Bill Russell   -  

Today, I’m thinking of yesterday’s sermon and the passage we were in.  We were in the upper Room in John 13, as Jesus and the disciples celebrate the Passover meal, have the first last supper, (yea that is filled with irony) and then Jesus washes the disciples feet.  There is something powerful tucked away in the text that just might help us this week.  It is found in verses 5-7.

John 13:5-7 ESV  Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” 7 Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.”  

Peter of course, was not about to let JESUS wash His feet.  In Peter’s world, in Peter’s social economy, the higher ups didn’t serve those beneath them.  That would be – beneath them.  

Jesus words, though, are more significant, insightful and enlightening than we may realize.  How does Jesus answer Peter’s objections?  He tells Peter that what he fails to grasp now will make sense later.  What Peter fails to comprehend today, by tomorrow, or okay in three tomorrows, it will begin to make sense!  Why is that?  Because the cross and the empty tomb, the Gospel as it is, can make sense of a lot of things that don’t make sense.

Where is God when I am hurting?

  • He’s right there hurting with me.  
  • He entered into our pain and suffering on the cross.

Why would God give us a free-will if we would choose wrongly and blow it?

  • Because it ultimately does not depend on us!
  • It was never supposed to depend us or be about us!

Why did God allow evil, through the avenue of Satan, to enter His creation?

  • So that The Son Jesus, could DESTROY it!
  • So that the Christ could, once-for-all DEFEAT it!

How do I navigate the challenging relationships of my life?

  • The cross even answers this question. 

You see, at the cross, Jesus made peace with all of God’s enemies, at least from God’s side of the relationship.  And we see a formula for how we can make peace with our own enemies.  

  • We can forgive those who seem unforgivable.
  • We can love those who seem unloveable.
  • We can surrender our rights to live in true freedom.
  • And, we can embrace a new social economy,
  • Where the first are last…
  • The humble are exalted…
  • And where the life we once thought was beneath us… 
  • is no longer beneath us.

Now don’t lose sight of the fact that if you are saved you are indeed royalty.

You are a son or daughter of the most High King! The Servant King!

The King that was willing to put Himself below you, 

in order to have a relationship with you. 


And that takes us back to the Upper Room. 

Back to Jesus words.

Back to John 13.

Back to this radical truth…

John 13:12-17 ESV  When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.  

Did you catch that last line?

Oh the paradoxical nature of the social economy of God’s Kingdom.

Where we are blessed – we are actually happy –

When we at times are willing to live the life that is beneath us.

Have an awesome week…

  • Bow down!
  • Look up!
  • Aim Higher!
  • And find those moments that are beneath you – and embrace them!

You’ll be glad you did, come Friday!

-Pastor Bill