The Focus of Jesus
[Jesus] poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet (John 13:5).
It is the last night Jesus is on earth with His disciples. Knowing that a brutal scourging and the excruciating (from two Greek words meaning “out of the cross”) pain of a Roman crucifixion was waiting for Him, Jesus disrobes, wraps a towel around His waist and washes His disciples’ feet.
If it were my last night on earth, I’d want people to gather around me and tell me how great a guy I am and what a significant impact I made on their life.
Jesus washed feet.
I’d want my family and friends kneeling at my bedside, crying big tears while they sobbed and choked and blubbered about how their life just wasn’t going to be the same without me on earth.
Jesus washed feet.
I’d be looking back over my life, counting and calculating my works and the impact I’d made in people’s lives. I’d be wondering if I could have done more. I’d be worried that maybe God is going to tell me all the different ways I could have obeyed Him better and brought more people into the Kingdom. In other words, I’d be thinking big about Jim and little about others.
Jesus washed feet.
Knowing He had only a few hours left on the earth, Jesus spent a majority of them teaching others what they needed to know to live a life for God. Where Jim would be worried about Jim’s needs at the end of his life, Jesus focuses on the needs of others.
I’ve been wondering just what it would take to respond like Jesus if I knew I was going to die tomorrow. What does Jesus know that gives Him the strength, courage and foresight to look beyond His own needs and focus on the needs of His disciples? Except for the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus spends the last days of His life talking about the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Kingdom of God, faith of the disciples and the unity of the believers. Even though heaven and earth will one day focus on Jesus and the pivotal point in history known as Calvary, calling it the greatest act of love ever known, Jesus still focuses on the needs of the disciples. How does He do that?
I believe the answer is in Jesus’ statement from the Cross when He says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46). Jesus knew His eternal well-being was in the loving, compassionate and capable hands of the Father, so He was able to focus on others. Perhaps in some ways I’m still wrapping my eternal well-being in the thin cloak of my good works, so when I think of the end of my life I’m focusing on myself.
Jesus served to the last moment of His life because He knew His purpose. I still struggle with that. I know I’m supposed to love God with all my heart and my neighbor as myself, but it is still hard to keep my thoughts about myself out of the mix. I think it is time to start praying the prayer of Jesus, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Then, and only then, will my focus be the focus of Jesus.
Yes. The greatest commandment. LOVE. God created us to experience His love and share it with others. I think when we really believe we have come to the end of self, love is easy… But not so easy until …. end of self.
It only shows the immense humility that Christ had. He showed us that we have to give up our huge egos and completely surrender to the Divine.
So true, we struggle with our purpose because we allow SELF to get in the way of DIVINE. If we could embrace our meaning on this earth as WHO we are in HIM and NOT WHAT we do FOR Him, then and only then can we be like Jesus.
This passage in John’s Gospel has provided a lot of material for me to reflect on over my life as well. I wrote a sermon on the passage, and I’d love to hear your thoughts. (What I find most fascinating is that I used the same piece of artwork you did on my post)