A Refreshing Change in the Atmosphere
Listen to Audio (right click to save)
It was one of those 3-H summer days: hazy, hot, and humid. It's not advisable to sweat on those days, because there's really no place to go. You keep running into your own sweat. And you know how it is on those days; you kind of feel "ugh"...you feel like doing nothing. Well, it was one of those days, and a brief storm went through. It was the leading edge of a cold front the weather man said, and the temperature dropped almost 25 degrees in a four-hour period of time. That heavy, muggy, hazy air suddenly cleared out; people started moving around again. I'll tell you, the view all of a sudden was crystal clear; no haze. The atmosphere was refreshing finally. Did you know a person can actually have that affect?
There was, in that upper room where Jesus held The Last Supper, a very tense atmosphere that night. There was an argument brewing in the corners of the room as to who was going to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. Several people were fighting over the job of Assistant Messiah, I guess, and it was a climate of real selfishness. "Me first." "King of the hill." And then a refreshing front moved through the room and changed everything.
Our word for today from the Word of God is in John 13, and I'll begin at verse 4. "Jesus got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing and wrapped a towel around His waist. And 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." Later on in the chapter it says, "When He had finished washing their feet, He put on His clothes and returned to His place."
"Do you understand what I've done for you?" He asked them. You call me teacher and Lord, and rightly for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. No servant is greater than his master. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." Man, the atmosphere changed that night because of one thing Jesus did. He did the job no one else wanted to do; the lowly, smelly, dirty job that usually a slave did - washing feet.
Jesus did the job no one else wanted to do, and in so doing, He displayed the power of one person who decides he will be the servant in his little corner of the world. "I will be the servant in my family, I will be the servant in my business, I will be the servant in my church, in my circle of friends. You say, "Well, not me. I don't want to do it." Well, not Him, the Lord Jesus, the Son of God. But He did it. Think about the tasks that everyone avoids where you are.
Well, what if, in the name of Jesus, you just quietly started to do one of those? Notice, Jesus didn't say anything at first. He just unselfishly moved out and started doing it. When you do that, it defuses an atmosphere that's heavy with conflict and self-centeredness. It puts your faith into the kind of action that even your worst critic can appreciate, including a non-Christian family. They may not understand your beliefs, but they understand someone who will pitch in on what no one wants to do.
See, that makes you the Jesus-person in your situation. Just try it. Don't announce it; do it joyfully, do it consistently, and pretty soon you're going to win the special influence that only a servant has. See, you're a help and you're not a threat to people, so they'll listen to you. Now you said at one point in your life you would follow Jesus, right? And He's a foot washer.
Do the jobs no one else wants to do, and let God use you to clear out the oppressive heat of selfishness. What a refreshing change in the atmosphere you could bring to the place where you live.
© (c) Ronald P. Hutchcraft
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.