If you knew someone was going to betray you, someone very close to you in whom you invested your heart and soul, could you still love them? Could you still love them as Christ commanded and portrayed for us when He washed His Disciplesâ€™ feet?
Right before he gives an account of this amazing display of love, the Apostle John gives us an insight into the true heart of Jesus:
â€œNow before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.â€ (John 13:1; italics added)
In the next sixteen verses, Jesus will portray Christ the Servant, even though He has been and is their Teacher and Lord. In verse 15, Jesus clearly tells them that He has given the Disciples â€œan example, that you should do as I have done to you.â€ Jesus is inviting us to have a heart like His if we so desire it.
Is Jesus commanding them to wash the others feet from this point forward? He is teaching that servanthood is where the blessed life is found. This servanthood mentality is not found by reading the Scriptures alone. It is not found in attending some â€œLoving Like Jesusâ€ class at church. It is not found even in a deliberate attempt to obey Jesus.
It is found in each of us who have truly surrendered their lives to the Lord Jesus Christ. As he was teaching on this subject a few months ago to our Menâ€™s Bible Study, my pastor Dr. Dennis Brunet told us that we can have a heart like Jesus and he shared this verse:
â€œNow hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.â€ (Romans 5:5)
It is Godâ€™s love within us that brings us to the point of surrender. It brings us to the end of ourselves where we start doing things that at times even surprise us. We serve in a manner contrary to our selfish desires. Too many Christians search for a church to meet their needs instead of looking for a church where they can plug in and serve alongside other saints.
Oh, these church shoppers will tell you that theyâ€™re looking for a place to serve, but high on their list is what the church has to offer them. They believe in serving in a church, but believing and being are two different aspects of Christianity.
I can believe in the truth of the Bible, but can I live it? When I read a difficult teaching in the Bible that convicts my soul and gives me a true glimpse of my heart, can I embrace that truth and allow the Holy Spirit to have His way with me?
Go back to my initial question and letâ€™s bring it to the present tense. If you knew someone was betraying you, someone very close to you in whom you invested your heart and soul, could you still love them?
In John 13:2, we read that the devil has already convinced Judas to betray Jesus. Jesus knows this because He is God incarnate. Even though He know this, He still humbles Himself and washes the feet of His betrayers. Notice I used the plural. In less than 24 hours, all of His disciples will have abandoned Him.
To answer my own question, in my own strength, in this body of flesh and bones, with my sinful nature, I would not love them much less serve them. However, when I look at the cross and I see my Saviorâ€™s love and forgiveness for me, I really have no choice. The love of Christ should overflow out my heart towards those God has put into my life.
If I am serving for my own edification, I wonâ€™t love like Jesus. If I am serving for Godâ€™s glory, then I can say â€œAmenâ€ to Peterâ€™s admonition in his first epistle:
â€œAnd above all things have fervent love for one another, for â€˜love will cover a multitude of sins.â€™â€ (1 Peter 4:8)
Who do you need to love like Jesus? You know youâ€™re supposed to, but his or her betrayal was or is so hurtful.
You even believe you should love them like Jesus.
But will you?
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Copyright Â© 2018 David Jeffers