Jesus ministered by word and example | Wbactive

Daily writing

WEDNESDAY 11/23/22 Mark 10:35-45, John 13:3-17

mark 10

35 James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us what we ask.”

36 “What shall I do for you?” he asked.

37 They said, “Let one of us sit on your right and the other on your left when you enter into your glory.”

38 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink the cup that I drink, or receive the baptism that I receive?”

39 “We can,” they replied.

Jesus said, “You will drink the cup that I drink and receive the baptism that I receive, 40 but it is not my place to sit at my right hand or at my left. It belongs to those for whom it was prepared.”

41 When the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said: “You know that those whom the Gentiles regard as rulers boast of their authority over them and their high officials order them about. 43 But it won’t be like that with you. Whoever wants to be great among you should be your servant. 44 Whoever wants to be first among you will be slave to all, 45 to man [of Son of Man] did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.”

John 13

3 Jesus knew that the Father had put everything in his hands and that he had come from God and would return to God. 4 So he got up from the table and took off his robe. He took a linen towel and tied it around his waist. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he was carrying. 6 When Jesus came to Simon Peter, Peter said to him, Lord, will you wash my feet?

7 Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but you will later.”

8 “No!” Peter said. “You will never wash my feet!”

Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you will have no place with me.”

9 Simon Peter said, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!”

10 Jesus replied, “Those who have bathed need only have their feet washed, for they are perfectly clean. You disciples are clean, but not every one of you.” 11 He knew who would betray him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you is clean.”

12 After washing the disciples’ feet, he put on his robe and returned to his place at the table. He said to them: “Do you know what I have done for you? 13 You call me “Teacher” and “Lord” and speak correctly because I am. 14 When I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also shall wash one another’s feet. 15 I have given you an example: as I have done, so shall you do. 16 I assure you that the servants are not greater than their master, and those who are sent are not greater than the one who sent them. 17 Since you know these things, you will be happy when you do them.

reflection questions

Jesus wasn’t just talking about ministry; he modeled it movingly. The night before his crucifixion, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. It shocked her—washing guests’ feet was usually the work of the lowest-ranking slaves. Then Jesus told the disciples that they would be right to call him “Teacher” or “Lord.” His lesson to them (and us) was that by acting as a servant he did not relinquish leadership but redefined our ideas of glory and power. God’s standards, not earthly ones, guided his life.

  • Like James and John, we know what earthly importance, power, and privilege look like. Basically, most of us want to have at least some level of these things. But Jesus’ teaching was clear: “It will not be so with you” (Mark 10:43). What are some practical ways you can minister to another person who will noticeably improve their life? Whom does God lead to bless you with a specific act of service?
  • John, a very precise writer, used the same Greek words to describe Jesus “taking off” and “putting on” his robes when he quoted Jesus as saying, “I give up my life that I may take it up again ‘ (John 10:17). How were Jesus’ actions not just practical, but a reenacted parable of how he would give himself for us on the cross? Have you ever had an experience where acting humbly toward someone else felt almost like dying? Was it worth it in the end?

prayer

Loving Lord, I am human. Sometimes I have ambitious dreams and desires. Keep transforming me and turning those ambitions into ambitions to serve you and others. Amen.

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