What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus showed his disciples the “full extent of his love” by washing their feet.
- We demonstrate God’s love when we serve others.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Loving others is the prerequisite to all disciple-making.
- We model disciple-making best when we love others sacrificially.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning disciple-makers:
If John DID write his gospel to include things that had been left out, this chapter is significant. No other gospel includes the washing of the feet and EVERY other gospel includes the Lord’s Supper, except for John. Interestingly, John says that Jesus used this time together to show them “the full extent of his love.” You might expect a Communion service. Instead, it is a foot-washing. For John, this humble act of service exemplified fully the love that Jesus had for his disciples.
Foot washing was considered the most menial and degrading task a slave could be assigned. When you imagine the filthiness of walking on dirty, manure-covered streets in open-toed sandals, it is easy to see why. Yet Jesus washes every disciple’s feet. Even Judas! I wonder…was this the last straw for Judas? Did this act disgust him since he wanted a Messiah who was strong and powerful, perhaps? Jesus can’t be clearer about it: his disciples serve others. When was the last time you performed a menial act of service for the sake of Jesus, one that others…or even you…might consider “beneath you?”
Notice two brief episodes about two different men. John paints an increasingly dark picture of Judas. Twice in this chapter he speaks of the devil’s influence on him. A hard question: HOW COULD ANYONE spend three years with Jesus…and be so utterly unregenerate? But it still happens. One of the disappointments of disciple-making is investing your life in someone…and seeing no apparent fruit or, perhaps even harder, great fruit…and then a great fall and desertion. Disciple-makers have to be tough!
In contrast to Judas’ betrayal, Jesus predicts Peter’s denial. We return to this story in John 21…but what is the difference between Peter’s denial/betrayal and Judas? How was it that one could be restored and the other destroyed by his actions?
Finally, the only time Jesus ever gave a “new command.” Love one another. We make things too hard, I think. Jesus gave a great command and a great commission: love one another with the love of Christ and make disciples along our way through the power of Christ (Matt 28). Do you really love? Are you making disciples?