The Holy Spirit, John 14:15-31, 26 MAy 2013

Big Idea: Jesus loved us enough to leave…in order to usher in the Holy Spirit


What is the greatest thing you’ve ever waited for?

- spouse
  • job

Chicago Cubs fans have been waiting for them to win the World Series since 1908!

Was it worth it?

Last week in Jesus’ farewell to His disciples, He said it’s good that He leaves because He’s going to prepare a place for them. He’s getting the house ready but He’ll return.

In today’s passage as we continue our series on the Gospel of John, Jesus continues His farewell address to His eleven disciples in the Upper Room.

It’s always hard to say goodbye to a loved one, but it’s easier if we know they are returning for a purpose...and that they will return.

Jesus is telling His friends that He is leaving, He is leaving for a noble purpose, He will die, AND He will return.

“If you love me, you will obey what I command. (14:15)

We don’t usually command people to obey, except, perhaps, a parent to a child. This word “command” could be translated, “to watch carefully or attend to; training the eyes.” We will be attentive to Jesus’ commands if we love Him.

If you love Me, you’ll care about what I have to say and you’ll listen to my instructions. If you love Me, attend to my teachings.

Actions speak louder than words.

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever — the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. (16-17)

The Greek word translated “Counselor” in the NIV,
parakleton, might best be conveyed as “advocate,” someone like a defense attorney. “Para” means alongside and “kletos” is to call. The paraclete will come alongside and help in your defense.

Notice the Father will give “another” Counselor or advocate. The Father sent Jesus, and He will send the Holy Spirit.

Because of the Holy Spirit, we are better off today than the disciples. We have 24/7 access to God through the Holy Spirit. Last week we noted we will do greater things.

The Greeks used the same word for truth and reality. Usually it conveyed reality. Jesus is offering us a Spirit of reality, access to things that are most real. We live in a world of illusions and delusions.

For example, we believe we are entitled to at least seventy or eighty years of healthy living on this planet. Anything less and we are robbed. This is an illusion because every day is a gift we receive. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Jesus says, “I will introduce you to reality.”

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (18-21)

I cannot imagine being an orphan. The pain of being alone in the world must be excruciating. Jesus says He will return.

What does Jesus mean when He says, “I will come to you? It could refer to one of three things.

- second coming
- the Holy Spirit
- most likely the resurrection on Easter

We are containing the divine. This is a radical reality.

Paul will write that we are “in Christ.”

Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” (22)

J. Vernon McGee notes Judas is the first missionary. His concern is for the world. Is yours?

Back in John 1:10, we saw Jesus in the that He made, yet the world didn’t know Him.

John 3:16 says God so loved the world.

Much of the world does not love God today.

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (23-24)

This is pretty straightforward.

Now Jesus gives a sneak preview of Pentecost Sunday, which was actually last Sunday on the Christian calendar. The second chapter of the book of Acts will record the moment in which the Holy Spirit is activated on earth. Jesus says,

“All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (25-27)

Verse 25 was long a source of Church history, some believing the Father sent the Spirit and others saying the Father and the Son sent the Spirit (Nicene Creed).

Notice the Spirit will help John and the others remember what Jesus said and they will write it down!

Jesus’ legacy to His followers was Peace; Shalom. This is not a temporary, earthly peace but a divine peace with God (Romans 5:1) that cannot be disrupted.

The passage concludes with Jesus saying…

“You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe. I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.

Jesus knows satan is coming.


“Come now; let us leave.

Go...with the Word of the Father, the truth of the Holy Spirit, and the peace of God.

It’s almost time for us to leave, too!

As we await Your return, LORD Jesus, may the power of the Holy Spirit be alive in our lives. Fill us, Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name, amen.

You can listen to the Scio podcast here. You can also subscribe to our podcast here.

The Way, John 14:1-14, 19 May 2013

Big Idea: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.


Who are you? How do you introduce yourself?

We commonly ask people, “What do you…do?” Our occupation is very important, be it an engineer, a student, a barista, or a teacher. Much of life involves work, but it does not define who we are—or it shouldn’t.

Who are you?

We’re in the middle of a series studying the Gospel of John, a biography of Jesus written by one of His best friends, John.

Last Sunday in John 13 we saw Jesus begin His farewell address to His eleven disciples following Judas Iscariot’s departure. This extensive scene continues in chapter fourteen.

Here we will continue to see who Jesus is as described by John.

Who is Jesus?

Earlier this year, Pastor Judah Smith wrote a book called
Jesus is ______. The companion website, has some interesting submissions taken from visitors to the site.

John has used several words to describe Jesus thus far. Jesus is…

- the bread of life (6:35-51)
  • the light of the world (8:12)
  • the I am (8:58)
  • the gate (10:7, 9)
  • the good shepherd (10:11,14)
  • the resurrection and the life (11:25)

In today’s passage we will see at least three more words that Jesus uses to describe Himself.

I must warn you, though. We will examine what is probably the most offensive and controversial verse in the entire Bible.

The Scene: This is a continuation of last week’s passage, dubbed a farewell.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.” (14:1-4)

Why were their hearts troubled? He was leaving! This is a continuation of last week’s passage dubbed a farewell. Their reaction is understandable! Like many farewells discourses, there is encouragement to not be afraid.

Jesus is preparing them for His departure while assuring them of His return. There’s a tremendous difference between “goodbye” and “see you later.” A departure is even easier to accept when there is a purpose behind it, a purpose which will benefit those left behind.

What is His Father’s house? How do we get to the Father’s house? Thomas doesn’t know, either!

Jesus used the expression of “his father’s house” once before in Luke 2:49 in reference to the Temple. The Temple was the place where earth and heaven met. Here we see Him talking about a new city, a new house. When God renews the whole world, heaven and earth will meet again.

The King James translation says “mansions.” Some have described “rooms” as “suites,” places where Jesus lives which are the places He desires for us to enter. “Dwelling places” is a good translation. Heaven is awaiting our arrival.

It was common in the day for a groom to build an addition onto his father’s house and use it for the home of him and his bride. Jesus says He is doing the same, preparing a place in His Father’s house for His Bride, the Church, the fellowship of believers.

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” (5)

Get ready. Jesus is about to deliver what I believe is the most offensive, politically-incorrect message that has ever been made.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

You don’t have to like it or believe it, but this is what Jesus said. This is His answer to the question, “Who are you?” If you deny it, you deny Him.

Jesus makes three statements in one sentence:

He is the way.
He is the truth.
He is the life.

Actually, the grammar suggests He is saying, “I am the way because I am the truth and because I am the life.”

Ancient Jewish literature refers to the “way(s) of truth” as a life lived according to God’s law (e.g. Ps. 119:30). Early Christ-followers were said to be followers of “The Way.”

In the Old Testament, what was the way? The law.

He leaves little doubt about His exclusive claims in the next verse by saying He is the only way to the Father. Furthermore, if we know Jesus, we know the Father (see Acts 4:12).

These claims are staggering, and ultimately get Him crucified. Once again Jesus says, “I am God. I am not merely a good teacher or prophet or miracle worker. I am God.”

In our spiritual culture today, conventional wisdom says that all roads lead to God. This really makes no logical sense, but it makes people feel good and avoids making anyone uncomfortable. If I disagree with you about something—even respectfully and with love—I’m quickly labeled intolerant and hateful. But think about this for a moment: what if I said that I believed my pathway to God was going in the back yard and digging a hole because I believed God was in the middle of the earth. Would you encourage me? What if I said I was waiting for Winnie the Pooh to come to my house and drive me to heaven in his Pooh-mobile? What if I said God told me the way to eternal life could only come by chopping down every tree in Ann Arbor and offering it as a burnt offering?

You would probably say I’m delusional. I’m not saying that followers of other religions are delusional, but I am saying that this notion that all roads lead to God is illogical. Most people of faith believe their way is
the way, despite the messages of the media that you only need to be sincere. But what if you are sincerely wrong?

Jesus makes some radical claims in these three statements. He doesn’t say He’s a way to get to God like we would say I-94 is one way to get to Lansing (you could take I-96 or Grand River Avenue or others). He doesn’t say He’s a way to get to God like we would say you could take a car to Lansing…or a truck or train or helicopter or bicycle. He says He is
the way like there is one way to enter a bird house or one way to buy gas at Sam’s Club (plastic; they don’t take cash or checks!) or one way to eat Oreos—dipping them first in milk (ha!). Like a computer password, there is only one correct response.

With all due respect to people of other faiths, only Jesus claimed to be God. Only Jesus died for you. Only Jesus offers grace. Only Jesus lived a perfect life. Only Jesus…

He is unique. He is greater. He is God. If there is any doubt, look at the following verses.

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” (8)

Thomas and Peter aren’t the only ones who are clueless. Philip doesn’t understand, either.

Moses asked to see the Father’s glory (Ex. 33:18). Isaiah was given a vision of “the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted” (Isaiah 6:1) before announcing that the glory of the Lord would be revealed through the Messiah (40:5).

Here Jesus is exasperated. How clueless can he be?!

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. (9-11)

Again Jesus says that He is God, one-third of the Trinity, one God in three Persons, Father, Son and Spirit.

Jesus never makes a decision based upon His preferences or conventional wisdom, but rather the will of the Father.

Now we come to one of the most fascinating and misunderstood passages in the Bible.

I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (12)

What has Jesus been doing?

Raising the dead, healing the sick, forgiving sins.

What does this say? If we have faith in Jesus, we will do what He has been doing…and even greater things. Wow! These are still works of Jesus, though. Following Jesus’ death on the cross, the power of death is defeated and new possibilities exist. The eleven disciples and others will succeed Jesus on earth, doing the work of the Father. Jesus’ works were evidence that the Father was at work in Him, and the disciples are about to receive the baton.

For example, after Jesus ascended to the Father, Peter preached to 3000 converts in one day. Jesus never did that! As we will see in future weeks, Jesus left the Holy Spirit whose presence is global rather than local.

The greatest miracle is not the blind seeing or water turned into wine, but dead people—spiritually dead people—coming to life. Jesus tells His friends that they will be empowered for ministry and missionary work around the globe.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Jesus says He will do whatever is asked in His name. Does that mean we can ask to win the lottery and then add “in Jesus’ Name” and wait for the checks to arrive in the mail? Hardly, though many that follow “name it and claim theology” wrongfully teach God wants us to be rich and in perfect health, a complete insult to the life of Christ Himself who was the suffering servant.

Imagine that I worked for the IRS, I sent you a bill, and you wrote a check to the IRS and sent it to me. Is it my check? Can I cash it? Of course not. It’s not about me but about the IRS.

In the same way we are to pray in Jesus’ Name. We are to seek His will. We are to ask for things that honor and glorify God, and when we do, it will surely be. Anything we ask for in His Name and according to His will Jesus will do. It’s a promise!


In the words of NT Wright,

“Don’t come with a set, fixed idea of who God is, and try to fit Jesus into that. Look at Jesus, the Jesus who wept at the tomb of his friend, the Jesus who washed his followers’ feet, and you’ll see who is the true God. That was Jesus’ answer to Philip. It is His answer to the natural questions that arise i people’s minds today. Only when his followers are themselves continuing to do what Jesus did may they be believed when they speak the earth-shattering truth that he spoke.”

You can listen to the Scio podcast here. You can also subscribe to our podcast here.

Love One Another, John 13:18-38, 12 May 2013

Big Idea: Love one another!


We’re in the middle of a series studying the Gospel of John, a biography of Jesus written by one of His best friends, John.

After twelve chapters chronicling the public ministry of Jesus, we began chapter thirteen last Sunday, the events leading up to the cross.

We saw Jesus in the Upper Room washing the feet of His disciples, demonstrating what it means to truly serve. In addition to audacious Peter, Judas Iscariot was both present and a recipient of Jesus’ love and service.

Jesus is in the midst of a tradition known as a farewell. It became a literary genre. We have the farewells of Moses, Solomon, and many others, either actual or possible.

All Jewish farewells had four parts:

  1. A plea to obedience (Deut. 32:46)
  2. A plea to study the Word of God
  3. A promise that God’s Spirit will remain (Deut. 34)
  4. A promise/blessing of comfort (Deut. 33)

Our culture does not usually contain farewells. I have experienced two, both from Alzheimer’s victims (my dad and Darrell Prichard).

If you had a week to live, what would you tell your family and friends? Would you talk about the new Leonard DiCaprio movie or the next iPhone?

Jesus knows He’s about to die, and though He wants to avoid the agony of it, He faces death itself with confidence, knowing it is the Father’s will.

Jesus has washed the feet of the disciples, perhaps the most humbling act possible, and now they engage in the traditional Passover meal. Verse 18 begins by Jesus saying

“I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’ (18)

He quotes Psalm 41:9, referring to Judas Iscariot. It’s incredible to imagine Jesus washing the feet of the one who will betray Him moments later.

“I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He. I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.” (19-20)

After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.” (21)

His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” (22-24)

Nobody had a clue as to who it would be.

Who is the disciple that Jesus loved? John, almost certainly.

Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” (25)

Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. (26-27a)

This is Judas’ last chance, though He knew what Judas would do.

J. Vernon McGee says that God ratifies human decisions. We choose and God seconds the motion.

“What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him, but no one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him. Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night. (27b-30)

Do it quickly. The religious leaders didn’t want to crucify Jesus during the feast.

The disciples were clueless (again!). It was night, devil’s night. Judas leaves.

Night was both a description and a symbol that the end of Jesus’ life is coming. The grand farewell begins at verse 31.

When he was gone, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will glorify the Son in himself, and will glorify him at once. (31-32)

Jesus is preparing to be glorified in His death…and resurrection.

“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come. (33)

Why does He call them children? This is the only time John uses this Greek word,
teknion, an endearing term used between parents and their children. It’s an intimate expression.

He’s about to leave them.

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (34-35)

What’s new about it?

Leviticus 19 says to love your neighbor as yourself, something Jesus often quoted. This love is more descriptive—a dramatic, sacrificing love as He demonstrated. “As I have loved you.”

Jesus is concerned that His followers would love one another. This is His

What is the hallmark of followers of Jesus? Our theology? Our church attendance? Bible-reading? Mission trips? Charitable donations? The world will know we follow Jesus if we love one another.

Tertullian, a Roman historian who lived in the late second to early third centuries (AD 155-220), wrote that even those who opposed Christianity knew that the mutual love of those who followed Christ was unique. “Our care for the derelict and our active love have become our distinctive sign before the enemy … See, they say, how they love one another and how ready they are to die for each other.” (Apology 39)

We have failed and the world has noticed.

This clearly impacted John, who later wrote

We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4:19)

Dr. Gary Burge has observed three things about the love Jesus describes.

Love is connected to obedience. It’s not merely a feeling but an action. (14:31)
Love is about sacrifice. Feet washing and the crucifixion are two examples. (15:31)
We know John 3:16. but 1 John 3:16 is also notable.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? (1 John 3:16-17)

Love is connected to witness. Our greatest testimony is not our words but our life together. (15:35)

You can’t force yourself to love someone. We can’t just try harder to love an lovable person. Instead we need divine intervention. We love because He first loved us. Only by knowing God and experiencing His love can we become like Jesus and love others.

Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” (36a)

Children ask this frequently? Where are you going? Can I come with you?

Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” (36b)

Where is Jesus going? He is going to die.

Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” (37)

He doesn’t want to wait. He wants to be with Jesus.

Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times! (38)


I pray that we would be known by our love for one another.


Some ideas taken from Dr. Gary Burge, Willow Creek Midweek podcast, 4/12/12

You can listen to the Scio podcast here. You can also subscribe to our podcast here.

Serving, John 13:1-17, 5 May 2013

Big Idea: We are to serve others as Jesus has served us.


We’re in the middle of a series studying the Gospel of John, a biography of Jesus written by one of His best friends, John.

The first twelve chapters have presented Jesus’ public ministry and miracles, what some call the Book of Signs. Now everything shifts toward the cross and what follows.

The second half of the Gospel—or “good news”—is sometimes referred to as the Book of Glory.

Jesus gave four major discourses

Matthew 5-7, the Sermon on the Mount
Matthew 13, the Mystery Parable discourse
Matthew 24-25, the Olivet discourse

Now we come to the Upper Room discourse that covers John 13-17. It is the longest of the four.

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (13:1)

He knows He’s about to die. He prepares His final words to His followers.

If you knew one of your best friends was going to betray you, leading to the electric chair, what would you say or do?

The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 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. (13:2-5)

Jesus’ decision to wash his disciples’ feet flows from His assurance of His relationship with God (13:3). He knows both his origins and his destiny and, therefore, the authority He was given.

These four verses are actually one long sentence. He knows Judas is going to betray Him and He responds by washing the feet of His disciples. This is what He does on the cross—He washes and cleanses His enemies.

Some believe Jesus is washing feet today.

He set aside His robe and took a linen cloth. He takes on the role of a servant.

Feet Washing

This was a common practice in the day. Upon entering a home, either the slaves would do it for the guests or the basin would be provided for guests to wash their own feet. Servants did not wash the feet of others, only slaves. It was the lowest task in the society. Many Jews required Gentile slaves to wash feet rather than a Jewish slave. Rarely did a non-slave wash feet, but then always a servant or disciple washing their master’s feet.

Jesus not only washed the feet of His disciples, He knowingly washed the feet of His enemy, Judas Iscariot.

Prior to this account, the disciples were fighting about who was the greatest among them, a scene described in the other “synoptic” Gospels.

When we encounter others, do we pursue status or service?


He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” (6)

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” (7)

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

Jesus tells Peter He will have no fellowship with him. One of the primary gifts of the covenant dating back to Abraham is life with Jesus, life with God. Feet washing is not merely a gesture of fellowship. It is only the death of Jesus (and its acceptance by the believer) that brings eternal life.

Today we are cleansed by the Word of God.

If we are to have fellowship with Jesus, He must cleanse us.

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” (9)

Only Peter would have the audacity to say this!

Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. (10-11)

Jesus’ cleansing work—feet twashing, symbolizing spiritual cleansing on the cross—is complete in itself. Peter does not need more.

“A person who has a bath needs only to wash feet; his whole body is clean” may be a secondary exhortation underscoring the importance of a believer’s baptism. We are washed completely at baptism but as our feet gather dirt and sin we need to frequently wash them. We need to be purified along the pilgrim pathway. We get dirty on our life journey.

As John will later write,

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

The account continues…

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (12-17)

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Although it is not so in the tradition of our tribe, the Christian & Missionary Alliance, there are other denominations and prominent church leaders that have considered feet washing an ordinance alongside baptism and communion. My ordination is through such a group, the Churches of God, General Conference. When I first heard feet washing had such significance, I was skeptical. After all, Jesus didn’t really mean for us to actually wash feet, right?

But what did He say?

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Feet washing is obviously not a recognized cultural expression as it was when people walked everywhere—in sandals. Theological, Leonard Sweet, has said that a modern-day equivalent might be shoe shines!

Regardless of the manner in which one serves, the point is clear: serve! Jesus reversed the cultural norms, the King of kings stooping down to serve His sinful subjects.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Are you a servant?

Husbands, how do you serve your wife?
Wives, how do you serve your husband?
Students, how do you serve your parents?
Singles, how do you serve your friends and co-workers? Your boss?

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

It’s not about whether or not someone deserves it or not. Love your enemies. Serve your enemies. Pray prayers of blessing on them.

No love is deserved. Eventually everyone will wrong you...and you will wrong them, too.

What if you made it a private game to out-serve those around you?

What if we did as a Scio family? How can we reach out to the poor, the widow, the orphan? Maybe it means becoming a foster parent. Perhaps it means volunteering at Hope Clinic. It might involve devoting more of your finances to those less fortunate.

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

It will involve sacrifice.

If you are at all like me, you think, “I’ll serve when it’s convenient, when I have extra time or energy. I’ll serve when I feel like it, when I feel good about it, when I get appreciated, and when it’s convenient to do so.”

I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.


Jesus’ love and service for us transform and empower us. Without His love, we cannot love others. Without His example of servanthood, we cannot serve others. We love because He first loved us.

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