You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Luke 19:11-27 I’ve always found the parable of the ten pounds a bit odd. The nobleman that no one likes is actually quite generous with his money and his trust in ten of his slaves, with the expectation that they will do right by the gift. One of them however is simply afraid and chooses to do nothing. He ultimately ends up paying a heavy price for what he believes to know about the nobleman based on what the other citizens of the country have said against the nobleman. So many times I have hindered myself with fear because of what I thought I knew based on what someone else believed. Many people speak against God when in fact he has been quite generous with the gift of his son Jesus Christ, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, everlasting love and the Gospel. These are the things we ultimately have to remember when other people are in our ear telling us what is contrary to the truth. Regardless of what other people may say, God has given each of us a gift that we can use for his glory. Even in fear he encourages us to be faithful; to love not hate, wish well and not begrudge, build up and not tear down.
Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him. John 13:1-17, 31b-35 We don’t often talk about Peter’s reluctance to Jesus washing the disciples’ feet. It was a menial task usually left to servants, that is of course assuming that you had servants. Jesus’ act makes clear that this is exactly who we are – servants to one another. A friend of mine wanted to do something for me and I told her it wasn’t necessary believing that it might be a burden for her. She said something I will never forget; “Why would you deny me the opportunity to do what God has called me to do?” Who was I to determine the measure of her gift to me? No act is too small to give and no spirit is too great to receive. Jesus the perfecter of our faith has set the pathway. To lead is to serve and to serve is to lead.
You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you… I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’ John 13:1-17, 31-35