Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Sampling Of Beats and the Deceitfulness of Sin...





Call it nostalgia... call it a sickness... but I can remember the lyrics to just about every line of the 1990 song "Ice Ice Baby."

Although MTV was hugely popular among my peers, I grew up with my parent's record player pumping out sounds from bands like America ("Horse with No Name"), Kansas ("Dust in the Wind") and Three Dog Night's "Joy To The World")... with a little Chicago thrown in for good measure (Boom and Boom).

I had no idea that David Bowie and Queen had collaborated on a song called "Under Pressure" with its distinct bass line. Vanilla Ice (a.k.a. Robert Matthew Van Winkle) was roundly criticized, not for sampling the audio from "Under Pressure" (which was a fairly common practice) but for not giving credit for it until after the song became a #1 hit (Info on this and other copyright infringement cases in music).

But this really isn't about Vanilla Ice, or the music I grew up listening to in my living room... this is really about the deceitfulness of sin and lengths to which we will go to conceal it.

We are experts at convincing ourselves of things, whether true or not. In fact, I think we often find ourselves "convinced" of things that are not true and yet writhe in doubt over things in which we can and should have sincere confidence. This isn't something that just "happens" to us. We don't just drift into it and then wonder how we got there. We actually chose to go there.

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says,
“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion,
on the day of testing in the wilderness,
where your fathers put me to the test
and saw my works for forty years.
Therefore I was provoked with that generation,
and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart;
they have not known my ways.’
As I swore in my wrath,
‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
(Hebrews 3:7-13 ESV)

In chapter 3 the writer of Hebrews is calling to those who would listen to learn from the pattern of God's people who, instead of turning to God in their rebellion, only hardened their hearts and became more lost. The writer of hebrews is referencing Psalm 95:7-11 which is referencing Exodus chapter 17 where the people grumbled and doubted that God was even with them even though God had miraculously parted the Red Sea for their escape from their pursuers in Egypt and even provided bread to fall from heaven to feed them in the wilderness. In Hebrews 3 God provides water from a rock to satisfy their thirst in spite of their grumbling and doubt.

What does this have to do with Vanilla Ice?

At the 1:42 mark of the video above, Mr. Van Winkle says, "it doesn't sound anything like 'Under Pressure.'" He has convinced himself (at least for the interview) that his version of that bass line is So distinct that you can't even compare it to the original.

This is a sample (pun intended) of what the writer of Hebrews is cautioning against in verse 13 above. "But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called "today," that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." (emphasis mine)

Sin deceives. That is the nature of sin. It sets itself up against Truth and against God. It casts doubt to cover itself. Sin casts doubt on things that are true and should be believed and props up half-truths and falsehood in order to masquerade as virtuous and right.

If we follow Hebrews back into Exodus we read that God soon leads his people to the mountain and invites Moses up to bring the Law to God's people to help them and point them to righteousness. Yet, when Moses comes down they are bowing down to a golden idol they made with their own hands. It didn't take too long for doubt to creep in and convince them that melting down their jewelry to fashion a cow and bow down to it was a good idea.

"Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God." (Heb 3:12)

The reality is that it doesn't take long for unbelief to creep in and for us to begin thinking that something else is is better than what God has for us. And soon after that we may find ourselves not only believing what is untrue to proclaiming what is untrue to mask and cover up the unbelief.

The solution? Hebrews 4:14-16 RIGHTS our attention onto the Hope in which we CAN believe:


Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)

God help us believe more and more in Christ.

~~~~
**If you'd like a good (funny) lyrical analysis of "Ice Ice Baby" from Aaron Gray you can read it HERE.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent... what's that?

In the traditional Christian Calendar today marks the beginning of the season of Lent. Some friends in Acts29 (our church planting network) put together a devotional for use during this time called "Journey to the Cross". You can find it over at the Gospel Coalition Website. I am thankful for the resource, and I'd like to un-pack Lent a bit from my perspective.

Lent begins on Ash Wednesday (Today - Feb 13th) and continues for 40 days (not including Sundays) leading up to Easter. Traditionally this is a time for self-denial and penitence. Modern practice among many Roman Catholics, as well as mainline protestants (i.e. Lutheran or Methodist) often involves "giving something up" for Lent. 

As a kid, growing up in a Lutheran church we observed Lent but "giving something up" usually consisted of soda or chocolate among my peers and what followed was 6 weeks of complaining that sounded something like, "MAN... I WISH I COULD HAVE CHOCOLATE."

If there ever was a lesson in "missing the point"... that was it.

But what really IS Lent about? Should I even consider the practice of it? And, What, if anything, does it have to do with me?

Three main questions. Three responses.

What is Lent REALLY About?
The short answer: Jesus.
The longer answer: There is a fundamental difference in theological understanding and belief between traditional Roman Catholic belief and protestant belief when it comes to Justification and Righteousness in Christ. The Protestant Reformation came about and (the dis-unity continues) really on THIS point of Justification, or, HOW is one made righteous and RIGHT with God. Roman Catholics use a term called "Infused Grace" and it basically means, that Jesus' Life, Death, and Resurrection made righteousness possible for those who are In Christ, (Justified by Christ's merit) but is MADE right with God by their own personal justice and holiness. (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia)

Martin Luther took issue with that and, with all due respect to my friends and family who are Roman Catholic, I'm glad he did. Luther, and other reformers (like John Calvin) argued for what is called "Imputed" righteousness. Which basically means that the righteousness of Jesus is given to men from outside of themselves. It echoes the reformation doctrine of Justification by Grace through Faith Alone. It is an "alien" righteousness in that it does not come from within man but, comes from another source, namely the God-Man, Christ Jesus.

In Catholic Tradition, Lent then serves as a process by which the faithful can make themselves holy by beating their bodies (self-denial of certain foods, caffeine, etc) and thus fulfill their "part of the deal" by earning, in some way, the justification that is available to them because of Jesus. 

Paul has some very clear things to say to this understanding of ANY practice for the purpose of making oneself right in God's eyes:
Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations—“Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.

The practice of anything, to self-redeem is empty. Paul is very clear. However, in the very next Chapter (Colossians 3), Paul encourages the believers to putting off sin and putting on fruit that could only come from one filled with the Holy Spirit (kindness, compassion, etc.) so, work in our faith is important but our work, our labor comes from a position of "already righteous in Christ"and not from a postion of "I need to earn my righteousness by my work."

I do not view the possible practice of Lent in the way that a catholic would view and practice lent because I do not view justification and righteousness in that way and I don't view Jesus' Work in that way. I am a product of the reformation is that I believe the Bible is clear that ALL my righteousness comes only from Christ and that those who are in Christ are completely Justified and made righteous! That does not mean that transformation of life (desires, mind, attitudes, and actions) isn't important but rather comes from a renewed and redeemed heart.

Should I consider the practice of Lent?
In light of THIS understanding of Justification, (Here, Here, Here) I believe that we can use and, in fact, redeem this mere human tradition to lift up the greatness of Jesus' righteous-making work... NOT to seek to earn something, or justify ourselves, but to follow Paul's command in Colossians 3 to "put to death what is earthly in you" and seek to loosen the grip of the World that lingers far too long on our hearts, minds, wills, and desires. 

I'm hoping to set aside some time each day to ask the Holy Spirit for conviction for specific things in my heart that are still too often tied to this world as I move, day-by-day along the calendar, toward the celebration of Easter. Not to make me righteous, but to remind myself that Christ is righteous, that His promises for me are True and Trustworthy, and out of my position of accepted, righteous, co-heir with Christ I can pursue holiness by His Grace. 

What does this have to do with me (you)?
If you are hoping that this activity will do the work of changing your heart or removing your sin, you will be disappointed. Only the work of God, in Christ, by Grace, through Faith (belief) at work in your heart by the power of the Holy Spirit can bring about a transformed heart. Thankfully, God is really good at what He does. 

If you are planning on giving something up (chocolate, caffeine, movies, facebook, tv, etc.), GREAT. But don't miss the point by complaining that you just want your coffee back or "can't wait" until April so you can look at facebook again. Rather, offer up that time (or dependance on something) as an opportunity to see if there are things that are trying to master you and your heart and walk in repentance. Martin Luther said, "All of the Christian life is repentance" and he's right. But that doesn't mean that we can't focus some extra time on repentance as we look to the Cross and the coming celebration of Jesus' victory over sin, death, hell, and the grave!

I look at any opportunity for reflection and honest examination as a good opportunity. The devotional guide posted above might be a tool that will encourage you to carve out some extra time for just that. Not as a means of grace, but as a response to Grace. 

I hope you are encouraged because if you are IN Christ Jesus, you are already righteous.
I hope you are encouraged that your ability to LIVE as the Scriptures command, although impossible for you on your own, is possible because Christ is perfect. 
I hope you are encouraged as you are given grace to see the areas of your life that are still tied to earthly and temporal things and can celebrate the freedom of repentance and forgiveness in Jesus.

May Jesus continue to build his Church and purify his people (his Bride) as he makes her ready for the Wedding Feast that will have no end. 

Soli Deo Gloria!



Resources:
Lent Devotional (pdf) - "Journey to the Cross" 
"Stop Loving The World" - William Greenhill (Sermon turned to small book) 
"Counted Righteous In Christ" - John Piper (Free PDF e-book)
Pretty Much All of Romans but specifically Romans 6


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The not-so-classic-classics: The Word of God Abides in you - John Piper

I don't know if you are like me but I have found that there are a few books and sermons that I keep coming back to that encourage me in fresh ways no matter how often I read or listen to them. Perhaps there are some things that these passages and the Word preached are zeroing in on my heart and are going to be areas where God will be working to sanctify me until I see Him face-to-face. Or perhaps they are just DANG good. 

Or both. 


In any case, I'm going to start with a few of those sermons to which I keep coming back and then move onto some excerpts of some books that have been influential to me.

Here is the first one. It is from Pastor John Piper entitled, "The Word of God Abides in you and you have overcome the Evil One" (might be the longest title ever). 


He's preaching from 1 John and it is good stuff...


video

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Resurrection Sunday



Saturday, for Jesus disciples and friends, was aday of silence and dread. What did it all mean? Why was he gone. It was a waiting game that nobody wanted to play...

Then Sunday came...

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb. Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. And stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen cloths lying there, and the face cloth, which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.
But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”—and that he had said these things to her.
On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20 ESV)


Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday part 2 - Luke 23:1-49

(Luke 23:1-49 ESV)
Then the whole company of them arose and brought him before Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding us to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.” And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. And when he learned that he belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. I will therefore punish and release him.”
But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.
And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.


*Image 1 - Ecce Homo by Antonio Ciseri (1880)
*Images 2 & 3 - unknown

Good Friday part 1 - Luke 22

Luke 22 (ESV)
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to put him to death, for they feared the people.
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was of the number of the twelve. He went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. And they were glad, and agreed to give him money. So he consented and sought an opportunity to betray him to them in the absence of a crowd.
Then came the day of Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?” He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him into the house that he enters and tell the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; prepare it there.” And they went and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.
And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. But behold, the hand of him who betrays me is with me on the table. For the Son of Man goes as it has been determined, but woe to that man by whom he is betrayed!” And they began to question one another, which of them it could be who was going to do this.
A dispute also arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. And he said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.
“You are those who have stayed with me in my trials, and I assign to you, as my Father assigned to me, a kingdom, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Peter said to him, “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Jesus said, “I tell you, Peter, the rooster will not crow this day, until you deny three times that you know me.”
And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.”
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. And when he came to the place, he said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose from prayer, he came to the disciples and found them sleeping for sorrow, and he said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Rise and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him, but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?” And when those who were around him saw what would follow, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” And one of them struck the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”
Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest's house, and Peter was following at a distance. And when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, Peter sat down among them. Then a servant girl, seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him, said, “This man also was with him.” But he denied it, saying, “Woman, I do not know him.” And a little later someone else saw him and said, “You also are one of them.” But Peter said, “Man, I am not.” And after an interval of about an hour still another insisted, saying, “Certainly this man also was with him, for he too is a Galilean.” But Peter said, “Man, I do not know what you are talking about.” And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.
Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
When day came, the assembly of the elders of the people gathered together, both chief priests and scribes. And they led him away to their council, and they said, “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, and if I ask you, you will not answer. But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” So they all said, “Are you the Son of God, then?” And he said to them, “You say that I am.” Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.”

*Image 1 - Unknown
*Image 2 - "The Taking of Christ" by Caravaggio (1602)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Maundy Thursday

Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. 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. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, do you wash my feet?” Jesus answered him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.” Peter said to him, “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head!” Jesus said to him, “The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you.” For he knew who was to betray him; that was why he said, “Not all of you are clean.”

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? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 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. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But the Scripture will be fulfilled, ‘He who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I am telling you this now, before it takes place, that when it does take place you may believe that I am he. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”
(John 13:1-20 ESV)

*Image taken from The Jesus Storybook Bible pg. 289.
(amazon link)