As much as we uphold these qualities, humility and loving-kindness are usually rejected. We refuse them almost daily; way too often. We don’t accept simple compliments, but rather turn them into demeaning comments about ourselves. And when someone offers to buy our coffee, we can’t seem to say yes to their charitable offer. Jesus knows that about us. In John 13, we read of HIS gesture of humility towards the disciples: washing their smelly, dirt-crusted, sunburned feat. And Peter refuses; like we certainly would have. Jesus replies unexpectedly sternly. He says that if Peter doesn’t let him wash his feet, then he will have no “share” with Christ. Now this word used for “share” (Greek, “mervo”) is also translated as heritage, or inheritance. Surely, refusing a foot bath wouldn’t leave Peter out of his heritage in Christ?
A few commentaries on this passage suggest that Christ anticipated his disciples’ very human tendencies to refuse an offer of humility or sacrifice. In this case the foot-bath foreshadows Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus wanted to be sure that his disciples, his guys, his “besties”, would accept his gesture of not only this foot bath, but also his soul-bath of crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus needed to hear them say yes to humility NOW. Peter got the gist of Jesus’s implication; he wanted to inherit all Christ had to give. And so Christ washed his feet, and Peter was made clean.
What does my refusal of someone else’s kindness cause that person to feel? Why do I choose not to accept someone’s gift of humility?
Am I refusing Christ’s sacrifice for my sins? Are there things I have said, done, or thought which I don’t ask or accept Christ’s forgiveness?
Will I accept someone’s compliment, or another type of kind gesture, without rebuttal this week?
How is Christ glorified by giving and also receiving gestures of humility?
Ok put down the Bible and live this week like it was the last!
by Ashley Buehler