As we continue to look at discipleship, we look at Jesus’ last full night with His disciples. The last night of Jesus freedom before the cross would prove to be a night of sadness. Sadness as Jesus foresees the trauma, pain, and suffering He is about to endure. Yet this night is significant. Jesus has this night to pass along an important lesson to His disciples.
John records the events nearly 60 years later. Can he still taste the last Passover Meal he had with Jesus? Does he still smell the spices? Does a tear roll down his cheek as he recalls the love Jesus demonstrated? Jesus loved His own to the very end! (John 13:1-12).
Who was going to serve? The disciples were arguing on the way to the meal. They argued over who among them was the greatest (Luke 22:24-27). As they sat at the meal reclining face to feet, no one stooped to the role of servant and washed feet. After all, to voluntarily wash feet was to admit you were not the greatest, but the least.
Jesus picks up the towel and clothes love with humility. His humble service demonstrated love. This is not the message of the world. Society screams; “Me first!” “My way!” “My own thing!” Or “My personal time!” Disciples should say: “You go first.” “You take the last piece.” “Let’s do it your way.”
Humility shows love to those inside the family (spiritual and physical).
This love also reaches out. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (John 13:20). The word recieve carries the idea of taking someone into your circle. Accept whom Jesus accepts. Welcome whom Jesus welcomes. Receive whom Jesus receives. Take in whom Jesus takes in. Do we? Are we? We should!
The enemy of acceptance is exclusiveness. This was the mentality of the Pharisees. There is nothing wrong with having a groups of special friends, but have the attitude of, “There is always room for one more.”
Love accepts those who are looking to be disciples.
There are also those who are our opposition. They fight against us. Jesus washed the feet of Judas and honored him at the meal, buy passing the soaked bread to him. Jesus judiciously made a loving effort toward Judas. He was working, hoping, praying, and urging Judas to change. Sometimes we look with prejudice at those outside of our group. We think they will never change. We say they have always been the way they are. We think they are not worth our effort. Thankfully, someone looked at me, reached out to me with love and I changed. Someone reached out to you and you changed too! (Col. 3:5-7).
Reach out to others.