Tag Archives: John 12-13

November 8, 2017 Bible Study — Serving Others

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

Today, I am reading and commenting on John 12-13.

    In today’s passage John tells us a story of Mary, Martha’s sister, anointing Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume. It is not clear if this is the same story as told in the other Gospels, some of the details differ, but not in ways which are distinctly contradictory. I was initially not going to write about it today, but then I thought about Judas’ reaction. It made me realize that many times those who call on us to give to aid the poor are, like Judas here, not so much concerned with helping the poor as they are with gaining control over our money. You see that with politicians who develop programs to “help the poor” which fail to change anything for the poor. You see that with some people who run organizations which supposedly aid the poor. This is not to say that all such programs and organizations have ulterior motives, just that we need to examine them closely. It is never wrong to aid the poor, but there are times when serving those who minister to the poor is a better use of our resources. We should be cautious of those who attempt to make us feel guilty about how we choose to do good with our resources.

    The story of Jesus washing the disciples feet has long been one of great meaning to me. The first thing we notice, and the main focus of this story, is that Jesus, the Teacher, the most prominent person present, takes the role of servant and washes everyone else’s feet. Jesus makes it clear that if we want to be His followers we need to similarly serve others. However, there is another point in here which is easy to miss. If we want to be Jesus’ followers we also have to allow others to serve us. When Jesus went to wash Peter’s feet, Peter tried to demur, but Jesus insisted. So, this passage teaches us that greatness comes from serving others, but refusing to allow others to serve us puts us outside of the community.

November 8, 2016 Bible Study — Serving Jesus By Serving Others

I am using the daily Bible reading schedule from “The Bible.net” for my daily Bible reading.

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Today, I am reading and commenting on John 12-13.

    John’s description of Judas’ response to Mary anointing Jesus reminds me of many of those today who claim to care for the poor and needy. Many people disguise their efforts to advance their own interests by making the claim that doing so aids the poor and needy. When we put together programs to aid the poor and needy, let us work to make sure that the programs actually serve the poor and needy and not just our own desires.

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    John tells us that when people in Jerusalem heard that Jesus was coming many of them gathered to see Him coming. They even gathered palm branches to proclaim Him the king of Jerusalem. Among the crowd were those who had witnessed Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead and they were eager to tell those around them about it. Yet a few paragraphs later John says that most people did not believe in Jesus and many of those who did were afraid to admit it. Despite seeing the many miraculous signs, many people were unwilling to believe in Jesus, and many of those who did believe were still more frightened of human threats than they were of disappointing God.
    In between these two contrasting reactions of the crowd John recounts Jesus telling us that if we want to serve Him we need to follow Him. In this particular context, Jesus was saying that we need to follow Him as He goes to His execution at the hands of the authorities of this world. Are we willing to follow Jesus even when it means suffering?