Thursday, May 17, 2012

John 13:12-17

When we started this chapter I said that we needed to lean in to listen, because these are some of Jesus’ final teachings to His disciples before His death. So whatever He says, it has some urgency to it. He is imparting the lessons that He believes will be critical to the growth of these men and to the success of their ministry of spreading the gospel. So Jesus, having washed His disciples’ feet, now explains to them what it was all about:

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.  (John 13:12-17)

Jesus is telling them that if they call Him “Teacher” and “Lord,” and MEAN it, then they will follow His example. We can’t say we have learned something from a teacher, then completely ignore the lesson! And yet, we do it all of the time!

Now, I expect that from some of my fifth graders! I’ve spent the past two weeks trying to explain how to find the area of a quadrilateral (Area = length x width ... remember?) You’d have to be there to see it, but I practically stand on my head to get this simple formula across to this group (I am currently teaching the ones who struggle with math). For days I made models with construction paper, gave them notes with the formula and examples in their math journals, used a video presentation to explain the concept of area, and checked for understanding using wipe boards. So on the day before the quiz, I was reviewing with them and asked one of the girls to give me the formula for area (we had just gone over it for the umpteenth time two minutes before this), and she said, “Meters???” AAUGHH!!! “Well, actually, that’s a unit of measure, not the formula...” I said patiently, while in my head I was shouting, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME???”

So I am totally amazed by the patience of Jesus as He explained to these men (like us, apparently sufferers of attention deficit), what He was trying to show them when He washed their feet: “Just as I am here to humbly serve others, even though I am your Lord and Teacher, you, too, must humbly serve others. And if you do this, you will be blessed!”

Note that Jesus said that it wasn’t enough to KNOW. It isn’t about memorizing scripture and studying what the Bible teaches for 36 years, it’s DOING what it says! James wrote in his letter that we need to be not just LEARNERS of the Word, but DOERS of the Word:

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:22-25)

These disciples would be having to sacrifice themselves for the sake of the gospel. They needed to learn that it was NOT all about them! They were on earth to pour out themselves for the glory of God. I was telling my girls in my class today that as women, they would never have a time in their lives when it was about them! It will always be about serving and taking care of others, their husbands, their children, etc. [The context of this lecture was that they were laughing about how I was trying to show a group of boys how to do something VERY simple - move something from one place to another - and the boys could NOT figure out an efficient way to do it - I had to show them. I told the girls, “Get used to this - you will be showing men how to do the simple stuff your whole life!”] I know - that was sexist - but it was soooo true! :)

So, as you can see, I need to learn the lessons myself!!! Can you tell it’s the end of the school year?? One more month to go! LORD, let me follow your example. I’ve seen you model it - now I need to do it!!!  

No comments:

Post a Comment