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If You Know These Things

In washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus gave us a powerful example. This isn’t the idea that we should literally go around washing each other’s feet, but rather that even the most humble of tasks are not beneath our station in life because they were not beneath our Lord.

When we learn to set aside our pride and our concern for what we want, and our own worries, and look outward a change takes place. When we begin looking at others, searching for opportunities to serve and bless them the world looks different.

Jesus says that when we understand this truth, and when we put it into practice that it will bring blessings into our own lives. Another way to translate “blessed” in John 13:17 is “happy.”

When we stop focusing on our own troubles and focus on how we can serve and help others, Jesus says that we will find happiness. This life of service is what we are called to as Christians. It is what we were made to do.

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If You Know These Things

In washing the feet of the disciples, Jesus gave us a powerful example. This isn’t the idea that we should literally go around washing each other’s feet, but rather that even the most humble of tasks are not beneath our station in life because they were not beneath our Lord.

When we learn to set aside our pride and our concern for what we want, and our own worries, and look outward a change takes place. When we begin looking at others, searching for opportunities to serve and bless them the world looks different.

Jesus says that when we understand this truth, and when we put it into practice that it will bring blessings into our own lives. Another way to translate “blessed” in John 13:17 is “happy.”

When we stop focusing on our own troubles and focus on how we can serve and help others, Jesus says that we will find happiness. This life of service is what we are called to as Christians. It is what we were made to do.

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You Have No Part With Me

In the opening verses of John 13, Jesus washes the feet of His disciples. When he comes to Peter, Peter declares, “You shall never wash my feet!” (v. 8). Jesus responds swiftly by telling Peter that if he does not allow the Savior to wash his feet, then he has no part with Jesus.

Peter, being the impetuous guy that he was, flipped his previous statement, saying, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!” (v. 9). He wanted to be sure that he was all in with Jesus. In doing this, our Lord was teaching a valuable lesson. “the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).

If Jesus, who had been equal with God in Heaven, came to earth to be a servant, and He is our Master; then what should we be doing? We must also have the mind and heart of a servant, and rather than trying to gain power or prestige, we should be looking for opportunities to serve.

At the same time, we must also recognize our own need for the service that the Savior came to give. We cannot get to Heaven on our own. Until we swallow our pride and accept what Jesus has to offer, then we have no part with Him.

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The Word I Have Spoken

John 12 brings an end to Jesus’ public ministry before His crucifixion. The last words of His teaching that John records are about the coming judgment. Jesus tells us that we will be judged based on His word.

Knowing the standard of judgment helps us prepare for that day. It also tells us what won’t be important on that day. The teachings of religious teachers, preachers, or the church, synods, catechisms, creed books councils, the practices and beliefs of our family or friends, and even what we ourselves felt, thought, or believed will not be the standard.

We will be judged based on what Jesus taught. He goes on to say that He got His teaching from the Father and that this teaching is eternal life. We must carefully listen and obey.

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lest they should be put out

Perhaps even sadder than those who refused to consider the evidence for Christ, are those who Joh speaks of in the next verses. In John 12:42-43 we read of many who did believe in Jesus but refused to follow Him.

They did this because they were motivated by fear of what they would lose. They had grown up as a part of the Jewish synagogue. It had been a part of the very fabric of their lives. They knew that Jesus was the Christ, but they also knew that following Him meant that they would be thrown out of the synagogue.

So, rather than following the Savior, and following what they knew to be right, they stayed where they were. They stayed where they were comfortable. They stayed where they didn’t have Jesus Christ.

Sometimes following Jesus calls us to leave behind that which is familiar, and that which is comfortable. Sometimes it means losing relationships and a community. But it will always be worth it. Who is more important in your life; people, or God?

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Although He Had Done Many Signs

It is not uncommon to hear somebody say that if they received a sign from God they would believe, or maybe to wish for a sign from God telling them what they should do. Perhaps you have felt that way yourself, or maybe even feel that way right now.

It is interesting to note that here in John 12:36-40 we learn that Jesus had performed many signs in the presence of these people who were now at Jerusalem for the feast. These were religious people, people who on some level wanted to please God. Yet, when faced with an abundance of miraculous proof that Jesus is the Christ, they refused to believe.

John comments that this is a fulfillment of a prophecy in Isaiah. It is interesting to note that this is not the only occasion in which this particular prophecy is said to be fulfilled. That tells us that the prophecy wasn’t about a singular event, but rather a frame of mind. There are many today who fulfill this prophecy because they have no desire to even consider the evidence that is before them.

The question that each of us must answer is whether we are willing to open our eyes and see what God has said.

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If I Am Lifted Up

In John chapter twelve Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, beginning the week that would end in His crucifixion. On that occasion, He declared, “if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself” (verse 32).

Here He spoke of His crucifixion, in which He would literally be lifted up from the earth within the week. His death would become THE pivotal event in all of earth’s history. In His death, He calls all people of all places to follow Him. He offers salvation, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life.

The cross of Christ draws attention to Him like no other person ever to walk this earth. As we learn about Jesus, we must make a decision whether to follow Him or reject Him, but we can not ignore Him.

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We Would See Jesus

We Would See Jesus

Over the last three years, Jesus had developed a reputation throughout Israel as a miracle worker and a prophet of God. It seems that his disciples had also come to be identified with the Master.

In John 12:20-22, as the Jews are gathering for the Passover, a group of worshippers find Philip, recognize him as Jesus; disciple, and ask to see Jesus. They weren’t there to see Philip, but they knew that Philip was connected to the Lord, so they sought him out.

In the same way, when we identify ourselves as Christians, those around us expect to see Jesus. They expect to see Him in our attitudes, our actions, our worship, and our teaching.

Ultimately, it is not about us. Our goal should be to help others to see the Savior. If they see things in our lives that are not consistent with followers of Christ it won’t go unnoticed.

At the same time, by living as Christians, we will find opportunities, like Philip, to bring others to Jesus. It all begins with a life that is lived by following the Master.

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You Always Have The Poor

You Always Have The Poor

In John chapter twelve Jesus began His last week on earth before the cross, a week commonly called the Passion Week. It was on the first day of this week that Mary anointed Jesus’ feet. This was a very emotionally charged scene, but as it often is, criticism was quick in coming.

Judas pointed out that this ointment could have been sold for what amounted to the average annual income of most Jews! We know because John tells us, that Judas was interested in stealing this money. But we also know from the high cost of this act that this wasn’t something that Mary did lightly.

It seems that Mary understood something about the sacrifice that Jesus was soon going to make for all of us. This was a truth that was lost on Judas. Every time that we use our resources to do one good thing, that means there is another good thing that we cannot do. It is up to each of us to choose the best thing to do with what we have.

There are always opportunities around us to show our love for Jesus, and to show His love to others around us. Rather than criticizing the good that others are doing, we should look for the good that we can do.

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I Know That You Always Hear Me

As Jesus prepared to raise Lazarus from the dead, He thanked God that He had been heard, even though He had not yet done anything (v. 41)! This is similar to what we see in many of the Psalms. The Psalmist will often thank God for answering the very prayer that he is praying before he finishes the Psalm. That is the confidence that the prayer will be heard, and so a prayer prayed is as good as a prayer answered.

In verse forty-two, Jesus goes on to say that He knows that God always hears Him. We certainly have no reason to doubt that God always hears His Son. Where is Jesus now? He is on the right hand of God making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). When we pray to God “in Jesus’ name” we are praying by His authority. In Heaven, that name carries some weight!

There are, of course, qualifications for that. We must ask in accordance with God’s will, knowing that His will is best, and we must ask with the proper attitude (James 4:3). Knowing that God always hears Jesus means that our prayers, through Him are always heard, too.