A Living Parable (John 13:1-2)
A daily devotional for July 1st
1It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.
2The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus.
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love (John 13:1).
The passage begins with a parable in action rather than a discourse or a message. It begins with Jesus' washing the disciples' feet. And in that remarkable event, simple as it was and yet strange in many ways, John sees some very deep and remarkable meanings. There are two movements that John sees in this event, and he gathers them up in the preface to this account. John sees first in this remarkable scene the evidence and the demonstration of the unchanging love of Jesus for His disciples. Jesus remains considerate, compassionate, and thoughtful about His disciples, and that impresses John. He is amazed by the fact that Jesus is not thinking of Himself, even though He knows that this is the dramatic hour toward which He has been living. Rather, His thoughts are still upon His disciples. He teaches them and manifests love and compassion and concern for them to the end.
The second movement concerns Judas. John sees in the act of foot washing a demonstration of the truth that is in Jesus, of the remarkable passion that strips away all pretense and hypocrisy and reveals things exactly the way they are, In this dramatic act in which Jesus stoops to wash the feet of Judas as well as those of the other disciples, John sees a manifestation of that honesty of God, that reality of God that exposes all hypocrisy, and by means of such revelation seeks to lay hold of the traitor's heart and show him what is happening to him. Jesus is moved to do this, John says, by an awareness of His own authority. The Father gave all things into His hands; He knew that. He knew who He was, knew He had come from God, and knew He was going to God. And, moved by this sense of His own identity and authority, Jesus begins to speak direct words to Judas, exposing what he was doing and where he was headed. John sees all this as intertwined in this remarkable scene: the commitment of love that taught to the end and the passion of truth that fought to the end for the deliverance of Judas.
Lord, thank You for the love that stoops to serve me. Thank You for the honesty that seeks to deliver me from my own hypocrisy. Help me to surrender once again to the way You are working in my life.
Life Application: Actions speak louder than words. How do we demonstrate the highest form of love - even to those who may not deserve it?
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Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotional is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.