar manner. When asked if he was the Messiah Jesus would remain silent. At some point in his life, Jesus realized who he was and began to grow in the grace to carry his destiny. And that Grace gave him the humility to know who he was without having to tell anyone.


Lord Jesus, please give me the understanding I need to be as wise as a serpent but as gentle as a dove, just like you. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.