Read: John 13.1-17
Passover dinner. A room of 13. Jesus’ last free moments with His disciples.
One might think that Jesus would spend this time for many other things like witnessing or ministering. Instead, one of the first things that Jesus does in these moments is to wash the feet of His disciples. These men who wholeheartedly dedicated the last three years of their lives to literally follow Christ. These men who by all means should be washing the feet of Jesus. And yet, Jesus takes the time to SERVE them, even Judas who he knew would betray Him.
There are so many things that could be unpacked from this passage, but I'd like to keep it simple. Jesus did not shy away from serving others, He didn't even think He was above serving others. He gladly served, and He should be our example.
In a world that is run by a selfish this for that system, when was the last time you served someone with no expectation of a return or even without desiring a pat on the back? It's so simple. Just a task here or there. Reaching something for someone on a high shelf, taking a meal to a family, doing something sweet for a loved one just because.
There is a way to be be like Jesus… Simply Serve.
This week, I challenge you to do something, or better yet, several somethings, for others without any expectation.
Read John 12.10-18
From verses 10-11, we know (and have known) that the chief priests have been conspiring to kill Jesus. But verse 12 is sort of a plot twist. As Jesus was coming into Jerusalem, the people threw down palm branches to make way for the Lord and cried Hosanna to praise Him.
Jesus knew the time was coming for His death, but the people were praising Him because they thought He was coming as a literal ruler to break them from Roman rule. As per usual, the people were looking for an immediate and physical fix to their problems. Jesus was trying to point them to the eternal solution.
Unfortunately, this is how society treats Jesus today. They want Jesus to heal, fix, and give RIGHT NOW! And those Jesus can do these things and does answer prayers, it is so important for Christians to remember that the end game is saving souls from an eternity separated from God. We shouldn't let our praise to God be situational and only when we think He has done well by us and “earned” it. We should praise God continually.
Each breath is a gift, and each day is a blessing, even in impossibly hard situations. Compared to eternity, when we look back at our lives now, we will see how quick this life was even if it feels like forever now.
Read: John 12.1-9
Many times, when doing things for God, we, as Christians, are ridiculed and mocked. Or sometimes, people criticize our deeds because they don’t understand or for many other reasons.
That must have been how Mary, Lazarus’ sister, felt at the beginning of this chapter… ridiculed and mocked. During a dinner, Mary brought in some very expensive and fragrant ointment and used it to annoint Jesus’ feet. Afterwards, she used her hair to wipe His feet off. Nowadays in orthodox Jewish culture, a woman’s hair is meant for her husband’s eyes only. The women will oftentimes wear a wig in public. I can’t say for this specific time in history, but I think that we can agree that this was a very intimate act of humility. I wouldn’t be surprised if the people at that dinner were curious and maybe a little uncomfortable at what was happening in front of them, and one person even said something out loud.
Judas, the betrayer, pipes up and exclaims that Mary should have sold that ointment for quite a bit of money and given it to the poor. You may initially agree with Judas, but he mainly vocalized this because he was the keeper of the purse, a snake, and a thief.
Notice Mary’s response.
Exactly. Nothing. She may not have known the significance of her actions. I wouldn’t be surprised if she were doing this to praise Jesus because He brought her brother, Lazarus, back to life. But when someone stood against her actions, instead of getting loud mouthed and spouting back, she just silently endured. And you know what? Jesus came to her defense. He honored her actions, knew she was sincere in her worship, surveyed what was happening, and stood up for Mary.
When God calls us to action, we may be scared of what others think, but it doesn’t really matter. Being obedient to God’s call is more important than others opinions. We can also remember that when people speak out against us for standing for God, we don’t have to worry about defending ourselves and our situation, God can do that all on His own.