God sent His one and only son to die on the cross for my sins and your sins, and I can honestly say I am truly humbled and grateful. There are times when our world can’t quite grasp what it means to love someone unconditionally, through good times and bad times, and not waver along the way. But, Jesus will always love us at our best and at our worst. Jesus ministered to people and showed them exactly what love, life, and forgiveness looks like. Jesus’s ministry continuously teaches us what walking with God and walking through adversity looks like, all the while remaining faithful to the calling on His life.
In John 13, we see Jesus teaching His disciples very important lessons about life:
“It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?’
Jesus replied, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.’
‘No,’ said Peter, ‘you shall never wash my feet.’
Jesus answered, ‘Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.’
‘Then, Lord,’ Simon Peter replied, ‘not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!’
Jesus answered, ‘Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.’ For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not everyone was clean.
When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. ‘Do you understand what I have done for you?’ he asked them. ‘You call me “Teacher” and “Lord,” and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.’”
In this very moment, Jesus was teaching His disciples about humility. Foot washing was considered to be one of the lowest jobs, but Jesus still washed His disciples’ feet in order to teach them how to live a humble servant’s life. I can imagine the disciples were shocked and wondered what Jesus was doing. I’m sure the disciples wondered why they weren’t washing Jesus’s feet. Right there in this moment, Jesus showed people what sacrifice truly means.
As believers, I believe we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are called to take the Gospel to the most difficult places and talk to people who don’t look the same as us. And often times, God gives us opportunities to minister to those who are broken and have unsavory pasts. Is it our job to judge circumstances we’ve never been in? No, our job as Christians is to continually share His love.
The longer we live a Christian life, the more Jesus shows us that we are no better than the next person. We all have different sins, but ultimately we are all sinners. A life filled with testaments to His goodness will win far more lives than a life that is perceived as being unblemished.
So, I challenge you. Examine your life and think about the people that God has put on your heart to pray for or minister to. Have you ever chosen not to listen to what the Holy Spirit is leading you to do because that person looked different or maybe wasn’t in the same social circle as you? Or maybe, you were the victim of judgment at some point in time and you’ve now hardened your heart toward others.
I promise you, there’s so much freedom in going against the grain and being who God has called you to be. Every single person in our world has a story, and if you allow God to bring people into your life at different phases and stages, your walk with Him will be enriched. I don’t know about you, but I can’t keep quiet when I think about all the things God has done for me. At the end of my days on this earth, I want to have lived a life that is so full that I have exhausted every single talent God has given me. And, most of all, I want to have been a part of loving people back to life for the Kingdom’s sake.
God often chooses people with tough pasts to do great things for the Kingdom. Often times, broken doesn’t mean forgotten. God uses broken pasts and turns those people into beautiful creations. How beautiful are the hands and feet that remind people they are unconditionally loved by the creator who created all things and knows all things.
Featured Photo by Allison Mims