Read Jesus' teachings about following him here (John 13: 1-35, Matthew 5:38-48 and 20:25-38)
Jesus' message of salvation is radical. Therefore he calls us to be radical: be the servant of all and love our enemies. Only people who are truly touched by God's power and mercy can do this.
Would You Allow Jesus Wash Your Feet?
Imagine if the Queen of England washes your dishes. How would you react? Now think about Jesus washing your feet. It is difficult. Peter's response of shock is understandable. But what about Jesus' response to Peter?
Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” (John 13: 8)
What is Jesus saying?
Jesus' whole purpose on earth is to wash our sins away, our most shameful, filthy, unloving part of our lives. If we do not allow Jesus to wash us, of course we would have no part in his grace and salvation. If we want to accept God's gift of salvation and forgiveness of our sins, we'd better understand who Jesus is and accept what he has done for us.
Jesus Came to Show Us Servanthood
“Just like the Son of Man who did not come to be served by people, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people." (Matthew 20:28)
We are the servants of God. Jesus came to demonstrate clearly to us he came to serve and not to be served, so that we can follow his example. As we surrender our lives to Jesus, we are called to serve others. Jesus suffered and died on the cross to pay for the price of our sin. When we say we follow Christ, we give up our right to our lives and accept a life of suffering and sacrifice too.
Persecution for Your Submission of Your Life to Jesus
Jesus talked of the reality of persecution for those who belong to Him. The apostle Paul (one of the early leading followers of Jesus) also spoke of persecution for following Jesus in 2 Timothy 3:12. ‘In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted’. In this world, we will face persecution for standing up for our faith. Many people of this world find Jesus' message offensive and unacceptable, and they will try to silence or kill those who are his believers.
“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” (Matthew 24:9)
People who have chosen to give their lives to Jesus will be persecuted and possibly put to death. But if you suffer in the hands of those who hate God and end up losing your life, you are blessed and will go to be with your Messiah. Your suffering will be for the glory of God.
“I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44)
This is one of the most shocking and revolutionary teachings of Jesus. Instead of becoming bitter with those who persecute you and cause you pain, pray for them and bless them. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:44 to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
Who has the power to do this? Such power can only come from God. Only people who have truly understood and experienced God's forgiveness can forgive other people. Only when you are empowered by God's love can you show this love to other people who have hurt you.
Remember what Prophet David has taught us. Leave your vengeance to God and God will carry out justice for you.
'Not by Might nor by Power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of Hosts. (Zachariah 4:6)
We can never triumph over sin, temptations, and trials of life with our own effort. Whoever thinks he can is living in self-deception. If we can win this spiritual battle ourselves then God does not need to save us. God knows exactly how much we need his mercy and help each day to live the life He has called us to live.
“Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
As we bring the Good News of Jesus' sacrifice and salvation to others around the world, Jesus has promised to be with us until the end of the age (Matthew 28:19-20). He will never leave or forsake you. Many people who have faced persecution can testify to this promise.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6)
God invites us to His throne to receive His grace and mercy to help us in our time of need. His strength is sufficient for every situation we face in life, and we should put all our trust in Him. God will help you overcome every struggle and persecution and set you free to live for Him.
Your Response: Listen to God and Pray...
What does it mean to have Jesus wash your feet? How would you respond?
In what ways has God loved His enemies?
Do you need God’s power to help you love and pray for an enemy? Are you willing to ask God to help you surrender those areas as well?
Who will you share these teachings of Jesus with?