Daily D – John 13:12-15
When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, 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 for you.”
JOHN 13:12-15 (CSB)
Names and titles are important and wield power. A measure of power accompanies knowing a person’s name. Consider the times in the Gospels when demons declared Jesus’ name and he stopped them from speaking. They were trying to control his work and his destiny. Jesus would not allow it.
You have names and titles, as do I. My favorite titles? Husband, father, and grandfather. My wife, children, and grandchildren direct my life in significant ways through their application of these titles. I most often willingly acquiesce to their desires when they appeal to these names and relationships.
We become so comfortable with some titles that they lose the impact of their meaning. Two of those show up in verse 13 above. Jesus says, “You call me Teacher and Lord . . .”
Teacher, or Rabbi, is what many called Jesus as he taught and healed and fed multitudes. Jesus was not a trained Rabbi. He did not attend the schools necessary to gain that title. The title was given out of respect for how he lived, how he taught, and how he changed lives.
Lord is a respectful term for a person of authority. People noticed how Jesus demonstrated his authority over demons, over nature, over disease and disability.
The Gospels tell us that the common people listened to Jesus gladly. He did not borrow authority from others to make his points. On one occasion, men are sent to arrest him but return empty-handed. When asked why, they reply, “No man ever spoke like this!” (7:46).
Soon Jesus will go to the cross, the grave, and then be resurrected. The full meaning of the title Lord will become evident. It is the name above all names. No one compares to Jesus.
Teacher of all teachers, Lord of all lords: This is Jesus.
This Jesus took off his outer clothing and wrapped a towel around his waist.
This Jesus washed dirty feet of men who each thought he was greater than the others.
This Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.”
There are some people who declare things like, “I do not have the gift of setting up and taking down tables and chairs.” Jesus did.
There are those who will allow a dead cricket to lie on the floor for days or weeks to see how long it will take a derelict cleaning crew to pick it up. Jesus would not do that.
An invitation came last week to help lead a significant event in January. The others who are involved are well-known and highly regarded. It is an honor to accept this invitation. One thing the conference leaders are asked to do is to arrive early to help with setup details and to stay late to assist with clean-up details. I’m pretty sure this is why they invited me. I’m all in.
Here is a life lesson worth learning found in verse 15: “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you.” It bears repeating: Great leaders serve. There’s more. Check out verse 17.
“If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”
Wisdom, power, and blessing come to those who listen to what Jesus says, observe what Jesus does, and do what he both shows and tells.
Who will you serve today?
I will serve those God places in my path.
Our Father, who needs the attention of simple service from me today? Who requires words of grace and truth? Who longs for expressions of kindness and tenderness? Who wonders if anyone sees them or if anyone cares? Empower me to kneel in their service. Amen.
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1 Kings 22:34 But someone drew his bow at random and hit the king of Israel between the sections of his armor. The king told his chariot driver, “Wheel around and get me out of the fighting. I’ve been wounded.”
1 Kings 21:25, 26 (There was never anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites the Lord drove out before Israel.)
Matthew 5:13-16 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
2 Chronicles 15:1, 2 The Spirit of God came on Azariah son of Oded. He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”