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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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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.

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What Shall We Do?

What Shall We Do?

After Jesus healed Lazarus the Pharisees and chief priests could not deny that Jesus was working miracles. They came together to decide what to do about Jesus.

Their concern waS not with whether they should place their faith in Him, but rather with what He would cost them. They were afraid that Rome would “take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).

Jesus never promised that accepting His truth would come without cost or sacrifice. Sometimes it requires us to give up our place. That place may be decades or even generations of religious tradition. It might be income. It might be relationships. Whatever the sacrifice, nobody is going to reach Heaven and think the cost was too high.

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Jesus Wept

Those are the words of the shortest verse in the English Bible, John 11:35. That verse is full of love and compassion. We see Jesus’ love for Martha and Mary. His heart is broken for the pain they are suffering. His heart is broken for Lazarus, who is resting in eternity, having finished a faithful life, but is about to be pulled back into this vail of sorrow. His heart is broken because He feels the pain of loss that the death of His friend brings.

Our Savior truly understands our suffering. He has walked through those fires, and shed those bitter tears before us, and for us. Martha had greeted Jesus by saying, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died” (v. 21). Then when Mary came, she repeated that same thought (v. 32). He wept because He saw their pain, and He knew that they didn’t understand why He had allowed that to happen. He knew that they didn’t know what He was about to do.

When suffering comes into our lives, sometimes we feel as though our Lord has abandoned us; left us to deal with pain alone. Yet, He is there. He sees our pain, and he cares. he also knows what lies beyond, and He knows what is best.

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I Am The Resurrection

In John 11:25 we find the sixth of eight “I AM” statements of Jesus recorded by John. This one is full of hope! “I am the resurrection, and the life.”

Jesus gave us all life as the creator and continues to do so as our sustainer (Colossians 1:16-17). Beyond that, He is the one that offers us hope after this life in the resurrection.

Here He promises that those who believe in Him, even if they are dead, will live again. This takes us back to John 5:25-28. He is speaking of those who are spiritually dead because of sin. No matter what you have done, how bad it was, or how many times you have done it. Through faith in Christ, you can find renewed life.

Beyond that, He says that after receiving that life you need not ever die again.

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I Am The Good Shepherd

John 10:11 contains the fourth “I AM” of the Gospel of John. “I am the good shepherd.” Jesus paints a stark contrast between the good shepherd, who is the owner of the sheep, and a hireling who has no attachment to or investment in the sheep but is only there for personal gain.

As the good shepherd, Jesus has done and continues to do whatever is necessary to keep His people safe and secure. This is because He loves us! Because of His love, He laid down His life that we might live. In John 15:13, we learn that this is the greatest love that a person can show for another.

As the good shepherd, Jesus sacrificed for us, but not only that, He knows us. He knows our needs, our struggles, our fears, our desires, even the things that we cannot put into words. He knows. And He cares!

The other side of this is that Jesus’ sheep know Him. They learn to listen for His voice and follow at His command. We follow, not because we have to, but because we want to; because we love Him, too. Do you know the good shepherd?

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I Am The Door

In John 10:7 we find a third of the seven “I AM’s” of the book of John. Jesus is the door of the sheep. He is the only authorized path for us to enter in. He is also the one who serves to keep us safe and secure. Jesus mentions that there had been other teachers, but that they were thieves, trying to lead God’s people away from the truth. No doubt, there have been many more since.

When we come to Jesus as the only true path to God, He makes us three promises. First, we will be saved (v. 9). Outside the safety of Jesus’ protection, there as a lion seeking our souls (1 Peter 5:8). He saves us from that destruction and then keeps us safe.

Second, we will find pasture (v. 9). This reference calls to mind the words of Psalm 23. Jesus promises to provide for our needs. While this certainly has some physical implications, more importantly, He provides all of our spiritual needs.

Finally, He will find abundant life (v. 10). He doesn’t just promise life. He promises that it will be abundant. This speaks both to the eternal nature of it, but also to the rich fullness of a life lived in Christ!