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 Chronicles 22:9-13 But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever.’ “Now, my son, the Lord be with you, and may you have success and build the house of the Lord your God, as he said you would. May the Lord give you discretion and understanding when he puts you in command over Israel, so that you may keep the law of the Lord your God. Then you will have success if you are careful to observe the decrees and laws that the Lord gave Moses for Israel. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged.”