As I Have Done to You

After washing their feet, He put on His robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right, because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you.” John 13:12-15

Happy New Year to you and your families! I wanted to give you some insight on my resolution for the New Year. In thinking about my past year and goals that I have set, I plan to spend a lot of time focusing on preparedness. Another theme that resonates with me is that I should focus more on those things that are strengths of mine. In that vein, words that come to mind are ‘love for others,’ ‘honor,’ and ‘servitude.’ In saying those things, I realize there is no greater driver for me than love, and as I look toward my devotion writing, I plan to spend more time writing in this area. It is my love for others that tends to motivate me to be better than I would be motivated on my own. It is that which I start the year focusing on; love for others.

We are truly followers of Christ when we understand that the relationship with Him is one where we give without attention toward receiving. I have read these verses on many occasions, and focused rightfully on the idea of Jesus as Lord serving His disciples. However, we tend to lose sight of what Jesus wants here. He does not want anything! He invited them to do as He has done. He did not say, “You must wash each other’s feet, or else.” This lesson He gave them is emphasized by His saying, “I have given you an example to follow.” Other versions (“should do” – NIV & KJV, “should be done” – NLV) mirror those words. While He does say, “Do as I have done to you,” this is not a commandment. It is a gift of spiritual knowledge! It is meant to inspire understanding of the expectation of being a follower of Christ. Becoming more knowledgeable of God does not elevate us above others. It should instill us with a heart to serve them. It has the Master as the servant. It pushes us to ask not what price those who would do us harm must pay. Instead, it asks how I can better aide in their troubles. That is the spirit of Jesus’s teaching in these verses.

Jesus gave us the greatest gift of all in sacrificing His life for our sins. It covers past, present, and future sins. Because of this, we should feel a weight lifted from our shoulders that allows us to live without guilt or suffering. However, we know that Jesus does not command anything from us in exchange. Yet life has taught us that those who love us the most, command/ask nothing in return. Perhaps if we truly love Jesus as we say, we ought to give our lives toward serving Him without any expectations. That’s what a loving relationship with Christ resembles. Is your walk of faith like the examples of Jesus? Do you act either because God says so or willingly and freely out of love for Him? My prayer is that we start the New Year doing what Jesus taught His disciples; Do as I have done to you. Amen.


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