May 13, 2019

On His Way to the Father

John 13:1-17

Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father.

—  John 13:1

After the resurrection, Jesus’ disciples remembered his words and actions on the night of his betrayal and arrest.

John’s gospel records the details of that evening, beginning with Jesus’ act of washing his disciples’ feet. That night they gathered to celebrate the Passover feast, which looked back on God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt (Exodus 12). And while the meal was in progress, Jesus modeled what that deliverance would look like through him as Savior.

Washing feet was a servant’s job. It was menial and degrading, not something a teacher like Jesus should have to do. This was especially not an activity that the eternal Lord should have to stoop to do. Yet as he considered his return to the Father, Jesus made clear that heavenly majesty revealed itself in loving, helpful service.

The events of that evening— and especially Jesus’ suffering and death the next day— would show clearly that a vision for heaven led the Son of God to identify with and raise up meek and lowly sinners.

Have you ever seen heaven break into your daily life as people shared the Lord’s love? Jesus commissions his followers to make heaven’s love visible to others, just as he has done for us. May we reflect the love of our ascended Lord each day by serving others.

Lord, in loving service you washed your disciples’ feet—and died for them. Make us clean, and let us hear your challenge to serve others. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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