Friday, October 08, 2010

We studied John 13 in our leadership gathering today - the record of Jesus washing the disciples feet. We looked at a few other events in the journey of Jesus with his disciples.

We looked at a few passages in the relationship between Jesus and his 12 closest disciples (apostles): Matthew 16:13-19, 18:1-4, Mark 9:33-37 and 10:35-45. (If you get a chance, take a look at these passages.) They paint a picture of a group of guys, destined to be the leaders of the new movement called the church, who are fighting and arguing about who is the greatest. It seems that their biggest concern was "who is going to be top dog in the pecking order". In our world, there were arguing about who was going to be the vice-president, the secretary of state, head of the senate, etc. You get the picture that they were focused pretty much only on themselves. Jesus teaching and examples did not seem to make a difference in their thought processes.

They enter the last meal that they are going to have with Jesus before he is crucified and they are still thinking about themselves. They aren't thinking about washing the feet of their fellow travelers.They aren't thinking about common courtesy. (It is the job of the host to provide a servant to do this, lowest of low jobs. There was no official host, so it was left up to someone in the room. They weren't going to do it!)

Put yourself in this situation..... If you were arguing and posturing to be the greatest, there is NO WAY that you would be thinking about washing some one's stinking feet. Well surprise, surprise, surprise - not one of them takes a step toward providing even a common courtesy toward their "friends". They were thinking about themselves.....

So Jesus stands up, takes of his outer garment, puts a towel around his waist and starts washing their feet. He wasn't thinking about himself - he was thinking about them. In 40 days or so, he was leaving the kingdom in their hands - he needed to do something so they would understand that their focus as a leader was to be on others. He tells them this - you have seen me do it, now go do it for others. Not wash their feet, but serve them, focus on them, don't use them for your benefit, lead them for their benefit and their growth.

Am I going to follow the way of the towel or the way of me? Am I going to focus on others or on me? Am I going to serve or seek to be served? Good questions to focus on.....

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