Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – March 16, 2018
By Guest Writer Annie Brannon
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:3-5
When my husband and I were just starting to date, he made the strategic decision to run a marathon with me. I was into long distance running, and Rudy was invested in his plan to marry me, so he agreed to come to Nashville with me and run half of the 26.2. When the day came, it turned out to be a brutal one for a race. We started side by side, on a 50 degree day in April, in the pouring rain.
My clearest memory of that day, though, wasn’t the four hours of suffering. It was after I’d limped across the finish line and made a bee line for the car— exhausted, soaking wet, and stinking to high heaven. Rudy greeted me warmly, wordlessly reached down to peel away my soaking wet footgear, and — to my great surprise — began to massage my aching feet. Deeply aware of how unappealing I was at the moment, I could hardly believe his willingness to serve me in that way.
The memory stands out in my mind as a moment when I felt overwhelmingly loved, as small as the act may have seemed.
That’s what I think of when I read John 13. The disciples are all at the table with Jesus when, out of nowhere, he gets down on his knees and starts washing everyone’s feet. When he gets to Peter, they have this exchange:
Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with me” (John 13:8).
Peter’s been walking with Jesus for years. He respects and loves Jesus so much, he doesn’t want the Son of God to be the one to wash his mud-caked feet. But Jesus leaves no room for doubt: unless I can serve you first, you can’t serve me.
No one escapes the moment of vulnerability that comes with grace. We’ve all been brought into the kingdom because God’s son was willing to get up close and personal with the mess of our sin. Sometimes we may be tempted, like Peter, to try and hold God at a comfortable distance away from what feels unlovable in us. Even if we’ve walked with him for years, we can be surprised by how close he’ll come into our hearts and lives — dirty feet and all. The more we walk with him, the more he invites us to let him wash away whatever keeps us from being one with him. God’s love always comes uncomfortably close to anything we want to hide, and always for our good.
Sharing Christ’s love with others starts with receiving his love personally, even in the places where we feel most unlovable. Pray about what those places might be for you, and ask Jesus to show you his unfailing love for you there.
PrayerHeavenly Father, thank You for Your son’s example of humble service, in His name, amen.
ApplicationWho is the Lord asking me to go the extra mile to serve with my time and influence?
Related ReadingEcclesiastes 9:13; John 13:15; Romans 14:17-19; 1 Corinthians 11:1
Post/Tweet todaySharing Christ’s love with others starts with receiving His love personally even in the places where I feel most unlovable. #wisdomhunters #extramileservice
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