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.
(John 13:3-5 ESV)
As I read these words this morning, I noticed something I had not noticed before. Sometimes, I’ll notice the punctuation, or the way the sentences flow from one thought to the next, and new understanding comes alive in my spirit. Today it was this: Jesus rose and washed his disciples feet (an example of humility, servanthood, self-sacrificial love). Why? How? Because He knew that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God. It could have just said, “Jesus rose from supper.” But it didn’t.
Three things I found that struck my heart, nearly taking my physical breath away.
1. Jesus knew what He had been given.
2. He knew who He was.
3. He knew what His inheritance was.
It was what He knew that enabled him to wash His disciples feet and then die a sinner’s death. It was what He knew that enabled him to trust His Father and live by faith.
So today, instead of writing my own words, I want to share what I know–what the Bible tells me. You see, Romans 14 says for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. If I am going to live a life holy and pleasing to God, everything that comes from me must proceed from faith. So what do I know that enables me to trust God and live by faith?
1. What have I been given? Grace. Newness of Life.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
(Romans 3:21-26 ESV)
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
(Romans 6:3-4 ESV)
See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.
(1 John 3:1-2 ESV)
2. Who am I? Chosen. Royal. Holy. Bought.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
(1 Peter 2:9-10 ESV)
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
(Romans 8:16-17 ESV)
3. What is my inheritance? Everlasting Salvation. Redemption. Heaven.
Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15 ESV)
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
(Revelation 21:3-4 ESV)
I’ve been given grace. I’m redeemed. I’ve an heir of the King of Kings. My inheritance is eternal and unfading. Heaven awaits.
I would say that’s enough to trust God. To humble myself and become a servant. To live by faith, which glorifies Him. With this I press on. Not for me, but for Him.