“I tell you the truth, anyone who welcomes my messenger is welcoming me, and anyone who welcomes me is welcoming the Father who sent me.”John 13:20 NLT
An Action Packed Narrative
I don’t even know where to start with today’s reading. It is action packed emotionally and physically. You can almost feel a pulse to John’s narrative as he tells us Jesus is aware that His time to leave this world was getting close. The depth of His love is seen and heard both through John’s words and through Jesus’s act of servitude as He tied the towel around his waist and began to wash the feet of His disciples. His knowledge of a betrayer among His own is heart wrenching as it unfolds subtly, almost silently from Jesus’ lips. His servant’s heart and attitude are a living and lasting example of His love. His patient and gentle explanation of what He was doing and why it was important for Peter to reconsider letting Him wash his feet. The beautiful yielding of Peter is such a fabulous picture of the relationship developed between teacher/Lord and student. Having washed their feet, we watch as He moves closer to the final hour, revealing more and more to His inner circle. He has set for them an example of serving others and made sure they know this is how they are to live. He also removes all excuses of stations in life and focuses them on the blessings of obedience to His way.
Then Jesus comes back to the subject of the betrayer with a warning that one among them is not truly clean or to be blessed. He acknowledges that choosing this one was not a mistake but done so that Scripture might be fulfilled. He isn’t telling them this to stir up dissension or trouble but so that when it happens they will be able to deal with it and know that it was supposed to be this way. While it might be a shock to them they will know with certainty that it was not a surprise to Jesus.
Then comes our focus verse, which seems a bit oddly placed as it appears to fit more with verses 12-17, specifically verse 16 where Jesus mentions “one who is sent as a messenger”. Here He continues with the explanation that whoever accepts the message He has been giving them, which is the Gospel, that person accepts Christ and if the person accepts Christ they also accept God, who sent Him. It is so important for us to understand and to grasp that what we do with the “message” Christ gave His followers about who He was and who sent Him is a life giving message. Make no mistake, as surely as we are to serve and love others as He served and loved – we are also called to be His messengers. (Mark 16:15)
Then He said to them, “Go into all the world
and preach the gospel to the whole creation.
The PrayerMark 16:15 HCSB
Father, You sent the Son and I have believed – Not because I have walked with or talked with Jesus like Peter, James, John, and the rest of the twelve – but because You placed people in my path who have demonstrated His Love and shared His message with me. Help me to be Your faithful messenger in all I do and say, so that others will see and hear and receive the message and draw near to Jesus and to You through Him. In Jesus’ Name – Amen!