John 13

Reading for Wednesday, Jan. 18: John 13

With today’s reading, we’re right at the 5% mark in our quest to read the New Testament in 2012. I know I’ve been richly blessed by our reading so far; I can only image what the next 95% holds for us! Keep on reading and commenting!

This powerful chapter is framed by one of John’s opening lines: “Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (v1)” The fullness of Christ’s love is demonstrated in the humble act of service. Jesus is not beneath serving; in fact, He says that this is the reason He came to earth. Mark 10.45, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This servant attitude is a bit surprising to us at first, especially if we’re unaccustomed to this model of leadership. But Jesus fully embodies service as a way of life…as THE way of life.

I love v35: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” The hallmark of Christian identity is love — the same love that prompts Jesus to pick up the towel of service. Now the dots are starting to connect for us; Jesus serves out of love — He commands His followers to share in this ministry of service — and He notes that the world will respond when they see this love move out in action.

Peter is one of my favorite characters in the Bible. I love his response when Jesus tells him he can have no part unless Jesus washes him. He replies, “Then Lord, wash all of me, because I want as much of you as I can possibly get!” Peter’s desire is to be completely immersed into a life with Jesus. Peter prompts an evaluation of my own heart: do I crave God in the same way? If not, why not?

What are your thoughts on ch13? In light of the example of service Jesus gives us, who have been some of the most influential servants you’ve known in your lifetime?

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