Thursday 01 April 2021

Bible Book:

'Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.' (v. 34b)

John 13:1-17, 31b-35 Thursday 1 April 2021

Psalm 116


We have now reached the final few hours before Jesus knew that he would “depart from this world and go to the Father” (v. 1). In that knowledge, that every hour is precious and must be used as effectively as possible, Jesus chooses to spend time teaching his disciples and demonstrating to them what his mission has been all about. By taking the towel and the basin and washing each of his disciples feet (vs 4-5), even the feet of the one who was shortly to betray him (v. 11), he is showing clearly what it means to love one another “just as I have loved you” (v. 34). In the next few hours he will also be showing what sacrificial love really means.

Today is  1 of April, often known as April Fools’ Day. It’s a day to watch out for 'fake news' of the humorous variety, such as spaghetti trees or electric cars that not only drive themselves but also make the passengers a cup of tea while they sit back and enjoy the hands-free ride. For some people, seeing people serve others, without seeking anything for themselves, could seem foolish. Isn’t it naïve, or the way to be exploited and taken for granted? Paul, when admonishing the Corinthians, described the apostles as “fools for the sake of Christ” (1 Corinthians 4:10) and contrasted the selfish nature of those he was writing to with the service and suffering of the apostles, and noted also that “when reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; when slandered, we speak kindly.” (1 Corinthians 4:12-13). Jesus is clear, that whilst his disciples are right to respect him as their “Lord and Teacher” (v. 13), even the Son of Man should act as a servant to others.

This year has seen countless examples of selfless service, and clear demonstrations of love for one another, as the coronavirus pandemic has brought out the best in so many people. Amidst the pain and grief due to the loss of loved ones, the loneliness of prolonged social isolation, or the mental trauma and anxiety that the pandemic has caused, so many have done the equivalent of washing the feet of others, doing what they can to help their neighbours. They have been acting as the servant of others, and by doing so have brought healing and love to others.

To Ponder:

  • Reflect on the events of the last year, and give thanks for examples of service and kindness, and the signs of God at work through these acts of love for others.
  • Jesus sat and ate this meal with Judas whom he knew was to betray him. Let's pray for those people with whom our relationship is difficult or broken.
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