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Taking Things Into My Own Hands

John 13:3-5
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded

The washing of the disciples' feet has always been a tender picture of humility. Reading it again I noticed something I hadn't before. I wonder what it was about "knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands" that led to the disciples' feet being the first thing Jesus took in His hands.

What is it that truly transforms one into a humble servant? Maybe it is truly understanding one's purpose that frees you to serve. In this significant act, Jesus said he had given them an example to follow (v.15). But I think that (as with most things) it didn't really register until the resurrection. Not the fact of Jesus' humility in this act of service, but the larger picture of how He was free to humble Himself because He understood His purpose. It was a lesson in embracing the will of God as much as a model of servant leadership.

One other ingrediant of embracing God's purpose is the love it produces for those He "gives you" to care for. V. 1 that "Jesus knew His hour had come." And from the beginning He loved "His own...to the end." Despite all thier mistakes, and lack of understanding, He loved them...us...me.

For me, there is still a lot of my life that is about making things happen...taking control. But Jesus, the only thing He took into His own hands at this significant moment was...feet. When I think of taking things into my own hands it has to do my success. Jesus already had been given all things into His hands, but He releases them so He can perform the most menial of tasks. Paul says that He did not consider His rightful place as something to be "grasped" (NIV) or held on to, instead He became a servant (Philippians 2:6-9). He understood His purpose.

So there's this life triad: as I understand God's specific purpose for my life, it should produce a love for people, that is expressed through the humility that the other two factor should produce. This seems to be an increasing cycle - purpose, love, humility, purpose, love, humility...I want it to be at work in me.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 23, 2003 12:00 AM.

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