I was reading John 13 this afternoon and was reminded of a few things. First how radical the act of Jesus washing His disciple's feet really was. He was the teacher, He was the rabbi, He was the one they were looking to as the leader, especially as they made their way into the final days of His earthly life. Perhaps at no other point in their journey with Jesus were they more in need of a demonstration of strong leadership and yet Jesus stands up with major confidence and blows their minds. He stands up and does something that none of them expected. He knelt down and began to wash their feet.
Check out John 13:3-5 (NASB) on Bible Gateway where it says, "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God and was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded."
This was crazy, outrageous, and certainly unexpected. I'm reminded that following in the footsteps of Jesus doesn't always make sense to those around us. Sometimes Jesus calls us to the crazy, the outrageous and the unexpected.
Secondly, I was struck by His level of confidence in participating in such a humble act. If you read closely in verses 3-5 you can quickly locate the source of his confidence.
As a result of those facts He had no reason to fear reprisal, condemnation or worry about how He would be perceived by those around Him. Because He was confident in His position He could respond with obedience to the crazy, outrageous and unexpected leading of His heavenly Father. What a model for you and I as well. I ask myself these questions and invite you to join with me in some heart-felt reflection.
Do I respond affirmatively to the seemingly crazy, outrageous and unexpected leadings of my heavenly Father? Do I move with confidence or fear? Am I sure of where I came from and where I am going? Do I believe in my heart that God had given all things to me and that I can find wholeness and completion in Him alone?
Tough but needed questions. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.
My car has a slight power steering fluid leak...perhaps the argument could be made that it's greater than a slight leak since I have to add fluid everyday but I've heard it both ways. There's never a question as to when I'm running low because my car offers me the telltale signs that it needs more power steering fluid: the long and incessant whine as the steering wheel reacts to even the slightest nudge and then the tightening of the wheel itself as the fluid level drops even more making it nearly impossible to navigate the car in the desired direction. Too little power steering fluid over an extended period of time can result in much bigger problems. I grabbed this from the website https://carfromjapan.com and it perfectly describes this idea.
"If you drive your car without this liquid, you can definitely steer it but a lot of force will be needed. In other words, the car’s wheels can still be turned, thanks to direct mechanical linkage still exits, but the feel of steering will be much heavier. You might have to put a great torque to the power steering wheel and can sense extra resistance in your hands. Moreover, lacking of this fluid also causes irretrievable harm to the steering pump. You can notice a strange voice coming out the pump. As a result, repairing the pump would be pricey."
The other night as was headed home from my son's soccer game I stopped to grab a quick bite to eat and noticed that my car was offering its usually signals of needing more fluid. I pulled through the drive-thru, grabbed my food and then pulled off to the corner of the parking lot to give myself the needed refill. As I pulled my quart of power steering fluid from the trunk and popped my hood I was suddenly reminded of a lesson that I can easily forget: I desperately need to ensure that I am refilling myself with what's needed to live effectively and efficiently.
As I refilled my power steering fluid in that parking lot I thought about my time in God's Word. Am I spending the needed time with God to ensure that I am certain of which way to go? I thought about how much time I spend in prayer talking to God and more importantly really listening to God. Am I spending adequate time in prayer to ensure that I know when I need to make a course correction? Not unlike my whiny and difficult to steer car when it's low on power steering fluid, I too can become whiny and difficult to steer when I become low on these important ingredients.
Perhaps today we could pause and evaluate how we're doing in these areas? It's not difficult to figure out the answer to this question, just ask the people around you if you're whiny and difficult to steer? If the answer is "yes" then pull over to the side of the road and check your levels. Be encouraged and keep moving forward.