The Gospel of John | Day Ten
By: Brittany Green | Feet
"Not only did I grow up in the church, I was born into it. My parents were on staff as an Assistant Pastor and Choir Director. Most weeks, I lived up in the church building, but to me, it was just routine. It was my parents religion. Even when I got baptized, it was something you 'had' to do when you turned 13. It wasn't until the 8th grade when I started to make my religion my own.
Though I started seeking the Lord, my life just felt like it was going downhill. It felt like God was throwing one obstacle after another and I couldn't keep up. I started feeling lonely and depressed all the time and it was terrifying because it was something I couldn't control. Eventually, I realized I couldn't handle it anymore.
I had no one I felt comfortable turning to. So I did what I was taught to do: pray. This time it was different. I felt like I really meant what I was saying. God became my best friend. Not just someone my parents told me about. I started to put my own faith into Him!
My life hasn't been perfect since then, but it's been joyful. Whenever I'm stuck, it's almost like an instinct to turn to God. I know and understand that he holds my life with so much care and he watches over me. Everything and everyone He places in my life is for a purpose. To make me a greater tool. I'm no longer just going through the motions. And I thank God for that!"
It is fitting that this is Easter season. I always love this time of year. It is good that Easter falls in the springtime. Rebirth of the trees and flowers, fresh air, and rebirth in our hearts as we remember Jesus’ death and celebrate His resurrection.
Today we begin what is known as Passion Week in Jesus’ life and the book of John. We technically call these chapters the Book of Glory, which describes Jesus’ glorification. We’re at the point in John where Jesus is becoming clearer and clearer about who He is and why He has come. Up until this point Jesus has shown the people that He is the Messiah through signs but now we see Him teaching clearly, with purpose leading up to His last few weeks on earth.
With a week and a half until Easter, take some time to reflect on how you’re preparing to celebrate and remember Jesus’ death and resurrection. I always have great memories associated with Easter, so I pray that the Lord uses the next week or so to refresh you and to remind you of who He is. We’ve seen Jesus bring about a lot of life in the past few weeks, so my prayer is that that continues to be true of your life this week.
Let’s dive in to John 12 & 13. (Remember that we’re hitting the points in John where Jesus shows He is the Messiah and gives life, so don’t forget to read the chapters in between …they’re important too!)
Start today’s study reading John 12:12-19.
Is this how you’d picture the Messiah coming in on a parade?
Why do you think that this moment is important to Passion week?
It’s crazy that the King of the world, Son of God, Messiah, Savior came to his people riding a donkey. In fairy tales the prince always comes in on a magnificent white steed. But donkeys are stubborn and smelly and small. So why? Jesus is establishing that He is not like worldly leaders. He has not come to reform the government, as many Jews wished. He has come to redeem His people. He has come to show that God’s ways are not like man’s. He came as a baby to a backwoods town and wasn’t liked by most authority. Jesus’ ways are not what the world expected.
And yet, it’s exactly what the world needed. It’s exactly how God designed it.
How does Jesus’ triumphal entry change your view of Jesus?
This moment is important because it officially ushers in Passion Week. It announces, however humbly, that Jesus is the Messiah.
Let’s continue to see how Jesus turns culture upside down. Read all of chapter 12, because it’s important.
Jesus rides in to town, the crowds praise Him, He preaches a bit to them, and then He retreats. I love that. He knows this time is important for Him and His diesciples. The next few chapters begin some of Jesus’ longest teachings. It all begins with the Passover.
So to finish out today, read John 13:1-30.
Once again we see Jesus turning culture and social norms upside down. It’s a strange thing, feet washing. Jesus knows each of these men so well. They’ve done life together for a long time now. He knows their flaws and weaknesses. He knows that he’s about to die for them only to save them, and here he is bending low and washing their feet.
In this time, men wore sandals. They walked dirt streets, with no garbage system or donkey bags around the park so that the homeowners association couldn’t complain about donkey dung. So these streets were grimy. It was customary for guests to have their feet washed by the servants when they entered someone’s house. Not a pleasant job, I’m sure.
If you’ve ever gotten a pedicure, you know that it’s a pretty humbling thing to think of these people cleaning your feet, cutting your toe nails, scraping the callouses off your heels. And we don’t walk around dirty streets typically.
So for Jesus to bend low and clean His disciples’ feet is huge. It’s a precursor to Jesus washing our sins. Although it took more than water to wash our sins.
Take note of verse 8. Jesus tells Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Dang. If that’s not convicting, I don’t know what is. We cannot wash our own feet. We cannot wash our own sins. Only Jesus saves. So we have to let Him be the salvation we need.
So often we try to save ourselves. We take our lives – our stresses, our sins, our hurts – into our own hands. We try to be good enough or busy enough. But it’s never enough. Only Jesus is enough.
So my question to you today is this: do you let Him wash your feet and your soul? Or do you try to control your life?
How can you release the things we grasp at to create your own salvation?
Accept the grace that Jesus offers. He didn’t have to wash the disciples’ feet. He didn’t have to die on the cross for you. But He chose to because He loves you.
Spend some time taking deep breaths, releasing the things that you try to do to be good enough to be saved. Reflect on how you can let Jesus step into your life.
And then read the rest of John 13.
What stood out?