John Chapter 13:34
Before we dive into this entire chapter I want to highlight the end of the chapter, specifically verse 34, where we are given the commandment to love one another.
We are in the easiest time of year to show love to one another. In this Christmas season whether one is born again or not, giving and showing acts of love and kindness is celebrated. The born again know its because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus, the birth of the Messiah and we love to celebrate that and show love to one another and give to others imitating the way our heavenly Father loves to give to us. After all, He gave the greatest gift of all when He gave us Jesus. To the secular world they too love to celebrate the giving and the love this time of year even though they don’t fully understand it. This is an amazing time of year to step out one step further in showing love to others.
In John 13 we are commanded to love one another, this is how God operates, through love. We are to mirror Him and operate in love as well. God is love, He made us in love in His image so this commandment shouldn’t be a hard thing for us to accomplish, it should be our natural default. If its hard to love one another or show love, this is something that I would encourage you to spend time in prayer with God on. Often times if we struggle to show love to others its because we are having a hard time receiving the love that God is trying to cover us in. He doesn’t command us to do something that is out of reach.
All He does is out of love. We should strive to be in the place where all we do is out of love too. We should be praying for God to renew our minds to naturally do all things in love. Recently I heard that there are some christians who beleive that God uses the devil as a tool to toughen up Christians and make them more in Gods image. To me, I say that doesn’t sound like love at all. God is love and uses love to teach us things and help us grow in love in Him. God doesn’t use evil to teach christians, though we may learn in times of trials; He uses love, His language is through love. Gods character is love, and He made us in His image. This means our character traits should be in love too. Our actions should be love based actions, our motives should always be in love. We shouldn’t operate through evil ways to do anything, we should always operate and do all things in love.
This Christmas week I encourage you to step out and show love to someone you wouldn’t maybe typically show love too. Make someone Christmas cookies, give someone a Christmas card that shows them how much you appreciate them. Its not about the money, its about the thought that goes into the action of going out of your way to show love. Ask God who needs to feel loved right now, for some this is a hard time of year. Ask God to highlight those who need extra love and what will touch their heart the most. Again, its not about the money, it could even be something as simple as a hand made card, its the thought not the price tag. Go forth and love one another and have a very Merry Christmas.
John Chapter 13
In this chapter Jesus takes a servant towel and begins to wash His disciples feet. Peter, without thinking first or having a filter, told Jesus no, that He (Jesus) would never wash his feet. Jesus replies that if Peter didn’t let Him wash his feet then Peter will have no part in Jesus. Again, without a filter, Peter replies that Jesus can wash his hands and head too. Having a filter can be an important thing, having the patience to wait upon the Lord before we quickly respond to things out of emotion is always a good idea. There are moments when speaking without overthinking is good, but for the most part we should be aiming to seek the Lord on things before jumping to respond off of feelings/emotions and reactions. Taking every thought captive is key on how to do this. Remember, there is life and death in the power of the tongue, this reason alone should motivate us to watch what we say before we say it.
What did the foot washing mean? When we repent, surrender to Jesus and get born again we get our sins washed away through the blood of Jesus. However, we will still have times where we may sin, in this we need to continue to confess and repent of our sins. We don’t need to get reborn again. Jesus was showing them that they wouldn’t need to be fully bathe after already bathing. In those times one would get their feet dirty when walking the dirt roads to go anywhere so they would wash their feet often when they would get home, but they wouldn’t need to bathe their whole bodies when just their feet were dirty. When one is born again and sins, they don’t need to ask to be born again or get water baptized over and over again, they merely need to repent of the sin and keep on in their journey with Jesus.
Jesus also told them that they should learn by example, Jesus grabbed a servants towel and then washed their feet so that they may go and do the same to others. We do this when we share the gospel with others and
introduce them to Jesus so that they may decided to get born again.
Jesus said that He wasn’t speaking this to all of them, because He already knew who was going to betray Him and who wasn’t fully committed to Him. Jesus, feeling troubled in Spirit, finally told the disciples that one of them would betray Him. The disciples wanted to know who it was, and Jesus said that whoever He hands the bread after it was dipped is the one who will betray Him. He then handed the bread to Judas Iscariot and said what you are going to do, do it quickly without delay. The disciples thought that sense he was the treasurer that we was possibly going to go by something, or give money to the poor; they didn’t understand.
Take note of this as well, Jesus knew the whole time that Judas Iscariot would betray Him. Yet He didn’t operate off of hurt feelings or emotions, He didn’t allow any of that to get in the way of what He knew had to be done. He followed Gods plan and didn’t allow anything to get in the way. He didn’t treat Judas differently or be mean to him everyday because He knew that Judas would betray Him. If we had to work with someone and we knew that they would betray us in an awful way, it’d make us not want to work with that person. Yet Jesus didn’t complain, He didn’t pull Judas aside and yell at Him, He treated Him the same as the other disciples. One way we know this is because of all of the testimonies from he disciples we never see one count of Jesus treating Judas differently from the rest like an ugly duckling. In fact, when Jesus said one will betray Him they couldn’t even figure out who it was. Jesus still treated Judas in love. For the average person today that would be a hard thing to do, yet not impossible thanks to the Holy Spirit.
Jesus then said that now was the time for the Son of Man to be glorified and God is glorified in Him. He then tells them that He will only be with them a little longer, yet they still had no idea what He was talking about.
Often times God can give us a message and we can miss it because our minds are still too carnal. Thankfully we have the Holy Spirit to aid us in the renewing of our minds. As we grow in Christ we will be able to understand His messages more clearly.
Jesus tells them that where He is going they cannot go, to us its obvious to what He was talking about, to them they probably thought He was going to travel to another land that for whatever reason they weren’t allowed to travel too with Him. Jesus told them that they couldn’t go with Him then gives them a new commandment, that they would love one another.
Love is what is supposed to set us apart from the world. People should be able to look at us and see that we act and operate through love and that we must belong to Jesus because God is love. Unfortunately there are too many Christians who don’t know how to walk in love yet and their actions can unintentionally come off as not only opposite of love but also in hypocritical ways. This is one of the biggest reasons unbelievers don’t want to follow Jesus, because they see His “followers” as walking in hate and judgment and this comes off as fake and hypocritical.
In order for us to walk in love we first need to repent, then seek God. God is love, to show love to others you need to first know that God loves you and receive His love. We can’t give what we don’t have, to give love and walk in love we have to first receive His love. I say receive because He is already freely giving His love to us, we just may not be fully receiving it. When we fully receive His love it will make it natural for us to walk in love and show love to others. If you struggle with showing love to others, seek God, ask God to help you remove whatever is blocking you from truly receiving His love, spend time getting to know Him more.
Peter then says that wherever Jesus is going, Peter will go too, He will lay down His life for Him. To this Jesus replies that before a rooster crows he will deny Jesus three times. Its easy to vocally say that we surrender and give our lives to Jesus. Its another thing to truly do it. We need to not just talk the talk but we need to actually walk the walk. Its not by our works rather its by our transformation in Christ by our relationship with Him. New Years is a great time to re-evaluate where you are on your walk with Jesus. This is a great time to ask God to show you what you need to let go of, what you need to repent of, what you need to keep doing, what you need to make changes with, maybe relationships you need to let go of or work on. This is a great time to ask God what we need to do differently to work on our relationship with Him, what we need to keep doing to know Him more and what He wants us to really focus on this year. I encourage us all to seek the Lord this week and really allow Him to show us what we need to this year to grow in Him, know Him more and be able to fully obey the commandment He gave us; love one another. God never commands us to do something that isn’t possible, its fully within our reach.