My Life Helps Paint
My Neighbor’s Picture of God!
“After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:5
Albert Einstein once remarked, “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another; it is the only means!”
In washing the disciples feet, Jesus shocked His followers. This was not to show off - Jesus was not some water-basin wonder. With a towel around His waist, Jesus washed soiled feet, but He was more interested in dirty people than dusty toes. The disciples had been vying for leadership positions, and Jesus played chief foot washer to clean their hearts rather than their feet. Knowing that He would be going away, Jesus acted as a servant to combat the hot shot attitudes of the disciples. He hoped they would recall and imitate His humility.
The Old Testament writers described Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, and Daniel as servants. Humble and caring leaders before God and others, they led without service charges.
In coming to this earth, Jesus became part of a long-running play, but He was not acting. HE took the servant part for some 33 years to show people how to live. Those who follow Him lead by example. They never make a grand entrance; they come in the service door, and others soon come after them. Jesus Christ visibly demonstrated the love of God when He was on earth. In stooping to wash His disciples feet, HE mirrored the submissive step HE had taken when HE left heaven to become a man. He lived with limitations of humanity, yet HE healed the sick, reached out to the despised, and endured bitter hatred as His reward. HE died like a criminal on a Roman cross. All of these things reflected God’s love, for Jesus said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Jesus is no longer with us in His physical body - HE now sits at God’s right hand in heaven. Therefore, if God’s love is to be embodied on earth today, it must be done through those of us who are Christians.
Not long ago, 16 women from Rockford, Illinois, my home town, beautifully demonstrated God’s love by rearranging their schedules to give round-the-clock nursing care to Martha, a 26 year old women with ALS. They bathed her, fed her, talked with her, prayed for her, and witnessed to her. Martha, who had not accepted Christ as her Savior and couldn’t understand how a loving God could let her get ALS, saw His love in these women and eventually became a Christian. Although feeble and unable to speak clearly, she gave a testimony of her faith and was baptized in a local church. A short time later, she died. She is with the Lord today because 16 women, following Jesus’ example, personified God’s Love!