10/13/T – The Lord’s Instruction

2 Samuel 3:6-39; John 13:1-20; Psalms 119:1-8; Proverbs 25:11-14

NT: “Before the Passover Festival, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end… So he got up from supper, laid aside his outer clothing, took a towel, and tied it around himself. Next, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet and to dry them with the towel tied around him… When Jesus had washed their feet and put on his outer clothing, he reclined again and said to them, “Do you know what I have done for you? You call me Teacher and Lord — and you are speaking rightly, since that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you. Truly I tell you, a servant is not greater than his master, and a messenger is not greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.”” (‭‭John‬ ‭13:1, 4-5, 12-17‬ ‭CSB)

Unlike the other gospel accounts of the last supper, where the author focused on the meal itself, John focused on the conversation that Jesus had with His disciples after the meal. When the meal ended, Jesus got up from His place, took off his outer garments, and took the lowly place of a servant and began washing His disciples’ feet. Jesus did that to give His disciples an example of how they were to treat one another. As disciples of Jesus, we are to never think of ourselves as too important to serve others. Jesus said of Himself that He came not to be served, but to serve. That should be the attitude of all disciples of Jesus: we shouldn’t go anywhere seeking to be served, but instead, we should look for ways to serve… even those whose job it is to serve us. We shouldn’t go anywhere expecting to get the service we feel we deserve. Anywhere, means anywhere… on the job, at a restaurant, in a department store, at church, at home as we relate to our roommates, spouse, or children. Then Jesus clarified that it is not enough to know that… the blessing comes when we do that. Imagine how much peaceful life would be if we went throughout life looking to serve instead of being served. How well do we as “Christians” – especially in the U.S. – honor these specific instructions of our Lord and Master?

Psalms: “How happy are those whose way is blameless, who walk according to the Lord’s instruction! Happy are those who keep his decrees and seek him with all their heart. They do nothing wrong; they walk in his ways. You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. If only my ways were committed to keeping your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed when I think about all your commands. I will praise you with an upright heart when I learn your righteous judgments. I will keep your statutes; never abandon me.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:1-8‬ ‭CSB)

Psalm 119 is a masterpiece of literature written as an ode to the word of God. It is an acrostic poem where each stanza begins with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The writer of this psalm beautifully took each letter that was used to write God’s word and used each letter to describe the abundant life and blessing that can be found as we follow God’s word. The word “happy” here can also be translated as Blessed! With an exclamation point. Just as Jesus told His disciples, “You are blessed if you do what I taught,” the psalmist declares with enthusiasm that if you live your life according to the word, will, and ways of the Lord, you will be blessed.

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