WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 2, 2021
TOPIC: FOLLOWING THE HUMILITY OF JESUS CHRIST
BY T. O. BANSO
“And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded” (John 13:2-5 New King James Version).
Jesus Christ is the perfect example for the world to emulate. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (New King James Version). Humanity has a lot to learn from the life of Jesus – how He lived; what He did and what He taught.
Which mind was in Jesus that Philippians 2:5 says should be in us? The mind of humility. Verses 6-8 say, “Though the divine nature was his from the beginning, yet he did not look upon equality with God as above all things to be clung to, but impoverished himself by taking the nature of a servant and becoming like men; He appeared among us as a man, and still further humbled himself by submitting even to death – to death on a cross!” (Twentieth Century New Testament).
Jesus left behind His glory in heaven to come to the earth to save humanity (John 17:5). Jesus emptied Himself so that He would be able to do what was expected of Him in human form.
In John 13:1-17, we see how Jesus, in humility, served His disciples. Though they called Him Master, He, after supper, rose and laid aside His garments. He took a towel, girded Himself, poured water into the basin, washed the feet of the disciples, and wiped them.
Foot washing in the Jewish culture was the first way of showing hospitality to a guest before they come into a tent or house because of the dusty roads in Palestine. Guests could be given water to wash their feet (Judges 19:21). But in some wealthy homes, washing of feet was considered the lowliest service and was performed by the least in the household – the slaves (1 Samuel 25:41).
In Luke 7:44, Jesus told his host, Simon, a Pharisee, that he failed to give Him water to wash His feet and compared his action to that of the immoral woman Simon described as a sinner, who washed His feet with her tears. “Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head’” (Luke 7:44 New King James Version).
However, in John 13:1-17, Jesus the Son of God washed the feet of His disciples. The Maker of heaven and the earth and all therein descended low to serve the work of His hands. He performed the lowliest service.
Humble people don’t consider it humiliating to serve others, including those below them. Jesus, by washing the feet of the disciples, was modeling humility, service, and leadership to them and those who would later be His disciples.
John 13:3 tells us three things that Jesus knew or was fully aware of before He washed His disciples’ feet in humility.
1. Jesus knew God had given Him all things. John 13:3a says, “Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands” (New King James Version). He knew the Father had given all things to Him or given Him authority over everything and it was just a matter of time for Him to take possession.
That took place after His resurrection and ascension to heaven where He is seated in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:20-21).
Verse 22 says, “And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church” (New Living Translation). All things were actually His before He was born as a human being. Therefore, serving the disciples didn’t reduce Him; it didn’t take anything away from Him.
All things are yours, too. Remember God put Adam in the Garden before the fall and he was in charge. Jesus, by defeating the devil, has restored the lost dominion. Ephesians 1:22 says, “And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church” (New Living Translation). If you’re a child of God, you’re a joint heir with Christ (Romans 8:17).
2. Jesus knew He came from God. Part of John 13:3 also says Jesus knew that He had come from God. He knew His source. He wasn’t confused about His identity. It didn’t matter what position He found Himself; He had a sense of divine ownership and possession. Where He came from was superior to where He was on earth. Heaven was behind Him. He knew He wasn’t alone. His Father was with Him.
Jesus said in John 16:32, “Indeed the hour is coming, yes, has now come, that you will be scattered, each to his own, and will leave Me alone. And yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me” (New King James Version).
Every human being also came from God. You didn’t create yourself – God did, and allowed you to come to this earth through your parents. “Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3 New Living Translation). Acknowledge God. Know that you’re not alone. God is with you.
3. Jesus knew He would return to God. He knew His life on this earth wasn’t the end of everything. He knew that His kingdom wasn’t of this world (John 18:36). He knew that whatever He did here on earth would be rewarded in heaven. He knew that how people felt wasn’t important but how Heaven felt. He knew divine approval is what is important; human commendation is inconsequential (2Timothy 2:15a; 2 Corinthians 10:18b).
Jesus returned to God, and you’ll return to Him one day too. Your sojourn on earth isn’t the end. You’ll return to God to give an account of all that you’ve done in the flesh. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 New King James Version).
The humility of Christ was humility that served, not the one that talked about it but didn’t demonstrate it. God can’t use somebody who is not humble; God can’t use somebody above and beyond his level of humility.
For God to use you, you must empty yourself of pride. And for Him to continue to use you, you must continue to deliberately empty yourself of any form of pride. You must consciously act in humility.
For instance, things people normally do for you as part of serving you, such as opening the door of your car for you and carrying your bag, sometimes insist on doing them yourself while they’re there. Greet others first, rather than wait for them to greet you first as usual. These and other things may appear very small, but when people don’t do them for you, don’t you see how you react negatively? That’s pride.
Don’t let the honour people give you turn you into a proud person. Deal with pride. If you don’t, it will grow in size, and it can begin to reflect in matters concerning God and the Kingdom of God. Proverbs 11:2 says, “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom” (New King James Version).
According to Proverbs 16:18, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (New Living Translation). Furthermore, Proverbs 29:23 says, “A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor” (New King James Version). Don’t only receive service from people; serve others also. If you receive service and you don’t give, you’ll become proud. You’ll think everybody exists to serve you. That is not true. Don’t feel too big to serve others.
Leadership by servanthood taught and modeled by Jesus, which the world now calls servant-leadership, is the model of the Kingdom of God. This should be the way of life of believers among themselves and in society.
Matthew 20:25-27 says, “But Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that in this world kings are tyrants, and officials lord it over the people beneath them. But among you it should be quite different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave’” (New Living Translation). This is servant-leadership par excellence.
In Matthew 18:4, Jesus taught that whoever shall humble himself as a little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. Humility is the ladder to greatness in the Kingdom of God. It’s not brilliance, smartness, aggressiveness, or competitiveness. “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6 New King James Version). Repent of pride now; embrace the humility of Jesus Christ. Wash the feet of others (serve) in humility.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I repent of every form of pride and arrogance in me. I destroy the stronghold of pride in my life. I humble myself under Your mighty hand; lift me up in due season. Father, You won’t need to humble me; I will humble myself.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947