Love One Another

By: John Barclay | April 15

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.

– John 13:1 ESV

The narrow streets of Jerusalem would have been crowded with festive people in town for the Passover. But in the dimly lit room, you can almost feel Jesus’ words become more serious as He says, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” As the disciples are still trying to understand the weight of those words, Jesus says that He will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until “the Kingdom of God comes.” I wonder what the disciples were thinking. Could they have understood the weight of this moment? Regardless, everything would soon become very real and clear.

Next, Jesus would do something almost unthinkable—He arose from the table and took the role of the house servant. In this culture of shame and honor, Jesus assumes the lowest and most shameful of roles, normally reserved for Gentile slaves. It would have been very uncomfortable for the disciples to have their Lord become their servant. Jesus laid aside His outer garments, poured water into a basin and washed their feet. The same Greek word tithēsin used here for laying aside of His outer garments is also used over and over in Scripture for Jesus laying down His life, referring to His sacrificial death on the Cross. Could the disciples have made the connection as their Lord washed their feet?

Have you ever had your feet washed?

Or, have you ever been humbled by the love and service of another?

Recently, with the death of my father, my family has gone through a season of grief. It has been both powerful and humbling the way our church and community have served us. Even as I write this, I am moved to tears by the love we have been shown through meals, kind words, and so much more. One family, with the timing only God could have orchestrated, showed up with a truckload of homemade comfort food. It was moving to watch my children experience the love of God through people. In this season, we have had our feet washed through the power of presence and sacrificial love. We have lived the words of Jesus found in John 13:35, “By this all people will know you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” After washing the disciples’ feet, Jesus again found His seat at the table. While the disciples struggled to understand the weight of what had just happened, Jesus instructs the twelve to do for others what He had just done for them.

In His last time with His most beloved friends, Jesus chose to model for them sacrificial love and humble service—the unmistakable mark of Christianity. A mark that hopefully, two thousand years later, is still true and evident in the lives of those who believe in His sacrifice. How can you remember Jesus’ humble service and sacrifice this week? Is there someone you could serve and to whom you could show God’s love? May God bless you with the love of His people and a fresh remembrance of Him.

Today’s Readings: John 13:1-20; Matthew 26:1-35; Mark 14:1-31; Luke 22:1-38

5 Comments

  1. David Sloan

    This was a moving devotional with the example Jesus gave of true service. Also with John making a personal connection with the passing of his father. My
    Mother passed away 5 years ago today. I will not forget what that was like just as with my father some years before. I hope I was a servant to them and with their passing I did experience the love of others as John did. God bless

    Reply
  2. Betsy Ford Pfeffer

    Dearest Fellowship staff…. I am ever grateful for receipt of devotionals during Holy Week and Advent…. you love your church well and you are known as a church who are training up and sending disciples to spread the good news… I love and miss you much…. my prayer remains that despite where God sends us… we will remember what Jesus taught us God’s primary purpose for us is to Glorify God…. missing you much and thankful for my season with you…. we are knitted into Austin Stone Church … if you ever find yourself down in Austin please let us know so we can share a meal or a place to stay!

    Reply
  3. Michael A Smith

    Thanks for these words John. My prayer is that we will all honor Christ and remember his sacrifice by serving someone this week just as you have suggested.

    Reply
  4. Kathy HARDY

    Excellent comparisons between our grief, being served by others and Jesus’ act of serving. Thank you SOOO much for sharing!

    Reply
  5. Paul Smith

    Thank you John. It takes time and commitment to contribute to this devotional web site. This week long devotional guide is a blessing to my wife and I.

    Reply

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