The Drama Of Redemption
A daily devotion for July 2nd
3Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. (John 13:5)
There can be little doubt that in this passage Jesus is deliberately working out a parable for the instruction of His disciples. He is dramatizing for them the truth of His own ministry, of His own redemptive mercy. He is showing them by this means what He had come into the world to do. You can trace the parallel in the events that John records: First, Jesus rose from supper, just as He had previously risen from His throne of glory. Then He laid aside His garments. Paul tells us that He laid aside His glory when He came into the world in the incarnate state. He laid aside the exercise of His own deity. He did not come to act as God; He came to act as man indwelt by God (see Philippians 2:5-11).
And Jesus wrapped Himself with a towel, just as Paul also records that He
[took] the very nature of a servant and
humbled himself and became obedient to death (Philippians 2:7-8). So here He humbles Himself, taking the role of a slave, girding Himself with a towel. Then
he poured water into a basin, just as in a few hours He was to pour out His own blood in death, the blood that would be for the cleansing of human defilement, of human guilt of every kind and source, So He pours water into the basin as a picture of that.
began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him, picturing the very act of applying the cleansing of His own blood to human lives. And if you skip to verse 12, you have the end of the parable.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place, just as the writer of Hebrews records for us that
after he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3). Thus, you have this remarkable, beautiful parable worked out for us, teaching us the meaning of Jesus' whole ministry.
Lord, I stand amazed at Your love for me. Thank You for rising from Your throne of glory, laying aside the exercise of Your own deity, taking the form of a servant, pouring out Your blood, and resuming Your place at the Father's right hand.
Life Application: What does it mean to serve humbly with a servant's heart? How are we working out Jesus' amazing discipleship parable in our lives?
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