To Be A Disciple - Part 6

Thursday, April 3, 2014 (All day)

A Footwashing Attitude - Christ expected His disciples to take on humility.

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[Darris McNeely] I've been doing an ongoing series of Dailies about becoming a disciple. I've come to a point where we ought to focus, for at least a couple of series here, on humility. Becoming a disciple – apprenticing ourself to someone who is a mentor, to teach us whatever trade, profession, skill, study that it might be – will require a level of humility. And certainly, to be a disciple of God, a disciple of Jesus Christ, is going to require that we have a measure of humility. Jesus Christ expected His disciples to take on humility, to become a student of Him, and in order to learn the things of the Kingdom of God.

In Matthew:10:24, Jesus said that "A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master." In saying what He did, Jesus was talking about the elements that it takes for a disciple to have to engage in the work of Jesus Christ. And through three years of teaching, Jesus taught them according to this particular principle. But they still didn't get it. Near the end of His life, just before His death, they came to a point where they were arguing over who would be the greatest within the Kingdom of God, and Christ had to show them that they must take on the attitude of a servant.

When it came to the actual night before His death, and after the symbols of the bread and wine were introduced into the Passover service, Jesus took a towel, we're told in John chapter 13, and He girded Himself, and He began to wash His disciples' feet. In doing that, Peter said, "No, no, you're not going to wash mine," and Jesus said, "Well, if I don't wash your feet, you're not going to have any part within Me" (John:13:2-8). Christ was taking on the lowly act of humbling Himself on His knees, before His disciples, and washing their feet – something that a servant would do in a house, as a person came into that particular house. That's why Peter didn't want His Master, His Rabbi, to do that. But Jesus said, "You must, if you're going to have any part in Me." And He washed their feet and He set them an example of service, humility, and love for one another, that night before His arrest and death.

Years later, the apostle Peter, I think, finally learned the lesson. In 1 Peter:5:1-4, Peter talks about what it means to be a shepherd. The real end result of becoming a disciple, he said, would be a shepherd who does not lord it over those that are entrusted to him. One of the things that he said in 1 Peter chapter 5 – don't lord it over those entrusted to one's care. Peter finally learned the lesson near the end of his life, as he reflected back on what Jesus did that night.

A disciple must have humility. Without it, we're not going to have the mindset to learn from the One who is teaching us. Remember that as a key element, a key ingredient, of being a disciple of Jesus Christ.

That's BT Daily . Join us next time.

Sabrina Peabody

Sabrina Peabody's picture

I looked up some commentaries on Matthew:10:24 and it helped me appreciate the frame of mind Christ was trying instill to His servants...

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible:
"since he was their Lord, and they were his servants, if his superior character and dignity did not secure him from the obloquy and insults of men, it could not be thought by them, who were inferior to him, that they should escape them"

If He suffered for righteousness sake, Christian disciples would also (1 Peter:4:12). With this frame of mind, perhaps we can more easily handle an insult fired because we know they will come. Therefore, instead of having a natural response of immediate indignation (which would be a typical human response to an insult), it would be tempered with humility.

Very good additional points as well in this BT!


babsie's picture

An interesting thing to think about in terms of humility is...if we think about our being humble, it can easily put us in a state of self-righteousness. Therefore, humility needs to be a gift given with God's Spirit that is exemplified by acts of humility, not just thoughts.

If we ask God to help us take on humility in our lives, God will freely give it.

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