John 13:4 (Jesus) got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. 5 Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.
John 13:12 After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord--and you are right, for that is what I am. 14 So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. 16 Very truly, I tell you, servants are not greater than their master, nor are messengers greater than the one who sent them. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.
Today passage builds on the thought of yesterday. There are two ways of being a leader: one way is to tell people what they ought to do; the other is to show people what you mean by doing it. Jesus’ leadership was the latter. He taught about being of service by serving. He then explains to his students “For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
My invitation this weekend is for us to talk less about what is Jesus-pleasing behaviour, and just get on with being faithful followers of Jesus’ example.
- "Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means."
Third Sunday after Epiphany
9. “The Call to Ministry”
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 65.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.