Wed. Jul 24th, 2024

It was the night that Jesus would be betrayed. His disciples were going to take the Passover meal with Him in Jerusalem. They didn’t realize it would be the last time they would take the Passover meal with Him. You see, Jesus and the disciples had come to Jerusalem all the way from Bethany. There were no paved roads to walk. Their feet would have been dusty from walking miles on that dusty road. And when they arrived the slave who would have customarily washed the feet of all the guests, the slave who would have customarily been provided by the master of the house was not there. The host there in the upper room had failed to provide a servant to wash their feet.  There was a basin. There was water. There was the long linen towel used by slaves to wash the feet, but there was no slave. Luke tells us that on the way to the upper room, the disciples had been having a conversation. I’m being kind. It really wasn’t a conversation. It was an argument. And the argument was about that very spiritual issue of “Which one among us is the greatest?” When they arrived at the room, all of the disciples stood around in embarrassed silence looking at one another waiting to see who was going to do the dirty chore. Judas was there too. He had already arranged to betray His Master. And not even that despicable villain would lower himself to wash the feet of his brethren. In this context, Jesus removed His outer garments. He girded Himself with the long linen towel in the manner of an oriental slave. He took the basin and He began to wash the feet of the disciples, including Judas. That night Jesus would say in that upper room to His disciples these words, “A new commandment I give to you. That you love one another as I have loved you. As I have loved you, so also you love one another.” It is that command that Jesus gave, that God gave, to deacons to enflesh in the church. God gave deacons to the church to enflesh Jesus’ love command in the upper room. Let me say that another way. The deacon is to model, he is to enflesh, he is to be a living example of the self-giving, tangible love of Jesus Christ to His people. Jesus didn’t merely say, “I love you to death. Hope you guys turn out all right.” Jesus gave the totality of Himself in order to save His people. In other words, He did not simply love in word but in deed. He not only said that He loved us, He did what was necessary in order to keep up in eternal fellowship with Him even if it required His own self-sacrifice.  And it did.

And that is why Paul can say in Philippians chapter 2 “that He emptied Himself for us, taking on the form of a slave.” And it is that task, the service of the brethren, that God has appointed deacons to fulfill. John, the beloved disciple, was there that night and he never forgot what he saw and heard. And years later in I John 3:18, he would say this to Christians, who by then he could all call ‘little children’ because he was about 90 years old. He said, “Little children, let us not love with word and tongue, but in deed and truth.” God gave deacons to the church to love in deed and in truth and to spur us as a congregation to love in deed and truth.

Ligon Duncan


REFLECTION:

Read 1 Timothy 3:8-13.  Agree/disagree: If you’re not serving, you’re too self-focused. Is every Christian a minister(servant)? How can we promote a servant mentality in the church instead of a “serve-me” attitude? Why are the requirements so high to be an official servant (deacon) in the church?

HYMN:
The Power of the Cross – Keith and Kristyn Getty

SOCIAL

Idolatry is not a thing of the past. Idol worship today might look different, but we have modern day idols all around us. Let's look at what these modern idols are and how we can overcome them.
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Visual Verse of the Day

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves. It is the gift of God that no one shoud boast..." Ephs 2:8, 9

By 9jabook