Examples are followed whether they are good or bad. Some are followed more easily because they cater to my natural bents and require very little effort on our part. Others are harder to follow because they require personal sacrifice and denial of selfish interests.
Jesus whole life was spent in setting an example for others, but there were very few who were willing to deny themselves enough in order to follow His example. In John 6:66, some disciples quit following Him because they did not like His teaching which required that their lives be conformed to His life. In the few remaining hours before His crucifixion, Jesus spent them with the eleven disciples giving them critical teaching on being a servant and how the Holy Spirit would come and continue His ministry in them. Judas leaves during this time, unwilling to follow.
Jesus began those final hours by washing their feet. Though He is “Lord and Teacher” (13:13), He had come to earth “by taking the form of a servant…He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death” (Philippians 2:7-8). Jesus did not want that “mind” to escape the careful attention of the disciples. To make the point abundantly clear, Jesus told the disciples, “I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:15).
Do we really want to follow His example? It cannot be done in our own ability. How thankful we must be that the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell us, empower us, and through Him, “God…works in [us], both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). How closely are you following His example?
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