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photo: CCO public domain                graphic: Martha G. Brady

 During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot,
Simon’s son, to betray him,
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands,
and that he had come from God and was going back to God,
  rose from supper.
He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them

with the towel that was wrapped around him.
 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 
Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now,
but afterward you will understand.”
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”
Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!”
Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet,
but is completely clean.
And you are clean, but not every one of you.”
For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments
and resumed his place,
he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you?

You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, 
you also ought to wash one another’s feet.
For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 
Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master,
nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.

If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 
I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen.
But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’

John 13:2-18 (ESV)

He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. He began to wash the disciples' feet Click To Tweet

I love this passage. Not that I do a great job following it. But it is a great reminder to me of what my relationship is to be to my fellow believers. How many times have you heard people say, “I love Jesus. It’s other Christians I can’t stand.” or some version of that statement.

This is what Jesus calls us to in service to each other…even to the Judases in our midst! We don’t know the hearts of the people in our churches. So many say they are Christians. We don’t always know. We can observe certain behaviors and not choose people to be our elders based on that for sure. But we don’t know for sure if they are true Believers. GOD does.

For three and a half years, Jesus ministered to Judas as He did to the others, knowing Judas would betray Him all the time!

Think of those 3 1/2 years Jesus worked with His disciples. All that time, He knew what Judas would do. He knew that Judas was skimming from  the group’s paltry money supply while pretending to care about the poor. cf. John 12:1-8.

But here is where Jesus took on Himself the form of the lowliest of servants and washed the feet of His disciples at a time when He was most in need of being served and ministered to! He knew what was ahead. They had no clue! cf. Luke 9:37-50 

Washing each others’ feet is a direct outworking of the Death and Resurrection of Christ!

Our focus today and this weekend is on Christ’s Death and Resurrection…as it should be.  In light of the profoundness of our forgiven debt to GOD, we can’t forget the importance of washing each others’ feet! I don’t know what that looks like for you.

For me right now, it means being patient with Ron when he forgets. Being kind to him and forbearing. Yes, it starts at home, but it continues out from there to those at church who don’t treat me the way I think I should be treated…personally I smile when I say it, but many don’t.

It isn’t fun when your group seems to be ignored or your good suggestions get passed over…repeatedly. Your concerns may be important and wise. I know many of mine are! But often the timing just isn’t right. Our church has been in a state of flux for quite awhile now. These are some things I have found to be helpful…over years of working in churches. Contrary to popular opinion, the pastor’s wife must make her case and choose her battles wisely…at least this one had to.

  • Speaking up in a way that you will be heard is important. How you suggest is just as important as what you suggest. Coming with a servant attitude is always helpful! Understanding the perspective of you ruling board is wise. Stating ideas for change in the context of how it will be helpful to their vision for the church is always good!
  • Don’t underestimate prayer for GOD to bring change…in your and your hearers as well as in your church. It really does happen.
  • Ask questions and find people you can connect with in positive ways. This includes staff members.
  • Then find a place where you can serve for now. There is no perfect church. Find a place to serve now before all the stars line up for the perfect place to serve.

GOD has a way of using His humble servants placed throughout His Church for His glory and for the growth of His Kingdom. We have such a small view of how He wants to use us. His view is much larger in the sense of scope, but it may not look as glamorous as we think.

GOD has a way of using His humble servants throughout His Church for the growth of His Kingdom. Click To Tweet

Pray that He will open your eyes to see where you can serve in His way for the best of His Kingdom.