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Reflection on John 13: The Way of Blessing

posted Jan 21, 2015, 10:19 AM by solomon yang

Once again we see the humility of our Lord Jesus. Here we see Him washing the feet of His disciples. In Jesus’ time, the task of washing people’s feet was deemed so demeaning that it was reserved for non-Jewish slaves. But amazingly, Jesus takes up such menial task to serve His disciples and to set an example for them.


“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (13:13-17 NIV).


The context suggests that in washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus wasn’t just setting an example of humble service. He was also signifying the washing away of sins through His death. But the cross itself is the ultimate testament to our Lord’s humility. He humbled Himself and died on the cross to serve us, to save us.


Having showed us the full extent of His love through the cross, Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us (13:34).  Following His example of humble, sacrificial service authenticates that we are indeed His disciples (13:35). And it leads us to a life of blessing. “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them” (13:17). The world thinks of blessing in terms of getting more. Jesus says it consists in giving more. God’s blessing is found by way of humble service.
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