DAY 5 of 10 - APRIL 14, 2022 Special Devotion Written by Dr. Dan Bolin - Taking a Deeper Look into the Wonder of Easter
As his crucifixion drew closer, Jesus focused more and more on what mattered most; his attention became riveted on leaving his disciples two critical anchors for their future ministries: love and servanthood. As Jesus and his Disciples ate their final meal together, Jesus knew that if those closest to him could absorb and express the powerful realities of love and servanthood, their impact would echo for millennia. When no servant appeared to clean their feet, and no disciple offered to perform this disgusting task, Jesus took a towel and a basin of water and washed the Disciples’ feet. I imagine a hush settling over the small group. One by one they shamefacedly felt Jesus’ hands grip their filthy, revolting, smelly feet; the water poured over them, and then Jesus’ towel wiped them clean and dry. Later that evening, Jesus addressed the group and provided what some today might refer to as their brand strategy – the powerful mark that would easily identify those who followed Christ. Jesus said, A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35). Jesus proclaimed love as the distinguishing mark for believers throughout he ages. The twin messages of servanthood and love echoed throughout the room but not all of the Disciples were on board. Judas’ life looked like all the others, but there was no room in his heart for servanthood or love because his soul was filled with selfishness and betrayal. How could the others miss it? How could he blend into the fabric of the Twelve without being suspected? When Jesus announced that one of them would betray him, no one turned to Judas and said, “I knew it was him!”. He was just one of the gang. Ultimately, the answer lay in his heart’s relationship with Jesus. Throughout the evening at least six disciples spoke personally with Jesus: Peter (numerous times), John, Thomas, Phillip, Judas (not Iscariot), and Judas Iscariot. Without exception the first five addressed Jesus as ‘Lord’, a term indicating His supreme authority in their lives. Judas, however, used the word ‘rabbi’ in his conversation with Jesus. This word roughly equates to ‘instructor’ or ‘teacher’. The word ‘rabbi’ focused on the leader’s knowledge and wisdom, but not his authority. It gave a nod to the teacher’s mastery of his subject, more than mastery of his student. Judas was willing to study the content of Jesus’s teaching, but not submit to Jesus’ authority. Jesus addressed the heart of the matter around the table that evening. He told the group. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you . . . Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (John 13:13-17) Submitting to Jesus as teacher and Lord is our challenge. We can study servanthood and dissect love; but academic awareness is never the goal. We must avoid the mistake of Judas; what we know about Jesus must lead to submission to Jesus. Through the events of Good Friday and Easter, Jesus perfectly demonstrated servanthood and love. He left us a marvelous example to follow. Our goal is to know him and follow his example, showing servanthood and love to others. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
Dan Bolin President Refueling in Flight Ministries, Inc