Wednesday, August 2, 2017
A Caring Savior
“…Jesus was troubled in spirit… ‘Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me…Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me…I am going there to prepare a place for you…” John 13:21, 38 and John 14:1-3.
I am so thankful for all of the many research hours that authors of Bible studies put in for our benefit. I can’t tell you how many times I have read this particular passage and failed to mine the gem. In this passage Jesus had just washed their feet. He was serving them in His final hours leading up to the most horrific day of His life. He modeled selfless servanthood and humility as they had just been quarrelling over who was the greatest. I can see this scene in my mind playing out.
The disciples must have been getting louder and louder pointing out the things they had done…taking credit for the Spirit’s work. Then quietly and subtly Jesus slipped away and filled a bowl with water. He tucked in His tunic and rested the palms of His soon to be nail scarred hands on His most devoted friends who would soon abandon Him. Realizing this Jesus became ‘grieved’ in His spirit that one will betray Him while another would not stand up for His name. He had lived out His ministry being rejected and ridiculed, but this pain was worse than any other. This pain came at the hands of those who claimed to love Him most. But just as quickly as we give Jesus permission to be angry…hurt…bitter, He gives them something instead. He gives them compassion and encouragement. He shows them truth that might hurt…their failure…but He follows up with love and remedy. When Jesus tells them to not have a troubled heart, the translation means to be unwavering in their determination. ‘Jesus had every right to focus on Himself for what was ahead, yet He chose to continue to provide teaching and comfort to those closest to Him. What a caring Savior.’ Finding I Am, Lysa TerKeurst, p. 122.
We live in a world where people abandon people…family betrays family…friends disappoint friends…people jockey for greatness. I believe that Jesus gave us this story to show a stark comparison of the flesh verses the Spirit. The flesh takes while the Spirit gives. The flesh demands while the Spirit complies. Jesus who was the greatest laid down His life for mankind who is the weakest. He modeled that when we are walking out our most difficult journeys, we are still to serve. When we are grieved in our Spirit we are to still show our compassion for others. When we are crumbling in our circumstances we are to remain unwavering in our determination to trust in God. We are to model humility and forgiveness even when our hurts are justified. I cannot imagine how the disciples felt seeing those hands stretched out on the cross when the day before they were wrapped around their feet in love.
Jesus goes up ahead to prepare a place where we might learn and love…a place where He has already orchestrated things we need to experience to grow…a place where He will be at the end of our difficult seasons…a place where He still washes feet, encourages hearts and reveals Himself to us.