John 13:14-15, 17 “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. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” (NIV)
What an incredible example and teaching to cap off the ministry of Jesus! With hours to live, what final message did Jesus want to drive home to His disciples? Knowing He was getting ready to exit the ministry would normally challenge one to address leadership, organization, and how to continue what He had started. But the Son of God focused on just the opposite of what human nature would think. Jesus not only chose to emphasize serving others, but also demonstrated serving with an extreme example that would push most people past their limit. Feet in Jesus’ day were not just dirty – they were filthy! Jesus knew that the religious structure of the day spoke little to people. What people were unaccustomed to was Jesus, who loved unconditionally and who was willing to place others before Himself. Jesus lived a life where God’s transforming love was perfected through His life that was a perfect conduit for God’s love. It was this type of life that produced radical transformation in others. Jesus knew that His ministry would not be perfected in human shrewdness, but in a love that is best demonstrated in serving and loving others. Yes, Jesus set the example! Yes, the disciples now know this truth, but what they didn’t realize is that they were going to be blessed by doing it! What does it mean to be blessed by God? It is not material wealth, the perfect job, the most connected relationships, but experiencing the richness of God’s love, presence, and work in you. Serving is a constant activity that allows God to constantly pour His life through you into the ministry of others.
John 14:10-14 “The words I (Jesus speaking) say to you are not just My own. Rather, it is the Father, living in Me, who is doing His work. Believe Me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in Me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it.” (NIV)