By Toni Ford
This is the time of year in which people begin to refer to the Scriptures about Jesus’ death and resurrection. As I was reading in John this past week, I started reading the chapters leading up to His death and resurrection, and I realized for the first time the importance of Jesus’ last week. All four Gospels have an account of Jesus’ last week, and in those accounts, one can see what Jesus deemed important and where He placed His greatest priorities.
There are three of His actions that stood out to me and challenged me personally:
He made it a point to spend time with His closest friends. Some of His dearest friends – Mary, Martha, and Lazarus – lived in a small town called Bethany. Although Bethany was only two miles away from Jerusalem – the city in which the religious leaders and many others were plotting to kill Jesus – He did not let that keep Him from spending time with His friends. Jesus was willing to risk His own life in order to have a final meal with three of His closest friends.
He made it a point to make sure His disciples knew they were loved. Jesus could have taught one more lesson to His disciples or demonstrated one more miracle in front of them in order to build their faith, but instead, He not only shared a meal with them the night before His crucifixion but also demonstrated His love for them by washing their feet. This was one of the most humbling acts of service one could give towards another person. The custom during that day was for a servant to wash the feet of those who entered a room. While having dinner with His disciples that last night, Scripture tells us Jesus got up from the table and began washing the feet of His disciples! What an incredible act of love this was!
He made it a point to keep sharing the message of His Father, the message of truth and unconditional love for the people. John 12: 44-50, Jesus explains to the people that anyone who puts their trust in Him and His heavenly Father will receive eternal life. It is His heart’s desire for all people to know Him as their personal Savior, and He continues to preach this message even until His last breath on the cross!
I am encouraged and challenged by His priorities and the way in which He worked them out during His final week. It is obvious that He had both the believer and the unbeliever on His mind. Our Lord was not looking for them to meet His needs; instead, He wanted to make sure they knew they were loved and knew the truth about His Father. Is this something I am modeling in my own life from week to week?
Lord, I pray that our priorities would be in alignment with your priorities and that you would put both the believer and unbeliever on our hearts and minds each and every week. May we never waste a day sharing your love with others!
If you would like for me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would love to pray for you.