Posts Tagged ‘John 13’

Serve one another in love

May 22, 2017

Taken from Galatians 5:13 in the Amplified Bible, the Verse of the Day for May 22, 2017 highlights the paradox between freedom and servitude:

For you, my brothers, were called to freedom; only do not let your freedom become an opportunity for the sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness), but through love serve and seek the best for one another.

Footnotes in Bible Gateway.com offer the following explanations:

The “sinful nature (worldliness, selfishness)” literally means “the flesh.”

The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.

The New Living Translation renders the Verse of the Day this way:

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.

A related verse is found in also in the New Living Translation:

1 Peter 4:10

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

The basin and towel are symbolic of the essence of servanthood.

In discussing this topic of the servant or bond slave, an image almost immediately comes to mind: a basin and a towel, representative of one of my favorite passages regarding the ministry of Jesus Christ, who revealed so clearly the heart of a bond servant when he washed the disciples’ feet in the account from John 13.

A number of years ago, my wife and I received a special Christmas gift: a statue of Christ washing one of his disciples’ feet with the inscription John chapter 13 embossed on the base. I was deeply moved when I opened the package and discovered such a priceless gift inside. Here is a replica of the sculpture that we received.

Nowhere is this portrait of a true servant of the Lord more vividly revealed than in the account where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples in John 13. This very moving passage, in part, inspired this poem:

Let Me Wash Your Feet
John 13:4-5, 19

As Jesus put off his garments and wrapped a towel
around himself,
So I lay aside my pride with nothing to hide and
expose myself.
As a humble servant I long to wash your feet.
You could yourself
Perform this deed of loving service, but let me
Serve you myself.
To allow me to wash your feet is to bless me,
as Christ himself
Blessed the Twelve before he departed from this earth.
You have yourself
The key to the door of blessing for you and me:
As Jesus took
Upon himself
The servant’s form
That I myself
Might freely give
To you yourself,
So I ask you
As Christ himself
Still asks of me,
So I ask you to
Let me to wash your feet.

“The Basin and the Towel,” musical composition by Michael Card, also portrays this moving account of John 13 in this video:

“To Serve” is a powerful verb. Listen to this excerpt from the classic sermon by Dr. Martin Luther King, who opens the door to vast possibilities for greatness for those who choose to serve.

We conclude with Frontline Music offering a Galatians Meditation based on Galatians 5:13-15:

Humility before honor

January 26, 2015

james-4-10

Taken from James 4:10 (New Living Translation), the Verse of the Day for January 26, 2015 reminds us that that “the way down is the way up”:

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.

In Mark 9:35 Jesus Christ illustrates the same point that those who desire to be first should put themselves last and serve others first.

And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Nowhere is this portrait of a true servant of the Lord more vividly revealed than in the account where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples in John 13.

A number of years ago, my wife and I received a special Christmas gift: a statue of Christ washing one of his disciples’ feet with the inscription John chapter 13 embossed on the base. I was deeply moved when I opened the package and discovered such a priceless gift inside.   Here is a replica of the sculpture that we received.

John 13 Statue

I recall a similar experience when I viewed another work of art that evoked a similar response. In a journal entry written in 2003 as I was on my way to Dakar, Senegal, I described the situation where I viewed a work of art and shared a poem based on the same account in John 13:

El Lavatorio (Tintoretto)

As I am enjoying the Vision of Madrid bus tour, I decide to get off at one of the stops—The Prado, the world famous museum housing a number of noteworthy works by such artists as Goya, El Greco, Velasquez, et.al. Some of the most recognized works in the collection are religious themes and portraits based on incidents and individuals portrayed as if they were members of the contemporary society at the time the works were painted. One particular painting, “El Lavatorio” by Tintoretto, deeply moves me in a profound way. The larger than life painting depicts Jesus washing the feet of Peter, as the others have either had their feet washed or are waiting for the experience. Once again I try to envision what the disciples must have thought when Jesus took a towel and a basin and began to wash their feet. What an overwhelming lesson in humility. As I reflect upon the painting which moves me to tears, I thought of this poem:

Let Me Wash Your Feet

As Jesus put off his garments and wrapped a towel

around himself,

So I lay aside my pride with nothing to hide and

expose myself.

As a humble servant I long to wash your feet.

You could yourself

Perform this deed of loving service, but let me

Serve you myself.

To allow me to wash your feet is to bless me,

as Christ, himself

Blessed the Twelve before he departed from this earth.

You have yourself

The key to the door of blessing for you and me:

As Jesus took

Upon himself

The servant’s form

That I, myself

Might freely give

To you, yourself,

So I ask you

As Christ, himself

Still asks of me,

So I ask you to

Let me to wash your feet.

“The Basin and the Towel,” musical composition by Michael Card, also portrays this moving account of John 13 in this video:

The Word of God reminds us once again that those who would be great must first serve others.

Let us pray:

God, our Father, we thank you for the honor and the privilege to carry out Christ’s command that we love one another and give our lives in service, just as he did. As we follow in Christ’s steps, may we also learn the lessons of humility and recognize that if we humble ourselves in your sight, that you will lift us up. In the name of Jesus Christ, our living Lord and Savior, Amen.

Mark 9:35–First and last

January 29, 2014

Mark-9 35The Verse of the Day for January 29, 2014 expresses the paradox of servanthood: the last shall be first and the first shall be last. If you want to be in the premier position as number one, then put yourself in the last position by putting others first, and you will be great. A similar concept was expressed in another recent Verse of the Day taken from James 4:1 where we learn that that “the way down is the way up.”

Jesus Christ illustrates the same point that those who desire to be first should put themselves last and serve others first.  Nowhere is this portrait of a true servant of the Lord more vividly revealed than in the account where Jesus washes the feet of the disciples in John 13.

El_Lavatorio_(Tintoretto)A number of years ago, my wife and I received a special Christmas gift: a statue of Christ washing one of his disciples’ feet with the inscription John chapter 13 embossed on the base.  I was deeply moved when I opened the package and discovered such a priceless gift inside.   I recall a similar experience when I viewed another work of art that evoked a similar response.  In a journal entry written in 2003 as I was on my way to Dakar, Senegal, I described the situation and shared a poem based on the same account in John 13:

As I am enjoying the Vision of Madrid bus tour, I decide to get off at one of the stops—The Prado, the world famous museum housing a number of noteworthy works by such artists as Goya, El Greco, Velasquez, et.al.  Some of the most recognized works in the collection are religious themes and portraits based on incidents and individuals portrayed as if they were members of the contemporary society at the time the works were painted.  One particular painting, “El Lavatorio” by Tintoretto, deeply moves me in a profound way.  The larger than life painting depicts Jesus washing the feet of Peter, as the others have either had their feet washed or are waiting for the experience.  Once again I try to envision what the disciples must have thought when Jesus took a towel and a basin and began to wash their feet.  What an overwhelming lesson in humility.  As I reflect upon the painting which moves me to tears, I thought of this poem:

Let Me Wash Your Feet

John 13:4-5, 19

As Jesus put off his garments and wrapped a towel

around himself,

So I lay aside my pride with nothing to hide and

expose myself.

As a humble servant I long to wash your feet.

You could yourself

Perform this deed of loving service, but let me

serve you myself.

To allow me to wash your feet is to bless me,

as Christ himself

Blessed the Twelve before he departed from this earth.

You have yourself

The key to the door of blessing for you and me:

As Jesus took

Upon himself

The servant’s form

That I myself

Might freely give

To you yourself,

So I ask you

As Christ himself

Still asks of me,

So I ask you to

Let me to wash your feet.

“The Basin and the Towel,” musical composition by Michael Card, also portrays this moving account of John 13 in this video:

The Verse of the Day reminds us once again that those who would be great must first serve others.

basin and towel