Reflections

Jesus: Our Servant and King

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

 

38th Day of Lent

March 24, 2016

Jesus: Our Servant and King

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

“He riseth from supper… and took a towel, and girded himself…and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded” (John 13:4-5, KJV).

The Scriptures tell us that after the Passover supper Jesus took an old custom and made it into a teaching tool. He took a towel and girded Himself and began to wash His disciples’ feet; then He wiped them with the towel with which He had girded Himself.

Jesus, our Lord and Master took a cultural custom of the time He lived in and turned it into a teaching tool. By washing His disciples’ feet He taught them and us that He had come not only to save but to serve. And his service to humankind was, and is the greatest the world has ever seen.

In the time and culture that Jesus lived, the servants of a household washed the feet of guests who came to the home. And at His last Passover meal, Jesus acted out a drama that showed He was a servant in His Father’s house. In an act of humility and servanthood, He washed His disciples’ feet to teach them a lesson.

When Peter rejected that Jesus should wash His feet, Jesus upbraided Peter, saying “If I wash thee not, thou has no part with me.” This says to us that we can be no part of Him if we do not accept what He has done and is doing for us.

Some time later, the apostle Paul indicated that we, the church, are “cleansed with the washing of water by the Word.” And the Word is power unto salvation.

Jesus wants to teach us to wash off the old concepts of living and be open and receptive to the new ones He has to offer. And we can do this today with the washing of water by the Word.

Jesus’ washing of His disciples’ feet was His way of showing us true servanthood and He encouraged His disciples and us to do the same. He said: “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

By washing His disciples’ feet, Jesus washed away old patterns of living and brought them into a new phase of living and understanding: preparing them for the resurrection event that was soon to take place, and believing on Him fully to be the long awaited Messiah.

As we examine the Scriptures we clearly see that Jesus wasted no time on earth; from His conception to His ascension He taught us lessons along the way. Everything He did and said was a teaching for us in some manner or form.

SUGGESTED READINGS: John 13:1-17; Ephesians 5:26; Philippians 2:7-8

PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, in following Jesus, my Lord and Master, help me to serve others as best I can, for the sake of your Kingdom. Amen.”

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

In Christ, we too, can be servants in our Father’s House.

 

 

 

 

Following Jesus, Our Master

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

 

39th Day of Lent

March 25, 2016

Following Jesus, Our Master

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me...and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 16:24-25, KJV).

We often hear and sing the chorus: “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back…” and this is exactly what Jesus wants to hear from us. However, Jesus wants our love and commitment to Him, and in the above reading He is clear in telling us what it takes to follow Him and to find life--the more abundant life that He holds in store for us.

Today, Good Friday, brings us into commemoration of Jesus’ death on the cross for us. And though we know the biblical account of His death, yet we are more deeply reminded of it today. We acknowledge that Jesus came to deliver us out of death and darkness into His marvelous life and light.

And we are more likely to think of following Jesus in a deeper way. Following Jesus calls for either a commitment or re-commitment to learn of His ways and His teachings, and following them.

Firstly, we think of denying ourselves and we do this by placing the will of God above ours, for example, doing what we know is God’s will for us to do. This is what Jesus did. He laid aside His will and yielded to His Father’s will by going obediently to the cross.

Secondly, we take up our cross by facing our difficulties and not running away from them, or blaming others, or even blaming God. We follow the message of the cross which speaks of the crossing out of our difficulties, sin and shame.

The message of the cross is LOVE; for what we could not do for ourselves, Jesus did for us by dying on the cross to give us an opportunity to be lifted up in spirit if we believe in Him and receive Him into our lives. The message of the cross is also one of obedience, forgiveness and abandonment on God.

As we learn about Jesus and follow Him in His ways, His teachings, and His commitment to His Father we grow to become more like Him and that is what our Father wants for us.

SUGGESTED READINGS: Matthew 16:24-25; John 3:16-17; 1 Peter 2:9;

PRAYER: “Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He has made for us. Thank you, Lord, for the more abundant life He has prepared for us.”

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

The cross of Christ is a picture of the crossing out of sin and shame in our lives, and there is room at the cross for everyone.

 

 

 

 

They Saw His Glory

FOLLOWING THE MASTER – A Lenten Devotional

40th Day of Lent

March 26, 2016

They Saw His Glory

Copyright 2016 Monica Hernandez

"...He took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray...and His raiment was white and glistening” (Luke 9:28,29, KJV).

Jesus took three of His disciples into a mountain to pray and as He prayed, His countenance was changed and His clothing was “white and glistening...” The Scriptures reveal that Moses and Elias appeared in glory and talked with Jesus about His death which would take place at Jerusalem. And Jesus’ disciples saw His glory and witnessed that also of Moses and Elias.

Jesus had demonstrated to His disciples a foretaste of the glory of His resurrection, which was soon to come.

The well-known hymn: “Crown Him with Many Crowns” wisely affirms that Jesus now lives in realms of light. However, even while on earth, He had full access to His home, the realms of light, at any time He chose to enter there. And in the presence of His disciples, He did just that and communicated with Moses and Elias.

As Jesus prayed, a great change had come upon Him; even His clothing showed a change. Could it be that Jesus wanted to show His disciples a preview of His resurrection glory?

And Peter confirmed witnessing the transfiguration of Jesus in his writings. Most likely, there also was a great change in him and the other disciples for they had actually seen the glory.

You and I might never witness so great a spectacle in the presence of Jesus as did Peter, James and John but in our thoughts and through our eye of faith we might picture Him in His glory and be blessed. We might very well be blessed by sensing His presence.

However, followers of Christ, our Master, have a blessed hope to be changed from glory to glory and we can surely see the reflection of His radiance in our lives day by day, and the best is yet to come.

At this time, can you see the glory of Christ reflected in your life? Can you sense His presence, guidance and direction in matters that concern you?

SUGGESTED READINGS: Luke 9:28-37; 2 Corinthians 3:15-18; 2 Peter 1:16-18.

PRAYER: “Dear Lord Jesus, as you revealed your glory to your disciples, so grant me a revelation of yourself. Teach me to persevere that my courage may be strengthened in this life as I am being changed from glory to glory. Amen.”

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

The resurrection glory is reflected in our lives, even today.