Pastor Tom Ascol addresses John 13:1-38. He starts by noting many people believe all religions are basically the same and that what one believes is not as important as the sincerity with which one believes. But in fact, Christianity is different. The Christian God is the One making reconciliation between God and man possible. It is only through trust in Him, not our own works or efforts, man enters into relationship with God. Jesus Christ, God’s Son, after all came to serve mankind.
Pastor Ascol observes three ways Jesus serves His people. First, Jesus shows God to mankind. Those who have seen Christ have seen the Father. Christ exemplifies God love for humanity. Even as He knows the heart of man, Judas would soon betray Him and Peter would soon deny Him, the Lord willingly gave up His heavenly prerogatives to humbly serve man. Second, as the Messiah, Jesus saves man from his own sin. His sacrificial work on the Cross is all-sufficient. Jesus’ service to his disciples in washing their feet is not an example of a church ordinance but rather a parable showing the need for confession and restoration of relationship for those already saved by that sacrifice. Pastor Ascol is clear: the Cross that justifies believers is the same Cross that sanctifies believers. Finally, Jesus serves by loving His people completely. Verse 1 of Chapter 13 tells us Jesus loves His own to the end. That end includes the end of Jesus’ physical life, the end of our physical lives, and the end of the world. This great love is an example to His children who are also called to love as He loves.
Just as Jesus girded himself with a towel and served his disciples by washing their feet, so believers today are called to be “people of the towel,” to serve brother and sisters in Christ, and to be an example of love and service to the world. God calls His children to give their lives to and for others just as Christ did, in contrast to taking lives of others as other religions sometimes seem to call their followers to do. Christianity is different. This great love should motivate people to turn from their wickedness and receive eternal life through Christ.