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An Example to Follow

“After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, ‘Do you understand what I was doing? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.’”1

I cannot even begin to imagine all the thoughts and feelings that Jesus was experiencing in the passage above. In the first verse of John 13 we read, “…Jesus knew that his hour had come to leave this world and return to his Father. He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end.” Despite his feelings, He selflessly set them aside at the moment and focused on his purpose. He wanted to take advantage of every moment with his disciples to teach them, hands on, what it looked like to be a follower of Jesus. Not only did he actively model a life of service to them, but he also wanted to make sure they understood it and did it. He did not want them to have any excuse for not serving others. Jesus spent every moment leading up to his death serving and blessing others. What a beautiful example of love.

This led me to think of my life. When I encounter undesirable circumstances in life, many times the last thing I think about is serving or blessing others through it. Sometimes I prefer to avoid interacting with other people until the stress passes! But by doing this, I miss out on the blessings God has for me. Imagine the impact our testimony could have if we focused on our purpose instead of the problem. Loving and serving others through our problems or stressful moments is evidence of our faith and trust in God.

However, we will all have bad days and will at times need to take some time alone to process and pray. That is what Jesus did when he went to pray in Gethsemane. There came a moment when he told his disciples “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” Then he goes a little farther to be alone with his Father.2 Even in that he taught us… when we get overwhelmed or we don’t know what to do, go to the Father.

Let today’s scripture be a reminder and encouragement to us to actively follow Jesus by doing what he taught us to do.

Suggested prayer: Dear God, thank you for the example of love that you gave us in Jesus. I ask that you help me do the things he taught us to do. Serving and loving others was his purpose all the way to the cross. Even when he knew he would be betrayed, he did not let that distract him from doing what he needed to do. I pray that I would, like Jesus, focus on my purpose more than my problems, and when I feel overwhelmed, that I would go to you in prayer and trust that your will and plans are good. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

  1. John 13:12-17 (NLT).

  2. Matthew 26:36-46.

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.